C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Celebration time at Democrat Goyle’s residence
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mr Jawahar Goyal (extreme left) celebrates the victory of his first cousin, Mr Raj Goyle, with his family members in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Mr Jawahar Goyal (extreme left) celebrates the victory of his first cousin, Mr Raj Goyle, with his family members in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 8
The mood in the Goyal family was upbeat today at their residence, 1042, Sector 27, here. The reason: their adorable and the most talented family member, Raj Goyle (Americanised for Goyal), has brought glory to the family as well as the nation by winning the state representative elections at Wichita in Kansas (USA) today.

Merriment broke loose as soon as the results were announced. The whole family, including Raj Goyle’s first cousin, Mr Jawahar Goyal, his wife Mrs Raj Goyal, their daughter Poonam and son-in-law Ashwini Gupta, which stuck to the television and Internet to get the latest news, started distributing sweets among each other and friends’ circle.

Talking to TNS, Mr Jawahar Goyal said, “We all were very positive about the result and it came according to our expectations. Actually, Raj worked very hard during his campaign. I was in regular touch with Raj and my uncle Dr Krishan Goyle (Raj’s father) during the campaigning days. I suggested to him to meet the maximum number of voters personally before the elections, and the strategy worked”.

Democrat Raj Goyle scored one of the biggest upsets as he beat three-term representative Bonnie Huy for the District 87 Kansas House seat. Terming the moment as the biggest one of their life his ‘bhabhi’, Mrs Raj Goyal, said, “Raj has made us all proud with his achievement. He is the first American of Indian origin who won the elections in this pocket, which has been considered a staunch Republican seat. We all are very happy”.

The family could not talk to Raj Goyle as he was away to Democrats’ headquarters. “We all are waiting eagerly for his call. As my two brothers are out of town for some business assignments, we will arrange a big bash to celebrate the occasion after their coming”, said Mr Jawahar Goyal. One of the brothers of Mr Jawahar Goyal, Mr Ashok Goyal, resides at Patiala, while the other, Mr Kamal Goyal lives at Panchkula.

Telling about his family, which belongs to Raman Mandi of Bathinda district in Punjab, Mr Jawahar Goyal said, “My uncle shifted to America in 1971 after doing his MD in medicine. Raj, who is 31, and a lawyer by profession, was born and brought up in America.

Terming Raj as a brilliant boy, Mr Jawahar Goyal said Raj was very good in sports as well as academics. During his school days once he won all the seven awards of the school. Even these days he worked for downtrodden people and fights their cases free of cost.”

Raj visited the city in 2004 during the marriage of Mr Jawahar’s son.



Plot holders get 1-year extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Chandigarh Administration has allowed one-year extension to plot holders, subject to the payment of increased extension fee.

Amending the Chandigarh Lease Hold of Sites and Building Rules, 1973, the Administration allowed extension till March 31, 2007. The extension fee for residential, institutional and other categories of sites has been fixed at Rs 375 per sq metre.

For commercial and industrial buildings, the extension fee has been fixed at Rs 750 per sq metre. It has been specified that those lessees who do not carry out construction on vacant plots within the given period would face action. 



Naya Gaon — nagar or panchayat?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Despite clear orders from the Chief Secretary, Punjab, to the Department of Local Government to “re-issue” an amended notification regarding the constitution of the Naya Gaon Nagar Panchayat, the department has instead put an executive officer on the job to go ahead with the implementation of the notification. The executive officer, according to sources, has been asked to start the process of the formation of the nagar panchayat.

The Department of Forests had “warned” the Department of Local Government that the notification of the nagar panchayat in an area locked under various forest acts would amount to the contempt of a Supreme Court order on the matter.

The Department of Local Government, however, insisted that it was legally sound in having issued the notification. Resolving the stalemate between the two departments, the Chief Secretary had directed the local government officials to amend the notification, adding various riders due to the forest laws imposed in the area.

Other than the objections raised by the Department of Forests, serious lacunae have also been discovered in the process by which this notification has been issued.

Mr Pritam Singh Kumedan a former forest official, in a letter to the Punjab Governor has highlighted that the said notification was illegal since it had not been issued by the Governor but only by the government.

“The notification constituting the Naya Gaon Nagar Panchayat has been issued under Section 4 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, and Article 243Q of the Constitution of India. Under Article 243Q(2) of the Constitution, it is the Governor of Punjab who is to specify by public notification, after taking into consideration certain factors like population, revenue generated for the administration etc, if he deems it to be a fit area to be declared as a transitional area, states the letter by Mr Kumedan.

Requesting the Governor to intervene in the matter, Mr Kumedan has further stated that as per Article 243Q, the Governor of Punjab, before issuing the notification, should have taken many factors into consideration including the population of the area, density of population, revenue generated for the local administration, percentage of employment in the non-agricultural activities and economic importance etc.

“I think the Naya Gaon Nagar Panchayat does not fulfil even one of the above conditions. Population means legally settled population and not population settled illegally. Almost 90 per cent of the population of the area is illegal population, settled in the area in violation of the provisions of the Forest Acts and the Chandigarh Periphery Act, 1952,” he wrote.

“The local population is being misled to believe that all illegal constructions in the area will be automatically regularised as soon as the nagar panchayat is constituted. The Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, applies to all lands in the villages in the periphery except village abadis,” he further wrote. 



Citizen’s Audit
Seems Admn has no ‘smriti’ of Smriti Upvana
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Seeing the shambles in which ‘Smriti Upvana’, the ambitious project of the Chandigarh Administration, exists today, one wonders if it was a good idea to have an ‘upvan’(man-made garden) within a ‘van’ (natural forest). The overgrowth of grass shows no marks of any human entry over the years.

The gates that lead to the garden are locked. A forest official said, “We had to resort to closing the gates to prevent misuse of the complex.”

Mr S.S. Ray, former Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, laid the foundation stone of the garden in 1988. But for a plaque, it was difficult to identify even the tree Mrs Ray had planted in the memory of her mother.

Smriti Upvana was the brainwork of Mr Ashok Pardhan, the then UT Adviser. The idea was to encourage people to plant trees which they could name in the memory of their loved ones.

The plaque reads that the park was inaugurated to mark the beginning of the birth centenary celebrations of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Deputy Forest Conservator Ishwar Singh said, “The very concept of plantation within an already dense forest was not a good one. There are plenty of vacant spots in the city which could have been considered for plantation.”

Former joint-secretary of the Save Sukhna Society Kailash Nath said, “The ‘upvan’ is another government scheme launched by one administrator and forgotten by the rest.”

Dr Narinder Singh, a retired lecturer, said, “It will be interesting to find out if there was any mention of the project in the audit of the city projects. I am sure money in lakhs has been wasted.”



Pak boys love Indian food, movies
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Besides playing cricket, winning the hearts of the people of India was their motive and they achieved it in just three days.

The young cricketers from Pakistan, accompanied by their coach Gaffar Kazmi and assistant coaches Shahzad Quereshi and Ayesha, have won many a friend in Chandigarh during their four-day stay here.

The team was in the city to play Friendship Series (U-13) of three limited over matches against the team of the DAV College Centre of Cricketing Excellence at DAV College, Sector 10. All boys were students of Lahore Grammar School.

“Though we lost the series, yet the trip to this beautiful city is an unforgettable experience for us. During our stay here we got an opportunity to learn new trades of life”, gushed Saad Manzoor, skipper of the team.

Besides playing cricket, the young guests from across the border made most of the opportunity by watching movies in the multiplex and relishing Indian food, especially South Indian dishes.

Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Don’ and ‘Paani Poori’ were the biggest hits among these guests across the border. “Watching Shah Rukh on the big screen was altogether a different experience. Apart from that, we are relishing new dishes like idly-sambar, dosa and utthapam, etc,” said Mohammad Ali, a student of Class VIII and a big fan of Rahul Dravid.

For Nabeel, a student of Class IX, both countries are almost same. “The only difference between Lahore and Chandigarh is the traffic system. Here in Chandigarh, the traffic system is well organised and better than Lahore”, opined Nabeel.

Terming the trip a good experience as well as exposure for young cricketers, the coach of the team, Gaffar Kazmi, was of the view: “These types of trips play a big role in improving the relationship between the countries. Such tours should also be encouraged as these provide much-needed exposure to players”



Admn to review Rent Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The Chandigarh Administration will review the Rent Act notification following the quash orders passed by the Supreme Court yesterday.

Finance Secretary S.K. Sandhu said “I cannot exactly speak about the implications and the changes, if any, till the time the administration gets a copy of the order. We will have a round of discussions with both landlords and the tenants, separately, and, maybe, also on a common platform to resolve the issue and make practical changes, if needed.”

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) today said that they had made all out efforts for getting the Rent Act quashed. In a press note issued here today, the mandal claimed that they were the first ones to protest against the notification, when it was issued in 2001.

While congratulating the commercial tenants in the city, the mandal said that they had won the battle against all odds, as even local politicians were not willing to speak up in favour of the tenants. “After failing to get any relief from the Chandigarh Administration for commercial tenants, the CBM started the agitation and organised bandhs, dharnas and started rasta roko campaigns,” said the note.



Watch out

A product of the Chandigarh Hockey Academy, Sector 42, Harmanpreet Singh has been putting up great performance in the ongoing 35th Nehru Junior Hockey Tournament in New Delhi.

The right-in striker has so far pumped in six goals against the J&K team, two goals against Kolhapur (Maharashtra) and one goal against Jalandhar. The talented striker has been representing the Chandigarh’s Government Model School team there.

Harman was also part of the Chandigarh team, which won the national championship in the under-16 category this year.



In Town

Prof Pier Carlo Padoan, Professor of Economics at the University of Rome and the Director of the Italian Europei Foundation, is in Chandigarh to chair a session on “Economic Dimensions of Peace and Development in the Interdependent World”, being organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Research (CRRID) as part of the ongoing International Conference on Peace and Development in the memory of P.N. Haksar.

He has served as Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, and earlier as economic adviser to the Italian Prime Minister. He is a visiting professor in several European universities.



Passing Through

Mr K.N. Prithviraj
Mr K.N. Prithviraj, Chairman and Managing Director, Oriental Bank 
of Commerce.

Tell us more about Productive Housing in the Rural Area scheme?

This is a unique loan product for composite financing of a dwelling unit and a vocational shed for the rural poor. The bank has planned to finance 500 units in the state during the current financial year under this scheme. This scheme is being implemented after the bank has signed a pact with National Housing Bank on Wednesday, and this will be implemented in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal.

What are the highlights of this scheme?

The highlight of the scheme is that a farmer will be granted a loan up to Rs 70,000 and he will not have to mortagage any asset for this. He will only require to bring a guarantor.

What is the bank doing to increase credit in agriculture?

The bank provides liberal credit to agriculture sector and as on September 2006, the bank had granted loans worth Rs 1,232 crore in this sector. We have also launched a scheme for financing hi-tech dairy for farmers in collaboration with the Punjab State Dairy Development Board.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Closure of bank’s bill counter causes inconvenience
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 8
The closure of the counter, which accepted payments of electricity bills at a private bank in Sector 7, here, has not gone down well with the public.

Serving the interests of residents of many sectors, the counter was a blessing especially since it had no long queues and payments could be deposited with utmost ease.

With the closure of the counter, people are now forced to go all the way to the electricity centre in Industrial Area to pay their bills. Consequently, the crowd at the centre has grown manifold and the public is facing a lot of harassment.

Serpentine queues greet the public on arrival at the office and on bad days, depositing a bill can take as long as one hour. “I am already late for office but this queue doesn’t seem to move. Depositing the money at the bank was a very convenient option,” said Mr Umesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 8.

Mr D.S. Bhalla, a resident of Sector 7, said, “The department should set up at least a couple of more bill collection centres,” he suggested.

Mr Satish Sharma, a resident of Sector 15, who ordinarily pays his bill at the centre says, “For the past few days, the counter has been very crowded. I prefer to make the payment early to avoid the rush. If the entire crowd, which was making payments in Sector 7, is diverted to this place, the department should certainly consider opening more counters.”

When contacted, an official of the department said that the bank had refused to carry on with the contract of collecting payments on behalf of the Electricity Department. “We have opened a payment collection centre at the Community Centre in Sector 4, Mansa Devi, while there is a drop box at the Industrial Area centre for people wanting to deposit their bills through cheque. We send them the receipt later,” he said.

The official added that while the contract with the private bank had been scraped, the department was on the lookout for a new bank willing to collect the payments of bills. “We have identified a few banks and the contract between the bank and the department is likely to be in place by the next week or so,” he said.



Traders face MC’s apathy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Traders of Sector 19 Sadar Bazaar are witness to the double standards of the MCC Enforcement Wing these days. A pile of rubble is lying on pavements in the market for the past two days. The wing broke these cement tanks two days ago.

However, they are yet to pick up the rubble much to the harassment of the traders and shoppers.

Under the MCC by-laws, rubblecan be thrown at specific places only. If rubble is thrown illegally one is fined. However, here the traders are at a loss as to whom to complaint against the MCC. 



Muslim body seeks apology from DSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
A delegation of Muslim residents of Mauli Jagran met the SSP of UT, Mr Gaurav Yadav, today to protest against the alleged racist remarks made by the DSP, Mr P.S. Malik. They alleged that they were roughed up by the demolition squad when they protested against the demolition of one of the structures where they offer prayers at Mauli Jagran.

Mr Shafat Hussain a wood contractor ,alleged that when they tried to put across their views before D.S.P. Malik, he spoke offensively about the community. The residents demanded that they wanted the DSP to offer a public apology and retract his statement

“The SSP personally assured us that he regretted the occurrence of such an incident. He will take corrective measures and necessary action”, stated Mr Arshad Khan, spokesperson for the United Progressive Muslim Front.

Meanwhile the tenement cell of the BJP held a protest in front of the residence of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, in Sector 28 here today. The demonstrators were protesting against the demolition of a mandir and madrasa in Charan Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran, yesterday. Mr Anil Dubey, president of the cell, alleged that it was a Congress agenda to harass residents. 



Ward Watch
Marwah to review municipal election preparation on November 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
The State Election Commissioner, Mr S.P. Marwah, will visit the city on November 15 and 16 to review the preparations of elections for the Municipal Corporation and panchayat samiti in Chandigarh along with by-election of one panch for the gram sabha of Mauli Jagran village.

Mr Marwah will also announce the detailed election schedule during his visit, which will include date of nomination, scrutiny, withdrawal, and election, etc.

State Election Commission of UT has also appointed Assistant Electoral Registration Officer (AERO) and Assistant Returning Officers (ARO) for the Municipal Corporation, panchayat samiti and byelection of panch for Mauli Jagran.

Mr H.R. Nagra, tehsildar (revenue) in Ward No. 1 and 2, Mr Rajiv Tiwari, section officer, Estate Office, in Ward No. 3 and 4, Mr Surinder Kumar, GM-CTU in Ward No. 5 and 6, Mr Harnam Singh, asstt controller (F&A)-CTU in Ward No. 7 and 8, Mr V.S. Bhargava, labour officer in Ward No. 9 and 10, Mr Ashok Jasrotia, asstt. controller (F&A), Printing & Stationery Department in Ward No. 11 and 12, Mr V.S. Thakur, assistant controller (F&A), DPI (Schools) in ward No. 13 and 14, Mr Gulshan Mehta, asistant controller (F&A), rents in Ward No. 15 and 16, Mr R.K. Bakshi, assistant director, industries department, in Ward No. 17 and 18, Ms Meenakshi Goel, additional secretary, STA in Ward No. 19 and 20, Mr R.S. Madan, assistant controller (F&A), Health Department in Ward No. 21 and 22, Mr Amar Singh, asstt. controller (F&A), PEC, in Ward No. 23, Mr Parvinder Sharma, section officer, DPR in Ward No. 24 and 25, and Mr Suresh Kumar, Research Officer- Economic & Statistics will be AERO and ARO for the Municipal Corporation in Ward No. 26, respectively.

Mr Aman Jot Singh, research officer, Animal Husbandry, Mr H.S. Sood, Deputy Controller (F&A), GMCH-32, and Ms Kanta Sharma-AO Urban Planning will be ARO-head quarter for Municipal Corporation.



‘Inaugurations’ by Bansal opposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Protesting against the recent spate of inaugurations by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance, in the city, a delegation of BJP members, led by Mr Parshotam Mahajan, met Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retired), Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here today.

The delegation included Mr P.D. Mongia, state unit vice-president, Mr Bal Krishan Kapoor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, state unit general secretaries, and Ms Kamla Sharma, former Mayor.

They alleged that while the ensuing election of the MCC was gaining momentum, the Congress and the Union Minister were busy laying foundation stones and attending inaugural functions.



Woman succumbs to burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
A 25-year-old woman of Shahbad succumbed to burn injuries at the GMCH, Sector 32, here today. The victim, Amandeep Kaur, had reportedly set herself on fire.

The victim was married in February this year. She was being harassed for dowry. The parents of the victim live in Patiala. The body was handed over to girl's family as no one from the in-laws side had come.

Snatchers held

The Sector 34 police has arrested two snatchers Vishal, a resident of Burail and Roshan, a resident of Sector 44, for being involved in a number of cases of snatching. At least two snatched gold chains have been recovered from the suspects.

Meanwhile, Renu, a resident of Sector 36, complained to the police that two scooter-borne youth snatched her purse containing Rs 4,500 and two gold rings and other important documents. 



1.3 kg cocaine seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
In a major haul, the Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police has seized one kg and 300 gram of high-grade cocaine. The contraband, destined for Holland, is valued in the international market at about Rs 1.50 crore.

The contraband was concealed in a courier packet and was meant for Holland. Sources in the police disclosed that raids were being conducted to arrest the dispatcher of the consignment.

The police stumbled upon the contraband when Gurshinder Singh, owner of a courier company in Sector 47, approached the police when he got suspicious. On opening the packet, it was found that it was a high-grade contraband. The address of the dispatcher Peter.J, H.No. 554, Sector 10, was found to be false.

It is learnt that apart from the ascertaining the address of the dispatcher, the police is trying to track down the address of the sender.



Hospitality industry’s convention tomorrow
Chandigarh to be ‘destination next’
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8
Looking for new horizons, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has decided to project fairly ‘unexplored’ Chandigarh as “Destination Next”. For the purpose, it is organising the 42nd FHRAI Annual Convention at Hotel Mountview here.

The three-day convention with the theme “Mission tourism: Incredible India” is scheduled to start from November 10 and is expected to be attended by over 800 delegates from all over the country.

UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues is expected to inaugurate the convention.

FHRAI President Manbeer Choudhary said the decision to showcase Chandigarh’s beauty was taken as the city is also the gateway to many beautiful hill stations, religious shrines and wildlife sanctuaries.

According to the Chairman of Convention Organising Committee, Mr B.B. Behl, said Chandigarh is a multi-cultural city with so many languages and monuments inhabited by creative people. Artistic performances are organised almost every day in the city and those with an artistic bent of mind can visit a number of art galleries, museums and theatres in the city.”

Giving details of the convention, Co-chairman Man Mohan Singh Kohli said key market players, policy decision makers, investors from the government and private sector, along with foreign delegates associated with the tourism industry will address interactive sessions and make presentations.

Mr Kohli added that the FHRAI represents 2980 members across India and has conducted over 50 training programmes in 16 cities for professional development of industry personnel. In all, the Indian hospitality industry contributes $ 3-5 million to the exchequer every year and employs over 15 lakh people.



‘Bankers should change outlook’

Chandigarh, November 8
Bankers need a change in outlook and should give due importance to mitigate farmers’ distress. Banks have to play a significant role, especially when the area of arable land is decreasing on account of erosion, salination and urbanisation, which is irreversible.

This was stated by the general manager, Punjab National Bank, Haryana zone, Mr B.P. Chopra, while making a presentation on steps needed to increase the credit flow to the agricultural sector. TNS



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