Monday, January 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


It was a day of bogus voting, rigging, scuffles
Tribune News Service

The police rounds up a few persons caught casting ‘‘fake’’ votes
The police rounds up a few persons caught casting ‘‘fake’’ votes in ward no 9.

BJP candidate from ward no. 13 after being beaten up
BJP candidate from ward no. 13 after being beaten up allegedly by supporters of another candidate.

Policemen on their toes managing unruly supporters of candidates
Policemen on their toes managing unruly supporters of candidates.

Ms Seema Chaudhary and her supporters celebrate victory
Ms Seema Chaudhary and her supporters celebrate victory. — Tribune photos Pankaj Sharma

Panchkula, January 19
Democracy was lost in the first ever elections for Municipal Council today. The enthusiasm of the voters in this civic body elections notwithstanding, the high and mighty candidates — from both the Indian National Lok Dal and Bhartiya Janata Party — had their own way.

With the administrative machinery failing to control bogus voting, rigging and violence, the elections left a bad taste in the mouths of many. With BJP and independent candidates in a number of wards crying foul, it was the candidates supported by the ruling party in most wards, who had the last laugh.

But the story was not the same in all wards. The two wards comprising slum colonies — Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony — as well as wards comprising various villages (Ward No. 1,15, 18, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31), saw a peaceful poll and the maximum voter turnout. Polling in Mansa Devi Complex, Old Gurukul and the wards comprising sectors beyond the National Highway 22 also remained peaceful. The voter turnout in the township was over 60 per cent.

While the Indian National Lok Dal won as many as eight seats (two rebel candidates of the party also won in Ward No. 14 and 17), it was the independents — Congressmen contesting unofficially — who won around 40 per cent of the seats. The BJP saw a major beating at the hustings by winning just five seats (including two seats won by candidates supported by the BJP).

The national vice-president of the BJP, Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was here to oversee the elections, later remarked that the elections were unfair. “Muscle power prevailed over the administrative machinery and the voters here have failed to get a representative of their choice”, he remarked, while alleging that two of their candidates were beaten up by rivals and also demanded a repoll in Ward No. 13.

Incidents of violence were reported from a number of wards. In Ward No. 13 (parts of Sectors 15 and 14), candidates other than the one supported by the ruling party complained of rigging and bogus voting in favour of the INLD-supported candidate, Mr Randhir Malik. These candidates, included Mr S.R. Mongia, Mr Gian Chand Goel and Ms Sunil Kumari.

Around 1.30 p.m. the BJP candidate Mr Hari Narayan Jindal and his father, Mr Sham Lal Jindal were beaten up publicly by supporters of Mr Malik. Police was called in immediately along with the Duty Magistrate, Mr Sushil Sarwan, and the situation was brought under control. However, after an hour, supporters of both the candidates exchanged blows, again with the BJP candidate alleging that their kiosk outside the polling booth was destroyed by the police at the instance of supporters of Mr Malik.

Two fake voters were caught by supporters of various candidates, after they had allegedly cast votes in favour of INLD-supported candidate in Ward No. 9. Reports of bogus voting were also received from Ward No. 17, 19 and 20. Candidates in the three wards said the candidates supported by the ruling party had got a number of bogus voters to cast votes in their (INLD candidates) favour.

In Ward No. 10 (Sector 9), the BJP candidate, Ms Rekha Sharma and Ms Jalmegha Dahiya almost came to blows, with each accusing the other of getting fake votes polled.

However, in Ward No. 4, it was the other way round. Candidates in fray joined hands against the BJP candidate, Mr V.K. Sood, and accused him of getting bogus votes polled. The other candidates, Mr Manoj Pal, Ms Urmil Dheer and Ms Surinder Parmar, said more than 200 bogus votes had been polled.


The elections saw over 190 candidates from as many as 31 wards in the fray. Mrs Seema Chaudhary, a candidate supported by the INLD in ward no 26, won by a maximum margin of over 1059 votes followed by Mr Randhir Mallik, Panchkula INLD President (Urban), who won by a margin of 950 votes. The voter turnout was between 60 to 65 per cent. The results are ward no. 1- Kuljit Waraich, ward no. 2: Renuka Rai Walia; ward no. 3:- C.B. Goel; ward no. 4 V.K. Sood, ward no. 5- Jagdamba Gupta, ward no. 6- Vijay Kumar Kapoor; ward no. 7- Dalbir Singh; ward no. 8- Mahinder Singh; ward no. 9:- S.S. Goel; ward no. 10- Jalmegha Dahia, ward no. 11- R.K. Kakkar; ward no. 12- Naresh Rawal; ward no. 13- Randhir Singh Mallik; ward no. 14- Sunil Talwar; ward no. 15- Mahinder Singh; ward no. 16- Om Prakash; ward no. 17- Amoljeet Kaur, ward no. 18- Anjala Kataria; ward no. 19- Balwinder Singh; ward no. 20- Randhir Singh Badhran; ward no. 21- Vikas Chaudhary; ward no. 22- Sharda Gupta; ward no. 23- Manvir Gill; ward no. 24- Charanjit Kaur, ward no. 25- Rarun Bhandari; ward no. 26- Seema Chaudhary; ward no. 27- Pawan Mittal; ward no. 28- Kastoori Devi; ward no. 29- Gomti Prasad, ward no. 30- Anita Aggarwal, ward no. 31- Amar Singh. 


The administration issued a press note saying that the polling was by and large peaceful. The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Election Officer claimed that the violent incidents in ward no. 13 were the result of the BJP candidate, and that he had himself torn off his clothes to bring a bad name to the candidate supported by the INLD (ruling party). The press note further said that it appeared that the BJP candidate created a scene by vitiating the atmosphere. The voter turnout, in this ward, said the note, was over 57 per cent. 


The freezing of vehicle movement into Panchkula created a major chaos at most points. The Police had put up barricades at all entry and exit points to the township and vehicle inflow was restricted. A large number of people coming to the town from Chandigarh faced a major problem, though vehicle movement within the town was free. 



GMCH ignores ‘sick’ computer network
Patients, hospital staff bear the brunt
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Not that it would cost more than a few thousand rupees, but only if the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) authorities were serious enough to get the computer network of the Registration and Medical Record Department restored that has been out of order for the past two months.

No doubt several crores are being spent on the construction of a new block to be equipped with sophisticated machinery at the GMCH, but it appears that the authorities are least bothered about getting the computer network restored. "They do not realise the inconvenience that is being caused to the patients who have to stand in queues for a much longer period as the registration cards of all patients coming to the OPDs are being made by the staff manually," remarked staff members who have to put in double effort due to non-functional computer network.

The staff at the counter says that apart from the patients they too are hassled as after the registration time is over at 11 a.m, they have to go and feed the entire record through another computer, in order to maintain record of all patients coming to GMCH. "Even though we take all precautions to ensure that no registration card is left unrecorded but with the computer system developing a snag, the chances of error are always there," they admitted.

They added that despite bringing the matter to the notice of the authorities a number of times nobody had “bothered” to get the snag in the computer network rectified. However, the Medical Superintendent, Dr Raj Bahadur, could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.

Recently, a patient from Garmukteshwar in Uttaranchal, who was under treatment at the GMCH went through a hard time due to this. Narrating his tale of woes he said, "While on my way from my native village, I lost my bag with the entire medical record and despite my best efforts the old medical record could not be retrieved", and he had to waste almost a week to go back to Uttaranchal and get the C.R. number from the old papers lying at home. There are many such cases when the old medical record of the patient cannot be found, admit doctors.

On an average more than 300 new patients come to the OPD at GMCH everyday, excluding the old cases. With the entire registration work being done by the staff on duty by hand, it takes much longer to complete the entire process.

Interestingly, even though the computer network has been out of order for the past almost two months, the tokens are still being distributed to the patients. "There is no sense in distributing the tokens to patients as these are not being flashed because of the non-functional computer network," complain patients. The tokens, are given to the patients and once their number is flashed through the computer network, the patients get up to get their card made, saving the inconvenience of standing in the queues.

Only if the authorities could spare a thought to get the computer network restored, hundreds of patients and the staff on duty could be saved from a lot of inconvenience.



Crime-specific patrolling on anvil
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Owing to the changing pattern of crime in the city, the Chandigarh Police has decided to opt for crime-policing.
It is learnt that a more flexible to tackle incidents of snatching, burglary auto-lifting and robbery is being worked out.

Police officials have decided to focus on local and special laws like enforcement of the Excise Act, the Arms Act, the Gambling Act and the NDPS Act.

Under the new strategy, it has been decided to focus on preventive action. The preventive strategy will be used more in slum areas dotting the city.

Sources in the police said in charge of the UT police stations had been asked to upgrade their list of bad characters and history sheeters in their respective areas. The Inspector-General of Police, Chandigarh, Mr Rajesh Kumar, said policing according to the crime pattern was part of the strategy to check crime.

Data collected by the TNS reveals that the maximum number of burglaries took place in the jurisdiction of the Sector 11, 34 and 39 police stations during 2002. Similarly, area under the Sector 17 and 34 police station registered 18 incidents each. The maximum cases of auto lifting 151 took place in sectors under the Central Police Station.

Though paid parking in Sector 17 has resulted in decreased incidents of theft, a record number of 113 vehicles were stolen from sectors falling in the jurisdiction of the Sector 34 police station. A total 613 vehicles were stolen last year.

To upgrade information from area-specific crime, the Station House Officer (SHO’s) have been asked to study the crime pattern during the current year.

A study conducted by the police has revealed that incidents in auto-lifting from outside homes has been on the rise in the southern sectors and to tackle the problem, personnel deputed at the border nakas are being regularly provided with information about the stolen vehicles.

To tackle repeated thefts of computer hardware accessories, special investigating teams have been constituted.


Auto lifting




Burglary and house theft







Auto lifting




Burglary and house theft







Auto lifting




Burglary and house theft








Burglars strike at Sec 44 photo studio
Tribune News Service

Patrolling pattern changed

Enquires reveal that taking refuge in fog and shivering cold, burglars are targeting shops after 5 am. Seeing that trend of thefts in the wee hours, the Chandigarh Police has changed the pattern of patrolling. Instead of the earlier practice of calling off duty at 4 am, a section of the beat staff have been asked to remain on duty till 6.30 am.

Chandigarh, January 19
Burglars broke into a single-storeyed shop, Simla Digital Studio, in Sector 44 here and took away expensive photographic items worth Rs 1.75 lakh, including Rs 9200 cash, in the wee hours today. The side locks of the front shutter of the shop were found broken.

This is the third incident of burglary in the market in the past one month. About 20 days ago, burglars had sneaked into a boutique and a tissue paper-manufacturing shop in the same market. The same shops had been targeted a month ago.

Mr Sarbeshwar Singh, owner of Simla Digital Studio, said he came to know about the theft from the owner of a neighbouring shop at about 11 am. The entire shop had been ransacked by the burglars. The locks were found missing. The stolen items include video camera, digital camera, photography films, a VCR, a VCD, a scanner and Rs 9200 cash.

Mr Singh said he along with his son had visited the shop at around 1.30 am as they had some urgent work and had met the night watchman. The watchman reportedly remained on duty till 6 am. Mr Singh said they had visited the shop after participating in a meeting of the Photographers Association. The owner of the shop said that it was the third incident of burglary — the earlier two being at their Sector 45 residence.

A police official said the market association had employed one watchman for the entire block. The association had been asked to increase the strength of night watchman and their period of duty.

Meanwhile, forensic experts took finger prints of the burglars.

Sources in the police said that at least 30 incidents of theft, related to computer hardware and software items, had been reported during the past one year. 




Thanks to the fog, the city witnessed a lot of activity during the past week. Even as the newspaper offices remained flooded with calls to enquire which government has gone in for which line of control to counter problems arising from fog. Schoolchildren had a hard time guessing (and praying) how long would the holidays last.

The governments of Punjab, Haryana and UT, however, held the solution to this utter state of confusion. Strangely, however, the decision makers at all three levels ended up thinking differently. Punjab and Haryana empathised with the cause of children and decided to give them a break by declaring holidays till January 18.

UT authorities, however, acted vaguely. Whereas all government schools were declared opened from January 16 (kids here seem to wear some special cold-prevention clothes, private schools were granted a concession of sorts. They were declared open, with the exception of classes up to II. No wonder children and their parents kept calling up the newspaper offices to confirm if the news was true or just a rumour?

Enclosed finally!

CITCO has finally realised that it did not do well by keeping a section of its latest food joint in Sector 34 open on all sides. The much-frequented joint which falls in the vicinity of some 500 government offices housed in Sector 34, behind Piccadily Theatre is all set for enclosure now.

No wonder the visitors to this joint are now heaving a sigh of relief. Situated at a prime location, this fast food joint had all the advantages expect that of an open area. The entire joint is now being enclosed to prevent loss in revenue due to cold.

Earlier, however, when the joint was constructed it was almost open on all sides. With CITCO now realising that it can lose money on account of this open area, it is now enclosing the entire joint. Thanks to CITCO’s realisation, the visitation has already doubled.

Water harvesting

With ground water level falling sharply, a serious crisis looms. Reduction in the consumption of water, recharging and sustaining ground water through rain/roof water harvesting is the answer.

The Environment Society of India (ESI) has now launched a rain water harvesting scheme in 12 schools in Chandigarh, Roopnagar (Punjab), Panchkula (Haryana) and Solan districts (Himachal Pradesh). The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) is holding a workshop for teachers in charge of school eco-clubs under the National Green Corps (NGC) and representatives of government organisations (GOs) and NGOs on January 22 at Government High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

About three years ago, the ESI launched this campaign. It desilted a dead village pond in Sector 26. During 2001, another village pond in Khuda Ali Sher near Chandigarh was desilted. Last year a pond, two small water bodies and a percolation pit were created on the campus of the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), Sector 12, Chandigarh.

Enforcement business

The enforcement department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation seems to be making a mockery of the MC’s instructions to keep the Sector 17 Plaza free from phariwalas and other encroachments. Instead of removing these encroachments without any discrimination, they rather make money out of this business. Pawan Bansal, who sells socks and hankies along with his friends, fails to understand why the MC cannot make some provision to run small business after paying some rent or implement the law without discrimination. He says: ‘‘Enforcement employees come every week to take ‘hafta’ and to seize obsolete ‘25 pairs of socks and 25 hankies’ and other material from us. They issue a challan to complete their duty, and we never appear to take back our ‘obsolete’ goods.’’ Is not someone watching?

Blood shortage

The PGI is suffering from acute shortage of blood these days. Doctors claim that due to the increased number of accidents in the region because of fog and the short supply of blood, the problem has aggravated. The other day, a person and his friend reached the PGI blood bank to offer blood for the operation of his brother. His brother had got head injuries, when his scooter skidded near Burail Jail while saving a cart-puller in dense fog. He was scared when he read that there was shortage of blood. He was almost in tears and wanted to offer his blood immediately as the doctors had asked to arrange two units of blood. The doctor on duty asked him first to calm down and assured that nothing would happen to his brother due to the shortage of blood. The fellow even forgot whether he had taken anything for the breakfast! He felt relieved when his friend and an aunt reached there to offer blood for the surgery of his brother.

Night patrolling

Stung by a surge in incidents of burglary, the UT police has intensified night patrolling. In order to check the level of the intensity of patrolling a colleague visited the sectors falling under the Sector 39 police station several times during late evenings last week.

Notwithstanding the severe cold and thick fog, which forced the rest of the city to stay inside, the cops were seen alert on duty. Much against their “tainted” image, they were also seen quite excited about their latest role in reversing the crimegraph of the city. So keeping inertia on the shelf, they were busy doing their duty!

Wrapped up in woollens, they were seen stopping vehicles and checking documents (this journalist too was stopped and asked for the documents each time he visited the area). One could say “they were simply doing their duty”, but they certainly deserve a pat on their backs.

Soggy helmets

The recent foggy weather has created a unique problem for the two-wheel vehicle riders who lock their helmets on their vehicles in parking: The foam in helmets gets water soaked!

“Slip” road

The slip road towards Sector 27 from the Madhya Marg near Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is crying for attention of the authorities concerned for quite some time now. The road is water-logged and speeding vehicles on the road often spoil clothes of the passerby. The problem started when a water leakage was repaired in an haphazard manner. The men who carried out the repair work did not even bother to remove the earth they had dug.

— Sentinel



Capt Kanwaljit flays ban on constructions
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 19
By imposing a ban on construction activities within the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits, the ruling Congress party has again hung the sword of Damocles over the heads of thousands of residents of this town. Soon after coming to power not only the Congress but senior officers in various government departments also started indulging in corruption and imposing a ban on constructions in Zirakpur area is an example of this. This statement was made by the general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, while addressing a public meeting at a free medical camp organised by the Raunkan Punjab Dian, a cultural club, in Bhabhat village near here today.

“Igniting the 900 metres issue, some senior officers in the Department of Local Government Punjab, have started harassing innocent people who have invested their hard earned money in constructing a roof over their heads’’, he said. Over 233 patients were examined at the camp by a team of specialists headed Dr S.S. Saini.

Blood samples of 98 persons were taken for the identification of various diseases while the rest of the patients were examined for diabetes. Patients were also given medicines free of cost.

Earlier, Mr Narinder Sharma, a former sarpanch of Lohgarh village, inaugurated the camp. A cultural programme was also organised by the club on the occasion. 



Kashmiri pandits observe ‘Holocaust Day’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Kashmiri pandits, 600 of whom live in the city, Panchkula and SAS Nagar, have not yet been “properly” rehabilitated in the city, 12 years after they were, driven out of Jammu and Kashmir on this day which is observed as ‘Holocaust Day’.

“A large number of community members in the city do not have proper houses. We hope the Administration will take a sympathetic view on this,” Mr B.L. Sandhu, president, Kashmir Sahayak Sabha, Chandigarh, said here today, addressing his community members who gathered to observe the day.

He, however, clarified that the Administration had extended a helping hand to the community during this period.

A mass exodus of members of the community had taken place on January 19, 1990, the deadline set by militants for the Pandits either to leave Jammu and Kashmir or face death.

President of the Panun Kashmir Movement, Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo urged the Central Government to involve the community in any dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir. He demanded that Kashmiri Pandits be provided a ‘homeland’ which should be carved out as a Union Territory from the state.



Pandits reiterate homeland demand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
The Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM), Chandigarh unit, organised a seminar to observe holocaust day at Kashmir Bhavan here today.
Mr Ashwini Kumar Chrungoo, president, PKM, said it was on this day in 1990 radical Muslim campaign to drive out Pandits from the valley peaked. They were threatened to leave or face death. The local press and posters were used to hold out the threats. The state administration collapsed. The leaders of mainstream political parties left Kashmir, leaving the field open for the terrorists. The majority of terror-stricken Pandits were forced to leave the valley.

Demanding that the Pandits should be involved in any dialogue over the Kashmir issue, Mr Chrungoo said: "No permanent solution to the Kashmir issue can be arrived at if the community is left out".

"We are also demanding a separate homeland for nearly seven lakh Pandits within the valley. Many of the displaced Pandits were still without jobs and proper houses. The government must take a sympathetic view of their plight," he said.

Sqn Ldr B.L. Sadhu (retd), president, Kashmir Sahayak Sabha, Chandigarh, said the Administration here had extended a helping hand to the displaced persons. "A large number of the community members in this city still do not have proper houses. We hope the administration will take a sympathetic view on this," he added.

Prof H.L. Jalali, vice-president, PKM, said even by the government's own statistics at least 719 Pandits had been killed and thousands subjected to hardships.

The chief guest, Mr Ashok Devgan, advocate, Supreme Court of India, said there were 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pandits living in abysmal conditions in refugee camps in Delhi, Udhampur and Jammu.

Mr B.B. Handoo (Dilbar), president, Kashmiri Sabha, Panchkula recited his poem on the exodus of Pandits.



Howrah-Kalka Mail late by 7 hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Chandigarh-bound trains continued to be late today, with the Howrah-Kalka Mail, which arrives here in the morning, being seven hours behind schedule. The 2011 Delhi - Chandigarh Shatabdi Express, whose scheduled arrival here is 11.02 am, was reported to be three hours late.

The evening Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express, whose scheduled arrival here is 8.20 pm, was five hours late yesterday due to foggy conditions enroute. Among the 400-odd passengers affected by the late running of the train was the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who was returning to Chandigarh from New Delhi.

The train had reportedly been stranded between Kurukshetra and Ambala for about four hours as dense fog affected movements of trains on that section. The train had left Ambala after midnight and finally reached Chandigarh at 1.35 am today. The train also had to stop briefly near Lalru.

Other trains which arrived here late today included the 4321 Lucknow — Chandigarh Sadbhavna Express, which was behind schedule by about five hours. The New Delhi - Kalka Himalayan Queen arrived here in the morning about four hours late, while the 2925 Paschim Express, running between Bandra and Kalka arrived three hours late. The 4888 Jodhpur-Kalka Express, which normally arrives here at about 5.30 pm, was reported to be two-and-a-half hour behind schedule.



Woman finds jewellery, returns it to bank

SAS Nagar, January 19
Jewellery worth more than Rs 1 lakh that was found in the locker room of a bank here was returned to the bank authorities by a woman customer yesterday.
Ms Narpinder Kaur, a resident of Phase IIIA, had gone to operate her locker in the Phase I branch of UCO Bank. After operating her locker, she forgot to put back a packet containing jewellery weighing around 22 tolas and left the premises for home. Meanwhile, another customer, Ms Sushila Sood, a resident of Phase I, entered the locker section and noticed the packet. She handed it over to the bank authorities.

Ms Narpinder Kaur, on suspecting that she had not kept the jewellery back in the locker, rushed back to the bank. Her property was returned to her by the bank after identification and completion of other formalities. OC



Residents’ body to hold rallies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
The Chandigarh Housing Board Residents Welfare Associations Federation here today decided to launch sector-wise rallies to press for regularisation of need-based changes in buildings, stoppage of demolition drive and drastic reduction in conversion rates from lease hold to free hold.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the CHB Residents Federation, Chandigarh, an umbrella organisation of 44 Residents Welfare Associations, here today. The dates of rallies have, however, not been announced.

Mr B.S. Kohli, president, RWA MIG Complex, 39-B, Chandigarh, presided over the function. The general secretary, Mr Gurinder Singh, welcomed those who attended the meeting. A cultural programme was also organised.

The chairman of the federation, Mr Nirmal Dutt, and its general secretary, Mr B. S. Chadha, also took part in the discussions.



Sector 38 (West) streetlights out of order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
A large part of Sector 38 (West) remains engulfed in darkness due to non-functional streetlights.
According to several residents, the matter has been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned time and again but no steps have been taken to address the issue. In one area of the HIG (Lower) flats, not a single streetlight is functional.

Some months ago, employees of the Electricity Department did come to carry out repairs, but many streetlights went off the very next day.

A snag at the main controls appears to be one of the reasons for the faulty streetlights as many went off after flickering for hours simultaneously.



Dr Vatsyayan nominated to CCRAS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Noted ayurveda scholar, writer and physician, Dr R. Vatsyayan, has been nominated to the governing body of the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Sidha (CCRAS).

An order to this effect issued by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry was received here today. The CCRAS, besides controlling a chain of 35 regional and central Ayurvedic research institutes located in various parts of the country, also publishes data-based research work-related to various classic and new ayurvedic formulae.



Valmiki Sabha

Chandigarh, January 19
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Chandigarh Pradesh Valmiki Sabha: president: H.C. Kalyan, senior vice-president: Naresh Kumar Gharu; vice-presidents: Kalu Ram, B.S. Kumar, Surendra Kumar Saxena; general secretaries: B.R. Tisawarh, Dilbagh Singh Chouhan, Mukesh Kumar; organising secretaries: Naresh Chand Kang, Ms Sobha Rani; joint secretary: Rakesh Chouhan. Phool Chand has been appointed chief patron. TNS



10 held in search operation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
The Sector 34 police arrested 10 persons, including three women, under various sections of the law during a special search and combing operation here this evening. Besides, 28 other persons were also rounded up but were let off after identification.

A similar operation was earlier conducted under the areas falling under the Sector 39 police station. Sources said that such operations will also be carried out in other parts of the city.

As per police sources, 70 cops, headed by SHO Dhanraj Sharma, carried out the operation in Sector 33, Colony No. 5 and Burail. The three-hour-long operation started at 3.30 pm.

Three women were arrested for loitering under Section 109 of the CrPC.

Four persons — Jagan Nath, Jiya Lal, Upinder and Vijay Kumar — were arrested for allegedly carrying liquor in an unauthorised manner and about 10 pouches of liquor were recovered from their possession.

While three youths, Rakesh, Amit and Raju, were arrested for allegedly eve-teasing under Section 294 of the IPC.

Scooter stolen: Mr Brij Lal of Phase IV, SAS Nagar, reported with the police that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01-N-7045) had been stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17 here. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 17 police station.

Injured: A scooterist, Lachhman Thapa, a resident of Mani Majra, was injured after a Maruti Gypsy hit his scooter near Shivalikview Hotel in Sector 17 on Saturday evening. The Gypsy driver ran away from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 377 of the IPC has been registered.

Four Held: The police arrested Maan Singh, Ram Krishan, Naresh Kumar, all residents of Sector 20, and Vinod Kumar of Palsora village on Saturday under various sections of the Gambling Act.



One dead as truck hits scooter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
One person was killed and another injured when the scooter on which they were riding was hit by a truck near Kishangarh this evening. According to information, Kashmiri Lal of Marriwala town in Mani Majra was declared brought dead at the PGI. The pillion-rider, Mehar, has been admitted to the PGI with serious injuries,

In another incident, three vehicles collided with one another near St Stephen School on the road dividing Sectors 33 and 45. The driver of the Swaraj Mazda truck (HR 68 03 88) of the CRPF camp, in Hallomajra, stopped the vehicle to avoid a pothole. A Tata Indica ( CH 03 H 3357) bumped into the bus from the rear. A Honda City car ( DL 4 C L 0666) banged into the Tata Indica car. 



Car, Sumo collide
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 19
Three occupants of two vehicles, an Esteem car and a Tata Sumo, had a narrow escape when the vehicles collided head-on on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, near here, last night due to dense fog.
The police said the Sumo (HR-37-0809) heading towards Ambala reportedly collided with the car (CH-01H-9480) which was coming from the Lohgarh side.

The car occupants were injured. However, no case was registered as both parties reached a compromise.



Inter-connectivity tussle leaves subscribers at sea
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January19
The ongoing tussle between the cellular and WiLL telecom service providers over the issue of inter-connectivity has made the life of lakhs of cellular and WiLL subscribers miserable. While the cellular and WiLL operators are flexing their muscles over the inter-connectivity issue, phones of lakhs of consumers in the region have become dead.

One of such customers M/s Knight Detective & Securities Service Pvt. Ltd has served a legal notice on the Spice Telecom alleging that he is suffering financial loss to the tune of Rs 5,000 per day. His business is to provide ‘required’ information of security to clients through mobile telephones.

Company’s legal adviser Satpal Singh Virk has claimed that his client had taken two mobile phones from the company ( No 98146-36125 and 98146-33675) along with a Connect telephone (893675). He said as Spice alongwith other cellular operators had disconnected the inter-connectivity of mobile phones with its WiLL counterparts with effect from January 14, his client had suffered huge financial losses.

Mr Virk has argued that the company has not issued any ‘prior notice’ to his client till date for the sudden dis-connectivity amounting to ‘deficiency in service.’ He further claimed that his client may have to incur an additional loss of Rs 4.50 lakh for jeopardising the security contract due to deficiency of service by the company.

In this regard, Mr Ashok Goyal, Executive Director, said,‘‘ We are fighting for the long term gain to our subscribers and hope that some amicable solution would be worked out soon. At present, we have not decided to provide any compensation to the subscribers. The consumers would also benefit if the decision is taken in our favour.’’

Mr Virk has warned Spice Telecom to compensate his client within 15 days at the rate of Rs 5,000 per day with effect from January 14, 2003, to the date inter-connectivity was restored. Other consumer associations of the city have also reportedly decided to take legal action against the cellular companies, as they fear that the TDSAT may take much time to decide the case.



City ‘suits’ NRIs for real estate investment
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Chandigarh appears to be one of the best places in the country to draw foreign and NRI investment in real estate with the government decision to offer dual citizenship to persons of Indian origin.

The city’s capacity to draw investments had been increased due to a recent notification withdrawing protection to tenants provided under the East Punjab Rent Control Act, a leading property consultant of the city Taran Inder Singh, told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The relief from the Rent Control Act to the new citizens would prompt a large number of them to invest in real estate in the city, the capital of Punjab, from where a substantial chunk of NRIs hail, he said. The chances of NRIs investing in the city are bright due to the fact that it is a modern city with proper infrastructure, and has gone out of the ambit of the Rent Control Act. The city would, however, have to vie for investments with Bangalore and Hyderabad, the real economic growth engines of the country, Mr Taran Inder Singh said.

Chandigarh would get investments at the cost of Punjab as the state had not yet enacted any law to protect the landlord on the lines of the City Beautiful, he said.

The post-September 11 scenario in the USA, Canada and England, three of the countries whose citizens of Indian origin have been given the offer of dual citizenship and largely hail from Punjab, would leave them with lot of “investable” money to park it in the country of their origin, said Mr Singh. Informing about the economic scenario in the USA and Britain, he said post-September 11, real estate prices in the USA had doubled, while in England these had gone up three times.

He said the setback to industry following the terrorist attack on the USA had forced people to invest in real estate. But considering the history of real estate in the USA where prices in the housing sector had not increased between 1986 and 1997, a large number of NRIs would like to dispose of their additional properties to acquire liquidity.

The sentiment and a good business sense in the homeland would now encourage NRIs to invest in the real estate sector at the place to which they belong.

He said an Indian, even if he has settled abroad, is inclined to have a residential property in the home state and for post-retirement guarantee, an NRI would also like to invest in a property for business.

Mr Taran Inder Singh said before the offer of dual citizenship, travel hassles for a foreigner were more to manage a property. Now with this offer, their travel restrictions would be the first to go and also the necessity to get visa.

NRIs were even finding it difficult to hold on to their ancestral property due to restrictions on their movement.

He said the dual citizenship offer was only for those who could bring investments to the country and this would give a boost to business in the area.



Urea prices cut

Chandigarh, January 19
HAFED has reduced the price of urea to Rs 4600 per metric tonne for the Rabi 2002-03 as against Rs 4830 per metric tonne fixed by the Union Government.

Earlier, HAFED had fixed the sale price of urea at Rs 4700 per metric tonne. TNS


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