Thursday, February 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Plot quota up for gallantry awardees
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — On the lines of benefits in allotment of plots extended by the Punjab Government to the families of those killed or disabled during the Kargil action, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has increased the quota of plots for the gallantry award winners of the defence and para-military forces.

The beneficiaries of the plots would be the gallantry award winners of war, counter-insurgency and other operations. The existing quota of one per cent in the reservation policy for allotment of plots and houses has now been increased to 2 per cent and would be applicable to all urban estates of PUDA. The reservation would also apply to dependants of those awarded posthumously.

It had also been decided that allotment of the plots would be made in order of precedence of the gallantry award — either to the dependants of those awarded posthumously or otherwise. Earlier the hierarchy of awards was not taken into consideration in the allotment.

The issue came up for discussion at a meeting of PUDA after the War Decorated India, an association of gallantry award winners, represented to the authority to revise its policy regarding allotment of plots to the gallantry award winners.

Though the association had suggested that reservation should be limited only to gallantry awards received during war, PUDA decided that the reservation would be applicable to those who won the gallantry awards during war, counter-insurgency and other operations. The order of precedence of the awards is Param Vir Chakra, Ashoka Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.


They open fridges and relish sweets
By Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — After Sectors 7 and 11, it is the turn of residents of Sector 16 to be the victims of the simian menace and the culprits are not hordes of monkeys but a small three-member simian family, straying into the area for about past one week.

They merrily eat sweets and fruits, indulge in playful acts for hours, relish scaring away womenfolk and children, but have not since been harming anybody in the locality. But as their presence has instilled a sense of fear among residents, they contend that the “monkey business” should be stopped at once and the family should be captured and shifted to some other place, possibly in the forest area on the outskirts of the city.

Interestingly enough, the simian family seems to bear ‘royal habits’ and does not mind exhibiting these as after being active and having their choicest food during evenings and mornings, they spend the major part of the day napping or sleeping on the boundary walls or on the trees in backyards of houses. And they are suspected to be spending their nights on clusters of large trees in the nearby sectors 11 and 12, known as one of the major simian ‘habitats’ in the city.

“Earlier, they were sighted occasionally, but for the past 4-5 days, they have become ‘regular visitors’ and have started creating problems,” says Ms Usha Barara, whose residence has been ‘selected’ by the family as one of their ‘pucca thikanas’ in the area. “They surpassed all their mischiefs yesterday when barged into my drawing room and started gobbling up bananas lying there without any fear or inhibition. They did the act before our eyes,” said a visibly nervous Mrs Barara. “Sometimes, the large male head of the family turns so ferocious that our dog Jimmi is not able to drive the family out of home. It even tries to attack Jimmi,” she said, adding that earlier clothes of a child of a nearby resident were torn by monkeys. She said she did not know how to overcome or whom to contact to get rid of the increasing monkey menace.

Narrating her tale of woe, Mrs Julia Shrick said residents were afraid of ‘simian intruders’ and hence were forced to remain indoors. “The family is so fond of good food that it entered a nearby household, dared to open the refrigerator in the presence of owners and started relishing sweets stored in it before their eyes, and even teased them,” she said.

According to Mr Barara, the biggest problem was that if any of the residents dared to scare these away, both male and female, probably thinking that their kid was being attacked, retaliated in a ferocious manner. He demanded that the monkeys should be driven out of the area.

The objections and demands of residents notwithstanding, most of kids in the area have started being ‘pally’ with the monkey family, particularly the junior simian. “When we call the cute small monkey, its parents do not object and keep staring at us silently while napping on walls or trees. We like their presence,” said a child playing in one of the sector lanes.

The family, when this correspondent visited the area, was in a leisurely mood. Sometimes they pretended to sleep and the next moment they would start walking on the wall in a row. At times, the little one enjoyed a piggy ride on the back of his father. Interestingly, when the Tribune photographer Manoj Mahajan tried to capture the monkeys in lens, they did their best to give an impression that they were dead sleep.


MCC's parking lot under
Bar Association’s control
By Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — It is a loss the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh never expected. Even after the transfer of all the parking lots to the MCC by the Chandigarh Administration, the land allotted as parking lot between the Sector 17 District Courts complex and the Inter-State Bus Terminus is being managed by the District Bar Association.

Reacting to the alleged misuse of the land, the MC Commissioner, according to sources, posted a letter to the UT District and Sessions Judge today stating that the District Bar Association had no right over the land. Requesting the Sessions Judge to direct the association to vacate the land, the Commissioner had also asked for refund, it is learnt.

The controversy, meanwhile, continues. Corporation officials accuse the Bar Association member of taking over the parking lot, thereby causing revenue loss of about Rs 3.5 lakh. The association members, on the other hand, insist that it is being supervised by them after the contractor left "all of a sudden".

"All parking lots from Sectors 1 to 47 were transferred to us vide a notification issued in 1995. The step was taken to enable the corporation to generate financial resources," says a corporation official. "But the one opposite the courts is now-a-days being managed by the Bar Association without authorisation."

Denying the allegation, the parking lot attendants, meanwhile, say that the work of looking after the vehicles was undertaken only after several thefts took place.

Claiming himself to be an employee of the Bar Association, parking lot supervisor Amarjit says: "The lot was auctioned to the contractor for about Rs 3.25 lakh but he left the parking unmanned after about three months resulting in problems to advocates and litigants. It was only then that the Bar Association asked us — former employees of the contractor — to take care of the vehicles."

"The corporation was informed about the contractor's sudden departure," says Bar Association President N.K. Nanda, "but nothing was done. In the meantime two car were stolen. It was then we decided to act."

Insisting that no money was being charged from advocates or the court staff, Mr Nanda claims. "Whatever we get by issuing the parking tickets goes into paying the salaries of the persons manning the parking lot and for other developmental purposes."

Revealing that a representation was also made to the District and Sessions Judge on January 20, requesting him to ask the MC Commissioner to withdraw the order of taking over the area, Mr Nanda asserts: "Even today, the parking lots in the Punjab and Haryana High Court are under the High Court Bar Association's supervision."

The city Mayor, Mrs Shanta Abhilashi, however, says: "I came to know about the controversy just yesterday. We will take a decision soon after discussing the issue with the Commissioner".


Special kids have fun winning medals
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — The Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, was adjudged the best institute at the Seventh Special Olympics, North-West Zone, which concluded at the Sector 7 Sports Complex today. The participants from the institute bagged a total of four gold, nine silver and 42 bronze medals.

While Navjivni, Patiala, bagged the second position by winning 13 gold, eight silver and two bronze medals, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, was ranked third with seven gold, four silver and 12 bronze medals.

The thrill and excitement of participating in and winning an event could be seen among the children, even as some of them could barely walk up to the stand and stand straight on it. The winners were so overwhelmed that some of them were seen shaking hands and congratulating each other.

The organisers had ensured that all the eight participants in an event walked back with something and the victory stand also had eight positions. While medals were given to the first three winners, the other five were given ribbons carrying the motto: "Skill, courage, sharing and joy.''

However, the sad part was that in the absence of an audience to cheer them up, they had to clap for each other and themselves.

Teachers of some of these institutes revealed that these special children start looking forward to these Special Olympics from the time they start preparing. Mr Manoj Kashyap, Principal of Aastha Special School in Nahan ( HP), said, "We prepare the participants nearly a month before the event and the enthusiasm of participation among them is no less than that of the ordinary children for any such event. In fact, they strive to do better each passing year and bring laurels to the institution.''

Special events were also arranged for children with multiple handicaps. The children who have perhaps never walked on their own, walked across the race track with assistance as part of a event during the closing ceremony. "I am thrilled that I got a chance to participate in these games," said Rohit, a student of Koshish who wants to come back again next year.

Prizes in most cases were given by the parents and some volunteers at the venue. Teachers of various institutes were busy clicking their children on the tracks as well as the victory stand.

Mr K.R Lakhanpal, Finance Secretary, Punjab, presided over the concluding function. He interacted with these special children and later gave away prizes to the winners of some of the events.

Earlier, during the day, children who had come from various institutes in the region had fun interacting and playing with each other in between the events. While some were engaged in arm wrestling bouts, few others were happy chasing each other. They later enjoyed a meal in the bright sunshine.

The following are the results of the Special Olympics in order of merit:

Standing long jump (8-11 yrs — male): G-1: Deepak, Tarnjit Singh, Anuj; G-2: Suraj, Anil Kumar, Hathinda; G-3: Kuldeep Singh, Yogesh Kumar, Randeep Arora; G-4: Pankaj, Navnesh, Sukhmit; G-5: Eshan Khan and Anurag.

100 mts dash (12-15 yrs — female): G-1: Pooja Aggarwal, Khushbir, Pooja; G-2: Jyoti Sharma, Priya, Pinki; G-3: Silpa and Silky; G-4: Nidhi and Mila.

50 mts dash (12-15 yrs — female): G-1: Rinku, Moniku, Chinu; G-2: Gurpreet, Poonam, Loveleen; G-3: Anita, Pooja, Deepika; G-4: Mohit, Chanda; (Girl): G-5: Pooja, Radhika, Kanika.

50 mts dash (male): G-1: Shasvat, Abhinav, Deepak; G-2: Amit, Om Parkash, Angad; G-3: Devinder, Aman, Anshul.

200 mts dash (16-21 yrs — male): G-1: Gurpreet, Ajay Pal, Avtar Singh; G-2: Vikas, Satbir Singh, Sudhir; G-3: Ankul, Tarnpreet, Deepak; G-4: Vikas, Satbir, Pardeep.

200 mts dash (16-21 yrs — male): G-1: Rahul, Tarnpreet, Abhisak.

200 mts dash (12-15 yrs — male): G-1: Rahul, Jiwan, Sandeep; G-2: Gurvinder, Vinod, Rahul; G-3: Heemat, Bitu, Mukesh; G-4: Naveen, Dinesh, Harish; G-5: Ravinder, Gangandeep, Amit; G-6: Pardeep, Naresh Kumar, Surjit.

Children with low abilities (50 mts dash — male): Rahul, Gagandeep, Ashok; G-2: Jaspreet, Anu, Rocky.

50 mts dash (8-11 yrs — male): G-1: Manpreet, Yogesh, Amit; G-2: Raghav, Ankit, Harpreet.

Shortput (16-21 yrs — male): Rajesh, Gonu, Manu Joshi. Rajeev Dhar, Deepak, Paramjit.

Standing board jump (8-11 yrs): G-1: Mandeep Singh, Vicky, Harpreet Singh; G-2: Bobby, Kuldeep, Deepak; G-3: Nitin Chadha, Giandeep, Sahil; G-4: Ramu, Gurdas Singh, Gurmeet; G-5: Gehan, Munish K., Abhinash; G-6: Nanak, Chaman Lal, Pawan; G-7: Sukhmit, Manpreet, Paramjit; G-8: Gurpreet, Poonam, Lovleen; G-9: Rinkey, Kanika, Chinu.

25 mts (male): G-1: Lovely, Rahul, Deepak; G-2: Sashant, Oshan, Meharban; G-3: Gagandeep, Ashok, Anuj; G-4: Jaspreet, Ashwani, Amit Mahajan; G-5: Ashwani, Ansul, Ronnie; G-6: Aman Sunder, Kamal Chopra, Harpreet.

Low abilities (25 mts — female): G-1: Pooja, Radhika, Anisha; G-2: Priya, Kanika, Poonam; G-3: Gurpreet, Lovleen, Deepika.

SBT (8-11 yrs — male): Honey, Ketan, Meharban.

100 mts (18-21 yrs — female): G-1: Simran, Tanvi, Nitika; G-2: Mukesh Aggarwal, Rattanjit, Kanika.


Phone that rang elsewhere
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — A resident of Ram Darbar is surprised as the phone number allotted to his new telephone connection with an STD facility, had been functioning elsewhere. Yash Paul Sharma, a resident of house number 278 of the colony, had booked a telephone under the non-OYT category on August 23, 1999. His waiting-list number was IA/NOYT-G-0010108.

At first, the department despatched the allotment letter to a wrong address — 278, Industrial Area Phase II, Chandigarh. Mr Sharma was caused undue harassment as he tried to get the error rectified. This was done on January 7. Later, linemen of the department installed the wiring and an instrument was checked on February 2. The dial tone was also released, but, Mr Sharma was not informed about the telephone number allotted to him.

He came to know from the Sector 34 exchange that the number 651697 had been allotted to him. To verify this, he dialled a mobile number of his friend and the screen of the mobile telephone showed the same number when the call was being made. Still suspicious, he went to a nearby STD PCO booth and dialled the number 651697. Someone picked up the receiver at the other end and said he was speaking from the Base Repair Depot (BRD).

He lodged a complaint to the department yesterday and almost like magic, the number began functioning at his residence. Mr Sharma says he will not pay for the calls.


Core group to study transport system for city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — A three-member core group has been constituted to study the feasibility and viability of various alternatives to mass rapid transport system (MRTS) for the growing vehcular traffic in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The core group will comprise the General manager of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Dr Amarpal Singh; the Chief Architect, Mr Sarabjeet Singh Sandhu; and Mr Sanyal of Crafts Consultants.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), after a presentation by Mr Sanyal on an MRTS study conducted in the city two years ago.

The core group has been asked to list out various probable traffic systems, conduct their viability study and study their suitability to the basic character of Chandigarh. The group has been asked to submit its report within six weeks.

After going through the presentation, the Administrator felt that Chandigarh was having a peculiar grid system and that the city's transport system should be viable, inexpensive, pollution free and people friendly.

The Administrator found that a mono-rail system earlier suggested by Craft Consultants would be capital intensive, rigid, inflexible and not suitable to the character of the City Beautiful. Further, the volume of traffic did not warrant a mono-rail system. The report had suggested a mono-rail for a 50-km stretch which would cost roughly Rs 12,000 crore.

The Administrator suggested that the committee could explore the possibility of introducing electric rubber-tyred trolley buses, which would be cost effective, pollution free, far more flexible, more or less unobtrusive and not-so-capital intensive.

The core group, the Administrator felt, could suggest a new system or a combination of two or three systems, besides considering the privatisation of selected point-to-point routes and introduction of battery operated or CNG-run mini buses on such routes. The Administrator said that there was an urgent need to activate the public transport system in the city as only 13 per cent commuters were using the public transport system.

Those present at the presentation included the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, Mr N.K. Jain, Mr Rakesh Singh, Mr M. Ramsekhar, Mr Ajay Kashyap, Mr M.P. Singh and Mr Balbir Singh.


‘Conflicts in democratic societies on the rise’
by Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — "Conflicts will continue to happen. No one can stop them but efforts can be made to reduce the human sufferings during these conflicts," says Brig-Gen Martin Rutsch, an ICRC delegate to the Armed and Security Forces in South Asia with headquarters in New Delhi. He was in Chandigarh to conduct a two-day capsule course for the Chandigarh police on the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

General Rutsch, a retired fighter pilot from the South Africa Air Force, says that he often wonders why the picture of the nature of conflict has been changing? And of late, the police and paramilitary forces the worldover are getting involved in these conflicts necessitating the need for introduction of training to police personnel in the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

"The police has yet to be sensitised," he says maintaining that the role of the ICRC is not to combat conflict but to minimise the human suffering.

"As far as combating conflicts is concerned, it may be the role of the United Nations. As far as the ICRC is concerned, it not only remains impartial and independent, it also focuses on the International Humanitarian law and Human Rights so that human beings caught in these conflicts do not suffer. ''We try to conserve both sides," he adds.

General Rutsch maintains that taking criminal action against those involved or responsible for conflicts was the prerogative of the country or countries concerned but the ICRC on its own tries to reduce the unnecessary suffering.

"The ICRC offered to play a role in minimising the suffering of those held hostages inside the hijacked Indian Airlines flight at Kandhahar," discloses the General, saying that initially the hijackers agreed but later they changed their stance.

He says that the ICRC has played its role in exchange of prisoners and even injured and dead soldiers as and when the need has arisen.

Talking about the training the ICRC has been conducting for men and officers in the armed forces, paramilitary forces and the police, he says that thrust of the training is to apprise the men in uniform of rules of conduct during conflicts or hostilities and educate them about the basics of the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Emphasis is on the humanitarian aspect.

General Rutsch also talked about the Rome Convention of 1998 which was basically about setting up of an international criminal court. Most of the nations have accepted its concept but the modalities are yet to be approved. It may be empowered to search for or accumulate evidence to try those charged while, on the other hand, the ICRC has never been into such an activity.

General Rutsch says that he has no formal education or training in the International Humanitarian Law but it has been his accumulated reading and knowledge that has helped him master the subject. Initially he went to Switzerland as a pool instructor from where he had some training and went for a few missions, including one to india and one to Botswana. Last year he was offered a permanent position in India.

Talking about training of defence forces of South Africa in the International Humanitarian Law and Human rights, he says that in five years it has not really changed the culture of the defence forces. For perceptible change, he feels, 10 years is perhaps the minimum time as the ethos have to change.

He agrees that the number of conflicts in democratic societies has been on the rise. At present, there are 14 major conflicts going on in Africa. Then there are conflicts in Europe and other parts of the globe.

In spite of international laws, civilians are being hit and made to suffer during these conflicts. At present, he says, the ICRC has no programme of training children born out of conflicts to draw them out of the trauma of losing their parents, brothers and sisters.

General Rutsch says that a lot of participants in the two-day capsule course brought up a number of important issues for discussion pertaining to their experiences and violations of humanitarian law and human rights. The response was good and he hopes that it will be made an annual feature.

"It seems to me a worldwide phenomenon to introduce defence forces to the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. The Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, asked for this training after Zimbabwe set the example,General Rutsch adds.

Accompanying him was Wg Cdr Praful Bakshi, a fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force, who took premature retirement to join the ICRC. After training in the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, he has been to five countries to conduct courses for defence and police personnel.


PU staffers kicked out at dusk
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — At least 10 Panjab University non-teaching staffers who had served well over a month after their retirement date, were served job-termination letters till late past evening.

The decision was taken by the Senate yesterday afternoon. An official complained that the university could have waited at least for daylight to serve the orders than knocking doors late night, telling persons that their services had been terminated. The officials had earlier passed an item, allowing enhancement in retirement age to 62 years.

A letter was circulated by the office of the Registrar past evening, informing them of their relieving orders. The official letter said, "Persons who were to retire after achieving the age of 60, shall be relieved forthright."

The list includes the Director Sports, Dr Ajmer Singh. Mr V.D. Gupta, Deputy Registrar (colleges) and Mr K.L. Chanana, Assistant Registrar in the DSW Office.

The others on the list of relieved officials include Mr Mam Chand (Superintendent Accounts), Mr Surinder Kumar Bhatia (clerk in the Accounts Branch) and Mr Kirpal Singh (Assistant Librarian in the PU Extension Library at Ludhiana).

The list also includes Ram Singh (machineman), Elven Patras (machineman), Fazal Masih (laboratory assistant) and Dev Raj Singh (laboratory superintendent).

A special Senate was convened yesterday in the wake of letters from the University Grants Commission, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development and the Finance Department of the Union Territory, which said the age of retirement for non-teaching officials of the PU could not be increased to 62.

The Senate decided not to continue the practice of carrying on allowing the superannuated personnel till a consent was given by the Centre. The university, however, planned to carry on the debate with the department concerned for age enhancement as passed by the university houses.


Illegal businesses from homes continue
From Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, Feb 9 — The unauthorised commercial activities being carried on in residential areas puts a question- mark on the intentions of the Haryana Urban Development Authority(HUDA) in executing the stipulated guidelines.

An estimate reveals that about 10 per cent of the of the almost 22,000 houses built in the urban estate of Panchkula undertake unauthorised commercial activities. From schools to hospitals, departmental stores, nationalised banks, diagnostic centres, motor repair shops and spare parts stores, the list of unauthorised commercial activities goes on.

The HUDA (Disposal of Land and Building) Regulations, 1978, do not permit any commercial activity in residential areas. However, with the approval of the state government in 1998, the HUDA, in a notification (January 1999), inserted a few clauses to the rules, terming it as the HUDA (Disposal of Land and Building) Amendment Regulation, 1998. The amendment permitted 'non-nuisance professional consultancies services' in residential areas. This included doctors, lawyers, tax and property consultants and tourist guides. The terms, under the amendment include an additional surcharge and use of 25 per cent of the built-up area of the building, initially for a period of five years.

The authorities, claim to have resumed 101 plots, last year owing to these violations.

This trend is reportedly one of the reasons for a recession in the market. Mr Vikas Relan, a shopkeeper in Sector 11, said if the commercial activity is not curtailed, the rentals in commercial hubs shall soon see a decline. Many, who as law-abiding citizens adhered to the guidelines following the issue of resumption notices, today feel cheated. Those violating the norms seem to benefit, he said.

Increasing commercial activity in residential areas also pose a traffic hazard. Shoppers parking vehicles on the inner and main roads, cause bottle-necks. Many apprehend that the crime rate in the town is on a rise, as many anti-social elements, under the garb of being customers, patrol residential areas and look for a hunt. The misery has compounded with many of these outlets having a backdoor entry facing the main roads. Hit-and-run accidents and traffic jams, are the outcome.

The guidelines of the high court regarding hoardings and signboards along the main roads are also violated. Owing to a separate and autonomous jurisdiction of the Housing Board, HUDA is unable to enforce equality in regulations in the Housing Board colonies of the township, sources revealed. A secretary-level meeting in this regard, held last year agreed upon a commitment from both the HUDA and the Housing Board, to ensure uniform enforcement of the guidelines, sources added.


Time to express love again

LOVE is in the air and on air. It’s the time of the year again to express those heartfelt feelings, to make that someone in your life really special and celebrate the feeling of being in love. Yes it’s Valentine’s Day. One of those firangee festivals that has become so much a part of our country today. The day that comes only once in a year and provides the best opportunity to show those hidden feelings. A day of proposals, acceptances, denials, bunking college or simply freaking out.

There are numerous ways to open your heart to the one you love, like or simply admire like a glossy card with those flashy hearts, a heart-shaped cake, a box of chocolates, a gala time at the dance floor or a bunch of flowers.

Suddenly, love has become a big business. Gone are the days when love used to be a sweet sentiment expressed by those twinkling eyes. Now, yours express love with the best gift your pocket can afford. Pooja, a final year student says, “On V-Day I would like to bunk college and go for a movie with my boyfriend. I want him to make me feel special and shower me with lots of flowers and cards”. So can we call this commodification of love?

A week before the day arrives the preparations begin: the recording of soft romantic numbers for your beloved, arranging for the best dress for the day, booking for the latest movie and obviously a wallet full of cash. For the girls a visit to the parlour is at the top of not-to-forget list.

Puneet, an MBA student feels, “Its a day to make your beloved feel special. Everytime it’s the boy who pays, but on this day it’s the girls’ turn to express their love”. There are also a few who try to add an extra colour in their married life by being together on this special day. “We plan to go to a hill station to revive that romanticism in our life”, says Harman, a businessman.

It is not just gift and card shops that are luring buyers with their attractive packages. There are various Valentine Day contests in the magazines and newspapers. TV channels too are preparing to air-V-Day messages. Rashi, a marketing executive says, “My boyfriend will be making a request call for me on MTV on this Valentine’s Day for me. That will be the best thing on earth for me”. Even major hotels and discotheques are busy making their booking for the day. In the colleges too, fetes and parties are organised on this day. Not to miss the pop and rock bands which get more offers than they can handle.

Surely, St. Valentine would be surprised to see the popularity of this day.

But what about those who haven’t fallen in love? “For one day — Valentines Day — we surely feel outcaste”, comments Ravi, a CA. However, the bold kinds take up the opportunity and spend their day with their friends either looking out for another lonely heart of the opposite sex or simply loafing around at the most happening places in the city, sniffing for the so called love in the air and waiting for the day when cupid will strike them too.
— Tanu Rawal


Lukewarm response to auction of sites
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 9 — An open auction of commercial sites in the urban estate attracted a lukewarm response as the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority was able to sell only 11 sites of the total 25 sites put up for auction here today. A revenue of over Rs 3 crore was earned.

According to the information available the sites put under auction were Shop-cum-flat (SCFs), Shop-cum-office (SCOs), and booths. The maximum price was attracted by a SCF site in Phase XI which was sold for Rs 40.61 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 28.55 lakh. There were no takers for SCF sites in Phase 3A and IX. While the reserve price of the SCF sites in Phase 3A had been fixed at around Rs 30.31 lakh, the reserve price of SCF sites in Phase IX had been fixed at Rs 51.30 lakh.

A semi-industrial booth in Phase IX with a reserve price of around Rs 6.84 lakh was sold for Rs 7,01000. Another similar site in Phase IX was sold for Rs 7,02000. Two semi-industrial booths in Phase IX with a reserve price of Rs 6,84,900 were sold for Rs 6,90,000 and Rs 6,91,000 lakh, respectively. A booth site in Sector 71 with a reserve price of Rs 11.24 lakh was sold for around Rs 11.27 lakh.

Of the 10 SCO sites put under auction in Sector 70, PUDA was able to sell only five sites. A millennium site in Phase 3B 2, which had a reserve price of Rs 9.60 crore, was also withdrawn in the wake of no takers.


Orphan’s tale of woe
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — Till some time back, orphan Ravi was earning bread for his four younger sisters and a brother, but today he finds himself weak and helpless. The reason: badly damaged pelvic girdle. He can be cured with an operation which would cost Rs 72,000.

Twenty three-year old Ravi got to know about the magnitude of the problem only on coming to the PGI from Jammu for treatment of his damaged pelvic girdle. He had been suffering from acute pain in the hip and continued to have medicines. But due to paucity of funds and lack of timely help, the condition of the right hip has deteriorated to such an extent that operation is the only solution to put it back in order. But the question that bothers this unfortunate man day and night is that from where does he arrange the money for his surgery.

The doctors in the Orthopaedic Department after examining him explained to him about the surgery he has to undergo and asked him to come back after arranging the funds. Even though the authorities concerned will take care of the cost of surgery and his stay in the hospital, he has to arrange money for the equipment required and the medicines. However, for the last two months, no voluntary organisation or a donor has come forward to help him.

The efforts of persons posted at the PGI police post have recently helped him get a grant of Rs 25,000 from the office of the Medical Superintendent but he still needs to arrange for the remaining Rs 47,000.

Recalling his tale of woe, Ravi disclosed that he had lost both his parents four years back. His elder brother, China Ram, had separated from the family when he got married ten years back. He too is earning his livelihood by polishing shoes. Hence, he too is not in a position to help him or the brother and sisters back home. His 11 year old brother, Gulshan, who studies in Class VI is presently looking after his sisters by selling fruit near a cinema hall.

Ravi, who came to the city for treatment in the PGI is presently residing in Dadu Majra with Mahant Puran Nath in Shiv Mandir (Thakur Dwara). He comes to the PGI everyday and polishes shoes outside the gate to make some money and also in the hope of getting some help. But now that nothing much has happened in the last more than two months, he at times feels so upset that he even thinks in terms of committing suicide.

If any voluntary organisation or person wants to help him in his treatment, they can contact the persons at the PGI police post, who are in touch with him.


Work on road links yet to begin
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — Even as the development of the Phase III sectors, some of which fall in SAS Nagar, has begun, the work on the missing road links between the city and SAS Nagar is yet to commence.

One such vital road link is intended to connect Phase IX with the city. The road, which will ultimately be connected to the one which ends in Sectors 45 and 46, will reduce the distance between the city and the town by more than 3 km.

Residents say that for the road link to be completed, the road outside the YPS in Phase VIII of SAS Nagar will have to be connected first to Phase IX by constructing a bridge over a nullah behind Model Jail at Burail.

Now, residents of Phase IX who want to go to Chandigarh, first have take the road running in the middle of Phase IX. Thereafter, they take the road dividing Phases VII and VIII, covering 3 km in the process.

Their problems are compounded when there is a cricket match at the PCA Stadium. The middle road of Phase IX is closed due to security reasons, putting the residents to a lot of inconvenience. The Citizens Welfare Council of Phase IX in SAS Nagar has said this in a representation to the UT Administrator.

The road link, once completed, besides reducing traffic on the Phase IX road, will also prove beneficial to the city residents who wish to the visit the Punjab School Education Board, according to what has been said in the representation. It also says that traffic on the other roads of the town will also become manageable after this, particularly that on the busiest roads which separate Sectors 51 and 52.

Meanwhile, the Lawyers for Social Reforms, in a separate representation to the UT Chief Engineer, hoped that the new link would divert a major portion of the traffic on the busy road towards the jail side. It said the road had become very narrow on account of encroachments on both sides.

With the construction of the link, encroachments will be checked to a large extent.


Sudarshan Chakra expedition flagged off
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — The Sudarshan Chakra Cycle Expedition was flagged off from Chandi Mandir Cantonment for its next leg to Solan today. Flagging off the16-member team, the commanding Officer of an Artillery Regiment, Col V.R. Gadekar, wished the team members a successful culmination of the expedition.

Organised by the Sudarshan Chakra Division, the expedition is led by Lt Adeetya Singh and includes three Junior Commissioned Officers and 12 other ranks.

The expedition was flagged off from Abohor on February 3 by the Station Commander, Brig Sudheer Kumar Uppal, and is scheduled to culminate at the same place on February 21 after covering a distance of about 1,000 km in 19 days. The longest stretch in the route is Rajpura-Ludhiana link, covering 89 km in a single day, while the Barnala-Sangrur stretch is the shortest, covering about 37 km.

The expedition has already covered Bathinda, Barnala, Sangrur, Patiala and Chandigarh. After touching Kufri in Himachal Pradesh via Solan and Shimla, the expedition will, on its return journey, pass through Rajpura, Ludhiana, moga, Faridkot and Bathinda.

The expedition aims at promoting the spirit of adventure and sportsmanship among the soldiers and to inculcate in them qualities of leadership. While passing through various places in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the team members will get an opportunity to take a glimpse at the cultural diversities, besides motivating the youth to join the armed forces.


Basant 2000 fest today
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 9 — The Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) will celebrate the festival of Basant Panchmi as Basant 2000 tomorrow.

The main attractions of the festival will be organisation of flower day, carrying the massage of peace and love, a kite-flying competition and a blood donation camp.


Foreigner caught taking plane photos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feb 9 — The police reportedly detained a foreign national temporarily while he was found moving about in suspicious circumstances near the civil airport area here this noon.

According to police sources, a Netherlands national, Patrick, was allegedly watching planes take off and land at the airport through his binoculars. He was spotted by some Air Force personnel who detained him and called the police. He was taken to the police station and his particulars were verified. He was staying in a Sector 22 hotel and was in possession of a valid visa.

He was let off after recording a daily diary report (DDR).

Modesty outraged
The police has arrested a city resident on charges of outraging the modesty of a Sector 31 resident.

According to police sources, Naushad, a worker in a beauty parlour attempted to outrage the modesty of a client who had gone there to get her hair trimmed.

Excise Act violated
The police has arrested Raju, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, from near the PWD store in Sector 38, on charges of possessing 50 pouches of whisky.

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

Assaulted by 3
Mr Ram Sarup Chaudhry, a resident of Palsora, reported that he was assaulted by Gulab Singh, Sudesh, Rajinder Singh and Sanjay, all residents of Sector 52.

A case under Sections 147, 148, 323 and 506, IPC, has been registered.

Scooter stolen
Mr Dalbir Singh, a bank employee, reported that his scooter (CH-OI-L 7918) has been stolen from the Sector 17 bank square parking.

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

Gamblers arrested
The police has arrested Krishan Kumar, Kailash and Raju, all residents of Sector 22, on charges of gambling from near the government school of the same sector. A case under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.


Shop looted
Burglars broke into an electronics shop in scooter market, Phase 7, and decamped with items worth over Rs 25,000. A complaint has been lodged with the police by the shopkeeper, Mr Ashwani Kumar.

The police registered a case of assault against Amardeep Singh, Achar Singh and several other persons for attacking Sharandeep Singh of Phase 7.

Ms Joginder Kaur, a former municipal councillor, was allegedly attacked by two persons — Satish and Pankaj — residents of Phase 7. In a complaint lodged with the police, she said the two persons objected to some development work going in ward number 19 and when she intervened, she was attacked.


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