Chandigarh Tribune
Thursday, January 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CHB men pull down illegal structures
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 17— After a long time, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today got tough with the allottees, who had violated building bylaws and made alterations and additions in their flats in MIG housing complex in Sector 61 here.

In a major drive, workers of the board demolished about 30 concrete structures, comprising mostly illegal rooms and other concrete structures manually. The demolitions were carried out after proper notices were issued to the allottees and the latest deadline to the violators to demolish the structures themselves had expired a few days back, the board officials highlighted.

A team of officials and workers of the board, led by Ms Varsha Joshi, Chief Executive Officer, and Mr DS Baloria, Executive Magistrate, accompanied by a strong contingent of the police, descended on the sector in the morning and went about its job slowly but steadily.

Mostly additions and alterations, inside the dwelling units, were touched. The workers took time to demolish the illegal concrete structures as they worked with hammers and chisels. The help of a JCB to the workers was denied by Ms Joshi as it could endanger the whole structure of the flats.

While the workers went about these job, certain allottees, whose structures were pulled down, could be seen complaining that gates and other fittings like iron angles and hedges of certain households, which had virtually reached the road berms, had been spared. To this the board officials clarified that only the alterations and additions in the structures of the dwelling units had been targeted and the encroachements on the municipal land would be removed by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC). In future, the MCC and the CHB may go in for joint operations, Ms Joshi informed TNS at the site.

The construction of the additional structures proved to be costly for the allottees as the cost of demolition would also be recovered from them. Ms Joshi confirmed that the cost would be recovered from the violators.Back


Billa returns as civic body chief 4th time
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 19 — A history of sorts was made when Mr H.S.Billa, taking legal recourse, today returned as the President of the local Municipal Council for the fourth time after being removed by the Local Government Department, Punjab, under one or the other provisions of the Municipal Act.

He was removed by the state government on December 29 last for allegedly delaying payment to a private firm which had undertaken some development work in the township. Earlier, he was removed from the gubernatorial post on October 26 last under Section 25 of the Punjab Municipal Council Act, 1911, for not holding mandatory meeting of the council at least once a month.

Today after hearing arguments in the case a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising of Mr Justice G.S.Singhvi and Mr Justice J.S.Narang, before which it had come for hearing, stayed the operation of the notification issued by the state government, whereby Mr Billa was removed and fixed the next date of hearing on February 3.

Meanwhile, after the stay orders were passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, Mr Billa headed straight to the office of the local municipal council in the “official car”. There was a flurry of activity at the council office in the evening as some of the municipal councillors, owing allegiance to Mr Billa , and his well-wishers descended on the scene to congratulate him amidst the beating of drums. Some expressed their hapinesss by dancing to the beats of the drums.

Today’s development holds importance as the term of the council ends on January 21 and the issue of retaining the seat of President had become a battleground for Mr Billa and Mr A.S.Mohali, Senior Vice-President of the council, who was acting as the President following Mr Billa’s removal.Back


Plan to recarpet dividing roads
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Taking a note of the sheer neglect and worsening condition of the sector dividing roads in the city, the Chandigarh Administration is planning to recarpet these roads and remove the suffering of the city residents.

Repair and maintenance of these roads, known as V-3 roads under the master plan, is otherwise in the hands of the Municipal Corporation. It is yet to be decided if the Administration will deduct some money from the annual grant it passes on the MC or not. This may be just a one-time gesture as the condition of the roads is so bad that driving has become almost impossible, said an official source.

A long-term decision to either transfer the up-keep of the roads back to the Chandigarh Administration also may be on the cards, or a plan may be clear up under which it is made mandatory to repair and re-carpet the roads more frequently.

Some of these roads cater to large volumes of traffic and are the busiest roads in the city. Another road caters to all the trucks and heavy vehicles passing through the city. These roads have broken up so badly that residents have been complaining for several months.

Meanwhile, the MC has expressed that it does not have the man power or the extended road engineering paraphernalia to deal with the task, a source informed. Almost three weeks ago senior officers had undertaken a tour of the city and found that roads were almost non-existent in certain pockets of the city that was once famed for its smooth and well-laid out roads.

The officials were then informed by the staff and engineers that the money for the upkeep of the roads is allocated to the MC by the Chandigarh Administration, while important roads like the Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg and Jan Marg among others are maintained by the Chandigarh Administration.

The condition of the roads merits a complete recarpet . On the other hand , after The Tribune highlighted the problem in its public awareness column ‘‘ Citizens Nightmares’’, the MC has been doing some patch work on the roads by filling the craters with mud. And this exercise has also been going on the road dividing Sectors 31 and 46 and Sectors 46 and 47 that takes the pounding of passing trucks.

Estimates to recarpet and widen some of the sector dividing roads has been lying pending. Meanwhile, another aspect of the entire story is that the MC allegedly concentrates more on the roads inside the sectors and in front of houses and ignores the roads that divide the sectors. Back


Pathways or potential death-traps ?
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Persons driving on the major city roads, beware! You may still be involved in accidents even if you obey traffic rules as other drivers, using unauthorised punctured road links, may endanger your lives.

Scores of road links have virtually become shortcuts to death as hundreds of the drivers use them to reach their destinations unmindful of the grave danger they pose to their lives and the lives of other road users. Vehicles of all descriptions right from bicycles to cars to trucks use this one of the most dangerous ways to get to the other side of the road.

And all this is done to save some time and petrol and diesel worth a few rupees. A random survey by a Tribune team today revealed that a particular stretch of the Dakshin Marg from The Tribune Chowk to the roundabout near the Batra Theatre alone had over 10 such risky links. This road and the other road links were being used by the motorists and scooterists without bothering about the consequences in case of any mishap. In fact, many accidents, including fatal ones, had been reported from various parts of the city.

The attitude of the people using such pathways was that of indifference, to say the least. “Why should I take a detour of about one km to get to the side of the Grain Market, Sector 26, when I can straightway take my scooter by crossing the Madhya Marg”, asked Mr Gurmail Singh, a regular “jumper” of Madhya Marg, one of the busiest roads of the city.

It may be called that the authorities had made feeble efforts to close such pathways by placing kerb channels in certain areas of the roads last year. But lack of follow-up brought the things back to square one. The pathways had been punctured again, posing a serious traffic hazard as the bushes along the roads hide the views of the incoming vehicles. The non-functioning of the streetlights further aggravated the problems and made the area accident-prone.

Surprisingly, the Chandigarh Traffic Police seemed oblivious of the “jumping menace” during the traffic safety week which concluded on January 17. Though various other aspects of the traffic safety were emphasised upon, this was left untouched.

As far as the role of the police in persuading the drivers to use only the right way was concerned, the less said the better. The traffic police personnel seemed more concerned about challaning the vehicles, particularly those with the registration outside Chandigarh, than educating the erring drivers.

“What can we do if the drivers of the so-called most-educated city in the country do not heed to our advice and endanger their lives”, asks a police official pleading helplessness. After all, you cannot expect the police to solve all problems of this VIP city, he added.

A top functionary of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) informed that the authorities had a limited role to play in persuading the residents in such matters. People should see reason and realise that “jumping” roads in this fashion was fraught with dangers. The civic body might close such unauthorised links like it had done earlier but if they were again opened we could do little, he added, while emphasising the need for public cooperation.Back


Congress leader’s complaint against city ex-Mayor
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Mr Krishan Aggarwal “Nanha”, a Congress leader of Panchkula, today lodged a complaint with the Electoral Officer of the Kalka Assembly constituency, against Mr Gian Chand Gupta, a former Mayor of Chandigarh, for getting his name and that of his wife and two sons included in the voters’ list of the Kalka Assembly constituency showing that they lived in house No 94, Sector 16, Panchkula.

In a three-page complaint, Mr Aggarwal stated that their names figured against serial No 299 to 302. Other particulars the complainant mentioned are Mr Gian Chand (50), son of Mr Ram Sarup, Bimla (44) wife of Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Ajay, son, age 24, and Ashwani, son of Mr Gian Chand Gupta, age 23.

He added that all these persons had also been issued identity cards bearing Nos 0567920 to 0567923, respectively.

The complaintant further alleged that although in his correspondence, Mr Gian Chand used the caste name “Gupta”, in these entries he purposely and intentionally deleted the word “Gupta”, with a view to “misleading the Election Department so that nobody can come to know that he is the same person whose name is entered as voters in Chandigarh.”

In the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency, Mr Aggarwal alleged, their names figure in part No 270 against serial Nos 1141 to 1144.

Mr Gian Chand Gupta and his family members cast their votes in Chandigarh in the last parliamentary elections held on September 5, 1999. He also proposed the name of Mr Krishan Lal Sharma, fielded by the BJP from Chandigarh.

He added that Mr Gian Chand Gupta was elected to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in 1996. His term is due to expire in 2001. He knew it fully well that if he ceased to be a voter in Chandigarh, his membership of the Municipal Corporation would come to an end automatically because if he is not a voter of Chandigarh, he could not continue to be a member of the Municipal Corporation.

Mr Aggarwal said that Mr Gupta had not got his name deleted from the Chandigarh voters’ list. He did so with an eye on the forthcoming election to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha. He thought that unless he was not a voter in Haryana, he could not contest the election to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha.

The complaint said: “This act of Mr Gupta is violative of Sections 17 and 18 of the Representation of People Act, 1950. It also amounts to giving knowingly and intentionally a false declaration to the election staff.”

He urged the electoral officer to delete the name of Mr Gupta from the voters’ list of the Kalka Assembly constituency immediately so that he was not able to get the benefit of his entries in the coming Haryana Vidhan Sabha elections.Back


Telephone users’ woes
From Our Correspondent

MULLANPUR GARIBDASS, Jan 19 — Telephone users of more than half a dozen villages connected with this rural telephone exchange are resentful on account of the problems they have been facing for several months.

They complain that faulty phones have become a regular problem and the Telephone Department has paid little attention to this despite several complaints. The subscribers complain that it has become a routine for the telephones to stop working in the evening.

Even when the telephone appears to be in order, dialling a number is a test of patience. Mr Arvind Puri of Mullanpur-Garibdass village, says that often people travel more than 5 km to the PGI to make a call. Moreover, the local subscribers are unable to get the paging and cellular service numbers, he added.

The Mullanpur exchange is housed in a rented building which is not adequate for it. Besides, it leaks during the rainy season. Sources in the Telecom Department say that the unavailability of a proper building has created most of the problems. The local panchayat has failed to give a piece of land for the telephone exchange.

Public call office (PCO) owners of the area complained of a fall in their business. A PCO holder said that due to the faults in the lines their telephones remained dead for long periods.Back


Setting an example for others to follow
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 19 — The residents of Sector 12 are working towards making theirs the model sector of the township, and in the process, are setting an example for other Residents’ Welfare Associations functioning in each sector to take on themselves the task of beautifying their sector, rather than relying on the official machinery to do so.

This being primarily a sector earmarked for defence personnel has three parks to its credit now. Until recently, these were vacant plots used by residents to dump garbage and malba. After the association sprung into action, the grounds have a green cover and are fenced with barbed wires along with flowers blooming in two of these. The third one, however, is still in the process of coming up and the association has managed to get a water connection at this corner space at the beginning of the sector.

The president of the association, Colonel Sham, elected twice unanimously to the office, said that the sector was completely neglected in the absence of any interaction among the officials and the defence personnel staying in the sector. “This was how we stumbled upon the idea of undertaking the work ourselves and complementing the efforts of the Haryana Urban Development Authority,” he said.

He informs that initially a couple of residents started out on their own and sought HUDA’s help at a later stage to give momentum to the work. Resultantly, they managed to secure the beautification of the nallah running through the sector and the plantation of fragrance trees to drown the smell. He expressed satisfaction at the work which was in progress at a considerable pace.

As more members enrolled themselves with the association, in an effort to make them more responsible, each one was entrusted with a task which would go a long way in creating the best sector in the township. While Mr Pretty has been entrusted with the task of checking street-lighting in the sector, Mr Dalip Katyal ensures that the no resident faces any problem with the Public Heath Department.

“These people have established a rapport with the officials incharge and manage to sort out problems at their level instead of running to the HUDA office. This saves a lot of time and money and is very convenient. The officials, too, have extended their hand in friendship and are ready to redress any complaints that are put up to them irrespective of the time,” Colonel Sham informed.

The “mopping up” operation in the sector began a couple of months back and after earmarking spaces to be used as dumping grounds, the association turned its eyes towards making the parks pleasant places to be in. Some residents joined hands and pooled resources to do up the main park which has now been allotted to the children of the vicinity. While they have been given the right to use this as a playground, they have been allocated the job of watering it everyday, and the complete maintenance of the park has been left to them.

The corner plot whose beautification project is underway has 12 residents pooling in money for trucks of earth required to level the land, clean the piece of garbage and plant flowers and foliage as also grow grass to make it attractive. This also will most probably be given to the children for maintenance once the work is complete, Colonel Sham added.

An advocate in the vicinity has offered to sort out minor problems of the residents of the association free of cost. “This takes care of an amicable settlement to any dispute which may arise in our area. The other areas which require priority are those of electricity and water to the locality and are being ably dealt with,” he said.

He expressed remorse over the fact that a dozen families were not abiding by the rules of the association and did exactly the opposite of what was told to them. “We tell them to maintain cleanliness in the vicinity and they make it a point to dump refuse at the cleanest of open spaces. We tell them to keep the area in front of their houses dry to ensure that water does not seep in and damage the carpeting but to no avail. We are only hoping that persistence will eventually pay and they will come round and see our point of view, while also contributing towards making it one of the best sectors,” he said.

Also, there are many other beautification projects in the pipeline and are being pursued by the association with enthusiasm. Back


Woman with fake notes held
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The police has arrested a resident of Janta Colony and recovered three fake notes of Rs 500 denomination from her possession.

According to police sources, 25- year-old Kamlesh, was arrested by the police from the Sector 17 phari market late this evening. She and Rohtash, a resident of the same colony, had purchased some items and handed over a Rs 500 note to the vendor. The unsuspecting vendor did not have the change and asked the duo to wait while he scouted the market for change.

One of the shopkeepers, who was aware that many notes of this denomination were in circulation, told the vendor that the note was fake and that he should inform the police. A police party reached the spot and nabbed the accused, while her companion managed to escape.

Sources revealed that during investigation, Kamlesh said she had been lured to launder the money in return for some commission on each note. She reportedly claimed that this was the first time she was doing so.

A case under Sections 489-B and 489-C, IPC, has been registered at the central police station. Police parties have been despatched to raid the suspected hideouts of the accused.Back


Woman gangraped
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 19 — The local police today registered a case against 13 persons for gangraping a married woman of Kharar.

According to information, the complainant has reported to the police that her family shifted from a village in Samrala to Ranjit Colony, Kharar, on January 3. They took on rent the house of Mr Swaran Singh, who is at present in Canada. When he was here, he had taken a loan of Rs 35000 from her husband, the woman reported.

She alleged that at about 11 a.m. yesterday, when her husband and children were not at home, about 25 persons, including some women, entered the house by jumping over the wall forcibly and took her into a room, where she was gangraped by 13 men.

She alleged that one of the accused is a close relative of Mr Swarn Singh and resident of Dumna village. She could recognise the other accused.

She added that the relative of the owner later forcibly occupied the house.Back


Two cases of theft registered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Two cases of theft have been reported from various parts of the city.

According to police sources, Mr O. P. Chandel has lodged a complaint that gold ornaments, Rs 15,000 in cash, besides eight blankets have been stolen from his residence in Subash Nagar, Mani Majra.

A case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC, has been registered.

In the second case, Mr Barnefas Josef, a resident of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, reported that Rs 20,000 in cash and gold jewellery were stolen from his residence on the night of January 17 while he was away.

A case under Section 380, PC, has been registered.

5 eve-teasers held: The police has arrested five persons — Saurav, Anil Dua, Gaurav Goyal, Amit Goyal and Sudanshu Arora — from the Sectors 10-11 road crossing on charge of eve teasing.

A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered against them.

Held with whisky: The police has arrested Satpal, a resident of Shamdoo from the ISBT and seized 150 pouches of whisky from his possession.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Drinking in public: The police has arrested Ashok Kumar, Bharat Bhatia and Narinder Kumar on charge of drinking at a public place in Sector 21.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.


Suicide: Ramzan, a resident of Pinjore, allegedly committed suicide by jumping on to the Surajpur-Chandi Mandir railway line. It was informed that he was mentally unstable and committed the act out of desperation.

A case has been registered by the GRP, Kalka, under Section 174 of the CrPC.Back


Body found from toilet
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The police this evening recovered the body of a man from a toilet of the head office of a seed farm at the Industrial Area, here.

According to the police, the body of Purshottam Dass, 57, was found in the toilet of Durga Seed Farm by an employee who broke open the door after he became suspicious of the door being locked for a long time in the evening. Since his calls to know the identity of the person inside went unanswered, he along with others broke open the door at about 4. 30 p.m. and saw the body lying inside.

The deceased had been employed as packager for the past five years.

The police, on being informed, sealed the area and after preliminary investigations, took the statement of various employees.

According to Mr Tilak Raj, a nephew of the deceased who also works in the same factory, he saw is uncle last night when he had come to inquire about his (Tilak's) fathers condition who had recently undergone an eye operation. He again met him this morning for the last time. "My uncle was calm and cheerful and had no enmity with anyone," he stated.

It appears that the deceased reportedly went to ease himself and suffered a heart attack. The exact cause of death would be known following the post mortem report.

Meanwhile, proceedings under Section 174, CrC, have been recorded and further investigations are on, the sources added.Back

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