Tuesday, February 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Army to have B.Ed institute
War widows, dependents to get priority
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Fulfilling a long-felt need, decks have been cleared for setting up an institute to conduct a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) course for dependents of Army personnel.

Christened Army Institute of Education (AIE), the institute is being established at the Army Education Corps Training College and Centre in Pachmari (MP). Sources here said approval for the institute was accorded by Army Headquarters a few days ago.

The institute will start functioning in July this year. The intake for the first batch will be 40 students. Accommodation for the institute has already been made available within the AEC centre premises.

The process of affiliating the institute with Bhopal University is under way and standard eligibility criteria for admission to B.Ed course will be applicable to candidates. The syllabi will be as stipulated by Bhopal University.

Depending on the number of applicants, an entrance test will be considered. According to sources, priority for admission will be given to war widows and their dependents.

Faculty with the requisite qualification and experience for the institute is being recruited and sources said it would be equipped with the latest teaching aids.

The AIE comes on the heels of several professional institutes being set up by the Army to cater to the needs of its personnel and their dependents.

The Army Institute of Law was established at Patiala last year, with similar institutes for conducting degree courses in hotel management, engineering and management already functioning from various locations around the country.

Next on the anvil is an Army Institute of Information Technology, which will be established in Punjab. The state government reportedly sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the project.

These institutes, established by the Army with assistance from respective state governments, will provide a wider opportunity for wards of defence personnel to obtain quality professional education. It has often been felt that with defence personnel moving frequently, problems in getting admission to professional institutes crop up on account of state domicile or passing qualifying examinations from different universities. Back


Unadultered facts about food adulteration
A conviction passed every 3rd day
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Unadulterated facts about food adulteration in Chandigarh: Every third day, an order of conviction is pronounced in cases concerning the sale of impure or "misbranded" products, including milk, pulses, oil, tea and spices.

In 1999 alone, out of 151 cases decided by the court, 130 ended in conviction as against 111 during the previous year. Only 21 cases culminated in acquittal or discharge. The number was three more than the previous year's.

A total fine of Rs 89,000 was collected last year. In 1998, Rs 1.36 lakh was recovered. Prosecution, in 1999, was launched in 218 cases compared to 229 in 1998.

Although current comparative figures are not available, sources in the office of the Local Health Authority insist that the conviction rate is "far greater" in Chandigarh than the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

The data of 1994 reveals that out of 96 cases decided by the courts here, 89 ended with the courts holding the accused guilty. In Punjab, only 41 of 219 cases culminated in conviction, while in Haryana, the prosecution was able to prove the allegations in 136 cases out of 355.

Attributing the high rate of conviction to the "well-organised set-up here and the presence of an additional public prosecutor specially for the purpose," Dr Pawan Bansal of the Local Health Authority says, "In other states, the Public Prosecutor is contesting the cases under the Food Adulteration Act along with the other cases. Here we have an ADA just for such cases. The courts in Chandigarh too take serious view. The number of complaints regarding food adulteration is also high here as literate residents are more aware."

Explaining adulteration, Dr Bansal says, "Mixing colour in spices and pulses, besides argemone in oil and water in milk, among other things, amounts to adulteration. This is not all. The product is labeled as misbranded if the rate, the weight, the date of packing, the code number, the ingredients or the manufacturer's address is not mentioned."

In Chandigarh, Dr Bansal reveals, a substantial number of cases under the Food Adulteration Act pertain to milk. "The adulterators," he asserts, "are mostly from the neighbouring states and a few from villages in Chandigarh."

Cautioning the residents against consuming impure milk, he says, "Adulteration can lead to deficiencies as dilution will naturally result in reduction of calcium, protein, fat and vitamins."

A saving grace, Dr Bansal adds, is that till date, no case of synthetic milk or mixing of dirty water has been reported in Chandigarh.Back

Ensure pure milk

  • Do not buy milk from unregistered or unknown delivery boys. Have someone to pick up the milk from the booth.
  • Do not buy milk sold at cheaper rates. It may be adulterated.
  • Do not sell milk packets. Chances are that they may be recycled. Destroy them before discarding them.
  • Do not consume the milk if it smells or tastes different. Inform the dairy. It will take action. Back


Boulders, gravel eating up open spaces
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The pace at which open spaces in the city are being gobbled up by stacking of stone boulders and gravel, heavy road construction activity appears to be in the offing.

Budget estimates of engineering departments of the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation do not indicate any such planning of massive road construction activity.

A survey conducted by Chandigarh Tribune makes interesting revelations. Though fresh supplies of stone metal, stone boulders and gravel are being stacked at numerous places, little is being done to retrieve and use huge stocks of the material which have been lying dumped and neglected at various places, including along Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. Some of these stocks have been lying unused for more than 10 to 15 years.

Major purchase of stone metal, stone boulders and gravel was undertaken by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration in December, 1998, and January, 1999, for various projects, including strengthening of Madhya Marg, provision of slip roads on Madhya Marg, strengthening of Dakshin Marg, provision of some slip roads along Dakshin Marg and provision of some slow carriageways.

This road construction material was procured for provision of some new parking areas in sectors 8 and 9 on Madhya Marg, where commercial centres are coming up.

When all this activity is either over or is nearing completion, very little or no new material procured during the past 13 to 15 months has been used. Very little of the material procured several years ago has been retrieved and used.

A look at Budget estimates for the current year reveal that the Engineering Department of the Administration has to undertake work on construction of internal roads, pockets A and B in West of Sector 38 and V-3, V-4 and V-5 roads in the same sector.

Construction of slow carriageways along Madhya Marg between junctions 17-18, 18-19, 20-21 and 42-43; P&L 25 mm thick semidense bitumen concrete on slow carriageway along Madhya Marg between junctions 21-22, 22-42 and 42-43; construction of V-6 road in front of Beant Singh Memorial in Sector 42; construction of roads in Motor Market in Sector 48-C; construction of roads in Motor Market in West of Sector

38; construction of second carriageway on the Chandigarh-Kalka road, including construction of 3 lane HL bridge; improvement of slip roads at junctions 17, 18, 19, 22 and 42 along Madhya Marg; construction of V-2 road south of Sector 51 and south of sectors 49 and 50; strengthening of Dakshin Marg; construction of V-5 road in Sector 43-B near second ISBT; construction of slow carriageway between junctions 58 and 59 along outer Dakshin Marg; widening of Purv Marg from junctions 38 to 43; and some other roads have been the major projects for the current financial year. Though work has been in progress on most of these approved projects, little has been done to relieve open spaces of the huge stocks of stone, gravel and stone boulders stacked there.

A survey along Dakshin Marg reveals that huge stocks of stone have been lying there for the past more than 10 to 15 years. Some of the stocks, though retrievable, have been covered with thick growth of vegetation, deposits of earth and have been virtually lost.

The PWD and CPWD experts say to maintain inventory of material used in road construction, there is a quarterly Road Material Report (RMR), which a Junior Engineer has to submit to the Subdivisional Engineer and subsequently to higher authorities. If RMRs are being regularly monitored, there is no reason that stocks of stone, stone boulders and gravel will pile up at every available open space in the city, they add.

In Sector 29, for example, the stone and gravel has been stacked at more than six places, eating up open spaces, including makeshift playfields of children. Same is true of Madhya Marg.

Free islands on each corner of most intersections are stacked with stones. Along Madhya Marg, most open spaces are still packed with stone material, which the Engineering Department officials maintain are to be consumed in the first 6 to 9 months of the new financial year.

Others point out that this is the best way to show utilisation of budgetary allocation. Buy material and stack it. It may not be consumed for several years from now, as has been the case with material lying along Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg, besides at numerous other places in the city.

"Chandigarh is a city of gardens and perhaps this is the way engineering departments of the corporation and the Administration want to develop stone gardens at all available open spaces," remarks a former Superintending Engineer. He had incidentally worked in the Engineering Department of the Administration earlier.Back


PUDA auction off in absence of takers
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 7 — There were no takers for the residential plots put under hammer by the local estate of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today. In the absence of any buyers, the auction of all 25 plots in Sectors 68 and 69 was withdrawn.

The reserved price of only eight plots was announced before the auction of the sites was withdrawn. The reason behind the poor response was the high reserved prices of the plots.

Sources in PUDA said the reserved price of the residential plots had been fixed at around Rs 5,000 per sq yard whereas the rate of allotment of residential plots in the urban estate was around Rs 3,600 per sq yard. A prospective buyer of a one-kanal plot in Sector 69 said the market value of the plot was around Rs 22 lakh, but its reserve price was fixed at Rs 25 lakh.

Similarly, a preferential one-kanal plot in Sector 69 had a reserved price of Rs 32 lakh which is more than the market price. A 16-marla house had the reserved price of Rs 20 lakh whereas the allotment rate of the category of the plot was around Rs 15 lakh. A total of 10 plots — one kanal (2), 16 marla ( 2), 12 marla ( 3), and 10 marla (3) — in Sector 68 and remaining 15 plots — one kanal (11), 16 marla (3) and 12 marla (1) — were in Sector 69. Another reason for the poor auction was that the sectors in which the plots were put under auction was not fully developed, said another prospective buyer.Back

Relief for commercial site buyers
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 7 — The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to provide relief to the buyers of its commercial sites through auctions.

The Chief Administrator of the PUDA, Mr K. B. S. Sidhu, said that as per the existing policy, a buyer of a commercial property had to deposit 10 per cent of the bid amount at the fall of the hammer. The remaining 15 per cent had to be deposited within 30 days thereof before the letter of allotment was issued. In case of a single day's delay in depositing 15 per cent of the balance amount, the estate office concerned could cancel the bid and forfeit the 10 per cent amount already deposited.

Now, PUDA has decided to allow a grace period of 10 days, subject to payment of a penal interest on the instalment amount at a rate of 0.067 per cent per day — which is equivalent to 2 per cent per month.

Mr Sidhu said the decision would also be applicable to those allottees who are desirous of claiming a rebate by depositing the entire sale consideration in lumpsum.Back


Illegal bridges by Railly villagers pose danger
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 7 — Two illegally constructed bridges, one of which is dilapidated, connect Railly village to Sector 12-A of the township. This has been done by the villagers "to establish contact with the world outside the village".

Both bridges were built years back by original occupants of the houses. The new occupants bought these bridges along with the houses. They get a lot of space in front of their houses since there is very little construction across the nullah.

Basking in the sun on his charpoy, Mr Joginder Singh says, "These have been there for ages and nobody has bothered us. We have no permission either of the Haryana Urban Development Authority or anybody else for the construction of this bridge."

One of the five contributors to the construction of the second bridge, which is out of shape, Ms Jasbir Kaur, says, "This bridge caters to five families in the vicinity. Our doors open towards the nullah. There was no space and the original occupants must have thought of building the bridge since the nullah could not be utilised for anything better." She admits that no permission was demanded from any department.

One-third of this bridge has sunk and broken. However, children continue to skip back and forth on the ladder, which has been put across the broken portion, unmindful of the danger it presents. A wooden plank serves the purpose for the old.

Children say, "Even if you fall down, it does not matter. There is water below, which will avert death."

Recently, an old man died in one of the houses and his kith and kin took the body to the cremation ground via the short-cut through the broken bridge. As the procession moved, the old man's daughter fell and hurt herself. People following her pulled her.

Though residents are aware of the dangers the broken bridge presents, they contend that they do not have enough to get it reconstructed or repaired. "We can hardly make both ends meet. Everything has become dear. One family asked for contributions repeatedly but some of us were unable to pay. Since then the reconstruction of the bridge has been hanging fire. It has been crying for repairs over six months," Ms Jasbir Kaur says.

The bridges are in violation of the sector plan. The nullah under the bridge comes under the domain of the HUDA, yet villagers have constructed bridges without permission. This has been the case for many years and has escaped notice. Sources in the department add that the village has been provided with one entry point. There is no other entry or exit to the village, which makes the two bridges illegal construction.Back


Causeway collapse hits villagers
From Vishal Joshi

PAPPRI (SAS Nagar), Feb 7 — Excess discharge in the sewer and heavy vehicular traffic caused the collapse of a causeway on the Kambala- Manauli road here.

This has created problems for residents of half a dozen villages, who have to make a detour of more than 10 km via Zirakpur.

The SDO, PWD (B&R), Mr S.S. Dhindsa, however, said the department had made a temporary arrangement for the flow of traffic. Vehicular traffic had been diverted along the sewer nullah from the kutcha road.

According to sources in the PWD, excess water thrown in the kutcha sewer had led to the collapse of the causeway. The main sewer nullah, which flows near Pappri village, has become a cause of concern. It has damaged the road to Manauli, Chilla and other villages on several occasions.

The sources said that the sewer channels were old and could not bear the increased pressure of the city slush, and cracks had appeared in the walls in the channels. This time when the pucca channel was closed for repairs, the entire flow was diverted to the kutcha channel. Unable to stand the pressure, the causeway gave way.

Sources added that the practice of diverting the flow of the nullah to the kutcha nullah was not proper. As the causeways and other construction were designed to take the normal discharge, the additional pressure damaged the roads and even caused floods.

Villagers of the area also cite the increased traffic as a factor in the deterioration of the roads. Mrs Surinder Kaur, Sarpanch of Manauli, said that the road was widely used by traders to avoid the octroi and sales tax posts in Zirakpur and SAS Nagar. Several complaints had been made to the authorities concerned but the situation had remained the same, complained the Sarpanch.

Every year, the area faces a tough time during the rainy season when the swollen nullah floods their fields and damages the crops. The villagers have been demanding the repair of this causeway as well as another, damaged near Dairi village.Back


Half-km stretch of knee-deep slush
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Feb 7 — Ditches full of mud and slush have turned about half a kilometre stretch of the Zirakpur-Bartana road into a death trap. This section of the road has knee-deep potholes filled with slush. The bitumen has vanished from the road surface completely.

The problem aggravates during the rains, when water from the village and the colonies flows on to the road and people have no option but to wade through the dirty flow. Drivers forget all rules of the road, trying to snake their way through the series of ditches.

A teenager, Amit Kumar, said that a number of accidents had occurred on this stretch. "I have seen many scooters stuck in knee-deep slush. Vehicles often smear the clothes of the pedestrians with mud. The problem is compounded at night in the absence of streetlights."

A tea stall owner said that her business was hampered because of the slushy road as few customers would stop there for tea. She said someone had filled the potholes with loose earth and that had made the condition of the road worse.

The residents of the surrounding area complain that trucks loaded with bricks remain parked beside this road for days. The unloading of bricks on the road damages its surface. Besides, the truckers get drunk and create nuisance during the night, they allege.

Residents have made representations to the administration as well to the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat in this regard but no action has been taken so far.

According to the panchayat authorities, the road will be repaired only after the sewerage has been laid in the panchayat area.Back


Road widening at snail’s pace
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Work on the widening of two major roads — one linking the city with SAS Nagar and the Purv Marg along the Mango Belt of Sector 29 — is progressing at a snail’s pace, putting the motorists to inconvenience.

Though the work on the roads, being widened by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), has been continuing for the past several months, it has not picked momentum. The area along the roads had been lying dug and had become accident prone.

And the dumping of the construction material, like gravel and concrete slabs for kerb channels along the roads, has made the area all the more accident prone.

The non-functioning of the streetlights compounded the problems of the drivers, especially two-wheeler ones and the slow-moving traffic, moving at both ends of the roads. Since the effective width of the roads had decreased on account of the dumping of the material, the roads have become a driver’s nightmares, particularly, during night time.

This is not all as the civic body has also dug up portion along one side of the road leading to SAS Nagar for laying drainpipes for the disposal of the storm water. With the area dug up, commuters, waiting for buses, find it difficult to stand in the dug-up portions. The buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) stop on the roads, virtually blocking the road and triggering jams.Back


A potential traffic hazard
By V.P. Prabhakar

Chandigarh’s Sector 16 is still considered the VIP sector because top bureaucrats of not only Punjab and Haryana, but also of the Chandigarh Administration live in sprawling and spacious bungalows.

Moreover, the number of houses in this sector is far less than most of the sectors of the city. The reason is that in half of the sector Rose Garden, Shanti Kunj and Cricket Stadium are located. Despite this, the face of the sector has been marred at certain points by ugly and torn tents of the security staff on the footpaths in front of the so-called VIP houses. Not that the tents cannot be accommodated inside the boundaries of these bungalows, but the bureaucrats perhaps do not want their private life to be disturbed.

A large number of VIPs visit the Gandhi Smarak Bhawan, situated in the middle of the sector, and the Governor and Administrator also visit it on the Gandhi Jayanti, but nobody has seen the plight of its boundary wall facing the market. It is lined with a number of boxes containing essential commodities of rickshaw-pullers and this pavement becomes the dining place of these people during lunch and dinner time.

The Sector 16 roundabout is assuming the shape of a potential traffic hazard. There was a time when no rehri could be seen in the entire sector. But now one can see them during daytime and some of them do business in one corner of the roundabout in the evening.

In one corner is situated a taxi stand. With the passage of time, the number of taxis has increased, which blocks the clear visibility of the parking lot in front of the shops. At the second corner, a ‘car workshop’ is always in operation during daytime. In the evening, this corner assumes a different look. One corner is occupied by owners of a rehri where noodles are sold. In the small show window gas cylinders are placed. Near it are two rehriwalas selling vegetables. Behind these rehris, one car is parked and two rehris with polythene covers are stationed.

A scooter workshop operates in front of the post office, which is the third corner of the roundabout. Some rickshaw-pullers also sit there. In the evening, a groundnut seller and a boiled egg seller occupy their places. A little away is a golgappa seller, where a number of cars are parked.

In the fourth corner, rickshaw-pullers cook food. These rickshaw-pullers sleep in the varandah of the post office and other shops.

At the main gate of Gandhi Smark Bhawan is located the police beat box. Outside the Arya Samaj, a place seems to have been found by the authorities to make it a dumping ground.Back


CRPC flays BJP
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Feb 7 — The Constitutional Rights Protection Council (CRPC) of India, at its general body meeting held today in Sector 4, criticised the BJP for its plans to constitute a special committee rather than a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to review the Constitution.

The Chairman of the CRPC, Mr Vir Vikram Aditiya, said the BJP was trying to gain political mileage by initiating a controversy on the issue. He alleged that the Union Government was not prepared to spell out the details of the proposed amendment, which was undemocratic. The Keshwanand Doctrine, which covered almost 90 per cent of the Constitution, was sufficient to deliberate on the matter and there was no need for a review, he added.

He said issues of Women's Reservation Bill and granting of fundamental right status to education, which needed immediate attention, were pending. He said earlier amendments during the Congress regime could not be treated as a yardstick by the BJP, as two wrongs did not make one right.

The council urged the Government to be upfront about its policies in this regard. The council lamented that earlier amendments to the Constitution, including anti-defection and detention laws, could not yield fruitful results due to an allegedly crippled system of execution, improvement in which should be foremost on the agenda of the Government.Back


Employees threaten agitation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Members of the The Welfare Assocition of the Family Welfare Staff, in their annual general body meeting held today at the Sector 22 Health Centre, unanimously decided to go on an agitation if their long-pending demands were not accepted at the earliest by the Health Department authorities.

According to the President of the association, Mr Baljit Singh, among their main demands are release of the bonus for the past to years; grant of 8, 18 and 8, 16, 24, 32 years proficiency increments to the employees under the Assured Career Progression Scheme, time-bound promotion policy for health employees to be notified, raincoats and gum boots to the field staff and retirement benefits to be released right at the time of retirement.

The following persons were unanimously elected to the executive body of the association for the year 2000-2001: Chairman — Mr S.C Gupta; President — Mr Baljit Singh; Senior Vice-President — Ms Rajwinder Kaur; Vice-President — Mr Harvinder Singh; General Secretary — Mr Ramesh Chand; Joint Secretary — Mr Sudesh; Cashier — Mr Joginder Singh; Advisor — Mr Gurdeep Singh; and Legal Advisor — Mr Balkrishan.

The members also paid tributes to the departed employees and Kargil martyrs.Back


Contractor commits suicide
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 7 — A 36-year-old private contractor of Phase VI here allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance here past evening. He was, reportedly, facing some financial crisis and owed money to many persons. He is survived by his wife and three children.

According to the information available, the deceased, Prem Lal, had taken a contract for the car-park at Phase VI Civil Hospital and owed some money to the hospital authorities. After he consumed the poison, he was taken to the local Civil Hospital and then to the PGI in Chandigarh.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC. The autopsy was conducted at the local Civil Hospital.

Bigamist booked: A person named Raj Kumar has been booked for bigamy by the local police. According to the information available, the suspect married a woman named Savita Rani on the pretext that his first wife had died and he was looking for an eligible partner.

The victim, who was a divorcee, had come in contact with the suspect at the place of a saint in Sector 23, Chandigarh. The suspect after marrying the victim, used all her money, amounting to Rs 4 lakh. A case under Sections 406, 498-A, 494 and 380 of the IPC has been registered against the suspect.

Cheating case: The local police has registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust against the Managing Director of NSG Cables, an industrial unit in Phase VIII here, for failing to deposit the General Provident Fund of its employees from May 1996 to June 1998.

A case under Sections 408 and 420 of the IPC has been registered against the company on the basis of a complaint lodged by the authorities concerned who said the management of the company had failed to deposit the GPF of its employees, amounting to Rs 44,000.

Car stolen: Surinder Singh, a resident of Phase 3B1 here, complained to the police that his car (CH-01-N-4938) was stolen from outside his house on January 30. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


Body found: The police found the body of a watchman of the Sector 22 market here this morning.

According to the police, the deceased, Om Parkash, was in his sixties. Though the cause of the death could not be ascertained, shopkeepers said the watchman had been keeping ill health for quite some time, according to a police statement.

Driver held: The police has arrested the driver of the car (CH01-U-3781), Rajiv Kumar, a resident of SAS Nagar, on the charge of misbehaving with Mr Dilsher Singh, SI, who was on duty at the Modella turn near Industrial Area.

A case has been registered.

Thief caught: The police has arrested Ajay Kumar, a resident of Hallo Majra village, from Khandelia Oil Mill in Industrial Area, Phase II, and has recovered a stolen oil tin from him.

A case has been registered on the complaint of Mr Varinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 40.

Tyres stolen: Mr Baljit Singh of Metro Marketing in the Transport Area, Sector 26, reported to the police that some one had stolen 27 tyres from his plot on the night of February 5.

The police has registered a case.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested Raj Bali, a resident of Colony No 5, and seized 100 pouches of liquor from him.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered.Back


Mentally sick boy missing
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Feb 7 — Ramesh Mandal, a 12-year-old mentally sick boy, who has been missing from Vikas Nagar since January 22, has not returned home even after 15 days. Complaints about his disappearance have been made at the Mani Majra police station and Lohgarh police post in Zirakpur.

According to Mr Dev Prasad Mandal, father of the boy, Ramesh went to play along with his friends and did not return. He said that taking the boy for an orphan, the residents had handed over him to the Mani Majra Police Station on January 28. He was having a fit when was taken to the police. The policemen took him to the Mani Majra Hospital. They let him go after he had regained his senses.

The father of the boy, who is employed with 61 Engineering Regiment at K-Area Zirakpur, said that Ramesh was ignorant about his address as he had just come from his native place , Mushirabad in West Bengal. The boy is mentally sick and suffers from fits. He knows English and Hindi.

Mr Sampuran Singh, Lohgarh chowki in charge, said that messages had been flashed, along with a photograph of the boy, to Punjab Police Headquarters, Chandigarh, and the Haryana police.Back


One killed in accident
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 7 — Mr Jasbir Singh a resident of Kharar, was killed when the scooter on which he was riding was knocked down by a mini-bus (PB-12 D-9550) this morning on Kharar- Mohali road.

The police has registered a case and has begun investigations in the matter, according to the information available.Back


Change in liquor vends’ auction policy likely
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The policy under which the Chandigarh Administration auctions liquor vends in the city on an annual basis may undergo a change and its finalisation is likely to be delayed.

Following the proposed imposition of uniform sales tax, the only other way to attract bidders in the auction will be the fresh fixation of excise duty. This duty may be brought down from the present Rs 182.25 per case of 12 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to rope in the highest bidder, sources said. Already this duty is lowest in Chandigarh. Once a 20 per cent uniform sales tax is imposed on liquor, the rates of liquor on a per bottle basis will be almost the same in all states, thus making the flow of liquor from one state to the another quite unprofitable.

The formulation of liquor policies of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh is usually a hide and seek affair with each government or administration carrying out auctions in the last week of March. A slight shift in policy means flow of liquor from one state to another. Giving example, liquor traders say the upper-end brands of liquor can be bought at cheaper rates from neighbouring Haryana. This is because Haryana had no sales tax on liquor, while traders in Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were paying 11 per cent, 13 per cent and 15 per cent by way of sales tax , respectively.

At present the excise duty in Punjab and Haryana is identical at Rs 297 per case, while it is Rs 236 per case in Himachal Pradesh. Insiders in the liquor trade say lowering of the excise duty is the only tool in the hands of various governments. The excise duty is the same on all brands, thus its lowering can affect lower-end products.

Meanwhile, the finalisation of the policy in Chandigarh may be delayed as elections in Haryana are scheduled for February 22. Even after that, the formation of the ministry will take another week and more time will be consumed in laying down a policy. Sources said all neighbouring states, including the Chandigarh Administration, will wait to finalise their liquor policy till all things are in place in Haryana.

At the moment, the sales tax in Chandigarh is one of the lowest and the excise duty is also the lowest, making available liquor at comparatively cheaper rates than those in the neighbouring states.Back


NIFD to honour Lara
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD), Sector 27, will honour Lara Dutta, Femina Miss India Universe, 2000, on February 15 at the annual convocation of the NIFD at Tagore Theatre.

Lara Dutta, who also has to her credit titles like the Miss International Germany 1995-96 and the Gladrags Supermodel 1995, will be visiting the city for the first time.

Currently in Mumbai, Lara Dutta is a third year student of BA (economics) and aspires to do her MBA in media marketing.

The NIFD will honour Lara Dutta at a civic reception, where she will also hand over diplomas to the NIFD’s class of 1999.Back

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