Thursday, January 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC auction fetches Rs 20 crore
Biggest-ever sale of property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), estimated to accrue a budget deficit of Rs 15 crore by the end of the fiscal year, today auctioned 54 commercial sites for more than Rs 20 crore in the biggest-even sale of its property involving the auction of 209 sites.

With today’s sale, the corporation is likely to almost meet the target of Rs 34 crore from the estates’ account which before the sale had netted around Rs 13 crore.

The auction, however, met with resistance from residents and shopkeeper of the Janata Kumhar Conoly, Sector-25, who gathered before the Municipal Corporation building in the shape of a dharna.

They said the eight booths in the colony should be given to them at throwaway prices. They also claimed that local MP Pawan Bansal had written to the Deputy Commissioner for the same.

Notwithstanding the agitation eight sites in the Janata Kumhar Colony fetched an estimated Rs 68 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 33 lakh. The highest bid swas made for SCOs 180,181 and 182 for Rs 2 crore and 55 lakh in Sector-9. Another SCO No. (172-173) in the sector went for Rs 2.5 crore. Eleven sites in Mani Majra went for more than Rs 1 crore each.

The lowest priced booth in the colony whose reserved price was fixed at Rs 2.65 lakh was auctioned for Rs 8.36 lakh.

A major reason for the reasonable response was attributed to the fact that it was for the first free-hold sites to be auctioned. The corporation before this auction was considering another major sale in February.

The corporation today got more than Rs 2 crore as first instalment of the deposit from buyers. The rest of the amount will come next month in three subsequent instalments.

The SCOs in Mani Majra fetched the highest return as all went for more than Rs 1 crore against the reserved prices between Rs 84.25 lakh and Rs 84.53 lakh.

Developed areas like SCOs in Sector-9 could not bring much enhanced value for the sale of the property as three-way SCOs (No. 180, 181, and 183) fetched just Rs 2 lakh more than the reserved price of Rs 2.53 crore against those in Mani Majra an average gain of Rs 16 plus lakh.


PU introduces Computer Science in colleges
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
In a major step, in keeping with contemporary trends in the educational arena, Panjab University has decided to introduce Computer Science as one of the optional subjects at the graduation level from the forthcoming session.

A decision in this regard has been cleared by the syndicate.

Reliable sources said the subject was planned to be introduced as a compulsory one in all affiliated colleges. However, all colleges do not have the required infrastructure and faculty to run computer courses and, hence, the subject is being introduced as an optional paper in the colleges which have the minimum required infrastructure for the subject at the graduation level.

In a related development, the university has decided to set up an information technology education cell in the university campus for “the purpose of information technology education in colleges by providing good infrastructure facilities, trained manpower and by updating the knowledge and skill of teachers”.

To give due academic credit to the optional paper in the subject, the university has decided to maintain a record of the marks secured in the examination by giving the score on the detailed marks card separate certificates will also be given for proficiency in the subject.

The decision to introduce the course in the colleges is seen as a welcome step by students anxious to load their academic armoury with the additional qualification of proficiency in computer usage. In the absence of the facility for computer education in normal streams in colleges, students often have to bunk classes to avail of the facilities in private institutes outside the college campus. Also, there is no denying the fact that basic computer education has become “more of a necessity”.

A syndic said: “Computer education had become the need of the day. Besides routine college classes, a sizeable section of students was running to private computer academies to get certificates in computer education. They not only wasted academic hours of regular classes in the colleges, but also paid heavily to the private computer academies”.

Another Syndic opined: “Computer education had become a must for nearly all professional lines in the contemporary world. It was felt that routine arts courses would be benefited in a major way by computer classes because even junior jobs in decent organisations expected the candidate to have proficiency in the use of computers”.

The university will first prepare a standardised syllabi for different colleges. If need be, the university will hire computer experts from leading institutes.



PGI ill-prepared for fire emergency
Mock drill last held more than a year back
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
On any given working day, the PGI has more than 10,000 people in various buildings. Not surprising at all, considering that it is the premier medical institute of the region. What might come as a surprise is the fact that there are only ten security men professionally trained in fighting fire to save these thousands of people in case of a major fire.

There are six fire guards (a regular post among securitymen) for the entire institute which includes the Nehru Hospital, the emergency, the library, research buildings, administrative blocks, hostels, canteens, shops and the residential complex. For the Advanced Pediatric Centre, the contractual security has put three persons on fire duty while at the New OPD block, just one person has been put on duty by the private security contractor.

To add to this problem of acute shortage of fire fighting staff is the decades-old fire control equipment in some of the old buildings of the hospital. The Nehru Hospital and the two research buildings have fire-fighting equipment procured 20 years back. However, every extinguisher, whatever its type, has been maintained and serviced regularly. As far as the new buildings are concerned, there is enough equipment available in good condition.

All multi-storeyed buildings have fire escape routes, which are supposed to be inspected each day by the fire guards to ensure that these are clear and well-lighted. This duty is being performed each day by the fire guards during their shifts but “shortage of staff leads to avoidable negligence at times,” say sources in the PGI.

“We have had no fire officer since the time the last fire officer retired a year back. The security officer is now holding the charge of a fire officer but since he is not trained in fire fighting, things are certainly not perfect”, sources state.

The last mock fire drill was carried out more than a year back, but after a fire broke out a week back in one of the operation theatres of the hospital, the security officer is thinking of reviving the system of a mock fire drill for employees.

In spite of all odds, the PGI security team claims that it is trying its best to ensure the safety of all.


It’s music to ears: CD for the cost of cassette
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Now you can get

*Dil Chahta Hai, Tum Bin, Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam — all for only Rs 90.

*Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, Ajnabee, Yeh Dil Ashiquana and Raaz — Rs 95.

*Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya which was earlier for Rs 295 is now priced at Rs 99, Dhadkan Rs 99.

* DJ Files, Disney Hour, Trance Nation, Vengaboys (earlier for more than Rs 500) now — Rs 345;

* The Best of Ricky Martin — Rs 345 with a free VCD.

Chandigarh, January 23
This comes as music to the ears. You can take home a music Compact Disc (CD) for the cost of a cassette. Music companies are not announcing it, but the fact is there for all to see. If you do not believe it, go to any of the shops in the city and take home a CD after pulling out just Rs 90 from your wallet.

Until a few months back, CDs, costing anywhere between Rs 350 and Rs 600 or even more, were a dream music lovers could not afford. But with “Dil Chahta Hai” — the CD which was initially priced by T-Series at Rs 275, now available for Rs 90 — the music industry witnessed what can be called a price revolution leading to changes in the trend from cassettes to CDs.

“Now this move, that seems to have resulted following the poor performance of the CD segment, is sure to bring a trend reversal against earlier times when people preferred cassettes to the high-priced CDs”, says a sales girl in Music World, Sector 17.

An increasing number of companies which have come with latest technology products including the best of CD players and music systems, have been successful in pushing substitutes for tape-recorders, thereby giving a push to the CD market, says Sanjay Kumar, who runs a music shop in Sector 17.

“But this segment, which was not performing well due to the price margin between cassettes and CDs being high, is now expected to look up”.

While the demand for CDs has already increased by 30 to 40 per cent, the scenario of the changing trend will be clearer after a month or so, say music shopowners.

While prices of English music CDs have been drastically cut, Hindi film music CDs have witnessed the maximum rate cuts and those in the industry say a further cut is expected.

Sony, for instance, has slashed it’s prices from Rs 525 or so to Rs 350. Pepsi Chart Hits, DJ Files, Disney Hour, Trance Nation, Vengaboys are now available for Rs 345 only. The Best of Ricky Martin has a VCD free along with the CD for the same price. BMG Cresendo has LFO, Modern Talking, Elvis Presley, now for only Rs 295. Similarly SMMC, which had it’s CDs priced at around Rs 525, is now offering these for less than Rs 400.

A pack of two CDs, for instance, Planet Trance and Biot, now comes for Rs 375.

Hindi film CDs that are expected to take the maximum takers is almost on a par with music cassettes. T-Series is offering them around Rs 90 and Tips, which earlier had it’s CDs priced around Rs 300 has also priced it’s CDs at almost the same price now.



Admn told to hand over parking lot to MC
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Administration has been asked to vacate the underground parking lot in front of the Estate Office in Sector-17 and hand it over “to the Municipal Corporation to make it functional”.

This was asked by the Punjab and Haryana High Court through the counsel for the Chandigarh Administration recently after the Court Commissioner for parking arrangements, Mr Gurdeep Singh, submitted his report to the court.

The Court Commissioner had stated in his report that it was not possible to enter the parking lot as lot of trunks and vehicles were dumped on the entry point of the parking lot.

The Municipal Corporation has been advised by its counsel not to file any affidavit in response to the Court Commissioner’s report which has broadly found the arrangements functional, sources told the Chandigarh Tribune.

At most of underground parking lots, except the one in front of the RBI where dust was reported and couple of vehicles were seen dumped, the complaints of lighting arrangements and water accumulation were not found by the court official.

The report was prepared by the Court Commissioner after the paid parking scheme was introduced in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 on January 7.

The occupancy, however, has been reported between 70 to 30 per cent at different underground parking places.

The report has become crucial as anti-paid parking lobby had been seeking to known the reason behind the haste in imposing paid parking before the Court Commissioner’s report.

But the acceptance of the report by the Corporation has blunted one of arguments of the anti-paid parking forces.

The heart of the underground paid parking in the corridor leading to the Chandigarh Medical Centre had the highest occupancy between 60 to 70 per cent and was reported to be clean with no complaints of lighting arrangements.

The Court Commissioner, however, expressed the need for more cleanliness in the 30 bays underground parking saying couple of cars were seen dumped there.

The occupancy level here was reported at 50 per cent and lighting arrangements were visible.

The water accumulation problem in scooter parking also seemed to have been solved as per the report.

Lighting arrangements in the underground parking lot in front of the Reserve Bank of India were reported to be just about there and occupancy here was reported at 50 per cent.

The underground parking in Sector 8 opposite the State Bank of India had only 30 per cent occupancy and arrangements were found to be proper.

Underground parking spaces in Sector 8 in front of the Sindhi Sweets and Police Housing Corporation, were also found to be proper but occupancy was again low at 30 per cent.


Paid parking on MC agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Imposition of paid parking, privatising public toilets and mobile vans, framing up draft bylaws on polythene bags, election of F&CC members and constitution of committees are among few of the official items on the agenda of the first Congress-dominated meeting of the second House of the Municipal Corporation scheduled for January 28.

Permission to hold functions in parking areas, concrete areas and underdeveloped green belts plus freedom of earning livelihood for hawkers, vendors, rickshaw pullers and roadside mechanics Bill 2001 are also to be considered by the House.

Allotment of a portion building of community centre in Badheri village to Directorate of Indian System of Medicines and Homeopathy, minutes of the second Resource Generation Committee meeting held in July, 2001 and allotment of accommodation at night shelter building in Mani Majra will also be placed before the House.

Estimate for providing water supply scheme in pocket number 6(along with tubewell and booster) along the Chandigarh-Kalka road, revised estimates for construction of cement store shed in Industrial Area, Phase-I and project estimate for supplying of tertiary-treated water for irrigation of open spaces in Chandigarh, are on the developmental agenda to come up before the House.

Draft regulations called the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Municipal Group C Services) Regulations, 1997, adoption of recruitment rules, namely, the Chandigarh Local Audit Department Services (Class-III) recruitment rules 1977 for the post of senior Auditor and Junior Auditor and, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (Public Health Circle) Chemist Group C Services, rules, 2001, are issues concerning employees.

The corporation’s approval has also been sought on disposal of commercial property from lease-hold to free-hold and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Employees Pension and General Provident Fund) Regulations, 2000 will also be discussed by the House.

Apart from this agenda, individual members can send their agenda to the Mayor to be taken up in the House.


R-Day awards for varsity don, Dr Jolly, Irina Brar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Administration announced awards for meritorious and outstanding services here tonight. These people will be given commendation certificates on the Republic Day.

Mr Preetpaul Singh of Panjab University will be awarded for outstanding achievements in academics, while for social service and illustrious achievements in the field of blood donation, Dr J.G. Jolly of Government Medical College, Sector 32, has been selected. Dr Jolly was formerly with the PGI.

Likewise, Inderjit Singh and Rajpal Singh, hockey players of the Sports Department, have been selected for outstanding achievements in the field of hockey. Ms Bhupinder Banta Singh will be awarded for her achievements in the field of veteran sports.

For achieving several milestones in the field of golf, Ms Irina Brar will also be awarded with a commendation certificate.

Similarly, Sub-Inspectors of Chandigarh Police, Mr Sucha Singh, with the Sector 17 police station, and Ms Harjit Kaur, with the vigilance cell, will be awarded. Head Constable, Sukhwinder Singh, presently posted as reader to the SP, City, will also be honoured. All three will be honoured for meritorious services in their field.



R-Day honours: it is all politics
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, January 23
Acts of omission are not uncommon in a bureaucratic set-up. The UT Administration, despite a highly-claimed will to uplift the status of sports in the region, has not been able to do justice to deserving sportspersons of the city.

As the Republic Day is getting near, the list of sportspersons to be honoured by the state, is being finalised. But some discrepancies are creeping in, as list makers are reportedly ‘weighing’ the political connections of sportspersons so as to decide upon the awardees for the year. This is quite ironical, despite the city having a a genuine sports lover in its Administrator, Lt Gen (retd) JFR Jacob, who has a history of promoting sports in Chandigarh.

According to sources, names of four sportspersons were recommended for the this year’s commendation , including that of Irina Brar, a leading golfer who gained fame with a series of wins at national level in ladies golf event. The other was Bhupinder Banta Singh, an ace veteran athlete who broke national and Asian records in veterans athletic event. She was over 70 years. The other two were heroes of Indian junior hockey team that won the Junior World Cup Hockey Meet at Australia recently, Inderjeet Chadha and Raj Pal Singh.

But a noticeable omission, sources said, was Gurpreet Kaur (18), a gutsy rower, who had won a gold medal the National Games held at Chandigarh recently. Another superb performance of hers was a few months back, when she bagged the silver medal in the 7th Asian Junior Rowing championships held at China. She improved her previous year’s performance at the 6th Asian Junior rowing championships held at Chandigarh in December 1999.

Insiders, on a condition of anonymity, said Gurpreet did not have any strong reference which and who could convince the higher authorities, about her genuine case.

Punjab awarded Rs 1 lakh each to its gold medalists of the National Games only last month. But the UT Administration, till date, did not moot any proposal to honour the outstanding sportspersons.

Sources said the proposal to honour medalists of the National Games should come from the Chandigarh Olympic Association.

The association had sent a strong contingent of players to the just concluded National Games who could fetch only two gold medals and the city’s overall performance deteriorated from the past.

But the fact was that since UT did not give much recognition to the players which they deserved, there had been a ‘player drain’ from the city to other neighbouring states, which offered better incentives. Haryana was also miles ahead in giving cash prizes to its players.

In 1999, another deserving case was of Sabeeha Dhillon, the shooter who had won the Junior National title, but was denied any award by the UT. It finally led to this girl’s shifting to Punjab. This year Sabeeha helped Punjab in winning one silver in team event and a bronze medal in individual championship in the National Games. So ultimately loss was of city only.

While the state of official apathy continued, the number of talented sportspersons in the region was sure to decline. A promising rower like Gurpreet might just have to shift base in search of greener pastures in other states. And if this happened, the dream nurtured so fondly by the sports-loving UT Administrator may never take shape of reality.


The mystery behind Partition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The founder of Pakistan, Mohd Ali Jinnah’s design was to see a disorganised and unconsolidated India where Muslims on this side held a dominant position while, on the other hand, Pakistan emerged stronger, asserted historian, Dr Gopal Krishan while speaking on ‘‘ Rationality of Partition’’ at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here this afternoon.

Initially, Dr Krishan said, Mr Jinnah did not want Partition, he was quoting from documents of Jinnah available in London and Islamabad. It will remain a mystery as to how Partition was imposed on the people with all the three main parties — the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League and the British — not being in favour of it, he pointed out while adding that the documents of Jinnah have been censored heavily .

After 1938, Mr Jinnah never negotiated with the Indian National Congress on any issue while the two-nation theory was formally accepted only in 1946. The other nation was to be based on religious lines and on the basis of Muslim nationalism. This stemmed from the fear of Muslims being subversive to non-Muslim elements. Mahatma Gandhi had realised as early as 1940 that Partition was inevitable.

Furthering his argument Dr Krishan said it was due to the idea of having a weak India that Mr Jinnah fully supported the idea that the 561 principalities in the country at the time of Partition could not be coerced into joining the Union of India. According to the historian, highly censored papers of Jinnah available in London say: ‘‘The British wanted to dismember India to prevent it from becoming a major power.’’ Such a unconsolidated India would have helped the British retain their position in the principalities. The idea to sustain the Princely order was to undermine the efforts of India in its post-Partition consolidation.

It was under his larger design to undermining India that Mr Jinnah never defined what and where would be Pakistan as this would have stopped support to the cause of a Muslim nation. Nor did he ever clarify his position on minorities living in Pakistan. Now with better understanding of Partition we can understand that a united or unpartitioned India with Muslim aspirations would have become unworkable, opined Dr Gopal Krishan.

During the formation of the interim government Mr Jinnah demanded that the constituent Assembly be abolished. On December 9, 1947, the constituent Assembly was convened thus becoming an instrument of Indian independence.

Chairing the discussion, Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor, The Tribune, said the history of Partition is full of if’s and but’s and no coherent objective account is available. Important things which ought to have been said remain unanswered on Partition, it is papers like the one presented by Dr Krishan that will help in unfolding history. The biggest failure of the Indian state has been on account of assimilating Indian Muslims after Partition. A vision for India and it’s minorities need to be projected rightly, Mr Jaisingh said.

Later Mr R.P. Bambah, a trustee of the Tribune Trust, proposed a vote of thanks praising Dr Krishan on his brilliant lecture.


50 Burail Jail inmates apply for legal aid

Chandigarh, January 23
A legal aid cell has become operational in the Model Burail jail with a view to providing effective and timely legal assistance to inmates. The authority has been providing advocates at the state’s expense and financial assistance like expenses of court fee on behalf of eligible persons, expenses for documentation, expenses for summoning of witnesses and other incidental expenses connected with litigation.

At present, there are 459 prisoners, including 432 male and 27 female, lodged in the Model Burail Jail. Around 120 prisoners have been undergoing rigorous imprisonment, 222 are under trial, and 102 have been undergoing trials at Sessions Court.

The Superintendent of the Burail Jail, Mr D.S. Ranna, informed that under Article 39 (A) of the Constitution a separate legal aid cell has to be established in the every jail in order to provide effective and meaningful legal assistance to the prisoners. He added that after getting information from the member Secretary State Legal Service Authority, the legal aid cell in the jail was set up on the Legal Service Day on November 9 last year.

The UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, said in order to provide an access to justice the legal aid cell had been established in the jail. So far, the authorities concerned had received 50 applications to seek legal aid. Mr Bhalla said during his monthly visit to the jail today, he found the working of the cell as satisfactory.

The Assistant Advocate General, Mr Rajinder Singh, who has been working in the legal aid cell, said they had received good response to seek legal aid since many of the prisoners were from poor strata. And, therefore, there was a need for the legal assistance here.

Mr Rajinder Singh added that the State Legal Services Authority, Sector 9, has been providing free legal aid and services in the Courts of all Judicial Magistrates in Chandigarh to persons who feel handicapped in their defence on account of lack of resources.

The authority has been providing free counselling and assistance in cases of divorce, job discrimination, and compoundable criminal cases. The authority has also been providing advice on welfare benefits, accidents, medical negligence, rent, repairs, mortgage and eviction cases.

Those eligible for the free legal help include persons with disability, member of Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe, victim of human trafficking or beggars, industrial workman, women or children or having annual income less than Rs 50,000.



Adhere to security rules, hotel owners told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
With a view to maintaining all-round security environment in the city, the local police today sensitised owners and managers of various hotels, sarais and bhavan of the need of proper verification of people availing boarding and lodging facilities at their places.

Addressing a meeting of hotel owners, the SP (Operation), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, asked them to adopt certain security measures which could help the police to apprehend anti-social elements.

Mr Dhaliwal asked them to record complete addresses, including names and telephone numbers of persons, who visited hotels, sarais and bhavans, apart from recording their vehicle numbers. They were asked to get all these particulars recorded in the handwriting of those who come to stay there.

In case of illiterates, they were told to obtain thumb impressions. With the help of parking, reception and room attendants’ staff, they were asked to keep a watch on suspicious activities, if any. They were asked to note pecularities of customers with particular description and habits apart from keeping an eye on visitors who came to see them.

The hotel, sarai and bhavan owners were directed not to let out any room without due entry, apart from observing their movement while leaving these places.

Mr Dhaliwal gave them the crime stopper cell telephone (544444) to provide any information about anti-social elements. He assured them that their identity would be kept secret.

Hotel owners, also gave certain suggestions to Mr Dhaliwal to enforce the points spelt out by him. These included search conduct before 11 p.m. to avoid inconvenience to room occupants, also managers should be personally called before conducting the search, and guests should be asked the purpose of their visit to Chandigarh.

They asked Mr Dhaliwal to circulate among them all instructions in writing so that these culd be enforced in letter and spirit.

Mr Dhaliwal cautioned them that they would be held responsible for negligence and would be liable for adverse consequences for not maintaining proper checks.

Meanwhile, members of the Guest House Social and Welfare Association said they had started a dharna in Sector 21 to protest against the dilly-dallying policy of the Administration in implementing the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In a signed statement Mr Subhash Narang and Mr Ashok Sethi, president and general secretary of the association, respectively, said the High Court had directed the Administration to allot them alternative sites for the resettlement of guest house owners. The action of the Administration had led to unemployment of a large number people. It had also affected their business.

The association adopted a resolution which, inter alia, said their guest house should be regularised as they were earning their living from these like nursing home, grocery shop and clinic owners. They had been running these guest houses for the past 30 years. They should be provided alternative sites near the bus stand and railway station.

They said they would be forced to observe hunger strike and take out candle light procession if their demands were not accepted.



Man alleges forcible occupation of house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
A resident of Nabha, Ajay Goyal, who had purchased a house in Sector 34 about a year ago, has complained of forceful occupation of the house, allegedly at the behest of the person from whom he had bought the house.

In a complaint submitted to the UT IGP, Mr B S Bassi, yesterday, Mr Goyal has claimed that he bought the house from Mr B.S. Thind in August, 2000, at a cost of Rs 40 lakh. Possession of the house, except the garage and the room above it, was handed over to him.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Goyal said the garage and the room is occupied by Mr B.S. Thind’s father, Mr D.S. Thind, as a licencee and is to be vacated by October 2002. Copies of the sale agreement attached with the complaint show Mr B.S. Thind to be an Indian Police Service official of the Himachal Pradesh cadre.

Mr Goyal complained that when he reached here day before yesterday and tried to enter his house, he was physically stopped from doing so by four persons and was told that they had been instructed to stop him from entering the house. He has also attached a list of his items kept in the house. He said the police, on visiting the house, has told him that none of his items were in the house. He has also attached copies of demand drafts paid for the house, telephone bills, ration card, bills of household goods and family photographs taken in the house along with his complaint. The complaint has been marked to the SSP by the IG.

Mr B.S. Thind was not available for comments. A message left on his voice mail did not elicit any response.



Cong, BJP fail to decide on candidates
Tribune News Service

THE Congress councillors today rejected house tax proposal on the January 28 Municipal Corporation meeting agenda and decided to make entry free in parking areas.

This was decided by the party at a meeting of councillors, which asked the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, to reject the house tax proposal and let parking be discussed.

The party explored the possibility of rejecting the paid parking system but found that this could not be done due to legal implications.

Chandigarh, January 23
The Congress and the BJP today failed to decide its candidates for election to five vacancies of the F&CC, while the CVM has asked Mr Vijay Singh Rana to file papers on the last day of nominations tomorrow.

The nine nominated members were divided as six of them decided to field Brig Sant Singh for the committee. They set up a three-member coordination committee under the chairmanship Dr K.S. Raju.

The other members on the coordination committee are: Ms. Amar Kulwant Singh and C.K. Swahney.

Nominated members did not approve the nomination of Mr. P.C. Sangi, who has already filed his nomination.

The CVM has decided to make Jitender Bhatia as the leader of the group in the House.

The BJP is likely to field former Mayor Kamla Sharma.

The Congress and the BJP today engaged in a wait and watch game by not deciding on their candidates. The Congress is in a clear position to get its two members easily through.

The Congress could not decide on its candidates as the stand of the nominated members was not clear. None of candidates today filed papers on the penultimate day.


Residents’ protest suffers a setback
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 23
The ongoing dharna staged by the District Youth Congress in protest against the imposition of house tax , increase in cable tariff by operators and hike in water charges by HUDA, entered the sixth day today.

A number of lawyers led by Ms Santosh Sharma, president of the Zila Mahila Congress and Mr Vivek Bhatia, vice president of Panchkula District Bar Association, today joined Congress workers and staged a dharna outside the DC’s office. Mr Rakesh Sharma, president of District Legal Cell said the residents’ demands were justified and they were being unnecessarily pushed to the wall.

Mr Tarun Bhandari, president of District Youth Congress (Rural) and Mr Vijay Sharma, president of the District Youth Congress (Urban) were also present there.

Meanwhile, the dharna staged by the Panchkula Joint Welfare Associations Forum entered its ninth day today. Various members of Sector 4 Residents Welfare Association organised a protest march from Sector 4 to the Mini Secretariat.

However, this got a jolt when seven of the 10 members of the forum withdrew their support by supporting... the dharna was a political gimmick."

In a statement issued to the Press, Dr B.L. Tandon, Founder of People’s Voice God’s Voice Group accused Mr Kinger of taking decisions without taking other members of the forum into confidence.

He said they would, however, continue with the protest and stage dharna on their own outside DC’s office.

Among those who have withdrawn their support are — Mr A.S. Panjrath, general secretary, Sector 2 association; Mr Suresh Kaushal, president of Sector 9 Residents Welfare Association; Mr Brij Lal, general secretary of Sector 21 Residents Welfare Association; Mr R.D. Thukral, general secretary of Sector 6 Residents Welfare Association; Mr Adesh Gupta and Mr L.M. Gupta of Sector 10 House Owners Welfare Association. 


Neighbourhood Watch in Sect 42-B
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Police’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme was launched in Sector 42-B by the UT Inspector General of Police, Mr. B.S. Bassi this evening as the UT Engineering Department finalised a plan for allowing installation of iron gates in various sectors by making certain changes in the building bylaws, said a spokesman of the Police Department.

Mr Bassi, launching the first Neighbour Hood Scheme in Sector 38-West last year, had said that iron gates could be installed in localities to enhance security after getting approval from the Administration. The spokesman said Sector 38 West would be the first sector to get such gates after the plan is finalised by the UT Chief Architect.

Today’s scheme was launched in association with the Residents Welfare Association of Sector 42-B.

Besides others, the function was attended by the UT SSP, Mr Parag Jain, SP (City), Baldev Singh, DSP (traffic and security) Vijay Pal and two nominated councillors to the MCC, Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mr Didar Khan. Speaking on the occasion, the UT IGP advised the residents to install electric bulbs outside their houses. It may be mentioned here that the residents of the most of the southern sectors complain of poor street- lighting.

The IG advised the residents to inform the police about the identity of tenants and servants. The residents were also advised to fix electronic security gadgets in their houses. The residents urged the IG to take up with the Administration the matter of improving the traffic islands on the dividing road of Sectors 42 and 43, which has become accident -prone.


Museum, library at Mansa Devi
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 23
The Mansa Devi Shrine Board has decided to set up a museum, including a library.

A decision to this effect was taken during a meting of the shrine board presided over by the Chief Secretary, Mr L.M. Goyal. It was also decided that a light and sound project be started here to educate the devotees regarding the historical and mythological background of the shrine.

The Chief Secretary directed that a committee of professionals be formed and a seminar be organised to work out the modalities for these projects . Deliberations on the architecture, collections of artifacts and details of light and sound programme would be discussed in the seminar.

The theme of the museum would be depiction of streams of Mother Goddess and Shakti cult. The museum would focus on the versatile and exotic form of Shakti as well as development of this cult. Another important segment would be heritage of Panchkula.

The Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula and Chief Executive Officer of Board, Ms Jyoti Arora, assured that the museum would be of the highest standard and eminent professionals and scholars would be engaged for setting up of this museum. 



Cable operators plan rally in Delhi
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, January 23
The Punjab Cable TV Network Association today decided to organise a rally in Delhi in the first week of February to protest against the enhancement of fee by TV channels.

Mr Sanjit Singh Gill, president of the association, said the Star Plus package was being boycotted in most of the areas of Punjab since January 11. The agitation would be spread to other areas.

He said at today’s meeting cable network representatives from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan participated.

Mr Gill said the rate of the Star Plus package had been hiked from Rs 30 per connection per month to Rs 42 and the sports channel from Rs 16 to Rs 24. If the price hike by Star Plus was not opposed, other TV channels would also hike their charges.


Salute to Netaji
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, January 23
The birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chander Bose was celebrated at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala.

The bust of the Netaji at the NIS was garlanded by a host of prominent sports personalities, including Dronacharya Awardees Ken Bosen (athletics), PS Sandhu (weightlifting), Shakti Singh, a renowned athlete and the Regional Director SAI, Mr GS Anand.

Mr Anand in his speech said the Netaji’s struggle to liberate India from the British yoke was a good lesson for sportspersons who should work hard to win greater laurels in international competitions.

A tape-recorded speech of Netaji was also played.


Footpath cycle workers on a warpath
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 23
The local Footpath Cycle Workers Union at its meeting here today has threatened that if they are not allotted permanent booths by the UT Administration they would go on indefinite fast. Mr Ram Milan Gaur, president of the union, claimed that all unions associated with roadside cycle workers attended the meeting.



Bomb hoax in police building
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 23
A bomb hoax in the Inter-State Police Wireless building, Sector 24-D, kept the local police on its toes here this afternoon. As per the police sources, the Police Control Room at around 11.30 am received an anonymous telephone call that two bags containing bomb had been planted in the building. A dog squad, bomb disposal squad and a Quick Reaction Team was pressed into action.

However, the police only found school books in two bags placed near an abandoned garbage bin.


Two youths held for stealing petrol
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 23
The local police arrested two youths for allegedly stealing petrol from a scooter in Sector 22 in the wee hours here today. Mr Netar Singh, in his complaint, said accused Kailash Chander, a resident of Janta Colony, Sector 25, and Parmod Kumar, a Sector-38 resident, were caught while they were committing the crime. The two were booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code.

Stolen: In another case, Mr Mukh Dev Singh, a resident of Sector 31, reported to the police that side shields of his LML Vespa scooter were stolen from Sector 21 on Monday evening. A case of theft has been registered.

Car hit: Mr Harbans Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar, reported to the police that his car was hit by another car driven by Hria Lal near Sector 50 yesterday afternoon. Both the complainant and the accused were injured in the accident. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Dowry case: Ms Anu, a Sector-40 resident, in a complaint to the police stated that her husband Mukesh Kumar and in-laws, residents of Gandhi Nagar, Muzaffarpur (UP), were harassing her and forcing her to bring more dowry.

A case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC has been registered.

Grinding machines stolen: Mr S.C. Ahuja of M\s Ahuja Engineer, Industrial Area, Phase I, reported to the police that grinding machines from the factory premises were stolen on Monday night here.

A case of theft has been registered.

Liquor seized: The local police arrested Sonu, a resident of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, from near Himachal Bhavan, Sector 24, yesterday and seized 10 bottles of liquor from his possession. He has been booked under various Sections of the Excise Act.



49-yr woman crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 23
A 49-year old woman was crushed to death by a bus near counter No. 10 at the Inter State Bus Terminus, Sector 17, here this evening.

As per police sources, the victim, Ms Simar Kaur, was a resident of Rajpura in Punjab. Rajwant Singh, driver of the Syndicate Ambala Bus (PB 12D 9809) was reversing the bus when the accident took place. The driver was arrested.


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