Thursday, February 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Stick to rules or get a sticker
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Imposing traffic cops looking for preys with challan books in their hands are going to become a thing of the past.

The Chandigarh Police has started issuing challan stickers to motorists who park their vehicles in no-parking areas. The penalty under the Motor Vehicle Act can go up to Rs 500 in case the owner of the vehicle challaned does not respond within five days.

As part of a long-term agenda to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic in the parking lots of commercial areas, the top brass of the city police has given a go-ahead to a plan to enforce the parking laws in the city. Now fluorescent challan slips are being pasted on the front windshiets of four-wheelers. The new method will also be enforced in case of the two-wheelers. “It would ensure that the cops do not enter into an unnecessary argument with the violators of traffic rules,” said a police official.

Sources in the police said initially, two categories of violators were being targeted due to the shortage of manpower. While those parking their vehicle along a slow carriageways were being issued an orange-coloured challan sticker, the drivers who overstepped the stop line and moved on to the zebra crossing at the traffic junctions were being issued green-coloured challan slips. Initially the markets of Sector 9 and 17 were being covered. Today, around 60 motorists were challaned for overstepping the stop line.

To enforce the parking laws, the Chandigarh Police had approached the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to mark the parking slots in the commercial areas. On the directions of the Adviser to the UT Administrator, the corporation had already begun marking parking lots in a pocket of Sector 17. Once marked, the contractor would issue numbered tokens to the visitors. Once all tokens — specifying the parking lot number — are issued, the entry to the respective paid parking would be restricted.

Procedure to issue challan stickers

On seeing a violation, a traffic cop would simply paste the challan slip on the front windshield of a vehicle. The time and place when the violation specified took place would also be mentioned. The number of the vehicle wrongly parked and the time and place of violation would be scribbled on the challan slip.

In an order issued by the senior officials of the Chandigarh Police, the DSPs and the SHOs have been asked to book the rickshaw pullers and rehriwalas under the Motor Vehicle Act and the Police Act. It had been observed that registration of cases under Section 283 of the IPC resulted in burden on the investigating officers.


Train to Chennai promised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
City residents, changing trains for going to the South, will now be able to reach Chennai directly. The Railway Budget, announced today, made it clear that a weekly train between Chennai and Chandigarh via Dehra Dun and Delhi would be introduced.

The announcement is significant as a large number of Chennai residents are working in organisations having their offices in the Chandigarh. This is not all. So many youngsters in the city are employed with companies in Chennai and other cities in the South. The train will also prove convenient for residents desirous of visiting South.

Soon after the declaration, prominent residents and political parties issued press releases to welcome the decision. Bharatiya Janata Party’s local unit President Yash Pal Mahajan expressed gratitude. He said the train was a “bonanza” for the city residents. He also welcomed the Railway Budget, with no hikes in passenger or freight rates.

Reacting critically to the railway Budget, President of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry P.K. Jain said “given the fact that the Railways is the only high capacity transport mode that can meet the long term needs of our large economy, the Budget has not done much to rise above the short-term focus in its investment initiatives”.

He asserted that “strategic measures to bypass the phase of historic railway decline, and entry into a renewed growth phase, were missing.... Although an attempt has been made to rationalise the freight structure by reducing the band of freight rates and by reducing the classification of certain commodities where Railways are facing stiff competition, these measures may still not be adequate to divert additional goods traffic to the Railways”.

Mr Jain added, “There is an urgent need to strengthen and improve the rolling stock computerisation.... Customer orientation has to assume higher importance in the marketing strategy of the Railways”.


Cricket buffs cheer for India
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, February 26
Cricket buffs, impatient for action, rushed back home to witness men-in-blue slam the ball ruthlessly in crucial match against England after clearing their office tables by about 5.30 in the evening.

Others, eager to celebrate Captain Saurav Ganguly's big knock, or drown their sorrow after he got out, drove down to the bars and pubs in the city to watch the match on the giant screens. No wonder, the market corridors remained deserted in the evening.

Throughout the day, they kept on shifting uneasily in comfortable seats waiting for the big moment when the team, flying high because of their earlier success against Namibia, would descend on the field to tackle the English.

Eager to witness the Indians give a taste of dust to their opponents, they cancelled all late evening appointments, directed their secretaries to tell "the boss is still out in the field".

In some other offices, the phones were kept off the hook. The reason was not hard to see. "Senior officials calling from Mumbai or Delhi would think the exchange is down," business executive with a multinational organisation Raman Walia commented.

Young innocents, not so sure of their abilities to keep awake till late at night, went off to sleep in the afternoon. Time, somehow, came to a standstill as they paced the room alone looking at the wall clocks from time to time.

As the evening sun disappeared behind the buildings in the west, they switched on the sets to witness the team realise their dreams of bringing home the glittering cup.

Others gathered around the giant screens in the bars and pubs. As twinkling star of the Indian team Sachin Tendulkar walked with the bat in hand, deafening applaud filled the air.

They pushed back the chairs to stand up and clap wildly every time he went in for the big hit. Sewag's early wicket did bother them, but then it was inconsequential, Sachin was still there at the crease.

Glasses clinked as they savoured his quick half century, along with the drinks. The score was reasonably good, they were quite happy about the fact. But then, things changed. Their hearts skipped a beat as Tendulkar went back to the pavilion, dejected.

Then came hope in Mongia's form. He would take care of the situation, every one was sure. But just as they were feeling "kind of comfortable", Mongia lost his wicket. Another round was ordered, this time in sorrow.

As "Yuvi" took his place, the youngsters left their seats, to pray for his success. With hands folded, they stood attention. Words were not required as they silently asked God to be with the team in their hour of need. They returned to sit on the edge of the chairs, hoping against hope for some miracle to take place. 


Consumers ‘draw’ more power
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 26
Thousands of power consumers in the town have more than the sanctioned load on their premises and have not declared the enhanced consumption to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

This has been found in a recent survey conducted by the PSEB. There are at least 5,000 to 7,000 consumers who have not declared their enhanced loads even though the PSEB had introduced the voluntary disclosure scheme (VDS) in the past, Mr S.C. Aggarwal, Superintending Engineer (Operations), said here.

Mr Aggarwal said the survey was mainly aimed at detecting power thefts and checking whether the load in various localities matched the capacity of the transformers. He said the possibility of imposing fines on those who had not revealed their power loads could not be ruled out.

The SE said thorough maintenance of transformers and other equipment, 11 kv lines and LT lines was being carried to prepare for the summer demand. Teams, each comprising 15 to 25 persons, had been formed to undertake maintenance on a large scale.

A transformer in Phase I industrial area had been sent for repairs. Efforts were being made to get it back into operation before the paddy season.

Four additional transformers had been put up in residential Phases IX and X as the demand for power in the area had increased. Similarly three additional transformers had been provided to Phase VII, as the area had been suffering from power-related problems in the past.

Mr Aggarwal said power cuts were usually effected at the central level and in such cases the local staff could be of little help to consumers. During the summer, the PSEB would try its best to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power to the consumers here, he added.


No rules framed even as April 1 deadline nears
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Something about vat

  • VAT implies that whosoever is adding value to the product will be required to pay tax on the said value addition.

  • This arrangement will result in higher cost of products, with the eventual burden being passed on to the consumer.

  • Strength of VAT: Enforces uniformity in taxes; is acceptable globally.

  • Weaknesses: Adds to cost by imposing tax at every stage. Earlier, tax was charged at the first stage of sale of goods. Now it will be charged at every stage.

Chandigarh, February 26
Even as the Government of India has given a green signal to VAT (value added tax) as a more acceptable replacement to the existing Sales Tax structure, the UT Administration is still waiting to gear up for its implementation. While UT delays vital decisions on VAT and its structure, as applicable to the city, the traders are heavily confused over the possible implications of VAT.

Consequent upon the decision of the government to implement VAT across the country from April 1 this year, the neighbouring state of Punjab has already framed up VAT Act and rules. It has updated its website ( adding comprehensive information about the new VAT concept to it. Where most states are busy working out modalities of the new concept which will replace an over five decade old sales tax structure in India, UT, for some reason, is reacting slowly to the affair.

With only about 31 days left for the implementation of VAT, UT might find itself ill-equipped to handle the sudden shift from the traditional structure to the contemporary VAT, which is in force in most developed countries across the world. No wonder speculation about the new concept is reigning high in the trading sector, which will be the most affected by VAT. With UT yet to publicise VAT rules, chaos may rule the city as the sudden shift occurs.

Most traders and consumers do not yet know anything about VAT and are apprehending complications of tax structure along with an additional tax burden on users. Where MNCs will be saved of the burden of understanding VAT by hiring consultants, shopkeepers will be a harassed lot, as they will face difficulty in converting from traditional sales tax laws to VAT. Their problem will be heightened by the laxity of UT Administration which has not cared to discuss VAT at length.

Although UT had invited suggestions on VAT, they are yet to be heeded to. Speculation is reigning high because of the very short notice of implementation of VAT.

It may be mentioned that the government had been deferring the issue of VAT implementation. It was supposed to come into force from last April, but had to be finally deferred due to objections from various sectors. But now VAT is all set to take over ST structure in India, enforcing uniformity in taxes throughout the country and bringing India at par with the developed nations which follow VAT.

The UT Sales Tax Bar has highlighted some problems in VAT. One, VAT will result in added costs as it requires tax payment at various stages. Secondly, under VAT any dealer with sales beyond Rs 40 lakh must get accounts audited from chartered accountants. This clause has been taken from the Income Tax Act, 1961. Experts argue that the said clause was added to the IT Act in 1985, but since then the costs have gone up. So the said slab should be enhanced to Rs 2 crore. 


Traders pin hopes on Budget
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
After the Haryana government’s refusal to cut down stamp duty for the registration of property from 15.5 per cent, the industrial and traders’ associations are now pinning hopes on the Central Budget. They are expecting that Finance Minister Jaswant Singh in his Budget speech, may announce to implement uniform Stamp Act in the country. A Bill in this regard is expected to be passed by the Parliament during the current Budget session.

The Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry had recently presented a memorandum to the Finance Minister, Haryana, Mr Sampat Singh, to slash the stamp duty from 15.6 per cent to 6 per cent, the prevailing rate in Punjab and Chandigarh, apart from abolishing professional tax and fire tax imposed by the local bodies on the industry. However, the Finance Minister, reportedly declined to accept the proposal regarding stamp duty, arguing that a large section of property buyers and sellers were under-reporting the transaction rates.

Mr C.B. Goyal, president, Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says, “while the state government is offering all type of sops to attract the industry in the state, but about 10 per cent difference in stamp duty as compared to other states, on the purchase of property in the state is adversely affecting the investment in the state. Further, the small scale units, which are already facing tough times are being forced to shell out a huge amount on stamp duty in comparison to their counterparts in the neighbouring state.’’

The PHDCCI in its pre-Budget memorandum to the State FM has also demanded to cut down stamp duty, at least to the level of neighbouring state. It has pointed out that since most of MNCs investing in the state, are making payment for real estate through white money with cheques, it is not possible for them to evade the stamp duty, a common practice followed by the local industrial and other buyers. It has urged the state government to revise stamp duty downward.

Mr Sunil Sabharwal, a leading industrialist, said the higher rate of stamp duty was encouraging buyers and sellers to undervalue property rates, thus evading the tax. He said, the decrease in stamp duty would rather result in increase in total revenue collections, as people would be encouraged to disclose the ‘market value’ and avail more loans from banks.

Mr Goyal hoped that Finance Minister Jaswant Singh would take the bold step of announcing uniform stamp duty, like VAT to be implemented from April 1, throughout the country. He said,‘‘ The Centre should announce uniform tax rates for all the states, and the state governments could be given the charge of collecting the amount, which could be shared with them.”


Rs 70 lakh for 12 markets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, had sanctioned Rs 1.06 crore to the MC under MPLAD for various projects. Out of this Rs 70 lakh had been exclusively reserved for development works in 12 markets.

According to the details available, Rs 6 lakh had been sanctioned for the provision of new inter-locking small sized tile pavement and light fittings in Sector 19 D, Rs 12 lakh for providing and laying of PCC tile pavement in place of the existing ones in the markets of Sector 35, Rs 6.5 lakh for providing and laying of PCC tile pavement in place of the existing ones in the markets of Sector 37C, Rs 8 lakh for providing and laying of PCC tile pavement in place of the existing ones in the markets of Sector 40 C, Rs 5 lakh for providing and laying of PCC tile pavement in place of the existing ones in the markets of Sector 10, Rs 5 lakh each for providing and laying of PCC tile pavement in place of the existing ones in the markets of Sector-11,29, 30 and 20 and Rs. 7 lakh for providing and laying of PCC tile pavement in place of the existing ones in the markets of Sector-15C and D.

Apart from this the MP had also approved Rs 4.7 lakh for construction of concrete pavements in Sector 21, Rs 2 lakh for construction of concrete pavements in Sector 16, Rs 1.45 lakh for providing additional benches in various parks of Mani Majra, Rs 55,000 to purchase books for the library at ‘‘Society for the care of the Blind’’, Sector 26, Rs 3.95 lakh to provide computers with laser printers and library management software to SGGS College, Sector26, Rs 7 lakh for construction of concrete pavement

of existing back lanes in Sector 20, Rs 5 lakh for construction of new dispensary building at Kajheri building, Rs 1.5 lakh for fixation of streel gates at various points in Phase-III Mani Majra, Rs 1.35 lakh for development of parks in Sector 20C, Rs 6 lakh for laying of PCC tile pavement in place of existing ones in Sector 22 along the Dakshin Marg and Rs 5.28 lakh for construction of concrete paths along with the paths in front of V-6 roads in Sector 28 A and D.

Sources close to Mr Bansal disclosed that he had already requested the Deputy Commissioner to release the funds at the earliest. 


MC to modernise fire wing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has planned to upgrade and modernise its fire wing by adding hydraulic platform-cum-turn table ladder, increasing the staff at fire stations and by modernising other equipment.

Disclosing this to the TNS, in an exclusive interview here today, Mr Subash Chawla, Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, said the MC had decided to purchase a hydraulic platform-cum- turn table ladder for its fire wing to control fire in the high rise buildings, in the next financial year. And the Chandigarh Administration had already sanctioned a sum of Rs 3.5 crore to purchase this equipment.

He said there were seven fire stations in the city including the one in Mani Majra to handle fire incidents. However, keeping in view the rapid expansion of residential areas in the southern sectors and Modern Housing Complex in Mani Majra, the present strength of fire service stations was inadequate to meet the requirements of the city, he added.

The Mayor further said there was a requirement of at least two Hydraulic Platform-cum-turn table ladders in Chandigarh but due to financial constraints, the MC had planned to purchase only one in the next financial year. However, provisions had already been made in the 10th five year plan (2002-07) to purchase at least two hydraulic ladders by March, 2007.

Mr Chawla said 17 new posts had been created in the fire division to meet the ever growing challenges in the city. Besides this, few employees who were waiting for promotions for the past several years had been promoted to fill the gap at various positions. 

Fill vacant MC posts: employees
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 26
A general body meeting of the Coordination Committee of Government and Municipal Corporation employees and Workers was organised here today. Those attending the meeting demanded that employees transferred from the administration to the municipal corporation should be treated as on deputation and vacant posts should be filled.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Ramesh Kant, convenor of the committee. Activists complained that the administration was not serious about employee friendly issues. The other demands of the committee include regular pay scales to kitchen garden employees, appointments of next of kin of deceased employees on compassionate ground and revision of honarary allowance for Anganwari workers and helpers. This was stated by Mr Rakesh Kumar, co-convenor of the committee, in a press note issued here today. Back



Meeting held

The Commissioner of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, had called a meeting on Thursday, to discuss various aspects of implementation of Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order-1954. The Architect, Senior Town Planner, Secretary of MC, members of Market Association and Business Development Council have been invited in the meeting to give their suggestions.

Financial review meeting

The financial review meeting of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was held here, today. Disclosing this to the TNS, the Mayor, Mr Subash Chawla, said he had asked the officials concerned to prepare an auction plan for the next financial year to increase the revenue of the corporation from auctions. They had also been asked to identify other areas also, from which the revenue could be increased. The Commissioner, MOH, Joint Commissioner, were also present in the meeting.


The Mayor toured the city, this morning along with the officials concerned to review the ongoing development works on the spot. He went to Sectors 27, 28, 23 and Mani Majra where road repair works were going on. He also visited few parking sites to physically examine the problems of people who park their vehicles in the MC parking sites. It may be mentioned that MC was working out the draft of bylaws for the parking sites to minimise the problems of people and generate maximum revenue out of auctions of parking sites.

Sanitation schemes

The Mayor had asked the officials of the sanitation wing to prepare a draft of new sanitation schemes for the city to get funds from MPLAD scheme. It may be mentioned that the local MP Pawan Bansal promised to provide Rs 1 crore to the MC under the MPLAD scheme in the next financial year exclusively for the sanitation schemes. He had earlier, demanded proposals regarding sanitation schemes that could be approved under this scheme. TNS


Lift ban on construction near defence installations
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, February 26
Lifting the ban on constructions within 900 metre of defence installations located in Bhabhat, Zirakpur and Lohgarh villages will be the main issue in the ensuing Nagar Panchayat elections.

Candidates belonging to the Congress, SAD-BJP and independents were stressing on lifting the ban on constructions that was imposed by the Department of the Local Bodies , Government of Punjab, in October,2002.

Taking serious note of a complaint lodged by the IAF authorities, the Secretary of the Local Bodies, through the Vigilance wing of the Department issued a notice thereby prohibiting any type of construction within 900 metres of the IAF installations.

In their speeches the candidates were assuring public that they would leave no stone unturned in getting the ban lifted after being elected as members of the civic body.

Candidates belonging to the SAD-BJP alliance have criticised the ruling Congress government for imposing ban on constructions within Nagar Panchayat limits besides withdrawing all public welfare schemes — like old age pension, widow pension, shagun, free power — started by previous Akali government.

Apart from Congress candidates , independent were also luring the public on this issue. They claim that a committee has been formed by Ms Praneet Kaur, MP, Patiala, under the chairmanship of Mr R.R Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman , State Planing Board.

A comprehensive report that was prepared by Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Additional Advocate General of Punjab , on public views has been submitted to Ms Praneet Kaur. The issue would soon be solved , they claimed.

Meanwhile, Ms Sarabjit Kaur, wife of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, local MLA , and general secretary of the SAD, also joined the election campaign in support of SAD-BJP candidates. She also addressed rallies and visited different booths in Lohgarh. Capt Kanwaljit Singh visited Bhabhat village and appealed the public to vote in favour of SAD-BJP candidates.

A congress candidate from Ward No. 11, Mr Jaspal Singh , was today weighed against ladoos by his supporters in Zirakpur village. The Sher-e-Punjab Sports Club today extended its support to Mr Jaspal Singh.

Some Congress supporters from Exchange colony and Dashmesh colony have decided to support Ms Santosh Kumari, an independent candidate from Ward No. 10. 


Life under HT lines
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 26
Unmindful of the danger hanging over their heads, thousands of people continue to live in hutments built right under the 66 KV high tension (HT) transmission lines.

These 66 KV lines, from the Ramgarh-Madanpur sub-station, pass over Azad colony in Sector 21, comprising over 6000 hutments and the recently constructed Sports Complex in Sector 3. Though the colony has been set up much after these transmission lines had been laid, the administration too, seems to be doing little over this danger to life and property and the flouting of rules by the colony residents.

It may be noted that the passing of these HT lines is also a serious threat to human and animal health. It is a scientifically proven fact that the close contact of human beings with these transmission lines has adverse affect on blood cells and the human brain. Besides, the electro-magnetic field of these overhead HT cable increases during rains, which also increases the risk factor manifold.

Officials in Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam say that the Nigam sets up transmission lines only after its gets clearance from various departments and ensuring that there is no human population in the path of laying these lines. "The colony had come up much after these lines were laid and repeated notices have been issued to residents against the danger, but to no avail," said an officer of the Nigam.

The officials say that since the Colony residents have got a stay from the apex court against the demolition, they are helpless in clearing the encroachment from this government land, and thus the residents continue to live under this constant danger.

About the HT lines passing over the recently constructed Sports Complex in Sector 3, the UHBVN officials say that Haryana Urban Development Authority, which had constructed the Sports Complex, would get these lines shifted.


Unique khana-gana combo
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feb 26
Blues, the Night Club, Sector 34 (behind Picaddily cinema), has acquired a new look. And, not unexpectedly, the cricket mania that has gripped the city is part of the refurbishing. But the unexpected part is that the Blues’ way of giving vent to the cricket theme fever is not only via the screen, big or small. It has gone a step ahead: As you occupy a table in the restaurant-cum-pub area, you are waited upon by a man in blue while another one in white and a hat, is seen overseeing the affair. Yes. The waiters have acquired new uniforms — blue track suits a la Souravs and Sachins complete with pads and shoes even as the captains don the umpire’s role. A closer look in the semi-darkened restaurant reveals a number of cricket parapharnelia— bats, balls, pads, headgear etc lining the walls along with the decor of tiles and paintings.

A venture of the young brother-sister duo of Sukwant and Honey Walia, Blues is known more for its discotheque in the basement and a number of events and launches that it has organised, with attractions being celebrities and Bollywood stars, including ‘Tum Bin’ actors.

Honey says that Blues is the outcome of their respective passions. Businessman dad agreed to sponsor them when the idea of Sukwant’s love for music and Honey’s interest in food found feet in the form of this restaurant-cum-pub-cum-discotheque. So, Honey sat in the midst of CDs and cassettes and came up with mellifluous names for mundane ordinary eats and dishes. Thus, while the common spring rolls were christened songlike House of the Bamboo Doo, the sweet’n sour cheese pakoras became Techno Rocker. Visit the restaurant to nibble delicacies from jazzland, rap with the titbits and savour the hot steppers and bubling platters and experience a new musical feel of the Indian and Chinese cuisine.

And if you think a party is no fun without a dance, just climb down the stairs to the discotheque and go footloose. The inhouse DJ, the state-of-the-art music system, the flashing hights in the darkened ambience all contribute to the most reluctant of legs to shaking to the blaring ‘‘sharara, sharara.... ’’ or the latest pop number.

Honey says that they have come up with this, khana-gana combination following the success of such trendy ventures in the national capital. Specially the youngsters, she informs, are attracted to loud music and good food. While their disc has gained popularity among the Chandigarh youth, let’s see if the new-look Blues restaurant can also catch their fancy.

Sundarams is 1

This is one eatery that looks back proudly to its inception for it’s a rare joint that can boast of having opened a branch on demand even before celebrating its firt anniversary. Yes, we’re talking about Sundarams, Sector 35, that turned one last week.

A venture of the Sundarams family (husband-wife-son), it has residents of the city and its satellite towns flocking to lick the imli-flavoured South Indian delicacies. The personal supervision of Mrs Sundaram over the kitchen ensures that the typical Tamilian flavour is retained. So, if it’s one of the many varieties of dosas, uthappams and idlis complimented with the curried sambar and special coconut and red chutneys that has your mouth watering, head to this specialty joint.

At their Panjab University outlet, guests have an additional choice — a dish from outside the menu is cooked specially for the connoisseurs under the ‘‘Today’s Special’’ banner. And, you can expect some freebies as part of the ‘‘birthday celebrations’’.Back


Kelkar report anti-employee, says union
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The Tribune Employees Union today criticised the Kelkar Committee report and termed it as anti-employee. The union said the Union Budget had provided certain concessions in income tax for the salaried class in the past, but the Kelkar Committee report had shocked tax-payers from the salaried class. It said the salaried class was worried that if implemented, the Kelkar report would hit them hard. 

The union urged the Central Government that the benefit of standard deductions enjoyed by the salaried class should not be done away with as this was the only privilege given to the employees over and above other sections of tax-payers. The union further demanded that the tax rebate limit under Section 88 be restored to 20 per cent, which at present was 15 per cent.Back


AIIEA chief to visit city today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Mr N.M. Sundaram and Mr K. Venugopal, President and General Secretary, respectively, of the All-India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) are visiting the city tomorrow, and will address a rally of employees in front of the LIC divisional office, Sector 17.

This was stated by Mr Rajeev Sehgal, divisional secretary of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Federation, in a press note issued here today.

He alleged that the government and the IRDA were actively pampering private companies and overlooking the unethical practices followed by these companies. The rally will focus on these and other important issues.


Docs let their hair down
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 26
It was goodbye to daily grind for the young doctors and students at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research.

Instead of walking around the campus with stethoscopes around their necks and that serious expression, they participated in a dance party, group and solo dances, besides a mock press conference — all during — Springfest, 2003.

At about 6 in the evening, it all started at PGI’s Bhargava Auditorium amidst great enthusiasm and excitement. Dressed up like Gorge Bush, Laloo Yadav, Manisha Koirala, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bal Thackrey, they faced the audience with complete confidence.

The participants were invited from the audience. On every humorous question asked, chocolates, sweets and cassettes were given. The best performance was also being judged.

Colourful solo and group dances were presented by the PGI students. Finalists for the solo dance contest were shortlisted in the preliminary round. Eight Indian and western solo dances were also presented. Group dances of the same category kept the audience glued to the seats.

The PGI staff danced to thumping beats of the music at the dance party held late in the evening at the Upper cafe.

“This time, the Springfest is being held earlier than the scheduled time so that maximum number of people can participate. Due to the examinations in mid March, most of them get busy. It is not just the students, who participate, but the entire PGI staff is invited for participation in different items”, a Resident Doctor asserted.

He added: “This year we have also gone beyond the tradition. In the past few years no artist or celebrity performed during the fest. It is for the first time a pop star is going to perform”, said the president of the Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Sandeep.


Festival of Gardens from Feb 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Like every year this year also the annual Festival of Gardens will be marked with the Adviser to UT Administrator throwing open the green belt of Sector 23 for general public. The three-day festival will be inaugurated by Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator on February 28.

Main attractions of the festival will be folk dance competition, selection of Rose prince and Rose princess, photography exhibition, rose quiz competition, on the spot painting competition and antakshri competition. On the evening of the inaugural day, the city music lovers will be treated to Anamika live which will be organised at the Leisure Vallery, Sector 10. The three-day fest will conclude with Jasbir Jassi concert on March 2.

Traffic restrictions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
In view of the three-day Festival of Gardens, the Chandigarh Police has decided to impose the following restrictions on the movement of traffic from February 28 to March 2. The restrictions would be applicable on the roads around the Rose Garden, which is the venue of the festival.


The movement of traffic would be prohibited from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the following road sections:

*Jan Marg from Museum Chowk to the traffic junction of Sectors 16 and 17.

* Small chowk of Sector 16 near Shanti Kunj to Sectors 16 and 17 light point

* Entry from Jagat light point to Jan Marg


Visitors to the Rose Garden will have to park their vehicles at the parking area near B.D. Hospital, Sector 23, opposite Sector 16 cricket stadium, open space near Hotel Shivalikview, near Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, and paid parking of the Municipal Corporation in Sector 17.


The entry of local buses within Sector 16 will be restricted. The buses will take the road dividing Sectors15 and 16 while going to the PGI


One way: The traffic system will remain in force on the road in front of Arts College, Sector 10. The entry to the Arts College will be from the side of the Sector 10 petrol station and the exit from the Madhya Marg on all three days from 4 p.m. onwards

Parking: People coming from Leisure Valley to attend the cultural function in the evening will have to park their vehicles in Arts College, Sector 10, parking opposite the Arts College, open space near the small chowk near Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, and the turn near the skating rink of Sector 10.

The police has warned that the vehicles parked haphazardly would be challaned.Back


Shivratri shoba yatra
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 26
A shobha yatra was taken out by the Sanatan Dharam Kendriya Parishad here today. Hundreds of people participated in the yatra as it passed through various sectors in the township.

A band of local musicians provide dmusical support to the devotees as they sang hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. Fireworks were also there as the yatra moved in various parts of the township.

The yatra began from Durga Mata Mandir in Sector 14 and culminated at Raghunath Mandir in Sector 15 , after passing through Sectors 11, 10, 9, 8, 17 and 16. 


50-year-old man stabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
A 50-year-old resident of Palsora colony in Sector 56 received multiple stab wounds after being attacked by a 17-year-old boy of the colony this afternoon. The victim had objected to certain activities of the assailant. A case under Sections 324 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

According to the police, the assailant used to frequent the locality of the victim. The victim is a safai worker with the local Municipal Corporation.



Swiss national’s purse stolen
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh February 26
Purse stolen: A Swiss national has reported to the police that her purse containing Rs 7,000 cash, $ 200, a Visa card and some documents was stolen from a shop in Sector 22 yesterday. The police has registered a case on the basis of statement given by the Swiss national, Ladma KA, who was in the city in connection with an NGO project at Kasauli.

Booked: Manmohan Lal of Ambala was today arrested for intimidating an eyewitness in a one-year-old murder case of Swaran Singh alias Kauta, a resident of Raipur Khurd. According to the police the case is under trial and two persons, Amarjit and Sukhdev of Raipur Khurd, had been arrested.

When the case came up for hearing before a local court, Manmohan Singh, a relative of Amarjit, allegedly threatened the witness, Mr Karnail Singh. The police arrested Manmohan Singh late this evening and booked him under Section 506 of the IPC.

Revolver seized: A country-made revolver was seized from the possession of Kulwinder Singh of Solan by the Bapu Dham police. He has been booked under the Arms Act.

Theft: Ms Veena of Sector 41 has complained that Rs 5,000 cash was stolen from her house yesterday. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.


Three held: The police has arrested three persons — Bel Swami, Subhash and Girdhari Lal — on charges of betting in separate incidents and recovered Rs 660 from thier procession.

Three Arrested: The police arrested Sahil Bansal and Prerna Gupta of Chandigarh on charge of indulging in indecent acts near Hotel Green Park in Sector 25 here last night. In another case, the police arrested Raghbir from Hariyali village near Raipur Rani on charge of passing indecent remarks at a public place.

Four Arrested: The police has arrested Ajay, Mahendra Singh , Jaipal and Sushil Kumar in separate incidents on charges of drinking alcohol at a public place. Seven bottles of liquor were also seized from their possession.


Sector 30 market getting cramped
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Thinking of buying crockery, handlooms, branded clothes, imported non vegetarian food stuff, or the just plain old burfi, you cannot do without checking up varieties in Sector 30. Not to miss the various tent houses and dhabas famous for their non-vegetarian and vegetarian food. Yes, the market has come up very well, has good parking space and is yet to to invaded by the cramped culture of some typical commercial areas of the city.

The market is one of those planned in the first phase of Chandigarh and had started coming up in 1970. Mr Anil Mahajan, whose father, Mr Purshottum Mahajan, set up Chandigarh Shoe Company in 1970 recollects that their shop and the liquor vend were among the first arrivals. The space in between was used to play cricket. Slowly the market developed and today the numbers of visitors is both places easily crosses the 1,500 mark. And this does not include the liquor buyers and regulars at the ahata. Today the market attracts customers from Himachal, Haryana and Punjab apart from the city and neighbouring places of Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

There have been various changes in the market in the past three decades, the most glaring change has been in the past five to six years. Mr Mahajan says the paying capacity of the customer has gone up and similarly we have upgraded our goods and decor of the shops. His own place is air conditioned and sells all branded apparel, cosmetics and shoes.

Near Mr Mahajan's shop is Doaba Sweets which has opened up a branch of their famous shop. Then there is Kesar rasoi serving meals. Not to miss the Swaran Dhaba which has been around for decades. The aging owner still closes at 9 p.m and his non vegetarian dishes have dedicated customers from all over the city. Not only bachelors even families come to eat for get food packed. Polka bakers of sector 34 has also opened up a counter.

Shopkeepers says everything is fine just that the ahata owners should be stopped from displaying chicken and fish outside his premises.

In the initial years the market was developing a character. The market is also known for the tent services and the flour mill. The latter is owned by the family of former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta. And today there are four shops providing tent services. These are among the oldest tent service providers in the city and cater to a huge market in the city and its adjoining areas. A Mahajan family runs the show here and their clan has bifurcated into branches.

More of less one can get everything in the same market and its is not like the usual sector level shopping complexes which have just the provisions stores, confectionaries and chemists.

In Sector 30-D, the market was just a few booths later in the late 1980's showrooms started coming up. Today it is wholesale market for handloom and crockery. This means you can get an entire range of curtains, chinaware, glassware and plastic furniture in these places. Mr Rajendra Bansal of Deepak Agencies says they have been in Sector 30 since 1972. He adds ‘‘ we offer competitive and genuine rates for branded products and this brings in the customers.’’

In the same market is Wadhwa textiles, a wholesaler of curtains and sofa cloth. Mr Surinder Kumar Wadhwa says the market is coming up but slowly. People still get confused locating Sector 30 in Chandigarh. Mr Wadhwa's shop is located near to traffic lights at sectors 20 and 30. Parking is already a problem, he says. Wholesalers in this area have attracted people he says while demanding better street lights.


  • Sector 30-D is already faced with parking problems
  • Sector 30-C has a perpetual drainage problem as rain water accumulates even in the lighest of showers.
  • Tiles on pavements are not replaced promptly after any digging operation.
  • In Sector 30-C, shopkeepers say, the ahata alongside the liquor vend should be stopped from displaying wares outside.
  • There is no parking for the booths in Sector 30-C adjoining the traffic lights at Sector 29 and 30.Back

Airtel centre at Sector 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Bharti Mobile Limited, the leading mobile service provider under brand name Airtel, today inaugurated another centre —Airtel Points and Connects — near Piccadily Hotel in Sector 22. According to Mr Vinod Sawhny, CEO, Bharti Mobile Limited, Northern Region, the company has plans to open more such centres.

He said these points were unique one-stop shops that has revolutionised the concept of telecom retailing. He said these franchised shops would offer new shopping experience to customers with the entire range of services.

These would include registration of new customers, instant activation of mobile connections and sale of handsets as well.


Another Shahnaz Husain clinic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The city will have a chance of being treated to several beauty therapies devised and advocated by Shahnaz Husain. As the Shahnaz Hussain’s Herbal Skin and Hair Clinic opened in Sector 8-C last afternoon, there was speculation about whether the services provided therein will be at par with the real services which Shahnaz Hussain is associated with.

The city already has one Shahnaz Husain clinic. This one, with its franchisee in Barkha Neeraj Gupta, is the second one. Apart from the entire range of herbal products, the clinic will also offer all other beauty and hair styling services.

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