Thursday, May 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU move on seats for poor, bright students
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Panjab University is contemplating to reserve 10 per cent seats for meritorious students from economically weaker sections of society for various courses in the affiliated colleges from the forthcoming academic session(2002-2003).

The move transcends the barriers of reservation on the basis of caste alone( Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes categories) and makes way for the deserving and interested students who cannot pursue higher studies because of economic reasons alone. Deserving meritorious students in need of financial aid stand to benefit from the move.

The case comes up for perusal under a special committee under the chairmanship of Prof Ramesh Kapoor, Dean College Development Council. Other members include Principal Tarsem Bahia, Principal A.C.Vaid, Principal Usha Gupta, Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Mr Rajinder Bhandari and deputy registrar( colleges). The committee will formulate modalities on the reservation.

The university senate and syndicate had already taken up the case of reserving seats for meritorious students of the economically weaker sections for the PU Institute of Engineering and Technology, which commences from the forthcoming session.

The university move has been hailed in many circles since the engineering college was being started on a total self-finance basis, and normal students will have to pay “very high” fees. Fee concessions to meritorious deserving students will safeguard the interests of economically weaker sections.

The university note says “10 per cent of the general seats for each course would be treated as supernumerary seats, earmarked for providing free education to students who have passed their qualifying examination to these courses in first class( 60 per cent) and economically weaker sections of society. These students do not belong to the “creamy layer and are unable to pursue studies but for this concession”.

The note adds that “ The criteria for determining the eligibility of the candidates under this category will be total family income up to Rs 1 lakh per annum. Persons holding yellow cards and yellow ration cards will be given preference. A certificate to this effect should be issued by the Deputy Commissioner concerned or competent authorities of the Punjab, government in case of colleges situated in the state of Punjab and Chandigarh Administration in case situated in the UT”.

The committee will deliberate on the income limits that should be fixed for extending the facility of reservation for meritorious students of the economically weaker sections. 


More options for interiors
Changes in building bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
As part of the on-going rationalisation of building bylaws, the Chandigarh Administration today gave more options in building houses, planning interior partitions in commercial areas. Besides this also allows shopkeepers more freedom. As a security measure residential houses have been allowed to increase the height of gate and gate pillars upto 5’-11” and to provide winders in stair cases without paying any composition fee.

Composition fees has been fixed for minor variations in the minimum permissible area of a habitable room, bathroom or kitchen. This means no more harassments at the hands of building inspectors as fee will be like a ready for residents.

Commercial buildings have been allowed to change the flooring in the public corridor without payment of composition fee as per the pattern and materials specified by the Chief Architect. Similarly RCC projections over lights on advertisements panels and bifurcation of rolling shutters have been allowed without any charges.

Complete flexibility in internal planning of floors of SCO/SCF has been allowed within the permissible FAR without any charges. Additional ground coverage has been allowed up to 10 per cent in Timber Sites on payment of composition fees.

The composition fee chargeable from the allottees/owners shall be: Rs 200 per sq. ft and would be charged for allowing additional ground coverage upto 10 per cent in Timber Site.

For common walls Rs 33 per cubic feet of 9” thick brick wall in cement, sand mortar 1:7 in first storey shall be charged. However, for additional storeys of 4 metre height, the basic rate of Rs 372 per cubic metre shall be increased by Rs 8 per cubic metre subject to the further change on January 1 of every year.

No composition fee shall be charged for allowing increase in height of gates and gate pillars as per rules. Rs 5,000 shall be charged for houses (up to 10 marlas) and Rs 10,000 shall be charged for houses beyond 10 marlas for allowing variation upto 2 per cent in the minimum permissible area of a habitable room/WC toilet, kitchen etc. within the zoned area.

No composition fee shall be charged for allowing winders in stair case and also for allowing change in flooring for public corridors of an individual shop. The Chief Architect shall provide guidelines for compatible pattern and materials for new flooring of a particular row of shop.


Decision on building bylaws hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Amendments to the Chandigarh building bylaws notified by the UT Administration have evoked mixed reaction from various bodies in the city.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal at a meeting held here today under the presidentship of Mr Jagdish Arora noted the fact that several important amendments to the bylaws discussed with the administration had not been included in the final notification. “Most of the people-friendly amendments had been left out of the notification”, he lamented.

Leaders of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, including Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, Mr Prem Kumar, Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, Mr Charanjeev Singh, Mr Jagdish Paul Kalra, Mr Sat Paul Garg, Mr I.C.Arora and Mr Subash Sethi, urged the administration to be more positive and revamp the building bylaws.

The Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha while hailing the amendments urged the administration to extend the bylaws to industrial plots as well. In a statement issued here, its leaders Mr Chaman Lal Sharma, Mr Tejbans Singh Jauhar and Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi said this matter had been hanging fire for the past more than a decade. Permission must be given to people to transfer industrial plots and plots from the allotment quota of administration by charging minimum transfer fees to encourage people who had purchased property on general power of attorney to come forward and get it regularised. The administration will also earn from stamp duty and registration charges.

Stamp duty should be immediately reduced to bring it at par with Punjab to encourage people to take advantage of liberal bank loans in the housing sector. Rates of conversion changes for the commercial property from lease hold to free hold should also be announced immediately.

Samadhaan, a pressure group for social justice, welcomed the changes in the bylaws “even though these are not in consonance with the outcome of the meeting it had with the Finance Secretary, Chandigarh”. A few suggestions made by the representation and subsequent verbal acceptance by the Finance Secretary had either been skipped or kept pending to be notified later, stated Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of Samadhaan.

For instance, procedural hassles of obtaining NOC from the estate office had not been touched in the notified changes. Keeping the need-based changes in the residential and commercial premises out of purview of the building bylaws violations and the applicants to undo the existing non-compoundable violations in a stipulated period while obtaining the completion certificate was welcome but why such a facility was not being extended to the procedure of obtaining the NOC for selling/transferring the property, thus de-linking the NOC from the bylaws violations?” he asked. A request in the said representation to scrap irrelevant documentation, avoiding raising piecemeal objections and for fixing a stipulated time schedule for the issuance of NOC had also been ignored despite agreeing to these in the discussion, he said.

Permission to include the names of blood relations in the title of properties as notified in the case of lease-hold properties, vide notification dated 9-1-2002, was requested to be extended to freehold properties too, had not been considered, he said.

Procedural hassles in the existing Housing board transfer policy were also brought to the notice of the administration. This subject has also been left untouched.

The much-publicised and long-awaited transfer policy for lease-hold properties without charging unearned profit has not been touched. Stamp duty rationalisation has not been taken into account.

Allowing cantilevers in the Marla houses, in the wake of permission for additional covered area for full coverage of first and second floors in the phase I sector of Chandigarh, has not been considered.

The Traders Association, Sector 17-D, while welcoming the changes in building bylaws, said certain clarifications were needed.

The association said it needed to be clarified if a basement in shop could stock items for sale? Also a clarification was needed on what would be the status of shops functioning from basements. The association said the shops should be allowed and people who were running the trade should not be uprooted. The administration might fix parameters for fire safety.

The other issue raised was that if violation occurred in one part of the building, the entire property was resumed and sealed. They demanded only the portion where violation had occurred should be sealed and other traders and offices in the same building should not be affected.

The association also said tenants should have the rights to deposit the compounding fee as landlords did not deposit the fee using it as tool to get rents hiked.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the BJP welcomed the decision of the Chandigarh Administration to incorporate amendments to the building by-laws today.

In a joint press statement issued here today, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, convener, BJP ad hoc committee and Mr Satya Pal Jain, former MP, urged the administration to continue its policy of making amendments to the by-laws. They also urged the administration to speed up amendments so that other issues like increasing the covered area of building construction up to 65 per cent, accepting power of attorney unconditionally and enforcing the Apartment Act in the city be also decided immediately.


Govt loses money due to delay in lottery results
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 15
The state government is allegedly losing lakhs of rupees each day through its dealers in Panchkula, allegedly because the results of each of the 12 draws, taken every 30 minutes, are being delayed by several minutes each day.

Lottery dealers in the township allege that the results of all 12 draws taken out each day by the Haryana State Lotteries are being declared five to seven minutes late. As a result, the regular lottery players are buying less tickets for the subsequent draws , causing losses to the dealers and the state government.

Dealers in the township told TNS that this had been going on for the past more than one week. They claim that if the results of each draw were to be declared on time, they would be able to sell at least two more lots of lottery tickets, as compared to only two lots of tickets being sold now.

In spite of repeated attempts to contact the Director, Haryana State Lotteries, at his residence, he was unavailable for comments. Meanwhile, Mr. S.P. Singh, one of the biggest lottery agents in the state, lamented that though they have been raising the issue with the Director, Haryana State Lotteries, it had failed to yield the desired results.

It is also alleged that results of state government lotteries are being allegedly fixed and bets on outcome of results are being placed with unscrupulous dealers. A large number of unscrupulous elements have made the township their area of operation after the daily lottery draws were banned by the UT Administration two years ago. Bets on results of these daily draws , worth lakhs of rupees , are being placed with these lottery agents.

It is learnt that a number of people operating in Sectors 5, 11, 16, 18 and in Old Panchkula have now come up here . A number of illegal lottery stalls have also reportedly come up at the surrounding village of Abheypur and in Kalka.

There are 12 draws of lotteries taken out each day within a gap of 30 minutes each. While blocks of tickets ( 10 tickets each) for seven draws are sold for Rs 11, tickets for three groups are sold for Rs 22 and for the remaining two blocks for Rs 33. The prize is on the last two figures of the lottery number. One in a 100 tickets is the winning number.

Sources inform that these agents in the township buy blocks of lottery tickets worth only a few thousand from the state government recognised dealers, but place bets on favourite numbers for each draw, irrespective of the fact that they do not have the tickets. The bets placed are noted down in diaries and the accounts thus maintained.

In case, one of the persons who has placed a bet, wins on the number, which is rare, he gets the booty. Otherwise the money placed on the bets is pocketed by these agents. The business is reportedly being carried on through cellular phones.

Sources inform that satta operators accept bets on each of the two digits on the winning number , thus they play 24 draws ( two for each of the 12 draws taken out by the state government) and are making a quick buck.

It is also alleged that certain employees of the result department in Haryana State Lottery are hand-in-glove with satta operators. A few people are allowed to enter the premises where the draw is held in Sector 11 just before each of the 12 draws in order to give the results to the operators operating from outside Panchkula.


City’s achievers sparkle with success
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
"In the house of God, labour is valued." Giving practical shape to this oft-quoted saying are seven young achievers from the city, who have made it right across to the zenith. Talk to them and you realise the worth of striving, seeking and not yielding to the pressure of mind and time.

Banking on the weight of labour, over 15 candidates from the city have cleared the civil services exam this year. With nothing new to say except what the toppers of all years have been saying, this year's achievers sparkled with the smiles of success. At the end of the long conversation about what inspired and what saw them through, they all replied in a constant tone, "Hard work pays."

The topper, Abhishek Jain, is ranked third and is presently doing his Ph D in Economics from Panjab University. He is a resident of Gorayan near Jalandhar. Ranked fifth, Dinesh Arora, says there is no substitute for hard work though family back up, too, played an important role. “I owe my success to my parents, my sisters and a cousin brother who prodded me right through the gruelling preparation sessions. They encouraged me everytime I was feeling low and burnt out,'' he adds.

This being his third attempt, he claims a concentrated effort of eight to 10 hours four months before the Mains suffices. He had cleared the examination in the allied services in his first attempt.

Kamalpreet, ranked 20th, is one of the few among the top ranks selected from the city this year.

Thrilled at having made it to the Civil Services, Ajay Malik, a mechanical engineer from Panchkula, is ranked 50th in the competitions. He says that it was the confidence that his parents had in him that led to his astounding success. Son of a senior technocrat in the Department of Agriculture, Haryana, Ajay says that it is a dream come true for him as well as his family.

Manisha Trighatia, placed 46th on the list, says,``I am pleasantly surprised at making it to the list of successful candidates. It just hasn't sunk in yet though everyone is elated with the news. With 15 hours of study for over a year, I am glad my hardwork and perseverance paid off. The motto has to be “I believe in myself” for getting thought the examination. Sonia Narang, a city resident, has been placed 47th in the list followed by Jeewandeep Singh Kahlon who has secured 83rd rank.

Navraj Goyal, a student of Law department at Panjab University, is ranked 129th. He was appearing for the interview for the second time and his rank assures a place in the top services. He had the option of Laws and Punjabi in the mains examination after clearing the preliminary examination. He is a resident of Barnala. Preetinder Singh and Zennia Goyal are ranked 143rd and 146th, respectively.

A psychology student at Panjab University here, Aarti Dewan, ranked 196th, says that her success in the competitions is proof enough that hard labour never goes unrewarded. She says that she had been putting in more than 10 hours of study on an average each day.

Dr Deepika Lohia is ranked 219th. She is doing her PhD in Gandhian Studies at Panjab University. Deepika is basically a resident of Jagraon. Another successful candidate from the city who had made it to the civil services is Dr Amit Saini who is ranked 256th. A qualified doctor, Amit, cleared the examination in his second attempt, and was presently working as a medical officer at GMCH-32.

Few other students, who have been selected from the city, include Mr Rahul Dhawan ranked 294th. He has shown an improvement in his previous result as he was doing his foundation course training with the Central Industrial Security Force. He had geography and sociology as his options for the mains examination this year.

Dr Munisha , a resident of Sector 21 here , who ranked 235 th, says she had put in six to seven hours of study each day in order to make it to the elite services. This was her second attempt in the competitions. Others who have cleared the examination include Rajitha (292) and Varun (387).


Heatwave claims 12 more lives

Chandigarh, May 15
The heatwave which swept the north west region for the 11th day today claimed 12 more lives (seven in Punjab, four in Haryana and one in Chandigarh) during the past two days, taking the toll to 18.

Five more deaths have been reported from Amritsar. While one of the dead had been identified as SPO Nirmal Singh, the others were mainly labourers. A labourer died of sun stroke in Chandigarh and four in Bhiwani, Rewari and Bhulwana, reports said. UNI


12 more special courts to hear CBI cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
To ensure speedy disposal of cases registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), 12 more special courts have been set up across the country. Stating this here today, the official CBI spokesman, Mr S.M. Khan, said that more special courts to take up CBI cases were also being set up in all state capitals.

New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata were among the cities where additional special courts were being set up. At present there were 44 special courts in the country taking up CBI cases. An additional special court at Chandigarh had also been sanctioned.

Mr Khan said that following a Supreme Court directive, a separate Directorate of Prosecution had been created a few weeks ago to ensure transparency and ensure requisite checks and balances in sensitive investigations.

The Director of Prosecution (DOP) would function under the Director-General of the CBI. The DOP would be an Indian Legal Service officer of the rank of Additional Secretary and would be selected by a board comprising the CBI DG, Union Home Secretary, Secretary, Personnel, and the Central Vigilance Commissioner. All decisions on important cases taken by CBI officers up to the rank of Joint Director would require the DOP’s comments and then referred to the Director-General. In case of a difference of opinion between the DG and the DOP, the matter would then be referred to the Attorney-General.

Mr Khan said that additional steps had also been initiated to reduce pendency of cases under investigation. He said that the DG had issued orders that the ideal time for completing investigations in any case should be a year, except where circumstances were beyond the control of the investigating officer or cases where foreign angle was involved, where time up to two years was acceptable.

Mr Khan said that as of December 2001, 240 cases were over two years old. This includes 120 cases under investigations by the CBI and the remaining 120 cases where sanction to file the charge sheet was being awaited. The corresponding figure in 2000 was 356.

Till the end of December last, 1456 cases were pending with the CBI and another 6,500 CBI cases were pending before various courts. Among the major cases pending before the CBI were the Airbus-320 purchase scandal and alleged irregularities in the HWD submarine purchase.

On the issue of manpower shortfall in the CBI, Mr Khan said that currently there was a deficiency of about 25 per cent at the level of DSP and about 10 per cent to 15 per cent at the level of inspectors. Efforts were being made to overcome this shortfall and an intake of about 90 officers of the rank of DSP from various state and central police organisations was expected next week.


Sitting judge not favoured for probe panel
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
The Vice-President of the Bar Council of India, Mr Adish.C. Aggarwala, today condemned the decision of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to request the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court to recommend the name of a sitting Judge to head the inquiry commission for looking into the allegations of “irregularities, illegalities, corruption and other misdeeds” of the previous government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal while addressing a gathering at a function organised by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana here today.

Mr Aggarwala, informed that today he along with Chairman and Secretary of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana had submitted a letter to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana requesting that no sitting judge would be appointed for the inquiry commission.

He said it was not possible for a sitting judge to inquire the matter without any political pressure. Only a retired judge should be appointed for the purpose so that he can devote full time to investigation and do justice.

He added that the appointment of the sitting judge would harm the court work and downgrade the legal profession. As from an earlier example it was evident that whenever the sitting judge was appointed for any such purpose it had tarnished the reputation of the judiciary. Citing an example of the Sri Krishna commission, which had conducted the inquiry in Bombay riots, he said the people had vocally protested against the report submitted by Justice Sri Krishna. They even burnt the effigy of Justice Sri Krishna.

In order to maintain the judicial system most transparent and he added that only a judge from other states instead of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh be appointed to prove the matter in fair manner and without any political pressure.

“It is the moral duty of the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to refer the case of the judicial officers who were alleged to be involved in the PPSC scandal to in-house committee said the Vice-President of the Bar Council of India, Mr Adish. C Aggarwala, while talking to The Tribune. Mr Aggarwal said if allegation levelled against the judicial officers were found to be correct then they should be punished as per law.

Mr Aggarwala said there was urgent need to maintain the dignity of judicial system therefore the BCI had decided to hold a meeting to discuss the issue of involvement of judicial officers in the PPSC Scandal on May 26.


Application allowed in defamation suit
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
A local court today allowed an application moved by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, through his counsel to supply the documents required in a defamation suit of Rs 5 crore filed against him by the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal had filed a defamation suit against Capt Amarinder Singh and the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for allegedly defaming them through the publication of “defamatory” advertisements in various newspapers (during Assembly election).


Non-govt employees sore over free parking
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
Free parking for government employees — it is a “clear-cut” discrimination non-government employees in the city are protesting. And the reason for their resentment is not hard to see. For leaving their scooters and bikes in the parking lot, they are supposed to pay Rs 2. For parking their cars, they have to pull out additional Rs 3. The government employees, on the other hand, can park their vehicles in lots earmarked for them at several places in the city without paying even a single rupee.

“Why this discrimination on the basis of profession?” questions Mr Rajeev Khanna, a local businessman, “I believe this action on the part of the authorities is not only against the right to equality as enshrined in the Constitution of India, but also against the natural right of a citizen”.

He adds: “All men are equal, so why are some men being treated more equal than others, this is one thing I fail to understand. If we, who are not working with government organisations, are supposed to dish out money from our pocket for parking our vehicles in the lots, why shouldn’t the government employees be asked to do the same. Can the authorities explain, please?”

Agreeing with him, Mr Raman Sharma, who is working as a business executive with a multinational firm, says: “Why should we be penalised for our not being government employees? This is not at all fair”.

Adds Mr Dhruv Khosla: “Are the government employees less affluent? Are their salaries so less that they cannot even pay for parking their vehicles in the lots? Aren’t they getting enough facilities already that they should be provided with free parking space?”

He further claims: “The action on the part of the authorities has further aggravated the problem of parking. Precious space has been wasted by earmarking space for the government employees. Even if no car is parked in the lot meant for the ‘sarkari’ employees, and all other lots are blocked to the brim with vehicles, we still cannot park our vehicles in the vacant space because we do not enjoy certain privileges which government staff does”.

Justifying the action, Mr R.K. Sharma, a government employee, says: “By the virtue of being government employees we do enjoy certain facilities, including the right to free parking. I fail to understand why so much of a ruckus is being created about it”.

A senior officer of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, when contacted, said the decision was taken after due consideration by the authorities. 


Experts dwell on water management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Central Water Commission celebrated Water Resources Day-2002 on its premises, here today. The theme this year was “Integrated Water Resources Development and Management”.

In his welcome address, Director, CWC, Mr T.K. Sandhu, presented a brief history of the observance on the day in India since 1987. A technical session was held in which eminent engineers of BBMB, CGWB, Central Soil and Water Conservation and Training Institute, Chief Engineer Kandi Area Development and Chief Engineer, CWC, expressed views regarding the scarcity of water and the need for integrated water resources development and management.

The Principal of Punjab Engineering College, Dr Baljeet S. Kapoor, stressed on the need for a holistic and integrated approach involving engineering, socio-economic and environmental aspect for meeting the increased water demands. He appreciated the CWC for choosing a suitable theme for water resources day.

In his presidential address, Mr S.K. Duggal of the BBMB emphasised the need for making water a central subject for its proper management and equitable distribution. He also suggested the use of modern irrigation techniques like drip and sprinkler irrigation for meeting the increased demands.

Mr S.C. Sood, CE, CWC, gave detailed statistics about the available water resources of India and stated that it possessed 4 per cent of world’s water and ranked fifth in availability of water.

Dr M.D. Nautiyal, Regional Director, CGWB, highlighted the need for groundwater recharge after proper geological investigations through rainwater harvesting and conjunctive use of surface and groundwater.

Dr R.K. Aggarwal, Principal Scientist of CSWCRTI, talked about role of water user associations and people’s participation for effective management of water resources.

Mr R.P. Yaduwanshi, CE of Kandi Area Development, mentioned the general characteristics of Kandi area and suggested construction of a number of small dams on the torrential streams to reduce the situation and flash flood problems and extend irrigation facilities.

For generating awareness, the CWC had arranged essay, declamation and painting contests for schoolchildren on water related topics.


Case registered after 7 yrs of accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Seven years after a Sector-16 resident was seriously injured in a road mishap, the local police has finally registered a case following constant efforts of the victim and the intervention of senior police officers.

In a freak incident, Mr R. K. Gupta was knocked down by two unidentified cars in 1995 near the Sector-16 cricket stadium. According to sources, he was taken to the PGI in an unconscious state by the driver of one of the cars and left there. The police has no clue to the identity of either of the vehicles or their drivers.

Mr Gupta suffered injuries on his head and arms. Although the police learnt of the incident and visited the hospital two-three times, doctors did not permit questioning as the injured was stated to be in a state of shock and unable to give a statement. Mr Gupta was discharged about 15 days later, but his treatment continued.

When Mr Gupta, then a senior manager with the Haryana Industrial Development Corporation, recuperated from his injuries, he wrote several letters to the police authorities seeking registration of a case. Over the years, he made a number of visits to senior officers but these did not elicit any response.

It was only a few days ago that the UT SSP, Mr Parag Jain, called the DSP (Central) and the SHO, Sector-17 police station, to discuss the matter that things began to make a headway. After initial investigation and recording of statements of the victim, a case has finally been registered.


Draw of lots for PUDA plots held
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 15
A draw of lots for residential plots of different sizes was organised by PUDA here today.

The plots of different sizes varying between 200 sq yd and 500 sq yd, located in Sectors 67 to 71, were to be allotted through a draw of lots. However, PUDA did not conduct the draw in the case of plots measuring 500 sq yd.

Mr Yashvir Mahajan, ACA, PUDA, said the draw for 500 sq yd was not conducted because the authority had failed to give possession of one kanal plots to the 1997 allottees due to reasons beyond the control of PUDA.

He said it would not behoove the authority to allot fresh plots to people leaving the earlier allottees in a quandary. PUDA today offered the applicants for the 500 sq yd plots to get their money refunded. PUDA would like to first hand over the plots to the 1997 allottees who had already made full payments, added the ACA. PUDA had received 13,609 applications for 111 plots of 200 sq yd each, 1803 applications for 49 plots of 250 sq yd each, 197 applications for 13 plots of 300 sq yd each, 137 applications for 26 plots of 350 sq yd each and 396 applications for 48 plots of 400 sq yd each.


BJYM seeks resignation of J&K Govt
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, (BJYM) demanded resignation of the Jammu and Kashmir government today for its alleged failure to protect lives of people in the state. Activists later burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah in Sector 17 to protest against the yesterday’s killing of relatives of Armymen in Jammu.

Addressing activists, Mr Satinder Singh, president of the unit, alleged that the state government had forgotten its promise to rehabilitate more than 3.5 lakh Hindus who had migrated from the state due to terrorism. He held the Congress and Communist parties responsible for the problem.

Mr Yaspal Mahajan, convener of the BJP ad hoc committee, condemned the killings, saying that his party was against terrorism. Other speakers included Mr Shakti Prakash Devshali, general secretary of the unit, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Mr Gurpreet Dhillon, Mr Naveen Kochhar, Mr Shashi Shankar Tiwari and president of the minority wing of the morcha, Mr Salim Ahmed.

Ambala: The Anti-Terrorist Front, Haryana, will burn the effigy of the militant organisation Al-Mansourn in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Thursday for its involvement in Jammu massacre.

The president of front, Mr Viresh Shandilay, said here today that activists of the front would also submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner addressed to the President of India demanding to declare Pakistan a terrorist country. The activists also organised a condolence meeting.

The Shiv Sena, Ambala unit, also organised a condolence meeting at Ambala Cantt. The president of the unit, Mr Rajan Kohli, urged the Union Government to teach a lesson to Pakistan so that such incidents could not be repeated in the future.


Protest against Gujarat violence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 15
The District Congress Committee, Panchkula and the Mahila District Congress Committee staged a dharna and observed a hunger strike in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office in protest against the sporadic incidents of violence in Gujarat here yesterday. They were demanding that Gujarat Chief Minister Narinder Modi be removed.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chander Mohan, MLA from Kalka said law and order situation had turned from bad to worse and innocent people were being killed everyday. If this was not stopped, the communal violence could spread to other states as well, he said. He said the president should intervene and take desired action.

The District Mahila Congress leaders raised the issue of atrocities on women in Gujarat. They alleged that women were being molested and assaulted in Gujarat.

The protest was organised as per the directions of the AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, it is learnt. The District President of the Congress, Mr R.S. Chauhan and President of District Mahila Congress, Ms Santosh Sharma, also spoke on the occasion.


Work on widening of road begins
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 15
The foundation stone for widening of the Chandigarh-Landran-Chunni-Sirhind road was laid by Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Public Works Minister, Punjab, near Sohana village today.

The total length of the road that is going to be widened is 31.28 km out of which 14.35 km falls in Ropar district and the remaining 16.93 km falls in Fatehgarh Sahib district. The project is going to cost Rs 543.43 lakh and it has been sanctioned under the Central Road Fund scheme. In addition to this project a chowk near Landran village is also going to be improved at a cost of Rs 73.95 lakh.

Mr Bajwa said the condition of roads in Kharar constituency was bad as the area remained ignored by the previous government but now all efforts would be made to improve their condition. He also assured the gathering to look into the long pending demands of the people regarding bridges on various choes which get submerged during monsoon.

He said the Kharar-Banur road would also be widened. A government school in Landran, which was built in 1952 would be repaired and special funds would be sanctioned for the purpose.

Mr Bajwa said the Congress Government would cancel all recruitments made during the tenure of Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, PPSC, chairman.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, said the Badal government had brought the state to bankruptcy and the development in Punjab had come to a halt.


City aglow with celebrities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The past few days have been all about spicy flavours. Admit it or not, Chandigarh really seems to be happening in the international arena now. With Barista expanding further in the city and many more international brands waiting in line to hit the city markets, Chandigarh is now “going places.”

There are stars all around the city and they are all set to make it sparkle in their own way. The past week saw many happening stars visit the city — Sonali Bendre had just left after making a special appearance at the inauguration of a lifestyle store in Sector 17 that superstar Sunil Shetty landed to launch a new scooter. The macho man was closely followed by Delhi-based model Aparna, who has lent beauty to the brand of Ponds. She was in town to launch a special coffee flavour for Barista in Sector 35.

Then came the ghazal singer, Pankaj Udhas, with a new set of ghazals and light songs from his latest album which is due for release in June. The singer took music lovers to the zenith with his memorable presentation in the beautiful environs of Shanti Kunj in Sector 16. Almost all officials of the UT Administration and the MC were present at his live concert.

While celebrities continued to pour in, some significant events also featured on the city schedule. Two important workshops were in full swing. The Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi’s interactive workshop targeting people who wish to work with children and tap their talent is in full swing at Government Model School, Sector 10. There are 24 participants in this project.


Savoury pizzas but at a price
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

When it comes to pizzas, Pizza Hut takes the cake. And the residents are lucky to have its outlets on the Madhya Marg in Sector 26, since 1998, and another in the Sector-35 lane of hotels, opened a couple of months back. As you enter their premises, you are at once transported to an international ambience and setting. And let me tell you in the beginning itself, all this comes at a price. On an average, a meal costs about Rs 150 per head.

Well, back to the setting. Since the veg salad trolley near the counter first catches your attention, I’ll start with this concept that is unique to Pizza Hut. Ask the waiter for a salad bowl and just walk up to the trolley and fill it with as much of the cool, crisp and crunchy fruits, vegetables and nuts filled in the three rows of containers as possible and top it off with the mayonnaise and thousand island dressings and feel the goodness of a healthy mixture enter your system. At Rs 75, the helping is usually enough for a group of three or four.

For those who swear by non-veg, there is the tropical chicken salad, but it comes readymade from the kitchen. To whip up your appetite is the hot garlic bread produced in the true Italian tradition of hot garlic butter spread on four big slices of crusty French bread. It also comes with flavours of cheese, or with a sprinkling of veggies (cheese, mushroom and, tomato or cheese, onions and green chillies). Then, there are some soups, which would probably go down well in winters only. Beverages such as aerated drinks, lemonade and cold draught beer seem to find more favour in this hot season. Among the snacks are potato wedges served with two dipping sauces: cheddar and tomato, usually a kid’s preference, spicy mushrooms (fresh button mushroom halves lightly sautéed in spicy garlic butter and fresh parsley).

In the non-veg section is the chicken wings subtly flavoured with lemon and barbeque sauce. While you wait for the main course — the pizza with topping of your choice of veggies or chicken baked freshly — it is not unusual to see the waiters (all smartly turned out and politely English speaking) break into a birthday song and a dance for the young man happening to be celebrating his big day with a group of friends at the adjoining table, making the whole group feel special. As Mr Gurbinder Kumar, general manager of the restaurant, says, at times they even give a surprise to such parties, e.g. icecream.

In fact, the Pizza Hut birthday party package for children is also quite popular, with the young ones actually telling their parents to host the party there! Most parents, too, willingly oblige as then the whole headache is shifted to Pizza Hut.

To their Italian range, they recently added the Indian range of pan pizzas that are spicier and more in keeping with our taste. So, besides their varieties of supreme and lover’s , you have self-explanatory veggie naram garam, veg do pyaza, paneer pataka, sabz bahar, killer korma, teekha tikka and chatpata chicken. All these can be had in small, medium or large sizes. Or, you could opt for their special value meals: meal for 1, meal for 2 or meal for 4 schemes that give an assortment of bread, pizza and Pepsi. You also have the freedom to savour two dainties under the make your own half’n half pizza scheme.


Vigilance probe
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 15
Seven municipal councillors have demanded a vigilance probe into the alleged scandal in the collection of octroi here. The councillors said in a letter to the Chief Minister that certain officials of the civic body were involved in the scandal. They referred to two cases relating to octroi evasion.


Nathan, Nimisha win baby contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 15
A healthy baby contest was held at Mount Carmel School, Sector 47-B here today. As many as 40 students in the two-and-a-half to three years of pre-nursery class participated in the contest.

The little ones dressed up in their best danced around freely while being judged by a panel of judges comprising Dr Pawan Gupta, child specialist and Ms Meetika Bhinder, Managing Director Agro Dutch Industries. The results are follows — Healthy baby boy — Nathan Addington; Healthy baby girl — Nimisha Raina; Best dressed boy — Sanchay Sharma; Best dressed girl — Nimisha Raina; Smiling baby — Stuti Atri.


Timings changed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
The working hours of Prayaas, rehabilitation centre for physically challenged children, Dakshin Marg, Sector 38-B, have been changed with effect from tomorrow. The changed timings are from 8 am to 2 p.m. which will continue till July 15. 


25-yr-old girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 15
A 25-year-old girl reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her Sector-17 residence this morning. The reason for the suicide is not known.

According to information available, the victim had just appeared in her MA exams and her parents were looking for a matrimonial alliance for her. This morning, the family members got suspicious when the girl did not turn up for her breakfast. They then broke open the door of her room and found her hanging from the ceiling fan.

A legal action under Section 174 of Cr P C has been initiated.

Three arrested: The police has arrested three persons in separate incidents in Chandimandir area for gambling at a public place. Vinay Kumar, Sher Singh and Ramlal have been booked under different Sections of the Gambling Act and a sum of Rs 1,705 has been recovered from them.

Recovered: The police has recovered computer goods worth Rs 50,000 from a three-member gang of computer thieves — Joginder Singh, Manmohan Singh and Vicky. One printer, two monitors, two keyborads, one CPU, one UPS and LDS each have been recovered from them. Earlier, the police had recovered goods worth Rs 1.75 lakh from them.

One booked: A resident of Sector 18, Mr Manmohan Singh, has been booked on charges of selling a plot in Abdullapur village without seeking prior permission from the District Town Planning department.

Case registered:
The police has registered a case against a local resident, Ashwini Gaur, for reportedly “cloning” a mobile telephone number issued by a local private communications company.

Police sources said he had been booked under provisions of the Information Technology Act after the company, Himachal Futuristics Communication Limited (HFCL), service providers of Connect mobile phones lodged a complaint with the police.

Gaur, a 38-year-old electronic enthusiast, had “copied” the unique electronic security number used in CDMA technology based mobile phone on to another handset using a computer and data reader. This enabled the second set to have the same telephone number as the original set, thereby cloning it.

Sources said Gaur had publicly demonstrated the functioning of the cloned set and HFCL officials had then maintained that cloning amounted to hacking into their system, besides hinting that stiff competition between service providers could have led to attempts to create a scare.

One nabbed: A resident of Dadu Majra, Sanatosh Kumar, was arrested for stealing a bicycle belonging to Maloya resident Munna from the Sector 24 rehri market. He was nabbed within a few hours after the incident. A case has been registered against him.

Car stolen: Panchkula resident S. P. Sharma has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-Q-6336) has been stolen from Sector 22. The police has registered a case.

Two-wheeler stolen: A resident of the CSIO campus, Sector 30, Kamaljit Singh, has reported that his motor cycle (CH-03-H-8555) has been stolen from the Bapu Dham colony. A case has been registered.

A resident of Kishangarh, Naib Singh, has reported that his Bajaj Chetak Scooter (CH-01-Z-3669) has been stolen from Mani Majra. A case has been registered.

Car stereo stolen: Sector 33 resident Prem Chand has reported that the stereo of his car parked at his residence has been stolen. The police has registered a case.


BSNL sets to recover dues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Chandigarh circle, is likely to recover almost Rs 5 crore of dues from subscribers in the circle within six months. The recent recovery exercise , where the nigam had disconnected telephones in order to recover dues, has generated Rs 1 crore, said Mr Deenadayalan, General Manager (Finance), Chandigarh Telecom Circle.

Meanwhile, the CBI is also investigating individual cases where the default amount is more than Rs 1 lakh or so. According to BSNL sources, Rs 50 lakh is likely to be recovered from 25 defaulters.

The previous exercise where the nigam disconnected a large number of telephones in the city and areas around the city, however, had triggered resentment among subscribers following which connections were restored. “Now we are sending individual notices to the subscribers and also giving them two months time so that they can get their cases settled if they have already paid the amount or make the payment”, said Mr Deenadayalan.

He said as per the recent decision the subscribers had been divided into different lots for the purpose of sending notices and recovery of dues. “Our idea is not to unduly trouble the public. We have already apologised for the mass disconnection of telephones that had occurred by a mistake. The nigam, however, is seriously undertaking the exercise of recovery of dues but now in an effective manner,” he said.

“We will give the subscriber sufficient time during which if he has the receipt of the payment he can show it to the department or in case he doesn’t have the proof, he can give a written affidavit stating that he has paid the amount”, said Mr R.C. Vaish, Principal General Manager, Telecom.


Subscribers decry BSNL attitude
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 15
Telephone subscribers of Sector 48 C have decried the indifferent attitude of the local officials of BSNL in redressing their grievances. The consumers lamented that the telephones in the area were usually out of order twice or thrice a week.

Often a recorded message “all lines of this route are busy please dial after some time” could be heard by the subscribers trying to get connected. Several calls were wasted to talk to a person on the other end as a message “this number is not existing” could be heard repeatedly. The subscribers complained that the facility of fast dialing had not been introduced in the exchange connected them.

They said the issue had been brought to the notice of the officials concerned during a camp organised by Consumer Protection Forum held at Mohali village on April 11 last.


Make the most of bylaws’ relaxation: Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob today urged the industry to avail itself of the opportunities offered by relaxation in building bylaws, which has been done for the first time in 50 years and make efforts to invest in pollution free and employment intensive industry in Chandigarh.

Addressing a delegation of the PHDCCI led by its president, Mr Arun Kapoor, General Jacob said the recent relaxation in bylaws gives freedom to owners to make internal modifications in buildings according to their choice, keeping the external facade intact.

Existing industry has been allowed to cover 40 per cent more area for the expansion of industry, he said. They have also been permitted to sell their plots, build up factories or purchase the plots from original allottees and have been allowed to change the trade to any non-polluting industry.

He said he was disappointed that there were no applications from industry for extension of coverage area despite the relaxations announced.

Mr Arun Kapoor assured the governor that the chamber will invite international delegations to the city so as to motivate them to invest here. He also suggested that for proper co-ordination, a metropolitan board of Chandigarh-Panchkula-Mohali be constituted.


Programme on management
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
In order to succeed in today’s business environment, where managerial job is becoming increasingly tough, there has to be a purposeful managerial style characterised by clarity of objectives and motivation of the subordinates to work towards the objectives, said Mr Sharu Rangnekar, a Management Guru, while addressing a one-day programme on “Managing in Tough Times” organised at Technical Teachers Training Institute, Sector 26, here yesterday.

He said it was essential to induce colleagues to cooperate, collaborate and coordinate. For establishing and maintaining relationships with colleagues, informal interaction, reciprocity and sharing of credit were extremely essential, he added.

As many as 25 executives from industry, banks and other institutions participated in the programme, which was jointly organised by the Continuing Education Centre, TTTI and Management Resources Organisation.

Talking about the traits of successful managers, Prof S.K. Chopra, Principal, TTTI, emphasised on the need to be efficient, effective and adaptive to the changes in technology, economy and industrial scenario.

Mr J.S. Saron, Chief Executive, Management Resources Organisation, highlighted the importance of the programme in today’s industrial scenario.


Showroom reopens after renovation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Poshak, a designer showroom in Sector 17, reopened today after renovation.

Biba, a renowned fashion label from Delhi, is now being housed by Poshak. The face value of Biba is strong in that the entire formal range worn by Esha Deol in her latest film opposite Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, is by them. Traditional outfits sported by Esha Deol are by the house of Biba.

On display at the renovated showroom is the entire range of Biba's in-house designs which are currently being stocked by many reputed stores. It is also storing the summer fashion created by upcoming fashion designers of Delhi. Informed Navdeep Gulati, “We have tried to keep our collection in line with the latest trends. The idea is to support our own designs within some of the best works by the designers based at Delhi. The designing strategy is based on wearability and comfort.”

Marine colours dominate the entire line created with fabrics which are soft on skin and smart in appeal.


Jewellery exchange scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Tanishq has launched a jewellery exchange scheme ‘Impure to Pure’ where one can exchange impure jewellery of any carat for pure 22-carat jewellery . The customers’ old gold (above 19 carat) will be valued as 22-carats at no extra cost, said Mr Bhuwan Gaurav, Regional Business Manager, while addressing a press conference here today.


Jewellery store
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Krishna Jewellers in Sector 17 opened today with a new look and content. It is now housing latest in trendy jewellery. Speaking about the collection at the store, Sunil Talwar, a partner in the store, said, " We have added on to our gold collection and have refurbished the old lot. The new thing is the diamond range, which has been set to latest designs. Purity has been considered while structuring the metals."



Range of wet wipes launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
With scorching summer sun at its peak, Amex International has launched an extensive range of facial cleansing wipes from Fresh’n Soft, Turkey. These are highly soft and are alcohol free too. These wipes are available in a resealable chocolate sized pack of 20 wipes (handy to be carried in purses) and oval-shaped box containing 100 wipes.

Fresh’n Soft baby wet wipes are also available in economy range packs of 80, 160 & 240 wipes. Chocolate-sized highly convenient travel pack of 12 luxury cloth wipes and extra thick wipes in easy to carry pack of 42 are also available.

The company also imports Tessa Tissue Paper Products from Indonesia. 


Camp for tax assessment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Sales Tax Department will organise a two-day camp under the Deemed Assessment Scheme on May 24 and 25. The department earlier organised camps on May 10 and 11 at which traders filed papers for assessment under the scheme upto 1997-98. The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, in a press note stated that on the request of the association, the department had decided to organise another camp.

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