C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT Admn, MC to bulldoze Colony No. 5 on November 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The UT District Magistrate has ordered demolition of illegal structures on 50 acres of prime land in Colony No.5. The land under illegal occupation is worth over Rs 200 crore.

The orders have been issued after giving ample time to the slum dwellers to shift to one-room tenement allotted to them in Dhanas. The demolition will be carried out on November 20 by the Estate Office, Chandigarh Housing Board, UT Engineering Department and Municipal Corporation.

Earlier, the District Magistrate had issued a 21-day public notice to the slum dwellers to evict the land under occupation of face demolition. The slum dwellers have been given 30 days time to move to their flats allotted under the Small Flat Scheme-2006 in Dhanas. As many as 5,000 beneficiaries were identified for rehabilitation on the basis of biometric survey carried out in 2006. All shanties that had come up after 2006 would be pulled down after the notice period, said officials in the colony branch of the UT Estate Office.

A number of beneficiaries are yet to take the possession of one-room tenements inaugurated by the Prime Minister at Dhanas in September.

Over 8,000 one-room flats have been constructed at at the site.

There was a clause in the rehabilitation scheme that the beneficiaries would have to vacate the land in the colony within 30 days of taking the possession of the one-room flat. 



Padam Motors fined Rs 21.5 cr
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The UT Excise and Taxation Department today imposed a penalty of Rs 21.50 crore on Padam Motors, dealer of Chevrolet and Renault cars, for evasion of Value Added Tax (VAT) while selling cars.

The department scrutinised details of over 600 cars sold in three years, including the current fiscal, to detect the evasion.

UT Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Mohammed Shayin, confirmed that the penalty had been imposed after verifying the sale records of three years. The department had issued tax demand notice along with the penalty.

Managing director of Padam Motors Amarjeet Singh was not available for comments.

Officials of the department said the dealer used to issue bogus sale invoices. Against a particular invoice number, the dealer was issuing multiple sale letters.

In the sale letter, VAT at the rate of 12.5 per cent has been shown to be charged from customers, but the same had not been paid to the department.

The department has found that a number of vehicles have also been registered by the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, on the basis of bogus sale invoice letters.

Mohammed Shayin said a number of anomalies have been detected.

Following a tip-off, the department had raided the premises of Padam Motors on June 21 this year and seized 187 Chevrolet and 164 Renault cars. Padam Motors has outlets in Punjab and Haryana.

A team of excise officials led by Excise and Taxation officer Munish Nayyar conducted a regular assessment of the year 2011-2012 and proposed assessment of years 2012-2-13 and 2013-2014 to detect the evasion.

The department plans to approach the car companies for the details of sale of the vehicles.

The department also quizzed some customers to find out how the vehicles were registered. The officials said the dealer was selling multiple vehicles on one sale certificate in violation of norms. 



Dist court judge accused of demanding Rs 50-lakh bribe 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Industrialist Manjit Singh Arora, an accused in a four-year-old rape case, today filed an amended petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, alleging that two Panchkula residents had demanded a bribe of Rs 50 lakh from him on behalf of a district court judge for exonerating him from the case.

The case is pending in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Najar Singh and slated for hearing on November 18.

The industrialist has also filed a complaint with the District and Sessions Judge for transferring the case to another court. District and Session Judge SK Aggarwal confirmed that his office had received a copy of the complaint. Najar Singh was not available for comments at his Sector 16 residence. His son, Mohit Singh, said his father did not want to comment. However, in a section of the media, the judge has been quoted saying that the complainant was levelling the allegation to escape punishment.

Addressing a press conference here today, Manjit Singh said he has also filed a complaint with the CBI.

In his petition filed in the High Court, which will come up for hearing on November 25, he demanded a stay on the proceedings of the case in Najar Singh’s court, besides transferring of his case to the court of another judge.

He claimed that he had already paid Rs 25 lakh as part of the bribe money to one Dr Naresh Mittal — Rs 15 lakh on October 16 and Rs 10 lakh to his wife on October 29. He also named one Balbir Chaudhary in his petition.

In his petition Manjit Singh Arora stated that he had video and audio recording of his conversation with Dr Naresh Mittal when he gave him the money. He said the case was adjourned in the district court to October 31 and then on November 7 and further to November 12, but even then he was continuously being threatened to pay the remaining amount. Under pressure, the petitioner moved the Punjab and Haryana on November 7.

The amended petition was filed today. On November 12 during the hearing of the case in the district court, he moved an application in the court of Najar Singh to adjourn the case on the ground that his petition was pending in the High Court. The case then adjourned to November 18. 

The case

The UT police arrested Manjit Singh Arora on the charges of repeatedly raping his 14-year-old maidservant in Chandigarh and Mumbai in January 2010. In August 2010, the victim and her mother turned hostile. The final arguments of the case were fixed on August 26, 2013, in the court of Additional Session Judge RK Yadav, but he was replaced by Najar Singh before this. 


Now, fire cess irks residents 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 16
Even though Mohali residents have been exhibiting reluctance to pay the recently imposed property tax, it is time for them to brace themselves for another blow in the form of fire cess.

What will add to the unwelcome development is that the new levy is to be doled out by them along with the property tax.

According to sources, the Municipal Corporation had received a letter from the state government directing the civic body authorities to collect fire cess along with the property tax from residents during the ongoing financial year.

Those who had already deposited property tax should be approached for the payment of the cess.

Fire cess will be imposed on industrial and commercial units and also on high-rise buildings in the town.

The government has directed the corporation to create awareness by setting up various camps in the area to apprise residents of the payment of fire cess.

According to officials, camps organised by the civic body would make the collection of the new levy easier for the residents of Mohali.

Additional Commissioner (Technical) of the civic body BD Singla said fire cess was imposed under a government notification of 1993.

The notification directed all civic bodies which were maintaining fire brigades to levy fire cess.

In a bid to calm down worried tax-payers, the Commissioner pointed out that fire cess was already being collected in other districts of the state along with house tax earlier; the difference is that now it will be collected with property tax.

It was only Mohali where house tax had not been imposed over the years,said the Additional Commissioner (Technical) of the civic body BD Singla.

5 per cent and 10 per cent categories

Commissioner of the municipal corporation Uma Shankar Gupta said buildings, godowns and shops in which inflammable materials had been stored would have to pay fire cess equal to 10 per cent of the property tax imposed on the owners of the buildings. Fire cess, however, would be lower in the case of other shops and industrial units, where it had been fixed at five per cent. 

High-rise building occupants to pay 2 pc

Although most of the residents have been exempted from the payment of fire cess, those living in high-rise buildings (height of 36 ft and above) would have to pay 2 per cent of the property tax as cess.



Anti-encroachment drive: Clear market verandahs within 3 days or face action 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Following the directions of the Commissioner of the civic body, the Municipal Corporation has started issuing notices to shopkeepers who have encroached upon the market verandahs.

A time period of three days has been given to the defaulters to vacate the area, failing which action would be initiated against them.

The civic body has reportedly asked shopkeepers to remove their belongings from the market verandahs or pay fine. The fine fixed in this regard has been decided upto Rs 500 per day or Rs 10,000 per week. Even the goods of shopkeepers would be seized in case these were not removed from the verandahs.

It was highlighted in these columns on November 13 that encroachments were going on unbridled in almost all markets in the town.

When the tehbazari wing goes to remove enchroachments, heated arguments are often witnessed between shopkeepers and tehbazari wing in the market areas.

Allegations that council employees adopt a pick and choose policy, while removing encroachments have also been levelled time and again by shopkeepers.



Sector 5 gets pre-bridal makeup
Venue for Mayor’s daughter’s wedding gets a makeover, road repaired overnight
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
Officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Panchkula Municipal Corporation have gone into a development overdrive, literally. Reason: The wedding of the daughter of Panchkula Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia.

The city's commercial centre--Sector 5--has got a makeover. The wedding is scheduled for November 20 and the venue is the ground at the rear of HAFED.

As a number of VVIPs are to attend the ceremony, the most neglected area of the town has got a new look.

For the past five years, residents had been urging the authorities to get the road separating Sectors 5 and 6 repaired.

MC workers re-carepeted the road overnight. Road berms are also being painted. The venue for apni mandi, which is held every thursday on the ground, has been shifted to Shalimar Ground in order to keep the place spic and span.

Vikas Dhamma, a resident of Sector 19, said, "Such big fat weddings should take place in our area as well."

Panchkula Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia said, "The wedding has nothing to do with the repair of the road.

It's a coincidence. We had to shift the venue for apni ground as the ground is being levelled. Shalimar Ground which is at a stone's throw from there."

An official of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) said, "Many VVIPs, including senior Haryana government officials, are expected to come, so our seniors have asked us to complete the work as soon as possible."

Executive engineer of HUDA Rohtash said, "We are getting the patchwork done. The work had been pending for long."

Raakhi Sharma, a resident of Sector 6, Panchkula said, "We had gone to HUDA authorities a number of times to get the potholed road repaired, but to no avail. What has happened to them now? They are carrying out repair work even at night."



UT Admn sailing in two boats
Seeks civic body’s views on merger of 13 villages, appoints returning officers for panchayat elections
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The UT Administration is adopting double standard on the merger of 13 villages. First, it sought the civic body's views and then appointed four returning officers to conduct the panchayat elections in the villages.

The villages, which come under 12 gram panchayats, will go to polls next month.

The Administration has appointed Rajesh Jogpal, director, social welfare department, TPS Phoolka, director, transport, Rajiv Gupta, Joint Commissioner, MC, and MM Sabharwal, director, public relations, UT, as the returning officers. The Administration's decision has left villagers, sarpanchas and MC councillors wondering whether they should prepare themselves for the elections or the merger.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said the Administration's double standard had left the villagers in a fix. In a day or two, they would hold a meeting with members of the Pendu Sangharsh Committee and panchayat samiti to decide the future course of action, he added. Ramvir Bhatti, vice-president, BJP, said the Administration was working at the behest of the Congress. "It is an attempt to end the panchayati raj system," he said.

Zila parishad member Manoj Lubana said there was no harm in the merger of villages in the MC as the village culture had already faded away. "The Administration is doing the right thing," he said. 

Returning officers Villages

Rajesh Jogpal Kishangarh, Director, social welfare dept Mauli Jagran, Kaimbwala

TPS Phoolka, Director, transport Daria, Raipur Kalan, Raipur Khurd

Rajiv Gupta, Joint Commissioner, MC Behlana, Dhanas, Sarangpur

MM Sabharwal, Director, public relations Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu

In a fix

The Administration's decision has left villagers, sarpanchas and MC councillors wondering whether they should prepare themselves for the elections or the merger

The move has cheered residents. After the merger, we can expect the development of the 13 villages. The authorities should complete the process as early as possible.— Surinder Mehta, a resident of Khuda Ali Sher 

They are against the merger as no development takes place in the villages that were earlier merged with the MC. This is only a political move as the Assembly and panchayat elections are round the corner.— Joginder Singh, general secretary, Pendu Sangharsh committee

There is nothing wrong in the merger of 13 villages with the MC, provided there are no building bylaws. If the construction will be restricted, there will be no benefit of the merger— Vijay Rana, ex-councillor, Burail village

After the merger, the civic body officials will start creating problems for the villages in the name of building bylaws. For constructing even a wall, an NOC will be required. At present, there is no need for permission — Gurdeep Singh, sarpanch, Raipur Kalan and Makhan Majra.



Day 4: Date with dramatics 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Theatre is a medium not fully explored in the formal education system of the country. To bring the focus on this “important tool”, the National Book Trust organised a workshop on dance-drama on the fourth day of the Chandigarh Book Fair. Over 50 students were taught how to learn through the dramatisation of stories.

Pointing out the lack of use of theatrical tools in the formal education, one of the resource persons, Dr Shekhar Sarkar, said such activities remained limited to annual shows at schools.

“There is a need to have a separate dramatics club for each class, and the morning assemblies should be used for staging childrens’ performances. Inter-class competitions can also be organised,” said Dr Sarkar.

The base of theatre, said another resource person, Asha Siklani, is its content. This content can take inspiration from textbooks as well as literature, thereby making students to learn through dramatics.

She said theatre helps in giving wings to children’s imagination and creativity, making them more open to their surroundings.

Manas Ranjan Mahapatra, another expert from the National Book Trust, said recently, the Central Board of Secondary Education had introduced theatre as a compulsory activity in value education, but its modalities had not been finalized yet.

“Our current education system does not allow the kids to open up. All the schools should have one theatre teacher,” said Mahapatra.

The day also saw students from Classes IX to XII of both private and government schools participate in a creative writing competition. Parents and teachers made use of this time browsing through various books at the stalls set up at the fair.

Later in the day, a book on stress management, written by Colonel Gursewak Singh (retd), was released. An interaction with author Ravi Subramanian took place in the evening. The author, a banker by profession, has written popular thrillers revolving around banking.

A multilingual “Kavi Darbar” was also the highlight of the evening. Laj Pushp, Kumar Vinod, Gyan Parkash, Varinder Madhur and Rajinder Toki enthralled the audience with their poetry.

Today’s Schedule

* 11 am to 1 pm

Book releases

* 3 pm to 5 pm

Creative writing workshop

* 6 pm to 7 pm

Author talk with Nitika Singh, Sachin Garg




Chandigarh Tribune invites feedback from its readers on issues of public concern relating to Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and the nearby areas. Readers can email their views to

letters.ct@gmail.com They can also send their views to: Feedback, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh — 160029.

Letters sent by post must mention 'Feedback for Chandigarh Tribune' on the envelope and it should be signed and must contain the address and telephone number of the sender. It should not be more than 150 words. P3

Change needed in law on suicide abetment

We Indians must demand a change in law for abetment to suicide. For example, if a person has taken loan from banks and other financial institutions and is not capable of returning the same in the stipulated time-frame due to huge debts, then the officials of the banks and other financial institutions will definitely pressurise him to get back their money. And if the person concerned is not capable of coping with the pressure, then he or she ends life making the officials of the banks and the other financial institutions responsible for the same in a suicide note. In this case also, the law of abetment to suicide applies and leads to the arrest of the officials of banks and other financial institutions even when they are not at fault. So, I think the law on abetment to suicide must be changed to some extent and people like us must make an effort to get the appropriate changes done in the law to safeguard the public from the misuse of law as stated in the aforesaid example. And there may well be other examples.

JK Aggarwal, Panchkula

Helmet-less women should be fined too

This refers to the photo feature captioned, ‘Youths risking lives, riding without helmets’ (Chandigarh Tribune, November 14). I would like to point out here that why is it is only the males who are fined or challaned for not wearing helmets while riding two-wheelers. Why are the females not fined? Whatever be the reasons—political, religious or any other, the life of a female rider is equally important in the eyes of the law.

Moreover, if the authorities want to be really strict in enforcing the law of riding with helmets, then they should request or even force the Film Censor Board not to depict heroes and actors riding two-wheelers without helmets. Youths copy the films actors often and hence, avoid wearing helmets while driving. Moreover, the law should be equal for all and in every city, town and village. I am not against the wearing of helmets. I support the law. But the law should be applicable equally to all sections of society.

Let the government first wake up to the realities and then act against those who violate the law. Otherwise, it is a crime to force youths to wear helmets in Chandigarh alone and that also on one part of the population that is less than 20 per cent (excluding the 50 per cent women and 20 per cent Sikh men) of the total population.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh



Tricity scan


6th HR summit

Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology (GJ-IMT), Phase II, Mohali organised sixth HR Summit-2013 titled ‘Skilled human capital, 
a catalyst for 21st century-Bedi’ at CII, Sector 31, Chandigarh. Reputed companies and educational institutes participated on the occasion. S Bhullar 
of Anand Automative Ltd was the keynote speaker. The programme started with the welcome address by JS Bedi, chairman, Gian Jyoti Group of Institutions.

Annual meet

As many as 700 students from Chhaya Academy celebrated Founders day. Students from pre- nursery to Class XI participated in the function. Various dance forms such as classical, semi-classical, western, folk and contemporary was performed on the occasion. A thought provoking play on the importance of women was the highlight of the function. Everyone present thouroughly enjoyed the performances and appreciated the efforts put in by the students. A melody tribute to singing legend Manna Dey, who passed away recently, was also presented on the occasion.


Blood donation camp

A voluntary blood donation camp was organised by the Panchkula Rotary Club Midtown at Speedlinks, Mahindra and Mahindra Dealership, Panchkula. Ashwin Shenvi, DCP, Panchkula, inaugurated the camp. Dr Ashish Gupta (president) and Vishal Aggarwal (vice-president) were also present on the occasion.


72 donate blood

A blood donation camp was organised by Mullanpur Property Consultants Association supported by Omaxe New Chandigarh at Mullanpur Omaxe. As many as 72 blood donors voluntarily donated blood. — TNS



Senate took no contrary decision: PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Clarifying on the matter regarding the advertising of 93 posts of assistant professors without seeking any clarification from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Panjab University (PU) authorities have stated the issue was discussed in the Senate meetings, but no contrary decision was taken.

According to the PU officials, in its meeting in December 2011, the PU Senate had decided to allow all the candidates with a PhD to apply for the post of assistant professors. However, the PU Syndicate, in a meeting held on December 15, 2012, had resolved to get the eligibility of candidates clarified from the UGC.

The university further stated that the issue was discussed in the Senate meetings on December 22, 2012, and January 20, 2013, but no contrary decision to the 2011 decision was taken.

The template was approved in the recent meeting held on September 29 this year, but in this meeting, too, no change of position was resolved with reference to the Senate’s 2011 meeting, stated the PU officials.



Students not ready to relent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Students continued with their protest against the fee hike at Panjab University. On the second day of the agitation, members of the Student for Society and Student Federation of India (SFI) said they would camp outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office till the university rolled back the hike.

Earlier this year, the university had increased the fee for various courses by 10 per cent, and for the self-financed courses by 20 per cent. Students had alleged they came to know about the decision when they were asked to pay the semester fee.

Two students are sitting on an indefinite hunger strike in support of the demand for rollback.

SFI leader Prabhpreet Singh said the students would keep protesting till their demand was met.

A protestor said the university should not put additional burden on students by charging exorbitant fee.



Children pledge to reduce waste
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Students of English Access-Vatsal Chaya, Chandigarh, celebrated Recycling Day with Nek Chand at Rock Garden. The icon shared his vast experience with around 100 students.

The children showed him articles made by them using waste material. Looking carefully at each item, he offered advice to them.

One of the students, Bhavna, said Nek Chand was an inspiration for them. Deepti said they would not waste any material from now on.

The students took a pledge to reduce waste, reuse and recycle. A rally reverberating with the slogan "Let’s Keep Chandigarh Green and Beautiful" was taken out to create awareness. Chairperson of Vatsal Chaya Sangita Vardhan said the trust was planning to collaborate with schools, industry and residents to create awareness on the issue.



Workshop engages UIET students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
RoboTryst-2014, a two-day workshop on robotics, commenced at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University.

The eight-hour session on the first day was a mix of theory and hands-on session. The session was conducted by Mayank, a research engineer at Robosapiens Technologies—the organisers of workshop.

The theory session covered the basics of robot electronics and introduction to microcontrollers. Giving examples of robot models, he elaborated on their importance in the industry.

The hands-on session saw active participation of all the teams. They were taught about the edge-avoiding robot and line-following robot. The session aimed at covering topics that could help students not only during competitions but in the academics as well. 



National award for city girl

Chandigarh, November 16
Shraddha Muralidharan, a Class VIII student of Carmel Convent School, has been awarded the National Child Award for her accomplishments in the Hindustani classical music.

Shraddha was one of the 23 children who were felicitated on Children's Day at New Delhi. The award includes a silver medal, a cash prize of Rs 10,000 and a citation.

Besides topping her class every year, Shraddha has been training in the Hindustani classical music from the age of five. — TNS



City girl shines in USA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Divya Mehra, a student of National Law University, Jodhpur, and an alumnus of Carmel Convent School, has brought laurels to the city by winning the Ambassador Trophy in the John Marshall Law School 32nd Annual International Moot Court Competition in the USA.

The competition was held in Chicago, USA, in October this year.

Daughter of a doctor couple, Divya Mehra topped Class X at Carmel Convent School. She is currently pursuing her BBA, LLB from Jodhpur. 



500 pre-primary students leave audience awestruck
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School organised annual sports day on its campus. More than 500 pre-primary students captivated audience with their performances on the occasion.

Tiny tots displayed their skills in different events such as athletics, long jump, shot put, butterfly drill, watering the plants and animal races. The show ended with Bhangra performance. National General Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, was the chief guest.



Colourful performances captivate parents
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, November 16
Students impressed the audience with their stage performance at the "Razzmatazz '13", the cultural event of Manav Mangal Smart School.

The show, for Classes V and VI, began with the school presentation, followed by a prayer dance. The melodious prayer song, with the synchronised steps of the students, was appreciated by all.

Homage was paid to Shaheed Bhagat Singh through a dance performance and enactment. The wrath of nature witnessed in Uttarakhand was depicted through a ballet, "Mera Desh Ro Raha Hai".

A fashion show on the theme of colours was applauded for the costumes and the panache with which the children walked down the ramp.

Musical extravaganza

Concluding with their Seventh Annual Founder's Week celebrations, Vivek High School, Mohali, staged a musical extravaganza, "Blaze Away", on the Sector 38 campus. The evening opened on a religious note with an invocation to the Almighty through a “shabad”. This was followed by a melodious rendition of Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie’s song "We are the World".

Annual Day

Panchkula: The 38th Annual Function “Satluj Pride-2013” was celebrated enthusiastically at Satluj Public School, Sector 4. The chief guest was Padma Shri-awardee Balbir Singh, former Olympian in hockey. Students presented various cultural items, enthralling the audience.



Cultural fest ends on a high note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
An inter-college quiz tested the students’ acumen in current events at cultural event “Ignition Reloaded-2013”, organised by Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University.

Students from various neighbouring colleges participated enthusiastically in the duet and folk dance competitions. The interns of the host institute displayed their talent through a play highlighting unemployment.

The principal, Prof Ashish Jain, awarded trophies to the winners. The three-day event culminated with a dance party and dinner on the premises of the institute.



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