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PU: Online Meeting Conducted To Discuss & Resolve Demands Of Shopkeepers

 
PU: Online Meeting
Chandigarh (The Hawk): Today i.e.   January 15th, 2022, an online meeting was conducted to discuss and to resolve the demands of the shopkeepers by the committee constituted by the Vice Chancellor for Panjab University in the said concern.  The shopkeepers were sitting on dharna at PU Gate No. 2 since yesterday i.e. 14.1.2022 and had been called for a meeting at 4.00 p.m today i.e. 15.1.2022. 
A notice for the same  had been sent to all the members as well as the representatives of shopkeepers, as this meeting was convened and fixed on their request only. But, none of the shopkeepers attended the meeting citing vague reasons that they are not having required needs for an online meeting and rather asked representatives from Panjab University authorities to call  a physical meeting, which is not at all feasible under the given pandemic situation.
14 senior functionaries of the university attended the meeting which lasted for one hour and Deputy Registrar ( Estate) was the Convenor.
The following issues were discussed:
1,    The members expressed their deep shock and unanimously paid condolence to the departed soul of Sh. Neeraj, owner of Raj Eatery shop in the vicinity of the Student Centre and prayed to the Almighty to grant him Moksha. They assured a whole hearted support to the family of the deceased. The university authorities are so much concerned over this precious loss of life.
2.    The University is to function for the academics and students.
3.    The leasing of shops in the market etc. is purely as per terms of a contract entered with the shopkeepers and no such agitation is expected from them. The university cannot be pressurized to enter into any illegal negotiation in the garb of death of a shop owner who belonged to a different area i.e. the Student Centre shops. This can't be made an emotional issue and should not have been brought into by these shopkeepers of the main market.
4.   This is  also important to mention that No other university in this region has given any rebate etc. in rentals and it is only PU which did not charge any rent from the shopkeepers during the period of complete lockdown. PU rather allowed 10 % rebate in the rent for the corona period, for which instructions had been issued long back, after such an issue was raised by shopkeepers and resolved with active involvement of shopkeepers 
5.    On 14.1.22 night, while discussing their demands with the representatives of the Panjab University, The representatives of shopkeepers raised demand of non-charging of double electricity meter security, increase of rent from legal heirs of deceased shopkeepers  and non charging of property tax from them. These issues stand already resolved rationally in previous meeting with the Association.
The University authorities were surprised to see in the newspapers about Association press release which was having altogether different demands now. The university has never increased rent of any shop 3-4 times.
6.    The protesting shopkeepers are from the main market, which were never closed during the pandemic. It was only the Student Centre food joints etc. which had been closed and these shopkeepers of the Students Centre area were never charged of any rent for the duration of their closure. These shops were opened on the representations of students only.
Still, the Panjab University is open to discuss all the concerns of shopkeepers but for that they have to participate in such important meetings.