C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Lok Sabha clears VAT for Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Chandigarh, November 29
The Value Added Tax will finally be implemented in Chandigarh as the Lok Sabha today passed the Punjab General Sales Tax (as in force in the Union Territory of Chandigarh) Repeal Bill, 2005. The neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have already implemented this tax system along with other states.

The new tax system may be implemented from next financial year after the Rajya Sabha passes the Bill and the President gives his consent.

Participating in the debate, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Congress MP from Chandigarh, said despite initial resistance to the VAT by a section of traders, the new system is likely to prove beneficial for all sections. ‘‘There is always resistance to a new move even if it is good for the people’’, he said. He felt that due to the absence of knowledge of its benefits a section of traders had opposed this system.

However, there is a gradual acceptance of the VAT in Punjab as well, he said and cited the example of a letter from a Chemist Association advocating the need for VAT in Chandigarh. He called for a proper study of VAT before it was introduced in Chandigarh so as to create a congenial condition for the VAT regime to rule out the possibility of harassment of traders.

Members participating in the debate also demanded that VAT, as applicable in Punjab, should be first studied and reviewed to assess its benefits before it is introduced in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Initiating the debate, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna (BJP) said people in Punjab were experiencing difficulties ever since VAT was introduced there as there were two slabs of rates of the tax. This had resulted in widespread opposition of VAT with its opponents saying that the tax rates outside the state were lower.

Earlier, moving the Bill for consideration, Minister of State for Home S.Regupathy said the Bill was intended to pave the way for the Union Territory to follow the other states of the country in adopting VAT. The ongoing winter session of Parliament is expected to give a formal clearance.

The implementation of VAT had been held up in Chandigarh, as it was, so far, governed by the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1952. To implement VAT the latter had to be repealed. In case of Chandigarh — a Union Territory governed directly by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs — the powers to repeal an Act are with Parliament.

Since the Chandigarh Administration could not work with two different sets of rules, one had to be repealed. The file to repeal the Punjab General Sales Tax, 1952, had been sent to the MHA some time in March this year. Interestingly, the matter was also listed for discussion during the last Parliament session. However, no discussions were held.

VAT has been implemented in a majority of the states as an effort to have a uniform tax policy all over the country. Financial experts feel that VAT had come in as an effort by the Centre to have a uniform tax policy in all states.

Except in certain BJP ruled states, VAT has already been implemented in other states. The tax rates for general items varied from state to state as did the tax on luxuries and other items. Thus VAT was introduced.

The Centre had also assured the states that in case they suffered any losses under the new taxation policy, in overall revenue, the Centre would compensate them

Meanwhile, talking to the Chandigarh Tribune on telephone after the conclusion of the Parliamentary session for the day, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local Member of Parliament, said the House had repealed the Punjab Sales Tax Act, 1952, which was the only hurdle in implementation of the VAT.

Mr S.K.Sandhu, the Finance Secretary, said the UT was fully prepared for the implementation of VAT as a part of the Centre’s effort to have a uniform tax policy at the national level. Various details regarding the implementation of VAT had been clearly worked out, well in advance.

Mr Bansal said ‘‘the Administration needs to avoid the difficulties that were encountered by the Punjab Government in implementation of the VAT. It is felt that even officials of the enforcement agency needed to be informed about the details regarding the implementation of VAT to avoid problems regarding procedural conduct in implementation.’’



HC quashes FIR against Brigadier in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Almost a year after Brig M.P. Singh (Retd) and his son, Harkirat, were arrested in the Nancy dowry case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today came to the rescue of the family by quashing the FIR in the case.

Earlier, the high court had ordered stay on the proceedings in the trial court on August 23 this year.

The Nancy dowry case had hit headlines in December last year when the father of the girl,Lieut-Col Raghbir Singh, had alleged that Brig M.P. Singh had demanded huge dowry, including an Esteem car, for solemnising the marriage.

Within hours of the filing of the FIR on December 9, the Chandigarh police had arrested the Brig and his son. Alleging a partisan role by the police, the Brigadier had represented to the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), pleading for a “fair” investigation in the case.

The family repeatedly pointed out that no case was made under the dowry prohibition Act as only “roka” had been performed. After that the idea of marriage had to be dropped on account of “mistrust and misunderstanding” developing between the boy and the girl.

Saying that his family’s honour had been restored, Brig M.P. Singh said the dowry Act was very good for protecting the interests of women. However, in several cases it has been misused by certain unscrupulous parents, he added

However, on August 6 this year, Col Raghbir Singh agreed that due to “differences and temperaments” of the boy and girl the relations could not be maintained. Following the “compromise” the high court quashed the FIR bringing relief to the family.



Fresh complaints against immigration firm MD
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police today received 20 more complaints against the Managing Director of Sector 35-C based Durga Finance and Immigration Consultants, who was arrested on the allegations of duping two Haryana residents of Rs 2 lakh on the pretext of sending them abroad.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune the Crime Branch in-charge Inspector Satbir Singh said 70 more passports had been recovered from Anjali Kaplish. The police has received as many as 20 fresh complaints against her filed by 29 victims. If the allegations of the complainants are to be believed she is suspected to have duped people to the tune of more than Rs 30 lakh.

Sources in the crime branch added that the police has so far recovered only 70 passports and only 29 complainants had approached the police as yet. The police is expecting more such complaints in the coming days against her.

The complainants hailing from the different parts of Punjab and the adjoining areas made a beeline for the crime branch following the publication of a news item about the arrest of Anjali Kaplish, alias Neena Sharma, managing director of the travel agency. The complainants went to her office in Sector 35 this morning before they were directed to go to the crime branch.

A number of people standing outside the Crime Branch to register their complaints alleged that the accused had been making promises with them to arrange for a work permit of Canada and Australia against payment varying from Rs 30,000 to Rs 2 lakh depending on the case. After taking the money from them she started dilly dallying and began avoiding them. It was also alleged that she also refused to return their passports. Till late in the evening the complainants kept on coming to the police.

Ms Kapila Bali of Mahalpur village in Hoshiarpur district said she had given Rs 2.7 lakh and six passports to the accused.

A case of cheating had been registered against Anjali Kaplish following a complaint made by Mr Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Medond village in Fatehabad district in Haryana. He alleged that he had given Rs 1.5 lakh to the accused to get a three-month work permit in Australia.

Giving details about Anjali Kaplish sources in the Crime Branch said she was living in Ropar district. Her husband, Mangat Ram is a chemical engineer settled in Australia. She has moved the court seeking a divorce from him. Her father is a Sub-Inspector in Punjab Police and he had reportedly severed ties with her, the sources stated.



IT raids in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
A team of income tax sleuths conducted search and seizure operations on traders dealing in modular kitchens and kitchen appliances in Panchkula and in NAC Mani Majra. The operation began in the morning, and was continuing till the filing of this report. The sleuths were checking records in the premises of Faber Galleria RCS II, Kitchen Makers and Kitchen Shapes in Sector 11 here, and in RCS showroom in NAC market, Mani Majra. A factory in Industrial Area here, too, was searched by the IT officials.

Director Investigations, Income Tax, Mr T C Modi, when contacted confirmed that the five premises were being searched, but said that the details of the operation would be available only after the operation was over.



Bachelor jumps into Sukhna, saved
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
Depressed over not getting married, a 30-year-old man allegedly attempted to end his life by jumping into Sukhna Lake early this morning. The cops on duty saw him jumping and pulled him out before it was too late.

Giving details, the sources at the Sukhna Lake police post said Yadvinder Singh allegedly jumped in the lake near the spot of boarding of boats at around 6 am. On seeing this constable Mahipal and Sanjeev Masih jumped in and pulled him out.



Passing Thru

Dr Ramesh Tainwala
Dr Ramesh Tainwala, president, Samsonite South Asia Pvt Ltd

Q : What is the purpose of your visit to the city?

Ans: Samsonite India is going in for expansion. I have come for the opening of yet another exclusive showroom in the city to provide our customers with total luggage solutions. With this the number of showrooms in the country will go up to 139.

Q : What is your expansion strategy?

Ans: To consolidate the domestic market. About 85 per cent of the current production is being exported to markets in Europe, USA and Japan. The company, which already has 138 stores in the country, plans to expand its retail base by opening some more Samsonite original stores in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar.

Q : Which is your latest collection?

Ans: We have launched a special leather Pro- Dlx collection targeting a selective audience, comprising mainly executives in the corporate sector. It comprises a wide range from wallets to laptop bags in leather, which has of late become the most important executive accessory in India.

Q : What is the focus of the company?

Ans: The focus will be on a special range of bag packs for the youth. Aggressive product and advertisement strategies have been started to enhance the brand image further.

— Poonam Batth



Exclusion of land from forest area: meeting called
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 29
Punjab Cabinet Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang has called a special meeting of Forest and Local Bodies Department to discuss the exclusion of 69,000 hectares of land in Punjab from the forest area notified under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 but reportedly not recorded as forests in the revenue record. A meeting of the state government would then be held with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to resolve the issue.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Kang said the Punjab Government had done its bit in declaring the notified area committee (NAC) for Nayagaon, but since the area attracted the provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act 1900, the government could not go ahead with the notification of the NAC.

He said the Supreme Court had directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest in its order dated September 9, 2005 to consider the proposal of the Punjab Government for exclusion of 69,000 hectare of habitated and cultivated land from the list of forest area, in accordance with the rules, procedures and guidelines laid down under the Forest Conservation Act within eight weeks.

Earlier, the Punjab Government had filed an affidavit before the special empowered committee of the Supreme Court, stating that around 69,300 hectares under cultivation and habitation had been wrongfully marked as forest land, and the land be removed from the state list of “forest areas”. This includes most of the Shivalik belt of Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Ropar districts in Punjab.

Setting speculation at rest about stay on making of new ration cards by the Forest Department in these villages, Mr Kang said ration cards would be made in routine without any interference by the Punjab Forest Department. He stated that old constructions in Nayagaon and allied villages would not be demolished. At the same time he appealed to the residents of the area to cooperate with the government and start new construction only after NAC comes into being.

According to Mr Kang, while these areas are notified under Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, these are not recorded as forest land in the revenue records. “These areas have been erroneously entered as forest areas in the record of the Punjab Forest Department, though they are under bonafide cultivation and habitation since several decades,” Mr Kang said adding that as referred by the Supreme Court, appropriate permission would be taken from the concerned authorities to ensure NAC status for these villages.

Sources added that the error occurred when the state Forest Department in light of the definition of forest areas reiterated by the Supreme Court in its judgment dated December 12, 1996, notified the land as forest land. The state submitted affidavits before the Supreme Court in 1996 and 1998 regarding various categories of forest areas in Punjab. It included this land in the category of ‘Areas closed under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900’.



Assaults on public servants on the rise
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Public servants, including cops, are at the receiving end. So far this year, as many as 16 government employees have been assaulted by miscreants in different parts of the city. In September alone, three public servants were attacked. A majority of them were cops.

Though senior police officers are maintaining strict silence over the issue, sources in the police headquarters say that more government employees have been assaulted so far this year than in entire 2004. Last year, just 14 public servants had to bear the brunt.

Giving details, sources say that a substantial number of the victims were traffic policemen injured while discharging their duties. Quoting an example, the sources say that only last month a cop sustained serious injuries after he tried to stop an erring driver on the road dividing Sector 15 and 16.

He was rushed to a hospital where the doctors diagnosed a broken leg, besides other injuries.

The sources add that policing in Chandigarh has never been easy due to the presence of so many VIPs and their wards in the city. “Every second driver you stop is related either to a senior Punjab Police functionary, or some bureaucrat in the UT Administration. If neither of the two, he is related to some politician in Haryana,” rues a traffic police constable on the condition of anonymity.

The constable adds that some of them not only misbehave, but go to the extent of threatening the cops with dire consequences.

The constable claims that only recently a VIP brat nearly rammed into him in an attempt to avoid being caught for jumping red lights on the busy Chandigarh-Panchkula highway.

“Instead of showing any remorse, he started abusing and threatening me,” the constable recalls, adding that the driver within minutes mustered support in his favour by calling a senior government officer to the spot after making several phone calls. Flashing a sarcastic smile, he refuses to tell you the outcome of the case.

The sources add that the cops, taking a serious view of the matter, have now decided to use cameras more extensively. “The intention is to make sure that the erring drivers do not get off the hook without paying for their mistakes,” the sources assert.

They add that the traffic wing of the Chandigarh police has already acquired six digital cameras, besides three state-of-the-art handycams to capture photographic evidence against the assaulters and violators.



HUDA must do its homework: police
Demolition drive falls flat again
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
The subsequent failure of the enforcement wing of HUDA to verify facts before initiating an anti-encroachment drive has irked the police.

During the past month, HUDA had sought the help of the police on two occasions, including today at Railla village for maintaining law and order to carry out demolition drives. However, on both occasions, the drive was called off after the police and the HUDA staff reached the spot, only to find that there was a stay against the demolition.

Senior police officials, requesting anonymity, said HUDA should first verify if there was a stay against the demolition before it made requests for police force. “After all, we have to withdraw our men from routine work for such exigencies,” he said.

About two weeks ago, the police was called by HUDA for a demolition drive in Sector 19. It was only after reaching the spot that the staff discovered that a status quo had been granted by a Rajpura court on the disputed site, thus the drive was called off.

Today, about 30 cops, drawn from various police stations and reserve force, was sent to the HUDA Complex in Sector 6 this morning. Along with labour from three engineering wings of HUDA and revenue officials, the enforcement staff reached the spot, only to be told that a portion of the land they wanted to get vacated was under a court stay. Revenue officials, too, had failed to demarcate the land under encroachments.

The police left after waiting for three hours.



Under-privileged children get uniforms
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 29
The Forum of Senior Citizens in Education (FSCE) — a group of senior citizens running a non- formal school for the under-privileged children, called SETU, today organised their annual function at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 15.

FSCE, which was born last year, has adopted 79 children from the nearby slums and provide education to them. The district education authorities allowed the forum to use a classroom in Sector 15 after the school hours.

The forum hired a teacher to give basic education, and since then the children, who work as rag pickers or beg outside the Sector 15 temple, are learning to read and write, besides being taught discipline, social and moral values. ‘‘The idea is to give a holistic education to these children. Many of the children are abused at home by their alcoholic fathers. Others are forced to beg, or have left home to take care of younger siblings, while parents go out to work as daily wagers. Thus, we started the school in the afternoon, and allow the children to bring along their younger siblings,’’ informed Dr S. Kumar, General Secretary of the forum.

Mr Ankur Gupta, State Project Director, Haryana Prathmik Pariyojna Parishad, was the chief guest on the occasion. He lauded the efforts of the forum and assured all possible help to the forum for supplementing the efforts of the government in removing illiteracy, through programmes like Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

As many as 49 children, who are in this non- formal school since its inception, were given school uniforms and some goodies by a member of the forum, Mr K.C Garg.

The elated children, many of whom have never owned a piece of warm clothing, were delighted to receive the gifts. Five- year-old Rinku, who has been attending school only in his under garments, was delighted to receive a school uniform. " I have never owned any clothes. Now, I will wear new clothes to school,’’ he said. 



Permanent rehabilitation centre for special kids
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
There is good news for families of mentally challenged children. A centre for life-long rehabilitation of such children will come up in Sector 36 at a cost of around Rs 2 crore.

The foundation stone of Udit, which would impart education, vocational training and sports, was today laid by the UT Administrator, Gen S.F.Rodrigues (retd).

Though there are other centres for the rehabilitation of such children, the proposed centre of the Special Olympics Bharat, Chandigarh, would work in the direction of creating awareness among the families of such children.

Once complete, the 11 children at the vocational training centre being run in Sector 11, would be accommodated at Udit.

The Administrator said the purpose was to empower children with intellectual disabilities and give them opportunities to develop their potential.

He said special children should be given opportunities of training through an interactive process, sharing their lives with normal humans. Teachers and trainers must inculcate confidence and among the children.

“With a view to ensuring the rehabilitation of mentally challenged children, the Administration has a programme for launching a project for housing 10,00 children. The centre will provide all kinds of facilities to the children and adults to help them in their empowerment, under the guidance of professionals and experts in different areas of human resource development”, he added.

Ms Promila Chandra Mohan, CEO, Special Olympics Bharat, said the centre would be constructed on an area of 5,449 sq yard.

She said the city had achieved distinction in various national and international events in the past and the children won gold, silver and bronze medals.



Kashmir will have amicable solution: Pak scholars
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
“Long-term solution to the Kashmir issue depends on how India accommodates Kashmiris in the region. The Kashmiris are dissatisfied and a change is now required. As long as there are dissatisfied Kashmiris, unwanted elements will continue to be present there,” stated Saeed Shafqat, Executive Director, National Institute of Population Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is here for the Fulbright review conference entitled “Fulbrighters: Cultural Ambassadors,” for Fulbrighters in South Asia at Hotel Mountview.

“Maximising autonomy within Kashmir is one solution, territorial redistribution, could be another,” he suggested. His colleague, also from Islamabad, Ijaz Hussain, ex-professor of International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, added that the “The people of Pakistan have varied opinions on the Kashmir issue. Borders are manmade and with a little give and take from both sides a solution could be soon arrived at”.

Representing an older generation of Pakistan, these two scholars feel that the mindset of the people are changing and the Kashmir issue will see an amicable resolve soon. “We need to educate people on peace, from telling them why a conflict, it is time to tell them, why peace,” stated Saeed Shafqat.

Information Technology is another sector that these scholars feel both the countries can benefit from each other. Kargil, they feel, was a one-time exception and they feel that now it is only peace that will prevail, eventually.

Talking about the United States Saeed stated that “The relations between United States and Pakistan are strategic in nature. The US knows what it wants and pursues its goals.” Talking about the Pak-US relations he felt that Pakistan was learning to adjust where required and the relations were looking up after the recent earthquake and the aid that poured on from the US.

Earlier in the day scholars from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the US shared their experiences in South Asia and the US.

They spoke about natural disaster and its management and the role Fulbrighters play during such times. Speaking about the various disasters that had struck their respective countries, it was finally concluded that it was very important to have experts and institutions that deal with the same on a immediate basis.



Aiming to bridge differences between India, Pak
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
It is not easy to act impartial and promote the interest of three different countries, especially when you have an emotionally and cultural bonding with each. The task becomes daunting if there is a clash of interests between these nations. However, this emotional and cultural link is exactly what Adnan Siddiqi is exploiting to help bridge differences and promote understanding among India, Pakistan and the United States.

Born to an Indian family that moved to Pakistan and then immigrated to the United States, Adnan Siddiqi, Chairman of the Board of the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), is equally comfortable while interacting with his superiors at the US State Department and in dealing with Indian and Pakistani diplomats and politicians. “I grew up in New York, but I feel equally connected to India and Pakistan. My father was born in Kanpur, my mother in Delhi and then they moved to Karachi before going to New York.

After spending 22 years in the Middle East, where he met his wife Tunisia, he wanted his children to discover their roots and see what his side of the family looked like. So he sought a posting here.

Even though, Siddiqi’s boss - US Ambassador David Mullford sets his professional agenda based on the US policy in South Asia, Siddiqi’s understanding of cultural and social values coupled by his ability to communicate in chaste Hindi and Urdu gives him the advantage of passing off as a “desi”. This in turn, he says, helps in a better synergy, thereby allowing achieving the desired objectives in terms of promoting understanding between the two sides. Siddiqi recently volunteered to deliver talks at Karachi University, dispelling misgivings in Pakistan about the Muslims in India as an effort in this direction.

Currently in town to participate in the ongoing Fulbright Review Conference for Fulbrighters in South Asia, Siddiqi says, “it is the first time I am trying to explore my full potential. This tenure has been a dream come true and I view this as an opportunity to achieve a significant progress in bridging the differences between India and Pakistan”.

Siddiqi overseas administering of the Fulbright Program in India, but his association with Fulbright goes back by a generation. A Fulbright Fellowship took his India-born father, Anis Ahmed Siddiqi, to the United States, providing more opportunities to the family. Now Siddiqi is trying to seek additional grants from the private sector to benefit more bright people.

New fellowship programs are being developed by USEFI Board that includes five Indians. They have identified agriculture, biotechnology, environment, public administration and law as the important areas keeping in mind India’s future needs.

Siddiqi now aims at securing some private funding for the Fulbright Educational Exchange Program (FEEP). Every year the USEFI has to lobby for more grants from the US Congress. Normally, USEFI get $ .6 million in annual budgetary grants. A committee, he said, had been set up at the USEFI to tie up with private sector companies for and the USEFI has already signed five cost share- agreements.



Belgium companies keen on tie-ups with Indian industry
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Citizens of the small but prosperous western European country of Belgium are increasingly investing in the Indian stock market. "The number of people from Belgium buying shares in India has gone up significantly in the past two years," Mr Jos Chabert, a former Belgian finance minister and now Vice-President of the Brussels Parliament, said.

Stating that this practice also reflected the general investment trend in some European countries, Mr Chabert, while speaking to The Tribune here today, said, "We cannot term the number of investors or the quantum of investment as marginal. Yes, it is a significant development."

The investments, he added, were by individuals and not any institution. At the same time Belgian companies are looking to tie-ups in the local industry in India.

He was here to deliver a talk at the second National Seminar on Management Practices and Provision of Civic Services in European Countries and Progressive Indian States, here.

The seminar is being organised by the Centre for Research in Industrial and Rural Development (CRRID), Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Study Group for European Polices, Brussels.

Stating that Europeans are amazed at the sustained and stable level of growth in India, Mr Chabert said that India was increasing its political influence and economic power in the international arena.

Referring to the Sensex touching a record high of 9,005 points yesterday, he said at the moment, India was a lot more business like than China, which had made significant investments in Belgium. Though Belgium has also made a lot of investment in China and Belgian markets are selling large quantities of Chinese goods, Mr Chabert said it was not easy to invest in China as the country lacked flexibility as compared to India.

This is Mr Chabert's first visit to India, which in his words, has opened up a whole new world for him. He has also served as president of the European Union's Committee of the Regions, a political assembly that provides local and regional authorities with a voice at the heart of the European Union.The Belgian minister said that democracy, political stability, strong growth and well-managed economy coupled with skilled manpower and a good labour force were factors working in India's favour.

"It is my conviction that if India can empower local government, it will make it more stable and prosperous. It is people at the grassroots level who know what is to be done at the local level and how best to get it done," he said. "Centralised management is too bureaucratic and it effects the dynamics of expansion and growth," he added.

Mr Chabert, however, cautioned that a lot was still to be done and tackling poverty was the primary concern. "With a god economy, the level of poverty will gradually come down," he said.



Innovative solid waste management discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Various aspects pertaining to the functioning of local self-governments in European Union countries was discussed at a seminar "Management Practices and Provision of Civic Services" in European countries and Progressive Indian states here today.

A number of elected representatives, local political leaders and experts from Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and India presented talks and shared their experiences about local governance with the delegates at the seminar.

The two-day seminar is being organised by the Centre for Research in Industrial and Rural Development (CRRID), Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Study Group for European Polices, Brussels.

The main objective of the seminar is to discuss the best practices adopted by the urban and rural local self-government institutions in European Union countries and Progressive Indian states.

Principal Coordinator and Honorary Director, Urban Governance and Development, CRRID, Mr J P Gupta, gave a presentation of management practices in local self-government institutions in the United Kingdom and Italy, while Mr Manoj Teotia of CRRID spoke upon innovative solid waste management in Italy.

Waste collection and disposal is taken as challenge all over Europe and the European Union has laid targets to reduce waste generation by 15 per cent by 2020. Households pay a dumping fee to share the cost of waste disposal and regeneration culture has taken root in Europe.

Municipalities are free to undertake development and welfare projects, including assisting the poor and provision of health and educational facilities. There is a lot of participation by public at large and there is total transparency in the working of councils and municipalities.

Management practices in local self-governments in the Netherlands were delved upon by Alderman, Midden Delfland Council. He discussed development planning, financing, provision of civic services and the participation of local private agencies in governance.

An overview on provision of urban facilities in rural areas was given by Dr P.S Rana, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of HUDCO. Management practices in local self government institutions in Finland, Spain and Belgium were also discussed by research scholars.



MC adds style, comfort to bus queue shelters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The city will have new state-of-the-art bus queue shelters for commuters.

These bus queue shelters are coming up with private parties’ participation and will be on build, own and transfer (BOT) basis. Residents can hope for a comfortable wait for Chandigarh Transport Undertaking( CTU) buses.

In fact, sources said with the Chandigarh Administration set to introduce the grid system through the recently procured low floor buses, a major revamp of the public transport system was underway.

Each shelter is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 2 lakh.

Till now, about 50 bus stands have either been completed or were in the process of completion. Another 40 are in the pipeline.

The private parties, which will bear the cost of construction of the bus stands, will keep them for displaying their advertisements for a fixed term before transferring them to the corporation.

The civic body will earn crores of rupees through the licence fee, it is estimated.



Developmental works inspected by MC Administrator
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 29
The Administrator of the local Municipal Council, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, today inspected the ongoing developmental works of the civic body in different parts of the town here today.

The inspection drive started from Sector 68 where the construction of the office building of the council is in progress.

Mr Sandhu told council officials to get the building work completed at the earliest so that the civic body could shift its offices from the rented accommodation.

It is learnt that Mr Sandhu then went to Phase IX Industrial Area, apart from visiting other parts of the town.

He wanted that the parking area in a pocket of Phase III B 2 should be increased as the place remained congested.

Mr Sandhu was accompanied by Mr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, Executive Officer, Mr Tarsem Singh Rai, Municipal Engineer, SDOs and JEs.



Road safety programme
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
Society for Social Health Chandigarh, today organised a road safety awareness programme in Saheli Angan, a centre for adolescent girls run by the society in Sector 41.

A spokesman of the society said more than 50 girl members of Saheli Angan attended the programme. Traffic police officers explained the importance of road signs and traffic rules. Mr Des Raj Head Constable in traffic police recited a poem based on themes pertaining to road safety and importance of wearing helmets by women.



Police probing lawyer’s complaint
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
The local police is probing a complaint filed by a city based lawyer and human rights activist alleging that he had received a threat tening letter.

Sources in the police said Mr Amar Singh Chahal of Sector 8, a lawyer and human rights activist, lodged a complaint that he had received a letter of threat warning him of dire consequences from an unidentified person previous day.

The police sources added that the hand writing of the letter was similar to the letter received by another human rights activist earlier this month. A daily diary report has been registered in this regard in the Sector 3 police station.

Meanwhile, during the day the human rights activists hailing from Punjab and Chandigarh met Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, to apprise him of the role of certain people from his party who were trying to shield the people involved in alleged land grabbing in Kansal village bordering Chandigarh.



Watchman nabbed for theft
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 29
A watchman was caught red-handed while committing a theft in Industrial Area. Besides, a motorcycle and a scooter were stolen from the city. Elsewhere in the city, two incidents of burglary were reported to the police in the past 24 hours.

Mr Sunil Dixit of plot number 104, Phase I, Industrial Area, lodged a complaint to the police alleging that Sanjay Kumar, a watchman employed at the factory premises, was caught red-handed with 137 soap cakes of two different brands, five bundles of thread and six bundles of plastic strings on Monday. A case has been registered in this regard.


Mr Ashok Garg of Sector 35 filed a complaint with the police alleging that one gold ring, four anklets and Rs 3,000 in cash were stolen from his residence on Sunday night. In another incident, Mr Harbhajan Singh of Sector 47 reported to the police alleging that DVD and mobile phone instruments were stolen from his shop after breaking the locks in Burail village on Sunday night.

Two separate cases have been registered in the various police stations in this regard.

Vehicle stolen

Mr G.K. Singh of Sector 47 filed a complaint with the police alleging that his Hero Honda Motorcycle (WB-24-B-2655) was stolen from his residence on November 27 night. In another incident, Mr Deepak Jain of Sector 7 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his scooter (PB-28-A-4550) was stolen from the parking area of Sector 8 market on November 24.

Two separate cases of thefts under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code have been registered.


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