C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No lessons learnt from PGI exam scam
  PCS aspirants not frisked at examination centres in city; metal detectors missing; 45,000 take test
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Not learning any lessons from the PGI entrance exam cheating racket unearthed by the CBI, the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) conducted the examination for the Punjab Civil Services (PCS) at various centres in the city without frisking students. The centres did not have metal detectors.

The PGI had drawn flak for not frisking students and allowing sophisticated electronic gadgets into examination halls, that led to massive cheating. The PPSC does not seem to have learnt anything from the PGI experience.

The PPSC had uploaded information on its website that frisking flying squads of the Punjab Police were being constituted to raid examination centers. Students claimed that no such raids were held.

Around 45,000 candidates appeared at 124 examination centres in the city.

The disclosure of high-tech gadgets and sophisticated mobile phones, special clothes fitted with sophisticated devices for cheating during the PGI entrance exam, held on November 10, had left CBI sleuths shocked.

Despite this, metal detectors were not installed at examination centers for the PPSC examination. No manual frisking was done at the examination centres. Identity cards and roll numbers of candidates were, however, checked at the entry gates.

Amrik Singh, one of the candidates who appeared at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, said there was no frisking at the entry gates to check if a candidate was carrying a mobile phone or any other gadget.

Videography of candidates entering the examination halls was done. Students said this was not enough to keep a record of the candidates who appeared for the examination. “Since students were entering in groups, vidoegraphing everyone was not possible,” said Amit Khanna, another candidate.

The preliminary examination was held in two shifts from 10 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm.

Himanshu Singla, a candidate who appeared at Manav Mangal School, Sector 21, said no one came to the examination centre to frisk the students. Only invigilators were present. “I feel that the authorities should have learnt a lesson from the PGI cheating scam,” he said. 



GMSH gives X-ray norms the go-by
 Exposes waiting patients to harmful radiations during tests 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Exposing a number of patients to the risk of “chronic ailments”, radiographers at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, have been found to be violating norms by allowing exposure of waiting patients to radiations.

A random survey conducted by Chandigarh Tribune, twice in the past two weeks, found that radiographers were not only keeping the X-ray room open while performing the test on patients, but were also allowing other patients to enter the room.

Under the guidelines of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), it is mandatory for radiographers not to allow more than one patient in the room at a time and also provide lead aprons to the patient to save other body parts from exposure to radiations.

The board guidelines also make it mandatory for hospitals to ensure signage indicating ionising radiations on doors of X-ray rooms. No such signage was seen outside the X-ray room of the hospital.

According to experts in the field of radiography, while "no specified outcome of exposure to radiations has been established so far", it is proven that exposure to radiations makes patients susceptible to cancers and skin diseases. The exposure of an expectant woman to X-ray radiations can hinder the mental growth of her child.

Owing to lack of awareness, a number of patients can be seen sitting inside the X-ray room.

“I was not aware that radiations reach all corners of the X-ray room. If that is the case, the radiographer concerned should have told us to wait outside,” said one of the patients at the hospital. 

Hospital's take
The Medical Superintendent of the GMSH-16, Dr Rajiv Vadera, said, “This practice has not come to our notice so far. We will look into the matter. If this is the case, the radiographers concerned will be punished for putting the life of patients to risk.”

Can cause cancer, skin diseases?
According to experts in the field of radiography, while "no specified outcome of exposure to radiations has been established so far", it is proven that exposure to radiations makes patients susceptible to cancers and skin diseases. The exposure of an expectant woman to X-ray radiations can hinder the mental growth of her child.



UT has big solar power plans
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Buoyed by the success of the two solar photovoltaic power plants of 50 kWp capacity each, installed at different public buildings in the city, the UT’s Department of Science and Technology is now all set to sell power.

Solar power will be sold to the UT Electricity Department after getting the necessary permission from the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC). At present, both power plants generate around 200 units each daily. The power is being "pumped into" the grid system. In a year, each Science & Technology wing to sell power to Electricity Dept plant will generate 65,000 units.

“The department is filing a petition before the JERC,” said Santosh Kumar, Director, Science and Technology. Once the rates of power were decided by the JERC, the department would start selling power generated from the solar power plants. At present, the UT electricity department purchases power from other boards and corporations under a power purchase agreement.

Once decided, the soaring power demand and dwindling supply would be met from the alternative source of energy. “Against an availability of around 200 MW, the peak power demand crosses the 300 MW mark. As a result, rotational power cuts and unscheduled cuts are imposed during the summer,” said an official.

The operational grid inter-active solar power plants are installed at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9, Paryavaran Building, Sector 19, and Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 46-D. While the solar plants in Sectors 9 and 19 were installed three months ago, the third one in Sector 46 has been made functional three days ago.

In addition, solar plants are being installed at Burail Jail (100 kWp), the Government College of Men, Sector 11 (436 kWp), the Government College for Girls (495 kWp) and the PEC University of Technology (1,300 kWp). Under the project, solar plants of around 1,800 kWp capacity will be installed over the next one year.

As part of a project to make Chandigarh a model solar city, smaller solar plants of smaller capacity are also being installed on government houses. The department is installing solar water heating systems on 574 government houses in Sectors 7 and 16. “The department will offer 30 per cent subsidy on solar plants,” said an official. 

Solar power plants in city (including those of Punjab, Haryana)

* Judicial Academy, Sector 43

* Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), Sector 34

* Punjab Mini-Secretariat

* The Punjab and Haryana Assembly

* GSSS, Sector 46

* Paryavaran Bhavan, Sector 19

* UT Secretariat, Sector 9 



Shortage of sand, gravel hits projects in Mohali 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 25
Shortage of sand and gravel has hit work on most of the projects in the district. Contractors of these projects are in a catch-22 situation as they will be charged hefty penalties in case they fail to meet the deadlines of the projects. The government is also in a fix as the cost of these projects will increase due to the delay.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has banned mining.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam admitted that several big ongoing projects in the district had either come to a standstill or work on these had slowed down drastically.

Among the most-affected projects is a multi-storeyed bus stand at Phase VI. The project has jumped the deadline six times. The company, which is now on the job under a built-operate-transfer (BOT) model, has sought six months more to complete it.

Another project, the construction of a district administrative complex at Sector 76, has been getting delayed for various reasons. With about 40 per cent job done, work on the Rs 75-crore project has now virtually come to a halt. An official looking after the project said the delay would increase the cost of the project substantially.

A Rs 30-crore sports complex project in Phase 9 has also jumped its deadline (March 6, 2012). Due to a shortage of sand and gravel, the work on the project has slowed down, while construction work on around four other stadia in the town is yet to take off.

Similarly, work on the construction of an SDM office at Kharar has virtually come to a halt. This despite the fact that 90 per cent of the work has already been completed. The deadline of June 12 has already passed.

Similarly, work on the Rs 6.5-crore Modern Cattle Fair Ground project at Daun village has been halted. The same is the case with other projects, including the six-laning of the Mullanpur-Kurali road, construction of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras in various villages under the MGNREGA, civil works in various primary health centres and construction of toilets and classrooms in various schools under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan.

A contractor associated with on of these projects said on condition of anonymity that all contractors of various government projects were in a catch-22 situation. “If we don’t meet the deadline, we will have to pay a hefty penalty. Since we are not getting raw material, how can we complete the projects on time,” he said, adding that many a time they (the contractors) had to buy sand and gravel on the black market to carry on with the work.

A senior administrative official said the government was finding it hard to get contractors for various works. “Their contention is that how can they meet the deadline when construction material is not available and why should they pay penalties,” said the official, adding that no contractor was ready to take up the job of laying new paver blocks in various parts of the town. 



Chivalry dead on board CTU buses!
 Men found occupying seats reserved for women 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
Chivalrous men on board Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses are a passe. Leave aside offering seats for women, they have no qualms about occupying seats reserved for women.

A random survey conducted by Chandigarh Tribune on four CTU buses yesterday revealed the "apathy" of both male passengers and the bus staff towards women passengers.

In all five buses boarded between Sector 17, Panjab University, IT Park and Mohali (Phase I), while it was clearly mentioned at the back of the seats that these were reserved for women, men were found occupying these.

Shockingly, even conductors and drivers seemed ignorant about the privilege for women.

Vineeta Arora, an IT professional who works in a software development company in IT Park, said, “Gone are the days when men would stand up and offer us a seat. Now, they keep sitting on seats reserved for women. Not even once have I found these seats kept reserved for women. I have been commuting in buses for the past one year. Whoever finds these seats vacant on boarding a bus, occupies these immediately. Initially, I questioned a conductor for a  failing to ensure that seats were reserved for women, the elderly and the handicapped, but to no avail. I have stopped bothering about it now.”

Another commuter, Pragati Mehra, on her way from Sector 17 to Manimajra said, “What matters the most to these conductors and drivers is to sell maximum number of tickets. They are least bothered about the privilege for women.”

Director, CTU, TPS Phoolka said, “These provisions have been there since long and we ensure that these are followed strictly. We will pull up conductors and drivers if such violations come to our notice.”

A study conducted on 200 buses plying across Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh by the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, determined that only 12 per cent buses had seats reserved for senior citizens, the physically challenged and women.

The study was conducted by the Department of Community Medicine at the GMCH, Sector 32, for a period of three months in 2010.

The study concluded that “drivers and conductors needed to undergo annual orientation programmes.”

About 200 CTU buses ply in the tricity. 

finally, some action
On March 23 this year, the judiciary set its own house in order and directed the Administration to remove tents pitched outside judges’ houses. But it seems several serving and retired bureaucrats of Punjab and Haryana have failed to take a cue from it.


Government steps fail tocheck wheat flour prices 
Rates have gone up by Rs 30 per bag in last fortnight
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
It’s a strange economic paradox. At a time when the government’s granaries are brimming with wheat stocks, the common man is forced to bear the brunt of a sharp hike in prices of wheat flour. Prices of wheat have gone up by Rs 30 per bag in the past fortnight.

From Rs 220 per bag (10 kg) till a fortnight back, the prices of wheat flour have gone up to Rs 250 per bag now. Some of the branded wheat flour manufacturers have hiked rates to Rs 270-Rs 280 per bag. At this time last year, the prices of wheat varied between Rs 170-Rs 180 per bag for non branded flour and Rs 190-Rs 200 per bag for branded flour.

Gian Chand Gupta, president of Chandigarh Chakki Owners Association, rued that while the common man was forced to shell out more to buy wheat flour-the staple north Indian diet-the government was busy exporting wheat. “The buffer stock with the government is estimated to be over 300 lakh metric tonnes, and over 35 lakh metric tonnes have been exported. But there is a scarcity of wheat for the flour mills, leading to price rise,” he said.

Interestingly, the prices have risen in spite of the corrective steps taken by the government to release additional wheat under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). Seeing the escalating prices of wheat flour and to control food inflation, the government has recently announced its decision to release 65 lakh metric tonnes of wheat in the open market. This wheat would be processed into flour and refined flour and its by-products. Of the 65 lakh metric tonnes that are to be released between October 2012 and March 2013, one lakh metric tonnes have just been released for Punjab and Chandigarh each.

Trade sources said that though the release order for this wheat has not been made by Food Corporation of India (FCI), the announcement of the wheat being released has helped in stemming the prices. “The prices could have gone up further, had the FCI not announced the release of one lakh metric tonnes of wheat each for Punjab and Chandigarh,” said Naresh Ghai, president of Punjab Flour Mills Association.

He said that while prices of non branded wheat flour have stabilised, the branded wheat flour prices have gone up. “This is mainly because the branded flour mills purchase wheat from across the country, and not just from Punjab. Initially, the flour mills in Punjab were forced to pay an additional Rs 200 per quintal on the reserve price of wheat under the OMSS, because of higher taxes on wheat levied by the Punjab government. This was making trade uncompetitive for us.

Following our representation to the government, this anomaly has been corrected and prices of wheat released in all states have been made uniform, by increasing the rate from Rs 1285 to Rs 1484 per quintal. As a result, the branded wheat flour manufacturers have to pay an additional cost to buy wheat, which is being passed on to consumers,” he said.

Price conundrum

* Branded wheat flour manufacturers have hiked rates to Rs 270-Rs 280 per bag

* At this time last year, the prices were Rs 190-Rs 200 per bag 



Defence experts advocate tough posture against China
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
While holding the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru responsible for the 1962 debacle against China because of his alleged failure to assess the emerging geo-political situation and interpret Chinese intentions, security experts advocated that India should adopt a tough posture vis-a-vis its assertive northern neighbour.

Highlighting heavy Chinese involvement in key Indian strategic sectors like energy and communications, which have significant proportions of Chinese equipment, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy cautioned that Chinese penetration into Indian economy through a vast network of political and corporate lobbies had serious security implications. He was speaking at a seminar on "India and China: After Five Decades of Sino-India War” organised by the Centre for Security and Strategy here today.

Pointing out that deception was an inherent aspect of Chinese diplomacy, he said China did not take conflict lightly and went to war only after assessing the entire global situation and ensuring that it had considerable international support. He said before the Sino-Indian conflict, it had entered into a secret pact with the US that Americans would not come to India’s assistance.

Stressing that time had come for India to adopt the policy of tit-for-tat vis-a-vis China, Bharat Karnad, a Research Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, said historical experience showed that the policy of appeasement being pursued by India was not viable. He said it was vital that India developed and enhanced its strategic capabilities like China was doing.

Former Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis said the 1962 defeat was the manifest of the polity being enveloped in “falsehood” and failure to read the writing on the wall by Nehru, “who had surrendered vital national security interests in his ambition to become a world leader”.

He also delved upon the Air Force’s role in the more recent 1999 Kargil conflict and clarified on why IAF’s armed helicopters, requested for by the Army, were not the right war machines for deployment in the mountains during the conflict. He was also opposed to the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff on the grounds that adopting a system in vogue in the West was not ideal in the Indian context and that three service chiefs jointly had more convincing powers than a single individual during national security deliberations with the government.

Former Army Chief Gen VP Malik said “forward policy” during the months preceding the war was without application of mind because it was ordered without assessing our own strength, capabilities of air power and building infrastructure for the troops. He added that the then Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, had informed Nehru through a letter in November 1950 that the Chinese government was trying to delude us by professions of peaceful intentions. He also termed the government’s decision of not using the Air Force in 1962 as an "unforgettable error of judgment".



Rocking end to Chandigarh Carnival
Tribune News Service

Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik sings a song; and (right) Polish artistes present a dance item during the concluding day of the Chandigarh Carnival at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik sings a song; and (right) Polish artistes present a dance item during the concluding day of the Chandigarh Carnival at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan & Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 25
The Chandigarh Carnival concluded here today with the spellbound performance by Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik. Thousands of people visited the three-day festivities enjoying various activities of their interest.

Today, city dwellers and children were seen listening to folk artistes, licking ice creams, enjoying humpy bumpy camel rides, trips on vibrant floats created by the students of the Government College of Arts.

The tattoo-making section was full with so many tiny tots looking fabulous with colorful tattoos in the shape of cartoon characters on their faces.

The sunny cozy morning in the Carnival village began with the performances by NZCC artists. It was an open opportunity for amateur budding artists to explore their talent at the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy stall with melodious old songs.

Around 100 students of the Government College of Arts, Sector-10, were engaged in making colorful floats on the theme “Dreamland”. The results of the best five floats were announced today.

The cash prizes were bagged by seven teams headed by Vikas (concept aqua) and second prize by Narinder (concept dreamland Cassel). As many as 40 activity stalls were put up during the carnival. To motivate the exhibitors, the Chandigarh Administration gave awards to the best five exhibitors in the carnival.

The first prize went to Home Science College, while the second prize was bagged by the Centre for Education and Voluntary Action.



All-weather pool nears completion
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 25
With the all weather swimming, the first of its kind in Panchkula, coming up at Mansa Devi Complex near completion, the residents of Panchkula will not have to wait for the summers now to enjoy a plunge in the pool.

Work on a recreation hall and a health club is in the final stages at the Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula.
Work on a recreation hall and a health club is in the final stages at the Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Parvesh chauhan

Coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore, the unique feature of the pool is that the water of the pool would be heated using solar energy.

“The much awaited all weather swimming pool will take just another two months. In fact, only the furniture part is left, rest everything is complete,” said a senior official of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

He further added, “We had invited tenders for the furniture and by new year, not only the pool but also the whole club will be ready.”

“The best part of the pool is its location. It is located at the foothills and surrounded by a hundred-acre recreational park. The pool has been developed to provide facilities to the residents,” said another HUDA official.

A gymkhana club and a recreational park are also coming up in the vicinity.

“People don’t have to wait for the summers to have a plunge in the pool. Other than usual features such as glazed tiles and a water filter for purification, the most unique feature of the pool is that it would be heated using solar energy as a backup,” said the official.

In order to conserve energy, solar panels on the building roof to heat the water will be installed. A provision to use electricity as well, particularly during monsoon or winter season when there is fog, will also be there but its use will be limited as far as possible.

The HUDA official said if this project is a success in the township, HUDA would contemplate with more such projects in other cities like Gurgaon. He also said they have finalised the blue print. At present, Panchkula has three swimming pools and none of which is all weather.

“When it comes to recreational facilities, Panchkula has been lagging behind. We are eagerly waiting for this all weather swimming pool. There should be more such facilities so that Panchkula too can be at par with Chandigarh,” said Vishal Garg, a resident of Sector 9, Panchkula.



Three-day judicial conference concludes

Chandigarh, November 25
The three-day long ‘North Zone Regional Judicial Conference’ at Chandigarh Judicial Academy concluded here today.
Justice AK Sikri, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, addresses the North Zone Regional Judicial Conference at the Judicial Academy in Sector 43 in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Justice AK Sikri, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, addresses the North Zone Regional Judicial Conference at the Judicial Academy in Sector 43 in Chandigarh on Sunday. tribune photo: parvesh chauhan

It was co-hosted by Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, National Judicial Academy and Chandigarh Judicial Academy. It was third such annual conference held in Chandigarh Judicial Academy during the past 5 years. Over 80 judicial officers from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Allahabad and Delhi were the delegates. The valedictory function was addressed by Justice Dr BS Chauhan, Judge, Supreme Court of India, Justice Deepak Misra, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Justice AK Sikri, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The conference was addressed by panelists of the stature of sitting and former judges of the Supreme Court of India, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court and judges from several high courts and eminent jurists who shared their views to empower judicial officers in meeting issues and challenges confronting administration of criminal justice.



The tribune campaign against encroachments
Finally, some action: eyesores removed

On March 23 this year, the judiciary set its own house in order and directed the Chandigarh administration to remove tents pitched outside judges’ houses. But it seems several serving and retired bureaucrats of Punjab and Haryana have failed to take a cue from it.

Despite a campaign by The Tribune highlighting encroachments by several bureaucrats in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, only four of these were removed. The rest remain in violation of the High Court orders. The Tribune highlighted three cases of encroachments in Chandigarh and five in Mohali. Out of these, the MC Chandigarh has removed one, while Mohali has got three such intrusions on public land vacated. The Panchkula administration has refused to budge and allowed VIP encroachers a field day.

Sumer Singh Gurjar
House No. 901, Sector 7, Chandigarh

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has removed the tent pitched outside the residence of Punjab IAS officer Sumer Singh Gurjar in Sector 7. The violation was highlighted in these columns. Defying the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the IAS officer had encroached upon a portion of a road outside his residence. The tent was being used as a shelter for Gurjar’s security staff. The civic body took almost a week to remove the tent. While the structure has been removed, a wall giving support to the tent was not razed. The IAS officer has now kept flowerpots around the wall. Gurjar's servant, security guard and driver were using the tent. The tent was set up on the backyard of his house. A note has been pasted on the house gate stating the entrance is from the opposite side.

MC’s TAKE: Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach said they had removed the tent outside Gurjar’s residence. The MC team has told the occupants of the house not to encroach upon the government and MC land, he said.

SSP GS Bhullar
Sector 53, adjoining Phase III A, Mohali

The top police officer has ordered his staff to remove the security tent near his house immediately. The tent was pitched on the footpath in front of his house. Bhullar maintained that he was told that permission in this regard had been procured from GMADA by one of his predecessors a few years ago. “But I did not want to set a wrong example by pitching a tent in front of my house so I immediately removed it after the issue was highlighted,” said Bhullar.

Punjab’s former minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla
House No. 1087, Sector 70, Mohali

In the wake of the news item regarding encroachments on public land published in these columns on November 21, the tent for the security staff was pitched near the BJP leader’s house has been shifted. Earlier, the tent was pitched on the side of the house. Now, it has been pitched in front of the house near the main entrance. Though the tent has been pitched within the hedge of the house, going by the version of a senior official of GMADA, it’s still a violation of the rules.

IPS officer NS Dhillon
House No. 2128, Phase X

The Mohali police has removed a tent, set up for security staff, in a park in Phase X. The structure caused inconvenience to the area residents.

Survey will be conducted
The Mohali police initiated action about two months ago following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The DSP (City I) and the DSP (City II) had also submitted a report about one and a half month ago, stating that no such tent was found in the town. It appears that some tents have come up after our survey. Now onwards, a regular survey will be conducted to keep a tab on the situation~

Swarndeep Singh, SP (City)



No one has right to encroach on public land, says HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
If the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has some misgivings about uprooting tents pitched by the VIPs on public land in Chandigarh, an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court is expected to remove these.

Mincing no words, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently ruled that no person has the right to encroach upon public land or to raise unauthorised construction on it.

The development is significant as a campaign launched by The Tribune has revealed large-scale encroachments on public land by bureaucrats and senior government officers, top cops included.

The ruling by the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain against allowing the public land to be encroached upon came on a petition filed by Daya Ram and other petitioners. They had moved the High Court against inaction on the part of the authorities concerned in the State of Haryana in removing encroachments.

Residents of Sector 46, Faridabad, they had alleged that unauthorised constructions had come up and land belonging to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had been encroached on in their area.

They had added that the existence of these illegal encroachments and constructions were causing nuisance and inconvenience to the residents of the sector. Along with the petition, the petitioners had annexed communications addressed to HUDA and other authorities. Appearing before the court, their counsel stated that no action had been taken thereupon.

Taking up the petition filed in public interest, the Bench asserted: “It is trite that no person has right to encroach upon the public land and/or to raise any unauthorised construction thereupon”.

Before parting with the order, the Bench gave a months time for the verification of the averments and directed subsequent action. The Bench ruled: “In case the allegations of the petitioners are correct, it is the bounden duty of HUDA to take action as per law against such illegal encroachments. In view thereof, this writ petition is disposed of with a direction to HUDA to look into the matter and, if it is found that the allegations are correct, to take action in accordance with law to remove the said unauthorised encroachments.

“The verification of the allegations made in this petition shall be done within a period of one month and, if warranted, action shall be initiated immediately thereafter”.

Judiciary had set an example

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had set an example by directing the UT administration to remove the ugly khaki and green security tents outside the houses of judges besides ordering a similar clearing at the homes of all top bureaucrats and politicians across the city in March this year. Following the orders, at least 75 security tents were removed from the green belts of the city. Of those, 60 were occupied by security men of Punjab politicians.

How the tents came up

The tents had come up during the trouble-torn days of militancy in the 1980s and 90s.



...but many continue to stick out like a sore thumb

AP Pandey
House No. 1257, Sector 18C

The Municipal Corporation is yet to take note of the violation made by former Punjab DGP AP Pandey outside his residence in Sector 18. Disobeying the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he has allegedly encroached upon a part of the service lane on the rear side of his residence in Sector 18 and using it as a temporary shelter for his security guards. The tents have not only blocked the service lane but also led to sanitation issues in the area. Residents in the area said the security guards litter around the tents and the create “nuisance” as well.

Shashi Kant
House Number 1258, Sector 18C , Chandigarh

The former DGP of Punjab, Shashi Kant, who lives in the house adjoining that of former DGP of Punjab AP Pandey, has also put up a tent at the rear side of his residence for his security guards. Local residents complained that some of the security guards using these tents often get abusive and make a noise at night after consuming liquor. They also litter in the area. These tents have blocked the passage also, however, there is nobody who can question this illegal activity, said a resident.

What the officers say:
While Shashi Kant contended that it is not “encroachment or any kind of illegal activity”, AP Pandey could not be reached for comments.

MC’s TAKE: Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach said a team of officials would be visiting these areas in the coming week to check the alleged violations. Accordingly, action will be taken against the violators.

BK Garg, Punjab IGP
Address- 1205, sector-7, Panchkula

Encroachment not cleared but Kundi connection removed Despite the fact that six tents, including a bathroom and a kitchen, have been put up in the middle of the road, still the Panchkula administration is giving to hoots to the issue, disrespecting the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court. Though a ‘kundi’ supply power to the tents has been removed

MC’s TAKE: Executive officer of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation OP Sihag had justified the encroachments earlier saying that ‘Bade afsaron ka maamla hai’. After five days, he still casually says, ‘Kar denge remove’ While the encroachment officer, SDO of the HUDA department, MP Sharma said, “It is the MC ‘s job.”

MS Mann, Haryana ADGP
Address- 598, sector-6, Panchkula

An illegal toilet had been constructed in the park just in front of Mann’s house for his security staff. Somehow, sewerage and water facility has also been provided to the security staff. Mann had said the toilet was not constructed by him rather the MC authorities. He also said not only his security guards but the drivers too use the same. According to the residents of the locality, they are still bearing with the nuisance. The toilet has not been constructed in front of Mann’s house but in front of the opposite house that is house no 601.

Jai Singh Gill, Former Punjab Chief Secretary, 199, Sector-6, Panchkula
An illegal tent has been put up near the official’s residence. The security staff enjoy water and power facilities. The tent has been put up near a house where some construction is going on. According to the security guards, they enjoy all the facilities even during summers. A special television and cooler are also provided to them during the summers.

Hardial Singh Mann, PPS, currently posted as SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib.
Kothi No. 1, Sector 70, Mohali.

The security guards of Hardial Singh Mann continue to encroach on the park in front of Mannn’s residence. When the Chandigarh Tribune team contacted the officer on the issue five days ago, he had stated that the tent would be removed and pitched at appropriate location very soon. The tent was found intact by the Tribune Team during a visit to the site today. SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said he would send a team at the site tomorrow to remove it.

KK Attri, Punjab former DGP, House No. 632, Phase 6, Mohali.
The former police official has gone a step further. He has constructed a concrete structure in a vacant space adjoining his house to accommodate his security personnel. Despite the publishing of a news item on the issue in these columns on November 22, the action by the authorities concerned is awaited. Area DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal had said he would visit the house. The structure was found intact today.

GMADA’s Estate Officer Navjot Kaur said a fresh survey would be conducted by officials concerned to check such encroachments in the area.



Open house
Custodians of law become lawbreakers

Senior officials, who do not care about the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, are actually custodians of law. By frequently violating the directive of the court, they himself or herself become lawbreakers. The High Court had ordered the removal of unauthorised security tents pitched on government land outside the residences of higher officials, VVIPs. In some cases, residents complain that security guards staying in these illegal tents create nuisance late in the night. They also litter the area. Some of these tents block passage and it is presumed that there is nobody to question this illegal activity. Further, in some cases, they draw power illegally through ‘kundi’ connections.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

No qualms

Politicians and bureaucrats in the tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula feel that they are entitled to encroaching on or misappropriating anything public, be it land, facilities or funds. The strange paradox is that they don’t have even the slightest qualm about inconvenience caused to the public whom they are meant to serve.

A large fleet of police vehicles, staff and their acolytes block roads and the view of commuters. It is with a great trepidation that a common man with his family sitting in his car negotiates a bend or T-junction on the road in the vicinity of a VIP’s house. Aren't accidents just waiting to happen? The tattered tents present an ugly look on the face of the City Beautiful. The Tribune has done an excellent job in exposing such encroachments. Heartiest congratulations for that. The first step has been taken. Will the administrators sit up and take notice? Will they tackle this menace effectively? There is an urgent need for the master planners of the tricity to take into account the need for security for VIPs while planning the layout for further expansion.

GS Bedi, Mohali

Height of arrogance

Powerful higher-ups in the police force, who have no regard for the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, blatantly flout them by encroaching upon public land to house their security personnel. They must be booked for contempt of court, if not for any thing else. Law of the land must be respected, and anti-encroachment wing of the MC should show some courage in booking the violators, like BK Garg and MS Mann. Also the entitlement to a good number of security staff, legitimate or otherwise, which necessitates their physical presence close to the residence of such high-ups needs a second look.

The police force is woefully short of staff to curb rising crime instances in the tricity. In such a scenario, the posting of large contingents of constables for the security of such ‘lawbreakers’ has little justification and does not serve any public purpose.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Matter of utter shame

It's a matter of utter shame that VIPs do not honour the directives of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and continue to encroach upon parks and roads. More shameful it is to see, apart from the tents, "toilets" constructed for their security guards in public parks. These VIPs think themselves above the law because it is they who issue orders against such illegal occupation of government/public land.

The law here looks the other way when some high-profile officers disobey it. The law shuts its eyes on all illegalities of VIPs and opens only when the common man disobeys it.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Save the beauty of the tricity

It is very shameful that the municipal corporations as well as the Estate Office, Chandigarh, GMADA and HUDA are ignoring the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the bureaucrats continue with encroachments upon roads, public parks and the rear side of their houses. They are using them as temporary shelters for their security staff. Even power is being supplied to these shelters through ‘kundi’ connections and sewage is discharged illegally. The tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula is a modern and beautiful city of Asia. The administrative authorities must implement the directions of the High Court by getting the encroachments removed immediately and save the beauty of the tricity.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali

Tents in parks irk residents

The unauthorised security tents pitches on green belts, parks, roadside berms, empty plots and other public areas in Chandigarh have become a menace. The ugly khaki and green security tents are eyesores. These security tents are a complete nuisance for residents, especially kids and senior citizens who face problems due to these security tents occupying parks and other sites meant for public use. While the VIPs live inside their bungalows, their security personnel wash their clothes and utensils in the open. This creates unhygienic conditions and people cannot even move around freely in the area. The Chandigarh Administration needs to come up with a concrete plan to ensure that all such ugly tents are removed from public spaces so that residents are able to breathe easy. The administration should depute a team which will check encroachments on parks and greenbelts and take immediate action against violations.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Admn should consider need-based changes

It has been found that there are encroachments in the form of temporary accommodation for security staff near government houses allotted to bureaucrats, police officers and politicians serving on sensitive posts who need protection for their family. But, most of these residences have no provision to adjust extra security staff.

Chandigarh being the capital of two states and having many central government offices is full of VIPs and VVIPs. In fact, where security is provided only according to the status of the post that can be curtailed or withdrawn, but wherever there is a genuine requirement of security, the administration must construct permanent structures by increasing the covered. It should consider need-based changes in the building bylaws.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Residents panic

The luxury of unwarranted and redundant security starts right from ministers, high-profile politicians, bureaucrats, police officers, chairmen of various corporations, boards and trusts, etc, who love to flaunt their status instead of being servants to people in a right way. The massive security not only creates panic among ordinary citizens but also entails unnecessary burden on the exchequer. The malady needs to be tackled at the grassroots level. Security should be curtailed to reasonable limits and confined to their homes instead of pitching tents in parks or at nearby public places.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Canada

Stringent steps needed

Encroachment is done not only on government properties like public buildings, roads, parks, etc, but also on a number of non-allotted plots, worth crores of rupees.

The bureaucrats, especially who have been allotted government accommodation, have constructed illegal toilets in parks, where sewage is discharged illegally and electricity is drawn through “kundis”. Tents are pitched near their residences for security personnel, servants, gardeners, etc, who enjoy all facilities like television, fan and coolers in these tents. Security staff enjoy the complete comforts of an apartment while commuters are at the receiving end as the roads are completely blocked by these tenets. While such encroachments create unhygienic conditions in the area, residents are deprived of the facility of parks. It is unfortunate that despite the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court against encroaching upon roads and public parks, bureaucrats continue to indulge in this illegal practice.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Wake up call for MC

I feel the MC enforcement wings need to wake up to initiate a drive to uproot the VIP security tents across the city. Civil and police high-ups of the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh administrations should have removed the encroachments on their own abiding by the instructions passed by the court. The encroached land in public parks is used by senior citizens for morning and evening walks. The enforcement department should be provided with a strong police to tackle any possible attempt to stop its officials from performing their official duties.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Remove encroachments immediately

Despite a ban on pitching tents in green belts and parks for security guards of VIPs, the practice is going on. Illegal toilets are constructed in parks and concrete structures are built on green belts. Tents are pitched in the middle of roads blocking the way of residents. When residents complain, security guards use abusive language against them. Guards create a noise during odd hours. Strict action needs to be taken against to check this nuisance. All these illegal constructions should be pulled down immediately. The violators should be made to pay a heavy penalty. If still such violations continue, then a case should be filed against them. The guards should be made to reside either inside VIPs’ houses or they should not be there at all.

Isha Dahiya, Panchkula

Open house question
Despite a campaign launched by the UT Police against eve-teasing, women travelling by CTU buses or other modes of public transport continue to become soft targets of eve-teasers. What needs to be done to make women feel safe while travelling by public transport. Send your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com



From schools

School celebrates annual day

Jainendra Public School, Panchkula, celebrated its annual day. The beautiful decorated pristine premises reverberated with enthusiastic activities. The annual day function titled “Sanskriti - 2012” was a blend of Indian culture. The inaugural ceremony commenced with the auspicious lighting of the lamp by chief guest Ashima Brar, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, and Anand Prakash Jain, chairman, All-India Jain Conference. An educationist and industrialist from New Delhi presided over the function. Dance recital “Shiv Stuti” was a beautiful presentation bestowing the grace of Lord Shiva. Tiny tots dressed in colourful attires presented butterfly dance. Girls presented exuberant classical dance on the occasion. The most riveting performance was the dance drama “Panchbutam”, which portrayed the mystic manifestation of 5 metaphysical elements in the human body - Earth, water, fire, sky and air.

Cricket lesson for students

Formative assessment based on the lesson, “The History of Cricket”, was conducted in the grounds of Ryan International School, Chandigarh, for the students of class IX. All sections of class IX enthusiastically participated in the same (paying rupees 10 as entry fee). The entry fee collected would be used to purchase woolen socks for the students of adopted school at Jagat Pura village. The students zestfully participated in the match and learnt about its origin, basic rules and regulations. Overall, it was a good learning experience for the students of class IX.

Annual sports day held

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air Force Station, Mullanpur, held its annual sports day in the playground of the primary section. SK Loth, principal of the vidyalaya, presided over the function as the chairperson. Tiny tots presented their best in games like balloon bursting, frog race, one legged and three-legged race and the most enjoyable sack race. Balloon bursting race of class I students stole the show. The principal gave away prizes to the position holders. The programme came to a close by the singing of Jana Gana Mana by one and all.

Culture fiesta organised

Annual Culture Fiesta was organised on the premises of Kendriya Vidyalaya, K-Area, Zirakpur. Brigadier PK Goyal and Neena Goyal presided as the chief guest and the guest of honour, respectively. Principal Kiran Bala made a humble beginning by a warm and heartfelt welcome speech. The function began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the chief guest, followed by a Saraswati Vandana and other traditional dances. Prizes for the all-round proficiency were given by the chief guest and the guest of honour.

Tiny tots stage Ramayana

The pomp and show of the three-day annual function celebrations at Manav Mangal’s magnificent auditorium continued for the second day today. Dharam Vir, State Election Commissioner, was the chief guest of the second day’s celebrations. The cultural programme commenced with a prayer dance “Aradhana”. A contemporary dance highlighted the pathetic conditions of public places like parks, roads and metropolitan cities. The Ramayana with an element of modernity was staged perfectly by the tiny tots. A mime on indiscriminate usage of mobile phone these days was comically presented by students displaying their histrionic skills.

Cultural bonanza
Students of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, take part in the annual function in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A cultural bonanza was organised by the senior wing of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, as part of the annual function of the school. The programme started with shabad, followed by the lighting of ceremonial lamp by chief guest Justice Kuldeep Singh. The English song “Heal the world” gave the message of victory over sins by good virtues. Students regaled the audience with foot-tapping western and folk dance. The programme concluded with vibrant bhangra.
Students of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, take part in the annual function in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photo



Chandigarh Scan

Greenbelt inaugurated

City Mayor Raj Bala Malik today inaugurated greenbelt and dolphin fountain in Sector 22 in the presence of Area Councillor Pardeep Chhabra. While addressing the gathering on the occasion, Chhabra said the total cost for the development of park, including lights, footpath, hut, benches and dolphin fountain, was Rs 17 lakh. BB Bahl, president, CCTC, appreciated the efforts of Chhabra in making Sector 22 one of the best Sectors of the city. Others present on the occasion included Satish Kainth, Deputy Mayor, Kewal Singh, former MP, Subash Chawala, Sat Prakash Aggarwal, Harphool Kalyan, Mukesh Aanand, SE, Vishal Gupta, SP Singh,Maninder Singh, Ravinder Singh, Jung Sher Singh, Harjinder Singh and Ashok Sharma.

Workshop held

The Bharat Vikas Parishad conducted a workshop for personality development of the needy but meritorious students studying in class IX and class X of various government schools in the city. Anjali Jasrai, a professional counsellor and trainer, explained the students how they could manage their life and achieve their goals with less efforts. She told the students about the importance of mind and its process of functioning. She also told them that how they could improve their brain power and avoid depression. She indulged the students in practical exercises and various demonstrations in which they participated wholeheartedly. Another professional trainer, Om Kanojia, a graduate engineer from PEC, Chandigarh, and presently working with Microsoft India Ltd, gave tips to students on how to improve their vocabulary and word power. As many as 96 students participated in the seminar.

Book release

A book of poetry in Hindustani, penned by Manmohan Sigh Mitwa, was released by KK Sharma, Advisor to the Administrator, UT Chandigarh, and Padam Shree Surjit Patar here today. Sharma deeply appreciated the efforts of 70-year-old Mitwa to bring out his poetry in the form of a book, thereby becoming the inspiration for younger aspirants, including himself. He brought out the good news about the significant increase in the funding to the academies connected with art and culture namely Lalit Kala, Sangeet and Natak and Sahitya Academy. Manmohan Singh Mitwa, an ex-Air Force veteran, writes poetry and prose on facets of humanity and environment. Even though his writings have been published in periodicals and newspapers, this is for the first time that he has been able to compile a collection of his poetry from the bygone years. Sameer Mathur, Dr KL Zakir and Shahida Banu and Surjit Patar spoke about the book and shared personal connections with the writer.

Earthquake preparedness

In the build-up to the Mega Mock Drill on Earthquake Preparedness on February 15, awareness generation activities were carried out by the Chandigarh Administration in the three-day-long Chandigarh Carnival celebrated at the Leisure Valley. On the first day of the Carnival, the evening was dedicated to artists from North Eastern states of the country, especially Sikkim. Therefore, a street play on the theme of earthquake preparedness was staged to pay tributes to the victims of Sikkim earthquake and to make the residents of Chandigarh aware of the seismic vulnerability of the city. This was followed by a movie screening on lessons learnt from the Sikkim earthquake. During these three days, senior Civil Defence inspector Sanjeev Kohli gave talks on preparedness to save oneself and family when a disaster strikes. Today, an animation film featuring famous character “Dost Appu” was screened to capture the mind of one and all on the theme of earthquake preparedness. During these activities, Tanvi Garg, IAS, Director Tourism, Kashish Mittal, Assistant Commissioner, UT, and Deepshikha, Project Coordinator, NDMA, were also present.

Job fest from December 18

More than 30 companies are expected to participate in the Aryans Mega Job Fest starting from December 18 on the Aryans campus situated at Nepra village near Chandigarh. Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman of the Aryans Group, said various companies would participate in the fest.



Ratio criterion for teachers’ promotion
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Education Department has proposed to promote master/mistresses and language master/mistresses as lecturers in the ratio of 4:1.

Both these posts fall under the Trained Graduate Teachers (TGT) cadre and their promotion is due for the past several years due to several litigations pending in this matter.

However, the department has decided to go ahead with their promotion subject to the court’s judgement and is conducting a series of in-house meetings to fast track the promotion issue.

As per the latest information, the special committee, which has recently been constituted to look into their promotion, is compiling the cases of nearly 200 TGT teachers whose promotion will be done on a seniority-cum-merit basis. Nearly 160 teachers will be promoted from the master/mistress category and 40 from the language master/mistress category.

A senior official of the department said the ratio had been decided on the basis of service rules as well as their current strength.

“The official process is on and within two-three months the final decision on the promotion is expected,” said DPI (S) Upkar Singh.

Master/mistresses are teachers for subjects like English, science, social studies, music, fine arts and language master/mistresses are recruited for Punjabi, Hindi and Sanskrit subjects.

A TGT teacher said: “The department should not put this issue under the carpet this time since we are waiting for our promotion for the past several years”.

Vinod Sharma, president of the Government Teachers Union, said several litigations on this matter delayed the whole promotion issue. The current stand of the department was significant, but there was a need to take this promotion on a priority basis and announce the list as soon as possible.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, RTI activist, said several TGT teachers were set to retire without any promotion. They should not be denied of their rights.



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