|C H A N D I G A R H
& V I C I N I T Y
Wednesday, December 30, 1998
to go whole hog with development
top lensmen get awards
factor may affect selection
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 The migrant factor is likely to make or break many a candidate in the panchayat poll and all contesting parties are busy in shortlisting the candidates who will likely be in a position to carry this sizeable vote bank with them.
All 17 villages going to polls, barring a couple, have a sizeable number of migrant population and over the years have taken an active role in the conduct of the affairs of the villages. While the percentage of the original inhabitants of the village increased marginally over the years, the increase in the migrant population has been "phenomenal".
Old timers say that while the influx was a trickle in the late '70s, it became a torrent after the rehabilitation policy of the administration took root and migrants found ready employment in the villages bordering the industrial belt, the railway station and the two satellite towns of the city.
This can be gauged in light of the population figures of the 1991 census. Out of the population of Hallo Majra and Kishengarh, more than 70 per cent are outsiders settled in the village over the years or tenants of the inhabitants. Similarly, a vast majority in another large village, Palsora, is of outsiders and tenants, villagers reveal.
On the other hand villages like Kaimbwala, Sarangpur and Khuda Jassu have the least percentage of outsiders or migrants.
While the contestants in the last elections, held in 1993, were largely original inhabitants but three outsiders who had settled in the city managed to win. In the Panchayat Samiti elections held in December 1996, a couple of migrant candidates emerged victorious.
Although polarisation has yet to crystallise, many migrant leaders are toying with the idea of putting up their own candidates in case they are not given adequate representation by the political parties for the offices of the sarpanch and panch.
Sources in the political parties were concerned at the development and in the likelihood of such an eventuality it would be the official candidates who would bear the brunt of such a development.
The Joint Action Committee of UT villages is also putting up its candidates in the villages it considers its stronghold. The committee has a strong following in certain villages and has the credit of spearheading an agitation for getting the demands of the villagers fulfilled.
All main political parties are in the process of finalising their candidates and the battlelines would be clear in the next few days. The receipt of nomination papers is from January 1.
Crime round up 1998
of the force at peak
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 In March this year, ASI Ravinder Singh's wife was shot dead under mysterious circumstances in the cop's official residence in Sector 46. Three days later the ASI was booked for allegedly abetting the killing of his wife. Same is true for ASI Surinder Singh, who is facing a murder trial for allegedly burning his wife to death. The woman had received burn injuries late last year, however, following her dying declaration the ASI was booked for murder early this year.
* * * * * *
While attending a wedding on a cold January night, Head Constable Lacchu Ram, in a drunken rage, fired shots from his service carbine injuring two. One of the injured persons died in hospital later. The cop is facing an attempt to murder trial.
* * * * *
Two weeks ago, Sub Inspector, Kuldeep Singh Kahian, using a woman accomplice, allegedly "planted" charas in the house of an aged person in Sector 18 and then extorted money from the old man by blackmailing him.
* * * *
For the first time in the 32-year- history of Chandigarh Police, a DSP rank official was suspended. In the first week of this month, the DSP, Central Division, Surjeet Singh, SI Ved Prakash and ASI Azad Singh were suspended after they allegedly filed an FIR after twisting facts against three British nationals.
* * * * *
In July, SI Devinder Sharma and ASI Jagat Ram allegedly detained two women inside the Sector 36 police station, where they allegedly stripped them and beat them up.
* * * * * *
The steady but definite criminalisation of a section of the Chandigarh Police reached its peak during the year. Be it murder, armed attacks, attempts to murder, false FIRs, cases of beating, high handedness or misbehaviour with women. This year was a watershed as far criminalisation of the force is concerned. As many as 21 cops were booked for their alleged involvement in criminal cases and this does not include numerous suspensions or disciplinary actions.
The figure is the highest in the past decade or so. A total of 15 lower- level cops were booked for criminal offences in this year alone. Six officials of the ranks of SI and ASI were booked this year for various offences. Besides two Punjab cops went on a looting spree and a Haryana cop shot dead a cinema house guard, among other incidents of lawlessness by the men in khaki.
Security guards of VIPs and their kin came under fire for an open show of weapons and muscle. The most prominent was the case of CRPF guard, Charan Singh Bist, who allegedly tried to abduct a school girl from Sector 38 school. He was spotted in the security of a relative of the Punjab Chief Minister. The Inspector General of Police had to write to the respective state governments to keep a check on the security guards and make sure that they wore uniforms while carrying weapons in Chandigarh.
On the other hand, the city witnessed 16 murders while more than 40 women were raped, at least four of them at knife point. The record of stolen motor vehicles was worse than last year as nearly 315 four-wheelers and two wheelers were stolen making it an "auto theft a day" in the city.
Senior officials admitted that armed and organised gangs were operating in villages. This was revealed after the police, in November, arrested the dreaded Saini gang that had been wanted in several cases of armed attacks. Gang members disclosed about the prevalence of armed gangs in Chandigarh.
A constable of the Chandigarh police showed exemplary bravery and caught a member of the gang of robbers, who were escaping after committing a gang rape in the city. This gang belonging to the "Dheh" criminal tribe had sent shock waves as they went about looting shops and raping women in villages in the union territory. These incidents also showed the ultimate flaw of lopsided deployment of the police force in villages. In routine only 3 per cent of the force is for villages and 13 per cent of the force is for VIP security.
The Sector 26 police also nabbed two terrorists who were reportedly wanted for trying to blow up the Sector 26 police station eight years ago. The two Gurcharanjeet Singh Kala and Gurinder Singh Bunty were caught from their present hideout in Gurdaspur.
The traffic police came under fire from various social organisation for not controlling speeding school buses and for the undue harassment they caused to people coming from other states. In July , however, unauthorised red lights atop cars were removed following a court directive while wearing a helmet became mandatory for pillion riders. Black films on windows of four wheelers were also removed after the court ordered so.
Another mediocre fashion show
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 Mediocre fashion shows have become a routine affair in the city and "Aagosh 99", organised at the North Park Resort, Panchkula, near here, tonight was no exception.
Starting over two-and-a-half-hours behind the scheduled time of 6 p.m., everything went wrong for the show from the beginning, organised by the Midxpose Marketing Service Ltd.
If the biting cold tested the patience of the motley crowd, the sound system and its testing took quite some time, and music could not played till 8 p.m.
But once the show started the models, including Miss Himachal, Jonita, Miss Siyaram Chandigarh, Kavita, Miss Chandigarh and Punjab, Sonia, and two former Miss Delhi, Deepika and and Jaspreet, did provide some class ramp modelling.
The choreographer, Jeet Brar and dress designer, Amit Narang, had done a good job but ineffective compering did not let the show rise to the level it should have risen. This resulted in a majority of the people leaving before the end of the show.
Poor fillers provided by local dance troupes failed to impress the audience and the compere was repeatedly hooted at. The music, at times a bit loud, was not easy on the ears.
CTYCC to go whole hog with
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 Launching of Youth Congress Seva for the redressal of public grievances on basic amenities, 33 per cent reservation for women, development of villages, better job avenues for the unemployed, more blood donation camps and emphasis on environment protection and plantation of more trees are the new programmes which the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee plans to launch in the city from New Year.
Talking to newsmen here last night, the CTYCC chief, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, said that the youth wing of the Congress would work actively for the development of the city in general and for the welfare of people in particular.
Mr Sharma said every effort would be made to democratise the functioning of the CTYCC by giving at least 33 per cent representation to women in the executive and as office-bearers. No one with a criminal record would be given any representation in the CTYCC.
The CTYCC would launch Youth Congress Sewa for redressal of public grievances pertaining to civic amenities. Any one could approach the service by leaving a message on pager 9622 111780. It would also work for complete abolition of sex determination tests, female infanticide, use of narcotics and psychotropic substances besides working for the spread of literacy, better sanitation and faster development of rural and slum areas. The CTYCC would strive for at least 40 per cent reservation for students of Chandigarh in Punjab Engineering College, Government Medical College, Panjab University, PGI besides demanding setting up of a veterinary college and a dental college with 100 seats each. Efforts would be made to make Panjab University a central university.
Mr Sharma said his organisation would work for promotion of cultural activities, both in urban and rural areas, by involving the youth, more opportunities for unemployed youth. He also demanded jobless dole in Chandigarh. The CTYCC would encourage voluntary blood donation by setting up a special monitoring cell.
To bring senior citizens closer to youth, a special cell would be set up to arrange frequent interaction between them.
The CTYCC chief said there was no groupism in his organisation and a new team of office-bearers and executive committee members would be announced in the first week of January.
Uneventful year for BJP
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 It was an eventful year for the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB)and the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO).
While the ruling BJP-SAD alliance, which won the MCC poll with a three-fourth majority in 1996, was reduced to a minority following a "split" in the BJP, major decisions having far-reaching consequences, were taken by the CHB and CITCO in the year.
It was the year which the BJP would like to forget. The intra-party wranglings between the two factions owing allegiance a former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, and the party president, Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, on the one hand and the local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, on the other came in the open, resulting in the vertical split in the party--delivering a severe blow to the disciplinarian image of the party.
On account of the internal differences between the two factions, the development of the UT became first casualty and the alliance failed to take any major decision, aimed at generating resources for the civic body. The imposition of property tax on commercial property in the city has been hanging fire for the past several months.
And the decision to implement paid parking system in sectors 17 and 8 had to be deferred following strong protests by government employees, traders and political parties. It was at one of the meetings of the party in this regard that the party president expelled councillor Mr O.P. Goyal which started the downfall of the party in the civic body.
The issue of expulsion of Mr Goyal raised a lot of dust with the party high command surprisingly adopting an ostrich-like attitude before sending the "trouble shooter", Mr K.L. Sharma, to the city. In spite of the efforts by the party high command, the rapprochement between the two groups could not be reached with the seven party councillors resigning from the party on the day of the elections December 23 for the posts of Mayor, the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor.
The fight for supremacy between the two groups ended when the rebel BJP candidates owing allegiance to the Jain group sweeped the elections for all three seats. While it was "dream come true" for the new Mayor, Mr Kewal Krishan Adiwal, official BJP candidate, Mr Rajinder Kumar, had to bite the dust as he could finish only third and was eliminated from the contest after the first round.
For the Congress, however, it was the best year. Three councillors, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala both SJP, and Ms Sunita (Ind) joined the party and its candidate, Ms Kamlesh, buoyed up by nominated councillors, came close to becoming the Mayor.
On the civic amenities front, the MCC had average record during the year. The seasonal shortage of water continued and the condition of sanitation and certain roads was no better though recarpeting work was taken up on roads in a number of sectors.
The corporation opened single-window centralised booking centre for booking open spaces and community centre, a causeway in the Industrial Area and Fragrance Garden in Sector 36 and built a bridge on the road connecting the city with SAS Nagar but its promised opening of complaint centres and the citizens charter could not see the light of the day. Similarly, a "Disneyland-type" amusement park remained at the proposal stage.
Like 1997, the Chandigarh Administration failed to constitute the ward committees this year also despite efforts by former Mayors Mrs Kamla Sharma and Mr Gian Chand Gupta.
For the major part of the year, a number of key posts remain vacant, affecting severely the working of the MCC. Mr K.B. Sharma, Superintending Engineer, Mr Harsh Kumar, Xen, and an SDO of the electricity wing of the MCC were suspended in the wake of the UT Engineering department kickbacks case.
A number of enquiries were the highlights of the year. The enquiries into Mani Majra land scam, the change of design of the causeway, connecting the city with SAS Nagar, and into the purchase of paint kept the civic body in the headlines.
The year saw the CHB introducing the interactive voice response system (IVRS) for answering queries by the allottees through the computerised inquiry. It also saw the CHB back in the construction activity with the "bhumi pujan" of the LIG/EWS scheme by the Union Minister for Employment, Mr Ram Jethmalani, in Sector 52 here.
In a special favour, the board also allotted dwelling units to 13 freedom fighter who were "ignored" in the earlier scheme in 1984.
However, the board was embroiled in the controversy regarding an amount of over Rs 8 crore deposited by cooperative housing societies for the internal development of sectors 48 and 49 over three years ago.
The year also saw a new
Managing Director, Mr Satish Chanda for CITCO. Alarmed at
the loss of revenue through the sale of liquor at its
hotels, CITCO changed the liquor and credit policies to
the corporate sector. The year also saw the release of an
atlas on city by CITCO.
Five top lensmen get awards
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 Five top photographers of the country were awarded degrees of the Federation International de L'Art Photographique (FIAP), Luxemburg, for excellence in their field by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen BKN Chhiber (retd), at the concluding function of the 19th convention of the Federation of Indian Photography here last night.
Those awarded the degrees were Ajit Mondal and Samir Sarkar (both Calcutta), NP Satsangi (Chennai), Akhil Hardia (Indore) and MV Rao (Rajamundri).
The Administrator also awarded prizes to the winners of the photo contest for the delegates of the convention. Mr Akhil Hardia, Mr Parveen Rawat and Mr Bhudev Bhagat were awarded the first, second and third prizes, respectively.
Diwan Manna was given the Artist of the Year award for his outstanding performance in the field of photography.
The award has been instituted from this year.
Protest over late arrival of
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 The local unit of the Congress led by its president, Mr Venod Sharma, today staged a demonstration at the railway station to protest against the last arrival of the trains in Chandigarh, especially the Shatabdi.
The protesters carrying placards, had purchased platform tickets to enter the station. Once at the platform they formed a 'human chain' to protest against the "callous attitude" of the railway authorities towards the late arrival of trains.
Ironically the Shatabdi that was to arrive at 10: 30 am arrived two hours behind schedule. The demonstration ended at 2 pm once the Shatabdi left on it return journey to Delhi.
The Congress held the Railway Ministry and the railway authorities responsible for highly inconveniencing the public by late arrival of the trains.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 The national convention of the representatives of associations of university teachers from all over the country concluded here today with the launching of the All-India Federation of University Teachers' Associations (AIFUTA), a national level organisation, of the university teachers.
The delegates in the two-day convention unanimously elected Prof P.P. Arya of the Panjab University as president and Dr Satya P. Gautam as Secretary General of AIFUTA.
The other office-bearers of the newly formed organisation included Mr Amar Yamnam, vice-president (North-East zone), Mr R.K. Bedi vice-president (North zone), Mr Nitin Malik, vice-president (Central zone) and Mr A. Damodaran, vice-president (South zone). In addition the following have been elected Zonal Secretaries of the organisation: Mr M. Ranjit (North East), Mr A.N. Kaushal (North), Mr V.B. Kakade (West), Mr K.N. Tripathi (Central) and Mr V.R.C. Krishnaiya (South).
In resolutions adopted by
the participants, the AIFUTA has demanded the
implementation of revised pay scales for the teaching
staff, an enhancement in retirement age from 60 to 62 and
implementation of a uniform grade for the universities ,
the IIM and the IITs.
crushed to death
CHANDIGARH, Dec 29 A cyclist was crushed to death by a mini-truck on Dakshin Marg dividing sectors 33 and 20 while a cyclist, Vijay Kumar, who was injured yesterday succumbed to his injuries at the PGI today.
Shri Chand of Sector 52 was hit by a mini-truck (DL-1L-1919) and killed on the spot. The truck sped off.
Vijay Kumar, who was injured in an accident in Mani Majra yesterday, succumbed to his injuries.
Three cars stolen: Three cars have been stolen from the city. A Maruti Zen (PB-65-A-0491) owned by Col Gur Iqbal Singh (retd) of SAS Nagar was stolen from the Sector 17 parking on Monday evening.
A Maruti car (UP-53-1444) owned by Mr Arun Chauhan was stolen from the Sector 15 while Maruti car (CH-01-H-1538) owned by Gurdeep Singh of Sector 15 has been stolen from outside a hotel in Sector 17.
A woman doctor's house in Sector 15 was burgled as thieves took away a music system, 15 CDs, two jackets, one brief case and two bottles of whisky. Doctor Gurjeet Kaur had gone out between 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. on Monday.
Meanwhile in a separate incident a house in Sector 23 was burgled while the owner had gone out of station. A VCR, a brief case, and Rs 4,400 in cash was stolen.
House burgled: Burglers broke into a house in Sector 16 and decamped with cash and jewellery here on Monday.
The police has registered a case.
B&W dominate colour pics
CHANDIGARH: The Photographic Society of Chandigarh had organised the 19th biennial convention of the Federation of Indian Photography (FTP) recently. A part of the convention was an exhibition of photography at Punjab Kala Bhavan here.
The show "Tops" had 60 black-and-white and colour photographs on display. The list of the 20 participants included prominent names like Benu Sen, Parthasarthy Sarkar, C. Rajagopal and Sushanth Banerjee.
The exhibition had many frames on portraiture. Besides, there were a few pictures done in montage. Landscape scenes were accompanied by some shots on wildlife. Black-and-white pictures dominated over the coloured ones.
The artists had tried out many new techniques over new subjects.
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