C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


chandigarh housing board
Nod to need-based changes
Property owners given six months to submit their plans 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Paving the way for the implementation of 40 "need-based" changes in the dwelling units of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) notified two years ago, the board members today decided to give six months to the flat owners to submit their revised building plans along with the violations.

Once approved by the Chandigarh Administration, the decision of the board members could be implemented. At least 90 per cent of the 48,000 CHB properties across the city have building violations. Taking up the issue, the board members pointed out that when the property owners were given 30 days time in 2010 to declare their violations and get them approved after the 40 need-based changes were notified, only 75 persons had applied. Then the waiver was discontinued by the CHB.

Now the waiver has been revived and the compounding fee would be worked out. Presently, the CHB dwelling units are in Sectors 38 (West), 40, 41,43, 44, 46, 47, Modern Housing Complex (Phase-III) besides duplex dwelling units in Sector 29, 40, 41 and 47. A senior CHB official said the board authorities had sought nine months to allow the allottee to submit their plans. The residents can now make the changes as per their requirements except, however, for those, which require the board's ratification and the submission of a subsequent plan.

Parallel to the breather given to the allotee, the CHB was also carrying out extensive survey of the violations to ascertain the depth of the problem.

Reacting to the decision of the board members, the CHB Residents Federation said the 40 need-based changes will solve only 10 per cent of the problem. In the wake of the nature of violations, the relief was nothing. "We have been demanding the regularisation of the structures within the boundary line and within the skyline and giving ownership right to the occupants of the EWS houses," said Nirmal Datt, chairman of the Federation.

Major changes

l As per its notification, changes can now be made in doors and windows. In addition, cantilevers can be put up. The board has allowed a three-foot balcony on fascias in the front and rear where no terraces exist by providing pillars from the ground not covering more than two thirds of the width of the facade, but with its prior approval to maintain uniformity. The coverage on the balconies wherever not provided with lightweight material like fibreglass has been allowed.

l It has also allowed a steel grill in verandas where light and ventilation of the adjacent room is not affected, but could provide security to the house.

l The residents can now increase the height of the existing windows by lowering the sill or additional window subject to uniformity in a block. For this, the residents would have to submit the plan in advance to the board.

l The board has also allowed the construction of a car park covered with a fibreglass roof in the front courtyard of the ground floor. With this, it has also allowed converting the scooter and car garage into a store, but only for personal use. It has also allowed underground PVC water tank within the building line and structural stability of the house and adjoining house as well.

l It must be mentioned that the changes would come as a breather for those who had already made these changes and the changes would only be regularised.

Major decisions in the board meeting

l The CHB has decided to appeal against the decision taken by the outgoing Chief Engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), GS Rosha, while deciding six old arbitration cases, involving crores of rupee, and two old appeal cases. The decisions were taken to allegedly extend benefit to private builders.

l 52 posts sanctioned in the engineering department.

l Six more commercial trades allowed in small rehabilitation flats.

l Chief Executive Officer (CEO) defined as authority in deciding cancellation cases.

l Case of filing the case of CHB Chief Engineer referred to Chandigarh Administration. 



new pu vc
‘With Grover, research in PU to get new vision’
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
With the formal announcement of the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Panjab University (PU) made, the university faculty is all set to welcome Arun Kumar Grover with the hope that the research work on the campus will get a further boost.

Grover, who has also studied and worked at the PU, is not new to the campus.

Dr VK Jindal, Emeritus Scientist of the CSIR at the PU's physics department who has shared office with Grover, said he was a good researcher and always wanted to push research. "He is a good friend of mine and it's great that he is coming back to the PU as VC, which would give us another chance to work together," said Jindal.

Jindal further said that as Grover was not in touch with the functioning of the PU, it would be a challenge for him, but he had leadership skills and would definitely make it possible.

The PU faculty said Grover was a very social person who loves interacting.

The appointment has not just made Grover proud, but his teachers who have taught him in the university are also feeling elated.

Former VC of the PU KN Pathak who has taught Grover said he was a very bright and brilliant student who was sincere towards his studies. "When I was the chairperson of the physics department, I had invited Grover for teaching in the PU," Pathak said.

Pathak said the institute from which the new VC was coming was one of the leading research institutes of the country and it was for sure that the research at the PU would get a new vision. "There is a tradition that all the VCs have taken the research to higher levels, the same is expected from Grover," 
he added.

The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president Akshay Kumar, welcoming the new VC stated that the teachers association would extend its full support in his endeavours to strengthen the academic and administrative system of the PU. "We are looking forward to discuss the matters pertaining to the Faculty and the university at large," Kumar said.

Kumar said they had a telephonic conversation with the new VC and were looking forward for him to join the university. "We have come to know that he is a great researcher, which will bring an order of merit in university affairs," Kumar added.

Dean Students Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said they definitely extend their support to him like the earlier one. "The new VC is from a premier institute of research and his experience will definitely help the university in breaking barriers of research," the DSW said.

Professor Ajaib Singh said the new VC was coming from a research institute which would give the PU a new direction and he would certainly take the development on the campus ahead. 



PUSU head Brar arrested
Tribune News Service
Sukhjeet Singh Brar
Sukhjeet Singh Brar

Chandigarh, June 29
The Mohali police today arrested the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) president, Sukhjeet Singh Brar, for allegedly firing gunshots at supporters of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) at the Phase VII market on February 7.

He is the second PU leader to be arrested within a month. Earlier, Bikram Jatana, another PU student and SOPU leader, was arrested on murder charges of Buntry Baweja, an ex-sarpanch of Bahadurke village in Ludhiana.

SSP Mohali Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, confirming the arrest, said Brar was booked under relevant Sections of the IPC and Arms Act. Brar would be produced in the court today, the SSP said.

On February 7, a group of supporters of the SOPU had a narrow escape when supporters of the PUSU fired five shots at them near a restaurant at the Phase VII market. Apparently, the incident was the result of a clash between SOPU and PUSU members during a blood donation camp organised at Student Centre of the PU on February 3.

Though aimed at the SOPU supporters, the gunshots hit two cars parked outside the restaurant. One bullet had pierced a front door and another hit the window of the cars, while the occupants of the cars were having their dinner at the restaurant.



M Shayin set to be new city DC
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), under the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department, has cleared the name Mohammed Shayin, a 2002-batch IAS officer from Haryana, as the new Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh.

Sources said after clearing his name recently, the DOPT has forwarded the matter to the Ministry of Home Affairs for issuing a formal notification.

At present, Shayin is the MD of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam. The sources said that out of the three names sent by Haryana, his name was recommended by the UT Administration. A graduate in Agriculture and an MBA, Shayin’s name was sent to the Administration along with that of another 2002-batch officer Sameer Pal Srow and 2004-batch officer A Srinivas.

After considering Brijendra Singh’s repatriation request, the Administration recently sought a panel of officers from Haryana for posting as DC here.

According to the process, the UT Administrator has to choose an officer from the panel and recommend his appointment to the MHA, which would then forward it to the Cabinet Appointments Committee for the final nod. The DOPT would then issue the formal order for inter-cadre deputation of the selected officer.

Brijendra Singh, a 1998-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer, had formally applied for repatriation within a year and a half of his three-year deputation stint to the UT. He had joined as DC in the UT on September 11, 2009. His three-year deputation period ends in September this year.



Medical lab staff sans qualifications
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A team of the Chandigarh Health Department conducted a raid at a clinical laboratory in Sector 45 here and found that a technician, conducting echocardiogram (ECG) test, had no qualification to do it.

The owner of the Satyam Clinical Laboratory in Sector 45-C where the team conducted the raid this afternoon failed to produce any documents regarding the authority to run the laboratory or credentials of staff members employed at the laboratory. Dr Rajeshwar Rana, who led the raiding team, said a complaint was lodged by Rashmi Sujlan, a local resident, stating that the clinical laboratory was being run in unhygienic conditions and the staff deputed there had no knowledge of conducting medical tests.

The complainant claimed that she had gone to the laboratory for an ECG test and Mukesh, a staff member conducting the test, was not qualified to do it, said Dr Rana.

Mukesh told the raiding team that he had no technical qualification and his certificate of Class XII, was at his native village in Uttar Pradesh.


No more boating near watchtower
CITCO stops facility as water level in this area of Sukhna has fallen to around 1 foot
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The ever-depleting water level at the Sukhna Lake here has forced the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) to stop boating at the new boating area near the watchtower, infamous as suicide point.

CITCO had stopped the use of four-seater boats and 'shikaras' earlier and only two-seater boats were available for tourists at present.

The boating facility would now be available only at
the boating area near the Lake Club.

Sources revealed that the water level at the lake had fallen to around one foot and tourists were not coming to the watchtower area for boating.

They added that there was no income from boating near the watchtower in the last five days and boats were getting stuck in the area.

CITCO general manager AK Malhotra said their aim was to continue boating both near the Lake Club
and near the watchtower, but as the water level was very low, it was difficult to continue boating in the watchtower area.

He added that boating was still being continued in the Lake Club area as the water level there allowed two-seater boats to float.

He further said CITCO could allow boating in the watchtower area only if tourists failed to get the facility near the Lake Club due to rush on weekends, but only for a limited time period and area.

The sources added that boats and 'shikaras' in the watchtower area would be kept there as the area between both boating points had dried up and boats and 'shikaras' could not be moved back.

The sources added that people were not going to the watchtower area for boating due to its distance from the boating area, which was around 1 km.

CITCO had earlier shifted half the boats to the watchtower area, keeping the shrinking water level in the original boating area of the lake in mind.

The CITCO staff was observing the water level at the Sukhna Lake every day and putting up red flags in those areas where the water level was low.

This exercise had started restricting visitors TO THE lake from boating in shallow water, where boats might get stuck.


Drastic fall in water flow
  • The average flow of water into the lake from 1958 to 1978 was 7,370 acre feet. In 1999, it was 1,870 acre feet. In 2006, it was only 736 acre feet. The water flow had reduced drastically in the last two years.

Last monsoon disappointed

  • Last year, the city received 762 mm of rain in the monsoon, against the normal of nearly 846 mm. In 2010, the city received 1178.1 mm rain in the monsoon.

CITCO planned more boats!

  • The depleting water level forced CITCO to postpone its plans to introduce more pedal-boats and motorboats at the lake. It was strange that while approximately 85 boats were not being put to optimum use, the Administration planned to purchase more.



Ball in UT Admn's court
Appointment of regular CHB chief engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In connection with the appointment of a regular chief engineer for the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the ball is in the court of the Chandigarh Administration.
The board of members of the CHB today decided to refer the applications of four candidates to the departmental promotion committee (DPC) of the Administration.

The DPC, headed by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, would decided on the issue.

Sources revealed that the candidature of three engineers forwarded by the Chief Secretary of Punjab had not been found suitable for the post.

Anil Kumar Kansal was chief engineer with the Punjab local government department. Rajiv Moudgil was chief engineer with the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority.

Satish Kumar Gupta was superintending engineer with the Punjab public works department. Later the application of Ajay Kanwar was received.

He was chief engineer with the Punjab local bodies department. The board decided to refer the case to the Administration.

The engineering department of the CHB had observed in an inter-office communication that no candidate was found suitable. UT engineering department's chief engineer SK Chadha had been given additional charge of CHB chief engineer.

The issue of granting the power of technical sanction for projects to the chief engineer of the UT engineering department would be tabled during the next board meeting.

The acting chief engineer of the CHB was holding duty charge of superintending engineer. The UT Administrator had so far not accorded him more powers.

Reacting to the delay in the appointment of chief engineer, former UT chief engineer Kishanjit Singh said the Administration could appoint any former chief engineer on contract so that work did not suffer.



Ministry okays Rs 41.5 crore
GMCH to have own building for its college shortly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at Sector 32 here is likely to get its own building for the college soon.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sanctioned Rs 41.5 crore for the purpose. College classes are being held at the 'serai' building since the establishment of the GMCH in 1991.

The new seven-storey building will house all basic departments, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, haematology or transfusion medicine, microbiology, forensic medicine, pharmacology, community medicine and college of nursing.

A letter of approval was today received from the ministry regarding administrative approval to the rough cost estimate of Rs 41,63,00,000 for finishing items at block E, said Director-Principal Dr Raj Bahadur.

The GMCH, the only medical college with the Chandigarh Administration, had 676 beds, with both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The foundation stone of block E, with two basement levels, was laid in 2000.

The rough cost estimate of the frame structure was Rs 28,62,41000. The Administration had taken up the project of completing the structure with Rs 6 crore this year.



2 constables suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Two Chandigarh Police constables posted with the police control room (PCR) were suspended today for dereliction of duty.
The constables, driver Vikram and vehicle in charge Vishal, were sent to the Police Lines. The PCR vehicle met with an accident at Sector 16 when it collided with a car.

It came to light that Vishal was driving the vehicle and Vikram was absent without informing their seniors. The vehicle was damaged and a compromise arrived at.



Paid parking likely at IT park
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
To control traffic chaos and vehicle-lifting incidents from the areas used for parking at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park here, the UT Administration is mulling the introduction of paid parking at the IT park.

It has also decided on landscaping in many areas of the IT park for its beautification. UT Information Technology Secretary Prerna Puri Wasu said they had received a number of representations from IT companies which had offices there for introducing paid parking.

She added that they held discussions with the engineering department and were mulling paid parking. She added that they held a meeting with the police recently over parking chaos and increasing the deployment of more personnel and got a positive response.

According to information available, the staff at the Mani Majra police station received a number of complaints of vehicle theft from the IT park every month and people faced parking problems at the IT park on weekends.

Wasim Ahmed, an employee with a software firm at the IT park, said his Alto car was stolen from a free parking lot near the Infosys parking last month. He added that the police had registered a case, but failed to trace the vehicle.

He further said paid parking would minimise vehicle-theft incidents.



NADA team talks on illegal drugs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Directorate of Sports, Panjab University, organised a workshop on "Doping in Sports" at the Golden Jubilee hall, PU, here today.

A team of National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), New Delhi, came to deliver valuable information about various types of banned drugs and its side effects. More than 200 players attended the workshop along with chief guest, Dinesh Mongi, a former international cricketer.



Chandigarh scan
Service tax evasion

Service Tax Division, Chandigarh, searched the office and residential premises of a city-based builder M/s Emerging India Housing Corporation Pvt Ltd, engaged in construction of commercial, industrial and residential complexes in and around the city, a press release said here on Friday. In an operation lasting over two days, a team of officials of the Service Tax Division, led by Assistant Commissioner Rachana Singh found and seized vital records/documents relating to construction activities from the premises of the builder sufficient to prove service tax evasion amounting to over Rs 1 crore. The company deposited Rs 35 lakh towards the estimated service tax liability and undertook to deposit the remaining amount shortly.

Employment of ex-servicemen

The Chandigarh Administration is considering measures to improve employment of ex-servicemen for the posts reserved for them. KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, expressed concern over the low employment of ex-servicemen in the UT. He was informed that the Chandigarh Administration is considering issuing detailed instructions to all the departments as well as the Municipal Corporation and other boards and corporations regarding employment of ex-servicemen. The Adviser appreciated the steps being taken in this regard and directed that providing roster points to ex-servicemen in the 100 point roster issued by Chandigarh Administration should be considered for introduction.

‘City development ignored’

Satya Pal Jain, ex-MP and national incharge of the Legal & Legislative Cell of the BJP, has accused the Congress-led Central Government of ignoring the overall development of Chandigarh and not making any efforts to find a solution to any of the problems being faced by its residents during the entire 8 years of its rule at the Centre. Jain said that the people of Chandigarh voted the Congress to power in the Municipal Corporation as well as in Lok Sabha during the last 3 elections continuously. The Prime Minister as well as many other Central Ministers, including local MP, belong to Chandigarh and are enjoying high posts in the Central Government for the last eight years. Yet they have not been able to ensure even adequate water and electricity supply to its residents. He said that today all sections of the society, including employees, industrialists, traders, youth, women,and industrial workers are fed up with the anti-people and anti-poor policies of the Congress-led Central Government and are now compelled to come out on the streets.

Blood-donation camp

As any as 68 volunteers donated blood in a camp organised by the the State bank of India, Motor Market, Mani Majra branch, here on Friday. Regional manager Madhukar Anand inaugurated the camp.

Rotary function

Rotary Club of Panchkula organised its valedictory function here yesterday at the Rotary House. Club president Sarvjit Rai gave appreciation awards to members for their services towards social issues. Various district-level awards were also given which included the 'Best Bulletin Award' to Pankaj Chandgothia, Club Editor, 'Outstanding President Award' to Sarvjit Rai and 'Outstanding Contribution to Culture Award' to renowned singer Dolly Guleria.

—Tribune Reporters



Defacement continues unabated
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 29
It seems that the Panjab University authorities can only make tall claims of making the campus poster-free. The university has time and again failed to take action against the student leaders whose posters are pasted on buildings causing defacement.

Although the university has conducted a series of meeting over student elections and has made it clear that student leaders will be fined for defacement, no action has been taken by the PU authorities till date.

In a meeting with the city police and all hostel wardens, the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia had stressed that no posters or sticker of any party shall be pasted at places other than those allowed for pasting posters on the campus. He had mentioned that any poster belonging to any party or person who is not a student of the campus, if found involved in defacement, will invite action under the Defacement Act.

However, on a visit to various parts of the campus, posters of student leaders were found pasted on the department buildings and even on the guide map at the entry of PU.

“Student parties are increasingly getting active due to the influx of thousands of students applying for admissions for the forthcoming sessions following which the posters and stickers of various university student bodies are pasted on building walls," said a research scholar at PU.

When contacted, the DSW said that all the posters were removed from the buildings and all parties were asked to utilise the places allocated for pasting posters. “If still the student leaders are pasting posters on walls, then action will be taken against them and they would even be penalised," the DSW said.

The posters as well as stickers of party names are not limited to the university premises, but can be found outside the university as well, including in market places, bus stops and roadside poles in different parts of the city. These posters have been pasted in areas as far as the Southern sectors, and also in areas outside Chandigarh. Recently, the Chandigarh police had also booked six student leaders under section -3, Prevention of Property Defacement, West Bengal Act, 1976.



UICET team wins SIFE regional competition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A team of students from the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET) has been declared league winners at the SIFE regional competition held recently in Delhi.

The team participated in the SIFE regional competition held in Gurgaon on June 23 where various teams from North India, including IIT Delhi, SRCC, SSCBS, Ramjas, Delhi School of Economics, and IIT, Ropar, participated.

The team members comprised of Yogesh Yadav, Sachina Garg, Tarun Sanduja, Deepanshu Mishra, Drishty Goel, Disha Kanwar and Amit Mehta. The team were declared winers on the basis of projects done by them. The projects that made them win included projects for the upliftment of vulnerable sections of the society (like HIV + widows)
by making them self-sustainable.

The students have also been involved in a project called ‘Aakaar’ for the upliftment of potters residing in Maloya by giving them access to desired markets to have more sustainable income. UICET students have also initiated a project called ‘Sakshar’, working with the children of Theater Age Group, to give them better education, food and a better life.

The team now would be going for the nationals to be held in Mumbai on July 4 where the teams from all over India will compete for the representing SIFE India in SIFE World Cup to be held in Washington DC from September 30 to October 2.



104 students get job offers
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 29
Continental Group of Institutions organised a campus recruitment drive-cum-job fest at its Jalbehra campus. More than 800 students belonging to various institutions participated in the job fest.

In the palcement drive, 104 students got offer letters from leading companies like HCL, Reliance Life, Neon Laboratories Limited, Solitare, Eureka Forbes and Intellisense. They offered package ranging from Rs 1.80 - 3.21 lakh per annum. 



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