C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No need to sweat in northern sectors
Poor infrastructure, delayed upgrade cause long power cuts in southern sectors of Chandigarh
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
Poor power supply infrastructure, delayed upgrade of sub-stations, lack of vision and failure of the enforcement wing of the UT electricity department have resulted in long power cuts in the city this summer.

It is for the first time that residents of the city have faced poor power supply. Residents of southern sectors in particular have spent sleepless nights daily, courtesy the UT Administration's mechanism of load-shedding convenient to VIPs of the city, residing in northern sectors.

The UT Administration has made elaborate arrangements to save these politicians, bureaucrats and other VIPs from power cuts. The dilly dallying attitude of the UT Administration has resulted in the problem of power cuts in southern sectors.

The UT Administration has delayed the upgrade of the power sub-stations at Sectors 34 and 52, which cater to southern sectors. Had the Administration completed the upgrade in time, then the situation could have been better in southern sectors.

Besides, the UT Administration turned a blind eye to illegal ‘kundi’ connections. Every year, the UT electricity department faced a loss to the tune of Rs 7 crore from nearly 20,000 unauthorised connections.

In addition to ‘kundi’ connections, distribution and transmission losses were pegged at 18 per cent by the Administration. To overcome these losses, the UT Administration had hiked power tariff twice in the last two years, which also affected the common man.

The UT Administration also failed to start power sector reforms, which resulted in power cuts. Under the reforms, the UT Administration had to implement the projects of introduction of management integrated system and geographical information system, among other initiatives, to improve the working of the power sector in the city. Till now, the UT Administration had failed to start the projects.

Moreover, to provide 24-hour power supply to VIP sectors, the UT Administration had adopted various formulae. In the first formula, whenever a power breakdown occurred in northern sectors, which was rare, the UT Administration restored power supply by drawing power from the sub-stations of southern sectors.

But under similar circumstances, when residents of southern sectors witnessed long power cuts, the UT Administration never tried to supply electricity from the share of northern sectors, even during a crisis.

When it came to impose power cuts, the UT Administration once again provided stepmotherly treatment to southern sectors. Giving details, an official said if the authorities imposed a two-hour cut in the northern sectors, like Sectors 6 and 7, they would be able to save less electricity as the number of consumers were ‘very less’.

If the cut were imposed in Sectors 45, 46 or 47, the authorities would save more electricity as there were more power connections. The reason behind more cuts in these areas was due to the large population and power consumers compared to northern sectors.

When contacted, MP Singh, superintending engineer (electricity), said it would be wrong to say the UT Administration was adopting different policies for different sectors. He added that the population had increasedin southern sectors.

There were many commercial areas in southern sectors compared to northern sectors, which resulted in overloading, he further said. The problem of power cuts was in those sectors where there was overloading, he added.

Admn faced obstacles

The UT Administration also faced obstacles from the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC) and the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC). The NRLDC had clearly asked the UT Administration to enforce power cuts to meet its power requirements. The warning came in the wake of the city and northern states overdrawing power from the northern grid. A number of states had started drawing massively. The JERC, in a recent order, sanctioned Rs 90 crore less to the UT electricity department to purchase power. The electricity department had demanded Rs 653 crore from the JERC to purchase power to bridge the gap between demand and supply, but the JERC only approved Rs 563 crore.

Power situation in city

The UT Administration is receiving around 200 MW from different sources, 47 per cent from Mohali (PSPCL), 5 per cent through the Dhulkote BBMB and 48 per cent through Nalagarh. In addition, 110 MW is being supplied from different power stations in the region every day and nearly 30 MW is channelised through Jammu and Kashmir as per a bilateral agreement. The UT Administration is purchasing power for Rs 3.5 to Rs 4 per KW, on an average. This time, the UT Administration floated tenders early, in January, due to which it managed to get suppliers in summer.

Double standard

There are 14 66-KV power station under the UT Administration. Of those, three are in northern sectors and 11 in southern sectors. Whenever any power breakdown happens in northern sectors, the Administration restores supply by drawing power from the sub-stations of southern sectors. It never applies the same formula for southern sectors.

Complaint numbers?

Many complaint centre numbers provided by the electricity department are out of service. Residents find it difficult to lodge complaints regarding power cuts. The complaint centre number catering to Sectors 22, 23 and 24 is out of service. The situation of the number catering to Sectors 4, 9 and 10 is similar. An official has said the new number, 0172-4639999, caters to the entire city now.

Undeclared load

The UT Administration claims that consumers do not come forward to declare actual load. The electricity department claims that of the 2,20,000 consumers, only 5,000 declared the actual load last year, resulting in overloading. Enforcement agencies of the Administration never conducted a large-scale drive to check overloading.

Admn to conduct survey

After witnessing the massive problem of overloading, resulting in frequent breakdowns, the UT Administration has, for the first time, decided to conduct a survey from the power grid to upgrade infrastructure in order to meet the ever-increasing power demand. The survey will also focus on the requirement of infrastructure in the next 20 years. At present, infrastructure has failed to take the ever-increasing power load, especially in southern sectors.

Figures at a glance

Power consumers 2.20 lakh

Peak demand so far this summer 330 MW

Power received from different sources 340 MW

Rate at which UT purchases power: Rs 3.5 to 4 per KW



Decomposed body of 85-year-old man found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
Loneliness among the elderly in the city came to light again when the highly decomposed body of an 85-year-old man was found at his residence in Sector 23 here this morning.

The deceased, Harpal Singh Virdi, who retired as executive engineer with the Punjab irrigation department, died two days back. The incident came to light only today when neighbours sensed foul smell emanating from the house.

The only other occupant of the house, deceased’s daughter Karamjeet Kaur, could not make out her father’s death as she was mentally challenged.

The incident came to light around noon today when the police control room received a telephone call from Sector 23 about foul smell emanating from the house.

A police team reached the spot and found the doors locked from inside. It sneaked from the rear and discovered the decomposed body.

It found his 50-year-old daughter sitting beside the body. The police said she could not make out the condition of her father owing to her mental condition.

Virdi was weak and used to fall sick often. He died of old age, the police said. Virdi’s sister resided at Patiala.

Virdi’s only son had settled down at Kanpur. His wife and elder daughter had died a few years back.

The body was shifted to the GMSH at Sector 16. The police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

“There was no response to repeated knocking. We entered the house from the rear door. He had no one else from his family near him,” said a police official.

Not the first time

  • A week back, the highly decomposed body of 76-year-old Gurnam Singh Dosanjh, who retired as principal of the Nyal Patran College, near Patiala, was found at his residence in Sector 40. His brother SS Dosanjh was a former political adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister.
  • March 27, 2012: Dayawanti (94) was found dead at her residence in Sector 18. She died of suffocation as she left her cigar alight and fell asleep.
  • January, 2011: The 75-year-old mother of a PU teacher was found dead at her house in Sector 21. The death came to light over a week later.



Accountant held for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
The UT police arrested an accountant with the office of the Punjab Accountant-General in a case of cheating. The accused, 46-year-old Suresh Syal, had procured a housing loan of Rs 15 lakh from the LIC Housing Finance and allegedly forged the signatures of his landlord, Shashi Bhushan, as his guarantor.

The fraud came to light when Bhushan received a communication from the LIC, informing him that he was the guarantor.

After that, he reported the matter to the police.

After investigations, a case was registered under Sections 120-B, 419 and 420 of the IPC at the police station in Sector 17.

The police said Bhushan had lodged a police complaint against Syal, alleging that the accused had tried to obtain a loan by giving fake signatures in March last year.

The case was registered only after obtaining legal opinion in the matter.


Some of the tanks lie open atop the roof of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sector 16 in Chandigarh on Sunday

Some of the tanks lie open atop the roof of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sector 16 in Chandigarh on Sunday
Some of the tanks lie open atop the roof of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sector 16 in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Water tanks at GMSH-16 still without lids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
More than two weeks after the publication in these columns of the report on uncovered water tanks on top of the buildings of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) at Sector 16 here, the hospital authorities have not bothered to cover those.

A visit to the spot today revealed that despite the onset of the monsoon, which heightened chances of water infection, the authorities had not bothered to make amends.

The report 'No covers for water tanks' was published in the Chandigarh Tribune on June 28. The hospital authorities had said that they had written to the wing concerned of the Administration on at least twio occasions, but to no avail.

In different letters to the UT engineering department, the GMSH authorities had asked the tanks to be cleaned and covered. The communication, dated March 14 and May 11, were lying unattended at the branch concerned.

The hospital authorities had clearly written that they needed an immediate cleaning up of the tanks, particularly in the context of preventing the spread of water-borne diseases. There separate mentions of underground and overhead tanks.

The authorities of the government polyclinic at Sector 22 here had got the uncovered tanks covered following the publication of the report.



Organ donation to be reality at PGI shortly
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
The Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has received confirmation of support from private organisations, including the Army Hospital (R&R), the MOHAN Foundation and advocates, for its ‘organ donation programme’, which will be formally announced shortly.

The list already has volunteers who will be issued cards announcing their willingness to donate and aid preparing a data bank of donors who can contribute in saving lives and improving the lives of many.

The list of organs which can be donated include kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, cornea, bone and bone marrow, besides certain others.

The major tie-up is with the MOHAN (Multi-Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation, which is a non-profit, non-government organisation started to promote organ donation.

The NGO has offices at Chennai, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bengaluru and the USA.

The MOHAN Foundation was started by a group of like-minded and concerned medical and non-medical professionals committed to increasing the reach of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act.

The departments of haepatology, neurosurgery, internal medicine, surgery, nephrology and renal transplant surgery of the PGI are all part of the ambitious project.

Confirming the development, Dr YK Chawla, PGI Director, said the formal launch would be the issuance of donor cards. It would coincide with meetings with help groups and volunteers in preparing an action map for implementation, he added.

Dr RK Dhiman of the department of haepatology, said the organ donation rate from dead bodies in India was only 0.5 per lakh while it was 250 per lakh in the United States and 350 per lakh in Spain. He said the awareness on organ donation was very less in India, but the need of organs was much higher.

It was estimated that over 1,75,000 persons were diagnosed with kidney failure in India every year, needing a transplant.

Due to the non-availability of human organs, only about 5,500 kidney transplants were done. The same happened for eye and other organ donations.

What the Act is

In 1994, the Centre passed the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, that legalised the concept of brain death and, for the first time, facilitated organ procurement from brain-dead donors, with heart beating. The Act, amended up to 2011, regulates the removal, storage and transplant of human organs and tissues for therapeutic purposes. The Act prohibits and prevents commercial dealings in human organs.



open house response
CHB was first violator of building bylaws

New structures in Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) colonies have mushroomed in such a way that now it is really difficult for the board authorities to come up with a workable plan without making big changes in existing bylaws to regularise new additions and alterations made by people over decades.

People alone cannot be blamed for paying scant respect to building bylaws because the first violator of the bylaws was the board itself. While building LIG Houses that were allotted to people in 1979, the smallest room that it constructed measured 8 feet by 8 feet. According to existing bylaws, no room is to be smaller than 8 feet by 9 feet in area.

In certain categories of houses that it built and allotted to people, part of the house was left unobstructed, leaving the work of completing the unfinished construction to the allottee. When the allottee started construction, he certainly had some ideas of his own, growing out of his needs. So the construction went on. As the land on which the board built the houses still belonged to the Administration, which did not give possession rights to the board till the late 1980s, the task of a strict check on the construction by the people became a divided responsibility between two state agencies and so, suffered neglect. The freedom to build whatever suited them was fully utilised by the people.

Now to stick to obsolesced bylaws will be unproductive and to think of demolishing thousands of structures will spell tragedy. The concessions, old or new, within the scope of bylaws, will not solve the problem. A fresh survey of existing conditions undertaken by the board is near completion. It will show the board and the Administration the futility of asking people to submit for approval designs of construction done by them in strict adherence to whatever has been sanctioned in three notifications. Without delay, the board and the Administration should take a bold and generous decision to regularise all constructions that do not violate the borderline and the skyline. Any delay will encourage excesses and keep ordinarily law-abiding people in an unending state of torture.

Nirmal Dutt, chairman, CHB

Residents Federation Deserve compassion

The report on construction in Chandigarh Housing Board colonies creates the impression that perhaps this side of the city is an area where law-breakers from everywhere have landed and are going ahead with all sorts of construction in their houses by throwing all rules to the winds. Nothing can be falser than this falsehood. A vast majority of the people who live in board colonies are middle-class and lower middle-class people who are making ends meet these days with great difficulty. Over the years, their families have grown in size. Their grown-up children are married and are sharing the roof with them.

These people could not buy bigger houses owing to two reasons. One was that whenever they wished to buy a bigger house, they looked up to the board owing to their limited resources, but the board, because of its rule that one family could own only one board house, did not help them. The other was that with the increase in family size, bigger houses were not bought by people because of the skyrocketing property prices in the city. With the passage of time, the board, which was created to help lower-income people, had become a property dealer, with profit its motive and coffers overflowing.

The constructions shown in photographs in your report are only an effort of hard-pressed people to shelter their grown-up, married and sometimes unemployed children. They have made these need-based changes with their hard-earned money. The powers that be must compassionately regularise these changes and earn merit in the eyes of God.

Harjinder Kaur, Former Mayor

Growing need of space for their families

This is in response to the report on the so-called illegal constructions in the Housing Board Colonies. As the well-known divide between the Northern Section and the Southern Section of this city indicates, the people in the Southern Sectors are mostly lower-income people. The vast majority of these people live in Housing Board Houses. These people are from the same income group to which vast populations of small towns like Kharar or Zirakpur belong. In the name of decades old building bylaws, these people cannot be denied the freedom that their equals in small towns enjoy whenever, they want to add new structures to their houses to meet the growing need of space for their families.

Nobody should forget that these people earn their bread with the sweat of their brow, and from such hard-earned money they spare some cash by cutting some other pressing needs, because a roof over the head of a college going kid or a grown-up marriageable daughter is a must item.

These days, when soaring prices of all necessities of life are breaking the backs of people and when employment eludes the grown-up children of such families as live in the Housing Board Colonies, nobody should harbor an evil thought of bulldozing the poor people’s houses: the right thing to do is to stand by them, get their houses regularised, and see them through these hard times. We concede that the administration has addressed a number of genuine public needs in the past.

Jagjit Kang, Former SAD councillor

Le Corbusier knew only France

The pictures of the design-defying constructions in the Housing Board Houses in a report published in ‘The Chandigarh Tribune’ are a brick-and-mortar testimony to the failure of the grand plan that Le Corbusier gave us for the city. This failure was visible to any discerning Indian eye in the very fine print lines of the Frenchman’s original design. The Frenchman knew only the generally prosperous and thinly populated France. He, surely, had no idea of growing hordes of unemployed Indians always mobile in search of home and hearth; only an Indian master architect could have taken this into account.

So, Chandigarh, a city originally planned for only about 500,000 people, came to suffer the fate of any other Indian city; at present, it is a house to almost 15,00,000 people and the number is still growing at the relentless rate of growth of the population.

To think of imposing any uniform designs on the need-based changes, effected over decades in small houses with hard-earned money, by lower-income people most of whom live in the Housing Board Colonies and the Rehabilitation Colonies, is to indulge in an illusion. These additions and alterations should be regularised without any further loss of time: no obsolete bylaws should complicate matters anymore.

Subash Chawla, Former Mayor

Motives of junior officials

All readers looked at the haphazard changes made in the houses in the Housing Board Colonies, but very few know thereby hangs a tale. It is a tale that would show you how the pious intentions of the higher bureaucracy are thwarted by the impious motives of the lower officialdom in the Housing Board.

The lower staff of the Board has always borne the responsibility of implementing building bylaws but the tale here will tell you how the lower officials of the Board use the threat of these bylaws as a gold mine.

They go on their rounds of the Housing Board Colonies regularly. Every house owner, who starts making need-based changes, is in their notice and the construction starts and progresses in bright day light under the very nose of these minor maharajas of the Board. They do not come and stop the construction on day one. They are uninterested, indifferent, almost aloof till the roofs are cast and the flooring is done.

Now suddenly, they swoop down on their quarry, flaunt the sacred bylaws, scare the daylight out of a poorhouse owner and force him to cut a deal with them. The deal is cut, a pocket is stuffed, and an illegal construction is for the time being safely in place. As the pocket empties, a demolition notice lands at the doorsteps of the poorhouse owner: this time again in the name of sacred bylaws.

Let us not forget that the constructions without design in the Housing Board Colonies are the result of a carefully thought-out design after all!

Arun Sood, BJP councillor

Laws are meant to be broken

It seems that the property owners of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flats have taken the phrase “laws are meant to be broken” way too seriously. That is why they have constructed illegal structures on the first and second floors of their houses. Almost all the houses in the Sectors 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 depict the same picture. Despite the repeated notifications, property owners are not ready to submit their plans for regularisation of the violations.

Sizes of the families are growing and so is the need of extra space, because of this property owners are going on constructing the illegal structures. Major violations on the ground are-firstly, the flat owners have constructed rooms in the courtyard, covering the entire courtyard. Then in a few houses the area in front of the courtyard is also converted into a room. Rampant and haphazard construction of the upper floors has been done. Residents have acquired more place than the allotted percentage.

In a survey done it was revealed that more than 80 per cent of the people have made additions in their houses that do not follow any uniformity of pattern, thus making it almost impossible to submit any one design of the house to the board for the approval. Over 40 changes were allowed by the CHB but the residents have not followed even a single rule what the CHB approved. They designed and constructed their houses in their own way. The property owners should not behave rudely to the notifications of the Chandigarh Housing Board. The rules laid down by the board are for the benefit of the people only. They had made the houses in such a way so that the residents of the city get proper air and sunlight in the courtyards but the owners of the houses have constructed rooms in the courtyard also.

Residents living in the southern sectors should obey the orders of the board and construct their houses in a proper manner. In this way neither the board nor the residents will have a problem.

Guryog Kaur

Need to regularise need-based changes

It is very true that after food and clothing, shelter is very essential for every one. But even after almost six decades of our independence government is not in a position to provide shelter to millions of our people who are living under the sky. By and large residents of dwelling units have made changes according to their absolute needs. In one estimate about 90 per cent of the 48,000 house owners have made changes.

To be on the fair side, equity and natural justice the need based changes, which the dwelling unit holders have already made, are required to be regularised. These changes are regularised by fixing a specific date and make fresh bye-laws in accordance with the present needs of the people and till such time no demolition either of the category of houses should take place and all notices of demolition already served upon the dwelling unit holders need to be withdrawn.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Need-based changes in CHB flats

Chandigarh Housing Board notified a set of 40 relaxations in the year 2010 that the allottees were allowed to carry out in their respective flats as per procedure notified by it. About 13 demands were kept under consideration by it. However, the scheme elicited little response from flat owners and the notification remained in abeyance. These are again made operational in view of the demands emanating from the CHB Residents Federation. While allowing relaxations that may be carried out, the board has determined that a certificate from the structural engineer duly registered with the Chandigarh Administration is necessary. From it follows that the board is concerned to maintain the structural stability of the flats so that no loss of life or property is caused. Interestingly, discriminate construction violations have taken place in almost all the sectors where the board has constructed flats.

Chandigarh Housing Board has constructed over 40,000 flats in various categories in the city and violations are reported in over 80 per cent of the cases. It is no secret that violations in the CHB flats have been done to the extent of endangering the structural stability.

As regards constructing a room of the size 150 sq. ft or demand relating to fixing of porch for the parking of car is concerned or shifting the windows slightly up or down or fixing a cantilever of three feet, these may be accepted even retrospectively. A small fee or compounding charge by the Board may be in place for old and/or new constructions. But unless these constructions are carried out by flat owners without destroying the facade, that the Board wants to preserve, should not be allowed.

The 2010 notification elicited insignificant response as only one-month time was allowed to flat owners to carry out the modifications, this time six months time is allowed. It would be pertinent to scrutinise flats in which the owners have carried out unauthorised construction activities. Secondly, those who would wish to do so now afresh. The latter category may be asked to submit revised plans and the competent authorities should take action on priority.

In the case, where changes have already been carried out, structural imbalances should be rectified by the flat owners and a self certification along with a certificate from the structural engineer be submitted along with revised plans to authenticate the change effected. Simple procedure needs to be mooted in this regard. The Board must always be ready to help the flat owners to reap the full benefits of the relaxations allowed.

The administration should adopt to review the issue of allowing need-based changes every ten years and ensure that the relaxations are in conformity to the genuine needs and not a fall out of certain organisations’ fancy to brow beat it with rallies and demonstrations. The Chandigarh Housing Board should plan its future constructions keeping in view the change in lifestyle and growth of family size for the second generation siblings as it is this that necessitates the need based changes with time.

Satish Chandra Sharma

Allowing 40 changes a commendable move

Bringing cheer to the city residents, the Chandigarh Housing Board has notified all the amendments approved by it for both flat owners as well as independent dwelling units in the city. Allowing 40 need based changes in Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) dwelling units in the city is a commendable move. Residents had for long been demanding relaxations in view of the increasing family sizes and changing lifestyle which is now a dream come true. Most CHB house owners were earlier given notices against making these changes, but now these are being permitted. The residents can now make the changes as per their requirements. There has to be regularization of the structures within the boundary line and within the skyline, thereby maintaining the uniformity of the plan. Residents must understand their moral responsibility and must not act against the norms rather thank the administration for allowing such major changes. Anybody found flouting the norms must be fined.

Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Open house question

Early showers this monsoon have the city replete with images of water logging signaling trouble for the travelers on roads. Colonies are full of potholes with cover of filth adding to the existing threat of diarrhoea and cholera. Write your experience and suggestions for improvement to the openhouse@tribunemail.com .


Getting passport is a lot easier now
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
Sushil Kumar, a 24-year-old resident of Sector 23, was happy as not only he fills the online form for passport while sitting at home but also the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) completed his documentation in a single day. Sushil said, “The process of filling the form was very simple and one could fill it without the help of any tout.”

It is not only Sushil but there are a number of passport applicants, who are benefited from the online passport application system. Gone are the days when one needed to get up early in the morning to find a place in the serpentine queue outside the passport office and then wait for hours to submit the passport application forms.

Sometimes one had to visit the passport office for days to submit the applications, as the long queue would ensure that you reach the window after it is closed. But things have taken a U-turn now.

The long queues are gone and so are the touts in front of the passport office. The new Passport Seva Kendras, which replaced the old passport office, which was situated in Sector 34, makes speedy execution and delivery, mandatory for registration of passport forms online have changed the life of passport aspirants for the better.

The new office, Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in the Industrial Area, Phase II, is different. Now, with the new online system, it offers citizens the comfort of sitting at home and fixing an appointment with an official of the passport department to submit the application on the date and time of his or her choice.

The aim was to streamline the system for issuance of passports. Under the system, the applicants are required to apply online and seek appointments. In case of the applicants applying under tatkaal, walk-in interviews are held.

Things like checking of documents are orderly and streamlined at the PSK, but as time consuming and tedious as before. It can take four to five hours of queuing and waiting at encounters with different layers of officialdom, but the staff at the PSK, which is already ready to help, will complete the entire process in the single appointment. Finally, they would give you a number to track down your passport application status.

Lt Col Nitish Khandelwal said the system of online filling of application forms for passport was so smooth that he didn’t face any hurdle. He added that he got the appointment of his choice and without any hitch the PSK staff completed all formalities. He added that the facilities like photostat, cafeteria and special attention to senior citizens is good at the PSK.

“At the PSK, the functioning is more streamlined than at the passport office earlier. However, applying online is still a difficult task for the people from rural backgrounds,” said Rajbir Singh, a resident of Patiala at the passport office.

When contacted, Rakesh Aggarwal, regional passport officer, said things had changed a lot and a majority of people were happy with the new system. Initially, people were finding it difficult to get the appointments, as they were opened for only one day, but now the appointments are open for next 15 days and residents can fix appointment as per their choice.

Earlier everyone, including tatkaal and re-issue applicant, need to take the appointments, but now the tatkaal and re-issue applicant need not to take the appointment. They can now simply walk in the PSK after submitting the online form, he added.

To do away with the agent system while filling the online form, the department has recently sent a proposal to the Union government to allow submission of forms from e-governance centres in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to fill forms by simply charging Rs 50 or Rs 100. With this system, the applicants from the rural backgrounds need not to pay hefty amount to agents and they can simply visit government centres like e-sampark, e-suvidha and e-disha kendras to submit the online passport forms, he added.

On the issue of delay in issuing the passport, he said they were holding regular meeting with the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Police to speed up the police verification report. He assured that in the days to come, there would be an improvement in the passport delivery system.

Steps to fill in online forms

  • Visit passport department website www.passportindia.gov.in <http://www.passportindia.gov.in>
  • Create any user name on the website (by clicking on register new user link).
  • Now, login using the user name (called your passport seva user account) in the website.
  • Fill online application form for fresh/re-issue/tatkaal as your case may be and submit the form online. Uploading of supporting documents is not required.
  • Submission of online application:

a) Download e-application and upload it after filling

b) Fill the application online (this requires higher speed Internet connection)

  • Take printout of the application receipt number (ARN).
  • Take appointment with the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) that comes under the jurisdiction of applicant’s residence. Online appointment is mandatory before going to a PSK for further processing.
  • Only emergency/medical cases may go to PSK without appointment- service will be provided at the discretion of passport office in charge. However PCC, senior citizens (60 years and above), tatkaal and re-issue applicants need not take an appointment. They only need to fill in the online application form at least one day in advance before visiting the PSK.
  • Go to PSK, along with original documents and one photocopy each for completion of application submission process. List of documents required is given on the website.
  • Applicants can track the status of their application through website.
  • All-India toll free helpline of passport department, 1800-258-1800, is also available.



Now, GPS on garbage trucks
Vigilant MC chalks out ways to monitor sanitation work at Panchkula
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 8
In order to keep tab on sanitation system, the Municipal Corporation will direct the sanitation contractor to install Global Positioning System (GPS) tools on vehicles collecting garbage in the town.

The Panchkula Municipal Council has already invited bids for awarding the contract of garbage collection. The contract was likely to be awarded on July 12.

Under the new system, the contractors will not only be required to install GPS but also have to maintain the same on the garbage collection tractor-trolleys. The GPS would be installed on 24 tractor-trolleys and the main server would be at the MC office at Sector 4. The authorities would be able to locate the actual position of the each tractor trolleys and the number of rounds made by them.

Two tenders’ bids were cancelled by the corporation due to technical reasons. This time the MC has decided to maintain eight dumper placers on its own and the drivers and other employees would also be recruited by the MC. The contractor would have to provide 24 tractor-trolleys for lifting the garbage.

Confirming the same, MC Executive Engineer OP Sihag said the GPS would be introduced on 24 tractor-trolleys. The contractor would be responsible for installation and maintenance of the GPS.

Keeping in view the general complaints of the residents that the numbers of sanitation workers visiting their ward were far less than deputed, Sihag said they have decided to introduce biometric system to mark the attendance of sanitation workers.

He said about 600 sanitation workers were engaged for removing the garbage in the town. He said once the biometric system was introduced the sanitation workers cannot remain absent from their work for too long.

New plans

  • The Panchkula Municipal Council has already invited bids for awarding the contract of garbage collection. The contract was likely to be awarded on July 12.
  • The contractor will be responsible for installation and maintenance of the GPS installed in the 24 tractor-trolleys.
  • MC Executive Engineer OP Sihag said they have decided to introduce biometric system to mark the attendance of sanitation workers.



Road-mending work left undone
Rainwater-filled pits cause inconvenience to people
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 8
The lackadaisical attitude of local administration has left most of the roads in the town in a poor state. The people are facing inconvenience as widening works of roads have been left undone by the concerned authorities. This includes the cremation ground road leading to Mohali Bus Stand, roads in the industrial area near Phase V and main road in Phase II towards Madanpura village.

Authorities have dug up pits on both the sides of the cremation ground road, dividing Sector 70 and Phase VII from Sector 71 and Phase III B2. These pits pose a threat to commuters, particularly at night. Moreover, due to the onset of monsoon the situation has worsened here. Rain water fills the pits, making it more dangerous.

“The work of widening the road started more than a year ago and it is yet to be completed. The authorities are least bothered about us. This is the busiest road of the town. Heavy vehicles, including public transport buses, ply on this route,” said Gurdev Singh, a resident of Phase III B2 adding that minor accidents often take place due to these pits along the road. The road is being widened by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). The main road at Phase II was dug in November last to lay sewerage system in Madanpura village here. “After digging the busy road, no repairing job was done so far and the road has been left unattended by the officials. We have been making constant efforts to by complaining about our inconvenience to the concerned authority. But nothing has been done so far. After yesterday’s shower, two cars got stuck in the pits. Are they (the authorities) waiting for a mishap before taking an action,” said JP Singh, president of Social Welfare Association, Phase II.

JC Sabharwal, Joint Commissioner of the local Municipal Corporation, said shortage of sand and gravel affected the work. “The roads, which come under our jurisdiction, would be repaired after the monsoon,” he added.



Panchkula residents demand bus stop at Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 8
The residents of Sector 19 have demanded for a bus stop, which was demolished, at Industrial Area Phase I. At present, the residents have to tread at least 300 metre to catch buses.

The workers of Municipal Corporation demolished the bus stand in order to build a new one in front of plot No 87. The residents of Sector 19 and Abhaypur village have alleged that the bus stop was shifted under pressure from the owners of an industrial unit who did not want it in front of their building.

The residents said other bus stops are at least half a kilometre from the residential area. “In the morning I have to start early to reach the bus stand, said Suresh Kumar, a Sector 19 resident.

Ramesh Barthwal, the former councillor of the erstwhile municipal council, said a bus stop should be set up at its earlier position as many girls from Sector 19 attend schools and colleges in Chandigarh.

Bhartwal warned that they would be forced to launch an agitation if the authorities failed to set up the bus stop at its earlier location. He said they have also informed Union Minister Kumari Selja about the matter during a public grievances committee meeting, held recently.



CHF’s mobilisation rally from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
The Chandigarh Housing Federation (CHF) today announced to start its ninth mobilisation rally from tomorrow by organising daylong fasts by five-member teams in different CHB and rehabilitation colonies.

Federation president Nirmal Datt said fasts and evening rallies would continue till July 14 and culminate into a mega rally to be held on July 15 at the Sector 40-C market.

Addressing a rally near Sanatam Dharam Mandir, Sector 37-C, leaders of the federation said residents of the CHB, rehabilitation colonies and cooperative societies pledged full support for the campaign.

The rally was a part of the second phase of the campaign to get all need-based changes and alterations in all categories of the CHB houses regularised, to get ownership rights for the residents of the rehabilitation colonies who bought their houses on the power of attorney, to get citizens charter or the Right to Service Act adopted in all UT offices before August 15, to get a public audit system for all expenses out of public funds and to get the powers transferred from public servants to public representatives.

Representatives of the federation informed the gathering about the meetings held with the Adviser, Finance Secretary and chairman of the housing board in the presence of councillors. The authorities have promised to look into the matter of the regularisation of additions or alterations and ownership for the rehabilitation colonies houses. A proposal to introduce citizens charter would be put before the Administrator after the Punjab Right to Service Act and the citizens charter implemented by the Delhi government were properly studied, the federation members were told.

It was again made clear that a 10-member committee constituted by taking two political leaders from each political party would lead the campaign. No single political leader or party would be praised or criticised from the federation’s platform.



109 diarrhoea cases reported in a day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
A total of 109 diarrhoea cases were reported at Vikas Nagar on Sunday. Out of which, nine were referred to the GMSH, Sector 16, and one was referred to the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra. However, no death has been reported from diarrhoea, a press release said.

Meanwhile, all civil dispensaries under the health department of the UT Administration and municipal corporation remained open today.

A press release said a door-to-door survey was carried out in all slums and rural areas of the city by the PFA cell of the health department. Rotten fruits, vegetables and ice slabs were removed from certain points in colonies, particularly along the roadside.

Free medicines were also distributed in the slum areas.



Audit department objects to practice
Hospitality dept splits purchases to avoid attracting GFR provisions
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
The audit department has objected to “irregular” practice of the UT’s hospitality department in splitting purchases to avoid attracting provisions of the general financial rules (GFR) that govern the purchase of items from open market.

In three specific cases, the department has been found making purchase of sofa cloth, steel items and hardware items worth Rs 14 lakh for the year 2011-2012. Not only the GFR rules were ignored, the instructions of the UT’s finance department in purchasing the items were not followed.

The records reveal that sofa cloth worth Rs 6,12,546 were purchased for renovation of sofa sets. To ensure that the purchase orders were less than Rs 1 lakh, the purchases were made from the Kendriya Bhandar and Supreme Agencies between May and September, 2011.

Interestingly, 210m of sofa cloth was purchased in three parts (70m each) on September 8, 2011, September 16, 2011 and September 28, 2011. Before that, the cloth was purchased on July 19, 2011 (65m), July 25, 2011 (65m) and July 29, 2011 (70m). Between May and September, 2011, the cloth was purchased 16 times and every time the purchased limit was kept below Rs 40,000.

In a similar manner, steel items worth Rs 1.85 lakh was purchased in December, 2011, by limiting the purchase amount to less than Rs 1 lakh. In March 2012, hardware items worth Rs 1.80 lakh was purchased in two parts on same date, March 29, 2012. The purchase was through two bills, Rs 93,479 and Rs 86,569.

In the audit objection received by the department, it has been pointed out that when the purchases is above Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 25 lakh, the local purchase committee should survey the market and make the purchases in the most economical manner. “Such goods should not be purchased straight away from the Kendrya Bhandar, whereas their rates should be compared with the rates of local markets. Irregular splitting of purchase to keep the amount within the limit was prohibited,” it has been further pointed out.

In yet another case, purchase worth Rs 4.20 lakh was made from the Kendriya Bandhar in violation of the guideline issued by the UT’s finance department.



Dr Nagarkar to head Raipur AIIMS
Tribune News Service

Dr Nitin M Nagarkar Chandigarh, July 8
Dr Nitin M Nagarkar, a professor of ENT, head and neck surgery, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has been appointed as the director, AIIMS, Raipur, a communication from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has confirmed. Dr Nagarkar is likely to join this coveted position before July 23.

The Centre has planned six new AIIMS, namely in Patna, Bhopal, Bhubneshwar, Raipur, Jodhpur and Rishikesh, and plans to start MBBS sessions from September this year. The directors for Patna and Bhopal institutions have already been appointed.

Dr Nitin has completed his MBBS degree with distinction in four subjects from Patna Medical College, Patna, in 1987. He joined PGIMER, Chandigarh, for MS (ENT). He joined as the senior resident at PGIMER from January 1993 to November 1994. Later he joined Government Medical College and Hospital as the senior lecturer in 1996.

He is a member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, fellow of International Medical Science Academy (FIMSA) and has 45 publications in various international, national and regional medical journals to his credit.



Interlocutors’ report on J&K against nation’s interest, says Arun Jaitley
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
A senior BJP leader and leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, today said the Centre’s interlocutors report on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was one sided and against the interest of the nation. The report would weaken India’s position on the sensitive border state.

Jaitley expressed the views during a seminar organised on “Interlocutors report on Jammu and Kashmir” here today. Lt Gen OP Kaushik chaired the seminar and a former president of Jammu Bar Association, Sunil Sethi, was among key speakers.

Expressing his opinion on the issue, he said it was important to understand the circumstances under which the problem cropped up and to analyse it from historical perspective.

Going back into the historical events, the Rajya Sabha member said under Article 370 of the Constitution, special status has been granted to Jammu and Kashmir.

When the Article was introduced during the tenure of India’s first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Patel, it was stated that it was a temporary provision. But with the passage of time, the special provision became a reality and an important part of the political set up.

He further said Article 370 had become a source of misery for inhabitants of J&K. The most sensitive issue on the interlocutors report was Pakistan’s claim of division of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). He said the BJP would support the Centre if the report was not adopted. But it was adopted; the party would oppose it strongly.




chandigarh scan

Summer workshop

A summer workshop at Blossom Convent School, Naya Gaon, concluded here on Sunday, a press release said. A cultural programme featuring dances and a play was the highlight of the occasion. School director Geeta Sandhu gave a report on school activities.


Commissioner of the municipal corporation, VP Singh, flagged-off a green waste-cum-garbage pickup vehicle purchased by the citizens' association of Sector 21. He assured the association to provide all possible help for the welfare of the residents. Baljinder Singh Bittu, president of the association, spoke about the initiatives by the sector residents in keeping their area clean. Area Councillor Mukesh Bassi was also present on the occasion.

PU topper

Supreet Kaur, a student of BA Final, Psychology (Honours), has clinched first position in the Panjab University exams this year. A press release said that Akshi Chawla, another student of the same class, has bagged second position.

Rotary function

The Rotary Club Chandigarh Central has installed Mahesh Arora as president and Rajinder Singh Cheema as secretary, besides the board of directors for the year 2012-13. The installation ceremony was presided over by chief guest JS Bajwa and Sukhwinder Singh (Goldy) at the PHD Chambers of Commerce here. KK Walia, the outgoing president of RCC Central in his brief speech mentioned achievements during his tenure.

Shopping festival

DLF City Centre, has rolled out a month-long shopping extravaganza from July 7 to August 15. The highlight of the festival would be 'Spin The Fashion Wheel'.

— Tribune Reporters



Efforts on to forge unity in PUTA
Senators have approached warring camps to forego elections and agree on a common panel
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
Apart from the Senate elections, the appointment of new PU Vice-Chancellor appears to be affecting Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) elections as well. What has come as a huge surprise is the fact that a group of teachers and Senators have approached the two warring contender groups of Panjab University Teacher Association asking them to forego elections and mutually agree on a panel to create a congenial environment for the new VC.

Interestingly this 'Peace' group is going to different group leaders asking them to unite and create favourable conditions for the new VC as it will be of great help in getting more and more teachers nominated to the Senate and getting their interests addressed.

"Whatever is happening in PU is not in a good taste. Even though the main aim to get an outsider as VC was to keep the office away from all Senate politics, but a group of teachers and Senators have failed to ensure this. Our group was approached with a request to forego elections and evolve a settlement with others. But we have refused, as election is a must for any democratic set up. The two groups may be united in their aim, but ways and efficiency of achieving the same is different. Different groups provide different views and opinions, and teachers should have a chance to choose. We are here to serve teachers and not for creating a congenial working atmosphere for a VC. Its high time that these people stop using Grover's name and contest PUTA and Senate election on their own worth," said a member of the ruling PUTA group.



PU withholds geography results of DAV-10
Decision taken after many students score zero in internal exam
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
Geography results of students of DAV College, Sector 10, have been withheld by Panjab University for abnormally low internal assessment awarded to students. In a communication received by principal today, the office of PU Controller of Examination has highlighted the fact that many students have been given zero in their internal assessment, while others have managed to get 2 or 3 marks.

“Given the fact that these students appeared for the final exams means that they had 75 per cent attendance. The internal assessment includes scores for attendance as well, and therefore none of these students can technically score so low. There seems to be some problem or confusions among the evaluators which should immediately be clarified or rectified,” read the letter. Principal BC Josan is enquiring the matter and the result is expected to be announced in two-three days.

According to the students, they had to approach PU Senator Prabhjit Singh for this as their college was not giving them any hearing.

According to sources, the representation has complained against geography faculty Charanjit Kaur Sandhu for disobeying the Senate and Syndicate decisions pertaining to internal assessment.

“It has been highlighted that some students, who have got good marks in theory, have been given a zero here. Parbjit has also brought to our notice that its an annual trend and even the principal is turning a blind eye to the matter,” said a college official.

“We had gone to our teachers and principal, but they were not ready to listen to anything. We also went to admin block which was of no use. Then we got in touch with this Senator who filed representation on our behalf and now things are being taken up,” said a student.



Govt model-25 students win first prize in PU competition
Create mobile-operated car for the disabled which runs on solar power
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
It does not take swanky classrooms, gleaming infrastructure or tag of a renowned school to ideate and innovate. Three students of Government Model School, Sector 25, whose innovative mobile operated solar car has won first prize in the recently held science competition at PU have proved this.

While many of their more fortunate private school counterparts opted to buy models for participating in the recently held science exhibition and congress, the trio got together to build a miniature eco friendly car for the disabled.

The car, though crude in some aspects, comes as a cheap and easy option for traffic monitoring and creating disabled-friendly four wheelers.

“It was not just about winning, or even participating. We wished to make something which could help society. The car is eco friendly as it is charged by the sunlight. What makes it special is the fact that you use your mobile tabs to operate it. In addition to being used as a monitoring vehicle, it can be of great used to physically challenged people,” said Abhishek.

“The inspiration came from games played on mobile phones where you use number keys like 2, 6, 4, 8 to move your game car in different directions. We thought if such a simple control can be made with a mobile phone, we will be able to make a cheap, yet useful, option,” added Vikram.

Quiz them about their dreams and Prince sums it up for all by saying, "We wish to be engineers and move to class XI next year. We don’t have funds for expensive coaching or capitation fee for big colleges. We have a passion to create things and that is what we rely on. Our teachers have been supportive and we can say that our school may be the underdog for many, but our dreams and efforts are way ahead.”



Missionary schools to open from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8
All city missionary schools will reopen from tomorrow. Carmel Convent and Sacred Heart School will be reopening on Monday for all classes. They will follow the regular school summer timings. For St Anne's School, Sector 32, the school will be open for all classes from 7:30 am-12:30 pm.

St John's High School will reopen for classes I-XII. The timings will be 7:50 am-1:40 pm. However Prep and KG classes will remain closed for one more week.



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