Thursday, September 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Coop Bank employees in the dock
Face charge of wrong investment in Punwire
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — The sinking of the SAS Nagar-based Punwire is likely to have an adverse impact on the local Cooperative Bank also. Three to four employees of the Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank, Sector 22, including senior officials, are set to be blamed following an inquiry for ‘“wrongly investing” Rs 11 crore in Punwire, which has been closed down.

The huge sum was invested as unsecured loans and the deal between the bank and Punwire was suspiciously inked within a single day almost three years ago, sources have indicated.

The trio did not even bother to take the mandatory permission that was required from the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), who is the Deputy Commissioner, before carrying out such an investment. Under normal circumstances, a bank lending money on such a scale takes collateral securities in immovable properties from the borrower in lieu of the loan. In the case of the Cooperative Bank, the board of directors was required to clear the loan, however, the employees did not take any permission from the board and went ahead to invest the money promising very high returns.

By the beginning of 1998, Punwire was already facing a slide on the stock market and the promised return of money on investments could not have materialised. Indications of money going down the drain were evident but nothing was done to stop it.

An inquiry into the matter was conducted by a middle-level official of the Chandigarh Administration and final touches are being given to the report. Now Administration officials are thinking about how to recover the money. Close to Rs 2 crore was returned by Punwire in instalments but no payments were made after that and interest on the balance amount now takes the total even beyond Rs 11 crore, calculations reveal.

A case under the Negotiable Instruments Act has already been registered against the Punwire top brass. Most likely the money will be recovered from the salaries of the employees who are found to be guilty. But a sum like Rs 11 crore still cannot be recovered as the said employees may not even get that kind of salaries during entire lifetime of government service. And still to be calculated is the fact that employees who will be guilty may have just a few years of service to go before their retirement.

There is a provision to attach the property of employees in such matters, a source said, adding that it is yet to be seen if this provision is evoked. Interestingly one of the officials who is said to one among the guilty is no more working with the bank.

On the other hand, the Chandigarh Administration has already written to the Punjab Government the amount the money invested by the Co-operative Bank in Punwire, which is facing liquidation proceedings following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. This move of the Administration comes as loans taken by Punwire from financial institutions will be cleared first when liquidation proceedings are carried out.Back


Chandigarh police gets Web site
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — The official website of the Chandigarh police was launched by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), at a function organised in the UT Secretariat complex here this morning. The site can be accessed at http:\

The function was presided over by Ms Neeru Nanda, Chairperson of the Chandigarh Housing Board. Present on the occasion were UT Inspector-General of Police B.S. Bassi, Home Secretary R.S. Gujral, SSP (Headquarters) Ajay Kashyap and SSP Parag Jain, besides senior civil and police officers.

Speaking on the occasion, the Administrator said computerisation was being done at a fast pace so that the working of the force could be streamlined further. He hoped that the website would provide valuable information to the people.

The local police was the first force to launch its website in 1997 but owing to inadequacy of services by a private vendor, the site could provide limited services. A decision was taken last year to discontinue the website from the vendor and develop it afresh according to the needs of the department.

Delineating the salient features of the website, Mr Kashyap, who has been associated with the designing of he site in association with the National Informatics Centre, said the site had been prepared after studying all other sites of the police forces in the country.

It contains historical archives and crime data for the past 10 years, has a separate section dedicated to police martyrs, exhaustive information on police stations and a profile of the force. The various forms needed to supply information can be downloaded from the site.

An interactive section on community policing, particularly forms for servant, tenant and employee verification can also be accessed at the site. A separate section on traffic-related information can also be accessed. Besides, information on the various units and the officers heading them can also be downloaded. 


Rehabilitation plans for villagers
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 13 — The Punjab Government is planning to rehabilitate residents of Madanpur and Lambian villages here. A rehabilitation package that was acceptable to representatives of the villagers was being formulated.

A survey to ascertain the number of houses, population of milch cattle and the legal status of the land was being done by the Estate Office of PUDA. The rehabilitation of the villages would also mean more space for the milch cattle. Most of the villagers are milkmen and the number of the cattle in the villages runs into hundreds. Sources in PUDA said the focus of the plan would be to provide the villagers with an alternative. They said the villagers could also be rehabilitated at the present place with improved basic amenities.

The issue of rehabilitation was discussed at a recent meeting of the Regional Committee of Planning and Design of PUDA. The government is also planning to provide residents of Madanpur village with the group-housing facility at the same place. However, in this case, milch cattle would have to be moved out. The government agency engaged in the maintenance of essential services in Madanpur and Lambian villages was battling problems of sewers that got choked with cowdung.

The sources said PUDA had identified a land near Kambali village near the bulk-material market in Sector 65-A and another pocket behind Dara Studio in Phase VI for the rehabilitation of the villagers. PUDA was also planning to set up a gwala colony outside the town. It would also move the milch cattle out of the town. Mr Nachattar Singh of Lambian said the villagers had identified four acres in Sector 69, but overhead high-tension power lines were a hindrance. Another site had been identified near Barelli village near Chappar Chiddi, but its use would violate the Periphery Act, said Mr Nachattar Singh.

Mr Dara Singh, a Panch of Madanpur village, said the villagers wanted to be rehabilitated at the same place. Representatives of both villages have met the Additional Chief Administrator of SAS Nagar, Mr Dipinder Singh, in this regard. PUDA was also planning to develop a place for cattle at Kumbra village.


Bungling in Sec 22 booth allotments?
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — Wrong and biased allotment of booths and benami deals in a Sector 22 market to their own kith and kin by employees of the Estate Office is the latest racket unearthed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

A team of the CBI is reportedly close to finalising its report in which it has found that booths meant to have been allotted to rehriwallahs as part of a rehabilitation scheme of the Chandigarh Administration were cornered by the employees almost seven years ago.

Several benami deals and benami allotments were made, as in those days there was no system of fixing photograph of the allottee on the allotment letter or on the applications. Several booths were allotted in the name of the kith and kin and confidants of the babus, said another source. Being benami, the employee does not even show it in his property returns which are mandatory to be filed.

Allotment of booths was made to a resident of Karol Bagh in Delhi, while an Amritsar-based resident has also benefited from the racket, sources said, informing about the extent of the racket. Besides, allotments have been allegedly made against one rehri to at least four persons. This is just the proverbial tip of the ice berg. Actually all rehabilitation schemes , especially of booth allotment in Sectors 19 , 20, 29, 30 need to be scrutinised.

Same is true for the allotment of plots of land to jhuggi-dwellers allotted in the past 20 years on various locations. The role of Estate Office employees needs to be scrutinised as allegations have been levelled about the employees themselves cornering several plots in such schemes.

The rehabilitation scheme, which is presently being investigated by the CBI, was announced following a fire in the Shastri market. A decision in this regard was taken at the senior officers conference of the Administration. The minutes of the meeting detailing how many booths were to be built and who were to benefit are, however, controversially missing, say sources in the CBI.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum- Estate Officer, Mr M. Ramsekhar, when contacted confirmed that the CBI had taken away all records from the Estate Office pertaining to the allotment of booths in the Sector 22 market.

Meanwhile, complaints have been pouring in that the Shastri market was a mixed market but now it has been converted into a predominantly cloth market. Rates of booths in the open market are today touching Rs 15 lakh while the current monthly rent can be between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000, depending upon the location.Back


IT raids on doctors’ premises
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — Officials of the Income Tax Department today raided several premises of two noted eye surgeons in the city.

According to sources, the premises of Dr Grover and Dr Mirchia in Sectors 35, 9, 22 and Mani Majra were raided by teams of the Directorate of Investigation. Many documents were seized by the teams.

The raids followed after the department received information that the doctors and the radiologist wife of Dr Mirchia had been concealing their income and paying inadequate income tax. Both Dr Mirchia and Dr Grover are, reportedly, partners in the management of a Sector 22 clinic. Dr Mirchia performs operations in Ludhiana also.

The doctors had, reportedly, confessed that they had been paying inadequate tax. The raids continued late in the night.


 Arya, Kakkar win Senate poll
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — Prof P.P. Arya won the arts-group professors’ seat in the Panjab University Senate elections here today. He was the only teacher today to win a seat in the first round of counting. He received 79 votes, 20 more than the cut-off limit for successful candidate. The loser, Prof V.K. Bansal, received 52 votes.

Prof R.K. Kakkar won the science-faculty seat. However, he had received only 19 votes in the first round, while Prof Bansal had received 52 votes in the first round. After the third round of counting, it was found that Prof Kakkar had received 52 votes and was declared the winner. The losers were Prof R.N. Vashist and Prof Rabinder Kumar.

The total votes polled were 179, out of which, five were invalid. In the lecturers’ category, 505 votes were polled, out of which, 20 were invalid. The cut-off limit for successful candidate was 162.

Dr Keshav Malhotra won the arts-faculty lecturers-readers seat. The science-faculty seat was won by Dr Tankeshwar.

In the contest for the arts-faculty seat, Dr K.K. Sharma, Dr Kirandeep and Dr Pradeep Sharma were the losers. Dr Keshav Malhotra was declared the winner after the third round of counting.

The contest between Dr Laltu and Dr Tankeshwar was close and went on till the fourth round of counting. Dr Tankeshwar received 178 votes and Dr Laltu 171.Back


Orientation programme for women councillors
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — The Centre for Development Studies (CWDS), the Punjab Government and the British Council jointly organised a three-day orientation programme for the newly elected women councillors of nagar Panchayats and municipal Councils of Punjab, from September 13 to 15 at CWDS, Panjab University.

The programme was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, and Ms Neeru Nanda, Chairperson of the Chandigarh Housing Board, presided over the function.

Prof Pam Rajput, Programme Director, in her introductory speech urged to look at the world through the women’s eyes. She emphasised that there was a need for women to become politically empowered. She instigated the feeling amongst the elected women that they should not feel contented with the local bodies.

The Vice-Chancellor in his speech stated that the movement of gender equality of the late 20th century is closely linked to the human rights movement. He made a reference to the CEDAW (convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women) and quoted the words put by the Beijing platform for action, ‘’Women’s empowerment and their participation on the basis in all spheres of society, including participation in the decision-making process and access to power are fundamental for the advancement of equality, development and peace.’’

Ms Nanda, stated that this was the transitional phase that these women were bound to face hurdles and problems.Back


SAD plea against helmets
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sep 13 — A delegation of the members of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal met the UT IGP B.S. Bassi and impressed upon him not to challan Sikh women riding two-wheelers without helmets.

Ms Harjinder Kaur and Mr N S Minhas, local Akali leaders, told him that the issue surfaced last year and had to be withdrawn following protests by various Sikh organisations.

They claimed that the IG assured them that the department was seized of the matter and stress would be laid on curtailing fatal accidents on the roads. Various awareness drives would be launched to educate people on the importance of obeying traffic rules.


Mr Hardeep Singh, a member of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday criticised the drive launched by the Chandigarh police to challan the women not wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers. He demanded that the Sikh women should be exempted from wearing helmets and it was again the tenets of the religion. He said agitation would be launched if the drive was not stopped.Back


Row over laying of synthetic courts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — The laying of synthetic courts at the Chandigarh Club has raised a controversy over spending of money and the material being used for the court. Club members alleged that more money has been paid by the club authorities than what was due to the contractor.

Club officials, when contacted, said that the reply of the consultant expert, who was handed over the job of getting the courts laid, has not been found plausible by the working committee and the same would be tabled before the executive committee of club which was scheduled to meet on September 20.

An executive members of the club has written a letter seeking details as to how the bill checker was appointed and what was his experience in checking bills of such technical nature like provision of synthetic material and laying of court.

Besides this, the base material is much more than specifications for such a court, the letter alleges while adding that almost 18,000 cubic feet of material was purchased over and above the requirement. A total loss of about Rs 4 lakh has been caused to the club, the letter which has led to the enquiry, alleges.

Besides this, payments have been made in cash against all norms and precedents of the club.Back


All set for Army show
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Sept 13 — Preparations and rehearsals for the Army show and equipment display, to be organised here on September 16 and 17 to commemorate the Western Command's 53rd Raising Day, are in full swing at the Sector 5 cricket grounds.

Combat vehicles, artillery guns and engineering equipment as well as other paraphernalia to give a military ambience are being laid out and polished for the grand event.

The show will include a flypast by helicopters, skydiving by paratroopers, demonstration on the deployment of artillery guns, horse show, dog show, dare devils on motor cycles and martial music by mass bands.

The arms to be on display will include T-72 tanks, BMPs, artillery guns, assault bridges and engineer equipment, infantry weapons as well as weapons captured from Pakistani intruders in Kargil during Operation Vijay and also those recovered from militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

A mela by the Army Wives Welfare Association is also slated to be held on September 16 and 17 at the police parade ground, Sector 5, to create awareness about the AWWA activities. A medical camp is also being organised at the mela to provide medical assistance to ex-servicemen and their families.

A wreath-laying ceremony will also be held at the Veer Smriti war memorial on September 15 to honour those who had laid down their lives in the line of duty.

Meanwhile, preparations are complete at the CII where a two-day seminar on the Army industry partnership is being organised. The Army has also set up a small display of about a dozen communication and engineer vehicles on the CII premises.

About 28 industrial establishments are also setting up stalls and displaying their equipment on the occasion. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand tomorrow.

The seminar will be inaugurated at the Western Command Headquarters, Chandi Mandir, where Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will be the chief guest. Besides, an interactive session on the theme, there will be two technical sessions at the CII office in the afternoon.Back


Allegation against councillor
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — Certain residents of Sector 40-D today alleged that Ms Ranjana Shahi, a BJP councillor, has converted the reserve area adjacent to her house into a park with the help of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) against norms.

In a representation to the Mayor, they alleged that while the area adjacent to the her house No. 3070, Sector 40-D, had been converted into a park by erecting iron barricades, flouting all rules and regulations, the space meant for a park opposite house No. 3071 had been lying undeveloped for the past many years despite several requests to the area councillor, Mr K.L. Sharma.

They alleged that a bulldozer of the MCC demolished a hedge outside the house No. 3050 at the instance of Ms Shahi yesterday. It may be mentioned that this particular house is located on a dead end and there was no traffic movement which could cause traffic hazards, it said, adding that the adjoining houses had been spared.

It urged the Mayor to stop Ms Shahi from wasting the funds of the corporation by misutilising the land attached to the electric substation.Back


Councillor's house attacked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — The residence of Municipal Councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi, in Sector 40 here tonight was attacked by some miscreants, who threw stones damaging her car. Ms Shahi has a lodged a complaint with the police. Back


Problems at apni mandis
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 13 — The Consumers Protection Forum held a meeting with the Secretary of Apni Mandis, Kharar, to discuss the problems being faced by the consumers in the apni mandis in the town. Col Angad Singh (retd), General Secretary of the forum, said the main problems faced by the consumers pertained to high prices and incorrect weights and measures. The Secretary, Apni Mandi, Mr Narinder Pal Singh, told the members of the forum that steps would be taken to solve the problems of the consumers highlighted by them.Back


Old-age pension certificates
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept 13 — The Haryana Government has decided to prepare the old-age pension certificates to the beneficiaries who were not able to appear before the enquiry committee in March. The certificates would be distributed in villages and wards in the presence of panchayat members and ward councillor.

A government spokesman said that patwaris and employees in the district have been directed to accompany the panchayat members, including sarpanch, along with one woman and two other members of the Scheduled Caste and backward classes when checking the absent beneficiaries.

He said that the rechecking would be done through the president and the Vice-President of the council and the councillor of the ward concerned. The committee will decide about the actual status of beneficiaries.Back


Prabhu to visit SAS Nagar
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 13 — The Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Suresh P. Prabhu, will be in the town on September 21 to attend the dedication ceremony of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research ( NIPER) here. The Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Ramesh Bias, would also be present on the occasion. The Director of the NIPER, Dr C.L. Kaul, said the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the Director-General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr R.A. Mashelkar, would also be present on the occasion.Back


Residents list grievances
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Sept 13 — A deputation of the House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 10, attended a meeting of the District Grievances and Redressal Committee here today. The deputation highlighted the problems of roads, waterlogging, vehicle parking around Janj Ghar, cleanliness of road and berms, low water pressure, irregular water supply and stray cattle. Mr M.L. Gupta, General Secretary of the association, urged the administrator and the Executive Engineers of the departments concerned to solve the problems.Back


Personalised gifts gain popularity

Do you want to send a gift to your boss, friends, parents, business colleagues, your fiancé, or your fiancée, who may or may not be in the same city? You want to make them feel that you care for them and love them and you want to send gifts in a highly personalised manner. Now companies providing personalised gifting services can arrange a dinner for your parents in a “five star” in Goa if they are holidaying there and you want to give them a pleasant surprise. Of course you will be paying for it, but imagine the genuine pleasure of your parents at this gesture.

Earlier, flower culture never existed in Ludhiana. Most of the people thought it was waste of money sending flowers worth Rs 250 to Rs 350. But now-a-days people send flowers on each and every occasion. “Our service is better than a courier service for the flowers are delivered along with a card, written with the feelings of a sender in mind. I used to deliver the cakes, flowers, chocolates myself. Infact, I have started making chocolates at home,” says Surichi Dewan.

“We can deliver your gifts in most of the important towns in the country. We have even delivered balloons ((heart shaped) for a young boy and a microwave oven for a lady. The flowers, bouquets, baskets, delivered with a card has become quite a hit. For cakes, we see that iced cakes do not melt and so we send them in air conditioned cars,” says Sachin Dewan.

Moreover a ‘thank you’ card from the receiver satisfies a client that their gift has been received. We are in a new millennium, so the mode of sending gifts has to change too.

Corporate houses never had it so good. They give bulk orders in advance. According to Mr Sanjeev Jain, an industrialist “The sending of gifts to my clients in a personalised manner makes my clients more appreciative of the gifts. For last Diwali, I had sent dry fruits in silver bowls, which was very much liked by my clients. Couriers do not book such kind of gifts. Now my headache is over.”

“We deal with the feelings of people; personalised gifting service is the bottom line of our company. This concept is very popular in western countries. Now it is becoming popular in India too. We can deliver exotic flower baskets, Indian sweets, champagne; name it, and we can do it. Now sisters can send their brothers Rakhis and Tikkas along with sweets, chocolates or any other gift that they want,” adds Sachin.
— Asha Ahuja


Sorry plight of teachers

This has reference to the report "Getting peanuts for hard work" (Chandigarh Tribune, August 24). It was a good effort to bring into focus the financial exploitation of the teachers in private schools. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Apart from being financially exploited, the teachers are subjected to inhuman treatment. They are used as tools to earn money without any thought for their welfare. In these schools, more than 90 per cent of the teachers are women. They are not provided with the barest minimum facilities. In one of the biggest public schools of Chandigarh, besides being paid low salaries, the teachers are treated as bonded labour. They are given no casual leave, no medical leave, no maternity leave. Any leave means loss of pay. The number of periods is far more than what is prescribed by the CBSE. No chair is provided to the teachers in the classrooms. They have to discharge their duty standing all the time. This is telling on the health of the teachers. Almost every teacher is affected by this torture and mental stress.

There are no fixed working hours. The teachers are often asked to stay beyond the closing time on the pretext of meetings etc. On the one hand, the managements or the owners of these schools loot the parents of students and, on the other, they exploit the teachers. If this is the condition of our "nation builders" we can well foresee the future of the nation.

The most painful aspect of this story is the role of the CBSE. Why this government agency has turned a blind eye to this state of affairs? How these teaching shops manage to retain their affiliation with the CBSE in spite of such a gross violation of the rules and regulations? This gives the impression that there is something fishy in the grant of affiliation to private public schools. This needs to be investigated by responsible agencies to save the hapless teachers and the future of thousands of students.
Yadvindra Salwan

Jayanti Devi temple

I recently visited the Mata Jayanti Devi temple, about 10 km from Chandigarh, in Ropar district. I wish to draw the attention of the Punjab Government to the deplorable condition of this 550-year-old temple situated in the Shivalik Hills. Hundreds of people from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh visit the temple during Navaratras. They also come on the weekend.

Due to the unprecedented rain last year, the temple was damaged. A number of cracks appeared on its walls and the stairs. One side of the temple collapsed in a landslide. Engineers from Punjab Engineering College have carried out repairs on the collapsed portion of the temple. Still more money is required for the renovation, development and maintenance of the temple.

For the past many years, two families have been taking turns every alternate year to look after the temple. It is doubtful whether they have been utilising the temple funds properly. The Punjab Government has not taken any action on the people's request to hand over the temple to a trust. The Mansa Devi temple at Panchkula in Haryana has been developing ever since the Haryana Government took it under its control.

The Jayanti Devi temple along with the Perch dam, which is hardly 3 km from this temple, can be developed as a tourist spot if the government seriously takes up this project. It should act without delay, put the temple under a trust and allocate funds to save this ancient heritage.
Sunil Kumar Dogra
LAHORA (Chandigarh) 



Two cases of theft in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 13 — As many as two cases of theft and burglary have been reported from various parts of the city. According to police sources, Amit Jain, a hosteller of Hostel No. 2, Block 3, Panjab University, reported that someone broke into his room and decamped with Rs 25,000, besides valuable electronic items. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered. Similarly, Sector 5 resident Mandeep Jain reported that his servant, Vasant Nath, a resident of Assam, decamped with a gold bracelet, besides some electronic goods. A case under Section 381 of the IPC has been registered.

PO arrested:
The police has arrested a proclaimed offender (PO) who had been evading arrest since 1978. He was wanted in connection with possessing 440 gm of opium and a case was registered under Sections 9,1 and 78 of the Opium Act. Gopal Krishan, a resident of Preet Nagar, Jandli, Ambala, was arrested by a team of policemen of the PO Cell. He was produced in a city court and has been remanded in judicial custody till September 27. 

Satta playing:
The police has arrested two persons from Sector 26 on the charge of playing satta at a public place. Sarwan Kumar was nabbed from the Market Committee office and a sum of Rs 1,345 was seized from his possession. Similarly, Ashok Kumar was arrested from near the SD Market. Both have been booked under Sections 13 -A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act. 

Liquor seized:
The police has arrested two persons under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act for possessing 57 pouches of liquor. Kaka and Babloo of Kumhar Colony were nabbed at a bus stop on the Sector 24-25 dividing road and the liquor was seized from their possession.

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