Chandigarh Tribune
Sunday, January 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Zirakpur to have Rs 11.5 crore sewer system
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Jan 8 — The Zirakpur nagar panchayat is planning to lay a sewer system at a cost of about Rs 11.5 crore and spend nearly Rs 61 lakh on street lights in the colonies and villages in its jurisdiction.

The panchayat authorities have conducted a survey of the colonies and villages to assess the scope of laying the sewerage system. Priority is being given to street lights on the roads and streets leading to the seven villages that have been merged to form the nagar panchayat.

First of all, the four main areas on the national highway — Zirakpur-Chandigarh, Zirakpur-Ambala, Zirakpur-Patiala and Zirakpur-Kalka — which branch out from this intersection, would be electrified. Sewage would be given the second priority.

According to Mr Amrit Lal Bansal, Executive Officer, the nagar panchayat has tied up with HUDCO for funds for its development. All sanitation work will be given to private contractors. The construction of link roads and their metalling will be done after the sewers are laid.

To generate funds for development, house tax will be imposed soon. At present octroi and development charges from the residents are the nagar panchayat’s only sources of income. The panchayats of Lohgarh, Bartana, Bishangarh and Bishanpura have submitted their revenue records to the civic body and now some commercial and residential buildings are also yielding revenue.

“The nagar panchayat’s office will be fully computerised and all its revenue and other records such as construction of buildings, issuance of no objection certificates (NOCs) and locations of green belts, vacant and developed lands will be fed into it,” says Mr Bansal.

Though the government has posted some junior level staff, the shortage of clerical staff remains. Workload on the clerical staff is the same as it was before, it is learnt.Back


States delaying payment to Western Command
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — With several state governments dilly-dallying over payments to the Army's Western Command, about Rs 4.52 crore has accumulated in arrears over the past months. A major chunk of these dues is on account of aid rendered to the civil authorities in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

While this figure appears to be a sharp drop from the Rs 10 crore owed by these states last year, the major chunk of dues discussed last year — about Rs 8.5 crore — was refund of additional excise duty levied by Punjab on the Jalandhar and Ferozepore Cantonment Boards. As per figures presented last year, only about Rs 60 lakh was arrears for aid to the civil authorities.

As per figures discussed during the annual Civil-Military Liaison Conference at Chandi Mandir yesterday, the biggest debtor is the Himachal Pradesh Government, which owes the Western Command Rs 4.16 crore — a sharp increase over last year's figure of Rs 10 lakh.

While the Punjab Government owed Rs 23 lakh for assistanace last year its dues have come down to Rs 18.47. lakh. Refund of additional excise duty is already under way and sources say two instalments had already been paid.

Similarly, arrears of the Haryana Government have come down from Rs 9 lakh last year to a little over Rs 2 lakh. Rajasthan and Delhi, which owed the Western Command Rs 12 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh, respectively, last year now owe Rs 12.38 lakh and Rs 3.3 lakh, respectively.

Expenditure by the Army on operations when called out in aid of the civil authorities is from its own operational budget.

Non-release of payment has figured repeatedly during Annual Civil-Military Liaison conferences and also at other instances, including routine Army-government communiques on administrative matters. Some time back, the command headquarters also took up the case with Army Headquarters for its perusual and speedy disposition.

Though sources say payments trickle in at times, red tape is the stumbling block. The process involved in approval of payments within the State Governments and the final release of money is cumbersome and lengthy. At times the internal financial situation and political compulsions also hamper payments.

Formations on the ORBAT of Western Command, whose jurisdiction extends over Punjab, Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi have been called out to assist civil authorities at regular intervals. Particular among the tasks have been flood control measures and rescue of marooned people, construction of bridges and disaster management.

Aid to the civil authority is classified into five different categories depending upon the type of operation undertaken and the financial implications are worked out accordingly.

The sources say where aid is rendered on humanitarian grounds like in natural calamities or other disasters, the expenses are borne by the Army. On the other hand, where matters falling under the state subject are concerned like law and order problems, the state concerned is obliged to pay for all operational expenses like cost of deployment, ordnance equipment used as well as salaries of troops for the period of deployment.

In some instances like construction of bridges or carrying out some development work, only the cost of equipment and stores used is realised from the state government.Back

3 booked for forging documents
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — At least three persons of Nayagaon have been booked by the police for allegedly transferring a plot at Karoran village in Nayagaon in the name of one of them by preparing forged documents.

The scandal came to light when the owner of the plot, Mr Sarabjit Singh, received a legal notice from one Bhaj Singh, a resident of Milk Colony at Dhanas in Chandigarh. The notice stating Bhaj Singh as the owner of the land, said that the land along with the house constructed on it had been purchased by him in September 1996 for Rs 3 lakh. It further said that Sarabjit Singh had taken the accommodation on a rent of Rs 6000 per month.

Inquiries revealed that at least 15 marlas of the 34-marla owned by the original owner had been got transferred by Bhaj Singh in his house in connivance with Jasbir Singh, Narata Singh (Lambardar of Karoran village) and Devinder Singh. A fake registry had been prepared by the persons at the tehsil office in Majri village.

The complainant said that he had not appeared before any sub-registrar and somebody had impersonated in his place and he had also not taken any money from any body. The value of the kothi shown as Rs 3 lakh was, in fact, over Rs 20 lakh. It had been constructed in 1996. He said he had purchased the plot from Surinder Nandra , the proprietor of Fair Property Dealer at Nayagaon. One of the suspect, Bhaj Singh, was an employee of Surinder Nandra. Devinder, who had shown as witness in the fake registry was a partner of Surinder, said the complainant.

He alleged that Surinder, Devinder and Bhaj Singh had tried to divest him from his property. After learning about the scandal, the complainant went to the Property Dealers Shop to inquire about the matter. One of the suspects, Devinder Singh, who was present at the shop allegedly aimed a pistol at him and threatened him of dire consequences. The Nayagaon police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 471, 474, 506 and 120-B of the IPC against the three persons — Surinder Nandra, Devinder and Bhaj Singh.Back


250 jhuggis removed
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — As many as 250 jhuggis adjacent to Jhota Kut Colony in Sector 71 were razed by the enforcement staff of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) on the second day of the drive here today.

The drive, which had to start at 10 a.m was delayed by over four hours after one of the two bulldozers requisitioned by PUDA, was impounded by the District Transport Officer, Ropar, for being plied without proper documents.

Left with one bulldozer, the enforcement staff started the drive around 2 p.m and removed all the jhuggis which had come on the PUDA land.

However, 80 jhuggis were left out as they had a stay order from the court. Sources in PUDA said in today's drive all Junior Engineers of the enforcement wing, apart from 50 security personnel took part.

Yesterday, at least 150 unauthorised temporary structures in different phases were razed.

The drive, led by the SDO (enforcement), Mr Pritam Singh, began from Phase 1 and went up to Phase 11. In Phase 1, at least 75 rehris which had come up on one acre were removed. At least 30 jhuggis were removed in Sector 51.

When the staff were removing khokhas in Phase 10, occupants of the unauthorised structures protested. The leader of the khokha owners, Mr Dwarka Parshad Tewari, said as many as 40 families, who had been earning their bread and butter from the temporary shops had come on the road. He claimed that no prior notice had been given to them.

Officials said three taxi stands in Phases 8, 10 and 11 were also removed. In the end, the enforcement staff got three LIG houses vacated from illegal occupation. Later, the original allottee of one of the houses, Mr Surinder Singh, alleged that his house was again occupied by some unscrupulous elements.Back


Muslims offer prayers on Id
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — Fog and extremely cold weather notwithstanding, hundreds of Muslims converged at various mosques in the city to offer prayers to mark Id celebrations in the city this morning.

Special prayers were held at the Sector 20 Jama Masjid, Burail mosque, Sector 29 Mosque, Bapu Dham mosque and other mosques in the city where the police had made elaborate arrangements for regulating traffic .

A former BJP MP from Chandigarh, Mr Satya Pal Jain, who addressed special religious gatherings both at the Sector 29 mosque and at Bapu Dham colony, felicitated the Muslims on the occasion.

Mr Jain said that during the last 50 years, the Congress as well as a number of other non-BJP parties had been trying to create a wedge between Hindus and Muslims by propagating anti-BJP and anti-RSS sentiments. On the other hand, these parties never did anything substantiative for the uplift of Muslims and other minority communities in the country.

Mr Jain said that the BJP Government at the Centre would give full protection to the minorities. He appealed to the Muslim community to strengthen the hands of the BJP and the Prime Minister so that India becomes a strong country and a world power. Mr Jain said that the BJP believed in justice to all and appeasement of none.

Among those who joined the Id celebrations were the local BJP unit chief, Mr Dharam Paul Gupta, and a former Mayor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta.Back


Well still caving in
From Our Correspondent

KANSAL (Kharar), Jan 8 — Fear and distress still haunt the residents of this village, more than three weeks after the caving in of a well. The affected families have not returned to their houses, fearing more wall collapses.

A part of a house in this village, 6 km from the PGI, had collapsed last month and several other houses had developed cracks.

A local resident, Mr Ram Karan, told The Tribune that though the well, the collapse of which had caused damage to the houses, had been filled with earth, the residents still feared that it could cause more damage.

More than 15 tractor-trailers were pressed into service to fill the well. "We contributed more than Rs 1,000 each. Neither the District Administration nor the panchayat came to our rescue," Mr Ram said.

The well, located in the centre of the village, began collapsing on the afternoon of December 16, causing panic in the village.

A part of the well had caved in last month and since then its walls had been crashing, said a fear-stricken Mr Pawan Kumar. "Initially, the well was about 140 feet deep, but now, it has been reduced to less than 50 feet and its walls are still caving in," he added.

The house of Mr Naseeb Chand has not been lived in since the past month when the front portion of the house fell as the well collapsed. Since then, the family has not returned to the house.

"It is believed that the well has several caves under it, some of these big enough to let in an elephant. Some parts of the caves were visible even before the collapse," said a villager.

"We approached the DC of Ropar and the SDM of Kharar and they visited the spot but did nothing to help us," said Mr Shivpal. The walls of his house had developed cracks. He fears that when the rains will come, the well may start caving in again, causing more damage to the houses around it.Back


Venkataraman to give Achint Ram lecture
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — A former President, Mr R. Venkataraman, will deliver the Lala Achint Ram Memorial Lecture at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, here, on January 9.

According to a press note, Mr Venkataraman will deliver the lecture on the topic of "stable government for India". The lecture is being organised by the Servants of the People Society.

The Vice-President and President of the society, Mr Krishan Kant, will preside over the function.Back


Traffic awareness week
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — Pamphlets are being distributed and posters put up here and in villages of this subdivision under the ongoing traffic awareness week.

The SDM, Mr O.P. Popli, told newspersons yesterday that the “traffic safety week” would end on January 9.

He said banners were also being put up. The necessary materials had been supplied to Government Senior Secondary School, Phase IIIBI here, to enable it to take part in the campaign. Area project coordinators (APCs) under the Adult Education Campaign had also been involved to create awareness in the rural areas. Eight APCs were on the job, each covering eight to 10 village.

Mr Popli said help had been sought from NGOs like the Lions Club and the Rotary Club to make the campaign a success. Private schools would also be involved in the awareness drive.

The SDM said after about two weeks a special traffic check would be undertaken and those violating the rules would be challaned.Back


68 died in road mishaps in 1999
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan8 — As many as 68 persons were killed and another 83 seriously injured in different road accidents which were reported to the police in Kharar subdivision during 1999.

According to information, a majority of these accidents occurred on the Chandigarh-Ropar road.

It is to be noted that the main reason of accidents on the Kharar-SAS Nagar road was that vehicular traffic that comes from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir towards Chandigarh merges on Khanpur bridge in Kharar. Also there has been a big increase in vehicular traffic on the Kharar-SAS Nagar road up to Mohali bridge.

Although a large number of structures were demolished by the PWD last year on both sides of this road, till today no step has been taken to widen and cement the vacated portion. People of the area were hopeful that some thing would be done during the Khalsa tercentenary celebrations last year, but nothing has happened.Back


Kargil soldiers upset
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — The government is feeling elated after freeing the hostages in exchange for the three hardcore militants. But this step of the government has upset Indian soliders, who are recovering from injuries they sustained during the Kargil conflict, in Base Hospital, New Delhi. They say that releasing militants is a dangerous step and it would have disastrous consequences in future. They lament that if the government takes this kind of stand in such crisis, and people demonstrate on roads demanding the release of terrorists, “we can never win the war against terrorism”.

Sepoy Man Bahadur Gurup, who sustained injuries after he stepped over a landmine while patrolling in the Poonch sector, says: “To capture one militant many soldiers have to lay down their lives. The government has risked the security of our borders by letting three militants out”.

Sepoy Suresh Kumar believes that this whole episode has disheartened the security forces and emboldened the militants. He says: “We need support, not of words but of deeds, from our countrymen to fight successfully against militancy”.

Another Kargil sufferer said: “It is a shame that the hijackers were successful in freeing the three dreaded militants.”

“The release of the hostages aboard IC 814 plane in exchange for the militants is in no way a victory,” says Signalman Sant Kumar. “For every terrorist captured or gunned down, we lose more than 10 jawans”. He feels that the Centre went down under pressure from a strong lobby of influential and rich people.

Nayak Janbeer Singh who lost one hand and one leg in Dras, laments that it is a matter of shame for the nation that more than 180 persons bowed down silently to only five miscreants.

Havaldar Raginder Singh, another injured soldier in the Drass skirmish feels robbed and hurt following the release of the militants.Back


Rs 21,000 donated for Kargil heroes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — A delegation of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee, led by its President, Mr Chandermukhi Sharma, met the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and presented him a draft of Rs 21,000 for Kargil warriors besides submitting to him a detailed memorandum about various problems facing the city.

The delegation maintained that the appointments of persons in Group C and D being made by the Chandigarh Administration be made transparent and a nodal body be constituted at the administration level for all departments for recruitments in a fair and transparent manner.

It further maintained that encroachments have eroded the “aesthetic credibility” of the City Beautiful. No one owns the responsibility for this sad state of affairs. It was suggested that a 24-hour control room be started to take immediate action as and when any information about any encroachment takes place.

The delegation wanted an immediate end to “inspector raj”. Instead, a task force should be constituted to monitor the work of various departments.

The other issue highlighted was fixation of time for public dealing in various offices. The CTYCC later claimed in a press note that the Administration had agreed to advertise a telephone number on which complaints about fresh encroachments could be made. Back


Scheme to recognise cops’ services
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — The personnel who have served the Police Department with distinction but have been affected by stagnation in the force would now wear the badge of the next rank under the own rank and pay (ORP) scheme.

According to Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, HQ, the scheme was among the major welfare schemes to be launched by the department and was aimed at recognising the services of the personnel who have worked hard to maintain a clean and unblemished record throughout their service.

Elaborating on the scheme, he said the personnel from the level of Constable to Sub-Inspector would be allowed to wear the badge of the next rank, as it was felt that the providing ORP to personnel on the verge of retirement was a gesture of the force to enable such persons to enter a new phase of life with dignity and an improved status.

He said that it was more important in the police department where the service conditions were hazardous and stagnation problem acute.

The promotion would be given three months prior to retirement and to those who have put in 33 years of service and have not been promoted in the past five years.

He also said that as many as three officials, who are retiring on January 31, would be benefited by this scheme.

Mr Kashyap said the confirmation of the next batch of 900 constables would be completed soon in addition to old service matters by March. Back


Woman found hanging from tree
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — The police has recovered the body of a woman who had allegedly hanged herself from a tree near Faidan village today.

The deceased appeared to be a 30-year-old labourer. She was spotted by some villagers who informed the police.

It is reportedly a suicide but further investigations are on.

2 arrested: The police has arrested Yadwinder Singh of Mani Majra and Mohali resident Rajwinder Singh, on charges of fleeing from a petrol station without paying money. According to the police, they got their tank filled from a Sector 22 petrol station and fled in their car, (DL-1C 4412).

They were apprehended and the car impounded. A case under Sections 406 and 420, IPC, has been registered.

PO broken into: Mr Hardev Singh, a post master, Daddu Majra, has complained that someone broke into the post office and decamped with documents and other goods. The exact details of the items stolen could not be ascertained.

A case under Section 457, IPC, has been registered.

Whiskey recovered: The police has arrested Sashi Pal of Maloya Colony and recovered 11 bottles of whisky from his possession.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Held for drinking: The police has arrested Daddu Majra resident Harish Kumar and Sector 21 resident Dharam Pal, on charges of drinking at a public place.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Sector 22, reported that his car (CH-OI-Y 2990), has been stolen from the parking lot of a hotel in Sector 35.

A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Autopsy: The autopsy of the body of the unidentified Nepali youth, which was found near Sekhanmajra village yesterday, has not revealed the cause of the death. Police officials said the viscera of the 28-year-old youth had been sent for chemical examination to Patiala.

Liquor seized: Jan 8 — The police seized over 200 liquor pouches from two persons in two separate cases here on Saturday. Inderjit, a resident of Bhagomajra village was caught red handed with 100 pouches of liquor and Krishan Lal was arrested with 104 pouches of country liquor.

Vehicles impounded: As part of the ongoing drive to enforce traffic rules in the township, officials of the District Transport Office impounded 11 vehicles, including a bulldozer. The vehicles were being plied without proper documents. Back


Patrolling intensified in Bartana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — To counter the possibility of strikes by members of the kale kacchewale gang, which struck in Anand Vihar Colony, near Bartana, on Wednesday night, the city police has started thekri pehras (community patrolling) in the villages of the periphery.

Members of the Dheha community are suspected to be behind the incident. Raids are reportedly under way at the suspected hideouts of the criminal elements among the community. A large number of the community lives in Mani Majra, police sources said.

A gang had struck at the house of Mr Narinder Pal Singh at 2 a.m. and injured him and members of his family. He was seriously wounded and operated upon in the PGI for head injuries. This was the third incident in this area in the past four months. 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 of neighbouring areas is also carrying out a similar exercise and the villagers are being asked to assist the police in patrolling their villages to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

In Chandigarh, the police has started patrolling the villages bordering Punjab. The number of nakas has been increased. Villages where the patrolling is being carried out include Makhan Majra, Attawa, Hallo Majra, Jhumru, Raipur Khurd and Raipur Kalan.

Besides, the police is carrying out random operations in various parts of the city to check the movement and activities of such people.Back


Entrepreneurs continue to wait for basic facilities
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — Entrepreneurs at the Industrial Focal Point, Phase IX, here continue to wait for basic infrastructural facilities even after a decade of being allotted plots by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC). The incentives offered by the Punjab Government to attract industry in the area have not been met, lament the entrepreneurs.

Barring a few pockets in the area, hardly any road exists there. Such is the state that one finds it difficult to negotiate the potholed roads. Streetlighting exists only in name as non-functional light points have not been repaired for several months.

Mr Amardeep Sharma, General Secretary of the Welfare Association of the Industrial Focal Point, said the problems compounded after the area was handed over to the local municipal council.

Earlier, several visits by senior officials of the PSIEC had failed to redress the problems of the entrepreneurs. Mr S. S. Bhogal, President of the Welfare Association, said the planning of the industrial estate was so poor that the width of the internal roads is inadequate to allow movement of heavy traffic.

An overhead high-tension lines passes precariously close to some of the units. At least 300 units, big and small, have come up in the industrial area but still the infrastructural facilities are in poor state. The water supply is dependent on electricity. "No electricity means no water supply," said Mr Bhogal. Rains result in flooding of roads and low-lying areas due to non-existence storm water and sewer disposal systems.

During a round of the area, it came to light that fed up with the 'indifferent' attitude of the authorities concerned, a number of industrialists had to spent money from their pocket to level the roads in front of their respective units.

Another entrepreneur, Mr P. J. Singh, said he had to spend Rs 25,000 to fill uneven ground adjacent to his plot. In front of Plot No. 233, mounds of earth cover the area on which the road has to be constructed.

Disposal of treated sewage from a waste treatment plant, which flows in the open drains is a source of problems for the industrial workers. Stagnant pools of the dirty water have become a source of nuisance for the people working in the area.

The worst affected are the owners of industrial units in the extension area of the focal point which has so far not been handed over the local municipal council. Differences between the PSIEC and the council over the transfer of the developed and under-developed infrastructure is reportedly delaying the process of handing over maintenance to the latter.

Mr Sharma said charging of octroi in spite of lack of basic amenities in the extension area was not justified. Back


ST Department seeks more staff
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — After facing a problem of sales tax collection due to a severe staff shortage, the local Sales Tax Department has asked the Government of India to sanction more posts for the department to handle the problem of rampant sales tax evasion in the city. Things are expected to take a positive turn for the department.

At present the city has about 18,000 traders and the Sales Tax department has only 6 inspectors to check and verify the payments made to the Chandigarh Administration’s exchequer. As per norms an inspector should have no more than 500 sales tax assessees with him, but in Chandigarh the number is even more than 3000, thus making tax collection lax. In neighbouring Punjab and Haryana the inspectors are handling no more than 600 to 650 cases.

Some months ago the sales tax authorities prepared lists of defaulters or evaders of sales tax. In the opinion of the department, segments of traders are just not paying a penny in tax. A large section of the trading community has not even applied for sales tax numbers, that is a mandatory requirement. The authorities realised the magnitude of the problem when the manpower to ensure tax collection was found short after they had prepared lists of potential evaders.

An official explained that sales tax could be a major revenue earner for the city, that has very few avenues for revenue generation of its own. Under the present circumstances the same 6 inspectors in the city have to deal with cases of fresh applicants as well as check the old assessees. The paper work in all cases is so much that it is almost impossible for such a small number of government officials to handle all this, a source added.

For the moment the department is concentrating on keeping up the collections from the known places of revenue generation. Back

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