Sunday, July 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Owners of 8-seater vehicles 
facing needless problems
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 8 — Thousands of local residents who own eight-seater vehicles like the Tata Sumo, Qualis, Armada, Maruti vans and bigsize jeeps, among others, are facing a problem which surfaces for them annually.

The owners do not enjoy the facility of paying one-time road tax. Each year they have to get their vehicles passed for road worthiness and stand in yet another queue to pay road tax. And all this due to a small technicality that does not allow the local vehicle registering authority to collect one-time road tax and allow roadworthiness for eight-seater vehicles, as it is allowed in case of all other vehicles. Such vehicles are initially registered for a period of two years and subsequently the checking and passing has to be carried out every year.

As a result, each day hundreds of owners of eight-seaters turn up in Industrial Area Phase, I , where the vehicles are checked and passed by the competent authority. Not only does this add to needless paper work, it also adds to pointless visits by the owners to the passing authority, payment of road tax, wastage of fuel, time and money, said official sources. The three-seater Tata Mobile is also classified as a commercial vehicle, whereas several residents are using it as a personal vehicle .

The rules for registering vehicles in Chandigarh do not allow registration of any vehicle having a capacity to seat more than 5 persons as a personal vehicle . All other vehicles like these eight seaters — which are nowadays being used by thousands of people as family vehicles — are classified as commercial vehicles. Under the local Motor Vehicle Rules, such vehicles require passing each year.

Interestingly, this problem is not faced by owners of eight-seaters in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The authorities in these three neighbouring states have changed with times and amended the rules to allow registration of eight-seaters as private vehicles also. The eight-seaters being used as cabs are, however, still checked for road worthiness each year.

The Registering-cum-Licencing authority, Mr Ashish Kundra says: “In the first place the registration of eight seaters in Chandigarh was allowed on a provisional basis. The rules to register the vehicles are yet to be framed. At my level I have sent the draft to higher authorities for the necessary changes to bring relief to owners”.

An agitated owner of an eight-seater Maruti van says: “In all other matters the Chandigarh Administration refers to rules formulated by Punjab. However, in this case they are taking their own sweet time causing needless problems for the members of the public.”

And to add to the problem, the passing is carried out only on three days of the week. Each day hundreds of eight-seaters are being sold and nowadays the situation is such that hundreds of owners stand in the sweltering heat to complete the annual ritual of getting the vehicles passed.

A source said several people, who have brought top class Japanese or German technology eight-seaters, argue that what problem could such vehicles have in one year that these requires checking for road worthiness. The authorities say they are helpless until a policy decision is taken.



Have a soft drink and get electrically charged
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, July 8 — Buy a soft drink and get charged — electrically! Floating in a bottle of a popular brand of soft drink, purchased by an eight-year- old Rohit from a shop in Industrial Area was a pencil-size cell.

Rohit was about to open the bottle when to his surprise he noticed something in the bottle. “I thought it was a button or something but my elder sister shouted “pencil cell’’.

Astonished, the two showed it to their father, Mr Umesh Singh Manderwal, who was “horrified” to see the cell in it. He asked his children not to touch the bottle.

Describing the presence of the cell as “a result of human error”, a senior official from the bottling company, when contacted, stated: “It was because of a worker’s mistake that a bottle from discarded crate made its way to the market. We are willing to compensate the buyer”.

Meanwhile, an agitated Mr Manderwal asserted: “This type of negligence on the part of a reputed company is not justified. It must have been highly toxic. For the strong acids in the cell must have made it poisonous. Worse, the protective coating had also dissolved.”

According to him, a senior official when contacted by him on telephone was not at all surprised. “The official even suggested the filing of a suit in the consumer court against the company”, he added.

Mr Manderwal claims that he also informed another senior officer of the company who in turn asked two officials to contact me. They offered a compensation of three crates. “But I refused to accept the bribe”, he added.Back


Second-hand car sold off as new
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 8 — Can a second-hand car be sold off as a new one? The answer may be no, but this has happened to a former IAF officer and resident of Patiala — Mr SPS Maan — who alleged that even after spending an amount of nearly Rs 4.21 lakh, he was passed off a used car as a new one by the Chandigarh-based Anbros Motors Private Limited.

In his FIR with the local police, Mr Maan complained that he was sold off a Fiat Uno car bearing chassis No (018429) and engine No(2294156) by the Anbros on February 16 this year. However, the gate pass issued on February 22 this year clearing the work order dated November 20,1999, mentioned the temporary registration (No. CH-O1-6543 T), the temporary registration number allotted to the previous buyer of the car, the Sant Rubber Machines Private Limited, Sirhand.

Not only that, in the cash memo dated February 18 this year, the temporary registration No. CHO1-5697, allotted to Mr Maan had been mentioned and the owner mentioned as the previous one.

It may be recalled that the said car was sold to the Sant Rubber on September 24 last year and was given the temporary number and insured vide Account No 763809 from the Mandi Gobindgarh branch of New India Assurance Company Limited the same day.

Subsequently, the car developed several defects like power steering system failure and fire under the bonnet and it was only at the intervention of the parent company, Ind Auto Limited, Mumbai, that the car was repaired. The firm took the possession of the car on October 13.

The FIR states that from October 13 there was no trace of the car and on November 20 the car was booked at the Anbros workshop with the remarks, “vehicle burnt”, and surprisingly the km reading was entered as 23 km.

In the meantime, the previous owner was given the new car which has registration No PB-23-B-0333 and chassis No(92024225) and engine No (000 3949).

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Anbros, Mr Ashwani Anand, claimed that Mr Mann was fully aware of the fact that a used car was being sold to him and for that he was given a discount of Rs 10,000. Since there was a shortage of cars in February this year, Mr Maan agreed to take this particular car.

He questioned the very basis of the FIR saying why it had been registered later when Mr Mann knew the car was a used one on February 17. He hoped that an early “settlement” could be possible as he was in touch with Mr Maan.Back



Protests against power cuts fail to bear fruit
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 8 — Protests by residents of different villages in the periphery of this town against poor power supply in the past few days appears to have made little impact. Even yesterday’s showers have not eased the power situation as unscheduled power cuts for long periods continue to force the villagers to spent sleepless nights.

After the residents of Sohana village blocked the Chandigarh- Fatehgarh Sahib road for more than five hours last Thursday, the power supply worsened instead of improving. The only change after the protest is that a notice board has been put up by the officials of the state electricity board. Mr Devinder Pal Singh, a resident of the village, said nothing was written on the notice board about the power cuts.

A similar problem is being faced by residents of Mauli Baidwan, Nano Majra and Lakhnour villages. Mr Mohinder Singh of Mauli village lamented that there were power cuts extending from half-an-hour to one hour. Another resident of Lakhnour, Mr Paramjit, said due to unscheduled power cuts, the water supply of the public health department failed.

Taking a cue from the protest by residents of Sohana, the inhabitants of Mullanpur Garibdass are also planning to hold a protest against unscheduled power cuts.Back


Neither here nor there
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 8 — Inhabitants of Sector 48 which is part of this town are in a piquant situation. In spite of being bonafide residents of this town they have been left out during the door-to-door listing by the enumeration staff for the preparation of voters’ list for the forthcoming elections to the SAS Nagar Municipal Council.

To lodge their protest they approached the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO), Mr Jaipal Singh, only to know that they had been included in the delimitation of wards of the council. Though there were 226 houses for senior citizens, only 70 had been occupied and there were over 225 voters.

Interestingly the occupants of the houses have their voter I-cards issued by the Election Commission of India. Mr B.M. Khanna, a resident of the area, said he got his earlier voter I-card made on a Chandigarh address in order to get his new voter I-card issued on his Mohali address.

Their source of problem is the location of houses adjacent to Chandigarh. “Due to the confusion, they are neither residents of Chandigarh nor SAS Nagar”, lament the residents of Sector 48. They now plan to take the legal recourse to exercise their constitutional right.


Authorities lethargic, people inconvenienced
By Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 8 — It is the same story all over again. The lethargy of the authorities to get even essential repair work done continues to adversely affect lives of people, who also have ended up turning a blind eye to even major eyesores. The gaping road collapse at the 3B1 crossroad and the condition of the dividing road between Phases 10 and 11 are just some of many such examples.

At 3B1 crossroad, it all started when a redundant sewer’s brick lining came loose, causing the soil to erode. And the next heavy showers led to the caving in of the complete roadside. This was a fortnight ago. The sewer was promptly repaired and the loose soil filled in. With this the job of the Public Health Department ended.

The Municipal Council had to get the road back in working condition, but except for having filled the almost three-foot-deep caving, the road is much in the same condition as far as its use is concerned. The caving is barricaded with bricks and no traffic is plying on this end of the road, causing inconvenience to the users. The municipal office says it will wait for the soil to “settle” after the gravel is spread, then light traffic will be allowed to compact the soil in. This is the natural way of compaction and takes time.

Artificial compaction using sand will not be as effective and using a road roller may be dangerous at this stage. And when will the road be functional ? In another week or ten days, says the Municipal Council office.

The dividing road between Phases 10 and 11 is at places in an extremely bad state. This had even been questioned in the Vidhan Sabha. The users say they have always seen it like this, while the Municipal Council blames the original construction of the road as having a major flaw.

It seems that the road has been built on an unstable strata and the soil should have been treated for consolidation before construction. But the PUDA, in a hurry to finish construction, probably missed out on that. The problem of this section of the road is thus chronic and no measure of patchwork can maintain it, says the Municipal Engineer.

This part of the road is to be dug up, the soil consolidated and water bound and then the road constructed. This is a time-consuming process and once started, it can take two months. As for now, the contract has been allotted and the wait is on for the rainy season to end, only after which the repair will start.


Citizens' forum
Should Chandigarh have an International Airport?
By P.C. Khanna

IN my write-up on this topic, I think I do not need to dwell on the relevant points concerning the Chandigarh region which have already been well brought out in the earlier writes-up on this subject, namely the present and future economic potentiality of this area and consequent increase in the intensity of international traffic to and from Chandigarh, that 30% of the existing traffic arriving and departing from the Delhi International Airport belongs to Chandigarh region and the inconvenient and time-consuming journeys for this traffic to reach its destinations in Punjab or Chandigarh from Delhi airport.

One point, however, very crucial to the topic under reference — which has not been brought out but needs very careful consideration — is that if an international port, an improvised one or of full standards, is set up in Chandigarh in the next few years, would it be economically and functionally viable for any international airline to run its flights to and from Chandigarh or even touch it for a halt? It must be appreciated in this context that whatever the size of this international traffic, spread as it is and would be, over several flights of several airlines, its volume per flight would be extremely low for Chandigarh to attract any normal commercial flight to start from or terminate at Chandigarh.

Therefore, for the time being, I think the residents of this region should be content with asking for viable and cheaper alternatives for the convenient transport of the “Delhi stranded” traffic to its destination, and which, perhaps, is the only problem for which an international airport at Chandigarh is being considered necessary. In any case such an alternative would be much less expensive than setting up and running an international airport at Chandigarh.

There could be several alternatives for this purpose, the first and the obvious one is: (a) co-ordination of the domestic air flights from Palam Airport with the timings of some of the important international flights, and this further facilitated by (b) co-ordination between the Delhi International Airport and the Palam Airport.

In connection with (b) above, it is understood that both these airports are internally linked to each other by a network of roads and tarmac so that this traffic can be easily ferried across the two airports by normal airport buses without it going through the hassles of meandering through the busy roads of Delhi city. This traffic could then be transported to their respective regional centres — not only to Chandigarh but also to other centres like Jaipur, Jammu, Srinagar etc. For the high profile visitor to Chandigarh, coming to attend conferences and conventions, even helicopter service taking off directly from the tarmac of the Delhi airport to the Chandigarh airport could be mooted for operation.

However, before concluding, I do not want to give an impression that in my view Chandigarh, being so near to Delhi on the international traffic map, would never be able to have an international airport. No, it will have but not based on its own merit and needs, but because of the compulsions of the Delhi airport itself which, I fear, will soon develop over-crowding and would need relief by supplementary and auxiliary airports at places like Chandigarh, Jaipur and Gwalior with reverse coordinating arrangements for transport to the mother airport at Delhi.

Let us hope that the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authority of India will soon draw up a sensible perspective plan to locate its airports on spatial basis and avoid centralisation of air traffic in the two metropolitan cities of Delhi and Bombay, though these two stations would still continue, to be the two ‘gateways’ to India.Back


Girl poisons mother, granny
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 8 — In a bizarre incident, a girl allegedly made an attempt to kill her mother and grandmother by poisoning their lassi before eloping with a neighbour in Phase VII here yesterday. According to the information available, her alleged lover, Kuldeep Singh, was living along with his parents in a house adjacent to that of Charanjit Singh, her father.

While eloping, the girl took away some jewellery and clothes. The women started vomiting after drinking the lassi and were taken to the PGI in Chandigarh by their neighbours. The facts came light after they gave a statement to the police.

A case under Sections 380 and 328 of the IPC has been registered by the police.

Chain snatched: Two unidentified youths snatched a gold chain from a woman, Navneet Kaur, while she was going with her husband in Phase IV late in the evening yesterday. According to the information available, the couple was returning from the Phase IV market when the chain-snatchers struck.

Woman threatened: Ms Swaranjit Kaur, a resident of Phase XI, in a representation to the Chief Minister of Punjab has alleged that she and her family members were being threatened by her husband with whom she was no more living.

In the complaint the woman alleged that her husband, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, a resident of Sector 37 in Chandigarh, was harassing her to bring dowry. She alleged that complaints lodged with the police had failed to yield any results.


Motorcyclist hurt: Motorcyclist Amritpal Singh, a resident of Sector 30-A, was hit and injured by a car (CH-O3-7247) near Hotel Mountview. He was admitted to hospital while the driver of the car fled from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Molestation bid: Sector 8 resident Ram Dev was arrested for attempting to outrage the modesty of a minor girl. He lured the girl to his shed in the rehri market, manhandled and also threatened her with dire consequences. A case under Sections 342, 354 and 506, IPC, has been registered.

Suicide attempt: A case of attempting to commit suicide has been registered against Sector 42 resident Lal Chand. He allegedly poured kerosene on him and set himself ablaze. He was rushed to hospital with serious burn injuries.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested Jaspal Singh of Kumhar colony and seized 48 pouches of whisky from his possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Held for drinking: The police arrested Kumhar colony resident Babu Ram on the charge of drinking at a public place. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Child-molester held: The police has arrested Matta Badan, a resident of Attawa village, on the charges of outraging the modesty of a minor girl in the bushes near Sector 43-A yesterday.

According to the police sources, he was caught red-handed. A case has been registered.

Case registered: On the complaint of Mr Shiv Shankar, the police has registered a case against Sukhdev Singh, owner of a truck and resident of Banur.

In his complaint, Mr Shankar alleged that he had loaded nuts and bolts valued at Rs 2.42 lakh on the truck for sending to Nandial in Gujarat. The truck did not reach the destination.

The police has registered a case.

Tyres stolen: Mr Harpreet Singh, a shopkeeper in the Mani Majra motor market has said that someone has stolen 18 truck tyres and 15 tyres of light commercial vehicles from his shop on the night of July 5. A case has been registered.

Cyclist injured: A cyclist, Kherwal Aslam, a resident of Pipliwala in Mani Majra, was injured when he was hit by a car near MRA School in Sector 27 past night.

He has been admitted to the Sector 32 GMCH and a case has been registered.

Gamblers held: The police has arrested three persons — Ramesh, Ram Ishwar and Chhote Lal — all residents of Colony No. 5, for gambling at a public place.

A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

36 arrested: The police has arrested 36 persons under Section 10 of the CrPC from different parts of the city.

In a special drive against anti-social elements, 24 persons have been arrested under Section 109 of the CrPC in the East Subdivision under the supervision of Mr Vijay Pal Singh, DSP (East).

Three persons were arrested under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, according to a press note.

Man dead: Shiv Narayan, a resident of Hallo Majra, fell to his death past night.

According to sources, he was sleeping on the third floor and fell to death when he woke up to answer the call of the nature.


Truck recovered: The local police recovered a stolen truck worth Rs 3.50 lakh, following a tip off. The truck, stolen on February 9 from Raipur Rani, was recovered from Balwinder Singh, a resident of Patiala. He was produced in the court and sent to the judicial remand.Back


Two remanded for forgery
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, July 8 — Sant Lal and Kishan Chand, residents of Ambedkar Colony (Dhanas), have been sent to judicial remand till July 22 for allegedly selling two houses by forging the power of attorney and agreement letters, by the Judicial Magistrate first class, Mr Mahender Singh.

The accused had allegedly stolen possession letters, to be issued by the Housing Board, and then by forging the previously mentioned documents, had sold house numbers 2252 and 2254 in Ambedkar Colony. A case was registered against them following the complaint from the Home Department.

The police arrested them yesterday and sought four days’ police remand for the accused. The judge, however, sent the accused to judicial remand till July 22 for the recovery of possession letters and catching others involved in the case.



Misappropriation alleged
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 8 — The Punwire Employees Coordination Committee today lodged a complaint with the local police against certain officials of the company for allegedly siphoning of Rs 25 lakh from the accounts of the company.

The General Secretary of the committee, Mr SS Cheema, in a press release said Rs 30 lakh was withdrawn from Indian Overseas Bank in March 1998, but the entry in company records was changed to Rs 5 lakh. The union named a manager accounts, an AGM accounts and a DGM of the company who have been named in two FIRs already registered by the local police. The union demanded a CBI inquiry into the misappropriation by officials of the company.


Iranian served notice in cheating cases
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, July 8 — A notice on the application for cancellation of bail granted to Moustaffa Mirzaie, an Iranian, and his wife Meenakshi Sood, in cheating cases has been issued by the UT Judicial Magistrate (first class), Ms Dimple B. J. Sharma.

The notice was issued on the complaint filed by Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh, who had furnished sureties for three Iranians — Jamsheed Mirzaie, Omid Obidi and Jalal Derris — accused of duping fellow Iranians in Chandigarh on the pretext of sending them to Canada. Seeking the cancellation of bail, the applicants alleged that Moustaffa did not have a valid visa and permission to stay in Chandigarh and had succeeded in sending Jamshed Mirzaie, Omid Obidi and Jalal Derris to Iran without facing trial. They also alleged that the arrangement to send them were made in connivance with the FRO, Chandigarh, and some police officers.

The complainants alleged that the respondents had been involved in cheating people. They also alleged that the accused had instigated Jamsheed Mirzaie, Jalal Derris and Omid Obidi to jump bail without facing trial. All three, as alleged by the complainants, did not produce their original passports in the court. They, according to the complainants, stated that the passports had been lost.

They further alleged that the accused, Moustaffa and Meenakshi, had taken on rent a two room set in Sector 22 belonging to Ms Gurcharan Kaur, wife of Justice KPS Sandhu (retd) in December 1999. The rent for the set, they added, was paid only for a month. The set, they further added, was used by the other accused also. The accused, they claimed, stayed in the house from January to May 2000, without paying the rent. Money, according to the complainants, was demanded from the landlord to vacate the house. 


Glide ranks first
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 8 — One of City’s two Internet Service Providers (ISP) — Glide — has come in for appreciation from a top computer publication of the country.

A team of the publication undertook a tour of various parts of the country to see how the ISPs were functioning. In Chandigarh, the scribes of the publication studied services provided by all the four ISPs in the city — Satyam, VSNL, Glide and i91.

The magazine held that help desk of Glide was good in responding to the queries of the investigating team and responded even at 11 in the night. The team further observed that in case of Satyam, getting connected was easy. "But we experienced frequent disconnections. The transfer rate showed wide variation, even for multiple lines at the same time of the day.

About Glide, the team observed that once it got the connection and got good transfers in the nights and mornings.

The obvious answer about the ISP, the magazine said, was Glide as it had good connectivity and good throughputs ensure a good surfing experience. Their helpdesk also scores top grades, the magazine said in its opinion poll, based on an actual survey.


Badana’s directive to public health officials
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 8 — Attending to a complaint on the unhygienic conditions prevailing in Barwala owing to poultry farms in the area, the Cooperatives Minister, Mr Kartar Singh Badana, said that a proposal to bring poultry farms within the purview of law and the pollution board to the government while ordering the officials concerned to organise a meeting of farm owners at the earliest.

Chairing the monthly grievances committee meeting, Mr Bandana added that spraying should be carried out in the area and the cost for the same should be recovered from the farm owners. He said that the owners should be given lessons in good housekeeping so that the growing menace of flies could be curtailed. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr SK Monga, contented that a study of the upkeep and maintenance rules followed in areas clusters of these farms exist would help solve the problem.

This was among the 15 complaints put before the committee here today. Out of these, 10 complaints were attended to on the spot while the departments concerned were entrusted with the task of looking into their respective complaints.

Further, Mr Bandana ordered the employees of the Public Heath Department to ensure clean drinking water in the district during the monsoon season. Also, he ordered the employees and tehsildar to check against puddles of dirty water near the water pipelines while special checks should be carried out to check leakage in pipes passing from near a sewerage. He ordered the Public Health Department to take immediate action to plug leakages identified by the officials.

Mr Bandana instructed the officials to establish contact with the Himachal Pradesh government to look into and suggest ways of checking flow of pollutants into the Kaushalya river.

On the issue of Gautam Prasad, a resident of Azad Colony, having procured a certificate for Schedule Caste as well as backward class, the minister said that the SDM should conduct an inquiry into the matter and register an FIR against the employees, sarpanch and others found guilty of involvement.

Two persons, Munshi Ram, Som Nath and Bhagat Ram, claimed they had received no compensation for acquisition of their land four years back by the PWD (B and R) for construction of a road in Pipli Ghati. The minister ordered that the compensation be granted immediately and the monthly development report be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner while the work be carried out under the supervision of the City Magistrate.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Mr Monga directed the officials to address the problems of the public at their level so that they do not need to put their complaints before the committee, while adding that the official concerned should have all facts before him before coming to the meeting to ensure that complaints are disposed of on the spot.

Supported by facts, the Superintendent of Police, Ms Kala Ramachandran, said that the crime rate in the township had gone down in comparison to the previous year. She said that against 105 thefts committed till June end last year, the number had gone down to 82. Also, the recovery in these cases was 57 per cent against last year’s figure of 61 per cent. However, the recovery in burglary cases was very poor for which suitable action was being taken, she added.

Addressing a press conference later, Mr Badana said that Rs 2100 crore had been made available for agricultural loans through the central co-operative banks by the Haryana State Co-operative Apex bank.Back

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