Tuesday, April 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Maintenance of street lights to be privatised
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — The Chandigarh Administration has given its nod to a proposal of the Municipal Corporation to privatise operation and maintenance of street lights in the city. If this comes through, it will result in an annual saving of about Rs 4 crore for the cash-strapped MC, sources said.

The nod comes with a rider that the MC can go ahead with the futuristic proposal but with the prior approval of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had banned hoarding along roadsides. For this the MC has already submitted an application in court seeking approval to set up small hoarding of the size of 2 feet by 2 feet on electricity poles for the purpose of advertisements to generate revenue.

The Calcutta-based private company that is tying up with the MC will be paying for operation, power bills, maintenance like repair and replacement of street lights in the city. There are nearly 15,000 light points that are presently being managed by the MC at a cost of Rs 4 crore, besides the staff salaries. The private company will not have a free run. The MC plans to ensure that 95 per cent of the lights are functional on any given night. Besides this several conditions will also apply in the contract, said Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer of the MC, when he was asked about the proposal.

Meanwhile, a source added that the private company will have to employ its own people to manage and operate the street lights. In return of spending close to Rs 4 crore, the company will get rights to sell the advertising sites atop the poles. Earnings from such activities will go to the company while in return the MC saves its own money on illuminating the street lights.

The need to think of such an innovative method arose after the Administration informed the MC that the grant — in — aid to the civic body will be gradually reduced over the next 5 to 10 years.

This is one of the several measures taken by the civic body to generate revenue. Once the MC and private company tied up the outline of the contract, the Administration said ‘yes’. An opinion among the MC authorities is that the court ruling is on bigger hoarding along highways and not on small ones atop the electricity poles. To seek permission for the same an application is pending in court.

Even as this privatisation is on the cards, street lights and other amenities in Sector 48 and 49 are nobody’s baby. Sources said the MC has written to the Chandigarh Administration to pay an additional sum if the services in these two sectors are to be handed over to the MC. Both sectors are without street lights as the Administration and MC fight it out over numerous official letters as to why and how and who should manage what.

In the latest letter the MC has said that the Finance and Contract Committee has directed the MC officials not to take over any new area in view of the cash crunch. On its part the Administration has installed street lights from the money collected through co-operative housing societies. But the lights remain nonfunctional. Even the police has expressed a security fear in view of the lack of street lights in these two fast developing sectors. Back


Mohali civic body to act tough with residents
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, April 17 — The residents in the town are in for trouble. The local Municipal Council authorities will start challaning the occupants of houses who dump their ‘malba’ in public places under the provisions of the Municipal Act. from tomorrow.

At least eight teams, each consisting of around 11 workers, have been assigned the job of removing the malba thrown along roads and other public places in the town. Each team will be headed by a Junior Engineer who will give the compliance report to the Administrator and Executive Officer of the council within a week.

The teams, apart from removing the ‘malba’ have been asked to identify the erring residents. The challan of the violators under Section 156 of the Municipal Act, 1911, will be submitted before the civil court at Kharar. At present the Municipal Act does not permit the council officials to charge fine for the violation.

Sources said that the drive was launched after the Chief Minister during a recent public rally expressed his displeasure at the state of cleanliness in the town.

Officials of the council said that dumping of ‘malba’ by the people who raise or add structures on their plots had become a headache for the council as the waste material blocked the storm water gullies. The council, said the officials, had decided to be tough with the private contractors who undertook development work on behalf of the council.

The officials concerned in the council had been asked not to make payment of the works undertaken by the contractors till they removed the waste material generated from the development works concerned. Action will be taken against the people who dump construction material on road sides for sale.

The ‘malba’ collected by the council will be dumped in low-lying areas adjacent to the local cremation ground. To tighten its nose around the violators, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development (PUDA) authorities have been asked to strictly implement its provisions of not issuing the occupation certificate till a no-objection certificate (NOC)in this regard was given by the council.

The Section 156 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, reads:

“Depositing or throwing of earth or material of any description on roads or into drains:- Whoever, without the permission of the committee or in disregard of its order, throws or deposits, or permits his servants or members of his household under his control to throw or deposit earth or materials of any description, or refuse, rubbish, or offensive matter of any kind upon any street or public place or into any irrigation channel or public sewer or public drain or into any drain communicating with an irrigation channel or a public sewer or public drain, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs 500”. Back


Temperatures shoot up in plains

CHANDIGARH, April 17 (UNI) — The north west plains experienced moderate heat-wave conditions with temperatures rising two to five degrees above normal at many places, the weather office said here today.

The maximum spurt in temperatures were at Hisar and Amritsar where temperatures rose upto five degrees celsius. Hisar was hottest in the region with temperatures 41.7 degrees, while Amritsar recorded 37.8 degree.

The maximum temperature in Ludhiana and Patiala was 38.4 (plus two). Ambala recorded 37.3 degrees celsius.

The temperatures in Jammu (36.8) and Srinagar (24.1) were four degree above normal. The condition is likely to prevail in the region for the next two days.

In Himachal Pradesh, Shimla recorded a maximum of 22.1 degrees, three degrees above normal.Back


HC lawyers to suspend strike tomorrow
By Our Legal Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association today decided to suspend the strike by the lawyers from April 19, at a largely attended meeting held today. There was no dissenting voice at the meeting. The strike entered the 54th day today.

Earlier the President of the Bar Association, Ms Daya Chaudhary, apprised the Bar about the efforts made by lawyers collectively and said the Law Minister had already assured that any amendment in the CPC would be made in consultation with the members and that there was no proposal to amend the Advocates Act. She also said an end to the strike been made possible because of the united efforts and sacrifices of the lawyers fraternity that the matter would be raised tomorrow in the highest forum — Parliament.

The Bar chief also apprised the members about the meeting of the deputation of the Bar with the Union Home Minister who assured immediate action on their demands.

The Bar chief proposed that the on-going strike be suspended forthwith and work should be resumed on April 19, to enable her to inform district Bars, which had been fully co-operating in the strike.

However, a section of the advocates which felt dissatisfied with the decision taken by the House requested the president to call a meeting to consider the matter.Back


2 killed as car, truck collide head-on
From Our Correspondent

LALRU, April 17 — Two persons, including a woman, were killed and two others sustained injuries in a head-on collision involving a car and a truck in Dappar village on the Ambala-Chandigarh national highway today.

According to sources, the truck (PB-08G-9682) and the Maruti car (CH-01Z-3448) collided, resulting in the on-the-spot death of the car driver, Prithavi Singh of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, while Hemant Jain of Jalandhar breathed her last at Civil Hospital in Dera Bassi, where she was admitted with serious head injuries. Other two occupants of the car, Mr Ajay Kumar Jain and his 12-year-old daughter Rahat were rushed to Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. Their condition is stated to be stable.

According to eyewitnesses, the mishap occurred at about 5:45 am. The truck dragged the car up to 20 feet. The impact was so severe that the directions of both vehicles were reversed. The front tyres of the truck got detached after the accident.

The collision was so forceful that the car got completely damaged and pieces of its panes got scattered over about 20 feet. The police personnel on duty at the first-aid police post there, said they had to cut the front door of the car to extricate the driver’s body.

The other injured were taken to the Dera Bassi Hospital. The truck driver reportedly fled from the spot. Traffic on the highway also was disrupted till the vehicles were not removed from the road.

After registering a case under Sections 279, 304-A, 337 and 427 of the IPC, the Lalru Police sent the body to Civil Hospital Rajpura for post-mortem examination. Hemant’s relatives took the body away to their native place for cremation.Back


Jain seeks leave extension
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — The Home Secretary of Chandigarh, Mr N.K. Jain, against whom a case of corruption has been registered by the Special Cell of the Central Bureau of Investigation, has asked the Administration to extend his leave by 15 days.

According to information available, Mr Jain reportedly informed the Administration today that since he was not well, he had been admitted to JK Jain Hospital.

The Administration had sanctioned him leave from March 21 to April 11. Though his leave expired on April 11, he was expected to report back for duty today.

The bail application of Mr Jain had been rejected by the District Courts here. He was scheduled to come to the CBI office here on April 13 but did not show up. His house, which was raided on the morning of April 7, was found locked. Subsequently, when he reached here, the CBI investigators conducted a thorough search of his house.

On the basis of the material recovered from his house and from the residential premises of his friend, Mr M.K. Jain, the CBI is investigating the case further.

Investigations reveal that Mr N.K. Jain rang up the CBI office here to give information about his low back pain and his admission to JK Jain Hospital in New Delhi. When he was asked about the location of the hospital, the phone was disconnected.

The question about reversion of Mr Jain to his parent state of Haryana was raised at a press conference addressed by the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, when he visited the city on April 7. The file pertaining to his reversion, according to sources, is still pending with the Union Home Ministry.

The investigators reportedly got some clues about the alleged benami property of Mr Jain.

The case was registered primarily on the basis of a confessional statement made by suspended Office Superintendent K.B. Goel on the night of March 14 before the Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr A.K. Kundra, at the UT Guest House. Mr Goel had reportedly confessed that he had been demanding bribes on behalf of the Home Secretary.

The CBI has taken in its possession several documents and files pertaining to the case.Back


Halwais plan agitation against tax
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 17 — Business for sweetmeat shop owners in the state has turned sour with the Haryana Government imposing 10 per cent sales tax on all items. Some with small businesses are planning to shut shop if the tax is not rolled back. Besides, a state-wide strike to protest against the tax is being planned by the Haryana Halwais Union.

Most of the businessmen feel that the imposition of ST is unjust since it gives no concession to them for the wastage they incur in the day-to-day preparations, while adding that most of the people in the trade are illiterate and are ill-equipped to maintain record books and the like for the same.

The Chairman of the tax-hatao committee, Mr Devinder Singh Kohli, said members of the association had held a meeting in Karnal and later met the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, in connection with the rolling back of the tax which was bluntly refused and has resulted in disappointment and anxiety among them.

Meanwhile, airing their grievances, they said the tax was impractical and would make the unemployment situation in the state more acute. Mr Suresh Kumar, a shopkeeper, says, "We already work from 5 am to 11 pm and if the hard work is to be translated into money to be given to the government, what will we get? The only option at our disposal is that we close down work.''

Another shopkeeper, Mr Gian Chand, opines, "It is absolutely wrong to tax our items. We pay tax when we buy our raw material and if we are forced to pay tax at the time of sale too, it is bound to break our back. Moreover, being uneducated, we cannot maintain accounts and cannot afford employing additional men for the purpose. Everybody has been hit hard by the tax and protest is imminent. It is better to close down rather than pay this huge tax.''

"Striking for rolling back of the tax is the only way we can keep ourselves going. The next best option at our disposal is to change our work and get into something else. However, that would mean a handful people being unemployed and being untrained and illiterate, they will be an addition to the endless list of the unemployed,'' Mr Anand Kishore opined.

With a flourishing business, Mr Parveen Kumar, says, "The big shop owners will go on while the small units will be forced to pack up. Also, a major flaw is that though the government will tax us on items sold, their is no provision to compensate us for the loss suffered on account of wastage.''

Meanwhile, the Prohibition, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Raj Kumar, justifies, "There is no reason to exempt this community from tax. However, the state does not stand to gain much by way of finances.''Back


Jacob visits night school
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — "The Government cannot do everything and the public needs to take responsibility to educate the children belonging to weaker sections of society," said Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Governor of Punjab and Administrator of UT, during his visit to a night school in Kumhar Colony here today.

The Administrator visited the classes and asked simple questions to students to gauge their level of learning. He asked the DPI to run the school on three-shift basis to cater to increasing requirements of colony residents.

The Administrator was moved to see hungry children. He inquired about the meals that the students got. He asked the DPI to explore the possibility of providing the students of night schools with free books, mid-day meals and clothes. The DPI was also told to provide proper infrastructure for football, basketball and volleyball for the school within a week.

The DPI informed the Administrator that 170 students came to this school everyday on an average and the school ran four classes. The DPI said the Administration should construct sulabh latrines near the boundary wall of the school and the height of the boundary wall of the school should be raised. The children were excited to see the Governor amongst them and expressed their joy by singing film songs.Back


350 examined at eye camp
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — The Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Local) organised a free eye camp in collaboration with Government Medical College, Sector 32, at No. 3 Base repair Depot today for the benefit of air force personnel, civilian employees and their families. It was inaugurated by the President of the AFFWA (Local), Ms Madhu Agrawal.

According to a statement issued here, about 350 persons underwent general check-up, vision test, refractory error and fundus check. The medical team included Dr Sudesh Arya, Dr B.K.S. Pannu and four paramedics. The Senior Medical Officer, 3 BRD, Wg-Cdr A.K. Anand, said incidents of eye-related problems were on the rise and these needed to be taken care of at an early stage to avoid complications later.Back


Madrasa doing noble service
By Bipin Bhardwaj

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — It is a madrasa with a difference. It not only provides education to the downtrodden children, but also bears the expenses for boarding and lodging.

Being managed by Maulvis in Dyalpura Sodhian village near Zirakpur for the past six years, it presently has 60 children on its rolls.

The Nazim Jamia Hidayat-ul-Islam Mujaddidia Urdu School began functioning in 1994 with a thin strength, and has grown upto the primary level. Almost all the students belong to the Muslim community they are given education free of cost. Besides educating the children about the teachings of the Koran, they are also being taught Arabic and Urdu. The school follows the syllabus of the Punjab School Education Board.

Of the 60 students, 45 are hostelers who are being provided with nutritious food, books and other expenses, which is being borne by Mr Mashkoor Ahmad and Mr Abdul Khaliq — the founding fathers of the Madrasa. A majority of the students studying here belong to Saharanpur and Mani Majra. Besides this, four students are from Bihar while five are locals. .

The institution functions from a five-roomed rented accommodation. Students begin their daily routine by 5 am Classes start from 8 am and continue till 5 pm. The three-hour lunch break is from 11.30 a.m.

During the break, some of the students offer namaaz. They also help the lone servant — Gul Bahar — in finishing his work.

Mr Abdul Khaliq, a teacher, said that children from different states, whose parents were unable to give them even primary education have been admitted to the school so that their future could be brightened. “We have three more such schools — one each at Burail, Bapu Dham colony and at Manimajra,” he disclosed.

“Many patrons also give money in the form of donations which are received in shape of Jaquat and Fittra from the Muslims and charities from different social organisations and philanthropists. Some local farmers regularly donate foodgrains to the institution,” disclosed Mr Mashkoor Ahmad, in charge of the institution.

“We have given repeated representations to the Punjab Wakf Board for the affiliation but have got no signal in spite of visits to the school by the authorities”, claimed Mr Khaliq.

Seema, a class VI student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector-16, who joins the school during her vacations, while talking to this correspondent, said, “I come here to study the Quran, Arabic and Urdu as I am fond of it and the languages are polite and sweet while pronounced”.

Shaqeel Ahmad and Shameem Ahmad, brothers, who joined the school four years ago are happy by staying here away from their parents. They said the maulvis provide them all facilities and fulfil their requirements.Back


3 arrested for gambling in public places
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — The police has arrested three persons on the charge of gambling from various places in the city.

According to police sources, the Crime Branch arrested Ahmad Gani, a resident of Janta colony, Sector 25, on the charge of gambling in a public place in the colony. A sum of Rs 24, 650 was recovered from his possession.

Similarly, Arjan Kumar and Vinod Kumar were arrested on the same charge from a public place in Sector 22. A sum of Rs 200 was recovered from them. Cases under Section 13 \ 3 \67 of the Gambling Act have been registered against them.

Two vehicles stolen: In separate instances, two vehicles were stolen and cases under Section 379, IPC, have been registered.

While Sector 37 resident Vishwas Sarangpuri reported that his motor cycle (MP 04 NB 4691) was stolen from his house, Ashok Khanna reported that his car, DL 1CB 2285, was stolen from his residence.

Eve teasing: Kumhar colony resident Pritam Chand was arrested on the charge of eve teasing from Dhanas village. A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered.

Whisky seized: About 50 pouches of whisky were seized from Sector 25 resident Jaimal Ram. A case has been registered under Section 61\1\14 of the Excise Act. Back


Court directs SSP to trace girl
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — Directing the UT Senior Superintendent of Police to trace an allegedly kidnapped 16-year-old girl, Mr. Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today also asked him to produce her before the Court on April 24.

Expressing apprehension regarding the safety of his daughter, petitioner Gaya Prashad of Ram Darbar had earlier alleged that the accused were aware of his daughter’s whereabouts “but for reasons best known to the authorities concerned” had not arrested or interrogated them.

The petitioner had also stated that the police had been informed of his fears regarding the possibility of her being killed or sold. The accused, he had added, were claiming that they had earlier killed his son and would also kill his daughter.

Going into the background, the petitioner had stated that all efforts to trace his daughter proved futile after she disappeared on the night intervening July 4-5, 1999, from the room where she was sleeping.

Today, pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr. Justice Chalapathi observed: “According to the petitioner, his daughter aged about 16 years has been illegally detained by two respondents. The SSP, Chandigarh, is hereby directed to trace out the daughter of the petitioner and produce her before Court on April 25”.Back


House building societies’ plea
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 17 — The Chandigarh State Federation of Co-Op House Building Societies Limited has urged the Chandigarh Administration as well as the Chandigarh Housing Board to adjust 18 per cent interest on the earnest money already deposited with them towards the revised amount of the money for allotment of land to Cooperative House Building Societies.

According to Mr Surjit Chaudhary, Chairman, Chandigarh State Federation of Cooperative House Building Societies, the decision of the Administration to revise the rate of land to be allotted to the societies was unfortunate. Against Rs 750 per square yard charged earlier, the Administration has now revised it to Rs 2500 per square yard. This decision has played a cruel joke on cooperative housing movement and has charged 18 per cent interest on earnest money.

The Chandigarh Housing Board has demanded the balance of earnest money calculated at Rs 2500 per square yard amounting to Rs 84,700, Rs 60,502, and Rs 47,049, but has not adjusted the amount of interest already paid on the earnest money to the tune of Rs 19,817, Rs 13, 802 and Rs 10,570 in respect of categories respectively.

MIG-II (Independent) Welfare Association : The Sector 40-C MIG -II (Independent) Welfare Association has urged the authorities concerned to maintain the park facing the Houses 2451 to 2492 in the sector. The association has maintained that at present, the park was in shambles and was being misused by EWS residents of the area who have encroached upon its land and started construction on it.Back

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