C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Inspector quits
Disturbed over departmental inquiry against him
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Protesting against the departmental inquiry initiated against him for alleged insubordination, Inspector Amanjot Singh, Crime Branch in charge, submitted his resignation to senior officers today. He resigned pleading that he was innocent and was being victimised by ASP (Central) Desraj Singh, who prepared a special report against him.

Senior police officers are yet to take a call on his resignation. While the UT SSP, Naunihal Singh, termed the resignation as unfortunate and said they would not succumb to pressure tactics, UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP), PK Srivastava, said no such indiscipline in the force would be tolerated.

The IGP is returning from Delhi to take stock of the crisis. He had gone to Delhi to attend a meeting of the Planning Commission.

“There are over 200 police personnel facing departmental inquiries and the officers are given a chance to plead their side of the story. If we succumb to blackmailing, it will set a bad example and tomorrow all those facing inquiries will start following his footsteps. The Inspector has taken a hasty decision by resigning and has acted emotionally. We received a report against his insubordination from an IPS officer and acted as per rules by initiating a departmental inquiry,” the SSP said. The ASP had alleged that the Inspector had refused to obey his orders when he was asked to take stock of the situation during the Vice-President’s visit on May 5.

Name had been recommended for gallantry award

Inspector Amanjot Singh, whose name has recently been recommended for the gallantry award, is credited with cracking the NRI kidnapping case last month. He has also received various medals and commendation certificates during his 15-year stint and is credited with solving major sensational cases of the UT police, including the siblings double murder case reported last year; arrest of two Australians for kidnap bid; Pakistan spy Kashif Ali case; Joshi kidnapping for ransom case; Dimpy murder case; Bapu Dham child kidnapping for ransom case; and many others. “I have no doubt he is a good officer. I have always lauded his work,” the SSP said.

DSPs back police officer

A number of DSPs, both serving and retired, came out in support of the Inspector and were trying to convince him to withdraw his resignation. The issue was the hot topic of the day, with talks of what further action will be taken up being discussed everywhere in the police fraternity.



Impose house tax, Planning Commission tells UT
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Planning Commission of India today told the UT Administration to impose house tax. The commission told the Administration to raise its resources from all possible sources, including house tax, to fund its plan. The Administration had already issued a number of letters to the Municipal Corporation (MC), asking it to impose house tax, but the MC has not done so.

The house tax issue was discussed at a meeting of the Planning Commission today under the chairmanship of Arun Maira, member of the commission. UT Adviser KK Sharma, Finance Secretarty VK Singh and Home Secretary Anil Kumar attended the meeting.

The commission emphasised that cities must generate resources for development and maintenance. It was felt that Chandigarh should raise resources from all possible sources.

Meanwhile, the commission agreed to approve the plan allocation of Rs 737.23 crore for the UT Administration for the financial year 2012-13. It also agreed to all the plan schemes envisaged therein. Maira appreciated that Chandigarh had projected a comprehensive vision for the future as per the guidelines issued by the commission and suggested that the Administration should now conceptualise newer schemes with at least a 10-year vision in mind by taking into consideration the requirement of the urban growth, aspirations of all sectors of society and capacity building as well.



PIL in HC on stray dog terror
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Less than a fortnight after The Tribune launched a campaign against the stray dog menace, a petition in public interest was today filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court to check the problem.

Acting on the petition, the Bench of Acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Alok Singh issued notice of motion to Punjab, Haryana and the UT.

In his petition, Kuljit Singh Bedi, former councillor of Mohali, claimed that stray dogs had created terror in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and were “endangering the human lives of all age groups”.

“In case the stray dog menace is not possible to be controlled by the way of sterilisation, they can either be put in four walls of the cattle/dog pounds or even be destroyed in the legal chambers,” he said.

The petitioner also enclosed along with the petition clippings of news reports carried in these columns. The Bench fixed July 17 as the next date of hearing for the states of Punjab and Haryana, and the UT, to submit their response.

The Tribune had quoted the Municipal Corporation as saying that in the 2007 census, the city harboured 13,425 dogs. Out of these, 7,712 were kept as pet dogs and 5,713 were stray dogs. The census had also revealed that even in the old sectors of the city, the stray dog figure was more than 100. There were 113 stray dogs in Sector 7, 115 in Sector 15 and 220 in Sector 20.

In the newer sectors, the figure was even higher. The report revealed that Sector 44 had 215 dogs, Sector 47 had 160 and Sector 45 had 143 dogs.



Petrol, power, water present stories of dismay
Sharp price hike comes as a shock for residents
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

A rush of motorists at the Sector 28 petrol station in Chandigarh following a steep hike in fuel prices on Wednesday.
Hasty bid to save some bucks: A rush of motorists at the Sector 28 petrol station in Chandigarh following a steep hike in fuel prices on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, May 23
Though the hike in prices of petrol was expected for some time, the sharp hike of Rs 7.50 came as a shock for residents. The new prices would be effective from midnight. There were long queues outside filling stations this evening as people flocked those as soon as they learnt about the hike.

"Going by the rate at which companies are increasing prices, we will have to walk to office very soon," fumed Shiv Kumar, manager with a branch of the HDFC Bank, who was on his way back from office when he learnt about the hike.

Narinder Singh, assistant manager with the P3 restaurant at Panchkula, said he was heading home, but when he got to know about the hike from midnight, he headed to the nearest filling station.

Rakesh Dhiman, a Panchkula-based industrialist, said he was upset when he heard about the hike. "This is getting too much to bear. I have to drive between 80 and 100 kilometres a day. With petrol prices shooting up to around Rs 74 a litre, the situation has become unacceptable. Does the government care about the common man," he asked.

Himani Rawat, a college student and resident of Sector 45, said her parents were planning to gift her a car, but now it seemed that they would postpone the plan.

There was a heavy rush at most filling stations, with the traffic police called at a few to control the rush.

Customers harassed

Customers waiting for their turn at the Sector-56 CITCO filling station were a harassed lot as employees stopped vending around 10:15 pm. Irked at this, they started raising slogans against the filling-station authorities. CITCO general manager AK Malhotra said the filling station was closed as per schedule and this had nothing to do with the price rise. He said CITCO filling stations at Sectors 38 and 56 were closed at 10 pm while the Sector-9 filling station was functional till midnight.



Third day of sweat in a row
Rajinder Nagarkoti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Frequent and long unscheduled power cuts in various sectors left residents fuming over the laxity of the UT Administration here today.

Bearing the brunt of the scorching heat, people were gasping for relief from power cuts and voltage fluctuation for the third consecutive day, with no improvement in sight.

Power cuts were reported from Sectors 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, 32, 45, 46 and 52 and Dhanas. As per the electricity department, there was no gap in demand and supply, with power being surplus.

The department said faults in power supply lines led to the power crisis in the city. claimed carrying out regular maintenance work to supply uninterrupted power, but the city plunged into darkness for hours every day.

Vijay Kumar of Dhanas said power cuts were imposed at night. He pointed out that the authorities should have back-up power in case of fault in supply lines.

Karnail Singh of Sector 20 said the sector was facing power cuts for the last one week and they were also facing low voltage.

He added that his wife was finding it difficult to manage their children in the absence of proper power supply.

An official with the electricity department added that a reason for the breakdown in supply lines was that consumers were not coming forward to declare actual load.

He added that domestic and commercial consumers had increased from 1,30,000 in 1991 to over 2,20,000 at present. He said the load had also increased as the people had started using air-conditioners instead of coolers in summer.

He further said there was no corresponding increase in the number of transformers as the Administration did not have power-load details, resulting in frequent tripping.

Pooja ThakurThere was a power cut in the sector from 5 pm to 9 pm today. It is difficult to manage children during power cuts.

— Pooja Thakur, resident of Sector 45

Southern sectors are facing the problem this summer. The authorities should upgrade infrastructure to provide uninterrupted power supply

— Maj DP Singh (retd), resident of Sector 38



Supply is irregular, pressure remains low
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
With the rise in mercury, drinking water has started eluding residents of the city. The situation is grim for those living on the first and second floors. They have to suffer irregular water supply and low pressure every day. Residents of Sectors 18, 20, 21, 29, 38, 40, 43 and 50 said they had been facing water scarcity for the last many days.

Vijanyanker Manocha, staying on the second floor of a house at Sector 44, said the situation had worsened in a fortnight as there was hardly any supply in the morning, with none in the afternoon and just a little after 8 pm.

He added that one had no option but to use the water stored sparingly. Since the water pressure was low on the second floor, tanks were not filled, he  further said.

The situation was no better at Sectors 21. Baljinder Singh said water rarely reached the top floor and consequently, tanks remained empty.

"With the authorities installing a tubewell in the area, the supply may improve in the next few months," he said.

He further said a majority of women residing in the sector had to wake up early every morning to fill water in buckets and utensils as they hardly got any supply till 7 am.

One had to wait for the evening supply to wash clothes and utensils, he further said. The problem worsened when guests arrived as the water stored was not enough to wash utensils every now and then, he added.

He feared that women might have to fetch water from downstairs for daily chores in the next two months.

Divya Bhatia of Sector 49 complained of low pressure.

"The pressure starts decreasing after 8 am. One cannot think of watering plants as the water is just enough to be stored for drinking and washing. The authorities should take steps to increase the supply of drinking water," she said.


Rs 60,000 fine slapped on Pepsi
The fine was imposed for supplying a bottle with a housefly to a Sector-15 resident
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Coming down heavily on the soft drink company Pepsi and its distributor for supplying a bottle with a housefly in it to a Sector 15 resident, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I slapped a fine of Rs 60,000 on the company.

The district forum comprising president PD Goel and member Rajinder Singh Gill observed, "The loss to the complainant may not be that much, but the actual loss to the society and the consumers at large is considerably much."

"Everybody expects that the contents thereof would be free from foreign objects and the same would have been manufactured and filled-up under proper hygienic conditions. If a foreign substance is found in a cold drink bottle, it gives a great shock to the purchasers/consumers. In the given case, admittedly the sample of Slice bottle contained a dead housefly and it was unsafe for human consumption. Thus, it can legitimately be concluded that it has been manufactured and filled-up under improper hygienic conditions," the forum observed.

The forum directed both the manufacturer and the distributer to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation, out of which Rs 10,000 should be paid to the complainant and Rs 40,000 should be deposited with the State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh. The forum also directed the opposite parties to pay Rs 10,000 as the cost of litigation to the complainant.

The complainant Himanshu Sharma, a resident of Sector 15 had purchased a crate of soft drinks which included Pepsi, Slice, Coke, and Mazza, from a retailer Sharma Confessionary and Juice Bar, Sector 15, (opposite party no 3). He averred that in the bottle of Slice (a Pepsi product) a housefly was found which was brought to the notice of Quality Control Manager of Pepsi Company at Chandigarh without any result. He then sent an e-mail, followed by reminder, to the company which replied saying that it may be a bottle not manufactured by their company.

The counsel for soft drink manufacturer, Aradana Soft Drinks Company, Panipat, Haryana (opposite party no 1) submitted that the complainant failed to provide any proof of purchase of the soft drink in question. The complainant purchased one crate of Coke as per Ann. C-2, while as per the allegations, the alleged bottle is of Slice. The submitted bill is of purchase of coke, which is brand of Coca Cola. It is also submitted that the story narrated by the complainant is false, frivolous and concocted and it cannot be believed as true.



Dog sterilisation project hits a roadblock
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 23
The dog sterilisation project has hit a roadblock in the town as the contractor concerned has stopped catching stray dogs. Not even a single dog has been sterilised in the last three months. However, there has been no increase in the dog bite cases.

Sources said a survey conducted by the municipal corporation revealed that there were around 3,000 to 4,000 stray dogs in the city. The corporation had hired a private contractor for catching the dogs for sterilisation at Government Pet Clinic, Sector 3, here. But he stopped the work, citing personal reasons.

A stray dog runs after a boy at Sector 10 in Panchkula. A dog rests on a wall at Sector 11 in Panchkula.

The sources added that five to six rabies patients visited the General Hospital, Sector 6, everyday. Most of the patients came from rural areas, urban slums or the adjoining towns such as Dhakoli, Zirakpur and Baltana. So far about 937 cases have been reported as compared to 2,176 cases reported last year.

With a rise in the dog bite cases in 2010, the corporation authorities had swung into action and decided to sterilise the dogs so as to control their population. The sources said seven to 10 animals were taken to the pet clinic for sterilisation everyday.

A total of Rs 775 was being paid to the clinic for sterilising a dog. Apart from the surgical procedure, the clinic has been tasked with administering anti-rabies and dermatitis vaccines without charging any extra fee.

Executive Officer of the municipal corporation said the contractor had stopped the work. He said they were now trying to convince the contractor to start the project again so that each and every stray dog in the city could be sterilised in order to check their population.

Civil Surgeon Dr VK Bansal said the hospital had sufficient number of anti-rabies vaccine "Rabipur". He said they were providing free treatment to BPL families and patients residing in urban slums. He said general patients were being charged Rs 100 per injection. He added that depending upon the condition of a patient, four to five anti-rabies injections were given.

Dr Bansal said anti-rabies injection was the cheapest option as chemists were selling these for Rs 500 or more. He suggested that in case of a monkey or a dog bite, a person should immediately wash the wound with running water and detergent soap for about 12 to 15 minutes. An antiseptic cream should be applied on the wound and the victim should be rushed to a doctor for the administration of anti-rabies vaccine.



MC may outsource parks to RWAs
Will disburse nominal grant; proposal to be tabled in F&CC meeting; earlier attempt failed

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Having learnt no lesson from past experiences, the municipal corporation (MC) is again coming up with a policy to outsource parks to resident welfare associations (RWAs) for routine maintenance by disbursing nominal charges as grant. The issue will be tabled in the agenda of the next meeting of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) for its approval.

In the policy drafted, the authorities have proposed the MC will pay Rs 1.50 per square metre to the RWA or the maintenance authority for the maintenance of parks.

They have referring to the policy adopted by GMADA, under which parks are outsourced to local committees, reduced the financial burden on it.

At present, the authorities are paying around Rs 2.22 per square metre to contractors for maintaining parks.

The MC has about 1,600 parks, transferred to it in1996. If the maintenance of these parks is given to RWAs, it will help in upkeep and there will be no need to hire extra labour.

F&CC member Subhash Chawla said a few queries had to be answered by the department concerned before adopting the policy. He said the authorities would have to clarify the involvement of area councillors.

If the expenditure on parks was increased, would parks be outsourced to RWAs, he asked. The MC would have to impose some cess, he added. What would be the contribution of RWAs in financial matters, he asked.

MC records revealed that a similar memorandum of understanding was signed between the RWA of Sector 11 and the MC in 2007 for the maintenance of parks by by charging a nominal fee, but it flopped as the grant was nominal.

The RWA had urged the authorities to increase the grant if they wanted the services to be continued, but no action was taken.



System for semi-automatic parking lots installed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Waking up from slumber after eight months, the municipal corporation (MC) installed the system to make the semi-automatic parking lots functional at Sector 17 here today.

Two months ago, the finance and contract committee had approved that all parking lots at Sector 17 would be made fully automatic.

The committee has also asked the authorities to work out the modalities of fully automatic parking lots.

In October last year, four semi-automatic systems had been set up, at the parking lots near the Sahib Singh store and the Empire Store in Sector 17 and in Sectors 22-B and 35-B, but those were not functional due to delay in handing over those to contractors.

MC sources said the electricity wing had, after the decision of the General House, set up four parking lots which were later to be handed over to the contractors.

The sources said two reminders had been sent, after the installation of the systems, to the parking-lots department to take over infrastructure and utilise it, but no response had been received.

Officials said it was found during inspection that there were a number of defects in the systems and so, the infrastructure had not been handed over to contractors.

They said it was found that the automatic system had been installed at one entry to the parking lot while each parking lot had two entry points, one for four-wheelers and the other for two-wheelers.

The team remarked that there was no security for computers in glass cabins at the entry. The team stated in its report that the semi-automatic system at one point would result in long queues.

The team further pointed out that though the authorities were all set to start the semi-automatic system, contractors did not have trained staff to handle computers.



Murder outside district courts
Accused still at large
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
The murderers of Saudagar Singh, who was brutally hacked to death with an axe outside the local district courts yesterday, are still at large.

The police claimed that it had got vital clues about the hideouts of the criminals and they would be in police net by tomorrow morning.

"We have constituted several teams, which are conducting raids at the possible hideouts of the murderers. We have also rounded up several associates/relatives of the criminals. We will nab them soon," said GS Bhullar, SSP, Mohali.

Notably, Jatinder, Harsimran and Satnam Singh, who came to give alibi in an attempt to murder case involving Suadagar Singh, had allegedly hacked him to death following an attack on them by Saudagar and his accomplices yesterday.

Security stepped up outside complex

Meanwhile, the police today beefed up security at the district courts here.

Besides setting up a metal detector at the main gate, a quick reaction team has also been deployed outside the courts. The patrolling has also been intensified in the area

— Harpreet Singh, SP (City)



Chandigarh scan
Industrial policy for UT sought

Anil Kumar, Home Secretary-cum-Secretary-Industries, Chandigarh Administration, has urged the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to draft an industrial policy for Chandigarh. “Let’s focus on a few key areas and draft a policy to give a vision and guidance to the industry in Chandigarh. The Draft Industrial Policy 2009 has become old now and we need to come up with a fresh draft. Like every business entity, cities need to change and innovate constantly,” said Kumar while interacting with the industry representatives at a session organised by the CII Chandigarh Council.

Sameer Goel, chairman, CII Council, shared the issues of concern to the industry with Mr Kumar. These include implementation of the MSMED Act in totality in Chandigarh, the growth of IT/ITES sector, simplification of procedures, infrastructure development, better connectivity and allowing need-based changes in the industrial areas.

No tobacco day

Sahayta Cancer Sahyog, along with Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, organised a seminar on the harmful effects of tobacco, gutka and kheni on the occasion of "No Tobacco Day". Posters were put up and pamphlets were distributed by the Sahayta volunteers during the event. A question-answer session was held with the students and a power point presentation was given on various types of cancers. Principal Grewal also spoke on the occasion.


The Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Panjab University, will hold a special lecture on “Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev” by Dr Kirpal Singh, retd professor, Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, and director, Project Editing Sikh Historical Source Material, on May 24 in the library hall of the Institute of Educational Technology and Vocational Education.

NSS camp

The third day of the NSS special camp opened with a brain storming session on "Human Rights - A Perspective’. The workshop was carried out in a phased manner and started with an interaction on the fundamental rights enjoyed by citizens of all countries, belonging to any caste, creed or colour. Students were informed of the 25 rights chartered by UN. The students also worked in groups on real life cases and tried to identify victims, culprits and the infringement of rights, if any. Principal Madhu Bahl lauded the efforts and enthusiasm of the volunteers.

Vehicle donated

Keeping in view the decision of the executive body of Sidh Baba Balak Nath Mandir, Sector 29A, Chandigarh, Ram Para Chhokar, president of the sabha, donated a funeral van to the Indian Red Cross Society here on Tuesday.

Federation formed

A joint meeting of the residents welfare associations of six societies located in Kansal village of Notified Area Committee (NAC), Naya Gaon, announced the formation of a Federation of Residents Welfare Associations of Kansal (FORWAK) on Sunday. The Federation comprises of six resident welfare associations and three councillors representing Kansal village in the Notified Area Committee (NAC), Akhil Gautam, president of the federation, said. The formation of the FORWAK assumes significance in view of the continued neglect of development activity in the area, even six years after formation of the NAC.


The following have been elected office bearers of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sector 19 D: Avtar Singh-president; Tajinderpal Singh-senior vice president; Satnam Singh-vice president; Paramjit SIngh-general secretary; Inderbir Singh-secretary; Baldeep Singh-secretary; Baldeep-treasurer; Harpreet Singh-assistant treasurer.

Magic show

A magic show was organised for the students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, Mohali. The kids were thrilled to see a bird coming out from a piece of cloth, papers turning to flowers and water pumping out of the ears of their fellow students. School principal Air Commander SK Sharma said that such activities serve as stress busters in the hectic school curriculum. “The magic show was a very nice way of befriending children and luring them to science”, he added.

School event

Lawrance Public School, Sector 51, Mohali , celebrating last day before summer vacation, held various competitions including paintings, making models, playing chess etc at its premises.

Blood donation camp

More than 60 people donated blood during a camp organised by the community centre, Sector 12, here today. The camp was organised in association with the red cross society and midtown lions club under the supervision of Dr Seema Ghai, general hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. Rakesh Aggarwal, general secretary of the association expressed his gratitude to former councillor Lily Bawa and Ram Mehar of Government Collge, Panchkula, for motivating people, especially the youth for donating blood. — TNS



Punjab has highest illegal migrants in UK, says British High Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
"Punjab has the largest proportion of illegal migrants in the UK as compared to all other states of India," said British High Commissioner James Bevan here today while announcing the new Deputy High Commission Office in Chandigarh. The office would focus on boosting trade and investment between the UK and India.

Bevan said that there are a large number of illegal migrants from this region, mainly Punjab and Haryana. "We are working very closely with the Indian authorities to deal with the problem," Bevan said.

Speaking about the new deputy high commission office in this city, Bevan said it would start services by the end of the year.

British High Commissioner, stating Chandigarh as a place of immense potential, said that they are looking for a suitable building to house the mission's office.

Speaking about the potential areas, Bevan said that besides trade and investment they also like to work in the fields of infrastructure, health care, biotechnology, life sciences, research, solar energy and agriculture.

In addition to the British High Commission in New Delhi, the UK already has four Deputy High Commissions elsewhere in India - in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. The Chandigarh office will act as facilitator between the two countries.

Speaking about the new rule requiring people to go through TB tests, Bevan said that there are 15 countries where one requires to go through the TB tests and other countries would also be introducing the same. "It would only affect the people coming to the UK for longer stay for studies etc," he said. 



Electronic benefit transfer in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
The state government and State-Level Banker Committee, Punjab, have selected the Mohali district for the implementation of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) under which all social security benefits will be transferred electronically to the bank accounts of beneficiaries and they will be able to get the money at their doorstep.

This was announced in the 24th district-level consultative committee meeting, which was headed by Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Additional Deputy Commissioner (development), at MC Bhawan, Sector 68, here today. For this, Punjab National Bank has been assigned the task. The deadline is July 15.



Army commander’s commendation for law institute principal
Tribune News Service

Western Command GOC-in-C Lt Gen SR Ghosh felicitates Army Institute of Law principal Dr Geeta Joshi at Chandimandir on Wednesday. A Tribune photo

Chandigarh, May 23
Dr Geeta Joshi, principal, Army Institute of Law (AIL), Mohali, has been awarded the Army Commander’s Commendation for her services to the AIL by bringing all-round development in the field of academics and extra curricular activities. The AIL is now at the 14th rank among law institutes in the country.

The award was presented to her by the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen SR Ghosh, at Headquarters Western Command at Chandimandir today. It is a rare occasion for a civilian to be awarded an Amy Commander’s Commendation.

Affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala, the AIL was set up in 1999. Several students of the institute have topped in judicial services examinations in various states and have also joined the armed forces. The institute has enviable record of 100 per cent placements.



Haryana to impose house tax
Relief for those owning 14-marla and one-kanal houses
Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 23
Even as the Haryana government has decided to go ahead with the imposition of house tax for the current fiscal year, owners of 14-marla and one-kanal houses are likely to get major relief as they will have to pay a meagre amount compared to Rs 10,000, the amount fixed earlier.

The state government is planning to impose house tax in towns in the state and a Cabinet meeting in this regard will be held on May 30. The decision on whether to impose the tax from April, 2010, or 2012 is also likely to be taken during the meeting.

Those owning houses up to 500 square yards will have to pay the tax at Re 1 per square yard, compared to those owning houses up to 250 square yards earlier. Most houses here are 10 marlas or less in size.

It will be the first time residents living in own accommodation will pay the tax. The tax is being levied on commercial, industrial, institutional and rented property.



Notice to MHA on travel facilities to freedom fighters

Chandigarh, May 23
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Acting Chief Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Alok Singh, issued notices for July 26 to the Union Aviation Ministry and the Union Home Ministry on a PIL for free air travel facility to freedom fighters.

In the petition, advocate HC Arora is seeking the quashing of the order dated July 27, 2011, issued by the MHA, declining to grant free air travel, or even air travel with 75 per cent concession, as is being extended to the war widows, war heroes, gallantry award winners, handicapped and injured soldiers. — TNS



CBSE: Class X results
400 city students score CGPA 10
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Central Board Of Secondary Education class X results to be declared tomorrow will leave the city hitting a new high with 400 city students hitting a perfect 10 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

According to sources in the CBSE, Delhi, the city has more or less maintained a status quo on last year’s pass percentage of around 98.74 and the number of students hitting a perfect 10 CGPA has increased by almost 100.

“The Panchkula region, comprising of schools from Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal, and J&K, has not registered any hike or dip in the overall percentage but the quality of result has improved noticeably. The number of students getting CGPA 10 has increased and it is the tricity which seems to be leading the performer’s bandwagon,” said this official.

Last year it was 300 students who had secured a CGPA of 10 while over 450 had scored above CGPA 8.

The result, though expected to leave many celebrating, will increase the class XI admission cut offs; and if experts are to go by almost 50 per cent of students will not get their preferred stream in their preferred school.

“I will not give any figures, but I think the fact that there is no tension or stress is our real success. If the quality of performance has improved then we have finally achieved what Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation aimed at. Rather than figures we need to celebrate the overall achievement of all students,” said RJ Khanderao, Regional Director, CBSE.



PU students to evaluate teachers
Will give feedback over four parameters; only students with at least
75 per cent attendance can participate in the exercise

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
It is official now. The Panjab University students will be evaluating teachers by giving their feedbacks over four different parameters finalised by the university. However, the feedback would be a toothless exercise as it would remain strictly between the teachers and the students; the teachers will not be held accountable for the feedback they receive from the students. The exercise would be done at the end of each semester. The forms would be uploaded on the PU website soon.


1- Communication Abilities
2- Punctuality
3- Response to queries in class
4- Behaviour in class

After over four years of struggle by the students, evaluation of teachers has been introduced in the university in the form of teacher’s feedback. The nod to the proposal was given today.

The parameters on which the teachers would be evaluated are communications abilities, punctuality, response to queries and class behaviour.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Pushpinder Sharma said that the students will evaluate their teachers on these parameters and let them know of their weaknesses and strengths. “Students will be not be grading the teachers, but will give their views about the teachers over the defined parameters,” Sharma said.

SOPU leader Manoj Lubana said that they will be distributing the feedback forms among the outgoing students in the coming days and students will be asked to drop it in the offices of their departments.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said that forms will be available in the department office and the PU’s website. “Only the students having at least 75 per cent attendance would be eligible to give the feedback. Moreover it would be at the discretion of students whether to mention their names on the forms or not,” the DSW said. He also said that the final draft of the feedback form has been sent to the Dean University Instructions (DUI) and with his approval the form would be uploaded on website.



BEd colleges told to set things right
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, May 23
Panjab University has asked the 51 BEd colleges found guilty of violating norms of the National Council for Teacher Education to set things right latest by June 30 or face disaffiliation.

The move comes after The Tribune highlighted the special inspection report which found these colleges guilty of having unqualified staff and temporary principals, pay scale as low as Rs 10,000, non-existent libraries and medical rooms.

All these colleges have been asked to make regular appointments and replace unqualified staff members appointed on the ad hoc basis without seeking mandatory approval from the university. The number of such staff members varied from college to college and in some cases, was as high as 70 per cent. Over 35 colleges have been asked to start paying UGC recommended salaries in addition to paying DA and deducting PF. The PU has raised questions on regular inspection process as inspection committees, including officials of the Education Department, gave a clean chit to many of these colleges.

Former DPI Jaswinder Singh said, “It is the university which has been shielding the miscreants.” The Education Department had time and again written to the PU authorities against many of the colleges but nothing happened, he said.

Refuting the claims, PU’s Dean, College Development Council, said, “The colleges have been nailed by our efforts. Things may have been awful earlier but no norm or law has been compromised with ever since I took charge of the office.”



PU rolls back hike in hostel charges and fines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Facing criticism from the students over the decision to hike various hostel charges and fines, Panjab University today decided that there would be no hike in any of the items.

In a communication sent to the PU, Vice Chancellor RC Sobti, who is presently out of the country, stated that no fee hike as proposed by the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) office will be introduced.

Official sources said that the Vice Chancellor cleared that no financial burden would be put on the students. DSW AS Ahluwalia said that as per the university directions the decision to introduce the revised rates has been put on hold.

Recently, a hike in around 17 different items was proposed. The university had planned to increase the fine for late entry in girls hostel from Rs 100 to Rs 250. The electricity charges in both boys and girls hostel was also hiked to Rs 350 per month from Rs 290.

Also, the students willing to install coolers in their room were to pay Rs 250 per month instead of Rs 200. The university had also decided to introduce a minimum fine of Rs 1,000 if any student failed to vacate the hostel room within three-days after the ending of their exam. A hike in rent on the rooms allotted on a daily basis was also proposed.



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