C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Conversion of industrial sites into commercial plots
Collector rate @ Rs 2 lakh per sq yard
Now pay Rs 1,23,55,200 as stamp duty for a 2,000 sq yard vacant converted plot in Industrial Area
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Those who got their industrial sites converted under the controversial conversion policy in Industrial Area, Phase I and II, are in for a shock.

The collector rate of the converted plots that are lying vacant have been fixed at Rs 2,05,920 per sq yard which is at par with the prime commercial properties in other parts of the city, excluding Sector 17, Madhya Marg and on the road separating Sectors 22, 35 and 34. The decision to fix the new collector rate for such plots has been taken by the committee headed by Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin.

This means that for a 2,000 sq yard vacant converted plot in Industrial Area, the collector rate would be Rs 41,18,40,000 and the buyer will now have to pay a stamp duty of Rs 1,23,55,200 (3 per cent of the collector rate in case of a leasehold plot) and Rs 2,05,92,000 (5 percent of the collector rate in case of freehold plot).

Similarly, for a 4,000 sq yard vacant converted plot, the collector rate would be Rs 82,36,80,000. With this, the buyer will have to pay a stamp duty of 2,47,10,400 (3 per cent of the collector rate in case of a leasehold plot) and Rs 4,11,84,000 (5 per cent in case of a freehold plot).

Last month, the administration had increased the collector rates of commercial and residential properties by 10 per cent.

However, members of the Converted Plot Owners' Association are not happy with the decision of the UT Administration. Chander Verma, president of the association, said that when the conversion policy was made, it was decided that the factors like disadvantage of location, relaxation in floor area ratio would be considered while deciding the collector rates of converted plots in Industrial Area.

Chander Verma questioned that how the administration could finalise the rates of plots in Industrial Area at par with the SCOs in other parts of the city. In Industrial Area, owners have to provide parking on their premises but in SCOs, the Municipal Corporation provides parking in front of their showrooms. Besides, the condition of roads in Industrial Area was bad compare to other roads in the city. Verma added that for a 2,000 sq yard plot, the buyer would now have to pay a stamp duty on around Rs 41 crore, but the market rate of the similar plot is not more than Rs 30 crore.

A senior official of the UT Administration said that earlier there were collector rates for industrial plots and converted plots in which commercial activities have started. But there was no category of those plots that had been converted but no commercial activity was going on such plots as they were still vacant.

As there were no rates finalised for such plots, the estate office was finding it difficult to deal with the registration of such plots. Recently, a proposal was forward to finalise collector rates of such plots as well, the official added.

Land use scheme

The Chandigarh Administration had notified the Chandigarh Conversion of Land Use of Industrial Sites into Commercial Activity/Services in Industrial Area, Phase-I and Phase-II, Chandigarh Scheme 2005. The scheme which was notified on July 11, 2005, made a provision for the conversion of land use for industrial plots into commercial sites on a conversion fees to be paid at the rate of Rs 20,000 per square yard. The scheme was to remain in operation for a period of two years and was to end on September 18, 2007. The response to the scheme was lukewarm initially. The administration, however, received applications for conversion in 2008. The administration extended the scheme for six months and subsequently came up with a revised conversion fees which was increased to Rs 29,000 per square yard. Around 125 industrialists opted for conversion and out of them, around 30 have started commercial activities. Some cases are under litigation in the court as well.



India Post declares power official dead
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A note written on the returned letter: ‘Maut ho chuki hai’ (the person is dead)
A note written on the returned letter: ‘Maut ho chuki hai’ (the person is dead). Tribune photo: S Chandan

Panchkula, October 9
A deputy director in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, Gurmukh Singh, got the biggest shock of his life on World Postal Day when the India Post today declared him dead in their intra-department communication after it failed to deliver a letter to him sent by a Panchkula resident.

Gurmukh Singh came to know about his 'death' only after DK Syal, a resident of Sector 15, who had sent the latter, called on his mobile phone to know from his family members about how it happened. But he was surprised when he heard Gurmukh speaking on the other end. Both realised the faux pass on the part of India Post.

The letter sent to Gurmukh Singh mentions 'maut ho gai hai' (the person is dead).

"What can I say? See I am talking to you, so it means I am alive," said Gurmukh Singh.

"I got the letter back today from the Panchkula post office. When I asked the postmaster concerned why he returned the letter, he said the person whom I had sent the letter was already dead," said Syal.

He suffered a shock when he heard that Singh was no more. When Syal called to know about Singh's death, the 'deceased' picked up the phone and said that nothing had happened to him and he was alive. "He answered my call and I asked him that are you alive? He said what will happen to me… see I am talking to you and fit and fine," said Syal.

Syal retired from the power corporation and wanted to send some important income tax IT papers to Singh who deals with the pension matters too.

When contacted, postmaster at the Panchkula post office, Sector 15, Rajesh Kumar said: "We returned the letter because we were informed by the Chandigarh post office at Sector 17 that the person had died."

When contacted, senior postmaster of the Chandigarh post office Narender Kumar said: "I will check with my delivery staff as to why alive person has been declared dead."



2 police constables thrashed near Attawa roundabout
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Resentment against policemen is growing. In yet another case of police personnel being assaulted, two constables of the cheetah squad of the Police Control Room (PCR) were beaten up near the Attawa roundabout in Sector 36 last night.

They were patrolling on bikes at night when they were beaten up with sticks and their uniform was torn. The police managed to nab only one of the assailants and three of them managed to flee.

The incident took place at 12.30 am when the police control room received a call of a quarrel at the Attawa roundabout. The two constables, identified as Dei Ram and Vikas, signalled a bike to stop. The motorcyclists abused the police and tried to flee. The two constables, who were also on bike, chased the two youths and a violent scuffle ensued. The youths started beating up the two constables. They also called their accomplices who also thrashed the constables with sticks.

The police reached the spot and arrested Mukesh, a resident of Kajheri. His accomplices, however, managed to flee. A case has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Sub-inspector Rajeev Kumar, in charge, Sector 43 police post, said efforts were on to arrest the accused.

20 cases in 3 months

On October 3, a traffic police constable was slapped in full public view at the grain market roundabout in Sector 26. The constable, Des Raj, was regulating traffic when he signalled a carriage auto to stop for checking. The auto driver thrashed the constable. Over 20 such cases of assault on police have been registered in the past three months.



Cops' daughters fresh victims of eve-teasing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Two girls, aged 14 years, both daughters of UT police constables, became victims of eve-teasing when a youth in a Lancer car allegedly passed comments and also threatened them in the Sector 40 market today.

The incident took place at around 8 pm when the two girls were standing in the market and a youth stopped his car near them. The youth then started conversation with the girls to which they objected. The youth said the weather was pleasant and they should accompany him in his car. One of the girls then told the youth that she would break the windowpanes of his car and he should go away. The youth got agitated and took out a rod from his car. He threatened both the girls and sped away. Frightened, the girls called the police control room and narrated the incident. They also noted down the number of the car (CH-04C-0313).

The police acted on the information and traced the car number to a house in Mohali. The police raided the house but the youth was not residing there. Investigations were on at the time of filing this report and a case of eve-teasing and criminal intimidation under Sections 294 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

Both the girls are daughters of police constables with the UT police and their fathers also reached the police station. While one of the constables chose not to give any complaint, the other constable submitted a complaint and said he wanted to pursue the case and nab the offender who eve-teased his daughter.

NZ-returned youth arrested

The police arrested 24-year-old Simar Pal Singh, who recently returned from New Zealand, for allegedly eve-teasing the two girls. Simar Pal, who is a resident of Phase X, Mohali, is to get married in January. He has been arrested by the police of the Sector 39 police station and the Lancer car has also been impounded.



Mini Olympics or money minting game
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
In the name of organising five-day Mini Olympics-2012, a city-based private firm, under the patronage of the Chandigarh Olympic Association (COA), seems to have thrown all norms to wind if the opening day of the event was any indication.

The first day witnessed players from other states participating in the tourney. Schoolzworld.com, the organisers were seen charging hefty amount from the participants in the name of the entry fee and were seen conducing ‘non-affiliated’ games. The players were not even provided basic amenities like potable water on the field. The fields were not properly marked and the matches were conducted in the absence of field umpires.

Incidentally, the Chandigarh Olympic Association has not organised the Chandigarh state games since 2005, but has shown interest in supporting the private firm in organising the Mini Olympics.

When contacted, officials of the Chandigarh Olympics Association distanced themselves from the flaws and said Schoolzworld.com was organising the event.

“The COA is only supporting the private company. We are helping them to organise the games. The games are only for the players of the tricity as. The COA has no direct role to play in the games. We organise state games only,” said Ravinder Talwar, secretary of the COA.

On participation of players from Haryana, he said: “I don’t know about this but will check tomorrow.” On conducting non-affiliated games like table soccer and squay martial, he said: “This is for the organisers to decide. Last year, they had 17 events and the same has been increased this year. The certificates have no value but a mere document to boost the sportsmanship,” said Talwar.

“The organisers are providing diet and a free T-shirts to players. Besides, they are giving Rs 15,000 per event for the smooth conduction of the tournament to the associations affiliated to the COA,” said Talwar.

Last month, the executive committee of the Chandigarh Olympic Association had met to discuss the hold the Mini Olympics-2012. But instead of organising the state games, the COA called a special meeting for conducting the Mini Olympics. The meeting was presided over by Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, president, Chandigarh Olympic Association and chairman of the organising committee of Mini Olympics and Ravinder Talwar, general secretary, Chandigarh Olympic Association.

The director of Schoolzworld.com, Vikas Dhaiya, said the COA was helping them with the technical staff. On getting concession in booking the grounds, he said: “They help us to get some concession.” When asked about participation of players for other states, he said: “We are not providing them boarding and lodging. But when told that the brochure only mentions tricity schools, he said: “It’s a punch line. It was used in last edition of the tourney, so we carried with it,” said Dhaiya.

Dhaiya said he was facing a loss of Rs 5 lakh in organising the games. “I organise free seminars on sports and promote sports in many areas. But this time, I am running in losses. We were expecting a good corporation from the corporate world,” said Dhaiya.

Around Rs 5 lakh has been collected in the form of entry fee from players. Besides, there are three private sponsors. Officials of the COA said the players were getting free diet and a T-shirt. The winners might get medals or trophies.


MC, UT reluctant to impose house tax
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The MC and UT authorities are still reluctant to implement the house tax in the city despite the fact that the UT Administration is losing on the grant-in-aid that it receives from the Centre.

In June, a cut of Rs 10 crore was confirmed by the Union Government on the grant-in -aid under the JNNRUM to the Union Territory. The UT Administration however is adopting a lackadaisical approach and has not yet asked the municipal corporation to impose the house tax at the earliest.

The UT administration has only been issuing instructions for the past more than a year to the corporation about the imposition of house tax and sending them reminders, but no stringent action has been taken by the administration for imposition of the tax.

UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar said that the administration had asked the corporation to impose house tax as it was their duty to do so. He said that the administration wanted to give enough time to the corporation to impose it before taking any action on their own.

In April, at a joint meeting with the UT and MC officials on the budget of the corporation, UT Administrator Shivraj Patil had directed the administration to send a letter to the corporation for imposing house tax or else the authorities would initiate action on their own in this regard.

During the meeting, officials of the administration raised objection that despite a number of reminders sent to the corporation, it had not taken any action to impose house tax in the city. In August, Mayor Raj Bala Malik had assured the administration that the House Tax Committee would soon draft the slabs of the tax and table it in the general house meeting for its approval. But the fact is that till date the House Tax Committee has not asked the MC officials to prepare a draft of slabs or conduct any survey on the categories of the house in the city.



We were not harsh on drunk students, claims SP (City)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Defending its stand on rounding up school students who were found in an inebriated state in the classroom yesterday, the police today said their action was never harsh and they had only acted upon the information received at the police control room.

The police had yesterday rounded up four students of Gyandeep School in Sector 20 who were found in an inebriated state inside the classroom. The police’s action has received flak from the city’s sociologists who term the police’s action as too severe. They felt that the police could have dealt with the issue in a subtle way.

The students were brought to the police station and then taken for medical examination at the Government Multi Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 where their medical examination was conducted.

“Our action was never harsh. We had received a call at the police control room that some school students are drinking inside the school premises. We then entered the school and found the information to be true. The medical examination of the students was conducted since we suspected them to be drunk. We only prepared a report and sent it to the DPI (Schools) and no case has been registered so far,” said SP (city) Desraj Singh.



CTU bus drivers block traffic
One of their colleagues thrashed by auto-rickshaw drivers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The traffic remained blocked on the intersection of Sectors 35 and 36 when CTU bus drivers plying on the route went on strike in protest against one of their colleagues who was bashed up by auto-rickshaw drivers.

The bus driver, Miha Singh, told the police that four auto-rickshaw drivers stopped their vehicles in front of his bus and began bashing him up. Taking the issue seriously, the CTU bus drivers halted their buses on the roundabout.

The strike ended after two hours when the police assured them that action would be taken against the auto-rickshaw drivers.

The CTU workers’ Union has demanded that stern action be taken against auto-rickshaw drivers who park their auto in front of the bus queue shelters.



general house meeting
Councillors clueless on action taken against officials
Had submitted memorandum to UT Adviser after walkout
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Confusion prevails among the municipal corporation councillors over the issue of deadlock between the officials and councillors after the walkout by the officials from the last general house meeting. Even in a special all-party meeting convened here today by Mayor Raj Bala Malik on the issue, the councillors were clueless about what directions the UT Adviser had given to the officials after the councillors had submitted a memorandum against them.

The Mayor informed the councillors that she had not received any official communication from the Adviser or MC Commissioner about what action had been taken against the officials on the memorandum submitted by them.

At the meeting, the councillors raised a point with the Mayor that before carrying out the routine meetings with the officials, assurance should be given by them that such practice will not be followed, in future, at any meeting. The councillors also asked the Mayor to clarify as to what instructions hadbeen received from the UT Adviser at a meeting with all the head of the departments a few days ago.

At the meeting, the councillors suggested that a joint meeting of councillors and officials should be called to clear the air. After meeting with the councilors, the Mayor also spoke to MC Commissioner VP Singh and asked him to clarify on the issue. The MC Commissioner said that after discussing the matter with the MC official, he get back to the Mayor.

In the last general house, all officials who were sitting in the officers gallery walked out from the house in protest against the unparliamentarily language used by the councillors. In fact 18officials of the Municipal Corporation, who are on deputation from Punjab and Haryana states, had also decided to go on mass leave till their repatriation to their parental states.



385 commercial vehicles challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
To curb the tendency of plying unauthorised vehicles with incomplete documents and driving overloaded vehicles, the State Transport Authority, carried out intensive checking campaign of commercial vehicles recently. Over 1,900 transport vehicles were checked and 385 were challaned or impounded.

By compounding the above challans, Rs. 8,36,300 were recovered as compounding fee. Secretary, STA, Balbir Singh Dhol, advised the people to keep complete documents in their vehicles. Schools and school bus operators were advised to engage only those drivers who had experience of minimum five years of driving heavy vehicle.



Assault on girl
Accused held after joining investgations

Chandigarh, October 9
After remaining absconding for over three weeks, three assailants, wanted for assaulting college student Komal Kohli, joined the police investigation today and were arrested.

Accused Lakhbir Singh, Khushwinder and Sukhwinder Singh were arrested today and the police has added charges of criminal intimidation and bid to kidnap in the FIR registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Three youths in a white color Swift car had allegedly attacked Komal at a bus stop in Sector 42 and tried to abduct her in the car. The police faced a lot of criticism from various quarters when the three accused were released on bail hours after their arrests on the same day. — TNS



crime review
Police officials learn managerial skills

Chandigarh, October 9
At a weekly crime review meeting held at the Police Headquarters here today, the police officers were taught managerial skills.

SP (city) Desraj Singh, who convened the meeting, told the SHOs to be adept in managing police station. The SHOs were directed to follow all Standard Operating Procedures and to maintain monitoring registers.

Explaining the importance of revision, the SP asked the police officers to revise all entries and to keep a track of all court cases. He told the officers to prepare themselves for every court hearing. He also asked the officers to be thorough with the case procedures.

For improving infrastructure in police stations, a weekly survey of each police station would be conducted to know its deficiencies. For better coordination and work culture, the SHOs were asked to hold meetings with the staff twice daily. The SP further emphasised that the SHO should have a sympathetic view towards the genuine problems of the staff and there should be no favouritism.

Besides, the police officers were also trained to be polite and courteous while dealing with the staff and public. — TNS



Woman slapped by female lab technician at P’kula hospital
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 9
High drama was witnessed at the general hospital in Sector 6 this afternoon when a patient’s attendant was allegedly manhandled by a female laboratory technician here today. Yogita Gaba, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula, had gone to the hospital to get the blood test report of her sister-in-law when she was allegedly slapped by the technician.

“Yogita had asked the lab technician to give the reports but she was asked to wait. After having waited for a long time, she asked again for the reports at which the lady technician misbehaved with her and also slapped her,” said Kishan Singh, a resident of Raipurrani, who was present on the spot.

“Later a number of other lab technicians came on the spot and started manhandling Yogita,” he added.

When contacted, the Principal Medical officer (PMO), Usha Gupta, said, "There are so many patients that the staff gets overburdened. But I have marked an enquiry to the RMO.”



PU student leaders oppose Rahul’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The visit of the Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi to Panjab University on October 11 has received strong opposition from various student organisations that feel the campus is turning into an arena for the national politics. The student organisations demanded that the permission for holding the event should be cancelled.

The event is being organised by the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) and the National Student’s Union of India (NSUI).

Members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Student Organisation of India (SOI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) criticised the university authorities for allowing the event to take place on the campus.

SFI leaders, in their representation to the authorities, opposed the “political visit” of Rahul Gandhi. “SFI also condemns the permission to conduct such a political rally at an academic institution,” SFI leader Loveneet Thakur said.

PUSU leaders threatened that if the the permission to hold the event was not withdrawn immediately, they would stage a protest against the PU authorities. “The performance by a Punjabi singer with blaring music will also be disturbing the classes as the venue is in the open and not the auditorium,” said PUSU leader Sumit Goklaney.



Mess food to cost more
Contractors propose hike of Rs 5 per diet to PU authorities
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The spiraling cooking gas prices might burn a hole in the pockets of Panjab University hostel residents with university authorities all set to hike the mess charges. The mess contractors have proposed a hike of Rs 5 per diet that presently costs Rs 24. There are eight boys’ and girls’ hostels with over 6,000 residents at Panjab University, who will have to face the brunt.

All the 32 mess contractors have written to the university demanding an immediate hike in the food rates. They said otherwise they would be forced to shut down their messes.

Tilak Raj Sharma, a mess contractor at Boys’ Hostel No 1, said up till September 13 they used to purchase an LPG cylinder for Rs 407, which now costs Rs 1,180. “For the price of three cylinders, we are now getting one cylinder. How can the university expect us to run the mess on the exiting rates?” he said. A representation stating the increasing prices of vegetables and pulses was also submitted to the university by the mess contractors. A mess contractor also approached the university authorities willing to vacate the mess due to losses.

According to the contractors, around 50 gas cylinders are used every month in each mess which used to cost them around Rs 20,350; however, now they have to purchase the same number of gas cylinders for Rs 59,000.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said that a preliminary meeting over the issue had been held and the increased cost per diet came out to be Rs 5. “A final meeting over the hike will be held later this week. The revised rate of diet at Rs 29 will be introduced with effect from October 1,” he said.

The previous hike took place in January this year, when the rate per diet was revised from Rs 22 to Rs 24.



Protesting CCET students ask Admn to intervene
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The protesting students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, have approached the UT Administration, seeking its intervention in addressing their problems. The students met Additional Secretary (Home) Prerna Puri and discussed their problems with her.

After the meeting, students said that they had been given an assurance that all the issues would be considered on a priority basis.

The students, meanwhile, boycotted the classes for the second day. After their meeting with the UT officials, students also met the college principal.

The students, after the meeting, decided to resume their classes from tomorrow if the principal addressed the students in the morning and discussed the action taken report with them.



pu senate
Student leaders meet VP to press their demand for representation
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president and Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) leaders met Vice-President Hamid Ansari to press their demand for the Senate representation at New Delhi today.

Making an effort to ensure that the students get a representation in the PU Senate, PUCSC president Satinder Singh and SOPU president Manoj Lubana had a brief meeting with the Vice-President, who is also the Chancellor of the university. The student leaders also submitted a memorandum to him.

Lubana said that the Chancellor had assured them that he would be calling another meeting with the students before finalising the list of the nominated members to the Senate. “We are hopeful of getting a representation for students in the Senate as the Chancellor has again called us for a meeting,” Lubana said.

Lubana said that like the presidents of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) and Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA) are permanently nominated to the senate, the PUCSC president should also get a permanent representation.

There are a total of 91 members in the Senate, out of which 36 are nominated by the Vice-President. Elections are held on 47 seats, while two seats are reserved for MLA’s from Punjab, one each from the ruling and the opposition parties. The remaining six seats are occupied by ex-officio members.

The final list of the nominated members would be declared during the last week of this month. The new Senate will come into effect from November 1.



Tech fest at Mullana college from tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ambala, October 9
Guru Nanak Institutions, Mullana, is organising a four-day technical and management festival from October 11.

The fest, “iGNIte-12... provoking ideas”, would aim at fostering the inherent talent of students through various activities, the college authorities said.

The fest will commence with a workshop on “Ethical Hacking” by Sahil Baghla, considered to be the leading hacker of India.



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