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Wildlife Act technicalities sparked school raid
Mandatory for schools to obtain possession certificates from state chief wildlife warden

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THE technicalities in the Wildlife Protection Act, which make it mandatory for schools to obtain possession certificates from the state Chief Wildlife Warden, seem to have triggered the controversy pertaining to the recent raid conducted at Sacred Heart School Sector 26. The issue surfaced on Tuesday when a team of People For Animals (PFA) raided the School’s biology lab with a team of police officials and sealed the laboratory after recovering 31 specimens of animals. These specimens included that of

frog, lizard, cobra and few other species. As per the rules framed under the Act in 2003, all institutions including schools were directed to either surrender specimens of prohibited wild animals included in Schedule 1 of the Act or obtain possession certificate from the state Wildlife Department. Going by the records available with UT Chief Wildlife Warden Santosh Kumar, none of the city schools obtained the certificate within the deadline, when the ruling came in 2003. “Although only a particular school had to bear the brunt, the issue pertains to many schools in the country as they

could not attain the possession certificates. For educational institutions, there is nothing wrong in preserving these specimens for research purposes. The anomaly lies in the interpretation of the technicality in the Wildlife Act by the schools. However, if the schools send us requests now, we will certainly recommend their case to the Central government,” said Santosh Kumar. Sharing a similar opinion, DPI (Schools) Sandeep Hans said, “Since the Central government had made provisions for the schools to take permission for possessing the specimens in their labs, it is certain that their

purpose of keeping these specimens is valid. Even if the schools failed to comply with the technical clause, keeping in view the interests of students, they may be given a chance to apply for the certificates once again.” The police, however, have not registered any case. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naunihal Singh said, “The PFA representatives had given us a complaint citing infringement of the Wildlife Protection Act by the school. So, on the basis of their complaint, we deputed a team of police officials to accompany the PFA representatives to look into the matter.”

PFA admits it crossed limit
CHANDIGARH: Admitting that PFA does not have any authority to conduct such raids, PFA Wildlife expert Saurav Gupta today said, “We are an all-volunteer body. We need to take the help of the police to investigate such institutions. Here as well, we acted after lodging a complaint with the police.” Santosh Kumar, on the other hand, said, “We have returned the report to the police since they are equally empowered to pursue the case.”

Liquor vends’ auction nets Rs 140 cr

T EXCISE and Taxation Department officials were all smiles after raking in a whopping Rs 140 crore(approximately) as revenue from the auction of 135 liquor vends in three different categories in the city. The earning from the auction held last year was Rs 127 crore. At present the city has a total of 217 liquor vends, of which 152 are IMFL vends and 65 are country liquor vends. A total 110 IMFL vends and 25 country vends were auctioned today while no bids were received for 82 vends. Last year 190 vends auctioned. The Department is going to re-invite the sealed bids for the remaining 82 vends which did not fetch any bid today and are expecting another Rs 15-20 crore from the next auction. Tentatively, the applications for the sealed bids will be invited till April 26 and the auction is likely to be held on April 27. Ten vends are not operational owing to the tussle be-


tween the Municipal Corporation and the UT on the issue of the land where where these are located. Since the land belonged to the MCC and it had failed to collect rent as was decided in the past, it decided to discontinue allowing the prefabricated vends on its land. For once, the north-south divide in the city showed reverse trends with the vends located in the southern belt, especially along Vikas Marg, fetching the maximum revenue. The vends, liquor shops located alongside the Madhya Marg and in the northern sectors of the city fetched the least amount. Speaking to Newsline, AETC Naresh Dubey said, “The response has been very good. We have earned more revenue compared to last year. We are hoping to repeat the same feat in the next leg of auctions.” The department has earned more revenue auctioning less number of vends. Sources said that contrary to expectations, the reserve price for the 82 vends that could not be auctioned today would not be lowered as per the Excise Policy.

110 IMFL & 25 country vends auctioned; no bids received for 82 vends
Last year’s numbers
CHANDIGARH: Last year the UT collected Rs 127 crore by allotting liquor licences for 217 vends, which was more than double the licence fee of Rs 60.10 crore earned during 2011-12. The liquor vend at Sector 52 on the Vikas Marg (opposite the Sector-43 ISBT) fetched the highest licence fee of Rs 2.75 crore, followed by the vend at Behlana village (on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near the airport traffic light point) which fetched Rs 2.51 crore.

Shayin likely to be Chandigarh DC
After considering Brijendra Singh’s repatriation request, the Administration MOHAMMED Shayin, a recently sought a panel of 2002 batch IAS officer from officers from Haryana for Haryana, is likely to take over posting as DC here. Acas the next deputy commis- cording to the process, the sioner (DC) of Chandigarh, UT Administrator has to succeeding incumbent Bri- choose an officer from the jendra Singh who had sought panel and recommend his repatriation to his parent appointment to the MHA, state of Haryana. Highly which would then forward placed sources said that it to the Cabinet AppointShayin’s name has been ments Committee for the final nod. The Decleared by the partment of PerUnion Ministry of sonnel and Training Home Affairs under the Union (MHA) and has Ministry of Personbeen forwarded to nel, Public Grievthe Department of ances and Pensions Personnel and would then issue Training (DoPT) for the formal order further orders. MOHAMMED for inter-cadre depAt present, Shayin SHAYIN utation of the seis the MD of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran lected officer. Brijendra Singh, a 1998 Nigam. Sources said that out of the three names sent by batch Haryana-cadre IAS Haryana, his name was rec- officer, had formally apommended by the UT Ad- plied for repatriation within ministration. A graduate in a year and a half of his Agriculture and an MBA, three-year deputation stint Shayin’s name was sent to the to the UT. He had joined as Administration along with DC in the UT on Septemthat of another 2002 batch of- ber 11, 2009, and his threeficer Sameer Pal Srow and year deputation period 2004 batch officer A Srinivas. ends in September 2012.

DC Brijendra Singh (standing behind) with UT officials at the auction of liquor KAMLESHWAR SINGH vends at GMCH Auditorium in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Friday.

Top bid of Rs 4.25 cr each for 2 vends by same man
CHANDIGARH: The highest bid was received for two liquor vends from the same person (D S Sandhu of A Kler Hotels), one in Sector 52 (opposite ISBT 43) which went for Rs 4.25 crore against the reserve price of Rs 3.3 crore and another for the liquor vend in Behlana (on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near the airport) which went for the same price against the reserve price of Rs 3 crore. The second highest bid was for the vend located in Sector 54 which went for Rs 2.72 crore, followed by another vend in Sector 52 on the Vikas Marg which went under the hammer for Rs 2.61 crore. Arvind Singla, who bagged 16 vends in the auction held today against 15 last year, lost his bid for the Sector 52 vend opposite ISBT, Sector 43, which he had last year, by only Rs 11,000. Speaking to Newsline, he said, “I am not unhappy because I lost the most revenue generating vend but I am unhappy I lost the bid by only Rs 11,000. The lowest bid in the country vend category was fetched by the vend located in Industrial Area phase II near Ram Darbar which went only Rs 1,000 above the reserve price of Rs 39 lakh. The lowest bid in IMFL was fetched by the liquor vend in Sector 20 which went only Rs 1,000 above the reserve price of Rs 45 lakh.

Sector 17 parking charges to be hourly
gates, which is necessary for ascertaining the exact time for entry and exit of every veTO “restrain rush of vehicles” hicle,” reads the affidavit. It further states that “rates in the parking near plaza of Sector 17 during peak hours, may be kept at variance in difthe Municipal Corporation ferent parking lots to avoid (MC) has decided “in princi- rush in the parking lots near ple” to charge on an “hourly the plaza of Sector 17 during rate basis” for parking of ve- peak hours”. The MC has hicles. The MC has also de- clearly submitted that at a cided to make Sector 17 park- meeting of the Finance and Committee ing “fully automatic”. Also, Contract entry to the parking by way of (F&CC) on April 12, it was parking passes of any cate- decided that it “would not be gory issued by the Corpora- feasible to withdraw the faciltion would not be allowed in ity of parking from any desigthe parking lots near the main nated parking lot in Sector 17 at this stage”. This was subshopping plaza of Sector 17. An affidavit to this effect mitted in response to a proposal by the was filed by High Court MC Addito make Sectional Com- Civic body tells HC it tor 17 a vehimissioner T P will make parking cle-free zone. S Phoolka in Enumeratthe Punjab gates fully automatic, ing the reaand Haryana won’t allow entry sons to justify High Court with MC passes near its decision, during the remain shopping plaza the MC has sumed hearsubmitted ing of a public interest litigation (PIL) to- that there is adequate space day. The affidavit has been for pedestrians at this filed in response to a proposal stage and that there is no by the HC to make Sector 17 a alternative space available with the civic body where vehicle-free zone. Appearing on behalf of the the vehicles can be accommocivic body, senior lawyer dated in the event of closure Chetan Mittal today pro- of any of the parking lots. It duced the affidavit. Mittal has further submitted that submitted that the MC has once the “construction of decided to charge on hourly multi-level parking is started basis to ensure that every en- at Gurdev Studio parking lot, tering vehicle leaves the park- the said parking will be out of ing lot in a time-bound man- use for approximately two ner. “However, the system years and that will certainly will be started only after in- increase the pressure on stallation of fully automatic nearby parkings”.