Tuesday, July 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Better policing plan goes haywire
Cops reluctant to join duty, “missing”
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 10 — A concerted effort by the district police to have a better policing in the town appears to be withering away with the additional police personnel requisitioned from the border range "reluctant" to job their new assignment. At least 50 per cent of the cops, including NGOs, are "missing" from duty.

Some of the cops have failed to show up after joining. Sources in the police department say that 195 additional personnel had been sanctioned for the town. So far 90 police personnel, which include eight NGOs, 12 head constables and 69 constables, had been transferred to this town from Amritsar district.

But the transferred cops are annoyed at the manner in which they were kept in dark about their new assignment. A disgruntled cop said, "We were made to believe that we are being sent on temporary basis to SAS Nagar for some duty. We came to know the reality only when we reached here".

As a result at least two NGOs, four head constables and 34 constables are absent from duty as per police records. The sources said the DIG (Border Range) had asked the Ropar police authorities to provide a list of the " absent from duty" cops to take appropriate action.

The annoyed cops said that that they were not even given time to settle their families. Though the additional force was to come from Tarn Taran, Batala, Majitha and Gurdaspur districts, only force from Amritsar district had been sent so far. Investigations revealed the cops housed at the Phase 1 police station and the central police station in Phase 8 here were facing problem of accommodation and food. They lamented that had to go all the way to Amritsar to draw their salaries but were being refused leave.

The sources said those asking for a leave had been asked to approach the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, or the Superintendent of Police (operations) for the same.

Following the sanction of the additional force at least two platoons of the district police were called back to Ropar. With the shortage of the police force the policing of the town has once again come under focus. Implementing a scheme to split the force into day and night duties has also been slowed down.

According to an earlier proposal sent by the local police authorities to the state government, a requirement of at least 70 NGOs, 100 head constables, 360 constables besides the other paraphernalia had been projected.


Robbery by domestic servant
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 10—Cash to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh and gold jewellery was stolen from a residence by a domestic servant working in Sector 8 last evening and search for the accused is on. In the absence of any police verification of the servant, there are few clues to his identity, though the police is conducting raids at the residences of his acquaintances on the basis of a diary found in his room.

The owner of the house, Mr Uttar Kumar Garg, said that they left the house around 5:30 pm for a movie last evening and came back to find the cash and jewellery missing and the locks of the bedroom doors and cupboards broken open.

Mr Garg added that though they have no clue on the goings-on since they did not suspect the servant but the neighbours reported to them that the television had been turned on to full volume around 6 pm, just after they had left.

They added that this had probably been done to drown the sound of breaking open the locks. However, at that time the neighbours did not come to check up, thinking the children were being mischievous while the parents were away. Using two iron rods, the whole exercise was carried out and completed well before 8 pm.

Around this time another part-time servant came to the house and found the dog of the occupants on the road. He tied the dog to the gate and left the house, finding nobody responding to the bell. The television was still blaring.

The family returned around 10 pm and found that the three cupboards of the house had been ransacked and the two televisions in the house were turned on full volume following which they informed the police. The servant, Kumar, a Nepali, was nowhere to be found.

Mr Garg said that the servant had been employed by the family a month- and -a-half back on the recommendation of an employee working in his factory in the Industrial area. The idea of verification had also been set aside with the employee contending that the servant was his brother. "He told me that he was working for me which was guarantee enough that there was nothing hank-panky about the new boy. On asking for his residential address, he said that it was the same as his and we believed him and let him go,’’ Mr Garg contended.

His wife, Mrs Sarita Garg, added that their servant came across as a very simple and obedient man. “He would quietly take orders and did not interfere in anything. However, taking all precautions in spite of his good conduct, we told him that we were going out for a little while only and would be back soon. Somehow he must have found out that we were out for a movie and managed to get away with the booty,’’ she explained.

The police case has registered in this regard and further investigations are on.Back


International air race in 2003
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — To commemorate 100 years of manned flight, the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) is planning to organise an international air race. This will be the first such event in the country since Independence.

It was on December 17, 1903, when Orville Wright became the first man to undertake sustained, controlled flight in an aircraft across a frozen field in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The duration of the flight was just a few minutes. The year 2003 will mark the completion of 100 years of manned flight and worldwide centenary celebrations are planned.

The Chairman of the Chandigarh chapter of AeSI, Air Commodore Arvinda Agrawal, said that while the air race would be organised in 2003 on a grand scale, a precursor to the event would be held in January, 2001, on a modest scale. He added that while the event would be another feather in the cap of the AeSI, it would also give a boost to the aviation culture in the country and fire the enthusiasm of the younger generation.

The Secretary of the society, Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal, said that only general aviation light aircraft with the maximum take-off weight not exceeding 5,700 kg would be permitted to take part in the race. Participants would include flying clubs, private operators, corporate houses and the Indian Women Pilot’s Association.

While the navigational route of the race in January next year — aimed to be a trial run for assessing problem areas — would be restricted to the country’s southern part, aircraft participating in the grand air race would touch all four corners of the country. The navigational route and other modalities for this were being worked out by a committee headed by Air Vice-Marshal Ajit Lamba.

Though this is the first time such an event is being contemplated in Independent India, the country had come on the air racing scene long ago.

In 1930, two persons, who later reached the pinnacle in their respective professions took part in the Aga Khan Air Race between England and India with participants permitted to fly from India to England or from England to India. One was noted industrialist J.R.D. Tata and the other was a young air force pilot, A M ‘Apsey’ Engineer, who later rose to become Chief of the Air Staff in December, 1960.

J.R.D. Tata, who had become the first Indian to fly solo, was flying from India to England. While Apsey had started from the other end. Midway through the classic race, Tata met Apsey at Aborikir in West Asia. Apsey was stranded there due to non availability of spares. Tata helped the young flier out of this predicament by providing him the necessary spares and Apsey went on to win the race, bagging the Aga Khan Cup and the prize money of £ 500. Tata came second.


Report on e-governance within a week
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — A delegation of the Chandigarh Administration that went to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to study their models for use of information technology and e—governance is expected to submit a detailed report within a week.

The team, which returned today, comprised Mr Vivek Atray, Director IT, Mr P.S. Gill, CGM, CITCO, Mr Sanjay Tyagi, Additional Director, STPI, SAS. Nagar, Prof S. C. Dhawan, Additional Director, IT and Mr Ajay Rampal, State Information Officer , NIC. It visited Hyderabad and Bangalore to study the rapid progress of the IT revolution.

During the visit the team saw the implementation of e-governance in the two states. The delegation interacted with senior officers of the state governments besides meeting representatives of leading IT companies while inviting the latter to establish software development centres in Chandigarh. They also called on the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Mr J. Satyanaryana, Secretary 1T, Andhra Pradesh, gave an insight into the various schemes being implemented successfully for the benefit of citizens. A project named ‘’Twins’’ is a multi-faceted interface between the government and the public, which provides the citizens a facility to get their electricity, water and house tax bills deposited at one place. They can also get various certificates and even driving licenses issued from the same centre through the use of computer besides getting computer copies of various records on the spot.

The now famous CM’s information system, which provides the CM with wide a wide range of updated information from the districts every day in his office, was also seen by the team. The delegation also visited Hi-tech City, which is a state-of-the-art software technology park and which houses a number of leading multinational IT companies.

In Bangalore, Mr B.V.R. Naidu gave a presentation on the growth of the IT industry in Karnataka and said that a large number of IT companies were willing to expand their operations to Chandigarh. The delegation attended a seminar organised by the CII on the growth of the Internet in Bangalore.Back


Slums, labour colonies on the rise
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10— Picture this. Year 2005, The number of slums and labour colonies around the City Beautiful have almost doubled. And the number of people living in these is almost half of the total population of the city.

Year 2010. Welcome to a new Chandigarh. Almost two-thirds of the total population of the city now lives in the slums and resettlement colonies.

On the eve of World Population Day on July 11, it would be safe to give a clean chit to all government and non-government organisations associated with family planning in the city. They have been quite successful in their job. A success they owe to the educated and aware people of the city. Therefore, as far as the urban Chandigarh is concerned, the birth rate is in check.

The problem lies elsewhere. At this stage, we should be worrying more about the movement in population. A problem which big cities will face, sooner or later. A problem which is a clear offshoot of the increase in employment opportunities. After all, Mumbai does claim to have the largest slum in the world, Dharavi.

Both government and voluntary organisations working in the field of family planning say that three major causes for growth in population in any city can be attributed to births, migration and reduction in the death rate due to better health facilities.

For Chandigarh the migrating population happens to be the root cause. Any subsequent increase in the birth rate of the city will be due this one and only factor. After all you can’t really blame decrease in the death rate for any increase in the population.

The total area of the city is around 114 sq km and the population today stands at about 8.99 lakh. The density of the population is 6,700 per sq km. But the most disturbing fact is that an estimated three lakh live in illegal slums and colonies. This number is besides those living in villages and resettlement colonies.

Another hard fact would be that it is this population which is registering a growth of 13 to 14 per cent every year. It is immaterial whether the increase is due to those 500 people from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere which arrive in the city daily to look for job opportunities. The experts say that out of the total births taking place in the city, two-thirds can be attributed to them.

Interestingly, the growth rate of urban population, which is called the ‘classic population’ by experts, has been almost stagnant. In fact northern and middle sectors have actually recorded a negative growth rate.

It is with this presumption that the three lakh living in slums will double in five years at the rate of 14 per cent, and triple in the next 10 years. None of the state agencies really have an answer as to how they are going to deal with this rather lopsided view of Chandigarh in future, where two-thirds of the population will live in the slums. “ I really don’t know the answer,” says an official associated with the field. “ You can pump in as much money as you can in the family planning infrastructure. But if the woman is illiterate and unaware there is really not much anyone can do. Moreover, the city is generating job opportunities for more and more people. Which is why the number is increasing by the day.”

The official figures of the total number of births recorded in the year 1999 stand at 19,281. The unofficial figures claim the figure to be actually around 30,000. Half of the births in the slums and labour colonies are not even registered.

According to the President of the SAS. Nagar unit of the Family Planning Association, there has been an increased acceptance of family planning in the urban areas, even villages of Punjab. “We had been working in 22 villages in and around Chandigarh and SAS Nagar since late 1960s. At present, even the villages have recorded more or less a static growth in the birth rate. Now we plan to shift our focus to the slums and resettlement colonies. It is the migratory population from Bihar and UP which is the root-cause. The people from the interiors of these states are absolutely ignorant and very difficult to get through.”


Should Chandigarh have an international airport?
By Kulbir Singh

SHOULD Chandigarh have international airport? This question by implication places an international airport in the same class as a railway station or an inter-state bus stand. Every city must have a railway station. It must also have an inter-state bus stand. Chandigarh has both. But Chandigarh is a much more important city! It is the seat of the government of two States and also a Union Territory. It is fast becoming a centre of numerous national and international activities. Why should it not have an international airport of its own?

This question overlooks one central fact: location of international airports is not reckoned in relation to cities. It is reckoned in relation to regions each of which will contain several cities. Within a region, an international airport has to be located at a place where it can serve the largest number of people.

Thus each region has to be examined as a whole for selecting the appropriate site for an international airport. Punjab and Chandigarh generate about 26% of the total air passenger traffic at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. The proportion is large and the region qualifies for such an airport. But what is Chandigarh’s contribution to this traffic? Very little. Most of this traffic — possible over 20% — emanates from Doaba and Malwa areas. An international airport for the region can be located there. Chandigarh does not qualify for it.

It has been suggested that the proposed international airport should be combined with the existing aerodrome. The argument is that the latter already contains several requisite facilities. Only a few additional facilities would be needed and these could be provided at a small cost.

For obvious reasons, it was a serious lapse on part of the planners to place a military aerodrome in close proximity of a well-populated, uniquely planned city of unmatched reputation. This lapse was compounded when the Chandigarh civil airfield was combined with the same military aerodrome/the proposed international airport too. Military aerodromes are legitimate targets in case of military hostilities. One well aimed missile at the aerodrome can at once deprive Chandigarh of the existing air travel facilities as well as the international airport.

Chandigarh’s present-day need is by no means an international airport. There are other pressing, urgent problems which have been crying for solution for a long time. If these are not solved, an international airport at Chandigarh will end up being only an unwanted frill.

Some of these problems are: serious shortage of water supply, inadequacy of electricity and consequent frequent load shedding and break downs of supply, lacunae in the road system, leading to severe congestion and traffic jams on roads, flooding of roads in rains etc. All available resources — financial and others — have first to be utilised in solving these problems. An international airfield, if necessary, can be thought of later.

Finally, there is this matter of noise pollution around Chandigarh. Already the roar of MiGs and loud explosions occurring when they cross the sound barrier have become a nuisance. Why aggravate it by locating an international airfield in close proximity to Chandigarh.



Nine artistes hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, July 10 — At least nine local artistes were injured when a car in which they were travelling was involved in an accident near Nawanshahr yesterday. The injured were going to the Jalandhar Doordarshan to stage a dharna.

According to information, the injured were Sanjivan Singh, Taran Gujral, Sudarshan Walia, Labh Singh Khiwa, Puran Singh Kirti, Karam Singh Vakil, Harnam, Gopal Singh and driver, Sukhwinder Singh.



Functions to mark World Population Day
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — The SAS. Nagar chapter of a non-government organisation, the Family Planning Association, is organising fortnight-long functions to mark the World Population Day on July 11.

The theme of the functions will be ‘Save the women’. According to the President of the NGO, Dr Surjit Kaur Sandhu, there will be a concentrated effort to educate the youth and make them aware of their role in society by organising group meetings and seminars. A baby show will also be organised as part of the functions, which will conclude on the foundation day of the organisation on July 23.

The organisation has its headquarters in Mumbai and is affiliated to the International Planned Parenthood Foundation in the U.K. It organises programmes on sex education, safe motherhood and marriage counselling.



A colony where all vices flourish
By Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — This is another side of Chandigarh. Ugly, dark, and hideous. Dadu Majra Colony is yet another conspicuous example of this. And this time it is both the residents and the authorities to be blamed. Garbage lies every road side, and to make matters worse the road sides are dug up by the Telephone Department. With each rain the dirt and mud combine to form a slush which flows through the narrow low lying roads. The place is teeming with flies, stray dogs and right there are the children playing on the roads, semi-clad and filthy. Alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, prostitution all thrive here.

This colony came up in 1979 with a view to resettle a labour colony in Sector 14. The government allotted plots for shops and residences and booths separately to those who claimed to have shops in the labour colony. Many of these labourers asked for even four plots, each one for their adult male family member. The place was named Site and Services Complex and was formally opened by the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai. A loan of Rs 3000 was also given by the Bank of India for construction of these shops and flats. The people settled down and from the first batch of a mere 300 labourers, this place is now home to more than 50,000 people. More and more people landed here and the government acquired more land and built more houses. The Housing Board got one room-set houses constructed for the new settlers. And recently the Housing Board also got LIG, MIG and HIG houses built.

The residents were provided with electricity, water and telephone facilities. There are schools here — both Government and private, dispensaries, a post office, bus stops and private medical clinics. There is a temple, a Gurdwara, a church and a mosque, a dharamshala, a regular

vegetable market and for everything else there are shops of every kind.

The only thing lacking in this place seems to be civic sense. Most visible are the encroachments. Houses and shops are encroaching on every possible side. Those who have houses with their backs on the connecting roads have opened shops, numbered them and are paying commercial electricity bills too. But have they been served notices? The answer is none whatsoever.

Residents have called their relatives and co-villagers in large numbers here and to accommodate them. First and even second floors have been constructed on top of their small one-room houses. Some have even made commercial complexes with shops on the ground floor and two storeys on top. There are many who have not even paid back the bank loan even after almost 30 years. All that the residents dole out for all that the government has provided them with apart from water, telephone and electricity bill is a measly sum of Rs 35 for the shops and Rs 22 for the houses as the original lease amount which too has not been paid since the last ten years. The reason? There is no one coming to collect it.

There has been a major hue and cry about the garbage dumping area of MCC just 500 yards from the colony but what about residential garbage in the colony? Household garbage lies every road side, there are people who have kept cows, buffaloes and even pigs in their houses. It seems that a building housing public toilets has been locked since years and thus cannot be used.

As far as crime is concerned, its been on the rise and this rise has been attributed to the increase in population over the years. But problems of alcoholism, drug abuse and prostitution seem to have become chronic. Residents say that alcohol is freely available and stored by people who resell it in amounts required by the buyer, sometimes even peg wise and the Harijan Dharamshala is home to all sorts of shady activities, including prostitution and gambling.

And of course, if there is any problem with anything, the roads , the phones or the medical facilities the most effective resort is to sit on a dharna. Earlier the residents chose a pradhan who represented them but since the last three and a half years when the area came under the MCC, everything is expected from the authorities. The councillor Mr Kewal Krishan Adiwal says that the problem of encroachment is now almost out of control. As far as the garbage dumping area is concerned, a fertiliser plant is coming up there to solve the problem permanently.

Elsewhere in the country where local village and even tribal communities are getting together to solve problems like water shortage and storage, cleanliness, drug abuse, alcoholism, here is a case where the community waits for the authorities to even shovel their household garbage from their doorstep. Back


Times have changed, but not these traffic lights
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — Over the past two decades the city has changed drastically in character, style, and size. Various landmarks have changed, the volume of traffic has increased manifold, 24-hour restaurants have sprung up and so have discos, and not to miss increased activity in the various clubs.

Quite oddly, one thing that has not changed, or kept pace with changing times, in the city is the working of the traffic lights. The time to shift the sequence of red, yellow and green to a blinking yellow is still remains static at 9 p.m. And till 7 a.m. the next day the traffic lights remain on the blinking mode. All these timings have been fixed almost eight years ago and are not flexible according to winter or summer seasons. Nor has been the fact taken into account that 400 vehicles are added to city roads every day. Sources say the issue has not been discussed or reviewed in the past few years.

It is understandable that traffic at night hours is more during summers, says a sector 32 resident, who eats out with his family during the night almost once a week. From April to October, the timing to put the lights on blinking mode should start at 11.30 p.m and end at 5 a.m. the next day, suggested Mr Vikas Sharma, a resident of Sector 46. During the winter an hour could be reduced at night and another hour added in the morning.

Probably, in the past ten years, the timing of traffic lights is the only aspect of traffic management that has not been touched by the Traffic police. Realising the growing numbers of vehicles, roads have been widened and four laned at several places. Roundabouts have been replaced with traffic lights, slip roads have been added and several other safety features have been introduced and so have challans for several violations.

However, at 9 p.m. one of the biggest safety feature is switched off while the records show that close to 20 per cent of road accidents occur after 9 p.m.

When the traffic lights go on blinking mode it is also the time when all shops close in the city and all traders, their work force and even late shoppers head back home. It is also the time for people to start their socialising be it eating out or visiting friends.

After 9 p.m it is the time when large number of people are returning from the movies. Several others are headed to the club or are returning after a few drinks. All activities involves the use of vehicles.

On the other hand , in the morning also the traffic is not all that thin as people use vehicles to travel to various parks, gardens and the Sukhna Lake for a walk. School buses start plying as early as 6.15 p.m, while the traffic lights are on the blinking mode.


VIP kids’ behaviour blamed on their upbringing
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 10 — Parents and teachers attribute the “perverted'' behaviour of the VIP kids indulging in hooliganism to their upbringing and easy flow of cash without any accountability for the same. The doctors say it boils down to the changes in education pattern and the conflicting views of conventional family life in our country and the values projected on television with the coming of the cable network.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr H.C. Nagpal, explains that eve-teasing and drunken brawls are the result of lack of discipline in them. “This was the primary objective of school education but owing to competition more and more students have taken to tuitions and hardly attend school. Moreover, the youngsters are confused with conflicting views being presented to them by the media,'' he says.

Dr Nagpal adds that violence and sex have occupied centre-stage and distorted the Indian culture as well as the youngsters. "He is beginning to think that this is his own life and he need not live tied down to rules and established norms. Moreover, watching television has had a bearing at the subconscious level. Being timid he cannot go all out and for this reason he looks for those weaker than him to display strength which inevitably brings him to the weaker boys and girls,'' he informs.

Further, the breaking up of the joint family system which has given way to nuclear families where both the parents are working has lifted tabs on the activities of the youngsters which is the primary cause of all such problems.

A school teacher, Mr Lakhwinder Kaur, opines, 'These are a consequence of too much pampering by the VIP parents. They keep patting the backs of their wards for anything mischievous. Gradually, they go on to do big things and have the satisfaction that their parents have the money power to shield them from anybody and everybody. The peer group, primarily comprising youngsters of middle class families, applaud their wrongs mistaking them to be acts of bravery. They begin to think themselves as leaders and that is where society has to pay a heavy price.''

Another teacher, Mrs Poonam Katyal, adds,``I think that the root cause of the problem is that the parents of VIP children are over-attentive to their needs. They are pampered children and have not learnt to take no for an answer. Among there peers they exercise the same authority which does not deter them from taking law in their own hands.''

A parent of two collegiates, Mrs Savita Sharma, contends that the children of VIP parents indulge in such activities because they know that there parents have the resources and the connections to come to their rescue when they get into trouble.``They are not the kinds who take their future seriously and spend their time in fruitless activity. Easy access to cash spoils them even further and that is where the trouble of the common man begins,'' she adds.

While their parents are treated as VIPs everywhere they go, the children as treated no less and slowly the many salutes and care taken to ensure their comfort goes to their head, claims, Mr Sohan Lal, a parent of two teenagers. He rues that fact that the VIP kids become distorted personalities because there heads swell with pride and they are well aware that when all else fails, money will do the trick. Also, their well-connected parents will not leave them in a lurch whatever happens.


5-member panel for Congress poll
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — A five-member scrutiny committee, headed by Mr Rampal Sharma, has been formed in connection with organisational elections of the local Congress unit.

Other members of the committee are Mr Surender Bhatia, Mrs Lalit Joshi, Dr O.P. Verma and Mr Sunil Parti. The committee will give its report in the next few days. The last date for filing appeals against the report of scrutiny committee is July 20.

Meanwhile, the All-India Congress Committee has allowed certain amendments to the constitution of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee. There will be three district Congress committees instead of two. The executive will have 21 members besides three vice-presidents and one treasurer. General secretaries, secretaries and joint secretaries will be nominated by the president from among the TCC members,a press release of the Congress said .Back



2 held for outraging girl’s modesty
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — The police has arrested a Punjab police constable, Ram Lubhya, a resident of Ram Pur Bilari village in Hoshiarpur district, and Harswinder Singh, a resident of Sector 39, on the charges of outraging the modesty of a girl of Palsora Colony last night. A case has been registered.

Arrested: The police today arrested Sunita, an accused in the in famous Sangeeta case. Sunita, who has already been denied anticipatory bail, was reportedly arrested when she was going to meet his lawyer.

Case registered: On the complaint of Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Sector 33, the police has registered a cheating case against Randhir Thapar, a resident of Sector 23. The complainant had given Rs 9 lakh as token money for the purchase of a house in Sector 23 on May 2 this year.

Later it was found that the property was disputed and court case was pending.

Jewellery stolen: Ms Navneeta Singh, a resident of Sector 16, alleged that some stole gold and silver jewellery from her house while she was out of station from June 26 to July 9. A case has been registered.

Vehicle stolen: Mr Rakhbir Singh, a resident of Pakki in Muktsar, alleged that his Tata Sierra — DL-2CE-2441 — has been stolen from the parking lot of hostel no 4 of Panjab University. A case has been registered.

Girl abducted: Mr Sudhir Kumar of Burail village alleged that Irfan of the same village has abducted his sister aged 14 years on July 8 when he was out of station. Later, the accused was arrested and the girl recovered from his possession. A case has been registered.


Patrolling intensified: Following a spurt in the cases of snatching in the past few days the local police has intensified patrolling in the town. At least 16 police parties from the Phase 1 police station and the Phase 8 police station would be on duty at sensitive points from 6 p.m to 11 p.m. daily.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr S.S. Gill, said the record of active chain snatchers with the Chandigarh police had been requisitioned in order to track out the suspects. He said the vulnerable points along the border with Chandigarh had been identified. A meeting of the local police officials was called by the DSP to review the patrolling.

Meanwhile, in two recent cases unidentified youths snatched gold chain from Ms Satosh, a resident of Phase 3B 2 here, and Mr Narinder Kaur, a resident of Phase XI. In both the cases the police has registered FIRs

Injured: A gunman of the DSP City, Mr Baldesh Singh, who was assisting the DSP in traffic checking in Phase 7 market here, was seriously injured when he was dragged for more than 50 feet by two scooter-borne youths. According to the information available, the youths were not wearing helmets and on being signalled to stop they tried to flee and injured the cop in process. The injured cop had to be hospitalised at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital.

Theft: Goods worth over Rs one lakh were stolen from the Godrej factory here on Sunday. The police has registered a case under Section 380 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint lodged by the in charge of the unit, Mr S.C. Popli.



Mailing of FIR begins
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — The local police started posting the copies of FIR to complainants today.

According to sources, in the first phase the copies of the FIR would only sent by post and later even final investigations could be sent to the complainants. The step was taken to put an end to the reported harassment faced by certain complainants in getting the document.

While the copies of the FIRs are provided at the spot, some people face difficulties and with this step the complainants will not have to make rounds of the police stations.


Pick-pocket held
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — The police arrested a pick-pocket — Babu Ram — from near Dhillon Theatre while picking a pocket.

A case has been registered.

In another case, Mewa Lal, a gambler was arrested by the police from Rehri Market of Sector 7 and Rs 619 recovered from him.Back


Opinion leaders visit HMT premises
From a Correspondent

PANCHKULA, July 10 — A group of 50 opinion leaders from rural areas of Punjab visited HMT premises at Pinjore today to keep themselves abreast with the technological strides made by the company in the recent times.

Mr C.N Dhar, Executive Director of HMT, while welcoming the opinion leaders said that HMT was playing a key role in the industrial as well as agricultural sectors of the Indian economy. He revealed that HMT had taken requisite steps to integrate itself with the changing business and economic environment.

The group expressed satisfaction at progress shown by HMT over the years. The group was shown the machine tool and tractor plants. Senior personnel from marketing, production and research and development wings of HMT conducted the visit.


Consumer panel penalises firm
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Haryana, Chandigarh, has ordered Druckgrafen India Limited to repay the principal amount along with the interest on account of the maturity of fixed deposit and the costs of litigation to the complainant P. S. Vohra.

The complainant and his wife had made fixed deposits worth Rs 4,25,000 in the company between January 1997 and May 1998. However, on the maturity of the amount the company withheld the complainant’s money without any reason. The company also stopped paying the interest from May 1998 to July 1999.

The complainant filed a case on account of deficient services being provided by the company. The complainant had demanded the principal amount, the interest for the period mentioned previously and Rs 2,00,000 in compensation for the harassment faced by him and his ailing wife, besides Rs 2,200 as cost of litigation.

The opposite party’s counsel argued that the company had been declared a sick industrial unit by the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) vide order dated 29.12.1998. The further argument of the opposite party’s counsel was that the IFCI was made the operating agency to give rehabilitation proposal for the revival of the company. He also argued that the company had no cash to repay the amount of unsecured deposits till the rehabilitation was finalised by the BIFR.

The Commission observed that the mere declaration of the company as a sick industrial unit was not enough to stay the proceedings of the case. The Commission further observed that the company had not denied that the amount was not deposited by the complainant.

The Commission ordered the company to repay the principal amount, the interest for the period when it was not paid and Rs 2,000 as cost of litigation within a period of one month from the receipt of the copy of the order.


40 insurance agents attend seminar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — Nearly 40 insurance agents from life and non-life insurance have participated in a seminar on “Agent regulation and code of conduct”.

Agents from Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh exchanged views on the changing scenario and new norms of the IRDA for licensing, training and commission structure of agents expected to be notified during this month.

Mr K.R. Kashyap, Fellow in Insurance and former Senior Divisional Manager, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., and Mr S.S. Sidhu, Fellow in Insurance, addressed the agents.

The next seminar on “Motor insurance and claim settlement” will be held on July 15.


Premature retirees to get pension
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — Bank employees who have taken voluntary or premature retirement between January 1, 1986, and October 31, 1993, will now be entitled to receive pension, according to an order of the Supreme Court.

All such persons should apply before July 31 to avail themselves of this benefit, according to a press note issued by the Punjab National Bank Staff Union here today.

However, in order to receive the pension, persons will have to refund the bank's contribution to the PF along with an interest.


Nodal officer scheme launched in 9 sectors
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 10 — The nodal officer scheme of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) got underway in nine sectors of the city today.

Meanwhile, taking note of the registration of complaints pertaining to water supply, sewerage, storm water drainage, horticulture, roads, streetlights and sanitation, the civic body has set up three complaint centres—Sector 37, Mani Majra and the central complaint centre in Sector 17.

Talking cognizance of the unprecedented growth of encroachments on the public land, the civic body started the drive in Sectors 8,15,20,22,23,27,32,44 and Phase I of the Industrial Area. For this, one nodal officer and sub-nodal officer has been appointed for the each sector under the overall supervision of an XEN. They will be responsible for the checking the unauthorised encroachments and booking the violators. For the storage of building material and other items, on the land of the corporation, the residents would have to take prior permission failing which the violators would be challaned.

The nodal officers have been made responsible for checking any violation under their jurisdiction and conferred powers to challan and confiscate the goods if the violator did not deposit the challaned amount. They will also remove encroachments from the road berms, open spaces and parks. Besides, unauthorised openings and dumping of “malba” at unauthorised sites would attract penalty.

It has been decided to allow two feet high hedging subject to six feet and 10 feet distance from the road on V-6 and V-5 roads, respectively, and permission would have to be taken from the corporation. However, no permission would be allowed on the V-2,V-3,V-4 roads.

Concerned over the spillage of water from leaking overhead tanks and washing of vehicles on the open spaces which caused damage to the roads, the corporation has authorised the nodal officers to challan the violators.

The corporation called upon the residents and shopkeepers not to paste posters on road signs, bus-queue shelters, streetlight poles and tree guards. Provision of challaning, confiscation and removal of the material at the cost of violators had also been made. The shopkeepers had also been advised to keep the public corridors clear in the shopping area failing which they will be challaned and material removed at their cost.

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