14112017-CT-01.qxd 11/14/2017 1:09 AM Page 1 cHANDIGARH TRIBUNE TUESDAY | 14 NOVEMBER 2017 | CHANDIGARH Marginal hike in hostel fee Dengue cases at a high Tips for budding players Marginal increase in hostel fee for 2018-19 session at Panjab University. P2 2,253 cases of dengue reported so far from Mohali district, the highest in eight years. P4 U-17 World Cup skipper Amarjit Singh Kiyam interacts with CFA trainees at Sector 42. P6 FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY SKY | MAX 26°C MIN 12°C | YESTERDAY MAX 26.6°C MIN 11.5°C | SUNSET TUESDAY 5.27 PM SUNRISE WEDNESDAY 6.47 AM CHB halves processing fee, slashes form cost by 80% Burning issue THE TRIBUNE IMPACT HOW MUCH YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY NOW Ramkrishan Upadhyay Tribune News Service With most parts of North India already reeling under smog due to air pollution, a man burns polythene bags and other waste material near the Sukhna choe at Daria village in Chandigarh on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR Faulty traffic lights Mohali MC in a pose major risk catch-22 situation PURCHASE OF FRENCH TREE-PRUNING MACHINE Akash Ghai Tribune News Service Vehicles wait for the signal to turn green at Tribune Chowk. MANOJ MAHAJAN Chandigarh, November 13 Faulty traffic lights at the Sector 33/45 intersection are posing a threat to commuters. The traffic light gets red well before the time displayed at the lights. A motorist was challaned today for jumping the red light by traffic cops for “no fault of his”. Deepak Sharma, who was crossing the light point, said the light was green but due to some fault it turned red despite 13 seconds remaining. “I was stopped by the traffic police after which I pointed out the fault in the timer. The police, however, spoke to me rudely and issued a challan for jumping the red light,” said Sharma. He said he made a video of the faulty timer and com- Commuter cries foul over being challaned for ‘no fault of his’ plained to the traffic police on their Facebook page and even submitted a complaint at the office of the DSP (Traffic). He said, “This is sheer harassment; I am being challaned for no fault of mine and then I was told to contact the engineering wing to get the fault rectified”. TRIBUNE CHOWK TRAFFIC LIGHTS FAULTY TOO The traffic lights at Tribune Chowk are also faulty. The lights towards Zirakpur from the Sector 32 side turn red within a few seconds after getting green. — TNS Mohali, November 13 The Mohali Municipal Corporation authorities, who have already paid nearly Rs 90 lakh in advance for purchasing a French tree-pruning machine, are now finding themselves in a catch-22 situation. The reason is an ongoing inquiry into the purchase of the France-made Reach Mower-cum-tree-pruning machine, worth Rs 1.79 crore, by the office of the local government. Sources said some favours were allegedly extended by the department authorities while finalising the tender and the agreement with a Delhi-based private company, Cosmic Healer Private Limited, which had got the order. The MC authorities had placed an order for the purchase of the machine, costing Rs 1.79 crore, with the company on December 21. Surprisingly, half of the total price, around Rs 90 lakh, was immediately paid to the company by the MC authorities, which raised many an eyebrow. A senior official in the department said the MC usually did not make advance payments for purchases. “Some apparent favours were extended in the deal,” alleged the official. Later, following some objections in this regard, the head office of the local government in Chandigarh sought the file of the machine and initiated an inquiry. The machine has already arrived in the town and the company has asked the corporation to take possession of the machine by making the rest of the payment. The corporation authorities are now in a catch-22 situation as a whopping amount has already been paid to the company. Sandeep Hans, MC Commissioner, said, “The company is now asking for the remaining payment before the delivery of the machine. How can we make the payment when an inquiry is on in this regard?” Chandigarh, November 13 The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today slashed the processing fee for the conversion of residential property from leasehold to freehold by 50 per cent and the cost of the application form by 80 per cent. Sources said the decision to reduce the fee was taken with the approval of VP Singh Badnore, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator. The CHB was facing flak over the high processing fee and increasing the cost of the application form after the Administration announced to start conversion of dwelling units in September. The plight of residents, who felt fleeced over the decision, was highlighted in these columns. The CHB started selling the form for conversion for Rs 1,180 (Rs 1,000 plus GST), which was available for just Rs 25 three years ago. The CHB also increased the processing fee manifold, ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 plus GST for different types of flats for conversion. Residents opposed the high processing fee, terming it arbitrary. Jatinder Bhatia, a resident, said there was no justification in charging the processing fee by the CHB as the Estate Office was not charging anything for processing applications. NO DECISION ON THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY PAID The CHB has not taken any decision on returning the amount of those who have already purchased the form for Rs 1,180 or deposited the processing fee at the old high rates. Sources said around 350 forms for conversion were sold and some property owners had deposited the processing fee at the old rates. The CHB has not clarified so far whether it will return the extra amount or adjust it in the conversion fee. Brochure EWS LIG MIG HIG MIG/HIG OLD CHARGES ~1,000 plus GST PROCESSING FEE ~1,000 plus GST PROCESSING FEE ~5,000 plus GST PROCESSING FEE ~10,000 plus GST PROCESSING FEE ~15,000 plus GST PROCESSING FEE ~20,000 plus GST NEW CHARGES ~200 plus GST ~500 plus GST ~2,500 plus GST ~5,000 plus GST ~7,500 plus GST ~10,000 plus GST INDEPENDENT HOUSES It was after my intervention that the Administration reduced the processing fee and the cost of the form. I took up the matter with the Administrator and requested him to reduce the charges to give relief to the residents. KIRRON KHER, MP This is a cruel joke on the people. There is no justification in levying charges for the form, which should be made available online, and for processing, which is an internal work of the board. It is shocking to know that the exorbitantly high conversion charges have not been reduced. PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL, former Union Minister I welcome the decision to reduce the processing fee and the cost of the form, but the conversion fee should also be reduced as it is exorbitantly high and unacceptable to residents, who will not opt for conversion at these rates. HARMOHAN DHAWAN, former Union Minister I am thankful to the Administrator, who acted promptly on my request, which I made to him on Sunday. I raised the issue of the high processing fee and the high cost of the form with the Administrator and requested him to issue directions to reduce it. I also took up the issue of the exorbitant conversion fee with the Administrator. SANJAY TANDON, city BJP chief It is a halfhearted decision, which is not going to give relief to anybody. There should not be any processing fee and charges for the form. The form should be made available online free of cost. PARDEEP CHHABRA, city Congress chief CHB to impose penalty on illegal construction Chandigarh, November 13 Illegal construction in houses of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) will cost residents dear as the board has decided to impose a penalty depending on the severity of the violations. Sources said the decision to impose the penalty at the rate of Rs 100 per sq ft was taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors today. The proposal of the penalty was brought in to discourage people from carrying out illegal construction as a recent survey conducted by the CHB found large-scale violations in houses. The survey report was recently submitted to the authorities. Owners to pay ~100 per sq ft The board has already allowed covered area from 60 per cent to 70 per cent and fixed Rs 200 per sq ft for covering additional area without prior approval. An officer of the board said many people had carried out construction in their houses beyond the permissible limit over the years and were approaching the board for relief. He said no cancellation or demolition would be carried out if the owners agreed to pay. This is the first time that such a penalty has been imposed on the pattern of the Estate Office where residents are charged penalty under the Estate Rules-2007. Unlike the Estate Office, the CHB was not imposing penalty on misuse and violations. The CHB was either sending cancellation notices or demolishing the illegal construction. According to the survey carried out by the CHB, violations range from making internal changes to constructing a room in the courtyard. — TNS Night shelter that housed cops now locked Pavneet Singh Chadha Tribune News Service Mohali, November 13 The Raen Basera at Phase 1 in Mohali, which until recently was being used by cops for lodging for months, remains locked, depriving the poor and the destitute of a shelter. In the winter season, the urban homeless in the city will literally be left in the cold, with no provision for their accommodation. Earlier, the shelter was being used as a temporary accommodation by cops posted in the district. Chandigarh Tribune had reported on September 14 about the shelter being used by cops for lodging purposes. Till last week, when Chandigarh Tribune visited the Raen Basera, the six beds in the “family room” of the shelter had been occupied by cops and the adjacent room, meant for women, was cluttered with their personal belongings, including uniform and trunks. According to sources, the shelter was vacated by cops for The Raen Basera building in Phase 1, Mohali, lying locked. THEN NOW Urban homeless in Mohali at the mercy of the elements a few days, only to occupy it again. Asked, one of the constables said the Raen Basera had been allotted to policemen. “Seven cops were sharing this room for a few months,” said the policeman. Another constable claimed that the Raen Basera served as a temporary lodge for police personnel posted at the Phase 1 police station. In 2012, the Municipal Corporation had renovated a few vacant rooms of the octroi naka adjacent the fire brigade office in Phase 1 and converted it into a night shelter at a cost of Rs 10 lakh. However, the shelter could never be used for the intended purpose. “Earlier, it was used by some officials of the fire brigade department,” said a fire officer on condition of anonymity. He said, “Cops had been staying here for the past five to six months. They put a lock on the room recently for fear of the matter being reported in the media again.” Kulwant Kaur, councillor from Phase 1, said the Raen Basera had not been built for c m y b lodging policemen, but for the welfare of the public. “It was closed earlier since it was vacant and lying unutilised. During the winter, the homeless will require it. I will raise the matter and urge the authorities to appoint a caretaker at the shelter to avoid the premises from being misused by cops.” Mohali Mayor Kulwant Singh said no permission had been granted by the MC to policemen to permanently use the services of the Raen Basera. He said, “The shelter was vacant. Cops may be using it for a short term when they are deployed for duty in the city. We will make sure the shelter is vacated and becomes operational in the winter for the needy.” In the absence of a night shelter, the urban homeless turn to the night shelter in Phase 6, which has a capacity of 43 beds with separate rooms for men, women and families and patients. Ramji, the caretaker, said during winter, all beds at the shelter would be occupied. “Many poor families whose acquaintances are undergoing treatment at the PGI or the Civil Hospital in Mohali seek accommodation here,” he said. At present, 25 persons, including six patients, are staying here. J Thakur, a resident of Himachal Pradesh who is staying at the shelter with his mother, said the Raen Basera offered a cheaper alternative. Smog: School timings changed in Mohali Mohali, November 13 In view of the prevailing smog and bad weather conditions in the area, Mohali District Magistrate-cum-Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra today ordered a change in the timings of all government and private schools from tomorrow till November 18. Under the order, all schools will open at 10 am and close at 3 pm. Sapra said the order had been issued to ensure the safety of schoolchildren and the staff. Sapra said both district education officers (primary and secondary) had been ordered to ensure compliance of the change in the timings by every school. “Any violation in this regard will be dealt with sternly as it is matter of the safety of children,” said Sapra. The recent orders of the Punjab DPI regarding closure of schools for three days last week were flouted by several private schools in Mohali. — TNS SEE ALSO PAGE 5
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