C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City was more polluted this Diwali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Despite a campaign launched by the UT Environment Department to discourage the use of firecrackers, the air and noise pollution level on Diwali night in the city not only exceeded the permissible limits, but also witnessed a marginal increase over last year.

The maximum noise pollution levels were recorded between 8 pm and 10 pm. The data collected by the department reveals that the noise pollution level reached 76.4 decibels (db) in the residential zone against the permissible limit of 45 db.

In the silence zone, the noise pollution level was 77.5 db against the permissible limit of 40 db. In the commercial zone, the noise pollution was 74.1 db against the permissible limit of 55 db.

In terms of the air pollution level, the city witnessed the highest air pollution level in the residential zone. Against the permissible limit of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) level of 100 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm), Sector 22 recorded 450 mcpm. In 2012, the level was 280 mpcm.

Sector 29, which was declared a silence zone as it houses the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinic, witnessed an RSPM level of 409 mpcm against the permissible limit of 100 mpcm. This was higher than 349 mpcm recorded in 2012.

In the commercial zone, Sector 17, the RSPM level on Diwali night was 165 mpcm compared to 207 mpcm in 2012.

A week before Diwali, the UT Pollution Control Board had collected data and found that the air and noise pollution levels had exceeded the permissible limits.

Air and pollution-detection equipment was installed at three places: Sector 29 (silence zone), Sector 22 (residential zone) and Sector 17 (commercial zone) as compared to seven places in 2011. Officials said despite a ban on bursting crackers after 10 pm, residents were seen doing so with impunity.

Noise pollution
RSPM levels were lower in Sector 17 as compared to last year and increased slightly in Sectors 22, 29.
The maximum air pollution was recorded in Sector 22 and the minimum in Sector 17
The maximum noise pollution was recorded in Sector 29 between 9 pm and 10 pm and the minimum in Sector 17



Panchkula residents used lesser but more harmful crackers
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
The air pollution on Diwali night registered a marginal fall as compared to last year in Panchkula, but the level of sulphur dioxide recorded a considerable increase, indicating more use of crackers having a high content of the harmful gas.

Data collected by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) showed that the air pollution -- suspended particulate matter (SPM) -- recorded this year was 514.67 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm), while last year it was 600 mpcm, but the peak value of the harmful sulphur dioxide in the air increased from 66 mpcm to 99.69 mpcm on Diwali night.

The board released the data of the air and noise pollution during Diwali. While the noise pollution on Diwali was recorded by a noise meter installed at Sector 21, Panchkula, the air pollution was recorded for three days by an ambient air quality monitoring system installed at Sector 6.

Going by the air pollution data, the level of SPM in Panchkula on November 2 (a day before Diwali) was 249.54 mpcm, on November 3 it was 514.67 mpcm and on November 4 it was 101 mpcm.

“If we go by the data of air pollution, it has come down, indicating that people used less crackers, but since the level of sulphur dioxide has shown an increase, it indicates that people used crackers having a higher content of the harmful gas,” said the Regional Officer of the HSPCB, JP Singh.

He said, “The gas has a harmful impact on the environment.” The continuous ambient air quality monitoring system, which is

stationed at Sector 6 sucks the air and records it online. The entire system is online. Panchkula is one of the four stations in Haryana, which have this online machine.

Noise pollution
The noise pollution recorded this Diwali (105 db) saw an increase as compared to 2011 (91 db)
Last year, the noise pollution could not be recorded as the noise meter was out of order.



UT fails to frame industrial policy, gets MHA rap
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has rapped the UT Administration for not preparing an industrial policy for the city. The MHA has now directed the Administration to prepare an industrial policy on the Delhi pattern.

At a recent meeting with the Administration and city industrialists, the minutes of which were made available today, the MHA has issued these directions.

According to the minutes of the meeting, “The Joint Secretary, MHA, dealing with the UT, said to govern an industrial area, there must be some industrial policy. He advised the Administration that it should take a firm decision instead of making industrialists run from pillar to post. He said the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) had defined ‘industry’ and ‘enterprise’ as one entity and the same could be considered by the Administration.”

According to the minutes, “The Administration should review the organisational setup so that entrepreneurs are not made to run from pillar to post.

The Administration may formulate a new industrial policy corresponding to the MSMED Act, 2006, possibly on the lines of the GNCTD. The Administration may notify IT & IT-enabled services as stated by SK Setia, Joint Secretary (Estates), UT, at a meeting and also identify a list of services which can be notified under the Act,” the minutes read.

The meeting was convened by the MHA in New Delhi to resolve the dispute between the Chandigarh Administration and a joint forum of industrialists.

HS Mamik, who represented the industrialists at the meeting, said they had pleaded with the Administration to support the industry.

Recent blows to the industry by the Administration

Rejects demand for converting industrial plots from leasehold to freehold
A proposal for introducing automobile repair work and warehousing in the Industrial Area has not been found feasible.



PGI security supervisor sets an example of honesty
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The phrase "no legacy is as rich as honesty" has been once again proved right by PGI security supervisor RN Dwivedi, who found Rs 28,000 at an ATM on Diwali night and immediately informed bank officials about it. Dwivedi was on patrol duty on the PGI premises when he found Rs 28,000 lying in the ATM.

He immediately took the money from there and informed the bank authorities about it so that no undue claimant could take the money. He counted the money in front of the CCTV camera installed at the ATM booth.

He said he was on night duty when a senior doctor came to the ATM for withdrawing money. He wished the doctor a happy Diwali and continued with his work.

He said bank officials asked him not to hand over the money to anyone who turns up to claim it. However, he checked up with the doctor, who had visited the ATM.

The doctor told Dwivedi that it was his money and said with "folded hands" that he had made his Diwali happier with that one telephone call. Dwivedi said it was for the first time in his 15-year career that he had got such respect from a senior faculty member, who thanked him for keeping his hard-earned money safe.

Besides being an employee of the PGI, Dwivedi is also a social worker who arranges weddings of poor girls once a year by collecting funds.



Housewives battle it out with boiling milk over petty issue
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
Two housewives used boiling milk as a weapon in a petty neighbourhood fight in Sector 11 here, leaving both with burn injuries. The brawl started after one of the women alleged that the other one, along with her husband, was making fun of her.

Both women, Kusum and Soni, landed at the General Hospital, Sector 6, with 30 per cent and 10 per cent burn injuries, respectively.

Fearing that a police case may be registered, Kusum left the hospital bed on the pretext of going to the washroom. Later, she left the hospital without intimating anyone after two hours of her admission.

The police is investigating the matter to find out who was the first one to throw boiling milk.

Soni said, “I was in the backyard of my house. My husband was passing funny comments on me and both of us were laughing. Suddenly Kusum, who was also in the backyard of her house, hurled abuses at me and said how dare you make fun of me.”

She said, “I had just finished boilng milk when she came to my house with her sister and pulled my hair.” Later, both of them accused each other of pouring boiling milk first. After one of them poured boiling milk, in a fit of rage, the other one picked up the bowl with the remaining milk and threw it on the other.


RWAs fight over maintenance funds
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
While the Municipal Corporation had increased the amount, which was given to the Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs), for maintaining neighbourhood parks, in the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting, the disputes between the different RWAs have also increased.

In the F&CC meeting in September, the committee had increased the maintenance charges for neighbourhood parks from Rs 1.5 to Rs 2.48 per sq mt per month.

Mayor, Subhash Chawla, said increase in the amount has also increased the disputes between the various associations. In the last one month, they have received complaints and counter complaints on maintenance of the parks by the resident associations from Sector 20, 32, 38 and Mani Majra.

Mayor added that office-bearers of number of the associations claimed that they had submitted the application for maintenance of neighbourhood parks in their area but the MC hands over parks to the other associations. In some cases, the association had also moved to the court against the MC, he added.

An MC official said earlier, the MC gave Rs 1.5 per square mt to RWAs to maintain parks. An official concerned makes the payment only after an inspection. Besides, the authority also helps the associations with beautification of parks, he added.

The idea of handing over parks to Residents' Welfare Associations was floated by the authority, following the success of the same in Mohali.

Initially, a few RWAs objected to the proposal saying they didn't have enough manpower and funds to maintain the parks. But since the authority announced that they would give money and other support to the associations, many of them started approaching the authority. 



City’s first modern Community Centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
UT Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, today inaugurated a Community Centre at Sector 48 here.

On the occasion, Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, said the centre would be very useful for the local residents to hold their social programmes. He said local residents, who cannot afford the marriage palaces in outskirts of the city, can now have very good option in their own area to organise their programmes according to their budget.

Mayor, Subhash Chawla, said with the facility of gym and carrom and table tennis room, the residents and children can have good option to do lot of physical activities under one roof.

Area councillor, Davesh Moudgil, said there would be trainers in the gymnasium and other games and librarian in the library for the proper care of services.

The Community Centre is first of its kind in Chandigarh in the southern sectors, having outer and inner design of a hotel. In this hi-tech and modern Community Centre, people can start booking to organise programmes, which has fully air-conditioned hall with a capacity of 300 persons, modular kitchen, office room, library with computer facility, musical gymnasium, card room, table tennis room, carrom guest room etc.

More than 70 four-wheelers and 50 two-wheelers can be parked inside the Community Centre and the lawns are very big to provide open space for marriage and other purposes.



MC to celebrate Children’s Day in Dadu Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Arts, Sports and Culture Committee of the Municipal Corporation today decided that instead of Nehru Park at Sector 22, this time, the MC would celebrate Children’s Day on November 14 at Palm Park in Dadu Majra.

In the meeting, committee members BJP councillor, Saurabh Joshi, and Congress councillor, Sat Parkash Aggarwal, raised the point that every year, the MC should not organise Children’s Day function at Nehru Park, Sector 22. The entire city was planned by Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Therefore, the function should be celebrated in other parts of the city especially in villages and colonies.

Their views were also supported by other members and finally, it was decided that this year, the MC would organise the function in Dadu Majra.

Committee chairman and Congress councillor, Gurbax Rawat, said they had planned to organise function at Sector 22. But as members were in favour to organise function in villages and colonies therefore, the committee decided to organise function in Dadu Majra.

The committee also decided that cash prizes, Rs 3,100, Rs 2,100 and Rs 1,100 to first, second and third positions, respectively, would be given in each category-fancy dress, declamation and painting competition.

No consensus on Bansal’s name

In the meeting, there was difference of opinion among the committee members over the Local MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name for the chief guest. Some members opposed Bansal’s name and recommended that the UT officials like UT Advisor or Home Secretary should be the chief guest on the function. Whereas, some were in favour of Bansal’s name. As there was no consensus among the members, the committee members deferred this issue.

Committee member, Sat Parkash Aggarwal, said the committee will check the availability of different persons and only after that the final decision will be taken about who will be called as the chief guest.



Money spent on malba drive goes down the drain
Month on, not a single resident has approached MC to get debris lifted
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
While the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has spent nearly Rs 3 lakh on a publicity campaign to make the city malba-free and has provided the phone numbers of the officials concerned, more than a month has passed since such advertisements were issued, but not a single resident has approached MC to lift malba.

An MC official said with a view to facilitating the general public and overcoming the problem of dumping of malba in the city, the MC had started a service to remove malba on a payment basis.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said even after spending Rs 3 lakh on the publicity campaign, the response so far was poor. Officials had given him a report that till date not even a single resident had approached them for the removal of malba, he said.

He said instead of calling the MC staff, residents were still dumping malba on roadsides, especially during night hours. People should support the MC in making Chandigarh a malba-free city and should avail of the services offered by the MC, he said.

Earlier, the MC had formed a flying squad to keep an eye on those dumping malba in the open, but as the MC was facing a staff crunch, it failed to keep a regular check on the violators. There are authorised malba-dumping sites in Sectors 31, 33, 49 and 50.

MC issues notices

Through a local court, the MC has started issuing notices to residents who have dumped malba and garbage in the open. Recently, the MC had submitted around 60 such complaints to the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandigarh.

Where you can contact to get malba lifted
For Sectors 16 to 22, 31, 33 to 35, 44, 45, 47 to 51, 63, Colony No. 5, Industrial Area, Phase II, Hallo Majra, Ramdarbar and Burail
8427778918, 9915711471

For Sectors 26 to 30, 32, 46, Industrial Area, Phase I, Colony No. 4, Bapu Dham, Transport Area, Timber Market, Motor Market, Mani Majra, MH Complex, Mani Majra, Indira colony, Pipliwala town, Darshani Bagh and Shivalik Enclave
9872511389, 9872511143

For Sectors 1 to 11, 15, Khuda Lahora Colony, 23 to 25, 36 to 43, 52 to 56, 61, Janta and Kumhar Colony, Dadu Majra, Maloya, Kajheri, Badheri, Attawa, Butrela and Palsora
9872511225, 9915711362



Better Chandigarh
commuting in the city
Illegal auto-rickshaws rule City Beautiful roads

The failure of the UT to put in place an effective public transport system has encouraged the illegal business of autos. During rush hours, smoke-producing diesel autos, operated from the neighbouring states, virtually take over city roads. In the Part 2 of the series on commuting in the city, The Tribune reporter Deepankar Sharda and photographer S Chandan take stock of the situation.

Fact file

2,600 registered LPG autos

3,000 unregistered LPG autos from neighbouring states

5,000 diesel autos from Punjab and Haryana run on city roads

Diesel autos banned in 2009

Rules permit three persons per auto whereas eight to nine persons are carried by illegal autos

Commuters are fleeced as fare is not charged on the basis of meter reading

Reciprocal agreement with Punjab allows counter-signing of LPG or battery-operated autos of Punjab

When it comes to regulating the operation of auto-rickshaws, the situation is alarming. Many of them neither pay road tax nor charge commuters on the basis of meters. In spite of directions to the traffic police, it has remained more interested in intercepting other vehicles coming from outstations. The auto drivers halt their vehicles anywhere, even in the middle of roads, to pick up commuters, putting theirs as well as others lives to a grave risk.

More than 5,000 auto-rickshaws from Punjab and Haryana run on the city roads daily. The autos bearing registration number of other states enter the city and operate from major spots, including near the petrol station of Sector 22-B (in front of the ISBT, Sector 17), from the ISBT, Sector 43, the Sector 8 main road and Kisan Bhawan in Sector 35. Notably, the owners of these three-wheelers do not have any road permit, nor do they pay any road tax to the UT administration. Challaning drives by the inadequate state transport authority (STA) staffed has had little effect on the illegal business.

Autos bearing Punjab registration numbers at Sector 22, Chandigarh.
Autos bearing Punjab registration numbers at Sector 22, Chandigarh.

The rickshaw operators work in an organised manner. The main operators start their day from the Sector 43 ISBT. They operate and prefer to make business with a single passenger. After dropping the single passenger to his destination in Chandigarh, they shift their base to Sector 22-B and pick seven or eight passengers in one go and operate on the same route. The Sector 22-B area is known to be their “adda”.

According to the rules, the autos from neighbouring areas can drop passengers in the city but are not supposed to pick up commuters. Also, the registered autos of Chandigarh are allowed to carry only three passengers.

Despite ban, diesel autos still in use

In 2009, the UT Administration banned diesel autos in Chandigarh in order to make the city pollution free. The administration had decided to introduce LPG autos. In December 2009, around 2,600 LPG autos were given the road permit for Chandigarh. Apart from them, more than 3,000 LPG unregistered autos and another 4,000 diesel autos from the neighbouring states are running on the roads of the City Beautiful.

Musclemen help take over MC auto parking zones

The diesel-auto mafia has hired musclemen, who charge money from auto-rickshaw drivers in order to help them gain control of parking zones as also pick up passengers. Notably, special auto parking places are allotted by the Municipal Corporation for Chandigarh auto stands. The hired musclemen charge Rs 30 from each operator who parks his vehicle in these zones.

The police-driver ‘nexus’

The owners of autos running without the STA permit are reportedly treated well at the pre-paid booths. Like any other city, the officer at a pre-paid booth issues a pre-paid slip but the driver charges the passenger at will. The driver puts forged signatures on the slip and returns it to the officer at the booth to claim the agreed amount. “I am just filling in the slips. If they are not ferrying the passengers, it’s their headache. If my superiors want me to challan these autos, they should give me a challan book instead of this pre-paid slip,” said the officer deployed at the Sector 22 auto stand.

Ride to Zirakpur, Kharar, Pinjore in Rs 20

These illegal auto drivers carry as many as eight passengers in one go to different border areas of Punjab and Haryana. They charge a nominal amount of Rs 20 each and Rs 10 each for shorter routes.

Admn’s loss per year

The UT administration has been incurring a huge revenue loss due to the illegal autos as these don’t pay any permit fee or road tax to the UT. Moreover, these illegal vehicles have no meters. With over 7000 autos running on the city roads without paying any tax, the administration has been incurring a revenue loss of Rs 20 or Rs 30 lakh per year.

Overloaded autos a traffic hazard

The auto-rickshaws carry around eight persons per round. According to the rules, only three persons are allowed to travel in a single auto. Also, the Chandigarh police and the State Transports Authority have no data of these illegal autos and their drivers.

No Meters and Safety measures

A majority of autos neither bear complaint numbers nor have meters. They charge passengers at will. These autos don’t conform to safety norms and ply sans first-aid kits and safety iron bars on the right side of the passengers’ seat.

Few takers for pre-paid booths in city

The traffic police officials on duty at the pre-paid booths claimed they receive only three or four passengers per day. “Only three or four passengers approach us on an average every day. The pre-paid booths serve every auto driver who comes to them,” said an officer.

Radio taxis, Tuk-Tuk

Privately run cabs and Tuk-Tuk (auto rickshaw) are two other means of public transport in the city. These services are believed to be safer as the traveller knows the driver’s name, car number and remains under the safety of a tracking system. In Chandigarh, around 30 Tuk-Tuks and more than 135 radio cabs operate every day. The Tuk-Tuk autos run from 9 am to 9 pm and charge Rs 35 per km for the first 2 km and then Rs 10 (flat) per km. The radio cabs run 24 hours and charge Rs 23 (flat) during day and Rs 28.75 (flat, approximately) at night (after 11pm till 5 am).

official speak
We are making stringent efforts to stop the illegal operation of these auto-rickshaws in the City Beautiful. In October, we have issued challans to around 410 auto drivers and impounded a number of vehicles. In the future also, we will act tough to check the nuisance caused by these illegal auto operators. The challaning drive will continue and we will control the situation soon.
Mahavir Kaushik, 
State Transport Authority

The Chandigarh traffic police issues challans on a regular basis and also impounds these illegal vehicles. But the fine imposed on them is far less than what they earn in Chandigarh. A few months ago, the auto operators from Punjab and Haryana agitated against the police and demanded a single permit for the tricity. But we denied their request. If the operators from Punjab and Haryana want to run their autos here, all they need to do is take the permit of Chandigarh and follow the rules of the STA.
Maneesh Chaudhary, 
SSP (Traffic & Security)

The illegal auto-rickshaws cannot roam around freely without getting any help from the higher authorities. The administration is incurring huge losses and if they have declared the city eco-friendly, then how come these autos are running right under their nose?
Surinder Bhardwaj, 
chairman, Tricity LPG Auto Union

Regulate auto-rickshaw stands in each sector with specific KM rates.
Start a short shuttle bus service for all sectors and border areas.
Encourage commuters to use pre-paid facility.
Keep a special check on pollution.
Increase the number of LPG autos.
Ban autos plying without permit in the city.

Residents speak

The illegal auto-rickshaws should be banned in the city. These illegal autos are adding to pollution and chaos on the city roads. The traffic police and the STA authorities should impound such vehicles and impose a heavy fine on their owners. The situation needs to be dealt with a heavy hand. Varinder

If these autos are running illegally, the traffic police should take a strong stand against them. The increasing number of diesel autos in Chandigarh will make the city more polluted. The authorities need to act tough before it is too late. Gurpreet Kaur

Travelling on a sharing basis proves cheaper but the risk to travellers’ lives is quite grave. The authorities should find a way to make the city clean and to accommodate the drivers of these autos. Karamvir Singh

The autos that are running illegally should be fined. Every person has the right to earn money but through proper means and channels. The local operators should come forward and oppose the presence of illegal autos in order to run their business smoothly. Rajiv

I was not aware of these illegally run three-wheelers. The authorities should bring a proper system so as to stop the nuisance caused by them. Vijay Kumar



Metro project moves at snail’s pace
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
More than five years after the Ministry of Urban Development had given an ‘in-principal’ approval for the metro rail project in the tricity, the UT Administration, Punjab and Haryana last month had finally agreed on the terms and conditions of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was circulated by the ministry for the implementation of the Metro rail project in the tricity. At a recent meeting, which was chaired by UT Adviser KK Sharma and attended by officials of Punjab and Haryana, it was decided that the cost of the Metro project will be borne equally by Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and the Centre.

Earlier, the project was to be implemented under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. However, Punjab and Haryana were not ready for the PPP mode. Later, the UT altered the MoU of the project so that the stakeholders could reach a consensus for the execution of the project.

The UT Administration, Punjab and Haryana have already agreed to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project. It was also discussed that the SPV may be named as the Chandigarh Tricity Multi-Modal Transport Corporation.

Monorail project shelved

In 2006, the UT Administration had decided to set up monorail in the city, choosing it over an elevated rail transit system. It was also decided that the monorail will operate on three routes and have 38 stations. Thereafter, no progress was made on the mono rail issue and UT officials started working on the tricity metro project.



No headway in blind murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
More than three weeks after a motor mechanic was found bludgeoned to death in Kaimbwala village, the UT police is still clueless of the case.

The body of the motor mechanic who was identified as Inder was found on October 15 and his head was smashed with stones. A team of forensic experts, including a dog squad, had also inspected the spot.

The police had questioned Inder’s three friends in this regard while no theory regarding the murder has emerged so far. The police said the victim was a drunkard and drug addict. He was unmarried and did not even use a mobile phone, making it tough for the police to track down his last location.

A police official said that the investigations were on and they hoped to get a lead very soon.



Four more test positive for dengue in city

Chandigarh, November 5
Four more dengue cases have been reported today with the health department. Total number of the detected cases has touched the figure of 66 in the city. With the upcoming high-risk season for the transmission of vector-borne diseases, the UT malaria wing of the health department has geared-up field activities for prevention and control of malaria and dengue.

Official said as the reports for the cases were received from the laboratories confirming the dengue cases, a home visit is made by the health workers. Spray operations and anti-larval activities are conducted in the area to stop the further transmission of the disease. — TNS



Cancer patients
Patients get Rs 2.1 cr aid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 5
Financial aid of Rs 2.10 crore has been given from the Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund to 140 cancer patients in Mohali district to help them.

Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said financial aid of Rs 1.50 lakh was given to each cancer patient from the fund by Punjab Government.

He said 144 patients in the district had requested for financial help, which had been provided to 140 of them.

In the case of the remaining four patients financial assistance would be given soon.

He further said medicines at subsidised rates were also being provided at the Jan Aushadi store being run by Red Cross Society at the Civil Hospital here.

He said as per the Janani Suraksha Yojna, financial help was also provided to pregnant women.

Under the scheme over Rs 7 lakh had been distributed from April to September. Besides, under the Mata Kaushalya scheme financial help of Rs 1,000 was being provided to parenting women after delivery in government civil hospitals.

During the current financial year, aid of Rs 2.92 crore had been provided under this scheme. Government aims to help the maximum number of patients.



MC designates bank to collect property tax
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 5
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has been designated as the online gateway for the payment of property tax in Mohali, a step taken to facilitate those staying in other states or abroad.

A meeting was held at the Municipal Bhawan here today between Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation Uma Shankar Gupta and bank officials. Employees of the civic body also attended the meeting.

It is learnt that the bank authorities have been asked to set up seven dedicated centres for the purpose of tax collection in Mohali at its seven branches. They have been directed to get ready with their software by next Monday so that the work of collecting tax at their level started rolling. The corporation has collected Rs 8 lakh as property tax so far and the amount is expected to rise substantially in the next 10 or 15 days.

Commissioner of the civic body said the PNB had been made the online gateway for the convenience of people who owned property in Mohali but lived elsewhere. They could now deposit their property tax online or could even approach the PNB branches anywhere in the country personally to pay the tax. These bank branches would be given the required forms to supply to the persons owning property here.

He said for the purpose of collecting property tax from industrial unit owners a camp would be organised in the industrial area. A meeting had been held with representatives of the industries’ association where they were assured that the entire tax would be collected in two days. Civic body employees had also been assigned the job of distributing tax-related forms in the commercial areas. Gupta further said between 8,000 and 10,000 tax forms were collected by residents from the civic body camps. An additional 20,000 forms were now being printed.



PSPCL employee suspended for misappropriation of bill amount
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 5
A case of alleged misappropriation of bill amounts of consumers of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) running into lakhs of rupees has come to light here. A woman employee of the PSPCL has been suspended in this connection and a complaint to the police has also been lodged.

The money, deposited by the consumers in connection with their power bills, has neither been returned to them nor has it been adjusted in subsequent bills. This has led to lot resentment among the consumers concerned.

It is learnt that a resident of Phase III B-1 here had deposited Rs 19,000 in September. However, later he received the next bill of Rs 25,000 which included an outstanding amount of Rs 19,000 plus penalty for non-payment.

According to reports, the corporation had received many other complaints where the consumers had receipts for the payments of bills. But the amounts deposited were not shown in subsequent bills.

It is reported that the alleged misappropriation of bill amounts took place at the Phase I bill collection centre of the PSPCL. The modus operandi was that the consumers, who went to pay their bills, were told that the server was down and the payments could only be made in cash. The amounts collected in this manner were allegedly not deposited in the PSPCL account.

Jaspal Singh, SDO, commercial (PSPCL), said Gagandeep Kaur, who was working as a cashier, had been suspended in this connection and complaint had been lodged with the police.

Jaspal Singh further added that when the consumers started complaining, the department got to know about the alleged misappropriation. He said about two weeks ago, the amount involved was about Rs 2 lakh which had now gone up to about Rs 5 lakh.



Encroachments removed from highway
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 5
The Zirakpur police removed some encroachments near the Ambala-Chandigarh national highway today.

Tarlochan Singh, SHO of the area, said some illegal encroachments were causing inconvenience to the commuters near the national highway. Due to which, there had been some accidents at times. He added that removing the illegal encroachments would also continue in the future.



Minor fire in train
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 5
A fire broke out in a train which was coming from Amritsar to Chandigarh today. No loss of life was reported. Sources said the fire was seen by some passengers at the Mohali Railway Station who panicked and rushed out of the train.

A railway official said there appeared to have been sparking in the control room for the AC supply due to which there was fire in a generator.



PU invites applications for faculty posts

Chandigarh, November 5
Panjab University (PU) has invited applications for 93 posts of assistant professors in various departments of the University.

The screening criteria to be used by the selection committees for academic record and research performance are also available on University website. “Academic record would have 15 marks and research performance would count for 35 marks, teaching experience is for 5 marks and post-doctoral fellowship, post-doctoral project from public funding agency would be of 5 marks,” officials stated. PU officials said separate application form is required to be submitted for each post. — TNS



Halloween celebrations

The Oakridge International School celebrated Halloween in Indian style, here. The students dressed up in costumes and painted their faces and mimic the evil spirits to scare the teachers. The creativity was easily witnessed in the way by which they coloured their faces and hands.

Green Diwali

Taking the slogan ‘Green Diwali’, the students of GMHS 43 celebrated green Diwali by holding different activities and competitions. The celebrations started by taking anti-crackers oath followed by poster-making and slogan-writing competitions.

Awareness camp

The Gem Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali, in collaboration with Mohali Traffic Police solicited the awareness among students to prevent colossal waste of human lives through accidents.

Students awarded

Lavish Bansal and Sanam Goyal of The Millennium School, Mohali won Green- I award at national level amongst more than 170 schools participating nationwide. The Green I awards , Asia’s biggest initiative on Green Buildings organised by CII Young Indian ‘s in collaboration with The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) & United Technologies recognizing the importance of environment and sustainability held this competition at a national level which asked for entries from schools across India on the topic , “ Your city in 2013”.

Vigilance Awareness Week

The volunteers of NSS Units, Peace Club and The Mahatma Gandhi Student Legal Literacy Club of GMSSS, Sector 38(West), Dadu Majra Colony, jointly observed 'Vigilance Awareness Week'. Rajeshwar Singh, Law officer, State Legal Services Authority, was the guest speaker in the interactive session. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |