C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Demolition drive tepid affair in Kansal
Officials unclear about exact catchment area * Residents allege houses of VIPs not touched

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Amid immense pressure from VIPs, including officials and politicians, the Punjab local bodies department today "half-heartedly" demolished about 10 low-height boundary walls in Sectors A and B of Kansal that fall in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake. The drive was carried out after the Punjab and Haryana High Court halted construction in the catchment area.

As soon as the news spread, a number of vehicles with red and blue beacons landed at the site and prevailed upon officials not to carry out the demolition drive as a number of senior functionaries of the Punjab Government had built houses in the Kansal and Nayagaon areas. Heated arguments took place between officials and anxious residents who alleged that houses of VIPs were not being touched. Though the police and two JCBs assisted the demolition squad, the officials were seen convincing residents that they would demolish portions of the outer walls.

During the demolition drive, a black car with a blue beacon landed at a house in Kansal. The boundary wall of the house was left untouched by the NAC team.
During the demolition drive, a black car with a blue beacon landed at a house in Kansal. The boundary wall of the house was left untouched by the NAC team. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Executive Officer, Nayagaon NAC, Ashok Paharia, said 12 structures had been demolished. He said residents were being made aware through public notices and advertisements in newspapers not to construct anything in wake of the court order.

As per the official records, about 50 houses had been approved after the cut-off date of March 14, 2011, fixed by the High Court. Citing the date set by the court, the local bodies department has decided not to touch the houses that have been constructed before the cut-off date. In case of the houses where the layout plans have been approved and development fee has been accepted after the cut-off date, the structures are not being demolished and their cases are being referred to the Chief Town Planner (CTP) in the department.
Officials of the Nayagaon NAC return after carrying out a "half-hearted" demolition drive in the catchment area that falls in Kansal village.
Officials of the Nayagaon NAC return after carrying out a "half-hearted" demolition drive in the catchment area that falls in Kansal village. A Tribune photograph

Since May 15, the department has stopped clearing layout plans of residential projects in Kansal that fall in the Nayagaon Master Plan area. The approval of building plans that are under scrutiny have also been withheld. As the NAC official went around announcing orders of the court, anxiety was writ large on the faces of the residents. Many have taken loans for construction and were concerned about banks not giving loan to those who own properties in Kansal and Naygaon.

Meanwhile, officials of the local bodies department admit there was confusion over the exact area of Kansal falling in the catchment area. 

catchment area undefined
"We had written to the Survey of India regarding the exact revenue numbers falling in the catchment area. But it has referred the case to the Punjab revenue department. Revenue officials claim that they have no idea about the revenue numbers falling in the catchment area." —
Ashok Paharia, Executive Officer, Nayagaon NAC 



Khuda Ali Sher, Kaimbwala
Notices against 300 structures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) of the UT Administration has passed demolition notices against 300 illegal structures in Khuda Ali Sher and Kaimbwala that fall in the catchment area.

Apart from falling in the catchment area, the structures are violative of the Periphery Control Act. In wake of the High Court order on stopping construction with effect from March 14, 2011, the LAC is now seeking police force to carry out the demolition drive.

The LAC, Tilak Raj, said though the demolition orders had been passed earlier, these could not be implemented due to the non-availability of the police force. Madho Colony in Khuda Ali Sher has major violations. The department had earlier attempted to demolish the structures, but could not do so as residents had protested strongly.

He said a public notice was being issued to make people aware about the orders of the High Court. Officials of the LAC were being held accountable for any major violations.

So far, the LAC has issued over 1,000 demolition notices under the Periphery Control Act, but none could be implemented due to the non-availability of the police. The UT had acquired land that was covered by three farmhouses in Khuda Ali Sher.



Residents to move Supreme Court
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Apprehensive that the UT Administration would demolish their houses, which were constructed recently by residents of Kaimbwla and Khudda Ali Sher, residents are going to approach the Supreme Court against the recent order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

The court had ordered to demolish without notice any construction being carried out in the catchment area of the Sukhna Lake despite a stay order by the High Court on March 14 last. Also, the High Court directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to stop construction in the catchment area.

Gurpreet Singh Happy, president of the Pendu Sangharsh Committee, said they were mulling to move the Supreme Court, but the decision would be taken only after a meeting with the residents next week. aAn official of the Administration said the court had ordered the demolition of only those constructions which had come up after March 14. The structures, which were constructed before March 14, 2011, and were under the permissible limit, would not be demolished.

‘Lal dora’ issue

On a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate to increase the "lal dora" area, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on May 15 had ordered the UT Administration to submit its reply within two months. Haryana had informed the court that it had prepared a draft to increase the "lal dora" area while Punjab had sought time to file a reply.



3 suicides in city in four hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Three married women committed suicide in a span of four hours in separate incidents today. In the first incident, Meenakshi, a 29-year-old resident of Maloya Colony, committed suicide by hanging herself from a fan at her house. Her husband, Om Parkash, works at a boutique in Mohali.

The victim was employed as a security guard with a private hospital in Mohali. She is survived by her five-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter.

The police said she was six-month pregnant and was suffering from extreme depression due to a family dispute. No suicide note was found at the spot. The victim's son spotted his mother hanging from the fan in the afternoon and raised the alarm.

In the second incident, 29-year-old Ritu committed suicide by hanging herself from a fan at her Sector 24 house. Her husband Amit is a teacher in Mohali.

The victim leaves behind a two-year-old daughter who was weeping inconsolably for her mother when the police reached the spot. The police recovered a suicide note from the spot, which read that her husband was troubled due to her and she was claiming her life.

In the third incident reported in the evening, the 22-year-old daughter-in-law of a gardener at the Government College for Girls (Sector 11) committed suicide by hanging herself from a fan in her quarter on the college premises. The victim, Geeta, had got married two months ago. Her father-in-law Bhim Singh told the police that Geeta was under stress for the past several days as she wanted to go to her hometown in Nepal. Her husband works as a security guard.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

21-yr-old ends life

Mohali: A 21-year-old youth, Ankush Thakur, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Sector 57 here today. According to police sources, nobody was at home when he, who had recently cleared his MBA exams, took the extreme step. He was staying with his parents and a younger brother.

The matter came to light at around 8 pm when Ankush’s mother Sunita Rani returned home this evening from her work. His father, Mulk Raj, runs a television repair shop in Balongi village, while the younger brother is student of Class XII. No suicide note has been recovered by the police from the spot. 


Cong promises BJP chairmanship of two more MC subcommittees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Congress has promised BJP councillors the chairmanship of two more subcommittees of the municipal corporation (MC). In a meeting here today, the Congress told the BJP that it would denotify subcommittees and appoint two more BJP councillors their chairmen and four vice-chairmen.

It was decided that BJP councillors would be appointed chairmen of the electricity and the primary health and primary education subcommittees.

It was also decided that BJP councillors would be made vice-chairmen of the enforcement, primary health and primary education, road and fire and subcommittees.

The meeting was chaired by Mayor Raj Bala Malik. The BJP would propose fresh names. The apni mandi and slum development subcommittees were headed by BJP members.

All 12 BJP-SAD councillors submitted their resignations from the 12 subcommittees to UT Administrator Shivraj Patil on April 19 in protest.

The councillors complained that the Mayor was unfair in allotting the chairmanship of subcommittees.

BJP councillor Arun Sood today submitted a proposal, to be tabled during the General House on May 28.

He remarked that there was no facility of showing presentations on projectors in the House or the committee room.

He suggested that the MC introduce video-conferencing to avoid study tours, on which lakhs were being wasted every year.

He also advised that the Facebook account and the website of the MC should be updated regularly.



Victim alleges police inaction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Muslim social activist Nagina Begum has alleged inaction on the part of the Mohali police in the attempt-to-rape-and-murder case. She and International Human Rights Commission activists alleged that the police did nothing to nab the assailants after registering a case at the Naya Gaon police station on April 12.

“I have been deprived of justice as those who attempted to rape and murder me are still roaming free,” she alleged during a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club in Sector 27 here today.

“Despite having given the names of the culprits, the police did not arrest them for reasons not known,” she added. She alleged that the crime was committed to grab her property.

Mohali SSP GS Bhullar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. According to sources, the case had now been handed over to DSP RS Sohal for further investigations.



Mohali civic body sans Commissioner
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 21
The functioning of the municipal corporation here has been hit due to the failure of the government to appoint a Commissioner even as former councillors have demanded a full-time incumbent and early elections to the civic body for the speedy development of the town.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on May 8 upheld the notification of the Punjab government through which the local civic body was given the status of a corporation.

A copy of the orders of the court was received by the civic body on May 18.

An official said interviews fixed for recruiting firemen had also been postponed as the decision in this regard will only be taken by the Commissioner. Work related to signing of cheques for making various payments has also come to a halt.

The government had upgraded the Mohali municipal council to the level of a corporation in January last year after cutting short the term of elected representatives by nearly eight months. But on November 25, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the notification after a petition was filed by certain Mohali residents against the order of the government.

Rajinder Sharma, former municipal councillor, said development in the town was possible only if the upgraded civic body got a full-time Commissioner to run the affairs. The council had earlier enjoyed the status of a corporation for about 11 months but the working had almost come to a standstill as additional charge of the civic body was at times given to the Chief Administrator of GMADA and at times to the Deputy Commissioners. Since these officials remained busy in the working of their own departments, they could not give adequate time to the civic body. Only a full time commissioner would take adequate interest in the work as it would be his responsibility to show results.

Airing similar views, Sukhminder Singh Barnala, another former councillor, said development could be brought about in the town by holding elections as elected representatives were answerable to the public. Moreover, a full-time Commissioner was required as Deputy Commissioners and Chief Administrator of GMADA were not able to spare adequate time for the functioning of the civic body.

Three commissioners were appointed during the first three months when the council was upgraded to the level of a corporation in January last year and each one of them had only been given additional charge of the civic body.

Parveen Kumar, who was the Deputy Commissioner of Mohali in January last year, was the first Commissioner of the upgraded civic body. After about a month's time, the additional charge of the corporation was given to Saravjit Singh, Chief Administrator, GMADA. On April 4, 2011, the charge of the civic body was given to the newly appointed Deputy Commissioner of Mohali district, Varun Roojam, and later again to Saravjit Singh. 



Sanitation drive: Dry leaves removed from service lanes 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A sanitation drive was conducted in Sector 15 under the supervision of the BJP area councillor Saurabh Joshi today. During the drive all service lanes in the sector were cleared of shrubs and dry leaves, which cause water logging. Pressure pump machines were also stationed here to pump out the garbage that could lead to blockage and overflowing of sewerages during the monsoons.

Saurabh Joshi, who walked barefoot along with the officers during the drive, said the aim of this drive was to take the precautionary steps of sanitation before the monsoon so that the residents do not face inconvenience later. He said he will continue his effort to provide healthy and a clean environment to the city residents.



International nurses week concludes at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The International Nurses Week concluded with valedictory function at the PGI. The chief guest of the function was professor Arun Aggarwal, additional medical superintendent, PGIMER.

During the week various educational activities were performed such as symposium on evidence-based nursing practice, health teachings to patients and their attendants on different topics in the clinical areas, demonstration of hand washing technique to nurses to prevent and minimise infection in the hospital etc.

Talk on importance of sterilisation technique and prevention of needle stick injuries were also delivered during the event.



Admn tells DC to act
 Restaurants charging service tax on food items
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Chandigarh Administration in a communication to the Deputy Commissioner has sought action against the restaurants which are charging service tax on food items. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has already declared that the charging of service tax in an arbitrary manner by restaurants is illegal.

Although the matter has been brought to the notice of the Chandigarh Administration by a city-based lawyer, Ajay Jagga, but nothing has happened on the ground despite several representations.

A number of prominent restaurants in the city are adding “service charge” to their bills even as the Chandigarh Administration has directed the Deputy Commissioner to enforce the orders on service tax.

The restaurants levy service tax ranging between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in addition to other taxes.

The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner has already clarified to the administration that it was not their area and that such service charges were illegal and could not be levied.

Ajay Jagga, who has been voicing the issue since last year, said he has been writing to the UT Administrator, UT Adviser to the Administrator and other senior officials, but in vain. The restaurants are charging service tax on food items right under the nose of the administration. 



18 turn up for public darbar 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Eighteen people turned up for public darbar of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9, today. The public hearing session was held after a gap of two months.

Complainant Surinder Sharma, President Welfare Society, Sector 15, requested for an expansion of the existing Community Centre and to tackle monkey menace. After listening to his grievances, Patil said there is no land available for expansion of the centre as of now. Regarding the monkey menace, he said the administration is taking all necessary steps on regular basis to tackle the problem.

Daljit Singh, a resident of Sector 22, requested for renovation of the government houses in his sector, which were constructed in 1953. These houses were not maintained since the time of construction, he added. On inquiring, Special Secretary (projects) Prerna Puri said 180 houses have already been renovated and remaining 200 houses would be renovated shortly.

Anupama, whose husband died in 2005, requested for a job on compassionate grounds. Patil told her that her name was on the waiting list and she would get job as and when the post gets vacant. Parshant Sharma also requested for a job on compassionate grounds.

After the hearing session, Patil asked the senior officers of the UT Administration to strengthen the public grievances mechanism. 



New judicial complex building comes up
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 21
A new building of the judicial complex was inaugurated by MM Kumar, Acting Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, here today. Justice Satish Kumar Mittal, chairman, Building Committee, Haryana, and Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur, Administrative Judge, Session Division, Panchkula, were present on the occasion.

Hundreds of litigants, coming from far-off places such as Kalka, Barwala and Raipur Rani blocks of the district, had to stand in long queues in sweltering heat or heavy rain.

Justice MM Kumar laid emphasis on the need of more judges and court rooms in view of the increasing litigations. He appreciated the governments of Haryana and Punjab for providing sufficient funds, infrastructure and land for new judicial complexes.

Justice SK Mittal gave details of various ongoing projects in the state. Satish Kadyan, president, District Bar Association, demanded an additional chamber for advocates as their number was increasing day by day. 



Chandigarh Scan

Anti-encroachment drive in Industrial Area phase I
At least 51 encroachers were removed during an anti-encroachment drive carried out by the Municipal Corporation in Industrial Area Phase I. As many as 21 vehicles besides various items of junk dealers and pharis were also removed.

LIC Jeevan Vaibhav plan launched
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) today launched a new plan ’Jeevan Vaibhav’ on the traditional platform. LC Meena, senior divisional manager, LIC of India, Chandigarh Division, said this is a single premium non-linked insurance plan where the risk cover is the sum assured. This is almost double the premium chosen by the customer and offers guaranteed returns at maturity. The plan, which is an ideal combination of insurance and returns, would be available for a limited period only up to a maximum of 120 days. He said in the event of the unfortunate death of the life assured during the currency of the policy, the Basic Sum Assured shall be payable which is almost double the Single Premium, (depending on the age) excluding extra premium, if any.

Office-bearers elected
Joginder Madan, president of Haryana State North Bharat Vikas Parishad, took oath of office to the newly elected office-bearers here today. The newly elected office-bearers are: Chief Patron-Saran Dass Kamboj, Patrons-KN Gulati and CL Malhotra, President-VK Bansal, Vice-president-Dr Usha Chandana, KC Madan, Anil Gupta, General Secretary-KL Goyal, Treasurer-Ashok Gupta, Joint Secretary Dr LN Gupta, VM Mada, and Media Secretary-Vinod Jaidka. The opening of the new branch of the BVP “Suraj” was also announced on the occasion. Senior BVP functionaries Pranav Jawa, General Secretary Haryana North, was also present on the occasion. — Tribune reporters



Schools still counting toppers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 21
It’s been two days and the tricity schools are still counting toppers. After being informed about the ‘best of five’ rule, the schools are redoing the results which are getting better and better.

“We have done calculations again and around 60 of our students have got more than 90 per cent marks. The over all percentage has also improved and a majority of students are in the bracket of 80-85 per cent. The results have really soared this time,” said Gurpreet Bakshi, administration officer, St Kabir School, Sector 26.

St Stephens apparently has left others behind with over 80 students scoring ninety per cent marks which is an all time high. “It is great that we have done so well. But I would like you to congratulate me on the fact that almost all of my students have passed securing above 70 per cent maarks. I am more interested in the holistic development of students and am pleased to see that all are excelling,” said Harold Carver, director, St Stephen’s. The school has 40 students securing above 90 percent marks and more than 35 getting 85 percent.

St Xaviers students have also come out with flying colours with two girls not only having topped the tricity in medical and non-medical streams, but more then 50 student scoring more than 90 percent.

“The result is a recognition of the efforts of teachers and students, and we congratulate them,” said school principal.

The results have also been good in Little Flower School, Sector 14, Panchkula, where out of a total of 116 students 50 secured more than 90 per cent with Bhavya Modgil and Deevanshu Goyal getting the first and second positions with 97.14 per cent and 96.42 per cent.

Yadavindra Public School, SAS Nagar, Mohali, has 129 students who appeared for the class X exam .128 have passed the exam with 121 attaining the first division marks (73 with distinction). The number of students who appeared for the class XII was 74 out of which 28 have secured distinctions and 72 candidates have attained first Division results.

Saupin’s School, Panchkula, has achieved 100 per cent pass result in the ICSE Class X examination and all the students have secured first division. Piyush Arora topped the school with 89.14 per cent marks.



senate elections
PU delays implementing Sibal committee report
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, May 21
While it comes with a promise to make the forthcoming Senate elections more smooth and transparent, the much-awaited VK Sibal election reform report may never be implemented. Despite being tabled around two months ago in the Syndicate, the university continues to linger on with their implementation, even though they are valid for forthcoming elections.

"If the recommendations are to be accepted, it will be a major task for us to reshuffle centres and we need to start now. But nothing can be done as the Syndicate has asked Ashok Goyal and Chatrath to give their recommendations on it, and we are still waiting for the response. The reforms will help in curtailing bogus voting and many other lapses, and therefore the Senators are not in favour of it," said an official.

Interestingly, the Syndicate's decision of referring the recommendations to Ashok Goyal and GK Chatrath has reaffirmed the fact that the PU academics houses have been reduced to mute spectators of most overrated Senators.

"What other proof do you want that our Syndicate, Senate and even VC is driven by the whims and fancies, and the enmity of two men. The recommendations should have ideally been debated in the Senate. A committee consisting of Senators as revered as VK Sibal gave these recommendations but the Syndicate wishes to get the duo's nod on it despite being aware that they are going to contest elections and may never agree on some of the recommendations. If everything has to be according to our demi-gods, then why put somebody else on committee and waste his or her time? Infact lets not have any elections, the Senate or Sobti can sit with the duo and take all decisions," said a Syndicate member.

Poll reforms

n Polling booths at Delhi, Jammu, Dehradun, Sri Ganga Nagar be abolished as only 15 percent polling was registered last elections.

n The voters of these centres should apply within stipulated time for a nearby polling booth.

nPresiding officer of the university be posted at the education institute serving as polling booth if it is the alma mater of the candidate contesting from graduate constituency.

n Voters to be allowed to cast vote on the production of a valid identity proof.

n The enrolment for life membership be abolished in future, though the exiting list can continue

n From 2016 elections the voter enrolment fee be increased from Rs 15 to Rs 30

n Polling booths be created only in areas with a minimum voter strength of about 500.

n From 2016 the security to be deposited by the candidate seeking election from graduate constituency may be increased from Rs 500 to 1500.



Sukrit Kaur is humanities topper in tricity
 YPS miscalculates result
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A miscalculation by her school YPS Mohali took away her 15 minutes of fame, but that has not dampened the spirit of Sukrit Kaur who is the topper in the humanities stream in the tricity.

Having scored 89.75 per cent marks, Sukrit today got her rightful recognition when the school realised its mistake and issued an official communication informing that she had secured 0.75 per cent marks more than Manat Dhaliwal who had earlier been announced as the topper.

“I did feel a little shocked when I read the papers but its okay now. All is well that ends well. Though a day late , I am happy that I got my due. I have been passionate about all my subjects and that is what made me get through,” said an elated Sukrit.



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