C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Preparations in full swing for Manmohan’s visit
SPG in city to sanitise venues
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The bright sunshine this morning brought with it the much-needed ray of hope for Chandigarh Administration officials involved with the preparations for the Prime Minister’s visit to the city. The incessant rain over the past few days had delayed the preparations. The bright sun has made it possible to complete all work, including laying of the road leading to the Chandigarh Technology Park that will be inaugurated by Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday.

Punjab Governor S.F.R. Rodrigues visited the IT park this afternoon and reviewed the preparations, including the building up of a temporary stage and a pandal that will seat about 600 persons. Tight security arrangements have been made at the venue with policemen keeping round the clock vigil near the stage.

The Special Protection Group (SPG), in charge of the Prime Minister’s security, arrived in the city this afternoon. It reviewed the security arrangements at the PGI, IT park and the Press Club. The Prime Minister will start his day from the PGI where he would participate in a function of the Tribune Trust. Following this he will inaugurate the IT park and the media tower at the Press Club.

At the Chandigarh IT Park, carpeting of roads was resumed today. Gen Rodrigues visited the site of the function around mid day and personally took stock of the situation. Most officials of the Chandigarh Administration parked themselves at the IT park to work out the minute details of the arrangements. The bamboo pandal at the IT park has been constructed in an area of about 120 by 150 feet and will seat around 400 important dignitaries from the IT world, 100 VIPs and an equal number of media persons.

The IT park is receiving a facelift in terms of levelling of land and landscaping. Though no one was willing to comment on the pace of work, the fact that the UT Administrator visited the venue a day before he was supposed to, indicates the apprehension in the mind of the officials. “The Governor was expected tomorrow morning as the deadline for finishing the work was late tonight,” an official said.

Mr D.P. Dhingra, SE (Electricity), said his men had worked overtime to make up for the time lost due to the rain. “We will complete our work as per schedule,” he said.

At the IT park, the venue of the function will have four cameras that will beam the proceedings of the function onto four large video screens. It will serve dual purpose, one, provide a birds eye view of everything to the security personnel and secondly, every activity will be easily visible to the invitees.

Thousands of workers are fighting time to have everything in order as soon as possible. Dividers on the roads have been painted even before the cement binding them dried. Similarly, all electric poles en route have been painted.

Keeping the security in mind, an alternative road is being prepared to the Madhya Marg. This is the road leading to the Manimajra Housing Complex from Sector 26. This entire path is also being given a facelift.



Intelligence sleuths on tenterhooks
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The two-day Chandigarh visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, from September 23 has sent intelligence agencies into a tizzy.

Even as the Chandigarh Administration braces up to welcome the Indian premier, intelligence personnel are working overtime to make the visit “incident-free” and keeping an eye on the potential trouble makers. In fact the intelligence personnel seem to have gone overboard in “pre-empting” any move by organisations to create any trouble.

In the past few days the intelligence sleuths had come calling on the office-bearers of the trade associations, residents welfare associations and the trade unions to “pre-judge” their strategies during the Prime Minister’s visit.

“The intelligence sleuths wanted to know whether our association planned to meet the Prime Minister. Surprisingly, they wanted to know the contents of the representation in case we met the Prime Minister,” a trade union leader said on the condition of anonymity.

Echoing almost similar sentiments, an office-bearer of the traders’ association claimed that the intelligence sleuths were keeping an eye on activities of various office-bearers so that there was no scope for any mischief during the visit.

Intelligence sources claimed that such an activity was a part of the routine functioning of the intelligence departments. Any mischief during the visit could be a huge embarrassment for the intelligence and lead to serious consequences, an intelligence official added.

It may be recalled that different sections of society had been allegedly given a raw deal at the hands of the Chandigarh Administration. While the employees are ruing the fact that their long-pending demands had not been met, the administration, the trading community was angry at the Rent Act notification by the administration. Similarly, the residents welfare associations had been pleading for more relaxations in the building byelaws.

Even the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, had gone on record saying that the Chandigarh Administration was “insensitive” to the genuine demands of the residents.

It is widely believed that various organisations would petition the Prime Minister during the visit to put forth their point of views.



Students invited to IT park opening
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The list of invitees at the inauguration of the IT park by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, might read as the who’s who of the city but this time round, students are very much a part of the crowd.

The IT Department has sent out invitations to students of the city’s technical institutions offering IT-related subjects. Those on the list of invitees are students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Punjab Engineering College, University Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

The department has invited 10 students each from these institutes for the function which will have 150-odd VIP guests in addition to about 500 others.

This would include the Board of Governors of PEC, heads of various departments of PEC, representatives of IT companies, college principals and senior faculty of Panjab University, among others. The crowd at the function will be a mix of academicians and IT representatives as well as government officials.

Those who have already given confirmation to attend the function include Bangalore-based Madhu Madhvan, CEO of Quebec Computing, Vineet Gupta from Google, Sandeep Suri from Dell, Managing Director of SQL, B.K. Tankha, Shiv Balivada, the Vice-President (North) of BPL Telecom, and A.R. Varayur, Director, Webcom Technologies.



HCS officer booked for bid to outrage modesty
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 20
Even as the Chandigarh Police today registered a case against a Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officer on charges of making an attempt to outrage the modesty of a woman, the officer's mother, a former minister, claimed that her son was being falsely implicated and said charges were aimed at getting publicity.

The police has registered a case under Section 354 IPC against Sushil Sarwan, Joint Director, Department of Hospitality and Tourism, Haryana, on the basis of a complaint filed by Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Sector 51.

Ms Paramjit Kaur has alleged that Sushil Sarwan had come to her residence on September 8 and tried to outrage her modesty. In a bid to save herself, she had locked herself in a room.

She informed the police about the incident after which the accused went away in his official vehicle.

She alleged that she had been running from pillar to post to register a case as the police was acting in a biased manner.

Paramjit Kaur had also met the UT Administrator to press her point.

On the other hand, the mother of Sarwan, Ms Santosh Chauhan, a former minister for Jails and Panchayats, Haryana, while addressing the mediapersons denied the allegations.

She claimed that her son was innocent and had been falsely implicated in this case.

Ms Chauhan alleged that Paramjit Kaur was trying to blackmail her in-laws by implicating her son in a false case.

She said her son was chosen for 'media publicity' by the woman. She added that Sarwan is a friend of Varinder, the brother-in-law of Paramjit Kaur.

Paramjit had a dispute with her in-laws and wanted to blackmail them. She said the woman got the instant media coverage by naming her son.

Paramjit Kaur was married to US- based Harmeet Singh in 1989 and has two sons. She divorced her husband in 2003.

In 1991, Paramjit Kaur filed a dowry case against her husband, which was dismissed by a court, said Ms Chauhan.

Ms Chauhan, while pointing out the inconsistency in the statement made by Paramjit Kaur, claimed that Paramjit Kaur had in a daily diary report (DDR) mentioned that the incident occurred on September 8 at around 11.30 am.

In her subsequent complaints, including one made to the SSP, she had mentioned the date of incident as September 9.

Ms Chauhan also alleged that in her DDR report Paramjit Kaur had requested the police to wait for a few days before taking action on her complaint.

Ms Chauhan said on September 6 there was a marriage of her other son and Sarwan was busy making arrangements for the same and had no time to visit anyone. 



Woman moves NHRC against HCS officer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Sector 51, who levelled charges of sexual harassment against an HCS officer Sushil Sarwan today moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission for Women.

In a representation to the NHRC and the NCW, the copies of which were also sent to the Haryana Governor, Ms Paramjit Kaur, alleged threat to her life and lives of her two minor children.

She also demanded a CBI probe into the allegations regarding sexual harassment.



City kid to star in Bollywood film
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
His active four-year old frame belies his name! ‘Sanyam’ (patience) displays remarkable confidence and high energy levels, all of which come easy. It comes as no surprise that this child has been selected in an audition to star in a forthcoming Bollywood movie, “Hum Jee Lenge”, starring Raman Handa, Raima Sen and Vinod Khanna.

Enchanting without being precocious and bright without being forced, it is the film “Dhoom”, Millie Bean (Mr Bean) and Noddy on Cartoon Network that occupies his chatter. While John Abraham is his favourite, enacting songs to describing bike sequences—he captivates his ‘viewers’ with his charming act. A smile that could launch a thousand ships, a cherubic face that could melt hearts, Sanyam is oblivious of his appeal.

“I see ghosts at night in my room. They are very scary.” He parattles on even spilling the family beans. “When my mother and father fight, my father goes after my mother saying sorry, sorry!”

“Milk and roti” are his favourite food while “the football that goes into a basket and the prize that comes after it” (basketball) or then ‘nettis’ (tennis) and the swings at school are his pet sporty activities. No cricket for him though, the ball is too hard!

Being in the nursery class at St Kabir’s his mother Anisha Nikhanj is not too worried about studies. However, she insists that it is only during the holidays that he will act. She is not averse to him becoming an actor so long as he is happy.

For Siddharth Khanna, who heads Hind Talkies Artist Management and Productions, shortlisting Sanyam for his two films is due to an inherent faith in the abilities of the child. “He is going to be the next Shahrukh Khan” is his refrain. Siddharth has two films in the pipeline. One is “Hum Jee Lenge” where Sanyam is slated to play the role of the hero’s brother and will have nine scenes and the other is a crossover film on child labour, where Sanyam will play the lead role.

His folio of work is impressive with several advertisements. 



Administration relaxes building bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The administration has decided to allow certain relaxations in the building bylaws following recommendations of the advisory committee. A press note said the administration had allowed habitable covered area of nine feet in the rear compound of marla houses. The plots measuring one kanal or more will be permitted to have two gates.

The Advisory Council was set up to study the changes that could be allowed in the existing bylaws following the demand by residents of the city. A notification to this regard will be issued shortly.


  • Two gates in plots of one kanal or above.
  • Greater flexibility in construction material.
  • Increased height of second floor of SCOs.
  • Self-certification allowed by private architects.
  • Height of nine feet for additional covered area allowed in the rear courtyard of marla houses.

SCOs in the city will have the liberty to have a greater flexibility in the internal planning. There will be greater freedom in choice of the construction material. It has also been decided that SCOs can have a greater height of the rooms on the second floor.

The administration has agreed to allow self-certification for building plans. The policy is being implemented in case of residential houses only in the first phase. The administration is considering conversion charges for allowing change in trade for showrooms on Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg.

It has also been decided that a high-powered committee will be constituted to address grievances of the public particularly with regard to sanctioning of building plans. The bylaw will be made available on the Internet for direct access by the residents of the city.

Due to lack of fire safety standards and related issues, the administration has decided not to allow commercial use of basements. The administration has also not allowed full coverage of the rear courtyard in Sector 7.

Proposals regarding compulsory solar water heating, water harvesting institutional buildings and energy audit of buildings have been accepted by the administration.

One of the groups of the Advisory Council felt that the vision of the city needs to be kept intact and that the city should continue to be seen as part of the great heritage of India. Essential character of the city should not be changed. The group felt that fresh initiatives need to be taken in respect of architectural and planning innovations with a view to solve some of the problems.

A demand regarding 3-foot cantilever in marla type houses on front side has not been accepted on the grounds of structural stability and street picture.



Jaswinder case: husband's trauma
slows down probe

Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, September 20
The probe in constable Jaswinder Kaur's death case seems to be stuck as the deceased's husband is not in a state of mind to help the experts with investigative tests.

The experts from Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), who were to subject Gurnam Singh — the husband of the deceased — to a lie-detector test, have termed him unfit for the same citing his disturbed state of mind, said the sources in the police department. As such, the test remains inconclusive.

The development is significant as the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police, which is probing the case, has been waiting for the CFSL reports to proceed in the matter.

Attempts to subject Gurnam Singh to a lie-detector test have been going on since last week.

Generally the test takes just three to four days to conclude. But due to his disturbed state of mind, the experts were of the opinion that he was unfit for the test.

The psychologists working with the CFSL experts said Gurnam Singh was still "under shock".

They asked his attendants to console him, said the sources in the police.

"Things were so bad that it was almost impossible to even take Gurnam Singh to the lie-detector machine," the sources added.

They were studying his behaviour all these days and found out during the questioning that Gurnam was disturbed and needed time to come out of shock.

Gurnam Singh initially had been aggrieved over the attitude of the Municipal Corporation's employees for trying to give a different hue to the incident.

He had gone to the extent of saying that MC should dump him in the manhole rather than the dummy to prove their point.

It may be recalled that Jaswinder Kaur had died after allegedly falling into the sewerage line through an open manhole in Sector 30 on August 16.

The local police had subsequently registered a case of death due to negligence against 'unknown persons' in this regard.

Last week, the Municipal Corporation had dumped a dummy in a Sector 30 manhole to prove that the constable's body could not have reached Phase XI in Mohali.

The MC claims were belied on Saturday when the dummy reached Phase XI, although it emerged from a different drain located some 20 feet away from the one in which Jaswinder Kaur's body was found by the police.

Though the Municipal Corporation staff insisted that the experiment was successful as the dummy came out of another drain, the sources in the Chandigarh Police said the authorities were simply trying to "throw dust in the eyes of the people in an apparent attempt to save themselves".

They held that the experiment had no 'legal sanctity' as it was not carried out by the CFSL experts or the investigating agency.



Passing Thru

Anand Ramachandran
Anand Ramachandran, Marketing Manager, Brooke Bond

What is the purpose of your visit?
I am here for the launch of Brooke Bond’s latest offering, Natural Care, a tea with the natural flavours of ginger, ashwaghanda, mulethi, elaichi and tulsi. With increasing preference for herbal, organic and natural things the good old “chai” is gaining new flavours.

Do you think Punjab will be a potential market for your new product?
Punjab is a potential market for the new product with a home brewed formula. It will fetch around 5-10 per cent of regular sales in the first year of launch. The number of tea cups consumed in a day is 10 times more than the number of carbonated drinks consumed. The flavoured tea would be available in two pack sizes — main pack of 250 gm and a trial pack of 100 gm.

How do you intend to promote your newly launched Natural Care flavour?
While the upper income segment is being targeted by the company through the introduction of a variety of tea bags and new flavours, more emphasis will be laid on on-ground samplings to promote the new offering. Besides this, vending machines will be installed at offices, colleges, canteens, airports, malls, etc.

— Poonam Batth 



Admin to acquire Deep Complex land
Residents rue decision
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The Chandigarh Administration, in a significant move, has decided to complete the process of acquiring around 33 acres of land on which a residential colony (Deep Complex) has come up on the outskirts of Hallomajra village.

After taking the possession of land, the administration will have a free hand to remove the unauthorised structures outside the 'lal dora' of the village.

Though the exact number of structures, primarily residential houses, to be affected by the acquisition could not be ascertained, the figure was likely to be around 800.

Breaking the lull of the past seven years, the Administration has now decided to announce the award of the land, including the structures, as it existed according to the surveys of the office of the Land Acquisition Office (LAO).

Sources said survey of the structures had been done by the PWD to ascertain the compensation to be given to the persons in whose name the title of the land stood.

The decision to acquire the land was confirmed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao.

It could not be confirmed whether the authorities concerned would announce the compensation as per the 1999 records or base their compensation on the basis of recent surveys.

Since a number of constructions have come up between 1999 and 2005 and many persons have got the land registered in their name, the number of stake holders in the land has increased manifold.

In 1999, the LAO had calculated the compensation for 31.81 acres of land at around Rs 2 crore. The value of the structures had not been added and it was pending since then.


Around 33 acres of land to be acquired.

Compensation rates yet to be announced by the Administration.

On taking possession, administration would be free to demolish the structures.

No rehabilitation plan for the evacuees made public so far.

The revised awards to be announced soon.

The sources said Administration became strict on the construction outside the 'lal dora' after the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which came in 1997.

Then, the registries were banned but the sale and purchase of land went on till 2002, when the General Power of Attorney (GPA) was banned.

Despite the High Court guidelines, construction activity went on and the revenue officials failed to take note of the emerging issue. Apparently, the patwaris did not inform the authorities and construction kept going on.

Till 1997, there were around 200 houses out the 'lal dora' in Hallo Majra village and today the figure stands at around 800.

Contesting the claim of the administration, the Deep Complex Welfare Association said it had been requesting the former to withdraw the notification as the purpose for which it had been acquired was fulfilled by other means.

The members said land had to be acquired for the CRPF complex but since the paramilitary force had been given land elsewhere, the notification for the Deep Complex should be withdrawn.

They lamented that hundreds of families would be affected due to the acquisition.

They further claimed that in some cases the land had been pledged to the Chandigarh Cooperative Bank for construction of houses. 



MC, Electricity Dept sleep over transformer threat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
In a case of complete neglect in ensuring public safety, the authorities of the Municipal Corporation and the Electricity Department of Chandigarh Administration have turned a blind eye to two power transformers in Sector 16 which are surrounded by the municipal waste and tall grass some of which is dry.

Prof R.L.Bagga, a former head of the Electrical Engineering Department at Punjab Engineering College, said the towers for transformers need a specific design which was absolutely missing at this spot.

The wires were also running low at certain places which was a cause of concern, she said.

Mr Bagga said during the summers there had been at least two cases of fire because of sparking from the transformers which struck the dry garbage.

He added that the Electricity Department and the MC needed to work in unison and look into the matter.

Professor Bagga said the platform under the transformers need to be made concrete or alternate arrangements should be made.



Governor for automation of property records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
With a view to bringing functional efficiency and accountability in the system, Gen S.F.Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab, has directed the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer to carry out the first phase of the automation of the property records in respect of all commercial and residential property in Chandigarh by October 15.

General Rodrigues further directed the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that the building branch records are also automated in a phased manner, through Punjab Engineering College, which has a well-knit infrastructure with qualified manpower. He said a constant coordination must be established with the municipal corporation authorities.

Presiding over a meeting of senior officers, General Rodrigues emphasised the need to be accountable and responsive to words the needs of people. He also stressed institutionalisation of a transparent monitoring and periodical review of the public utility projects and to update them where necessary.

He ordered that all departments be brought online by November, so that the Jan-Sampark Project can be successful. He also asked all administrative secretaries to ensure that an action plan was instituted within 10 days and maintained effectively.

The senior officers who attended the meeting included Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to Administrator, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, Mr R.K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Vivek Attray, Director, IT. 



Insurance staff agitate over wages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Following the call of the General Insurance Employees All India Association, the Chandigarh unit of the Association held a day-long dharna in Sector 17 here today to protest against the inordinate delay in settling the wage revision issue.

According to the president and the secretary of the Chandigarh unit of the association, a large number of employees of the New India Assurance Company Limited, the National Insurance Company, the United India Insurance Company and the Oriental Insurance Company Limited, while addressing the employees, criticised the management for forcing its agenda on the employees, which includes transfer and mobility policy, increase in working hours and reduction in the casual leave of employees.



Rodrigues lauds role of UT police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
General (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, the Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, today met the police officers, including Inspector Jagbir Singh, Inspector Satbir Singh and Inspector Vijay Kumar, who solved the case of recent bomb blast at ISBT, Sector 17, on September 8.

An official press statement said the Governor appreciated the professional competence and role played by the police in achieving success within 24 hours of the incident.

He asked the officers to continue to be vigilant and effective in the performance of their duties.

General Rodrigues also congratulated Kirandeep Kaur who saved the life of a young boy drowning in the Sukhna Lake. He appreciated her courage and complimented her for the positive approach.

Mr Satish Chandra, IG and Mr Gaurav Yadav, the SSP, were also present on the occasion. 



Councillor’s behaviour draws flak
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 20
Employees of the local Municipal Council staged a protest in front of the office of the SDM in Phase I here today against the behaviour of a municipal councillor.

The protest was organised by the joint action committee of the council. A memorandum addressed to the Ropar Deputy Commissioner was presented to the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma. He assured the union leaders that he would talk to the municipal councillor, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, to sort out the matter. He told the employees that the work of the council should not suffer.

The memorandum stated that Mr Sethi had allegedly abused a sanitary inspector, Mr Harbant Singh, on September 13 in the office. The committee demanded that a case should be got registered against Mr Sethi in this regard and a recommendation be made to the government to cancel his membership.

Employees said councillors should get their work done through the president and the executive officer of the civic body instead of directly interacting with them.

The committee said if no action was taken by the authorities concerned regarding their demands, it would be compelled to disrupt essential services like supply of water, streetlight and sanitation work in the town.



Siachen Brigade on cycle expedition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
To spread awareness about social issues among locals and to boost adventure activities amongst Army personnel, the Siachen Brigade is undertaking a cycle expedition from Zero-RD to Karu.

The team comprising an officer, nine other ranks and six civilian boys from Tyakshi village, has covered about 250 km across the world’s highest motorable pass, the 18,630 feet high Khardung La. It is scheduled to be flagged-in on September 23, according to a statement issued here.

The men have not only been carrying out mountain biking in tough terrain, but also organising medical camps, planting saplings, spreading awareness about AIDS, health & hygiene and highlighting the development activities undertaken by Operation Sadbhavana amongst the locals en route.



Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Karnal, September 20
Mr R.L. Malik, father of Mr Sanjay Malik, senior clerk with The Tribune here, died in New Delhi yesterday. He was cremated here this evening. He is survived by two sons, Mr Ajay and Mr Sanjay, and a daughter, Ms Ritu. 



Husband, kin booked in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
A Sector 44 resident and his relatives were booked by the police after his wife accused them of demanding dowry. A maid servant was also booked for allegedly stealing cash and mobile. Besides this, three persons were arrested on the allegations of gambling in a public place and possessing drugs. A scooterist was also injured during the past 24 hours.

A spokesman of the police said Rajinder Singh and others were booked for subjecting a married woman to cruelty and criminal breach of trust under Sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC on wife Sukhwinder Kaur’s complaint.

The complainant had alleged that she had tied the knot with Rajinder Singh in January this year and was being harassed and maltreated for bringing more dowry. The spokesman added that the investigations in the case were being carried by the Woman and Child Support unit of the police.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |