C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn’s 4 cars, bank account attached
Court order follows as UT fails to comply with its directive to provide enhanced relief to farmers in lieu of land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Execution petition
The court acted on an execution petition filed by 100 farmers of Behlana village through 12 different cases. One of the cases had the entire panchayat of Behlana village as petitioners. The UT failed to comply with the court orders despite being given three opportunities.

Chandigarh, February 5
The court of Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal today ordered to attach four cars belonging to the UT Administration after it failed to comply with the court orders of 2009 to provide enhanced compensation to farmers in lieu of land acquisition. The court has also ordered to attach the bank account of the UT Administration.

The four cars that have been ordered to be attached belong to the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC). Their registration numbers are CH01 G10009, CH 01 G 0009, CH01 G 0090 and CH 01 G 00027.

The court acted on an execution petition filed by 100 farmers of Behlana village through 12 different cases. One of the cases had the entire panchayat of Behlana village as petitioners.

The farmers had first moved the court in 2006 claiming enhanced compensation for the amount paid to them towards land acquisition in 1987. While land measuring 87 kanals and six marlas in Behlana village was acquired by the Union Government in 1987 for employees of the Defence, the farmers had moved court claiming that the compensation amount paid to them was lower than the actual rates and demanded enhanced compensation. As many as 12 cases were disposed of in 2009 when the court directed the UT Administration to pay an enhanced compensation of Rs 39,49,453 lakh to the farmers.

The UT Administration failed to comply with the court orders despite being given three opportunities.

In the order passed today, the court stated that the enhanced compensation amount was not paid by the UT Administration despite availing of three opportunities and hence the assets of the UT Administration, including four official cars and the bank account, be attached. The cars include three white Ambassadors and one Gypsy.

Cars belonging to the DC, the Assistant Estate Officer, the SDM and an official Gypsy in the DC’s office have been ordered to be attached by the court.



post of citco md
Ministry rejects panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rejected the panel for the post of Managing Director of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) sent by the UT Administration.

Now, the UT Administration has decided to ask the Punjab Government for a fresh panel. The officers included in the panel were Bhupinder Singh Nanda, Balvinder Singh Multani and Arunjeet Singh Miglani. Sources said the UT Administration had recommended Miglani’s name for the post.

In August 2011, six months before the expiry of the term of present CITCO MD DK Tiwari, the Punjab Government had sent a panel of three officers to the UT Administration for the post. It included the names of AK Sinha of the 1996 IAS batch, SK Sharma and MR Aggarwal. Later, the Punjab Government cancelled the panel and sent a fresh one to the UT Administration.



I-T officer caught taking bribe of Rs 50,000
Tribune News Service

Income tax officer Rakesh Jain, who was caught taking a bribe at his house in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Tuesday night; and (right) CBI sleuths conduct a raid at Jain’s house.
Income tax officer Rakesh Jain, who was caught taking a bribe at his house in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Tuesday night; and (right) CBI sleuths conduct a raid at Jain’s house. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, February 5
A team of CBI sleuths today arrested an income tax officer (ITO) with the Chandigarh branch, Rakesh Jain, while taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a real estate agent.

The accused was caught at his Sector 22 residence during a trap laid by the CBI.

The entire bribe amount has been recovered from his possession. The CBI received a complaint from the agent, Ashok Arora, that the accused had demanded the bribe for not initiating any action against him on income tax notices served on him by the department.

CBI sources said Rakesh Jain had initially demanded a bribe of Rs 3.5 lakh from Arora. The deal was finally settled for Rs 2.5 lakh. Arora had gone to his residence to deliver the first instalment of Rs 50,000 when the CBI arrested the accused after receiving a complaint from Arora. The office of the complainant is located in the accused officer’s neighbourhood in Sector 22.

The sources said the complainant also recorded the voice of the accused while he was demanding the bribe from him and it is in CBI officials’ possession. The information about Jain’s arrest has been delivered to Income Tax Department officials telephonically. A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, has been registered against the IT officer. Accused Jain will be produced in the court of a special CBI judge tomorrow.



City records highest rainfall in February in 5 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Intermittent rainfall since morning exposed the lack of preparedness on part of the Chandigarh Administration and the MC as the rain left city roads and parking lots waterlogged, causing inconvenience to city residents. High-speed winds swept through the city throughout the day, disrupting power supply.

A waterlogged parking area in the Sector 42 market after rain in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Tricity under deluge: A waterlogged parking area in the Sector 42 market after rain in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: pradeep tewari

Roads were inundated and motorists found it difficult to drive through waterlogged roads as the authorities had not cleaned road gullies in many parts of the city. City Mayor Subhash Chawla said the MC had cleaned roads gullies in many areas and would soon clean the remaining road gullies.

Visitors to the Sector 43 District Courts complex had a tough time as they had to wade through slush in the parking lot.

Due to the high-speed winds, power lines were snapped in many areas, including Dhanas, Mauli Jagran, Manimajra, A parking area in the market in Phase XI in Mohali after rain on Tuesday Khudda Jassu and Sectors 38, 41, 46 and 56. Residents of these areas also faced power cuts ranging between three and five hours. UT’s Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said they had received complaints from a few areas and the faulty lines were repaired immediately.

Life in Chandigarh went out of gear as the city today recorded the highest rainfall during the past five years in February. Panchkula and Mohali also received widespread rain, which brought down the day temperature by 2.7 degree C.

The city received 27 mm of rainfall, recorded between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm, taking thea waterlogged road in the Industrial Area, Phase I, in Panchkula. total rainfall so far this month to 42.2 mm, which is the highest in February since 2008. Met officials said the rain was accompanied by high-velocity winds, which kept blowing at a speed of nearly 20 kmph.

They said the rain would continue tomorrow, which might further drop the overall temperature. The maximum temperature recorded in the city today was 16.6 degree C, which was 2.7 degree C lower than yesterday. The minimum temperature recroded today was 13.1 degree C.

The officials said the rainfall was the result of a western disturbance and the situation was likely to ease after 48 hours. “Dry season is expected after February 7,” said an official.

A parking area in the market in Phase XI in Mohali after rain on Tuesday; and (left) a waterlogged road in the Industrial Area, Phase I, in Panchkula. Tribune photos: parvesh chauhan and s chandan


Setback to industrialists
UT to ban transfer of leasehold industrial and institutional plots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to impose an embargo on the transfer of leasehold industrial and institutional plots.

To stop the transfer of these leasehold plots, the UT Administration is all set to make amendments to the Estate Rules, 2007.

The issue was discussed at a recent meeting of the UT officials and Administrator Shivraj V Patil.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the plots were allotted to industrialists and other owners for running of their businesses. However, people have started selling the plots as well.

According to the official records, there are around 2,000 leasehold plots in Phase I and II of the Industrial Area allotted between 1973 and 1982 with the allotment letter mentioning that these plots were transferable after 15 years.

The Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007 provide that transfer by way of sale, gift, mortgage or otherwise of the site or any right, title or interest therein may be allowed, subject to the payment of one third of the unearned increase in the value.

But, Industrialists are not happy with the approach of the UT Administration. President of the Industries Association of Chandigarh Arun Mahajan said the administration should work for the growth of the industrial sector. But, such decisions would increase the number of litigations.

Chander Verma, Chairman of the Converted Plot Owners Association, said they were demanding for the conversion of leasehold plots to freehold ones. The UT Administration should adopt the Delhi pattern where leasehold plots can be converted into freehold.



lease amount
Admn calculates rates of property around Golf Club
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
On the directions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the UT Administration has calculated the rates of residential and commercial properties prevailing in the area near the Chandigarh Golf Club.

According to the data compiled by the UT Administration, the average rates of auction of residential and commercial properties in Sector 7 is Rs 60,000 per square yard and Rs 3,00,000 per square yard, respectively.

The UT Administration has finalised the Golf Club lease on the basis of Rs 25,000 per square yard.

Now, the UT Administration will submit its reply to the MHA.

The query from the MHA has come in response to the UT Administration’s letter in which it had sought permission from the MHA to renew the lease of the Golf Club. The Golf Club management had also approached the MHA.

Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Chandigarh Golf Club to pay Rs 20 lakh as rent to the UT Administration within two weeks. The directions came from a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain while acting on a petition seeking quashing/ setting aside the orders of the UT Administration dated November 15 and 16, 2012, wherein the club was asked to deposit rent to the tune of Rs 9,27,48,000 within two months.

On November 15, the UT Administration had finalised the new lease deed of the Chandigarh Golf Club with effect from March 16, 2008. According to the new lease, the club was asked to shell out Rs 1.54 crore annually.

Thereafter the Golf Club management had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Market violations to be removed today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
As the district administration has rescheduled its demolition drive against the illegal constructions raised in the Sector 42 day market for tomorrow, a survey of the UT Estate Office has revealed that such violations also exist in the day markets in sectors 26 and 37.

In violation of the allotment rules, many allottees have raised walls around the sites to convert these into booths.

In the Sector 42 market, the number of such violations is very large. In some cases, allotees have joined two sites to create a larger shop. “The illegal constructions have been raised in the past few years,” said an official of the Estate Office.

The field staff have recommended action against allottees for breaching the terms and conditions of allotment. They could even face the cancellation of allotments, said an official.

Sources said while the sites in the Sector 42 market were allotted six months ago, those in Sector 26 and 43 were allotted a few years ago to enable 'rehriwalas' and 'pheriwalas' to conduct their business from the market only during daytime. 



pds system
Smart card scheme misses deadline
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Owing to the delay in the compilation of the beneficiaries’ database, the UT has missed the February 1 deadline for the introduction of smart cards for the disbursal of commodities under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Against around one lakh beneficiaries of both the below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line (APL) categories, the department has so far issued around 30,000 smart cards. “Although the database of 50,000 beneficiaries has been compiled, smart cards are yet to be issued to them,” said the officials concerned.

After the smart cards are issued to beneficiaries, the process of direct cash transfer to PDS account holders’ accounts would be started.

Sources said owing to technical glitches, more on the part of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), as also a shortage of staff, the two-year-old process of issuing smart cards is running behind schedule. Now, the department plans to start the process by April.

The smart card scheme, which will cover around 2.5 lakh families in Chandigarh in the below poverty line, Antyodaya Anna Yojana and above poverty line categories, was supposed to become fully operational by December 2010.

Benefits of smart card

The smart card scheme has been aimed at streamlining the functioning of the Food and Supplies Department and ensuring improvised service delivery by replacing the existing paper-based ration cards with smart cards. The smart card system envisions setting up point of sale (POS) terminals at all fair price shops and kerosene depots in the city. The smart card will carry the biometric data of the family members of a card holder.



Live rockets found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 5
Three live aircraft rockets were found near Kharag Mangoli village in old Panchkula area here today. A team of Army officers and the bomb disposal squad took the rockets to the Army area near Makhan Majra in Chandigarh to diffuse them.

The rockets were spotted by a farmer while working on his fields, following which he informed the police. The police on reaching the spot called the Army intelligence officials and the bomb disposal squad. Barricading was done in order to avoid any mishap.

The bombs, weighing around 2.5 kilograms, reportedly belong to the Air Force.

It is not for the first time that such bombs have been recovered near this area. In 2004, nine rocket launcher shells were found near the military station boundary facing Suraj cinema hall in Sector 1.



For airtel, GMADA building in HP!
Employees working on seventh floor paying roaming charges
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 5
Does the seventh floor of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) building in Sector 62 here come under the territory of Himachal Pradesh? The answer is in the affirmative if one goes by Airtel’s network. This is what the staff of the GMADA, using the services of the company on the floor, claims.

“Almost everyday, we receive Airtel messages ‘Namaste! Airtel welcomes you to Himachal Pradesh…’ on our mobile phones,” said Pankaj Bawa, District Town Planner, GMADA, whose office is on the seventh floor of the building.

While showing one of such messages on his mobile phone, which he claimed to have received while sitting in his office recently, Bawa said they did not know which of their phone calls would be charged as per the roaming charges. “We also hesitate in taking incoming calls due to this problem,” said Bawa, claiming that the problem has resulted in rise in their phone bills.

“My phone bills have increased in the past six months. Similar is the case with my 20 colleagues, who are using the services of Airtel,” claimed Gurdev Singh, another employee of the GMADA using the service.

We have started using two phone numbers while at work, he added.

If this was not enough, the employees are also facing a peculiar problem. “Once my wife found the ‘Welcome to Himachal Pradesh’ message on my phone. It was very difficult to convince her that I did not make any secret visit to the hill state and was in my office that day,” said Bawa laughingly.

A senior official of Airtel said a team of experts would be sent tomorrow at the site to check the problem. “Once we detect the problem, then we will able to comment. The problem would be solved for sure,” said the official.

Glitch in Mobile network
Airtel locates 7th floor of the GMADA building in Sector 62 under the territory of HP
Officials’ mobile bills have increased due to roaming charges



Uprooted tree damages house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Due to rainfall and high-speed winds, a tree fell in the courtyard of a house at Sector 46-C. The Municipal Corporation had recently started the work of installing a tube well at the spot, and heavy digging had taken place.

Sohan Lal, a resident of house no. 3262, said last night a tree fell in his courtyard, damaging the roof’s railing and a parked motorcycle.

“Luckily, the tree fell at night. Otherwise, children who play near the tree could have been injured,” he said.



Centre seeks clarification on cost sharing of Metro project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Union Ministry of Urban Development has sought clarification from the UT Administration on the formula devised for sharing of cost between Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for the construction of the proposed Metro rail project.

The ministry has also asked the administration whether Punjab and Haryana have given their consent to the project. Presently, only Punjab has given a written consent.

The queries have come in response to the detailed project report (DPR) submitted by the UT Administration in 2012.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the ministry also wanted to know how the administration would generate funds for the project.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, in the DPR, had proposed the work on the 37.573 km-long Metro rail project would begin this year, and would be completed by 2018. The DMRC also proposed the construction of 30 Metro stations in the two corridors during the phase I of the project. The Metro will be underground within the sectoral grid of Chandigarh. Outside the grid, it will be elevated.



Miscreants steal tyres of car, truck
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 5
In two separate incidents, miscreants stole vehicle tyres here last night.

In the first incident, thieves targeted a Hyundai i-20 car at Phase VII. The complainant, Dr Sumit, said he had parked the car in front of his house at around 1.30 am last night.

“Today morning our servant informed us that all the tyres of the car had been stolen,” said Dr Sumit. One of his neighbours claimed he had seen a car parked near the victim’s car at around 2.30 am. He, however, saw no person there, he said.

In another incident, thieves stole all the tyres of a parked truck and left it on bricks at a petrol pump in Raipur Kalan village.

The truck owner, Sukhcahin Singh, said he had parked his vehicle at a non-functional petrol pump. The thieves also stole 200-litre diesel, a stereo and some tools from the truck, the truck owner alleged.



samjhauta blasts
Accused to go on hunger strike

Panchkula, February 5
The counsel of Samjhauta train bombings case accused Swami Aseemanand and Kamal Chauhan today moved an application in court stating they will go on hunger strike disputing Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's remarks on “Hindu terror”.

The case had come up for hearing before the NIA special court here this morning. It was stated the Home Minister had made “uncharitable remarks” that he should not have made being on such a responsible post.

The application stated that the accused would observe a 72-hour hunger strike from February 13 to February 15 at Ambala jail. The court has kept the matter pending. — TNS



Berkeley surrenders dealership

Chandigarh, February 5
The Berkeley Automobiles has surrendered its dealership of Maruti four-wheelers at Chandigarh, SAS Nagar, Panchkula and Kalka.

The company yesterday submitted a 90-day notice to Maruti, resigning from the Maruti dealership with immediate effect. It, however, will be attending to the existing customers during the 90-day period.

All the pending bookings will now be taken care by the Maruti Suzuki India Limited. Berkeley will also clear the existing stock in the next 90 days. Ranjeev Dahuja, director of the company, said they would honour all commitments. — TNS



Drunk driver flees from police naka

Chandigarh, February 5
In an embarrassment to the UT Traffic Police, an auto driver, Dharampal, whose auto was seized at a naka after he was found drunk, managed to escape along with his auto after applying a duplicate key to his three-wheeler last night.

Later, red-faced traffic policemen traced the impounded auto from the rented accommodation of Dharampal in Sector 7, Panchkula, but the driver is still absconding. The incident occured at 11.30pm at a late night naka near Modella light point, Industrial Area, Phase-I. — TNS



Relief for JBT recruits
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Taking cognisance of the delays reported in medical examination of over 500 newly recruited JBTs at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, the Education Department has decided to allow them to join without the medical examination, provided that they submit a written undertaking to the department.

The move has been taken with a view to hasten the “early” joining of the teachers, whose joining process will begin from February 8.

However, in the written undertaking, the selected candidates are being asked to submit their medical fitness certificate as and when they undergo the exam. Those who are declared medically unfit by the panel of doctors will be disqualified from the job.

The decision came after the selected candidates could not formally join the department as it was difficult to get dates for undergoing medical examination at the GMSH, Sector 16. Due to sudden glut of new recruits from different departments, the waiting list for the test had reached till June or July.

“The delay in medical examination was affecting the joining of newly recruited teachers. Keeping the interest of the candidates as well as the department, the decision to give the candidates relaxation has been taken,” said a senior official of the department.

He said approval was sought from senior officials before the move. All the candidates would join the department within three days, he said.

Arvind Rana of Chandigarh SSA Teachers Welfare Association welcomed the move by the department and said early joining of the teachers would bring relief to the government schools as far as shortage of teachers was concerned. The new recruits will not suffer financial losses due to late joining in the department.

A selected candidate, Amit, said the decision would not affect their seniority claim. The department has planned a week-long induction programme for the teachers.

Joining Dates
Feb 8: First 200 candidates (General category)
Feb 11: 122 candidates (General category)
Feb 12: 118 candidates (OBC)
Feb 13: Other candidates (Rest of categories)



Workshop on soft skills concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
A two-day grooming, resume writing and interview skills workshop organised by placement cell of Government College of Education, Sector 20, concluded today with resource persons giving various tips to the students.

The second day of the workshop witnessed lectures by Jasvir Chahal, associate professor, Government College of Yoga Education and Health, and Shivinder Kang, soft skills professional and assistant course coordinator, Regional Institute of English.

Chahal deliberated upon the fact that there is no dearth of employment opportunities for teachers today and teaching is one of the most lucrative professions. Kang spoke on conception and production of an effective resume.



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