C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HC deadline for Punjab
Seeks response on setting up probe panel on illegal occupation of land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Setting a three-day deadline, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the State of Punjab to give its response on setting up a one-member commission of inquiry, headed by a retired High Court judge, to probe into the illegal occupation of common village land by the higher-ups in the periphery of Chandigarh.

As the matter came up for resumed hearing before the Division Bench headed by acting Chief Justice MM Kumar, an affidavit filed by Punjab Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh was placed before it.

In the affidavit, the Chief Secretary submitted: “If a commission of inquiry is appointed, it would delay the proceedings which are already going on in various courts to retrieve the public land, in our opinion appointment of commission is not required.”

Apparently not satisfied with the reply, the Bench asked the counsel for the Punjab government to seek fresh instructions on the setting up of the commission and inform the Bench on Wednesday.

The Bench, on the previous date of hearing, had made clear its opinion that only a commission could probe the matter independently. But before passing an order, the Bench had asked the state government to respond to the query why a commission should not be constituted.

The case will now come up for further hearing on April 25. The matter was brought to the court’s notice by a Nayagoan resident, Kuldip Singh.

Accusing a senior police functionary of a land-grab bid in Nayagaon, he had sought protection, while praying for the registration of an FIR and a CBI probe into the dealings.

The inquiry was entrusted to the ADGP after Justice Ranjit Singh of the High Court took cognizance of the matter. Justice Ranjit Singh had asked the ADGP to lay emphasis on Nayagaon, Zirakpur, Mohali, Kansal and Koraran areas.

The judge had added: “It would also need investigation to see what is the source of acquisition.” The state has already been admonished by the court for its failure to initiate action for getting government and forest land freed from illegal possession in Nayagaon.

The Bench had also directed the authorities to inform the court about the cases registered and action taken against the illegal occupants, besides submitting details of the action initiated to get the land freed from illegal occupants.



Stung by HC rap, estate office in overdrive
Issues eviction notices to occupants of resumed properties in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Apparently stung by the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s criticism for mishandling a case of building violation, the UT estate office seems to have gone full steam in proceeding against building bylaw violators across the city.

After slapping hundreds of notices regarding building violations and misuse of premises against owners/occupants of resumed properties, notices have been served to evict them from properties under the Public Premises Act. In Sector 17 alone, there are several cases in which “unauthorised” occupants have not been evicted despite the commercial property having been resumed for the last many years.

Similar cases exist in other markets also. “It was a well-planned nexus as no action was taken in case of resumed properties due to the connivance of officials in the estate office,” sources said. Recently, the Assistant Estate Officer, Rahul Gupta, had written to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to proceed against the owners of resumed properties under the Act.

Though the Assistant Estate Officer did not respond to calls, it is learnt that hundreds of notices of violations had been served in most commercial markets. But it is yet to be seen if the estate office has been taking “timely” action on notices served on violators over the last few years.

The sources said action followed after the High Court pulled up officials in connection with the demolition carried out at a house in Sector 33. The estate office authorities had been asked to file an affidavit in connection with the action taken in cases where demolition orders had been passed.

There are certain cases in which the estate office acted swiftly in cases where demolition orders were still pending.

The issue of reducing the misuse fee is also acting as a damper in proceeding against violators. A majority of eating joints across the city have made alterations and additions (compoundable and non-compoundable) on their premises, but the issue has remained unresolved for long.

Only notices, no action

The lackadaisical attitude of estate office officials can be gauged from the fact that for the last over five years, the estate office has been issuing public notices to shopkeepers for removing glazing from the first and second floors. But no further action has been taken. The UT architect department has been asking the estate office to stop the illegal practice. But right under the nose of the estate office, a number of stores in Sector 17 have covered their balconies with glass panels.



Investment company dupes 400 residents of tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Operators of an investment company in the city have allegedly duped a large number of residents of lakhs of rupees by promising them heavy returns. They operated under the name of “Office Stationery World” in Sector 27.

Over 70 persons belonging to the tricity today gathered at the Chandigarh police headquarters in Sector 9 and lodged a complaint against Dharminder Ahuja, his mother Prakash Kaur and MS Mangla for allegedly cheating them of more than Rs 1.50 crore.

All the complainants met the UT SSP and lodged a complaint. A Special Investigating Team (SIT) comprising three inspectors, including two Station House Officers (SHOs) has been formed to investigate the matter.

The accused were booked on the complaint of Major (retd) HS Sidhu, who alleged that the accused defrauded him of Rs 25 lakh on the pretext of returning the money with a huge interest. The case was registered at the Sector 26 police station on April 18. The other complainants were also duped in a similar fashion.

As per the complaints, the accused had opened their office in Sector 27 and were operating from there for the last nine months. After collecting huge amounts of money from various residents, the accused simply disappeared from the office after April 15. Before cheating them, the accused tried to win their trust by refunding their invested money with good interest. The photographs of the accused have been submitted to the police.

Over two dozen victims also staged a protest against the failure of the Chandigarh Police to nab the culprits in Sector 20 on April 22.

JC Verma, a Sector 40 resident, said: “The company had offices at several places in and around the city and claimed to provide about 5 to 7 per cent interest on the invested amount every month. This way they cheated about 400 persons,” he said.

Another complainant stated: “One could invest a minimum of Rs 1.30 lakh with the company. They claimed to pay Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 every month if Rs 3 lakh was invested. The principal amount was returned after three years. The company used to give postdated cheques which would bounce. Initially, investors received their payments, but later the payments stopped. By then, the company had accumulated huge amounts of money and the accused disappeared.”

A Sector 19 resident, AK Verma, said: “My 82-year-old mother, wife and cousins had invested about Rs 17 lakh. We all got cheated.”

fly-by-night operators

The accused had opened their company office in Sector 27 and were operating from there for nine months. After collecting huge amounts of money from a large number of residents, the accused disappeared from the office



Ministry kills night tourism project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Putting an end to the two-year-old ambitious project of night tourism in Chandigarh, the Union Ministry of Tourism has cancelled the project and withheld the grant of Rs 4.98 crore to be released for it.

The project envisaged use of illumination technology through special lights to project the unique architecture of the monuments and buildings in the city. Initially, the Capitol Complex comprising the High Court, Secretariat and the Assembly was the centre of focus for the project. Tourists were to be taken on a guided tour on the Hop-on-Hop bus to witness the grandeur of the imposing structures under the effects of special lights during night hours.

But due the delay made by the UT engineering department in finalising the details and design of the illumination lights, the Tourism Ministry in a meeting held in Delhi decided to cancel the project. A senior official in the tourism department blames the UT engineering department for showing little interest in completing the project on time. The security concerns regarding the safety of building in Capitol Complex were not a hurdle as illumination was to be shown to the tourist from a distance. “The engineering department was taking its own sweet time. The design of the lights was not as per the requirement,” said the official.

The ministry had also announced special grant for development of garden of spring in Sector 53 and Japanese Garden in Sector 31. There were also plans to light-up the entry points of the city such as at Mullanpur, Mohali and Panchkula. The entry points were also to be landscaped.


Door-to-door collection of Solid waste begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The municipal corporation (MC) launched its pilot project of door-to-door collection of solid waste from Sector 22 here today. Nine trolleys deployed for the purpose were flagged off by Mayor Raj Bala Malik in the presence of councillors and office-bearers of resident welfare associations.

A senior MC official said the sector would be bin-free as the garbage would be collected from residential and commercial areas and sent directly to the garbage-processing plant at Dadu Majra.

There would be no ‘sehaj safai kendra’ or garbage bin in the sector from today, he said. He added that residents had been educated not to deposit solid or horticultural waste at any other place.

The official said the billing amount for the collection would be recovered through water bills from residents and through property tax from shopkeepers.

The Mayor said four trolleys would be used for collecting garbage from outer parts of the sector and five from internal parts. She added that four employees had been deployed with each trolley.

MC Additional Commissioner TPS Phoolka said if the project was successful, it would also be introduced in other parts of the city.

Shreya of Sector 22 said the monopoly of contractors would end, bringing relief to the public. She said residents had been complaining about overcharging and mismanagement for four years.

A few residents complained that MC employees did not visit their houses for the collection of garbage today. Rakesh Sharma said nobody came to collect garbage from his house today.

Employees with the contractors whose services were terminated staged a ‘dharna’ in front of the ‘sehaj safai kendra’ to protest against not being reemployed despite the authorities’ assurance.

How much to pay

Type of house Charges

12, 13 type Rs 30

9, 10, 11 type Rs 40

5 marla Rs 50

7 marla Rs 60

10 marla Rs 75

Rehri market Rs 30



Heaps of garbage lie unattended all around in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
It seems that the garbage collection system of the municipal corporation (MC) has almost collapsed as heaps of garbage are lying unattended in every nook and corner of streets. Residents are forced to live in unhygienic conditions as no uniform policy has been adopted by the MC for the collection of garbage.

During a visit to Sector 35, it was found that heaps of garbage and dry leaves were lying at the entrance to the government school.

Residents complained that no trolley had collected the garbage lying in front of the school for more than a week.

Despite a number of complaints to the department concerned, no action had been taken so far. They alleged that sweepers visited the area only once a fortnight.

Residents said they had to wrap the garbage left unattended by the team which collected it on a day-to-day basis.

The story of Sector 8 was similar. Residents complained that employees of the contractor turned up to collect garbage twice a week.

They added that they had to lift the garbage and throw it in garbage bins. A number of complaints had been lodged with the authorities about the mismanagement, they further said.

All over the city, similar problems were being faced by residents. Councillors of a majority of areas complained about the mismanagement during the last two meetings of the House.

MC records revealed that it had only nine trolleys to collect dry leaves and there was no special staff for the purpose. Residents were left with no option but to burn those.

Shain of Sector 56 said residents of the area had been complaining about heaps of dry leaves near a park for the last two weeks, but no action had been taken.



Nine years gone, but civic body still not bothered
Not a penny of monthly ‘dhobhi ghat’ fee recovered from washermen despite their attempts to pay dues
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Washermen have been running from pillar to post to deposit their monthly ‘dhobhi ghat’ fee while the municipal corporation (MC) authorities are not bothered for the past nine years to recover it.

Records with the MC revealed that not a single penny had been recovered from the seven ‘dhobhi ghats’ from 2004. The monthly fee of Rs 30 per month had not even been revised.

Sources revealed that last year, a report on the ‘dhobhi ghats’ at Sectors 7, 15, 19, 20, 22, 27 and 32 was prepared by the department.

In the report, it was revealed that washermen were not depositing the fee since 2004, after those were transferred from the Administration to the MC.

At all ‘ghats’, washermen were misusing the place without taking seeking permission or paying for it. A senior official said they would serve notices soon to recover the pending amount.

In the report, it was stated that at a majority of the ‘ghats’, more than double the washermen who got permits from the authorities were utilising those.

A classic example was the ‘dhobhi ghat’ at Sector 22. Four washermen were allowed to work there, but 24 were utilising it.

At Sectors 19 and 32, four washermen each were allowed to work, but 13 were utilising the one at Sector 19 and 16 the one at Sector 32.

The picture at other ‘dhobhi ghats’ was similar. Ten washermen were working at Sector 7 against the permission for six.

At Sector 20, 15 washermen were working against permission for six. At Sector 15, 14 were utilising government space against permission for six.

When contacted, Dhobhi Ghat Association president Ajay Kalojia said the association was clueless since 2005 on whom to pay their monthly fee.

He added that there was no official intimation from the MC that all seven ‘ghats’ had been transferred to it.

In 2005, the estate office had refused to deposit the fee as all ‘ghats’ were shifted to MC, he said. Till date, ‘dhobhis’ had not received any official intimation, he added.

He said they had asked the officials concerned last year to send them notices on how much the arrears were and whom to pay those, but no action had been taken on the request.



Admn to soft-pedal dispute between two depts
DC’s office, forest and wildlife department at loggerheads over 26 sq km of Sukhna wildlife sanctuary area
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
As two departments of the UT Administration — the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and the forest and wildlife department — are at loggerheads over the dispute over a 26-sq-km eco-fragile Sukhna wildlife sanctuary area, the Administration has decided to soft-pedal the issue.

Officials with the Administration believe that when the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana are not raising the issue of their rights over the area, departments of the Administration should also put the matter on the backburner.

A senior official with the Administration said there was no dispute over the land and it only belonged to the Administration.

The DC’s office had submitted its report to the Administration in November last year. The DC had submitted his report in response to a communication from the Chief Architect.

It was stated in the communication that the issue of ownership of land under question needed to be clarified immediately to pave the way for the finalisation of the master plan of the city.

The DC had mentioned in the report that the land was under possession of the Administration, but its revenue records continued to be with the Punjab and Haryana governments.

The legal department had also submitted its opinion to the UT Administration. It had stated that the area did not belong to the UT and the Administration had no right over it. The forest and wildlife department had strongly objected to these reports.

It had pointed out that the DC’s office had started the process of declaring the area a reserve forestland under the Indian Forest Act in 1991.

The DC was appointed forest settlement officer. He called for objections from members of the public regarding the area.

In a letter dated January 13, 1991, the DC’s office had informed the Divisional Forest Officer that none of the owners whose land fell under the reserve forest area had filed any objection. The notification declaring it the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary was issued in March, 1998.

This land was transferred to the UT on March 15, 1963, but was outside the 114 sq km under the revenue records of the UT.



UT reduces quota for kerosene users
63,000 poor families to be affected after cut in allocation to Chandigarh by Petroleum Ministry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The Chandigarh Administration has revised the retail distribution of kerosene under the public distribution system (PDS). The move follows the reduction in quota of kerosene by 45.89 per cent by the Petroleum Ministry. Around 63,000 poor families are likely to get reduced allocation of kerosene every month.

Against the earlier allocated quota of 1,752 kilolitres (KL) from January to March, the UT quota from April to June has been reduced by 804 KL to 948 KL.

As per the new order, card-holders with single LPG cylinder will be entitled to three litres of kerosene per card per month.

Senior-citizen card-holders will be entitled to three litres per card per month. Card-holders with one or two units will be entitled to three litres per card per month.

Card-holders with three or four units will be entitled to four litres per card per month. Card-holders with five units and above will be entitled to six litres per card per month.

Till now, the quota was five litres for single-member ration card, 10 litres for three-member family, 15 litres for family with more than three members and three litres for single-gas users.



convenience shops
Construction work begins
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 23
Work on the construction of 700 convenience shops (built-up booths) has been started by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the contractors concerned have been asked to complete the first phase of the project in six months time.

Keeping in mind the requirements of the common man, GMADA had decided to construct 2,000 convenience shops spread all over the town to cater to the basic needs of a vast majority of customers who prefer patronising small shops rather than big showrooms and malls.

Under the project, which is to be carried out in a phased manner, GMADA has started work at five sites out of eight selected for the first phase. The work has been allotted to three contractors. The five sites where the work has begun are located in Sectors 59, 66, 67, 68, and 78.

Sources in GMADA said that under the built-up booths scheme floated for the first phase most of the successful applicants had deposited 75 per cent of the quoted price with GMADA authorities but a few of them could not arrange funds. GMADA had gone into a tripartite agreement with Axis Bank and talks along similar lines were in progress with HDFC Bank. Applicants who could not arrange funds could now take loans from these banks and deposit their dues by May 7. Penalty at the rate of 1.5 per cent would be levied on such applicants for late deposits. It is learnt that GMADA has planned to construct 72 booths in Sector 53, 48 in Sector 59, 78 in Sector 66, 102 in Sector 67, 34 in Sector 68, 154 in Sector 69, 138 in Sector 78 and 78 in Sector 79 under the first phase of the project.

The dimensions of the booths are 7 ft by 10 ft. There is a 6-ft wide verandah outside these shops. The shops will be constructed on the ground floor and also on the first-floor level. Items used by the common man in his day-to-day life like vegetables, fruits, kiryana, etc will be sold in such shops.

A team of GMADA officials had gone to Chandigarh to study various small markets like the Azad market, Palika Bazar, etc. before planning the project.

GMADA has decided to have a proper parking space for those frequenting these convenience shops in order to avoid the situation faced by residents who went to make purchases in the rehri markets of the town at present.

As many as 24 sites were identified in all sectors of the town under the project where a cluster of shops will be constructed at a cost of about Rs 24 crore.



This passage has become a bone of contention
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 23
A passage through the Panchkula Golf Club to the cremation ground on River Ghaggar has become the bone of contention between the Panchkula Golf Club authorities and residents of Devi Nagar Village. Today, the village residents alleging that the club officials had been trying to block their passage staged a protest outside the golf club.

Led by former Panchkula municipal council president Seema Chaudhary, the local residents raised slogans and sat on a dharna at the site.

Chaudhary said that the golf club was set up on the land of Devi Nagar village acquired by HUDA.

However, a 5-feet wide passage was left by HUDA officials for the villagers to go to the creamation ground. Yesterday, the officials of club, however, blocked the passage by putting sand and a plastic net on the entry and exit passage, alleged, Chaudhary.

The villagers were asked by the club management to use the cremation ground in Sector 20 or Manimajra, said Sohan Lal, a Devi Nagar resident.

Later the villagers however, removed the sand and net and opened the passage and apprehending law and order problem, the club management preferred to remain silent.

While all efforts to contact the management proved futile, Chaudhary said the issue was brought to the notice of HUDA a month ago but nothing was done. She along with local residents will meet the HUDA officials tomorrow, she added.



Healthcare services at PGI likely to be hit tomorrow
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The patient care at PGI is likely to be hit on April 25 as the Nurses Welfare Association has decided to go on a mass casual leave that day. Lakhwinder Singh, president of the association, said despite several meetings with the director of PGI, Chandigarh, and medical superintendent of Nehru Hospital, PGI, Chandigarh, their demands were not accepted by the PGI administration.

The major demands of the association include the childcare leave and appointment of female barbers. The rule 43 C of the Central Services (leave) Rules, 1972, has been unlawfully amended by the PGI administration in order to deprive the female nursing staff of the childcare leave, he said.

The administration has started deducting various allowances admissible to the staff members during their leave period such as maternity leave and childcare leave, which were not justified, said Lakhwinder.

The association has been demanding to appoint a female barber for female patients for which even there is no need to create a new post and can be appointed on an already existing post, he added.

Though the PGI authorities had agreed to meet the demands during a meeting with the association recently, but it did not reflected in the agreement papers prepared by them, alleged the association president.

Over 1,500 members of the association have decided to go on mass casual leave on Wednesday, he said.

This, however, is set to hit patient care hard as it will not be possible for the authorities to carry out over 200 surgical procedures that happen at the premier health institute every day. The emergency services will be another sensitive zone without nursing staff.

The PGI spokesperson when contacted said most of the demands have been met. If they still decide to go on a mass casual leave they will attract disciplinary action.



Draft of terms chalked out
Fully automatic parking lots at Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The municipal corporation (MC) has chalked out the draft of terms for introducing two fully automatic parking lots at Sector 17. The draft will be tabled during the finance and contract committee meeting on April 25.

As per the draft, the department has proposed that a sensor be installed at the area where vacant parking lot numbers will be displayed so that commuter does not have to search for space.

Each parking space will be numbered and connected to the sensor to acknowledge the vacant space. A board displaying information on entry and exit points will be displayed.

In March, the committee had decided that all parking lots at Sector 17 would be converted into fully automatic parking lots.

Officials said the draft had been framed, but work would commence after getting the approval of the committee. The proposal had been rejected twice by the committee.

The proposal on fresh terms and conditions for the auction of parking lots would also be tabled during the meeting of the committee.

In February, the committee had asked officials to renew the terms and conditions of auction of parking lots so that more contractors could participate in the auction.

To lessen the financial burden on contractors, the authorities had initially relaxed a few terms for the parking-lot auctions.

An official said the parking lots would be auctioned again by the department after getting the approval of the committee.

The parking lots were beside the Sukhna Lake at Sector 5, the commercial complex at Sector 34 and near the MOH and the CMCH at Sector 17.



Bhabat village in Zirakpur a mess
Generates VAT worth crores of rupees, but has poor amenities
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 23
Bhabat village, which is a hub of warehousing and distribution activities in the region and claims to contribute a whopping Rs 500 crore as VAT annually to the Punjab Government, is virtually crying for attention.

The inner roads are dilapidated and pools of muddy water are seen everywhere in the absence of a drainage system. Long power cuts are routine in the area, which houses over 100 warehouses.

Amit Jain, president of the C&F Association, said several complaints had been made to the authorities but in vain. “We are not only generating a revenue of several hundred crores for the government, but also providing employment to the local people. We should be provided with proper facilities,” he said.

Businessmen in the area said the internal roads had not been laid or even repaired in the last almost five years, resulting in huge potholes. “The sewerage system was laid only last year, but has still not been made operational. The digging of roads for the purpose has made it even worse. Leave aside cycles, scooters and even trucks get stuck in these potholes,” said Sanjay Bansal, an owner of a warehouse here.

The condition worsens during monsoon when, in the absence of a drainage system, the area virtually turns into a big pool. “Vehicles break down every day and cranes have to be pressed into service to pull them out. It becomes impossible to walk or drive through the slush,” said Surinder Singh, a resident.

Long and unscheduled power cuts are another problem which the residents have to face daily. “Long power cuts or low voltage has become a routine affair,” said Jain, adding that several warehouses dealt with pharma companies, which had to maintain temperature below 8 degrees Celsius for life-saving drugs.” The area, which houses huge godowns and goods worth crores of rupees, has no fire station.

“The recent fire in a Whirlpool warehouse should be seen as an eye-opener. In the absence of a local fire station, the fire engines were summoned from the neighbouring area, which took at least half-an-hour to reach the spot. This resulted in wastage of precious time. Our repeated requests for setting up a fire station have yielded no result,” remarked a businessman.

Jain claimed that a large number of companies had moved out of the area to Haryana due to the poor state of affairs and several others were in line.

The local MLA, NK Sharma, admitted that there was unplanned growth in the area. “We have laid a sewerage system in the area. Very soon the re-carpeting of roads would begin. We are aware of the problems, but it would take time to tackle all of them,” he said.



removal of tents
Now, It’s time to bell the cat in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
It’s time to bell the cat in Mohali. Less than a month after the Punjab and Haryana High Court set a precedent by ordering the removal of tents pitched for the security of the judges and also directed the UT authorities to do the same, a petition was today filed seeking similar directions for Mohali.

In his petition filed in public interest, Rajinder Bains of Sector 48 here sought directions to the State of Punjab, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority, Mohali Planning Board, the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police for the removal of tents.

Directions were also sought for demolishing concrete structures in public parks, greenbelts and roadside berms being used illegally and in an unauthorised manner for the purpose of accommodating security personnel.

The petitioner added that the tents were being pitched for the security of the VVIPS, politicians, policemen and bureaucrats and were at 22 places in Mohali. In July 2009, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of a news-report “Who’ll bell the cat” carried in these columns on the violations by the bigwigs in government accommodations.

Nearly three years later, the Chandigarh Administration claimed removal of all security tents pitched outside the houses of bureaucrats, politicians and other high ups on designated green belts.

The assertion on removal of tents came just about 24 hours after the high court directed the uprooting of portable canvas shelters pitched outside the Judges’ houses.

Justice Ranjit Singh had earlier asserted “no one is above law, however so high he or she may be placed. Chandigarh Administration needs to be asked to perform its functions in accordance with law”.

Justice Ranjit Singh had also directed the issuance of notice to the Union Territory of Chandigarh through its Administrator “to show cause as to why these illegal encroachments etc. be not removed”.

In an apparent attempt to prevent the encroachers from getting away with the illegalities, Justice Ranjit Singh in his detailed order had also made it clear to the administration to ensure all violating officer are brought under the ambit of law.

“Various violations done by influential officials or officers in the government accommodation allotted to them have been highlighted in the news-item, along with the photographs showing the illegal encroachments or constructions done by them…

“Chandigarh Administration would also carry out checks and report, if any such illegal construction or encroachment has been done by any other official or officer in the government houses allotted to them in Chandigarh”.



development works
Send progress report to me: DC tells officials
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 23
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam today asked the top officials of various departments to prepare progress reports of the development works under them and submit to him by 10th of every month.

Roojam was presiding over a meeting in which senior officials of the municipal council, road committee and district education development committee were present.

“Senior officials should themselves go on the spot to check the progress of the development works in the area and send report to me,” said Roojam adding that the action would also be taken against those officials who did not attend the monthly meeting.

The Deputy Commissioner instructed those officials, who were yet to submit the utilisation certificates of grants, to complete the formality within 15 days.





MCM Rotaract donates money

The MCM Rotaract Club donated a sum of Rs 10,000 to the Poor Patient Welfare fund of the PGI on Monday. The MCM Rotaract president, Aastha Sharma, joint secretary Srishti Jaju, and director Srishti Kapoor were present along with other members of the club. The club also donated whiteboards and mats, worth Rs 5,000 to the children of the Kitaabghar School in the Bapudham colony, Sector 26 as well. The club has been teaching the children regularly every week in their own free time during the session 2011-12.

Public Relations Day

The local chapter of the Public Relations Society of India celebrated Public Relations Day in a seminar on Cancer awareness. Dr JD Wig, director, and Dr Rajeev Kapoor, head, radio therapy department, Fortis hospital, were the main speakers on the occasion. Satya Pal Jain, a former Member of Parliament, was the chief guest. Amandeep Kaur Dhindsa and Sourav Chawla from Bhartiya Vidya Haven were felicitated on the occasion. VP Sharma, chairman, PRSI, Chandigarh Chapter, told that the society was formed primarily to groom aspiring PR professionals, but simultaneously, it is the duty of PR professionals to make use of their skills by spreading awareness regarding issues of social concern .

Nagar kirtan

Followers of Lord Parsuram, particularly those associated with the Devalaya Pujak Parishad, took out a ‘nagar kirtan’ on the eve of his birth in the city today. The procession starting from the temple in Sector 37 and went to different parts of the city. A ‘murti sathapna’ is also scheduled for tomorrow.

Sanitation awareness programme

A sanitation and hygiene awareness programme was held at the Government Senior Secondary School, Raipur Khurd village here today. KR Chirwathkar, entomolgist and parasitologist, municipal corporation, delivered a lecture on solid waste management.

School celebrates ‘Colours Day’

To make children aware of the wonder of colours, the KG Section of St Mary’s School, Sector 46-B, celebrated ‘Colours Day’ on April 21. Students from the kindergarten sections came in colourful attires and were provided with different objects pasted on their dresses.


Reorientation programme

In the 10th reorientation programme of in-service dental doctors held at PHSC, lectures were delivered on implants, laser and oral cancer. Dr Suchetan Pradhan, a renowned dentist from Mumbai, enlightened the dentists about the applications of laser in implants. The most attractive part of the programme was the live surgery. Dr RS Mann, head, Punjab Dental Implant Centre gave a lecture on ‘Basics of Dental Implants’ and then performed a live surgery which turned out to be very helpful for the government dentists. The surgery was done in a mobile dental van and shown on the screen fitted in the auditorium of PHSC. Over 200 government dentists participated in the workshop.


Get-together organised

Mohyal Milan, a community get together of the Mohyal fraternity, was organised at the Sood Haven, Sector 10, here today. Former Governor of Punjab, Lt Gen(retd) BKN Chhibber, was the chief guest on the occasion. He spoke about the history of the community, particularly in the Indian Army.

— Tribune Reporters



First Govt Smart School opens in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
It was a landmark day for the UT education as the first government smart school started today. The inauguration of the Sector 53 school was marked by fervour and enthusiasm, with students mesmerised by the various machines in the school (like a shoe cleaner).

KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, inaugurated the building with a promise that the classroom teaching will go beyond the confines of text-books. “A major shift characterised by integrated e-teaching and new learning methodologies in the education sector has become imperative and this endeavour of the Education Department is only the first step towards the fulfilment of our goals of empowering the youth of the country,” said Sharma.

Education at the school level is in a transitional phase. With the help of continuous comprehensive evaluation and ICT in the National Curriculum Framework-2005. Conceptualised with the objective of making learning an enjoyable experience, integrating students with society and preparing them for future challenges, the step is in sync with UNESCO’s policies on Higher Education.

The educational content in smart school is strictly mapped to NCERT books and can be easily customised to any state board. The Chandigarh Administration will roll out a road map for big reforms in the education system by making changes in various spheres.

“Modernisation of school education is very important. We are looking forward to take our schools a step ahead and this school will mark the change,” said DPI (S) Sandeep Hans.



PU to decide on making Syndicate meeting recordings public
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Punjab University’s dirty linen might very soon be washed in public. The Syndicate in its forthcoming meeting will debate the legal opinion on recommending that recordings of Syndicate meetings be brought under the Right to Information Act.

The opinion, which is bound to leave PU Senators and Syndics fuming for obvious reasons, was sought following over 50 RTI applications being filed for the same. Though the university initially rejected the applications, claiming that the provision of DVDs was not covered under the Act, ever increasing complaints and appeals forced it to rethink its stand.

The opinion has been welcomed by many. A Senator, pleading anonymity, said, “The main reason of recording the proceedings is to ensure transparency and there should be no problem in providing the same to applicants. The university has been denying information to the applicants to conceal wrong doings of the Syndicate. There is no reason to hide these proceedings from anybody.” However, a majority of Senators are opposed to the idea as they feel that it will distort the very character of the house by putting it in public domain. “The Syndicate is meant to function in a relatively closed manner and live proceedings are not for public consumption. If anybody thinks that bringing recordings in the public domain is justified, we should allow the media to visit the Syndicate meetings. The opinion is clearly inspired by the forthcoming Senate elections,” said a senior Syndicate member.

Video recording of the Senate and Syndicate meetings was started recently after numerous complaints were received about the tampering of proceedings. The recordings helped in keeping a check over the behaviour of some Senators and officials believe that it is the fear of revelation of this irregular behaviour that is making many oppose it. “Often embarrassing altercations have taken place between the Vice-Chancellor and senior Senators like Chatrath and Ashok Goyal. Personal comments and abuses are common in the Syndicate and we obviously cant afford to reveal it to all. That is why video recordings are not been given under the RTI,” revealed one of the officials involved in the Syndicate proceedings



Statue unveiled at Panjab University
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, April 23
A statue of the Lady of Justice was unveiled at the Panjab University by Justice MM Kumar, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court. The statue was donated and installed by the alumni of 1985 and 1986.

Justice Ajay Tiwari, justice Nirmal Jeet Kaur, justice Sabina, justice Ritu Bahri, justice Dhindsa and justice Sandhawalia were also present on the auspicious occasion. Prof Nishtha Jaswal, chairperson, Department of Laws, lauded the role and contribution of the alumni of 1985 and 1986.

Justice MM Kumar congratulated the department on the occasion. GK Chatrath, Dean, Faculty of Law, also showered his blessings on all students. Rajiv Partap Rudy, former Aviation Minister, recollected his cherished memories when he was a student in the Department of Laws.



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