Tuesday, May 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Government to acquire additional land for Anandgarh
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 15 — The Punjab Government intends to acquire additional land for the Anandgarh city.

A notification to acquire land in 29 villages had already been issued and another notification to acquire land in at least seven villages for the project is likely to be issued soon by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sources in the government said the Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority (ASUDA) was interested in acquiring around 4,400 kanals of land in Dhakoran Kalan, Dhakoran Khurd, Hoshiarpur, Kansala, Teur, Jhampur and Manana villages which came within the natural boundary of the proposed Anandgarh city. The Siswan Nadi on one side, the Patiala Ki Rao on the other side and a connecting choe downstream had been demarcated as the natural boundary for the new city.

Investigations by Tribune News Service revealed that the acquisition of 502.01 kanals in Dhakoran Kalan, 244 kanals in Dhakoran Khurd, 250 kanals in Hoshiarpur, 2,564 kanals in Kansala, 438 kanals in Jhampur, 395 kanals in Manana and a small chunk of land in Teur village would be notified under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act. The portions of land of the seven villages falling outside the "natural boundary" of the proposed city would, however, be left out, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the Land Acquisition Collector of the Anandgarh project, Mr N.S. Sangha, today gave a hearing to the villagers of Bhagat Majra and Palheri on the basis of objections filed by them earlier. At least 65 persons from Palheri village and 20 from Bhagat Majra explained their stand on the project. Mr Ajit Singh of Palheri village, who owns six kilas of land, said he had demanded a copy of the comments of the villagers being forwarded by the ASUDA to the government.

Threatening to fight till the last breath, Mr Dilgah Singh of Palheri, said the project would take away the source of their livelihood and would disturb their life. He was joined by Karnail Singh of Bhagat Majra, who said: "The villagers supporting the project had no land. The government should undertake an exhaustive exercise to ascertain the rightful owners of land and respect their feelings."

Earlier the Land Acquisition Collector had listen to villagers of Malakpur, Shiamipur, Rasolpur, Banseopur, Todemajra, Mastgarh, Ratwara and Bahalpur since the exercise to listen to the villagers under Section 5-A of the Land Acquisition Act began on May 8. The exercise would conclude on June 21. A total of 3,500 persons are to be given personal hearing during the exercise.

The ASUDA was also conducting a survey to enlist the number of trees standing on the land to be acquired. 


A tearful goodbye by grieving families
By Poonam Bath
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 15 — Eerie silence shattered by spasmodic shrieks filled the gloomy air at the Sector 25 cremation grounds here as grieving families trickled in to cremate the victims who made their final exit in the bus accident near Ropar yesterday.

Dark grey smoke billowed out of the burning pyres as the mourning relatives ruthlessly banged their chests, cursing their fate. For some, the feeling of loss had started to creep in perhaps for the first time. “We had seen them off happily .... Why did this happen to us?” cried the women as their dear ones were being given the final farewell.

“What is there for me back home now”, wailed Mrs Chand Rani. “I have lost my seven-and-a-half year old grandson Kunal and daughter-in-law Savita Mahajan in the accident. Sada ghar loot gaya, mere munde noon kala chadh gaye donon maa te put.’’

Rubbing her red swollen eyes, she continued: “I still recollect Kunal’s happy face as he peeped in the pooja room to say bye while I was doing katha”. Inconsolable, and held tightly by relatives, she kept cursing the hospital authorities for not sparing her little grandson of the postmortem. “Merciless doctors have disfigured my pota, while conducting the postmortem. God should not do this to anyone,” she complained.

Her son Jugal Kishore said that both wife and son were going to Amritsar for attending the retirement function of Savita’s father and another birthday in the family.

“They were to return today morning as it was Kunal’s paper. But destiny had something else in store for us,’’ he bemoaned. “The moment I learnt that some police personnel had come to our place to verify the particulars of my wife and son, I rushed to the PGI to check up but they were not there. It was only at 7 p.m. in the evening that I rushed to Ropar to get their bodies from the Civil Hospital there”.

While the body of Savita was handed over to him at night, his son’s body was found only in the morning. Visibly upset, he was finding it hard to reconcile with the double loss after lighting their pyres. “He was my only son. I had so many plans for him. The house will not be the same now,.’’ said Jugal, who has furniture shop in Sector 22. Komal, his daughter was hysterical and refused to see the dead faces of her mother and brother.

For Savita’s parents Kuldeep Raj and Mrs Santosh, “everything in life has finished. She was our only daughter’’. They were eagerly waiting for her in Amritsar before they learnt about the mishap.

Tragedy struck another member of the family as Savita’s maasi (50), Mrs Shreshta Mahajan, was also travelling with her to attend the same function. Her husband Mohan Lal, an employee in Food and Civil Supplies Department, Punjab, residing in Sector 38 said that the tragedy might have been averted if they had boarded the bus as planned at 6 am in the morning. “This is what they had planned, but since she wanted to finish the household chores before leaving, they left by the 10.30 bus,’’ he lamented. “Perhaps this was God’s will!” he exclaimed, as he stood watching her pyre burn. Her sons, Hemant, who had recently started his own nursery and Rahul, who studies in the college were inconsolable. “Why had this to happen to us? How will we go on without her?” questioned one of them. The relatives, however, kept telling them to be brave and support their father. Her friends and well-wishers were heard discussing that “this should not happen to a God-fearing religious lady like her.’’

Gloom prevailed in the Sector 23 house of 56-year-old Kartar Singh, a Punjab Government employee as his relatives and friends got together after knowing about his death. His wife, sitting amidst women, was in a pathetic condition. “I am finished. I do not want to live without him. He should have taken me along,’’ she wept. A heart patient, who was continuously unwell, recalls how her husband would look after her. His elder son, Harmanjit Singh, regrets that had his father got down at the old bus stand before the bridge to board a bus to the village Behrampur in Nalagarh tehsil, he would have escaped this mishap. Perhaps, the bus did not stop there and he decided to get down at the new bus stand ahead of the bridge. He had gone for some personal work and was to come back in the evening. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. A God-fearing man, he always had the good of people at his heart.

“I wish I had returned from the gurdwara a little earlier to see him off yesterday morning,” says Prakash Kaur, wife of 69-year-old advocate R.S. Mann. He had been for long planning to go to Jalandhar to see a friend, who had recently had a bypass heart surgery, and further to Amritsar in connection with some case, but he suddenly decided to leave yesterday.

Since it was sangrandh yesterday, the bhog was delayed and I came back a little late. My son then told me that “daddy has left and will come back tomorrow after spending a night at Amritsar.’’ His elder son, Mr MBS Mann, said that the SMO, Ropar, had informed them about the acident. Initially we thought it was a small accident, but when my younger brother went to PGI and learnt about the bus falling into the Sirhind canal and most of the passengers being dead, we realised that all is not well.’’ Soon after the death of our father was confirmed by the Roadways authorities, we left for Ropar. However, “ we kept telling our mother from there that he is in serious condition and put on a drip in the emergency and disclosed the news only after bringing his body.” Mrs Mann, who was uneasy all through the day said that she kept asking her sons to get her husband admitted immediately to the PGI emergency for treatment, “and they did not tell me anything. Even in the afternoon some police personnel had come for verification, but my daughter-in-law did not allow them to disclose the news to me.

Mr Harmanjit said that his father, who had retired as Deputy Secretary, Administration, land Mortgage, was very active and would do cycling regularly even at this age. “It is sure a major loss for us. Whom will we now turn to in crisis?” says Harmanjit. The family had suffered another tragedy when their only sister lost her husband in an accident.

The body of another Sector 22 city resident, Mrs Sushma Phool was taken to Nakodar (near Jalandhar) for cremation. Married to a bank official, the well-being of her two sons was very dear to her. She would just run around the whole day to ensure that they get proper diet. She was on her way to Nakodar to meet her maternal uncle yesterday. Her husband was in a bad state. One of the neighbours, who met her husband last night said that they had decided to take the body to Nakodar, since they hardly have any relatives here. Back


Heart-rending scenes following bus mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 15 — Yesterday’s mishap, in which a Punjab Roadways bus plunged in to Sirhind canal, cast its shadow on the town, with at least three lives, including two of the same family perishing in it.

Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the Phase 3B2 house of Inderjit Singh (35), a technician working with JCT here, whose body was today fished out of the canal by divers. Silence interrupted by spasmodic shrieks could be heard in Inderjit’s house, who was the sole bread-winner of his family. He is survived by his wife, and two children — Vikramjit (7) and Jaskaran (3) - and his ailing mother. His wife and mother went in a state of shock after hearing the news, said relatives of the family.

As fate had decided, Inderjit had boarded the Chandigarh- Amritsar bus to drop his nephew, Gurvinder (17) at Jalandhar. The tragedy also consumed Gurvinder. Her body, along with Inderjit’s body, was few metres downstream the site where the bus fell in to the canal. The family came to know about the tragedy when a nephew of the deceased heard about the news and rushed to Ropar.

Another family of Phase 6 was hit by the tragedy when two brothers lost their father and mother. The kids’ father, an ASI with the Punjab Police, Swaran Singh, along with his wife, Gurmeet, who was employed in the local ofiice of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), had boarded the bus for Balachour to meet their acquaintances.

Couple escapes tragedy

Ms Suneeta, who works in the University Grants Commission Department (NET), and her husband, an employee of the CTU, narrowly escaped the Ropar bus tragedy.

The couple was going to Bunga and had missed a CTU bus. Ms Suneeta boarded the ill-fated bus of the Amritsar depot and asked her husband to come along. Her husband insisted that they should not take the bus.

Luckily, another CTU bus going to Balachaur reached the bus stand and the couple boarded it. The woman said they were saved by sheer luck.


The couple left their children at home. The cremation of couple was performed at their native village near Rajpura today.

CHANDIGARH: Tragedy also struck the house of Manjinder Singh (29) in Sector 46, who had boarded the ill-fated bus. Manjinder, was working in sales division of an authorised car dealer in Chandigarh and had boarded the bus for Phagwara to appear for an interview for a job in a bank. The father of deceased, Mr Nirmal Singh, a retired Air Force personnel, was a broken man as he had only one son. The deceased is survived by his wife, Paramjit Kaur, and two daughters — Gurleen and Harleen. His cremation will be held tomorrow as his sister has to come from abroad. 


Encroachers at it again in Sector 31
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 15 — Within five days of the demolition of illegal jhuggis in Sector 31, small ramshackle tin sheds have sprouted afresh as encroachers are trying to re-established their kiosks to sell fruits, vegetables and cigarettes.

Yesterday, the Chandigarh Administration ordered a re-look into the complaints regarding re-establishing of some kiosks and a team went for a survey and reported back that some vendors were still not ready to leave the area, a source said.

On the other hand, Air Force authorities have started fencing the land in Sector 31 that will be handed over to the defence authorities tomorrow. The physical handing over of the land will also be carried out tomorrow in the records of the Administration. After this, it will be the duty of the Air Force authorities to prevent any fresh encroachment, a source in the Chandigarh Administration said about the area that has been under illegal occupation since two decades.

The Engineering Department has also started its fencing work on the strip of land in Industrial Area, Phase II. A police picket has been posted to stop anyone from setting up jhuggis and the SHO of the Sector 31 police station directed to ensure that the encroachers are made to leave the area. The demolished jhuggis were illegal and residents had been stealing power for years.

Close to 2,600 households had been rehabilitated in a drive to provide alternative housing to the encroachers last year.

The road dividing Sector 31 and the Industrial Area is also scheduled to be double-laned and connected with the outer Dakshin Marg to enable flow of trucks. The jhuggis were preventing the development projects of the Chandigarh Administration.


MC to dig 3 deep tubewells
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, May 15 — To meet water shortage in the township, the municipal council has decided to dig three deep tubewells at the cost of about Rs 50 lakh. Boring of a tubewell on the Gulabgarh road has already been started by the civic body.

The number of tubewells in the township will increase to 10 as the new ones come up. Earlier, three tubewells used to fulfil the water requirement of the residents of the municipality. Four tubewells have been abandoned due to one or the other reason out of these one was not taken over by the civic body due to less discharge.

The tubewell which has not been taken over by the municipality was bored by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board about four years ago.

According to official sources, the boring work on one tubewell has been given to the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board. A 750 foot deep bore has been made and the possibility of water discharged at this site is high. The depth of the tubewells will depend on better underground water discharge and its quality so that the area may be supplied water for years.

The water supply to the nearby colonies in this area will be fulfilled from this tubewell. The civic body has also planned to set up overhead water tanks so that water pressure may be provided to different levels of buildings.

Mr Jagjit Singh Dalli, President of the municipal council, said about Rs 14 lakh would be spent for boring the first tubewell along the Gulabgarh road. The tubewell would be completed within the next two weeks.

The boring work of other two tubewells would be given to private agencies. Of these two tubewells, the municipality has a proposal to bore, one along the College road and another at Sarswati Vihar Colony, says Mr Dalli.


One booked for cheating
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 15 — The police has registered a case of cheating against Desh Pal, a resident of Mauli Jagran Complex.

In his complaint with the police, Mr Ram Preet, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, complained that the accused had taken Rs 80,000 from him to get his son selected as a constable in the Chandigarh Police, for the recruitment of constables, held in 1998. His son was not selected and the accused did not return the money. The inquiry was conducted by SP (City), according to the police.

Impersonation case:  Rahul Tyagi of Agra was caught while appearing in place of Davinder Singh in the pre-dental/pre-medical examanition. The police has registered a case on the complaint of Mr Sanjay Sharma, a teacher of GGDSD College, Sector 32.

Scooter stolen: Ms Jasbir Singh of Sector 40-D reported that her scooter (CHJ 5525) had been stolen from the Lajpat Rai Bhavan parking. A case has been registered.

Arrested:  The police arrested Bhagwant Mandal of Marar village of Khagria district of Bihar from Bapu Dham Colony for not informing the police about his stay. A case has been registered against him.

Assaulted: Mr Saleem of Sector 45 complained that he was assaulted by Pawan, Ashu, Raj Bir, Jagdev, Puran and others in Sector 29. The police has registered a case.

Car stereo stolen: Mr A.S. Gulati, Additional SE-cum-Under Secretary of the Engineering Department, complained that the stereo his car was stolen from Tagore Theatre last night when he went there for a performance Manna Dey.



Auto-thief's arrest solves many cases
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 15 — In a major breakthrough, the police claims to have arrested a notorious automobile thief and receiver of stolen property operating in the city.

On receiving an information, a special team was constituted under the charge of Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP (Central Division). The accused, Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 35, was caught yesterday while he was driving a scooter (CH-01-L-4337). After interrogation, it was found that he had stolen this scooter from Shastri Market in Sector 22 on May 13.

After sustained interrogation, it was revealed that he had stolen seven scooters and one moped from various parts of the city in the past one month. The accused, a trained scooter mechanic, after working at the Sector 21 scooter-market shop of Mr Suresh Kumar, had left the job about a month ago. After this, he began committing scooter thefts.

He is, originally, a resident of Roshni Kapurba village of the Amethi district in UP. He had sold five scooter engines to a scrap-dealer of Sector 22-C. These engines have been recovered. Besides these, the police has also recovered three Kinetic Honda scooters, four Bajaj Chetak scooters, and one Luna moped, all valued at about Rs 2 lakh. The police also claims to have solved five cases of automobile thefts registered at the police station (Central) with the arrest.

The identification of the remaining property is yet to be established and more cases are expected to be solved.Back


Rent-imposition on cable men proposed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 15 — The Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), today, recommended the sectorwise imposition of the monthly rental of Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 on each multisystem cable operators and small cable operators of the city, respectively.

The recommendation will now be sent to the House for the final approval. Once approved by the corporation, each cable operator will have to pay the approved rent for using the corporation land.

The committee also solicited more information on the technical feasibility of laying underground cables. The information will be available to the members in the next meeting.

While approving an estimate of Rs 4.79 lakh for providing and fixing the PVC pipeline in the greenbelt of Sector 29, the panel also decided to purchase a new Ambassador car for the newly-appointed Superintending Engineer (Buildings and Roads).

Encroachments removed: The Enforcement Wing today removed over 100 encroachments from the internal roads (V-5 and V-6) of Sector 41-A here.

In the drive, which began at about 10 am and lasted for seven hours, hedges, concrete structures, car sheds and shanties were demolished.

Mourned: The Mayor, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, has condoled the death of over 30 persons in a bus accident near Ropar.


Workers stage protest
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 15 — The Puncom Employees Union today protested in front of the Phase I police station. The protest was against the booking of four workers on the basis of a complaint lodged by an Executive of the company, Mr Gulshan Khanna. The union leaders said the case had been registered on mala fide intention as workers had objected to a certain action of the officer.Back

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