C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


4 outlets of KFC raided
Excise officials detect VAT evasion of over Rs 1 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The UT Excise and Taxation Department today raided four outlets of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and detected the evasion of value added tax (VAT) of over Rs 1 crore.

Raids were conducted simultaneously at KFC’s four outlets in Sectors 8, 34 and 35 and at Fun Republic to asses the tax evasion. Excise and Taxation Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said raids were conducted after the scrutiny of records.

KFC officials were not ready to comment on the raids despite repeated attempts.

Against the business of about Rs 8.50 crore done by the four outlets between June 2012 and December 2012, the assessed tax of Rs 1 crore was not paid to the UT Excise and Taxation Department.

The raiding teams comprising Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Naresh Dubey and Excise and Taxation officers RC Bhalla, Sanjeev Madan, RL Chugh and Munish Nayyar, swooped down on the outlets and seized the records.

During the five-hour raid, starting at 4 pm, the outlets were allowed to conduct their business as usual while the officials kept going through the records.

The scrutiny of records revealed that prior to June 2012, the outlets were paying VAT on all their sale proceeds. But no tax was paid in the seven-month period (June 2012 to December 2012.

The outlets have been asked to clear the dues under the Punjab VAT Act, failing which action would be initiated by the department. 



Students made to sit on ground
Principal suspended, explanation sought from absent teachers
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 1
The principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Phase 3BI, Mohali, was suspended for making students sit on the damp ground during the morning assembly.
Punjab Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka made a surprise visit to the school today and found students sitting on the ground. He said the principal, Baljinder Singh, defied the Punjab Government’s orders.

“The government’s order says no student will be made to sit on the ground. We will again issue a circular to the schools to adhere to the directions,” said the minister.

Maluka also found 25 staff members, including teachers, reporting late to duty. The minister reached the school at 7.45 am. Five lecturers, including Navjot Kaur (commerce), Navinderjit Kaur (biotechnology), Inderjeet Kaur (physics), Tejinderpal Kaur (economics) and Amritpal Kaur (English), were found absent. The minister said strict action would be initiated against the erring teachers. The latecomers were let off after a warning.

The minister has asked the Secretary, School Education, to seek explanation from the absent lecturers.

There was no arrangement for drinking water and the washrooms were also stinking, said the minister. “The principal was not present when I reached the school. I was told that he often arrives late. He was not serious to run the school,” said Maluka.

The minister also raided Government High School, Desu Majra, and found art & craft teacher Harjit Kaur absent. All staff members were present at GMSSS, Gharuan.

Maluka also directed the district education officers to raid schools with the dual purpose of ensuring punctuality and maintaining the standards of education.

More checks in future

The education minister said the state government was committed to improve the standards of education in schools and he would raid more schools throughout the state. 



For 70-year-old woman, her son is still alive
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, February 1
More than 24 hours after her son’s highly decomposed body was found from her residence, 70-year-old Lalita Talwar, ignorant of the death of her son, was calm and composed. 

Lalita, who is said to be mentally unstable, said her son had gone out and will return home in the evening. Lalita said she moved her son’s body along with the bed out of the house yesterday due to bad smell. “I moved his bed out as he smelt. He will return soon. He was not speaking to me as we had a fight,” said Laita. 

The highly decomposed body of 37-year-old Dewakar Talwar, aka Sunny, was found at his rented house in Sector 37-D yesterday. Sunny had been living with his mother, Lalita Talwar. Sunny was unmarried. 

The body was recovered after some girls living as paying guests at the second floor of the house informed the police about a body.

The mother-son duo had been staying at the ground floor of the house since 1999. A portion of the ground floor was shared by Dr GD Mehta, a private practitioner.

The police said the body bore no injury marks. The exact cause of the death would be ascertained after the post-mortem which would be conducted after the deceased’s brother, Tarun, returns from Australia, police said.

“Lalita came to me today morning to pay rent. I told her she can pay it later. We had never seen her son in the past six years as he never came out and he, too, was mentally unstable. She is still ignorant of her son’s death. Interestingly, the woman always kept the doors and windows locked and allowed no one inside,” said Dr GD Mehta.

Lalita retired as a government teacher from Punjab.

Lalita’s husband Swami Talwar died expired six years ago. He retired from the sports department of Punjab. 

Were not undergoing treatment

Even as the woman and her son were reportedly mentally unstable, both were not undergoing treatment. They were left to take care of each other. When The Tribune team went to meet Lalita on Friday, she was wearing torn and dirty clothes. Sunny was under severe depression and had been bedridden for the past 10 years. He was never seen by the neighbours. 

House was a hell hole 

Police officers who searched her house had a trying time as the house was stinking. It appeared as if it was never cleaned. “The house is a hell hole. That is the only way I can describe it,” said a police personnel. The two were surviving on the money sent by Sunny’s brother, Tarun, but they did not have any nurse or domestic help to take care of them.


Children unsafe on school buses
Private operators flout SC norms, 240 challans issued last year
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, february 1
As many as 240 challans were issued by the State Transport Authority last year to school bus operators found violating safety norms set by the Supreme Court.
The maximum number of challans was issued for operating buses without fire extinguishers.

While 48 buses were found overloaded, risking lives of hundreds of children, 38 were found plying without a first-aid box. Drivers of as many as 29 buses did not have a driving licence, and 23 buses did not have a speed governor, which is important to keep the speed of the bus under the permissible limit of 50 kmph.

President of the Chandigarh School Bus Operators’ Welfare Association Manjit Singh said: “While efforts are on to ensure maximum safety of the schoolchildren, there are many practical issues which, many a times, makes us helpless in taking a stern action against those found violating the norms.”

HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, Chandigarh, said he will again issue an advisory to schools to ensure buses were being inspected every month.

Total challans 240

  • Overloaded buses 48
  • Without first-aid box 38
  • Driver without licence 29
  • Without speed governor 23
  • Without registration certificate 12
  • Without insurance 10
  • Without conductor 18

A parent, Dr Vivek Lal, who lost his daughter in an accident involving a school bus, said the safety norms specified by the Apex Court were not being implemented strictly.

The impounded buses return to the roads, and challaned drivers are stopped from plying buses, he said. “Unless the government makes violations non-bailable offense and permanently cancel licences of drivers, violations will continue,”  he said.

STA ill-equipped too

With only two challaning officers checking violations across the entire city, the actual number of violations are expected to be much larger. “More than 1,500 buses are plying on the city roads. The State Transport Authority needs more staff to implement the guidelines of the Supreme Court in its true spirit,” said an official.



Cong, BJP get support from outside
BSP puts up a poor show ; Congress candidates get 14 votes while BJP-SAD 12
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Results of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) elections of the municipal corporation clearly show that the both the parties the Congress and the BJP received support from outside to make their candidates win. In the elections, the BSP that has two councillors and had claimed support of one Independent and some councillors from other parties put up a poor show.

The Congress, that has 13 votes in the House (12 votes of Congress councillors and one of the Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal), got 14 votes were polled in favour of the two Congress candidates, Mukesh Bassi and Darshan Garg. 

Congress Councillor Mukesh Bassi said that the Congress had sufficient number of votes for the victory of both the Congress candidates. On the point of getting extra votes, he added that the councillor, who voted for the Congress in the elections, must have been impressed with the policies of the Congress, therefore voted in favour of the Congress candidates.

Similarly, the BJP-SAD alliance has a total of 11 councillors. Their two candidates - Arun Sood and Davesh Moudgil - received six votes each, apart from a number of second preference votes in favour of Moudgil. Moudgil said that in the F&CC elections, councillors had voted on the basis of the candidate’s last year’s performance as a councillor.

The BSP that has two councillors in the House and had claimed support of one independent councillor and few councillors of other parties.They managed only two votes and lost. Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq, convenor, BSP Chandigarh, said it was their moral victory in the elections. It was only after BSP candidate Jannat Jahan filed nomination papers, the F&CC elections were held after a gap of 11 years, he added.

He further added that in the past 11 years, the Congress, the BJP-SAD, were unanimously sharing seats in the F&CC. 

These parties were expecting the same to happen this year also, but after the BSP candidate’s nomination, the elections were held, he added.



Deceased’s brother held responsible for mental state
Tribune News Service

Sant Prakash’s brother Manohar Singh during his cremation in Chandigarh on Friday.
Sant Prakash’s brother Manohar Singh during his cremation in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, February 1
Police investigations into the double suicide case reported in Sector 32 yesterday have revealed that the deceased, Sant Prakash Singh, and his son were not on good terms with Sant’s brother, who resides in Mohali.

One of the 17 suicide notes written by the deceased has held Sant Prakash’s brother Manohar Singh responsible their condition as they had a property dispute relating to a plot in Mohali since 1990. The suicide note also held him responsible for their mental state and the death of Sant Prakash’s wife, Parkash Kaur, last year.

The two had also mentioned in the suicide notes that none of their family members, including Sant Prakash’s brother and his sister, who resides in Ludhiana, be given any share in their property.

The scrutiny of the suicide notes have given a new twist to the case as Sant Prakash’s son Gurpal Singh had also written that he had strained relations with his mother Parkash Kaur. He felt ashamed and guilty of his behaviour towards his mother and thus decided to end his life so he could go to her and apologise.

The police said they have verified the family history and found that the brothers never went into litigation. The police has ruled out any foul play as there are a number of reasons mentioned in the suicide notes which suggest that the two were depressed.

“We are verifying the facts. The deceased have thanked their friends and have denied share in property to their estranged brother or any other family member,” said inspector Diwan Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station.

Sant Prakash, who retired as a section officer from the Intelligence Bureau, and his 35-year-old chartered accountant son Gurpal Singh were found dead at their Sector 32 residence yesterday. The police suspected that they had committed suicide on January 29, which incidentally was Gurpal’s birthday. The police recovered 17 suicide notes bundled together in a file.

The suicide notes also read that the two were under depression ever since the death of Sant Prakash’s wife Parkash Kaur.

Post-mortem conducted

The post-mortem of the bodies was conducted at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 on Friday and the police has sent the viscera samples to the CFSL. Sant Prakash’s brother and sister were seen wailing at the cremation ground in Sector 25. 



Waiting list for new recruits of UT Admn extended till May
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
With new recruits in various departments of UT Administration rushing to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, for medical examination, the waiting list for the test has been extended till May.

Already burdened with a heavy patient load, the hospital has extended the number of medical examinations conducted per day from 20 to 40, in order to accommodate the new recruits.

The delay in medical examination has been affecting the joining of more than 2,000 newly recruited employees of the UT Administration. “We have been recommended to undergo medical examination at GMSH-16. However, the rush at the labs is quite high and many of us are being given appointments for the examination,” said a newly recruited junior basic teacher, Anita Sinha, while waiting for her turn at the hospital.

“The medical examination of one candidate consumes a lot of time and hence the number of tests to be conducted per day cannot be extended beyond a limit. In order to ensure that the general public does not suffer inconvenience due to the rush of new recruits we are conducting additional 20 tests per day, said an official from the hospital.

More than 3,000 patients visit the OPD at GMSH-16 everyday. The doctors conducting the medical examinations also have to look after the patients in the OPDs, the official added.

Many candidates, however, raised the demand to start the medical test at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.



Kalpana an inspiration for others, say teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Reminiscing moments shared with astronomer Kalpana Chawla, faculty of the PEC Institute of Technology motivated students to take inspiration from her life.
Chawla, an aeronautical engineering student who graduated from the college in 1982, died along with six other astronauts on this fateful day ten years ago, when the Columbia space shuttle exploded over Texas during its return.

Professor KK Garg, who had taught Kalpana, said she was a brave girl. Apart from being a great astronaut, she was also a great human being.

Sharing an anecdote, Garg said once Kalpana went to watch a movie with her friends and her seniors tried to rag her. She, however, resisted them.

“After her death, we also came to know during her college days she had paid the full fee of a classmate who could not afford it. She didn’t even reveal this to anyone,” Garg said.

University Director Manoj Datta said their were very few role models in the field of science and technology and Kalpana was one of them. “Kalpana is a role model who has motivated many students, especially girls, to join aeronautical engineering,” Datta said.

Prof VS Malhotra, who taught and mentored Kalpana, said qualities like commitment towards work and willingness to do anything for completion of a mission made her exemplary.

Institute to set up centre of excellence in her name

The PEC Institute of Technology will set up the Kalpana Chawla Centre of Excellence to promote research and encourage students to follow in her footsteps. The announcement was made today on the 10th death anniversary of the alumna. The centre of excellence will come up at a cost of Rs 4.33 crore.

Director of the deemed university Manoj Datta, while announcing the establishment of the Centre of Aerospace Studies on the name of the illustrious alumna of the college, said the recommendation was made a few months ago during a workshop at the department of aeronautical engineering.

Officials said the centre should focus on the advanced areas of research in the field of flight mechanics and control systems, hypersonic aerodynamics and space technology. It should also have a space simulator to boost the knowledge of students of the deemed university and other institutes.

Datta further said the centre would also attract schoolchildren towards the aerospace studies. Officials said the centre would come up within a year.


PEC observes 10th death anniversary

Kalpana Chawla, an aeronautical engineering student of Punjab Engineering College (now the PEC Institute of Technology), graduated from the institute in 1982. She died along with six other astronauts on February 1, 2003, when the Columbia space shuttle exploded over Texas during its return.



CHB panel organises gate rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The Chandigarh Housing Board Coordination Committee today organised a gate rally to protest against the implementation of pension scheme for the employees of the board.

Harish Valecha, general secretary of the committee, said despite the employees having made numerous requests and staging protests, the chairman of the board and the Chandigarh Administration has done nothing.Taking on the CHB chairman and the Chandigarh Administration, the employee leaders threatened to intensify their agitation if the demands were not met and the onus of the inconvenience to the public would be on the senior officials.

Surinder Pal Singh, president of the union, said the pay, allowances, perks, and other benefits, privileges, duties and responsibilities are the same as in case of other employees of the Chandigarh Administration. 



House razed in Sector 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Continuing with its drive against illegal structures, the building branch of the UT Estate Office today demolished an illegal room in a marla house in Sector 27 here this morning.

The owners of the house had raised the room without seeking permission from the UT estate office.

After an year of issuing notices for the violation, the UT Estate Office while exercising powers under the Estate Rules demolished the structures. 



A Footnote: Not many books in this library
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 1
It’s an apology for a municipal library supposed to be meant for a town that the government plans to make “another Singapore” with not a single member, a few hundred old or outdated books and no computers.

Empty cupboards at the municipal library in Silvi Park, Phase X, Mohali; a broken switch and seepage at the library.
Empty cupboards at the municipal library in Silvi Park, Phase X, Mohali; a broken switch and seepage at the library. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

The civic body has over the years managed to stock only about 800 books, some of which were donated. These have been accommodated in seven of the 19 cupboards in the building. Besides, there is no qualified librarian on duty. The library has a clerk and a peon in the name of staff.

Most residents find it difficult to locate the library at Silvi Park in Phase X. A big

board at the park's entrance has posters pasted over it while a small one informs visitors that they have arrived at a library of the Municipal “Carporation” at “Silve” Park.

To make matters worse, there is a leakage in the building, exposed electricity wires and four of the six ACs are non-functional. Four computers bought about two years ago were never sent to the library and are reported to be in use at the corporation's office. There are no metal grills in the windows. In fact, books and other items on the premises are reported to have been targeted by thieves.

For the youth with limited financial means who are preparing for competitive

exams, the library has a little to offer. There is no Internet facility and the books related to such exams date back to 2007 or 2008.

It is learnt that 19 cupboards, 16 chairs, four computers, four computer tables and four revolving chairs, costing about Rs 5 lakh, were purchased for the library by the civic body about two years ago. Furniture purchased is lying unused at the first floor and is being damaged by the leakage.

Elderly persons frequent the library mostly to read newspapers and magazines. Surprisingly, the library is supposed to be getting 23 newspapers and 30 magazines. However, readers complain that many magazines are not available at the library. They said there were a few books and these, too, were not of reputed authors. Most of the books purchased by the civic body were of a publishing house based in Mansa. No books have been bought over the past few years. 



Anti-encroachment drive: 75 violators challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
In an anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed encroachments from the motor market in Sectors 28 and Sector 35.

Kashmira Singh, Superintendent, enforcement wing, said during the drive the enforcement team impounded 35 vehicles from public land in Sector 28. Challans were issued to violators. Inspector Sunil Dutt said the team also seized various items from mechanics and seized tools from the outer area of Sector 22 and issued 75 challans. 



Transport authority earns Rs 13.01 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 1
The office of the District Transport Authority earned a revenue of Rs 13.01 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 2.20 lakh during an auction of the remaining numbers of the PB 65 T series today .

The registration number that attracted the maximum bid amount of Rs 1.11 lakh was PB 65 T 6565 against the reserve price of Rs 1,000. It was purchased by Vivek Sood. Registration numbers PB 65 T 0045 was sold for Rs 75,000, PB 65 T 0011 for Rs 41,000 , PB 65 T-0012 and PB 65 T 0022 were sold for Rs 40,000 each. Numbers in the PB 65 T series were sold for Rs 39,000 and Rs 18,000.

Woman killed in accident

Dera Bassi: A 60-year-old woman was killed and a youth suffered injuries in a road accident that took place on Lalru-Handesra Road on Friday.

The deceased was identified as Pal Kaur, a resident of Nanheri village near Ghanour, Patiala.

The injured, Bhadur Singh, who was riding the motorcycle, was admitted to a hospital.

A case has been registered in this connection. — OC



PU student succumbs to his injury

Chandigarh, February, 1
A student of Panjab University (PU) hailing from Mizoram died after being hit by a recklessly driven motorcycle. The student met with an accident outside the PGI gate on January 30 and succumbed to the injuries yesterday.

Police stated that victim Beiba Chhatha was walking down the road when the motorcycle hit him. Chhatha a first-year student of BA-MA integrated course at the PU economics department was rushed to the PGI for treatment where he later succumbed to his injuries. Deceased was a resident of boys hostel No II at the university. Hostel warden Harish Kumar said that they got the intimation about the accident today from the hostel residents. A case against the driver of the motorcycle has been registered at Sector 11 police station .



Two new cases of swine flu in city

Chandigarh, February 1
Two new cases of swine flu were reported in the city today. These included one case each from Nangal and Sector 32 here. The total number of the cases reported in the Chandigarh region (including Panchkula and Mohali) has reached 18 since September 2012.

The spread of the disease intensified in the beginning of December 2012 while only one case was reported earlier in September 2012. The total number of cases reported at PGIMER, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16, so far, including those from other states had reached 51. These include 7 deaths, two from city and five from the region.— TNS



  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Blood in sputum


Tamiflu medicine cures swine flu. The medicine is available at all three government hospitals, including the PGIMER, GMSH-16 and GMCH-32, free of cost. 



chandigarh scan
Valedictory function

Students participate in a painting competition organised to mark World Wetlands Day at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Friday.
Students participate in a painting competition organised to mark World Wetlands Day at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

A valedictory function to observe the Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight was held at the Institution of Engineers, Sector 19. Sudeb Gupta, state level coordinator of Punjab, informed about various activities conducted during the fortnight. These included workshops, clinics and seminars. Anurag Verma, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, was the chief guest.

Health workshop

A workshop on salutogenesis, an approach focusing on factors that support human health and well being, was organised by the environment society and public health and hygiene society of the Post Graduate Government College of Girls, Sector 11. The event was organised in collaboration with the School of Public Health Community Medicine) of the PGI, Chandigarh, under a project of the ICMR. A talk on food safety issues in the contemporary Indian society was given by Dr Pooja Dudeja. This was followed by a play on women empowerment by artistes of Ruthra Theatre Company. They also conducted a theatre workshop for the college girls. A film on healthy lifestyle was also screened. — TNS



Rs 15.10 lakh distributed among 1,134 beneficiaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The UT education department today extended the direct benefit transfer scheme through the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System to the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) being provided by the social welfare department.

The scheme was launched by UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar. Under the scheme, 1,134 beneficiaries were today given Rs 15.10 lakh. While launching the scheme, the receipts of the funds to be disbursed in February were shown to the officials.

The Home Secretary said, "Chandigarh is one of the districts identified by the Government of India where the direct benefit transfer scheme is to be rolled out. In the first phase, launched on January 1, 2013, direct cash was transferred to beneficiaries under eight schemes run by the Chandigarh Administration.

Director, Social Welfare, Rajesh Jogpal, stated that in due course of time more schemes of the department would come under direct benefit transfer scheme and soon the department would be bringing pensions of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) under the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.

The beneficiaries under the programme will be getting pensions using micro ATMs. For the purpose, Aadhaar linked bank accounts are being opened by the ICICI Bank.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has started IGMSY to provide financial support to pregnant and lactating mothers.



Chitkara University fined Rs 15,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The UT Consumer Forum has penalised Chitkara University for its failure to refund fee charged against provisional admission.
The university has been directed to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation.

Girish Kant Sood, a resident of Sector 45, had deposited Rs 35,000 with the university upon the grant of provisional admission to the bachelor of computer application (BCA) degree course in July, 2012.

The admission was never confirmed and Girish took admission elsewhere and requested Chitkara for a refund. The complainant contended that the admission was merely provisional and subject to the production of Class XII result and original certificates, which were never given to Chitkara.

"The institution is not entitled to retain any amount/fee towards a provisional admission," contended Pankaj Chandgothia, counsel for the complainant. No one appeared from the university in the court. "It rather preferred to be proceeded against ex-parte, which draws an adverse inference against it," ruled the forum.

The forum directed the university to refund Rs 35,000 to the complainant. It has also been told to pay Rs 15,000 compensation and litigation costs for harassing the complainant.



Vivek schoolchildren form company
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Students of Vivek High School have launched their 17th Junior Achievement Student Company as a part of their extra-curricular activities in the commerce department.

The company is headed by Jaskaran Singh Kohli as the chief executive officer. Angad Khera, company secretary, Sanya Gupta, chief financial officer, Aakriti Gupta, chief production officer, Riya Thukral, chief human resource officer, Srishti Walia, chief marketing officer and Kanika Verma, chief sales officer, form the management team.

The student company programme is run on a limited scale and is aims at providing students with practical experience. The company will use a magazine to inform students about events taking place around the world. The company plans to raise an initial funding Rs 46,000 through the issue of 3,200 shares of Rs 10 each, and remaining Rs 14,000 through loans.



Now, panchayat land for private schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 1
In its bid to strengthen school education in rural areas, the Punjab government is planning to offer panchayat land for setting up of private schools. Earlier the panchayat land was being made available for the "Adarsh" schools, but very few schools were set up under the scheme. The government is now banking upon private parties to build schools in the rural areas.

Around 200 schools will be set up under the proposed scheme, informed Punjab Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, after inaugurating a student fest at Chandigarh Group of Colleges’ Gharuan campus.

He said the government was planning to make three to five acres of panchayat land available on lease of around 30 years. The schools would have to reserve 25 per cent of the seats for the local BPL students and provide them free education. “We are preparing modalities of the proposed scheme after taking into consideration all its aspect. It will be formally advertised after it gets finalised,” he said.

While informing that the government was planning to open 100 more schools under the Central schemes, the Education Minister said infrastructure and quality education needed a boost in the state. He said, while the shortage of teachers in the government schools had been addressed, the problem still persisted in colleges. “It is due to the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s stay on the joining of lecturers since 2003,” he said. 



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