Chandigarh Tribune
Thursday, January 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


1,350 acres to be acquired to expand Mohali
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 5 — The process to acquire over 1,350 acres of land for further urbanisation of this township is expected to be set in motion. The Punjab Government is likely to issue a notification in this regard soon. The limit of the land falling south of the township would be extended up to the Banur-Landhran-Kharar road.

To expedite the process of issuing the notification, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) — the nodal agency developing the township — has reportedly taken up the matter with the Financial Commissioner Revenue, Punjab. As per the initial planning done by PUDA, at least five sectors ( 76 to 80) would be carved out of the land of Sohana, Mauli Baidwan and Lakhnour villages.

It may be pertinent to mention that recently the Punjab Government had decided to prepare a master plan of all major towns and cities, including SAS Nagar. After a meeting of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Board, which was presided over by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at least 16,642 hectares of land adjacent to this township was declared as a planning area under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995.

It was also announced that a comprehensive road network for SAS Nagar joining Zirakpur, Banur and Landran would be done.

Officials said once the proposed sectors are developed, the direct linkage with the Banur-Landhran-Kharar road would automatically be come into existence. They said the plan to acquire the 1,350 acres of land had been cleared by the Project Approval Committee of the PUDA in 1997. The NOC by the state government would be issued after getting an approval from the State Land Acquisition Board (SLAB).

The sources said PUDA had set a tentative period of about two years to complete the formalities of issuing notices to acquire the land and subsequently announcing the awards to the land owners. The price of the land to be acquired would be fixed by the District Land Fixation Committee. Back


Money taken, tickets not given
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — Over 40 passengers who boarded a Chandigarh-bound CTU bus (CH01-G-5385) from Ambala cantonment, were allegedly not issued tickets by the bus conductor.

A passenger, Mr Dev Raj, alleged that despite charging Rs 25 from each of the passengers, the conductor did not issue them tickets even after repeated requests.

The driver and the conductor were also drunk, he alleged.Back


A matter of help or death
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PINJORE, Jan 5—Happiness has failed Baba Khan, and existence, for him, remains a mad and lamentable experiment. Now he is never happy; he can only remember that he was so once.

The melodious notes flowing out of the flute of Baba Khan, a maestro in his own right who played in the midst of the beauty of Yadavindra Gardens, have long been replaced by incessant coughing and a quivering voice which fails him every now and then. With great difficulty he can word his thoughts, which are the random stringing together of odd little moments of a lifetime well spent.

White-haired, at 63 years he is suffering from tumour of the mouth. In an unkempt state, his swollen red eyes are a mirror of his penury and suffering. He drags his frail body around facing a baptism of fire, hoping to find a sympathiser in the many visitors that throng the gardens, though he admits that hope is a wrong guide but good company to his lonely heart.

Through the outburst of tears, he recollects his moments of ecstasy when the visitors had raised him to the skies and money was not a problem.``Yahin par mehfil jama karti thi par ab koi nahin aata. Aur maine paise ke liye to kabhi nahin bajaya. Mujhe sirf logon ka pyar chahiye tha, aur kuchh nahin’’, he says in a melancholy tone.

He says the people have cut him dead even though he gave his right arm for their entertainment. Things have come to such a pass that he can hardly fend for himself and is surviving on a little milk mixed with water to keep him full.``I don’t have anything to eat and am forced get down to begging on some days. I have lost the magic I created with my flute and am like a sore thumb in the midst of beauty,’’ he rues. His sufferings are much more than the pen can describe.

With his face to the ground, his blanket being his shroud, he lies still on the manicured greens waiting for mercy, hoping lady luck will smile and somebody will come forward to help him financially and make efforts to ensure he has a peaceful death.``I have got so many x-rays and prescriptions but don’t have the money to buy these. I am already in debt for these and the doctors have now shut their doors on me. I don’t blame them but then the misery is agonising,’’ he laments.

The bare bones of his pathetic condition are that none of his admirers is around when he needs them most. Rummaging through the diary, his sole possession, he manages to fish out a couple of addresses of his admirers abroad.``I know they will help me since they have visited me everytime they have come to India but how do I contact them? Also, are my countrymen not good enough to come to my rescue when the going has got tough for me? I believe in my people and have faith in God. Somebody will turn up,’’ he contends though hope is fast fading and he is keeping his fingers crossed that it is not too late when help does come.

He knows he has little chance to survive the dreaded disease which has agonised his body and mind and has made existence insufferable.He has resigned wholly to fate and is awaiting the appointed time.

In view of his deteriorating condition, the Haryana Tourism Department sanctioned Rs 2000 per month for him. However, the relief came only for three months and there has been nothing beyond that. The misfortune of luckless Baba Khan began unobtrusively while he was indulging in golden dreams and has resulted in his nightmarish existence.

As he awaits the inevitable, he recalls moments of glory and bursts out in tears alternatively all day between catching a few winks. Notwithstanding the sight of all miseries which press upon him and take him by the throat, Baba Khan is hopeful and this lifts him up from the lows he has touched in the last six months.Back


Kanwaljit blames Congress for terrorism
from our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Jan 5 — The Finance Minister of Punjab, Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, today held the Congress responsible for terrorism in Punjab and alleged that the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Capt. Amarinder Singh, had provided shelter to terrorists during militancy. Capt. Amarinder Singh’s house was a hideout for the militants in the eighties, he added.

The minister was speaking at a gurdwara in Ramgarh Rurki village, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

Capt. Kanwaljit Singh pointed out though the Akali-BJP Government had done much for the Banur constituency, the voters had given a lead of 2800 to the Congress candidate who had won the Patiala seat in the last parliamentary elections. More than 2,500 youths had been provided with employment till date, he said.

He criticised Ms Praneet Kaur, MP from Patiala, for not visiting the Banur segment after the elections. Cracks had developed in the Congress which showed its decline, said the minister.Back


More fog predicted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The day-time temperature rose by 3C today, making it more bearable than the previous two days. The mercury was recorded at 14.4C, but, still remained 6 degrees below the normal average for this time of the year.

Yesterday, the mercury had dropped to 11.8C. Even the veil of fog that had hung over the city and surrounding areas for the past two days, cleared away around noon today. The fog did not descend till about 8 pm. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature also rose by 1C over yesterday’s. Today, the minimum temperature was recorded at 6.2C.

The local meteorological office has predicted that fog will prevail tomorrow morning.Back


Girl's body found from rail track
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The police has recovered the body of a 22-year-old Sector 40 resident who was reportedly crushed by a train near the Sukhna choe railway bridge near Mani Majra. The police has not ruled out the possibility of suicide.

According to police sources, the driver of a train coming from Kalka informed the station master that he had seen a mutilated body on the track near the over bridge. The information was passed on to officials of the Government Railway Protection Force (GRP) at the station and a police party recovered the body.

Following investigations, it was established that the deceased was Kamla Devi who worked in Western Command Hospital canteen as a salesgirl. She is the eldest of three daughters of Nikkam Singh, an HSEB employee. Mr Singh is reported to have told the police that his daughter used to frequent the house of her maternal uncle who lives in the Modern Housing Complex and used to reach home late in the evening. She reportedly did not suffer from any mental tension or had any enmity.

The body has been sent for a post mortem and further investigations are on.

2 held with liquor: The police has arrested two persons on charges of possessing liquor and booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act

Gurmit Singh and Kamaljit Singh were arrested from near the Sector 26 transport lights and three cases of whisky were seized from them.

Hit by vehicle: Munni, a resident of Dhanas, was seriously injured when she was hit by an unknown vehicle late last night. She has been admitted to the PGI. A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Gold, silver stolen: Mr Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Sector 10, reported that somebody has stolen gold ornaments and silver utensils from his house when he was out of station from December 28 to January 4. A case under Sections 380 and 457, IPC, has been registered.

Mobike theft: Mr Anil Kumar, a resident of Sector 44, reported that his motor cycle (CH-OI-P 4318) has been stolen from his residence. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.Back


No headway in robbery case
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Jan 5 — There has been no head way in the robbery case which took place in the Anand Vihar Colony in Bartana last night. A gang of kale kachhe wale had struck at about 2 am and had injured four residents. Mr Narinder Pal Singh had got serious head injuries and was operated upon in the PGI in Chandigarh.

This was the third such incident in this particular area in four months. It may be recalled that a similar gang had beaten up and robbed a Kashmiri migrant family in Dhakauli village on November 6 and on November 3 in Sector-6 of Panchkula. The police is clueless about these incidents. As per records available with the police, the crime rate in Zirakpur area has increased about four times in past year.

After the fourth robbery in the past four months, the residents of this belt are feeling insecure and have demanded night patrolling by the police in the entire belt. Back


Two snatchers caught
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 5 — A series of incidents of snatching in the town and its neighbouring areas of Chandigarh have been linked to two local drug addicts. The youths, in their early 20s, were caught by a police party led by an ASI, Mr H.S. Bal, near Jagatpura village on the Chandigarh-SAS Nagar border near Phase XI here yesterday.

In a recent incident, a purse of a woman of Phase X, Ms Surinder Kaur, was snatched on December 31 last. Both youths, Rajdeep Singh (18) and Hardeep Singh (19), who were yesterday produced before the Judicial Magistrate of Kharar, have been remanded to the police custody.

One of the suspects, Rajdeep, son of an employee in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, is a resident of Phase X and had discontinued studies. The other suspect, Hardeep Singh, a resident of Bank Colony in Phase X, had taken to snatching a few months ago. Both used to buy drugs from the booty.

Sources in police said another incident of snatching which took place in front of a fast food joint in Phase 3B2 here in October last had also been solved. Some incidents of snatching in Chandigarh had reportedly been tracked to these two. A case under Sections 356, 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered against them.Back


SBI branch computerised
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — The largest branch of the Chandigarh Circle of the State Bank of India in Sector 17 has computerised its operations.

According to Mr V.K. Gupta, Deputy General Manager (DGM), the computerisation work had been undertaken at a cost of Rs 77 lakh. As many as 80 computer terminals had been installed.

Following the computerisation, the bank staff, which prepared over 9,000 vouchers per day, worked in a much more congenial atmosphere.

All the operations except the PPF account handling and government business had been computerised, he said, adding that the bank had also prepared a software for computerising these operations.

Besides 15,000 PPF accounts, the yearly turnover of the branch was over Rs 11,000 crore, Mr Gupta claimed.Back


The evil of roadside vendors
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — Even as the Chandigarh Administration amended its rehabilitation scheme, one evil still persists and needs urgent attention. This is the mushroom growth of roadside vendors, whose numbers have increased after the Chandigarh Administration started issuing identity cards to these encroahers.

In the past 6 to 8 months the number of roadside cobblers, barbers, dhabawallahs and peanuts sellers, or other such vendors, has gone up in each sector. Investigations reveal that in reality this is a big racket. Once the I-card is issued it is, more often than not, allegedly sold off at a premium. This correspondent went about asking various roadside vendors as to why so many of their brethren had set up shop in prime locations in the past few months. One of the vendors said that the government was issuing I-cards for purposes of identification. This, he said, would ensure a permanent place for his business.

Thus, in a way, the Administration, through this aimless scheme, is allotting its own valuable space to someone by issuing an identity card indicating the place of his work. A sector 19 resident, who pointed this new phenomenon out to this correspondent, said in the past six months roadsides have been plundered by encroahers.

When the Sector 19 resident was told that I-cards were being issued , he said that the Administration should stop this practice as it would encourage more and more migration from other areas, thus adding to the already complex problem. A retired official of the Chandigarh Administration said: “Look at the previous rehabilitation scheme like those in Sector 22. No vegetable market remains where booths were allotted in lieu of rehris. Today these booth owners have sold off their sites for hefty premiums and cloth markets have sprung up.” Same is true for Sector 19 where cloth sellers and electronics shops have come up, he added.

This scheme of issuing I-cards was started after a spurt in crime and also to curb the number of roadside vendors. This may have become counter-productive as the numbers of vendors rose sharply, as people saw an opportunity to make a quick buck by posing as vendors to get an I-card.

The scheme is more like adopting all migrants from UP and Bihar to rehabilitate them. Is the Administration, or its officials, empowered to take it onto themselves to start such schemes that favour encroachers by doling out plots, booths and sites, questioned Mr S.C. Dhingra, an old time resident of Chandigarh. Already land is scarce in the city but such schemes are devised for small term gains. In the effort long-term planning goes for a six, said another source. Back


Long queues at kerosene pumps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 — There were long and unending queues outside all kerosene pumps in the city which received their first supply in five days because of a three-day strike by the Haryana Petroleum Tankers Operators Association.

In the absence of any supplies since New Year’s Day, most of jhuggi dwellers and kerosene consumers had to dole out some premium on this fuel. Until late in the evening, the queues were still long.

At present, a bottle of kerosene is available for Rs 10 or more against its price of Rs 5 a couple of years ago. This is primarily because of marketing of “white kerosene” or free kerosene. The white or free kerosene is priced at Rs 15 a litre against the levy kerosene price of Rs 3 a litre.

Of late the Union Government has cut down the quota of kerosene of the Union Territory on the plea that it has a large number of LPG consumers. And under the revised Kerosene distribution policy, those with LPG connections are allowed only a reduced allocation of levy kerosene.

When the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), visited Mauli Jagran the other day, the major problem highlighted before him by residents of the colony was short supply of kerosene. The residents also wanted that they should be allowed to draw their quota of levy kerosene from a pump in Mani Majra than in Sector 26.

At present there are 10 kerosene pumps in the city. They are in Sectors 15,20,22,26,29, 35,37, 40, 45 and Mani Majra. Besides, there are nearly 300 ration depots and fair price shops in the Union Territory. But in those sectors or areas where there are kerosene pumps, sale of levy kerosene by ration depots or fair price shops is not allowed.Back

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