Sunday, May 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn makes rules to streamline rent of its prime property
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — Prime property collectively valued at more than Rs 150 crore owned by the Chandigarh Administration in Sectors 17, 22, 21, 23 and 34 and other places will now be governed by a set of rules to streamline the collection and hike in rents besides deciding the future process of letting out this property.

The property is in the shape of booths and shops and is at prime locations spread across various commercial centres of the city. The scheme has been formulated after the Supreme Court ordered that the Administration cannot raise rents of its own property without laying down a set of rules

Since the boom in property prices around 15 years ago, rents of the shops, particularly those located in Sectors 17, 22, 21 and 23, have been several times lower than those prevailing market rates. Even an increase in rents effected almost 10 years back left a huge gap between the government rates and the market rates.

According to the scheme, the shops and booths have been classified under three categories and the hike will also be in three different slabs.

The first category is of shops and booths of Sector 17-E and shops of 30-bays building, Sector 17. The second category is of the bridge market booth, Sector 17, shops/booths in Sectors 21, 22, 23, 33 and 34. The third category is of shops/booths in Maloya, Dadu Majra and Ram Darbar. The rent in case of the first category will rise at the rate of 7.50 per cent annually. In case of the second category, the rise will be 50 per cent of the base value after five years. Any subsequent rise in this category will be 25 per cent after five years. And for the third category, a 20 per cent rise will be affected after every five years.

Under the scheme, the Administration has drawn up an elaborate eligibility criteria. This makes it mandatory for the ''lessee'' to be engaged in the business personally. The ''lessee'' does not have on rent a shop or booth in Chandigarh, Panchkula and S.A.S. Nagar in his name or in the name of his spouse or his family members dependent upon him. The procedure in future will be to give the shops out on lease through a public auction. This clause shall not apply for the shops or booths already allotted on lease.

The lease shall be for period of five years from the date of allotment and it can be renewed further for a period of five years. The Administration has reserved its right to hike the rent from time to time after taking into account the prevailing market rates for similarly situated properties.

To curb the clandestine business of sub-letting of government property by the original ''lessees'', the scheme says that the lease will be terminated if the ''lessee'' is not personally carrying business from the said premises. According to sources, the Administration owns 122 shops and booths and a majority of them are in prime locations.

A large percentage of this property has been presently sublet at much higher rates than what the Administration charges from the ''lessee''. The trick is that the original ''lessee'' just keeps a nominal 1 or 2 per cent share while entering into a partnership. In some cases, the ''lessees'' have even reportedly become ''sleeping partners'' — wherein he has a small share but is not involved in the day to day operations of the business.

All this gives an unfair advantage to the ''lessee'' who makes money by sub-letting the Administration's property.

Another salient feature is that the Administration is empowered to terminate the lease if rent for a period of three consecutive months is not deposited. Under this clause, the Administration will not be required to serve a notice to the ''lessee''.


Big trader pays only Rs 14,000 rent when market rate is Rs 1 lakh

Has the Chandigarh Administration let off the big traders in Sector 17 lightly while fixing rents for its own showrooms? Around 15 traders in Sector 17 are sitting on one of the most expensive real estate properties in the country and are paying a rent of only Rs 14,000 per month for an average area that varies between 2000 square feet and 2500 square feet. Rent hikes in their case has been fixed at 7.50 per cent annually. This translates into a hike of Rs 6,000 after five years.

And the going market rate in the same sector for similar properties held by private persons is between a whopping Rs 75,000 and Rs 1 lakh per month and the hikes are in the region of 5 per cent to 7 per cent or Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000. Sources say that a certain section of officials are in favour of fixing the hike at 10 per cent and to re calculating the base of Rs 14,000 that had been calculated in 1992.

Interestingly, all these traders are pioneers of the Sector 17 market and had been invited here almost 35 years ago by the then Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh Mr M.S Randhawa and were allotted shops on rent.


Jain’s leave plea referred to Centre
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — The Chandigarh Administration is yet to sanction earned leave to its Home Secretary N.K. Jain whose Special Leave Petition in a corruption case registered by the Special Cell of the Central Bureau of Investigation for anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court yesterday.

The Administration had sanctioned him earned leave from March 21 to April 11 in the first place. Subsequent requests by Mr Jain for extension of his earned leave for two weeks from April 17 and again for a fortnight early this week were received by the Administration.

According to informed sources, the Administration has forwarded both his applications to the Union Home Ministry for reference. The reason being given is that none of the two requests carries the address of Mr Jain.

Under the rules, a government servant has to give his or her address while on leave. The Administration has reportedly sought advice of the Home Ministry on both these leave applications before taking any decision. The Home Ministry is competent to sanction or reject these applications.

Sources maintain that in both these applications, Mr Jain has taken the plea that he was not keeping well and was under treatment for low back pain. Further, he reportedly stated that he had to move court for anticipatory bail. Though he is believed to have stated that he was in the union capital, he did not give any address where he could be contacted.

As such, the Administration neither rejected nor accepted his leave applications and referred these to the Home Ministry for advice.

Now after the apex court has turned down his SLP, Mr Jain is expected to make himself available for "custodial interrogation" at the local office of the Central Bureau of Investigation any time though he claimed to have informed the CBI that he would be present before the IO of the case on Monday morning (May 8).

After his house was searched during the second attempt by the CBI on April 10, Mr Jain did not turn up before the IO on April 13 as agreed by him during the search operations. During the actual raid at his official residence in Sector 7 on April 7, the house was found locked.

On April 11, the Special Court of the CBI rejected his plea for anticipatory bail. His subsequent application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court was not only rejected but the court also ordered his "custodial interrogation" against which he preferred an SLP in the apex court.


Another VIP kid in police net
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — Sons, wards and relatives wards of VIPs living in the city have been known to act as a law unto themselves and instances of their being involved in one incident or the other have been routinely highlighted by the media.

The latest incident involves Ranjit Bajaj, the son of Mr B.R. Bajaj and Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj, a senior IAS officer couple of Punjab. Ranjit is wanted by the police after a foreign-made .9 mm pistol, seven cartridges, two empty gun holsters and two swords were reportedly found in his car which also bore CHI 1, a fictitious registration number.

The brand new car was being driven by Gursamip Singh, a friend of Ranjit Bajaj, in Sector 18 at 3 a.m. here this morning. The father of the latter is a senior faculty member of a college in Sector 26.

According to police sources, a patrolling party spotted the white Maruti car which was being driven with the stereo at a very high pitch in Sector 18 under mysterious circumstances. They signalled the car to stop and questioned the occupant why he was on the road in the wee hours of the morning.

Gursamip, who was stated to be inebriated was taken to the Sector 19 police station for further verification. He was initially booked under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act for drunken driving.

On being brought to the station, he managed to lock the car by using the central locking system and hide the keys. A mechanic had to be summoned who unlocked the car after removing the quarter pane of a rear door.

Upon checking, the cops reportedly found a .9 mm pistol hidden under a floor mat on the driver's side, two empty gun holsters and two swords.

Besides this, the search yielded certain documents, a gun permit for a .32 revolver and permission for using black filming for the car. The registration number on which the car was being plied was issued by the UT Licensing and Registration Authority in the name of Mrs Bajaj in 1985.

Interestingly, the gun permit was issued in the name of Mr Bajaj for a .32 bore revolver but the gun recovered from the car is a .9 mm pistol. But a page bearing the stamp of a local SDM allowing him to carry the gun has been affixed on one of the last pages of the permit. This is highly irregular and preliminary inquiries made by the police reveal that the latter part is a forgery, the sources pointed out.

Gursamip, during interrogation, revealed that he had been drinking at the Bajajs' residence and had borrowed the car from Ranjit. Whether or not he knew about the gun and swords is being investigated by the police. The presence of two empty holsters has also lent credence to the theory that one or more weapons could have been carried in the car at a given time, police sources added.

Meanwhile, sources said the Bajajs have denied the involvement of their son in the incidence and said that he had reportedly lent his car to a friend and did not know anything about the gun.

The police is carrying out raids to arrest Ranjit Bajaj and police parties have been sent to various places. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against them.

It may be recalled that Ranjit and his friend allegedly bashed up an SHO when he tried to intervene when the duo were allegedly forcing a woman in their car outside a hotel in Sector 10.


3 accidents in 4 hours on UT-Ambala highway
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, May 6 — One person was killed and one received minor injuries in three separate accidents, which occurred within 4 hours on a 2-km stretch, between Zirakpur and Bhankharpur, of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, last night.

According to sources, a Canter (HR-03-5148) rammed into the railings on divider of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and damaged the traffic lights installed at the Zirakpur-Patiala intersection. Its driver, Mr Ramvir Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, died as a result.

Police sources said that the medicine-loaded Canter was going to Delhi from Chandigarh when it rammed into the streetlight post at about 1.30 am. The vehicle collided with the road divider with such an impact that its front wheels were de-attached. The front portion of the vehicle was completely damaged.

The driver was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, after being extricated from the badly damaged vehicle where he was declared brought dead. Mr Amrik Singh, the cleaner, sustained minor injuries.

In 15 days, this is the second similar accident on this stretch of the highway at Zirakpur. A Canter which was going to a milk plant near Dera Bassi rammed into the railings on the dividing of highway at Zirakpur-Panchkula intersection on April 21. Newly installed two streetlight poles and a traffic light post were also damaged in the accident. This accident was due to the misleading traffic lights.

Construction material piled on the road berms of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Singhpura Bhudda village resulted in the second accident involving two buses last night at about 7.15 pm. The accident occurred when there was thunderstorm and rain.

According to eyewitnesses, a Haryana Roadways bus (HR-37-1749) got stuck in the construction material piled on the highway by the owner of a land piece on the road side. Another private bus (PB-11D-8525), rammed into it from the rear. This all happened because of the poor visibility due to the rain, thunderstorm and the construction material piled on the highway.

In an another accident, a truck, loaded with about 300 LPG cylinders, turned turtle near a bridge over the Ghaggar river on the highway in Bhankharpur village at about 9 pm last night.

Sources say that the truck (PB-11B-2989) was on its way to Banur from Lalru. It forced off the road when another truck, with the high beam of its headlights on, was approaching it. The truck was taking over a stationary bus on the road there.

The LPG cylinders scattered on the fields were reloaded in another truck this morning. A major fire tragedy was averted as none of the cylinders burst. The vehicle was recovered by 3.30 pm.


PGI's coin-operated phones are sick. They need care
By Ambika Kumar

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — The coin-operated telephones in the PGI building are sick. Or, they have succumbed to injuries. Urgent technical attention is required.

It's 2 o' clock at night and there is an emergency. Rita needs to call home and inform her children that their father's condition is critical and they must reach the emergency with their uncle immediately. But how does she do this? None of the phones are working. The Sector 27 housewife is already so tense and upset. She panics and runs around. The only one to be working is in the waiting room, but the queue is unending.

There are enough phones in the hospital building but they seldom function. And with so many patients visiting here daily, surely the one in the waiting room is not sufficient.

"A hospital is such a place where people are constantly in need to call up their relatives again and again," says Mr Rohit Kapoor, an attendant. "Vital minutes are lost before one can actually convey the message... such big are the queues of people waiting. In case of an emergency, one has to rush out to make the call. Isn't it more important to attend to the patient's needs?"

Unfortunately, the authorities are indifferent, despite observations from the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum that the Telecom department is expected to ensure proper functioning of the Coin-Collecting Box Public Call Offices.

At the entrance of A-Gate, near lift number 10 there is a broken telephone. The handset is detached from the instrument and the disconnected wire dangles indifferently. Further down, there is a telephone whose dial is punched in. Near the reception, there is an STD/PCO, but the line is so long and people wait impatiently for their chance. Right next to this, there is another phone which seems to operate. Hurriedly, the caller moves towards it with hope, but .... the continuous hum does not end even after the number has been dialled.

Moving on to the emergency ward, there is just one phone in the waiting room, which works.

It is also crowded and the atmosphere is tense.The phone at the reception works, but the persons are asked to call from elsewhere. This means in case of an emergency, one has to go around looking for a phone which works.

In C Block, there are two phones outside the maternity ward, but both do not operate. So, when there is good news to be conveyed, excited relatives have a real problem to call up and inform the eagerly waiting members at home.

Officials claim the faults are rectified whenever there is a complaint. Authorities also blame PCO owners at some places for deliberately damaging the equipment. The Department of Telecommunications rules make it mandatory for the sectional line staff to inspect unattended coin box public call offices everyday and maintain records. The department insists that regularly, if not daily, checks are conducted.

Well, all the authorities have to do is to go the hospital building and the truth will be revealed.


Mohali bus-stand to be upgraded
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 6 — The local main bus-stand will be upgraded under an ambitious joint venture of the Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company (PUNBUS) and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to modernise bus-stands in Punjab.

At least 14 bus-stands in the state have been identified under the Rs 63 crore project to be funded by Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO). A decision in this regard was recently taken by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Work on the bus-stands, identified by the government, which require raising new structures or renovating the existing facilities, is expected to start by the year-end.

The Department of Transport, will raise Rs 63 crore loan through its corporate entity, PUNBUS. The land owned by the Transport Department at the 14 bus-stands — to be made available under the project — has been valued at Rs 58 crore. At the SAS Nagar bus-stand alone the land identified is valued at around Rs 17. 48 crore.

An official of PUDA said each of the bus-stand would be an independent profit-making unit. The main source of income would be adda fee and income from leasing out shops and vends on the government land. The transport department is expected to issue a notification to rationalise existing adda fee structure. All the buses, private and state owned, would have to pay fee for each exit trip from the bus-stand concerned.

The other towns where the land had been identified were Muktsar, Moga, Ferozepore, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Fazilka, Zira, Jagroan, Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Nawashahr, Pathankot and Dera Baba Nanak. The role of PUDA in the project would be to do feasibility study, proposal for raising the loan and prepare structural design and undertake execution of the work. The process to transfer the land, presently owned by the Transport Department, would be completed within two months, said the officials.

A spokesman of the government said all modern facilities for passengers like waiting rooms, ticket booths, cafeteria, restaurants and cloak rooms would be provided. A major emphasis of the planning would be to ensure that the pedestrians entering or leaving the respective bus-stands do not have to cross the zones where the buses ply or are parked. The agencies involved in the project plan to make the bus-stands operational by the end of next year.

An official in the Transport Department said there were 81 bus-stands in Punjab , which were either under the administration of the Transport Department or Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) or the concerned civic body. Of the 19 bus-stands being looked after by the Transport Department, 14 had been identified for being modernised.

The identified bus-stands had been classified in to A, B and C category, depending upon location of the site, population of the town, number of buses checking at the respective bus-stand and passenger traffic. The spokesman of PUDA said that the new project was a part from the modernisation of Amritsar and Jalandhar bus stands.


City's first shopping carnival from May 21
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — The city's first ever shopping carnival will be held at the Sector 17 City Centre from May 21 to 28.

Talking to newsmen here today, Ms Priti Kohli, one of the organisers of the carnival, said the eight-day carnival was being organised with the cooperation of the Chandigarh Administration.

The Administration has decided not to allow the use of main parking areas of the Sector 17 Plaza during the carnival. It has also decided to allow the shops to remain open till late night on all eight days.

Ms Kohli also said the carnival was being sponsored by multinational and other companies who would only showcase their products, but, not market anything during the carnival. The aim, she said, was to provide an interface between shopkeepers and consumers. She said the carnival would be a path-breaking exercise which would create a platform for all industrial units and manufacturers to showcase their products. The products will include home appliances, electronic and electrical gadgets, cosmetics, computer hardware and software, garments, vehicles and other products.

To make the carnival entertaining, a series of events would be organised each day to attract shoppers and shopkeepers alike. Laser and fashion shows, vintage car rally and regional dances, besides live shows by folk and pop singers, jugglers, snake charmers, modern dancers would be organised. A series of competitions would also be organised and particular days of the carnival would be dedicated to women, children and men.

On the opening day on May 21, besides honouring oldest shopkeepers of the sector, a musical evening, featuring a top Punjabi folk singer, would be organised at the Plaza.

The second day would be celebrated as the women's day. A music concert, a fashion and beauty show, culinary-tips workshops, mehndi and giddha contests would be organised to mark the day. The third evening would be for eminent Punjabi folk singers, while the fourth day would be dedicated to children. On this day, on-the-spot painting, career counselling, quiz, fashion show and boogie-woogie events would be organised for children. A music concert would be the highlight of the fifth day, while the sixth day would be the men's day.

On the evening of the sixth day ghazals nite and a fashion show would be organised. Members of the carnival committee would also be honoured on this day.

On the seventh day, a rock group will perform, while on the last day of the carnival, a bollywood star will be the main performer.

Ms Kohli said the carnival was originally planned to be held from May 12 to 19, but, due to some unforeseen problems, it was now being organised on these days.


9 houses gutted in lightning

CHANDIGARH, May 6 (UNI) — Though the near monsoon-like conditions during the past three days brought the much-needed succour to the people in the region from the gruelling heat, it sent life out of gear in Himachal Pradesh where vagaries of weather claimed lives of five more cattlehead and gutted nine houses during the past 24 hours.

A Shimla report said lightning struck Ghog village in Theog last night. The house inmates, however, had a providential escape.

In a similar incident in Jalari village in Kangra district on Thursday, two women had suffered burn injuries.

Chandigarh and adjoining areas in Punjab and Haryana had widespread rain during the past three days and the temperatures plummeted appreciably. The city till this afternoon had received 66 mm of rainfall since Thursday night, more than double the normal quota for the month of May.

The day temperature in and around Chandigarh hovered around 29.4C after touching the highest of 42.6C on Tuesday against the normal of 38C.

Weathermen attributed the sharp change in the weather conditions to the appearance of fresh westerly disturbances over north Pakistan and upper air cyclonic circulation over west Rajasthan and the neighbourhood.

The two systems were likely to cause moderate to rather heavy rains at many places in Himachal Pradesh, light to moderate rains at some places in Punjab and isolated hailstorms and thunder squalls exceeding the speed of 45 km per hour.

However, there was no hope of respite to the people in Rajasthan and adjoining areas of Haryana.

Hisar in Haryana, groaning under 44-47C received light rain overnight. The day temperature today dipped to 41C.

Reports here said that Nadaun in Hamirpur district was the wettest station in Himachal Pradesh with 32mm of fresh rainfall during the past 24 hours. Nahan (26.8 mm), Solan (15 mm) and the Shimla (13.8 mm) were other wet places in the state reporting a sharp fall in temperatures.

The tourists resorts of Wildflower Hall, Kufri, Naldehra and Narkanda (Shimla), Mandi, Kulu, Dharamsala, Sundernagar, Pandoh, Rampur, Suni, Kasol, Kahu, Bhuntar stations received 2 to 7mm of rainfall during the past 24 hours.

Parts of the national Capital region, including Safdarjung and Palam, received the first spell of rainfall, each reporting 4 mm and 7 mm till this morning.

Ludhiana with 26.2 mm of rainfall was deluged and several areas of this industrial town of Punjab were inundated. Amritsar, Patiala and Nangal dam areas reported 13.6 mm, 10.4mm and 1 mm of rainfall, respectively.

Ambala in Haryana received 21.8 mm of rainfall preceded by high velocity squalls and thunderstorms last evening and overnight.


Causeway that can cause major tragedy
Tribune News Service

NADHA (Kharar), May 6 — A causeway linking the Nadha village with Nayagoan, north west of Chandigarh, is on the verge of collapse, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the Punjab Public Works Department.

Being the only link with Chandigarh, residents of Nadha village are being forced to use the precarious causeway. Except for fixing a sign board indicating that the causeway is collapsing, no effort has been made by the government agency concerned to repair it to avert a major tragedy.

In fact, much damage has been caused to the causeway after unscrupulous elements started illegal mining in the Nadha Nadi (Patiala Ki Rao), lament residents of the area. Such has been the extent of mining of sand that the discharge in the seasonal rivulet (Patiala Ki Rao) which used to pass over it has eroded the base of the structure, resulting in caving in of its portions.

A Panch of Nadha Gram Panchayat, Mr Bhag Singh, said the village has a population of around 5,000 and a number of residents daily go to Chandigarh. If the causeway collapsed, the villagers would have to take a detour of an additional 7 kilometres through Perch village to reach Chandigarh.

Built at a cost of over Rs 2 lakh during early nineties, the causeway has seldom been repaired. Mr Jeet, another resident of Nadha, says that illegal sand-mining in the Patiala Ki Rao is the main cause of threat to the causeway. Though the entire area, through which the rivulet passes, is a closed area under Sections 4 and 5 of the Land Preservation Act, no action has been taken against the persons involved in the illegal activity.

Moreover, erosion of the banks of the rivulet due to the mining close to the causeway is posing a threat to other flood protection structures erected up and down stream of the causeway.


Civic body chief seeks improvement in services
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 6 — Taking a serious note of the poor services being provided by different government agencies on behalf of the local Municipal Council, the Administrator of the council, Mr Jaipal Singh, yesterday, told the officials of the departments concerned to improve the services. The council pays the departments for rendering their services.

He disclosed this after chairing a meeting of officials of different departments at the council office here yesterday. He said more time was wasted in correspondence between the council and the department concerned, specifically public health, electricity board and sewerage board than doing ground work. He said that after visiting a site in Phase X, where storm-water gullies had been lying blocked, the public health officials had been asked to clean and repair the damaged storm-water gullies before the monsoons.

Expressing his unhappiness at the state of cleanliness in the town, he said he was contemplating to take action against the private contractor who had been handed over sanitation of certain sectors. “We would not renew his contract and would penalise him. I promise to improve the sanitation in the town in the next ten days”, he said.

During the meeting special focus was given on the water shortage in the town. He said efforts would be made to make more tubewells operations during this summers. He said there was no shortage of funds with the council but the tubewells had to be made operational by the sewerage board.

In a bizarre incident, the Executive Officer of the local Municipal Council, Mr K.S.Brar, yesterday said there was threat to his life from a sanitary inspector of the council, Mr HS Lehri, who was transferred after an enquiry by the local government department for allegedly not performing his duty well.

Mr Brar, who was sitting along with the Administrator of the council, Mr Jaipal Singh, said in front of mediapersons that the sanitary inspector, who was yesterday transferred to Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, entered his office and started abusing him. He urged the local government to provide him security otherwise he would not be able to attend his office.


Water supply affected by thunderstorm, power failure
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, May 6 — Thunderstorm, rain and power failure badly affected the water supply in the township this morning and put the residents to great inconvenience.

As it was the first rain of the season, it not only affected the power supply but also harvesting work in various parts of the periphery. The harvesting operation came to a standstill at different places as water accumulated in the fields. Yesterday’s rain further complicated the problem.

There was no water supply in the township in the morning and the residents had a tough time starting their daily routine.

The thunderstorm disrupted the power supply in various parts of the area, which resulted in low water pressure.

At various places, tree branches fell on power cables, causing short-circuit and hindering power supply to different parts of Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru areas.

Water accumulated on the roads, making students and other residents to wade through knee-deep water to go to their schools and colleges at Dera Bassi.

Water pool on the Chandigarh-Ambala-Zirakpur intersection disturbed the vehicular traffic and affected the business of shopkeepers. Blocked sewerage resulted in the accumulation of stinking water along with the rain water on the road.


MC survey a public harassment’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — Air Marshal Randhir Singh (retd), President, Chandigarh Defence Colony Welfare Association, in a letter to the Commissioner of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, has described the door-to-door survey being conducted by officials of the Public Health Circle of the corporation for levying of sewer cess as “public harassment”.

The Air Marshal said that members of the association at a meeting held yesterday protested against the unprecedented increase in the water tariff. The decision of the Corporation to award each Councillor Rs 1,000 each to defray his or her telephone bill with retrospective effect was also condemned.

The Air Marshal said that the number of WC seats in each house could be collected from the building plans submitted to the SDO (Buildings) before the completion or occupation certificate is obtained. Other alternative could be that residents could be asked to assemble at a particular point on a particular date to give details.

The residents, he said, wanted to know what benefit would accrue to them after levying of this cess. He also maintained that it would not be justifiable for the civic body to levy cess on WC seats on upper storeys where water does not reach even in early mornings and late evenings.


Ghar bachao panel’s plea
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 6 — While hailing the decision of the Punjab Government to regularise unauthorised constructions in the periphery of Chandigarh till December 1998, the Ghar Bachao Committee of Nayagaon has urged the government to sympathetically review the constructions of the needy persons raised after the cut-off date.

Mr Balbir Singh Kahlon, spokesman of the committee, said for a planned development of the area, the government should constitute a notified area committee comprising Kansal, Nayagaon and Janta Colony. Similarly, other villages in the periphery like Balongi and Sohana should be included in the SAS Nagar municipal council.


Judicial remand for accused in skeleton case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — The police has recovered two gold bangles and a gas cylinder reportedly stolen by the accused in the skeleton case of Sector 18.

The police had been stumped with the recovery of the skeleton of elderly housewife Usha Grover, in a locked room in her house in Sector 18 on April 15. The police arrested self-styled “doctor” Surinder Kumar Jagdev and his accomplice, Jagdish Lal in this connection.

The former was treating patients at a run down dental clinic at Mani Majra while the latter used to help him. Both were reportedly smack addicts, police sources disclosed. They were remanded to judicial custody after the completion of their police remand by a city court here today.


Granthi held for rape
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — The police today arrested a granthi on a charge of raping a maidservant of a house in Sector 22 here.

According to police sources, the granthi, Gulzar Singh, resident of Baira in Patiala, had gone to the Sector 22 house in connection with an akhand path which was being performed following the death of the complainant's father. For the convenience of the pathis, who were on three-hour shifts round the clock, the family had made temporary retiring arrangements in a room on the first floor.

The complainant said when she and her husband went to the market, the accused called the maidservant on the pretext of asking for some water, and raped her.


4 of family hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 6 — At least four persons, including three children were injured after they were hit by a Maruti Zen car in Phase IX here late today evening. All the injured — Santosh (7), Kesar Wati (5), Mohar Singh (14), and their father, Ram Swaroop — were riding a rehri when the car hit them.

The condition of Kesar Wati, who along with the other injured persons, has been admitted to a private hospital in Phase IX here, is stated to be serious. The condition of the others was out of danger, said doctors of the hospital.


Scooterist killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — An unidentified scooterist died after he was hit and injured by an unidentified person on a motor cycle near the Mauli Jagran brick kiln. The person on the motor cycle fled from the spot.

According to the police sources, the scooterist was hit by a motor cycle, the number of which was HRL-72. Its driver left the vehicle behind. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

Cheating case
The police has arrested Jagnar Singh, a resident of Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Channan Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar, on the charges of cheating a Sector 35 resident, Gurmeet Singh, by submitting false documents to obtain a car loan from him.

Enquiries by the complainant revealed that the names of both persons were fake. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 473 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against them.

Stolen car found
The police has recovered a stolen car, DL-5-CA-2190, which was abandoned by its occupants after an accident on the railway station road late past night. Eyewitnesses said they had seen a young man and a woman leaving the car and boarding an autorickshaw. A Delhi telephone number, besides some empty beer bottles were found in the car. On being contacted, someone on the number informed the police that the car had been stolen some days ago.

The vehicle has been impounded under Section 102 of the CrPC.


Case against cop
The police has registered a case under Sections 376, 354, 506 and 511 of the IPC against a Sub-Inspector of the Punjab Police of Phase X here. The case has been registered on the directions of a Kharar court after a women approached the court alleging that the SI had attempted to rape her.


Traders resent poor power supply
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 6 — The Sector 32-D Traders Welfare Association has resented the attitude of officials of the electricity wing of the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration towards its problems.

The association expressed its deep concern over power supply position in the Sector for the past more than two days. The whole Sector remained without power from 4 p.m. on May 4 till 2 p.m. on May 5 and after a gap of two hours, remained without power.

The association maintained that senior functionaries of the electricity wing were unable to give a satisfactory reply about power situation. Even the complaint office did not attend to complaints of shopkeepers and residents of the area. Some officials, even when paged, did not respond to the problems faced by residents and shopkeepers.

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