Tuesday, March 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Liquor shops in tin sheds likely to stay
Fund-starved MCC lured by liquor lobby
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — It seems the ugly-looking tin sheds from where several liquor shops and ahatas (drinking places) operate in the city will continue to function despite a resolution of Municipal Corporation to disallow the use of municipal land for setting up a liquor shop in a tin shed.

The present lease of these liquor shops in tin sheds ends on March 31. But sources say the tin sheds may stay on in the next financial year due to the exigencies of the corporation and pressures exerted from various quarters, including the powerful liquor lobby.

Two months ago, the general louse of the corporation passed a resolution saying that the use of tin sheds to open liquor shops in the city will not be allowed. This had happened after several liquor shops opened in tin sheds in the southern sectors and residents raised a hue and cry over the social problem this created. These sheds are located at all odd places like important road crossings, in the main markets, on important highways leading out of the city and are always too close to residential areas.

Now, the Excise Department has hiked the rent of these tin sheds from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 a month, thus throwing a bait to the cash-strapped Municipal Corporation. Besides, liquor contractors are also keen on opening their shops in the tin sheds as this saves them the hassle from landlords and court cases at later stages.

Sources said final picture will emerge only when the liquor contractors apply to the corporation, seeking for space to open shops in tin sheds. The number of liquor shops in tin sheds is more in the outer parts of the city like Mani Majra on the eastern flank and Maloya village on the south-western side. The vends are located on the road that join the Shimla highway and the Ludhiana road respectively.

Sources in the corporation said that business is more lucrative in a tin shed and at present close to 15 shops are in tin sheds. At present, these shop-owners pay a sum of Rs 5,000 per month to the corporation, this is far less than the prevailing market rent for a similar space. From these tin sheds, liquor contractors also illegally operate ahatas. Income from ahatas is reportedly a few thousand rupees a day, sources in the liquor sector said. All these years, the corporation officials did not realise this aspect of the trade. A senior elected member of the corporation said during Mr Gyan Chand Gupta’s tenure as Mayor, a resolution was passed to close down the ahatas from tin sheds. However, nothing happened after that.

The scheme of tin sheds has also created serious traffic problems. For example, near Manimajra vehicles stop on the road side. The vend at the crossing of Sectors 46,47,48 and 49 , obstructs the view of motorists. This road is used by truckers, who also stop for a quick drink. In Sector 44, a tin shed has come in the main market due to the “obliging nature” of the corporation.Back


SCO site fetches Rs 65.10 lakh
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 27 — The Haryana Urban Development Authority netted Rs 10.54 crore against a reserve price of Rs 8.17 crore in the auction of 63 commercial sites held at the office here today. Nearly 36 of the sites were sold while 27 sites were withdrawn since the bids were far below the expected revenue from the sites and the non-availability of prospective buyers.

The highest bid came for a shop-cum-office in Sector 20, which bagged Rs 65.10 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 45.55 lakh. The lowest bid came for a booth site in the same sector which went for Rs 12.30 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 9.67 lakh. The bids for most other sites in the auction revolved around Rs 63 lakh.

A double-storey shop with a basement went up to Rs 28.30 lakh against its reserve price of Rs 21 lakh in Sector 20, while one in another market of the sector fetched Rs 30.55 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 24.85 lakh, 10 per cent more than the other sites for being a corner plot. In Sector 25, a double-storey shop went up to Rs 23.50 lakh against Rs 19.80 lakh, while another site was auctioned for Rs 25 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 21 lakh.

While the Estate Office successfully auctioned nearly 95 per cent sites in Sector 20 and 21, those in Sector 12-A, Sector 10 and Sector 5 did not prove as lucrative following which these were withdrawn. Also, some site like the one reserved for a hotel in Sector 5 has not attracted any bidders.

The Estate Officer, Mr S.K. Sharma, terming the auction as "successful'', said that there had been a net increase of 30 per cent in the total revenue gain of the department."Despite the fact that the auction was conducted at the fag end of the financial year and at a time when there is a slump in the market, we have done considerably well,'' he added.Back


CBI Director monitors Goel case
We gave bribe, people admit to sleuths
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — Some senior functionaries of the Central Bureau of Investigation, including its Director, were in the city today to monitor the progress of the KB Goel case.

It may be recalled here that KB Goel, Superintendent in the Chandigarh Administration, had made a confessional statement before the Executive Magistrate, Mr Asish Kundra, on the night of March 14 that he used to contact people and demand “bribe” on behalf of Home Secretary N.K. Jain.

The Home Secretary has already proceeded on earned leave for three weeks.

The case is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Special Cell. Sources in the CBI reveal that a majority of persons who figured in the confessional statement of KB Goel have already been questioned by the investigators. Some of them are reported to have confessed to having paid huge amounts of money to get their work done.

The investigators have also been questioning some members of the personal staff of NK Jain, besides gathering all relevant files and duces from various offices of the Chandigarh Administration.

The Director today reviewed the progress of the case. The visit of the Director to the city in connection with this case gives indications of the gravity and seriousness of allegations made by KB Goel in his confessional statement.Back


Friendly cops to help you lodge complaints
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 27 — Soon, cops will assist people lodge complaints. Disclosing this here today, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr GPS Bhullar, said it had been observed that complainants, especially the illiterate, faced harassment when it came to lodging a complaint with the police.

Special policemen would be put on duty to help people pen down their complaints. Speaking at meet-the-press programme organised by the local Working Journalists Association, he said middlemen took money from villagers for writing down their complaints.

He said boards announcing the service would be displayed at police stations and police posts in the town.

To improve the efficiency of the local police, he said a proposal to equip the force with more vehicles, staff and better communication equipment had been sent to the Director-General of Police.

Talking about various measures being taken to build the community-police rapport, he said various confidence building measures like disposal of complaints on the spot, regular meetings between police and public and regular feedback from the public would be adopted.

He said efforts were being made to make the functioning of the police transparent. Instructions had been issued to the station house officers and those in charge of police posts to register an FIR after verifying the facts of the case concerned and provide its duplicate copy to the complainant. Seeking cooperation of the public, he said in some cases it had been seen that wrong information was provided by vested interests. “What the police needs is right information at the right time”, he added.

He said the servant and tenant verification drive would be intensified in the town. People would be given some time to submit information about their tenants and servants on weekends. After that, action under the law would be taken against the residents who fail to supply the information.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr S.S. Gill, was directed by the SSP to start a drive to challan people violating noise pollution control norms and also book those defacing public property. Back


Advisory Council for botanical garden
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — Work on setting up the Botanical Garden of Chandigarh has been stepped up following the constitution of an Advisory Council and notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring more than 175 acres of land in three villages of the Union Territory.

The Administration has issued notification for 145.79 acres of land at Sarangpur village, 19 acres at Dhanas village and 12.54 acres in Lahora village.

The next step on land acquisition would be initiated by the Collector under Section 7 of the Act.

The Administration has also decided to constitute an Advisory Council to advise it on various aspects of this garden, which will be a major research centre on herbal trees, forestry and other useful plants.

Some senior functionaries of the Department of Forestry were recently sent on a tour of some other states to study other botanical gardens. Based on their reports and suggestions, the Administration would work out modalities to get the project going in the new financial year.

The Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), is keen that Botanical Garden of Chandigarh, not only be a centre of excellence for research on forestry, herbal trees and other useful plants but also facilitate in preserving the periphery of the city by keeping it green and clean besides preventing unauthorised construction and encroachments.

The area to be acquired is under cultivation. In some areas, wheat crop will soon be ready for harvesting.

Though Chandigarh already has two botanical gardens — one in Panjab University and the other adjoining Rock Garden — but the new garden is being set up for an altogether different purpose and objective.

The Advisory Council will suggest types of plants, trees, herbs and other species to be grown here. It will also suggest type of research laboratories to be set up to facilitate new developments and research in the area of forestry, organic forestry, use of trees and herbal plants for medical purposes and related areas.

Since the area to be acquired will touch the proposed Anandgarh town, the garden would provide the green buffer zone between populated areas both in Chandigarh and Punjab.

The botanical garden, adjoining the Rock Garden, is in shambles as little has been done to preserve some of the man-made features raised in the garden as part of Smriti Upavana where people were free to plant saplings to commemorate memories of their dear and near ones. But in the absence of any proper maintenance and upkeep, the experiment did not succeed.

The control of Smriti Upavana was initially entrusted to the Save Sukhna Lake Society. But for a long time, there has been little to bring this project, started with great pomp and show during the tenure of Mr S.S. Ray as Administrator of Chandigarh, back on rails.Back


Illegal mining in Nadha nadi
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 27 — Illegal mining in the Nadha nadi ( Patiala Ki Rao) close to Nadha village continues despite the police registering a case against the persons allegedly involved in the activity. The mining being done in violation of a Supreme Court ruling regarding restrictions on sand quarrying in the forest land has threatened the agricultural land of the villagers.

According to the information available, a case under Sections 379 and 120-B had been registered last month by the police following a report given by the Forest Department to the Deputy Commissioner that it had given no permission for quarrying of sand from the Nadha nadi.Back


Thousands disclose load extension
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, March 27 — The local electricity sub-division office has collected over Rs 15 lakh from the consumers who applied for power extension to their houses under the voluntary disclosure scheme (VDS).

The Punjab State Electricity Board started the scheme in January this year.

More than 25,000 applications for power extension, including 50 for new power connections, have been received by the authorities so far. The number of applicants will increase as four days for the cut-off date remain, said an official.

Residents of the area complain that the government should lift the ban on getting no objection certificates from the municipality prior to applying for the power connections and load extension purposes. This will not only increase the revenue of the Board but also help the residents in getting power connections.

According to sources, hundreds of applications for power connections are still pending with the department.

The consumers complain that they have to wait for long hours outside the counter for their turn, which puts them to great inconvenience. They complain that the department is harassing them by imposing fines and not releasing power connections in due course of time.Back


Curbs on guest houses suggested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — Following the suicide committed by three Ambala-based teenaged girls in a Sector 18 guest house, the Chandigarh police has written to the Chandigarh Administration, recommending some kind of curbs on opening of guest houses in residential areas.

The police has also expressed its apprehension over the growth of these houses. Various security reasons have been cited in the letter.

The police can only keep an eye on various movements. Action can only be initiated by the Administration.Back


22 tenants arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — The police has arrested two house owners and 22 tenants for not furnishing particulars to the police.

According to police sources, the accused were arrested during a drive from Palsora. They have been booked under Section 188 of the IPC. Those arrested include Suraj Yadav and Pallu Ram, house owners, and Daban Singh, Danbar Singh, Ramesh Pal, Dharmendra, Khajan Singh, Karam Singh, Chaman Singh, Sudhir Singh, Chaman Singh, Naresh Kumar, Shankar Dass, Soni Lal, Dunus, Karam, Naresh, Vinod, Raj Kumar, Rajesh Kumar and Naresh Kumar, all tenants.

Scooterist injured: Scooterist Salim Khan, a resident of Mauli Jagran, was hit and injured by a three-wheeler (CHV 1770), drive, who fled from the spot. He was admitted to hospital. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC, has been registered.

Four nabbed, booked: The police arrested four persons who were creating nuisance while under the influence of liquor. A case under Section 34/5/61 of the Police Act has been registered.


Two killed: One person was killed and another injured in a collision between a jeep and a motorcycle at Mallah near Pinjore. While Ramesh Chander died on the spot, Pawan Kumar sustained serious injuries. The local police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.

Kalicharan died when he was sandwiched between a wall and a reversing tractor-trolley, (PB-39A-5241) near Burjikolian last night. A case has been registered. Back


Gas cylinder catches fire
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — Tragedy was averted when a gas cylinder in a Sector 28 house caught fire this morning today. The cylinder apparently has a half inch gash and the leakage from it could be the cause of the fire.

According to Mrs Manmohan Kaur, she turned on the gas, kept something to cook and went to her room to do some chore. After sometime, she smelled something burning and saw that the entire kitchen was on fire. She called up the fire brigade which reached well in time to save the adjoining rooms.

Crockery, a fridge, exhaust fans and other assorted items were totally ruined. The goods damaged were worth more than Rs 50, 000, she added.

Her husband, however, said although he had informed their gas agency, nobody had arrived till late in the evening. The police has registered a case and further investigations are on.Back


Sector 69 plot sold for Rs 18 lakh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, March 27 — Over Rs 5.85 crore was netted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) at an auction of residential plots held here today. Of the total 32 plots put under hammer, the PUDA was able to sell 28 plots of different sizes located in the southern part of the town.

The auction which began at 10 a.m. went on till 4 p.m. Earlier, an auction of the residential plots were withdrawn on February 7 last in the absence of potential buyers.

In today’s auction, the highest bid was attracted by a plot in Sector 69 which was sold for 18.03 lakh against the reserved price of Rs 13.49 lakh. The highest bid was attracted by a plot in Sector 68 which was sold for Rs 17.80 lakh against the reserved price of Rs 13.47 lakh. Barring two plots in Sector 69, the remaining 13 plots were successfully sold.

In Sector 68, except two plots all the remaining eight plots were sold. All the seven plots in Sector 71 were also auctioned.Back


PF Commissioner holds meeting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 27 — To review the performance of the Punjab region, a meeting of officers of the region was conducted by Mr M.L. Meena, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, here today.

Mr Meena laid special emphasis on the recovery of PF dues from the defaulting establishments.

He directed the officers to direct their enforcement machinery to file prosecutions and lodge FIRs against the defaulting establishments.He advised the officers to ensure that claims are settled within 30 days and death cases are settled on a priority basis.

Mr Meena also requested the officers to ensure that account slips are issued to the establishments which have submitted form 3A/6A in time. He further advised the officers to redress the grievances of the claimants in Lok Adalats which are organised on the 10th of every month. Officers were also requested to hold seminars and workshops in different parts of the state to educate the workers about the pensionary benefits available under the pension scheme.

Meanwhile, the Regional Provident Fund Office has advised all employers to submit PF return in form No 3A/6A for which April 30 was the last date. Annual slips for the year 1999-2000 will be handed over to those employers who will submit floppy by March 31 instead of form 3A/6A. The process of settlement of claims will also be expedited as their accounts will be up to date.

Cheques and PPOs will be handed over to the retiring employees on the day of retirement provided one month’s advance contribution is deposited and claim is submitted 20 days before the day of retirement. Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |