C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Punjab, Haryana okay Regional Planning Board
To ensure coordinated development of city; Panchkula, Mohali, Union ministry to come up with detailed guidelines
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
In a significant development, Punjab and Haryana have given consent to a proposal of the Union Urban Development Ministry to constitute a committee for the Regional Planning Board for a balanced and coordinated development of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.

The Punjab and Haryana governments gave their consent at a recent meeting with officials of the Ministry of Urban Development and at the 26th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council on Friday.

A senior official of the UT Administration said now the stake holders —Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh — would decide whether the regional planning be undertaken under legislation on the lines of the NCR Planning Board or in the form of executive orders with full commitment of participating governments.

Official said the Ministry of Urban Development would formulate the guidelines for the formation of the Regional Planning Board. Besides, the ministry would also lay down the procedure and rules about the constitution of the committee and appointment of its members. It would ensure equal participation of three stakeholders in the committee.

In a recent report submitted by the UT Administration to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the need for regional planning was highlighted and it was stated that the city was under tremendous pressure owing to manifold increase in population, traffic, stress on infrastructure, building violations, limited availability of land and haphazard growth in the periphery, affecting the sacrosanct of the master plan. In the report, the UT Administration had stated that there was a need for setting up of the Regional Planning Board for an overall development of the tricity.

The core issues likely to emerge before the committee members are water supply from Kaujali, slum rehabilitation, more road links, public transport system, sewerage, natural resource management, health, bio-medical waste management, traffic diversion projects, height of buildings in area north of Capitol Complex, preservation of the glory of the Sukhna Lake and haphazard growth in the periphery of Chandigarh.

Structure of committee

The committee on regional planning will have secretaries of both Punjab and Haryana and the Adviser of the UT Administrator as its members. The Union Ministry of Urban Development will prepare its model and terms of reference. The roadmap and the model will be sent to the states concerned and Chandigarh. The chairman of the joint committee will be appointed on a rotational basis.

key issues
More road links

The Haryana government has taken up the issue of more link roads from Panchkula to Chandigarh. At present, residents mostly use the road from the Sector 26 light point to the Housing Board chowk, resulting in traffic jam. The alternative link to Panchkula from Hallo Majra has been completed between NH-21 and Industrial Area, Panchkula, but it has not given the expected relief to commuters due to the existing level crossing near Mauli Jagran. The construction of a railway overbridge (ROB) over level crossings linking Chandigarh with Panchkula and Mani Majra to facilitate the free movement of traffic is yet to begin. Haryana and the UT have also been demanding direct and shorter access to the upcoming international airport terminal in Mohali.

Haphazard growth on periphery

In the absence of any check over the construction of buildings, haphazard growth has taken place on the city’s periphery. The Regional Planning Board will ensure stringent enforcement of the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act, 1952, to check haphazard growth. If all stakeholders cooperate, the development will take place according to the approved master plan. Apprehending high rise building near the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary, the UT has been objecting to the growth in Naya Goan and Kansal.

Public transport system

There is need to improve the public transport system in the tricity. The budget estimates released by the UT for 2012-13 state that Rs 10 crore will be used for Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS), Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Light Rail Systems in the city during 2012-13. Most of this amount will be utilised in the construction Metro and affordable means of transport like buses and trams. The administration has to pay Rs 2.5 crore to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) as fee for the detailed project report (DPR) for the Metro project. Punjab has also been proposing to start inter-city bus service.

Slum rehabilitation

Punjab has been repeatedly blaming the UT for rehabilitating slum dwellers on the city’s border with Mohali. Punjab’s Housing and Urban Development Department through its nodal agency Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has been taking up the issue with the UT. Punjab has sough solution to the issue as the slum rehabilitation project of the Chandigarh Housing Board, envisaged to shift slum dwellers to one room tenements, is running behind schedule.

Kajauli waterworks

The UT has been demanding additional supply of 40 million gallon of raw water per day from the Bhakra main canal, Kajauli. But Punjab has been denying it the share in the Phase 5 and Phase 6 of the Kajauli water works. On the other hand, Haryana has been demanding six MGD of water. The issue has even reached the Centre. At present, the UT Administration is drawing 80 million gallon per day (MGD) of water from the Bhakra main line at Kajauli. This is partly used at Mohali, Panchkula and Chandimandir cantonment. Chandigarh alone takes 67 MGD of water out of the 80 MGD. Another 20 MGD of water is available from tubewells in the city. Chandigarh needs another 29 MGD of water to meet its present requirement of 116 MGD of water.



Prideasia Project
Applicants claim interest on earnest money
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Another controversy hovering around the Parsvnath housing project, Prideasia, has surfaced, this time over the issue of interest on the earnest money.

The applicants are claiming that they are entitled to interest on the amount of the earnest money, which has already been returned to them, following the failure of the project.

The applicants, in fact, moved the Punjab and Haryana High for the payment of interest. But, for the time being, they have been asked by the High Court to wait for the award of the arbitration tribunal before which the controversy between the builder and the Chandigarh Housing Board is pending disposal.

The directions by the Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Rajiv Narain Raina came on a bunch of four petitions filed by Vijay Aggarwal and other petitioners against the developers and the other respondents. They were clubbed together as common questions of law and facts were involved in all the petitions.

The Bench observed that the petitioners were the applicants for plots and apartments in the housing scheme to be developed by the developer and the housing board as a joint venture.

In terms of the agreement between the two, the earnest money was to be appropriated to the extent of 70 per cent by the respondent developer and the remaining 30 per cent by the respondent housing board.

But, due to differences between the two, the project could not go ahead, and the disputes were pending before the Arbitral Tribunal. The counsel representing the Chandigarh Housing Board said it had refunded its share of earnest money received from the applicants, such as the petitioners.

The counsel for the developer added that the amount of earnest money to the extent of 70 per cent of its share, too, had been paid to the petitioners.

The Bench, after hearing the arguments, asserted: “Admittedly, the disputes between the two respondents is pending adjudication before the tribunal. Therefore, whether the interest, if any, is payable by the respondents is a matter which can appropriately be decided after the arbitration tribunal renders its award”.

The Bench concluded: “We dispose of the present writ petitions with liberty to the petitioners to raise the claim of interest after the award is rendered by the arbitration tribunal before the appropriate authority or the court, according to law”.



Tippa murder: Accused convicted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Two years after the murder of a youth Akali leader from Muktsar in the city’s Sector 9 market, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini Nagpal today convicted 30-year-old Minkel Bajaj, alias Balwinder Singh, a businessman from Muktsar, for the murder. The quantum of sentence will be announced on July 17.

The incident took place on July 13, 2010, when Tripat Deep Singh Sekhon, a youth Akali leader from Muktsar, was shot dead at the busy Sector 9 market. The victim was better known as ‘Tippa Sekhon’ in Muktsar.

The prosecution had established revenge as the motive behind the murder. Tippa along with others had allegedly made an obscene MMS of Minkel’s sister and circulated it. Though he was initially booked in the case, his name was later dropped form the chargesheet. Feeling that injustice was meted out to him, Minkel decided to eliminate Tippa and killed him.

The police had arrested Balwinder Singh, alias Minkel Bajaj, for the murder on July 28, 2010, 15 days after the crime. The police had recovered a .32 revolver and four cartridges from him.

On the day of the murder, Tripat had come to the Sector 7 residence of his cousin Paramjit Kaur. At 4.10 pm, Tripat received a call on his mobile phone asking him to come at the rear side of the Sector 9 market. Minkel then shot Tripat. Tripat was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital and from whrer he was referred to the PGI where he died.

‘Oral dying declaration was vital evidence’

Besides the revenge factor, oral dying declaration of Tripat was vital evidence in the case. When he was rushed to the hospital after being shot, the Akali leader told his sister, her friend and sub-inspector Dharampal that Minkel Bajaj had shot at him in the market as he wanted to take revenge

— Manu Kakkar, Public prosecutor



Home Guards volunteer’s son hypnotised, duped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
A 13-year-old son of a Home Guards volunteer with the Chandigarh Police was allegedly hypnotised by a ‘tantrik’ in Sector 20 to the jewellery from his house on Saturday evening.

The UT police is taking the incident with a pinch of salt and is verifying facts. The victim, Amit, is a resident of Police Colony in Sector 20. A student of Government School in Sector 19, he told the police that when he was returning from his tuition class in the evening, a person stopped him by taking his name. Dressed as a ‘tantrik’, the person told him that his family had fallen on bad days and his parents would die soon. He also narrated some of the things that had happened in his family in the recent past, like his uncle's accident.

Scared, the boy went to the ‘tantrik’ who said he will provide a solution to get rid of the bad omen and allegedly hypnotised the boy. The boy returned home, collected the gold jewellery in his schoolbag and handed it over to the ‘tantrik’.

The parents of the boy told the police that their son was crying when they told them that he had been duped. The police is investigating.


damaged pipeline
No respite from water shortage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Residents of Sectors 48 to 52, who have been facing shortage of water since a week, have to wait for a few more days for the normal supply. At least 20 per cent of the work on the damaged pipeline that supplies water is yet to be completed, said officials.

The residents of Sectors 48, 49, 50, 51 and 52 have been receiving less supply since the pipeline was damaged. The residents of Sectors 52 and 53 even staged a dharna and blocked a road against the poor water supply on Thursday.

During a visit to the spot, it was found that the pipeline supplying water to the area was yet to be repaired.

Meanwhile, the residents of the area said they had been receiving supply only in the morning till 8.30 am and that also at a low pressure.

When contacted, public health superintending engineer RC Diwan said alternative arrangements to supply water had been made. The repair work on the damaged pipeline will also be completed soon, he said.



Councillors support residents’ cause

Chandigarh, July 14
On the sixth day of fast, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) Federation campaign received support from councillors of the BJP, Akali Dal and BSP, as they sat on a daylong fast with members of the CHB and rehabilitation colonies at two different places.

Those who sat on the fast were Asha Jaswal, Heera Negi, Rajinder Kaur Rattu, Rajesh Gupta, Satinder Singh, Harjinder Kaur, Malkit Singh, Jannat Jahan and Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq.

The day started with the fast by five-member teams of volunteers at Sectors 29, 47, 46, 45, 44, 41, 40, 39, 56, 37, 32, 24, Mauli Jagran and Dhanas. –– TNS



Verandah encroachment rampant
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 14
Verandahs in the market areas have been encroached upon with impunity with the Municipal Corporation failing to evict the offenders, much to the annoyance of the residents who are denied the usage of these verandahs during rain.

The owners of eating joints, kiryana stores, sanitary stores and those selling electronic goods and bicycles have encroached upon the verandahs in various parts of the town according to their convenience, without bothering for shoppers who had to walk out in the open during rain or under scorching sun.

In Phase II, shopkeepers selling electronic goods and the owner of an eating joint have encroached upon the entire verandah. In Phase V, too, shopkeepers selling kiryana items have stacked their goods in the passage outside their shops. In another block those selling bicycles have hardly left any place for shoppers to walk through the verandah. Big confectioners have also put up their freezers and other items in the verandah. The situation is no better in Phase III B 2 and various other parts of the town.

A shopkeeper of Phase V said the corporation employees were not interested in getting the verandahs vacated as they earned huge sums of money allegedly through corruption. The anti-encroachment drives carried out by them were a mere eyewash as many shopkeepers were informed in advance about the action of the civic body. They also allegedly adopted a pick and chose policy.

Employees of the civic body, however, claimed that encroachments on the verandahs in markets could not be removed on a permanent basis because the police had failed to provide security cover to teams carrying out drives in this regard. They said recently a corporation employee was beaten up by lawyers when he had gone with his team to remove encroachments from outside the court complex. In the market areas also heated exchanges took place between shopkeepers and employees and the fear of attack by shopkeepers always lurked.

They said the corporation authorities had made repeated requests to the district administration to provide police force for carrying out anti-encroachment drives but nothing much had been done in this regard so far.

MC officials blame it on police

Employees of the civic body have claimed that encroachments on the verandahs in markets can’t not be removed on a permanent basis because the police has failed to provide security cover to teams carrying out drives in this regard. They said recently a corporation employee was beaten up by lawyers when he had gone with his team to remove encroachments from outside the court complex. In the market areas also heated exchanges took place between shopkeepers and employees and the fear of attack by shopkeepers always lurked



Bodies at loggerheads over community centre site
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

The site for the proposed community centre at Sector 2 in Panchkula.
The site for the proposed community centre at Sector 2 in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, July 14
The residents welfare society and the Eco Friendly Association seem to be at loggerheads over the setting up of a community centre at Sector 2 with the latter opposing the centre tooth and nail stating that this would disturb ecology of the area.

The residents said most retired defence officers were living in the serene surroundings and the presence of a community centre right next to their houses would disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the area.

One of the residents of the area, Col Harpreet Singh (retd), while talking to The Tribune, said they were not against the setting up of the community centre. If the district administration wants to set up a community centre it should built the same at some different place. The area of the park is around 1.2 acres while about 2 acres are required for setting up a community, he added.

Another resident, Ashwani Gupta, said a major part of the population in the area comprised retired defence officers and they had the facility of holding community functions in the Western Command area, which is about 1 km from the area. He said there was no requirement of a community centre in the area, as the existing Ram Temple has a big hall and rooms which were used for holding functions like marriage, condolence meetings and religious ceremonies.

Gupta said the site for the proposed community centre was also not suitable as the same was not connected to any main road or B road. If the centre was set up here, 12-foot-wide internal roads would be used by the people during functions, posing a risk to children and causing traffic problems around the park. Moreover, the residents don’t have any access to any green belt or park except for this piece of land which has been developed by the residents by planting ornamental trees. The corporation had constructed a pathway in the park, he added.

He said the site for the proposed community centre was adjacent to a nullah and the whole area gets flooded during monsoon.



‘Home Minister’s visit to city disappointing’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Satya Pal Jain, a former MP of Chandigarh, said Home Minister P Chidambaram’s visit to Chandigarh has been a total failure and disappointing for residents of the city.

He said residents of the city had been hoping that the Home Minister would make announcements regarding long pending issues of traders, employees, residents of villages and colonies, allottees of the Chandigarh Housing Board and other sections of the city.

However, the Home Minister did not make any announcement regarding acceptance of any of the long pending demands of the residents of the city.



Cadaver donation need of the hour

Chandigarh, July 14
A movement of cadaver donation of brain dead patients is need of the hour, as a donor can save many lives through the organs so donated. This was stated by PGI director YK Chawla while addressing a gathering on the installation ceremony of the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, on Friday.

He asked Rotarians to join the awareness campaign, which the PGI would be starting to encourage people to join the cadaver donation movement.

The PGI receives nearly five to six patients suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, who can be cured by liver transplant, he said. Cirrhosis is the acute situation where a patient can be saved only through the transplant, which can either be donated by a close relative or a cadaver, said Dr Chawla.

The newly elected president of Chandigarh midtown, Ritu Singal, assured of initiating work in this direction and also informed that the club would be setting up a woman-child centre for handling deliveries of women living in the Janta Colony. This is a big slum on the outskirt of Chandigarh with nearly 10,000 population where health needs are immense, she said.

She informed that the Rotarians would be making special efforts to work for “peace through service”, which is the theme of the Rotary Club this year, by ensuring better health and nutrition facilities for children, providing clean drinking water, generating traffic awareness and promoting voluntary blood donation to meet the growing need for blood in the tricity. — TNS



237 donate blood

Chandigarh, July 14
More than 237 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association (TCWA), Chandigarh, today.

The camp was held to help the needy, especially during the summer, when there is an acute shortage of blood.

The camp was conducted by a team of doctors and technicians headed by Dr Neelam Marwaha, head, department of blood transfusion, PGI, also a member of the association’s medical advisory board. — TNS



Constable of ITBP has fatal fall
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 14
An ITBP constable, Mahesh (29), who had recently participated in the ITBP pass-out parade, died after felling from a tree this morning.

According to the police, Mahesh had climbed a jamun tree in the ITBP complex in Ramgarh, Panchkula, but he lost balance and fell on the ground. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The police said the body has been kept in the mortuary of the hospital and the his relatives had been informed about the incident. 



Women urged to come forward
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 14
Women will have to come forward to fight the problem of female foeticide and only then it will be possible to witness positive results because women were themselves responsible for female foeticide to a great extent.

This was stated by Ajit Kaur Multani, District Programme Officer, at an awareness camp organized by the Department of Social Security, Women and Child Development at Durali village.

She said sex determination was a matter of grave concern and village panchayats and social welfare organisations should play a positive role to check the problem. Camps to create awareness were being organised in this regard in the villages of the district.

Pramod Bala, CPDO, Kharar block, said the aim of holding such camps was to unite women against female foeticide. Various social evils came into existence due to female foeticide.



Slum children take part in cultural programme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 14
About 417 children from various slums participated in a cultural programme organised at Hallmark Pubic School, Sector 15, today.

The took part in activities like nature walk, global village, texture art, art of origami and toon tango, scavengers hunt and animation.

Various NGOs, including Yuvsatta, DIR, Hamari Kaksha, Vatsal Chhaya, also participated in the international event Balakalakaar-2012, an initiative by AIESEC, Chandigarh. The event witnessed cross-cultural interaction among 600 participants, which included the Hallmark school children, underprivileged children and AIESEC volunteers. Principal Kavita Wadhwa and Director Jivtesh Garg said the underprivileged children were also introduced to basic etiquettes and conversational mannerism.



chandigarh scan
Function at PGI

The staff, parents and children at the Nivedita Crèche of PGIMER celebrated the king of fruits-Mango Day in an event held there. The children sang rhymes and songs to glorify the fruit. They drew and painted various picture of mangoes. They were also quizzed about various aspects of mango such as difference between raw and ripe mangoes.

Ice-cream festival

A two-day Ice-cream Flavour Festival was organised at the Sukhna Lake on Saturday evening. The festival attracted tourists and visitors, who relished different flavours of ice-creams while enjoying the rocking performance of Dezire. Parents with their children participated in various fun and frolic activities at the Sukhna Lake. The month of July is considered as the month of ice-cream, with this purpose CITCO organised this festival.

mohali scan
Approval for college

Aryans Group of Colleges, Chandigarh, has got the approval to start a nursing college from 2012-13. This approval has been given by the Indian Nursing Council (INC) to start GNM (General Nursing & Midwifery) course with 40 seats in Aryans Institute of Nursing (AIN). Before this, the Punjab government has already given NOC (No Objection Certificate) to Aryans Group. Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group of Colleges, said that after MBA college, engineering college, BBA-BCA college, BEd college and junior science college, now nursing college is another feather in the cap of the Aryans.

Traffic awareness programme

To enlighten the students of Classes XI to XII about traffic rules, a seminar by the traffic police authorities was organised at St Soldier School, Phase VII, Mohali. Divender Singh, Inspector Traffic Police, delivered a lecture in which he highlighted the significance of various traffic signals and how vital it is to abide by rules. He reiterated the various dos and don’ts to be observed during driving. Uses of helmets, wearing of seat belts, abstaining from usage of mobiles during driving were stressed upon. There was an interactive session in which the students asked about the punishments and fines for violating traffic rules. The seminar was also attended by the school bus drivers who were told to have a first aid box with them.

School function

Shamrock School Sector 69 celebrated “Ice-cream day” while enjoying different flavours of ice-cream. On this occasion children not only relished ice-creams but also participated in painting competition of ice-cream. Principal of the school (retd) Air Commander RK Sharma told the history of ice-cream to the children. The principal also said that ice-cream was first made in England. Apart from that he also talked about merits and demerits of eating ice-cream. The children enjoyed ice-cream of different flavours like mango, strawberry, butterscotch and chocolate.



Soon, Road safety in CBSE curriculum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
In an effort to make students more cautious about safety in roads, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is going to integrate road safety in its syllabus.

The National Council of Education Research and Technology (NCERT) is developing a road safety module that can be easily taught along with other subjects like science, history and civics.

“The central board is taking help from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to work out innovative ways to teach road safety. We are working on a syllabus that will make the subject more of a practical exercise rather than a theoretical one. We want the students to understand importance of road safety,” said a CBSE official.

In the initial stages, the new subject will be introduced to the students of Classes VIII to XII. In addition to the general traffic rules, the students will be introduced to the nuances of new age driving, especially on the upcoming flyovers. A section will also be included on first aid as well.

“It’s a great idea. Nowadays, youths start driving two-wheelers right from Class VII and thus it becomes very important for them to understand and to follow traffic norms. This is the best way to make them aware of rules and road safety. Teenagers are generally accused of rash driving and that is primarily because they are not aware of traffic rules. At times, parents give their children two-wheelers and four-wheelers before getting a valid license for them. The subject will help the youth to become more conscious,” said a city principal.



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