Friday, February 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Housewife braves robbers
Neighbours, cops help nab culprits
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — A housewife in her late 50s proved to be more than a match for two robbers who beat a hasty retreat after facing stiff opposition from her and were eventually nabbed by the police with the cooperation of the public.

Mrs Tarawati (58), a resident of Sector 19, was alone at her house when the door bell rang at about 1.30 p.m. Upon answering it, she saw two young men standing outside who told her that they were delivering some furniture items — two chairs ad a table — sent by her husband.

Since her husband, Mr S L Gupta, owns a furniture manufacturing business in the Industrial area, she did not suspect any foul play and asked the duo to keep the items inside the house. After placing the items inside, they asked her to pay the rent.

She refused to do so, upon which one of the accused took out a knife and ordered her to hand over all the money in the house. Not losing her wits, she grappled with him and managed to wrest the knife from him. In the process, she received cut injuries to her fingers.

After this, she tried to raise the alarm, but was overpowered by the duo and thrown on a bed. One of them tried to gag her with his hand but she bit him on the hand. Unnerved at this, and coupled with her shouts for help, the duo snatched a purse containing Rs 3,500 in cash, scaled the back courtyard wall and fled away.

Alerted by the cries for help, some of the neighbours called the police and some others followed in pursuit of the robbers. By this time the police had been alerted and reached on the scene of the crime. While one of the accused was nabbed after a short chase, the other managed to flee.

Further efforts were supervised by Mr Vijaypal Singh, SDPO, East and Mr A. S. Jaggi, SHO, Sector 19 police station.

The accused revealed his identity as Dev Raj, alias Dev, a resident of Sikanderpur in Balia district of Rajasthan. He is an employee in a factory in Ram Darbar. He also confessed that they had hatched the plan after overhearing one of the painters working in the Guptas factory that they had at least Rs 30 lakh in cash following the sale of a plot recently.

He said the name of his accomplice was Sunil Kumar, who lived in the Sector 31 labour colony and plied a rehri for his livelihood. They had consumed liquor together before starting out for Sector 19, he revealed.

parties were dispatched to raid the possible hideouts of the accused. After three hours, he was finally traced hiding in a truck in the industrial area.

A case under Sections 307, 392 and 342, IPC, has been registered at the Sector 19 police station.

It may be recalled that a robber had scaled the back wall of a house in Sector 38 on recently and decamped with valuables and cash after tying and gagging the housewife. Further investigations in this case are under way.

Award for brave lady

The UT IGP, Mr S. K. Singh, has announced an award of Rs 2,000 for Mrs Tarawati for her bravery in fighting off the two robbers. Similarly, the names of ASI Ajit Singh and Constable Rajpal Singh, both posted with the Sector 19 police station, and Constables Satpal Singh and Satnam Singh, posted with the PCR, have been recommended by the SDPO, East, for a suitable reward for their conduct in nabbing the robbers.


Mohali may face water shortage again this summer
From Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, Feb 24 — The town is once again likely to face a water shortage in summer, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the Municipal Council and the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board towards the residents’ basic need.

While council officials blame the sewerage board, which has been assigned the job of sinking tubewells, for working at a snail’s pace, the latter on the other hand accuses the civic body of not providing adequate and timely funds for the work.

Officials of the Department of Public Health, who are solely responsible for the supply of water in the town, say the council and the sewerage board staff do not understand the gravity of the situation as “they are not answerable to the public” in the case of water shortage.

Seeing the seriousness of the situation, the Administrator of the council, Mr O.P. Popli, met the officials concerned yesterday and assured the sewerage board that there was no paucity of funds with the council for the sinking of tubewells, but the board would have to gear up its activities.

Mr S.S. Ghuman, Executive Engineer of the Public Health Department, said the water demand of the residential areas (excluding Sector 71) besides Industrial Phases I to V was 24.69 MGD (million gallons a day). However, the availability at present was only 12.5 MGD (7.5 MGD of canal water and 5 MGD from tubewells). In view of the gap between demand and supply, the department had requested the council to sink 18 deep tubewells. Since 1997 it had repeatedly made requests in this regard but the response from the council was unsatisfactory. Although four new tubewells had been made operational in the recent past in Phases IX, X and XI, this did not improve matters much as certain old ones had stopped functioning.

The Department of Local Government had given administrative approval in March, 1999, to the council for getting deep tubewells sunk in Phases I, IIIA, IIIBI and IIIB2 and Industrial Phases VI, IX and VII. The work had to be got done from the sewerage board. Almost a year has passed but none of these sanctioned tubewells has become operational.

For tubewells to be sunk in Phases IIIBI and IIIB2, the council had made full payment, though in parts, to the sewerage board. The board had completed the boring work about two months ago but the power connection and installation of machinery were pending.

In the case of the Phase I tubewell only boring had been done. The council, too, has made only part payment for the work.

A hunt for a suitable site for the Phase IIIA tubewell (sanctioned about a year ago) is on. The council had paid about Rs 5 lakh against the estimate of about Rs 15.46 lakh. In the case of Phase VII tubewell neither has the council made any payment nor has the sewerage board moved an inch.

In August last year the council paid Rs 18, 84, 43 to the sewerage board for the tubewell in Industrial Phase IX but it is yet to become functional. In Industrial Phase VI the tubewell needs to be bored again as the water discharge is inadequate.The council has made full payment for this tubewell.

Public Health officials say that there is no water storage facility to meet emergencies at the water treatment plants in Phase IV and Sector 57. PUDA had made a water storage tank at one of the plants but the sump facility had not been provided so far. In the absence of a sump, water could not be lifted for use.

Mr Popli said the council would try to get sunk 14 new tubewells in the coming months. He said in Phases I, IIIBI and IIIB2 the tubewells would be made operational by March 15. The tubewells meant for Phases IIIA and VII would be made functional by April 30. Three more tubewells — one for Industrial Phases I and II, one for Industrial Phase III and another for Industrial Phases IV and V — would be made operational by June 30.


MCC clears Budget amid protests
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — As the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) passed the Budget for the year 2000-2001, amounting to Rs 167.55 crore, today, the differences between the two factions of the BJP again came to the fore.

Councillors owing allegiance to the Satya Pal Jain faction, supported by the Congress councillors and certain nominated ones, wanted that the amendments moved by them should be incorporated in the Budget estimates and another meeting should be held for passing the Budget.

There was a verbal duel between members of the Jain and the Gian Chand Gupta factions. However, the Mayor, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, declared the Budget passed after incorporating certain amendments. Still, a number of councillors seemed dissatisfied.

Among the amendments incorporated by the Mayor were the review of the progress of development works every three months and hike in the outlays for the Horticulture and Electricity Wings by Rs 1 crore and Rs 25 lakh, respectively.

Earlier, while presenting the Rs 11.42-crore-surplus Budget, the Mayor told the House that of the Rs 167.55-crore receipts, Rs 79.82 crore would be the estimated income of the civic body from its own sources. The MCC was likely to get Rs 24.29 crore from the water tariff, Rs 2 crore from the sewerage cess, Rs 15 crore from the property tax, Rs 34.54 crore from the sale of the commercial property and Rs 1.55 crore from other sources.

The corporation would get a grants-in-aid of Rs 75 crore from the Chandigarh Administration (Rs 48 crore as the non-plan and Rs 27 as the plan grants-in-aid), she said. She also said the corporation was beginning the financial year with Rs 12.73 crore as surplus. On the expenditure side, the non-plan expenditure would be Rs 100.20 crore and the plan expenditure Rs 55.92 crore.

In a four-hour discussion, members made several suggestions which they said should be incorporated in the Budget. The decision of the Administration to take back the Malaria Wing, was criticised by several members, including Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Mr O.P. Goyal and Mr K.L. Sharma, all of the BJP. They said the House should protest to the Administration in writing after passing a resolution. The councillors also demanded a hike in the amount for the Ward Development Scheme from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh and its provision in the Budget.

Mr R.L. Arora of the BJP praised the work done by certain departments like those dealing with horticulture and roads. He said it was a matter of concern that other departments like that of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and the Electricity Department had spent only a part of their Budget outlays for the current financial year.

The projection of the ruling party's aims and principles was missing in the Budget, said Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd), also of the BJP. He was supported by Ms Harjinder Kaur of the SAD who said it lacked a clear focus. She said there should be a reduction in the non-plan expenditure. She also said services should be provided at community centres with an active participation of the private sector.

The Congress councillors, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, Ms Kamlesh and Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, alleged that the adequate budgetary provision had not been provided for the areas represented by them.

Mr Prem Sagar Jain of the BJP alleged that no new areas had been included in the Budget and it was a copy of the past year's Budget with minor changes.

Mr Harish Bhanot a nominated councillor, criticised the rehabilitation policy and said there should a uniform set of rules for all parts of the city. He said the city should be treated as one unit, which unfortunately was not reflected in the estimates.


Barring hiccups, repoll peaceful
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 24 — Repoll at the five polling stations in Sector 17, here, today went off peacefully, barring a few "hiccups''. Nearly 50 per cent votes were cast at the booths against 45 per cent of February 22 when voting remained suspended for three hours owing to a scuffle between Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party workers.

However, things got off to a bumpy start when the BJP objected to the Congress party being allowed to put up two tents in the vicinity of the complex against one which was permitted. The objection was raised by the candidate, Mr Sham Lal Bansal, who later had a verbal duel with one of the observers before being asked to leave the venue.

Mr Bansal was critical of the fact that though police personnel had been instructed to remove the tent, they had failed to do so even after nearly two hours. At 11:30 am, the BJP decided to prop up another tent since there had been no action against the Congress. All through the polling, Congress workers refused to be incited by any provocation to ensure that voting went on without disturbance.

During the day, BJP workers and the candidate stayed inside the complex in an effort to check any discrepancy in voting. Consequently, they ended up raising objections in cases where voters without identity cards became "debatable issues'', important enough to be discussed in the polling centre.

In the last 20 minutes, there was confusion over a couple of voters which held up polling for some time. With very little time and hardly any voters in the booths, they too took a stand and insisted that the voters be allowed to cast their votes. Mr Bansal insisted that they should not be allowed to cast their vote since they could not prove their credentials in spite of the fact that they were carrying their ration card or photo-identity card. There were numerous such instances during the day which were later amicably resolved.

Also, there was heavy deployment of police at the venue and voters began pouring in since morning.

The Commissioner, Ambala, Mr Chander Singh, along with the three observers, Mr P. D. thomas, Mr Tikkadhar and Mr A. R. Mohanty visited the polling station.


Staff assume holiday

Confusion over the holiday announced by the Haryana government for the repoll in five booths of the Kalka constituency led to vacant corridors and empty chairs in most offices of the township, here today. The otherwise crowded parking areas of the offices had few vehicles and lots of space.

Though employees reported on duty in the morning as usual, most of them left office within an hour of their arrival. This came after considerable debate amongst the employees that owing to a repoll at some polling booths, all offices in the township as also those in the Kalka constituency ought to remain closed.

However, the announcement of the holiday was meant for residents who had to cast their vote in one of the five polling stations in Sector 17 where the repoll had been ordered. For the rest, it was like any other day and they were required to attend office as usual.

In the District Secretariat, the flurry of activity was completely absent with most of the clerical staff choosing to take a day off. But, the staff of the Deputy Commissioner and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate were on duty owing to a repoll. Also, though officers were present during the day, little work could be pushed ahead with no staff at their disposal.

Employees who remained in the office informed that while some staff members did enter the building in the morning, others returned from the parking area itself, assuming it was a holiday. They added that the employees left the office without bothering to confirm the holiday.

In the office of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, the hub of activity, there was poor attendance in spite of the fact that the officers were in their office. One officer said that he met some of his employees leaving office as he was entering. He asked them to return to work irrespective of the holiday. "Though I saw quite a few disappointed faces, at the end of the day I managed to get my work done,'' he added.

Another senior official quipped, "These employees are forever on the lookout to skip office. They interpreted the announcement of the holiday to suit themselves and left office without informing anybody.''

Most officers were of the view that there had been no work in the offices this week. While employees were preparing for election on February 21, there was no work owing to polling on February 22 and February 23 went in preparing for the repoll.

Today the repoll was conducted and employees played truant yet again. With counting scheduled for tomorrow, employees would be least interested in working.


Festival of Gardens opens today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The annual three-day Festival of Gardens begins at Zakir Rose Garden in Sector 16 here tomorrow. While festivities and entertainment will begin tomorrow under a strict security, the Flower Arrangement Show was held today.

The SDM (Central), Mr P.S. Gill, allotted 267 stalls all along Jan Marg (road dividing Sector 16 and 17), getting about Rs 20 lakh in revenue for the Chandigarh Administration. No lottery system was applied in allotment of the stalls. Persons can set up stalls of games, eatables and other items. Usually, at the festival, many cloth merchants also set up shops here.

Meanwhile, a record 760 entries in the Rose Princess and Rose Prince competitions to be held on February 26 has forced the Administration to introduce more prizes in the contests to keep the spirit of participation alive. This competition will be supervised by 18 judges and will be held in six categories.


Daily-use items, IT rebate main concerns
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Expressing apprehensions regarding a tough budget creating more difficulties in household management, city residents are hoping that the prices of daily-use commodities do not go up. More rebate on savings and an increase in standard deduction is also being desired.

Pulses, flour, rice and cooking oils, besides cosmetics and clothing, are what all the housewives Chandigarh Tribune has talked to, are concerned about. The professionals are asking for increase in tax exemption limit and removal of surcharge on income tax.

Regarding the impending railway budget, residents wish that rail fare does not go up. There should be no discrimination between AC, first class, chair-car and second class, insist most of the residents.

"Leave articles of daily-use alone," pleads Ms Manju Sharma, an upper division clerk in Regional Provident Funds Commissioner's office. "They are already very expensive. Any increase will make necessities out of reach for everyone. We are spending Rs 1,800 on the kitchen. How much more do they expect us to dish out?"

Ms Rajni Arora, a computer professional, says, "The salaries are more or less the same while prices keep on increasing. Thanks to the budget, commodities of daily use are going to be more expensive. I hope the prices of apparel do not shoot up." Claiming to be spending something like Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 on clothes every month, she fears that the budget will force her to pull out Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 more.

Mr Suhail Raja, a shopkeeper, is also worried about an increase in the prices of necessities but for a different reason. Sitting in his Sector 17 chunk-jewellery shop, he complains, "The kitchen in already eating into the house-hold budget. Atta, dal and ghee leave little money to spare for luxury items. People do not have money. Any additional burden on food will make them forgo other things. Our business will be adversely affected."

For Ms Bhavana, an employee with a multinational, there are other things to be worry about than fruit, dal and roti. "The prices of cosmetics may go up further if the import-export duty is increased. They are already so expensive. I am afraid they will become dearer." She is also worried about rail fare. "I hope that the fare does not go up this time. What is the use of earning so much if I cannot even travel to Bangalore, where I have studied, in AC!" she exclaims.

"Do not increase the rail fare. If nothing else, at least think of the labour class travelling from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to all over the country in search of livelihood," asserts Mr Kamal Preet Singh, a computer engineer. "The government can increase the prices of cigarettes, pan and bidis. At least they will save some people from becoming cancer patients," he suggests.

As far as increase in rail fare is concerned, Mr Vinod Arora, an industrialist, disagrees. "The fare is on the lower side in India. It can go up. If people want world-class facilities, they should also pay for it," he asserts. He wishes that the surcharge on income tax should be removed. The policy towards the industries, he believes, should also be made a bit more lenient. "The home industry has to compete with multinationals. It should be given more relief," he adds.

Mr S.K. Bali, a chemist with a pharmaceutical organisation, says, "The salaried class will benefit from the budget if there is more rebate on savings. The standard deduction should also be raised. It has remained the same for so many years," he says.

Going into details, Mr Sanjeev Sharma, a chartered accountant, says, "The salaried class want the standard deduction to be raised from the present Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. They also want the income tax exemption limit to be raised from the present Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000. The surcharge of 10 per cent on the tax should also be removed."


Lawyers hold dharna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Responding to the Bar Council of India's call for a nationwide strike, proceedings in the Punjab and Haryana High Court here, besides the Sector 17 District Courts, came to a standstill as advocates abstained from court work to protest against the proposed amendment in the CPC and the Advocates Act.

The lawyers also sat on dharna on the High Court Bar Association premises. Later in the evening, the President of the District Bar Association, Mr N.K. Nanda, and a former President of the High Court Bar Association, Mr G.C. Dhuriwala, condemned the "attack" on the demonstrating advocates during a protest rally at Delhi.

Expressing shock, Mr Dhuriwala demanded the arrest of all the officials responsible for ordering a lathi charge on the lawyers in Delhi. He also appealed to the advocates to observe strike till the "objective was achieved".

Extending full support, Mr Nanda said that the District Bar Association would go by the wishes of the High Court Bar Association. Claiming that the strike for expressing solidarity with the family of the missing lawyer would continue till February 29, he said the lawyers would restrain from work tomorrow to protest against the lathi charge.

Meanwhile, describing the amendments as anti-people, a press note by the High Court Bar Association stated that, according to it, every plaint would be accompanied with a detailed affidavit. The written statement would have to be filed within 30 days of the receipt of the notice, failing which the defence would be struck off. All documents would have to be filed with the plaint. A maximum of three adjournments would be allowed and none would be without costs.

Giving details regarding the amendments to the Advocates Act, it was added that the advocates would have to qualify a test after every five years for the renewal of licences.


Lawyers in the District Courts here abstained from work today in support of their demands. More than 50 lawyers organised a protest march and raised slogans against the Union Law minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani.

The march started from the court premises, went through the mini secretariat and ended at Majri Chowk. The protesting lawyers burnt the effigy of the Law Minister in the middle of the road, which blocked traffic for some time.

The President of the District Bar Association, Mr R.S. Bhahran, said that the amendment to the Advocates Act, proposed by the Union Government was discriminatory and would further delay the process of justice.


City gets Bulbous Garden today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Final touches were given to the Sector 23 Bulbous Garden which is slated for an inauguration tomorrow by Mrs Vineeta Rai, Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, as part of the ensuing Festival of Gardens.

Carved out of a portion of the Sector 23 Leisure Valley, the garden has civil works features dominating the far and few landscaping and horticulture works in it. A pedestrian overbridge and concrete pathways, besides the mildsteel railing and barbed wire fencing along the adjoining Government Primary School are the dominant features of this new addition to chain of gardens in the city.

Twenty-odd flower beds and some potted plants dotting the vast open spaces notwithstanding, the Horticulture Wing of the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration, in an attempt to give the water feature passing through the valley a neat and clean look, either pruned or removed some of the plants growing on its embankments.

The maximum damage was suffered by the bamboo groves which otherwise constitute a major feature of the entire water feature throughout the valley. The department has also undertaken a massive stone pitching of the embankments near the newly constructed foot bridge and also at points where storm water pipes open in it.

Workers of the Engineering Department were busy until late in the evening, fixing barbed wires along the Government Primary School fence. The inauguration has come as a blessing for the school as the entire building has been given a quick facelift. Its window panes were cleared of thick deposits of white-wash and broken ones were replaced by new ones. The lower portion of the building also got a fresh coat of paint.

The low lying areas or depressions in the playfield of the school, too, were partially filled up. The chowkidar of the school, however, was unhappy as some plants grown by him were cut to make room for the barbed wire fencing.

Newly painted green tree guards, too, have been installed on virtually dry and brown saplings. Only a few had some green tops.

The sign boards at either of the entrances were being painted warning visitors against the use of garden for playing cricket, football or wrestling besides advising them to use "garbage bins" for litter. No garbage bins, however, had been provided in the garden.

While concrete pathways were being swept, huge piles of garbage were deposited on the side facing the entrance to the garden from towards the school side.

The number of beds with bulbous plants are few. In other beds have been grown some common perennials.

Senior functionaries of the Administration are also expected to plant some saplings at the time of formal inauguration. To make up for fewer flowering plants, the department plans to make up with potted plants.


Encroachment on mini park
From Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, Feb 24 — A mini park in Sector 10, surrounded by scores of houses, where the Water Works Department of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) a year ago had set up a tube-well reportedly against the wishes of the residents, is today being illegally encroached upon by some of the employees of the department.

The site of the tubewell (No. 4, HUDA) which has been the bone of contention since long, has resulted in enormous problems for the residents. The problem at the site escalated yesterday when a few employees of the department restarted with the construction on the foundation which had been laid earlier .

Repeated requests by the residents to the employees failed to yield results as they continued to turn a deaf ear to their requests. On losing patience, the agitated women of the colony stormed the site where the construction was being undertaken. They dismantled the partially built structure following which the work was stalled.

The President of the Ladies Welfare Association, Sector 10, Ms Kiran Kakkar, along with other women office-bearers informed that the employees did not have the permission to commence with the construction. Ms Chanda Gupta, a resident, said that the setting up of the tubewell in the centre of the park had occupied most of the area used by the children for playing”. The room which was being illegally brought up would have further aggravated the misery, as the play area would have further reduced,’’ she added.

The residents lamented that the pipes along the sides of the tubewell were often leaking resulting in waterlogging in the park and on the roads. The park, which used to be earlier maintained by the authorities concerned, portrays a picture of neglect with hardly any maintenance, they complained. The dirt around the tubewell increased as the operators on duty used the open spaces to wash clothing etc, they added.

Mr S.C. Mehta, the SDO in-charge, said that there was no permission given by the department to undertake the construction at the site. However, he stressed that the details of the incident were not to his notice. Mr Mehta, expressing his inability, said that any action on this issue against the defaulting employees would be difficult to initiate due to certain limitations. The members of the association informed that they would resort to all means to ensure that the malpractice was not repeated again.


'More political reasons behind LoC'
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — The Line of Control between India and Pakistan drawn at the time of partition seems to have had more political reasons than geographical ones before drawing, remarked Mr Salman Khurshid, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, at the concluding ceremony of the conference on 'Rethinking boundaries: geopolitics, identities and sustainability' at Panjab University here today.

Mr Khurshid said the line for dividing the two countries also reflected the possibility of hands of Mr Sheikh Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, who wanted the part of Kashmir which could be seen under his influence within the Indian boundary. Kashmir in "reality had no boundary. There was only a Line of Control,' he said, adding that by and large the national boundaries had natural features like mountains, rivers or water.

Referring to the developments in Ireland where the two parts remained under conflict during the last century, Mr Khurshid said the recent developments where they had started to be close and it seemed that 'compatibility of currency' with the developing European Union did solve the problem to a large extent. India and Pakistan need to see the problem in a positive direction.

Prof Anssi Passi, University of Oulu, Finland, said that the conference showed that there was a need for international research on the subject. The message was more important for education policy makers.

Prof M.M.Puri, Vice-Chancellor, said that the problems of the coming times were more due to microbes than boundaries. Diseases were more dangerous in the times to come than the din of weapons. A number of related subjects which were currently on the backseat, needed to be addressed.

Dr Paula Banerjee, University of Calcutta, said that boundaries were not mere lines but whole zones. The affect on women in these areas was great.

Prof Bhupinder Brar, Panjab University, said that besides the deliberations of the issue of boundaries, it would have been more beneficial to dwell on the issue of frontiers as well.

Some more important speakers scheduled for the day included Dr Asha Hans, Utkal University, Elena Nikiforova, Centre for Independent Social Research, Petersburg, Russia, Prof Ranabir Sammadar, director, Peace Research, SAFHR, Nepal, Dr Ashutosh Kumar, Panjab University and Dr James Sidaway, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


CTCC against black flag rally
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — Mr Kulbhushan Gupta, President, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, said in a written statement that his party does not approve of the suggestion of the all-party meet that black flag demonstration be held outside the venue of the first meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council.

Mr Gupta said that the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee would independently hold an agitation with its other allies after a party meeting on the problems faced by the residents, and because of the anti-people and anti-weaker section attitude of the Administration.

Mr Gupta further said that though the CTCC had deputed Mr Sunil Parti to attend the all-party meeting, it would join other parties on other issues like law and order and rampant corruption in the Administration.

BJP assails Congress decision : The local unit of Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday assailed Chandigarh territorial Congress Committee for its decision to dissociate itself from the Administrator’s Advisory Council as a political stunt following its failure to do anything for the city after the election of its nominee, Mr Pawan Bansal,to Lok Sabha. Ms Ranjana Shahi, a Councillor, said that by such “stunts”, Congress was trying to run away from its responsibility of serving people.

Meanwhile, the BJP also made it clear that membership drive had been initiated in all 20 wards of the city and if any one had any problem in becoming a member, he could contact the party office in Sector 33.

Babla hails decision : Mr Devinder Singh Babla has welcomed the decision of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mr Harmohan Dhawan for dissociating themselves from the Administrator’s Advisory Council. Accusing the Administration of acting in a dictatorial manner, Mr Babla said that more than 2,000 notices have been served on people in connection with violation of building by-laws without taking into confidence the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal. He further said that the Administration was acting at the behest of the BJP.


19 held, encroaches booked
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — In a five-day special drive to check the illegal practice of allowing the consumption of liquor in hotels and pubs, officers from the Central Division carried out raids at various establishments in the city late last night. Nineteen persons were arrested for various offences.

Six hostels, five of the Panjab University and one of Government College of Art in Sector 15, were also raided. As many 23 persons were found to be staying without permission from the wardens. All of them were let off after verification.

The raids were carried out by teams constituted under the supervision of Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP. Raids were also carried out to nab people found consuming liquor or creating nuisance at public places while under the influence of liquor.

The officers also booked encroachers who were operating from the verandahs of shops, obstructing passage of the general public. The drive will be resumed after the Rose Festival.

Of the arrested persons, 18 were taken into custody from the area of the central police station by teams constituted by Mr K. I. P. Singh, SHO, Central. Twelve persons were arrested under Sections 34, 5 and 61 of the Police Act, while under the influence of liquor. Six persons were arrested under Section 41, 2 and 109 of the CrPC, from sectors 23 and 17 for roaming under suspicious circumstances. One person was apprehended from the light point of sectors 22 and 23 for drunken driving.



Medical firm launches products
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 24 — A Singapore-based medi-aids company launched its surgical and disposable products in North India, at a function held at the UT Guest House here yesterday.

The company, according to its Managing Director, Mr Ravinder Gupta, will market catheters, gloves, canulas and other medical disposables, which are silicon-coated and mostly manufactured by ISO 9000 companies from non-toxic latex to give trouble-free insertion and assured retention.

He said the catheters complied with all standards laid down by the world’s major health authorities and were economical. The company will also organise training programmes for its dealers and field staff to equip them with product information for service to the medical profession and ensure availability in Chandigarh, Ferozepore, Ludhiana, Ambala and Amritsar initially, and thereafter throughout North India.


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