Friday, July 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Liquor vend employees beat up Sector 44 traders
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — The simmering tension between shopkeepers of Sector 44 and the owners of a liquor vend came to a head today when scores of vend employees went on the rampage and beat up several shopkeepers here this noon. Then traders immediately downed their shutters to protest against the incident and demanded strict action against the culprits.

While three traders — Kuldeep Maini and his son Amit and Sunil Kumar — were taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital for first aid, several others received minor injuries. Seven employees of the contractor were taken into custody by the police.

According to eyewitnesses, a group of 15-20 men descended on the market during lunchtime and ran amok. They abused the shopkeepers whose shops were open besides damaging things lying in the corridors. They also pelted them with soda bottles and stones. The entire market was covered with glass shards and other broken items.

Mr Anil Vohra, President of the Market Association, alleged that they had reprimanded the vend employees that they should desist from creating general nuisance in the market since it was reflecting on their sales since few people, especially womenfolk, were reluctant to shop in the market.

The reason was that the vend had an attached ahata which had recently been airconditioned, as a result of which all the cooking was done outside. The sight of non-vegetarian food being cooked in full public view and the frequency of undesirable elements drinking outside was very disturbing.

There had been many instances when ladies of the locality had complained to them about people drinking outside and passing indecent remarks. Not only this many persons could be seen urinating in the open spaces causing a great deal of embarrassment to the women, he added.

The incident which sparked the attack today was an accident A tractor-trolley hit a car parked in the market which the shopkeepers alleged was due to the wrong parking of some trucks parked by the vend employees.

Following the incident, the traders put up their shutters and staged a dharna outside the vend demanding the arrest of the culprits besides shifting of the vend. They alleged that they had written to the administration many times highlighting the problem but the authorities were too busy eyeing their revenue rather than solve their genuine grievance. The vend owners are allowed to encroach upon public land at the cost of law and order.

They said they had written to the UT Administrator in this context while efforts were on to nab the culprits. Further investigations were on.


NHRC takes cognizance of illegal detention
City SSP asked to submit report by July 21
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — In a significant case here, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken cognizance of the alleged humiliation and illegal detention of a Chandigarh resident by the local police and has issued notice to the local Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) calling for explanation in this regard. The commission, in an urgent communication, dispatched through post, has directed the SSP to take the notice of the matter, hold an inquiry and submit the requisite information and report on or before July 21.

The complaint, sent in April this year to the commission by Gurcharan Singh Oberoi, was treated as urgent on grounds that it contained allegations against two city Sub-Inspectors (SIs) who allegedly illegally detained the complainant for three hours and tortured and humiliated him in the presence of his wife.

Acting on the notice, the city SSP, Mr Parag Jain, has reportedly called for an explanation in this regard from SI Bakhshish Singh and SI S.S. Bhullar alleged to have been involved in the case. The two SIs have also submitted their reports to the SSP, it is learnt.

The complainant approached the commission alleging that his right to liberty had been violated by two SIs of the Sector 22 police post. The complainant had dispatched an urgent telegram to the commission on the said date wherein he had recorded the sequence of events.

The commission, in its communication, has also sent a copy of the complainant's telegram wherein Mr G.S. Oberoi had alleged that the police had connived with his elder brother R.S. Oberoi and was pressurising him to arrive at a compromise in a property dispute. He added that he was called to the police post on April 8 and 9 and was "illegally detained for three hours, tortured and humiliated in the presence of his wife."

It was also alleged that the police kept stressing on compromise and when he did not agree upon the same, they threatened to book him under Sections 441,107/151, IPC (for apprehension of breach of peace).

The SIs concerned, when contacted, however, denied all the charges and said the matter had been flared up unnecessarily. They said that the dispute concerned property. SI Bakhshish Singh said "they are engaged in a certain property dispute. Earlier, in 1998 they had signed an agreement as per which Mr R. S. Oberoi was to use the house shed for parking. On April 6 this year, however, Mr G. S. Oberoi forcibly parked his vehicle in that shed and his led to the problem."

It was also informed that the two brothers had lodged complaints against one another in the police post. Denying all allegations of torture, SI Bakhshish Singh added that they had in fact tried to sort out the complainant's problem. 


UT to impose ‘entry tax’ on vehicles
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — To curb the racket of evasion of sales tax on sale of new vehicles, especially cars, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to impose an ‘entry tax’ on vehicles that are sold and billed in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh or Haryana but are sought to be registered in Chandigarh by local residents.

This will effectively act as a deterrent for people trying to hoodwink the authorities by taking advantage of the lowered sales tax structure prevailing in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. At present neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Haryana impose 12 per cent sales tax on automobiles while Chandigarh has 12 per cent sales tax and another 10 per cent as surcharge on it making the purchase of vehicle a better proposition in the two states.

Another thought in the Administration is to totally abolish the surcharge, now levied at 10 per cent. However, the surcharge itself nets a sum of Rs 15 crore as revenue for the Administration. Surcharge will be done away with if the total loss of business and evasion of sales tax is estimated to be more than Rs 15 crore, a source said, while adding that a case to do away with the surcharge was being examined. After rationalisation of sales tax the need to add surcharge was not that much as Haryana and Himachal have no surcharge.

Till then an ‘’entry tax ‘’ before registration of the vehicle is the solution for saving the revenue from flowing to other states, said a source. Already Maharashtra and Punjab are imposing entry tax on vehicles sold in other states but registered in their states to bring about a parity in prices.

The difference in tax structure between Chandigarh and the two states results in a benefit in the region of Rs 400 to Rs 1,500 for scooters and motor cycles, while car owners stand to gain anything between Rs 2,500 and Rs 8,000, depending upon the model. And in the past few months several car dealers were billing vehicles to Himachal Pradesh or Haryana while actually handing over possession of the vehicle from their local premises here itself.

The issue was highlighted in The Tribune a few days ago as to how the Chandigarh Administration was about to loose several crores of rupees which would have come in its coffers by way of sales tax. The Excise and Taxation Commissioner-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, had then said that the Administration was planning to take up the issue in the empowered committee on rationalisation of sales tax.


PSEB’s new action plan
From Kulwinder Sangha

SAS NAGAR, July 13 — While residents continue to sweat it out due to frequent power cuts and breakdowns, the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities have approved several short-term measures for improving the situation in keeping with the directions of the board chairman to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to the town.

It is reported that the Punjab Chief Minister has favoured a top-rate power system here in order to make the area adequately attractive to NRIs planning to set up industrial and commercial ventures.

A message from the PSEB chief relating to the supply of uninterrupted power was received by local official last month after which the existing system in the town was studied and proposals for improvement were drafted.

In a letter to the local board officials, the Chief Engineer (Op), South Patiala, said that keeping in view the increase in load in the future, various long and short-term measures needed to be taken for improving the supply system.

Under the short-term measures the Chief Engineer favoured, among other things , the provision of various pieces of equipment and materials. He proposed the augmentation of eight 100 kva transformers with 200 kva ; bifurcation of two 11 kv feeders with 48 MM2 conductors ; provision of 10 G.O. switches for sectionalising the feeders/provision at T-offs; augmentation of the conductor (10 km x 3) of the existing feeders ; provision of two 300 kva transformers on trolleys for emergency use; and the provision of a van with a hydraulic ladder.

Besides, the Chief Engineer said, there was need for providing a wireless system in a van connected to the main complaint centre of

substation; making available a length (60 metres XLPE 150 MM 2) of 11 kv spare cable for emergency use ;providing one spare 11 kv breaker at each substation ; and making available an 11kv bus-coupler at the Phase VII 66 kv substation.

It is reported that the proposals have been cleared and orders placed for the purchase of various items.

At present the supply to the town is being fed from a 220 kv substation, the Phase VII 66 kv substation, the Phase IX 66 kv substation Industrial Area) and the Phase I 66 kv substation.

The long-term measures proposed by the Chief Engineer included the setting up of three 66 kv grid substations in Phase VIII, a 66 kv substation in Sector 71 and a 66 kv substation in Phase VIII B (Industrial Area).

In Phase VIII, a specialised heart care centre is coming up and among the projects planned are another hospital and two five-star hotels. These will undoubtedly increase the load on the power system. Back


Mamata likely to visit city on July 24
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — The Union Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, may visit Chandigarh on July 24 at the invitations of the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Om Prakash Chautala, respectively. Ms Banerjee's maiden visit to the city will be short and crisp.

According to sources in Northern Railway, she is likely to travel by morning Shatabdi Express from the union Capital to Chandigarh on July 24 and after formally inaugurating the second entry to the city railway station from the Panchkula side may return to New Delhi either by the afternoon Shatabdi Express or by the Himalayan Queen in the evening.

The Northern Railway has already decided to start three more computerised booking centres in Ambala division, including one at SAS Nagar and the second at Ambala city.

The Punjab Government has already been requested for allotment of some building or space from where it can start its reservation centre at SAS Nagar.

A similar centre, sanctioned long ago, has failed to come up at Panchkula so far because of non-availability of subsidised accommodation. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) wants the Railways to buy any commercial site for running its reservation centre as the earlier promised space was either not to the liking of the Railways or was inadequate.

But with the commissioning of the second entry point, the problem would be partially solved as the new wing would have a booking counter and a waiting room besides other facilities. A ticket counter would also be there in the new block which has been waiting for a VIP to inaugurate it.

The visit of Ms Mamata Banerjee is expected to generate lot of interest as the residents of city have been long demanding introduction of long-distance trains, especially to Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai and to the eastern region through UP and Bihar.

The work on washing line at Chandigarh railway station is already in progress. Once it is completed, the station would be ready for extension of some of the long-distance trains to the city. Delhi is already congested and some of the trains presently terminating there may terminate at Chandigarh or Kalka.

The rail users have also been pressing the Northern Railway for introduction of an evening Shatabdi from Chandigarh to Delhi as the present arrangement of an afternoon Shatabdi does not fully meet their requirements.

The hotel and restaurant industry, however, has been opposing tooth and nail the evening Shatabdi train from Chandigarh to New Delhi on the plea that it would affect its business adversely.

Both Mr Badal and Mr Chautala are keen for better connectivity of Chandigarh with the rest of the country.

Ms Banerjee’s visit also assumes significance in the wake of work on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link, which at present pace, may take another 15 to 20 years to complete. Mr Badal is keen that work on this project be expedited. The short visit of Ms Banerjee may not provide the Punjab Chief Minister answers to the problems he may list before the Union Railway Minister.


Congress grass spreads like wild fire
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 13—Congress grass has spread like wild fire all over the city with its concentration being primarily in the vacant plots and open spaces. Having eaten up into these spaces, the weed is beginning to spread to the road berms of the residential area causing allergies of various kinds.

A thick cover of the grass is visible right across the commercial complex in Sector 5 where not much construction has been carried out. Besides, the weed is growing in abundance around the mini secretariat and the judicial complex. The parking space in the market of Sector 11 has also been taken over by the weed and shopkeepers and customers are irked by the complacency of the horticulture wing for not taking in damage control measures.

A resident of Sector 9, Mrs Santosh Sharma, says: “The congress grass menace should be taken up on a priority basis by the department for the nuisance it causes. My three-year-old son developed rash all over his arms after he happened to venture towards the grass growing on the adjoining plot.’’

Another resident of Sector 16, Mr Vijay Kumar, opines: “The department knows this is a chronic problem and the weed grows in plenty year after year. In spite of this they do not take any precautionary measures and spring into action only when the grass is about knee-length. They must adopt a pro-active approach rather than a reactive approach to control its spread.’’

Meanwhile, the Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority, Mr Sandeep Garg, informed that they have two options at their disposal to eradicate the weed. “While an individual has developed some chemical to root out the weed, the other comes from Markfed which has been tried in the city a couple of years back. I have constituted a committee under the Superintending Engineer (Horticulture) to take care of the problem.’’

The officers of the department informed that the work would be carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the open spaces would be targeted while the residential areas will be taken up in the second phase. Also, the department was still in the process of deciding which of the two options to accept. 


Should driving licence age be lowered to 16?
By Ambika Kumar

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — Harinder Rawthan, studying civil engineering: "Before 18 years one does not know the road regulations well. Even later, we are educated about them by our parents and elders only, that too vaguely. Driving earlier than the specified age is dangerous for not just the child but the others on road also".

Sandeep Bhatia (17): "If someone can drive well a licence must be issued before 18 years. I learnt to drive at the age of 12 but just because of all the formalities, I am not permitted to drive by my parents. Many get fake licences made. Who is interested in driving a non-geared vehicle. It looks rather cheap"!

Narinder Gill (18), finished school: "Licences should not be issued before 18 years. The chances of accidents taking place are a lot. Before 18, one has little knowledge about driving and there is not enough maturity either. It is not worth risking your life".

Amandeep Singh (18), student of plus two: "I have got my licence as I am 18, but a lot of kids are driving without a licence. If the cops stop you when you are without a licence then one wants to flee from the spot, thus chances of an accident are more. Because the driver is panicky and wants to avoid the challan". Back


Should Chandigarh have an international airport?

I AM one of the proud citizens of Chandigarh since 1972. We are at the top in so many respects like having the highest literacy rate, best health care systems, having PGI and two General Hospitals, lush green gardens, largest Rose Garden, Leisure Valley and Rock Garden. Because of these, tourists fall in love with the city. The Pinjore Mughal Garden, the Golden Temple and the Himachal valley are other attractions of the region. Even though we have quite a big rush of tourists to the city, I don’t think we need an international airport because of the size of the city and the small population. The city requires more development before we can think of an international airport. The roads need repairs. Gardens need maintenance. During rains roads and round-abouts become lakes, bringing life to a standstill. Heavy rains add more misery when electricity lines are cut off. The authorities don’t have funds to replace tubelights.

The water problem continues to bother the residents. It is difficult to provide regular drinking water to the people. I wonder how the authorities can think of having an international airport amidst these problems.

Before thinking about an international airport, did we ever think about the economic aspect? Will it be economically and functionally viable? How much land will be required? How many people will be uprooted? How much money will be spent for its development? From where will that amount come? At the same time, will it be possible for Chandigarh to have such a big international airport where we will expect every international airline to land?

I think people of this region should ask for a feasible and cheaper transport alternative. I don’t want to give an impression that Chandigarh will never have an international airport. It will have. But it is certainly not the need of the hour. At this moment instead of thinking of an international airport for Chandigarh, let us improve our infrastructure first.

Mr C.S. Saini is a retired Deputy Commandant, CISF.


The issue is not whether Chandigarh should have an international airport. The real issue is what this region needs to do to attract private capital which in turn will create the necessary demand pull for the Civil Aviation industry to see an opportunity. Every state in India dreams of an international airport. This won’t happen at least in the first half of the 21st century. I will be happy to see world class upgradation of our international airports in Delhi and Mumbai by 2010 and the creation of a new international airport in Bangalore in the next 3-5 years. Doesn’t that sound more realistic?

What we actually need is a solid public-private partnership to invest in an efficient feeder service to North India’s hinterland. Let us not talk about an international airport in a region where the state tourism corporations have a near monopoly over the hotel industry. Let us not talk about an international airport in a city which does not even offer a taxi service. Let us not talk about an international airport in a region where the credibility of travel agents is itself suspect. Let us not even think of an international airport in a city where the private hoteliers in connivance with the Indian Railways have successfully stalled the introduction of a high speed evening train from Chandigarh to New Delhi.

Let us address these issues. Let us create the right business environment to ensure that at least Jet Airways introduces a daily Boeing flight from Delhi to Chandigarh. Let us wake up to the reality that ITDC, which is otherwise up for disinvestment, is actually building a five star hotel at a prime location in the city. Let us create the soft infrastructure first which incidentally does not cost money. Wake up, the powers that be from your deep slumber. You owe this to society and of course to the people of this region.

— Mr Piyush Bahl is the Regional Director of the CII, Northern Region.


The issue that this region has about 25-30 per cent of passenger traffic at Indira Gandhi International Airport has been widely discussed in this forum. The figures definitely testify the compelling need to set up an international airport in the region. Staying at SAS Nagar, Chandigarh and Panchkula, it will be a luxury to have an international airport at your doorstep.

The traffic we are talking about de facto emanates from Punjab and that too from the Doaba region of the state. The NRI’s are dominant contributors to the traffic from Delhi and they are mostly based in the Doaba region. They should not be ignored while taking a decision in this regard. There are many NRI forums, which should also be heard on the issue. Impromptu conversations with a few NRI’s staying at Banga manifest that they are of the view that a new airport, if at all is being constructed, should be near Ludhiana or between Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

While setting up an airport the fundamental parameters that are considered are the traffic intensities (passenger and cargo), technical feasibility, financial rate of return and the economic rate of return on the investments.

Chandigarh, undoubtedly is a beautiful city with good infrastructure but we should not sing a sentimental chorus that an international airport should be set up here. The decision of setting up of an airport should be based purely on detailed studies on the technical, fiinancial and economic criterion, done by experts in the field. If the studies justify, then definitely yes!

— Mr Gurpartap Singh Mann is the Assistant General Manager of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.


Chandigarh must have an airport. The growth and importance of a planned city had always been anticipated. Laurels are slow to come to this city and so we Chandigarhians must get up from slumber and let Chandigarh have its deserving credentials. In Italy, France, England air travel is common facility and available at a stone’s throw. Then why not Chandigarh? It caters to the needs of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Apart from its coming on international scene it will be floodgate to export of our agriculture, floriculture and manpower.

It will reduce the tremendous mad rush on the GT road to New Delhi. It also has the advantage of its strategic geographical location. Passengers will embark and disembark from all three different routes linking to Himachal, Punjab and Haryana.

Seeing the huge imports of fresh vegetables in the Middle East myself personally, I sometimes wondered why Punjab and Haryana are not availing this golden opportunity. There is tremendous demand, which can easily be exploited by Chandigarhians and Punjabis.

There are innumerable passengers originating from this part of India and everyone knows that majority of Indians in Canada are from Punjab. Sons of soil would definitely be delighted to avail of this facility back home at their doorstep. Moreover, to raise this kind of infrastructure takes very long. By the time it gets ready the claim of Chandigarh which is surrounded by two more planned towns of SAS Nagar and Panchkula will be much stronger. It is already known that City Beautiful has all that is required to attract the NRIs and foreigners.

The city will serve gateway to Himachal, Haryana and Punjab. It will definitely be a profiteering venture apart from promoting new avenues of business and tourism. Lot many jobs will be generated and New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will get much needed relief.

— Mr Kuldip Rai Wadhwa is a consulting engineer.


I feel at this stage more appropriate question is ‘How soon Chandigarh have its international airport?’

No one can deny the fact that the infrastructure and hospitality sectors, more than anything else, are responsible for the development and growth of any city. Chandigarh is not a conglomerate of variety of concrete buildings and human beings, it is also the custodian of the spirit of adventure, entrepreneurship and brotherhood of unique individuals. Many identify it with the soul of their aspirations. Admittedly, Chandigarh is not what it was planned to be and hence many would oppose its growth so that further growth of the city does not add to their woes.

Chandigarh is a hub centre of many educational, cultural, industrial and business activities of organisations and individuals in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal. It has the unique distinction of housing three state and UT governments. Each state has its own identity suitably tucked in Chandigarh. The satellite towns of Panchkula and SAS Nagar, though managed by different states, have become integral parts of the city. It provides ideal location for workshops and seminars, at state, national and international levels. It also has the potential of a tourist centre and industrial township. Often one of the arguments against hosting major events in the city is lack of hotel accommodations and of course sufficient number of domestic and international flights. The city has lost its claim to some major national and international events because of this shortcoming.

— Col D.S. Cheema (retd)


What draws them to Chandigarh
By Poonam Katial

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — The ‘City Beautiful’ known for its beauty and cleanliness, is a destination for people from all over. They halt in the city to catch its invigorating aesthetics. And in this sense, the tourist potential of the city is immense. As for the reasons behind this rush of tourists, these are many and also varied.

Most of the people are attracted by the city lay-out. The planned city offers a respite from the confusing network of roads and lanes, a normal feature of any other city. The cleanliness and symmetry of the place also strike the visitor. Mr G. K. Menon, a visitor from Dubai, halted at Chandigarh on his way back from Shimla. Chandigarh is a midway destination for the people who visit Shimla. People who go to Shimla usually make a halt in Chandigarh. The lake cafeteria is a resting place for most visitors. He says, “It’s a good place to visit but I actually came to Shimla, so I took a little break here to visit the Rock Garden and the Lake”

Another visitor, Megha, says, “I came to Chandigarh because my sister is having her entrance exam in Panjab University. I just accompanied her thinking that I would do a little sightseeing.” The Panjab University also attracts several people not just for its educational facilities but also for its beautiful, wide spaces.

Another visitor, Mr Raj Handa from Shahjehanpur, came here to visit the Rock Garden, says, “We came to Chandigarh for the admission of my son but after that we decided to go to the Lake and the Rock Garden.” He further added that he liked the place but complained that people here were very rude.

Another group of boys from Ludhiana came to visit Chandigarh because of girls. They say, “We especially came here to see the crowds, especially beautiful girls. We always come here and visit Sector 17 to see the girls.”

Most of the tourists, however, rue that the city has a poor taxi service.


10 short-listed for Anandgarh project
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — At a high-level meeting of the project approval committee of the Anandgarh Development Authority today, names of 10 architects and town planners were short-listed for final design competition of Anandgarh, a new city to be developed near here.

The meeting was presided over by Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Minister for Urban and Housing Development. The names of financial institutions to finance the project were also discussed and finalised. As many as 44 applications were received from the architect associations and 34 were rejected after scrutiny. In fact, the department had laid down very strict conditions because of which many good companies failed to qualify for the competition. The authority has laid the condition that only those companies can apply for the design competition which have executed a project worth Rs 100 crore in the past.

Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, State Minister for Urban Development, after the meeting told TNS that he had proposed that there should not be any roundabout, traffic light and crossings in the city. The traffic should move in the city without any stoppage. There should be no sector system. Every locality should be separated from the other by a extensive green belt. Each locality would bear a separate attractive name. Mr Balian said that as he had given the suggestions on the basis of his visit to important modern cities of the world.

There would be no name of big architect attached to Anandgarh. Chandigarh is identified with the name of Lee Corbusier. Mr Balian said because of shortage of time and to avoid delay in the execution project, Indian architects had been given chance to prove their worth. But if at any stage, the need to consult any foreign based town planning expert was felt, there would be no hesitation.

Asked about the compensation and land acquisition controversy, Mr Balian said that there was no controversy. Representatives of people of the area to be acquired duly consulted for deciding the compensation. He said that if the elected representatives like MLA and MP of the area did not cooperate, the government would go ahead to decide the compensation in consultation with panchayats of the villages. Another meeting would be held soon to arrive at consensus for the compensation, he added.

He said the names of financial institutions had also been short listed. He said that ICICI in collaboration with R and R finances and C.V. Richarad Alias had offered to fully finance the project. The government, according to him, would soon accord permission to float a bonds worth Rs 1000 crore to these institutions to raise the money.

When asked why HUDCO, which had earlier offered to give Rs 1500 crore for the project, has backed out now, Mr Balian said that earlier Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhinsa was in charge of HUDCO and then it offered the money. But as its charges had been transferred to other ministry now it had laid some conditions for offering the money. He said that the state government would prefer to ignore the HUDCO if it persisted with conditions laid down to finance the project.

Meanwhile, the state government is unhappy the way the Union Urban Development Ministry has approved all other projects in the country for finance by HUDCO except the Anandgarh project. A top functionary of the government said that the state government had failed to comprehend the design behind such a move. He said that there were lot of violations in Chandigarh itself but no one took of these violations. Mani Majra and Kalagram were among the violations, he added.

The government functionary said that the state government would go ahead with the project without bothering about what the UT administration and the Union Government says in this connection.



Plea to remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13— In a petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, S.A.S. Nagar’s Anti-encroachment Committee today sought directions for the removal of encroachments from public land by the residents.

Describing the encroachments as “illegal and unlawful”, committee president Mr N.S. Minhas also asked for directions to the government agencies for “enforcing the provisions of law to remove the encroachments”.

Taking up the petition, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice K.C. Gupta today fixed August 7 as the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, claiming the committee to has been set up with the objective of watching the interest of the general public and for awakening the government agencies into removing the encroachments, counsel for the petitioner contended on the committee’s behalf that the residents, in the name of beautification, had grabbed land by encroaching upon the open spaces outside their houses.

The land, counsel added, was “meant for providing essential services like the laying sewerage connections, water pipes, electricity cables and telephone lines”.

He added that several complaints regarding encroachments had been addressed to the authorities concerned, including the Chief Minister and Minister of Housing and Urban Development, but so far no action had been taken.


Two petrol stations challaned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — A team of the Weights and Measures Department, after a raid this afternoon, sealed petrol dispensing machines at two petrol stations, one in Sector 28 and the other in Sector 49.

The team led by the Under Secretary Home-cum-Controller, Weights and Measures, Mr Ashok Sangwan, challaned the two pumps under the Standard Weights and Measurement Rules. The pumps were dispensing less fuel. It was almost short by 10 ml to a litre against the permissible limit of 5 ml to a litre, sources have confirmed. A challan of the first offence means a maximum penalty of Rs 5,000. Subsequent challans can go to court and lead to imprisonment of the owner.

In the past week or so the department has also challaned five gas agencies for supplying underweight LPG cylinders in the city. This is part of the ongoing drive to curb under weighing and short measure.Back


Man crushed to death
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — A Mohali resident was crushed and four labourers were injured when an unloaded truck overturned near the Dhanas Milk Colony bus stop here this morning.

According to police sources, the 50-year-old Ravinder Pal Singh was a bank employee at Mullanpur, and was on his way when the speeding truck (PB 11E 7499) suddenly overturned, crushing him. He and the labourers were rushed to the PGI, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. The labourers were admitted.

A case under Section 279, 337, 304 - A, IPC, has been registered against the absconding truck driver.

Women allege harassment: In separate incidents, two women have complained that they were being harassed for bringing inadequate dowry.

Ms Narinder Kaur, a resident of Ram Darbar, lodged a complaint that she was married to Rajinder Singh in 1997 and had been ill treated for bringing insufficient dowry ever since. She has named her in- laws and husband, all residents of Sector 30, as the accused.

Similarly, Sector 28 resident Harpreet Kaur complained that she was married in 1999 to Niraj Dev and was being maltreated for bringing inadequate dowry. She too named her in-laws, residents of Sector 15, as the accused.

Cases under Section 406, 498 - A, IPC, have been registered against them.

Hit and injured: Sector 45 resident Sakshi and her mother Veena who were travelling on a scooter were hit and injured by a car, CH-OI-L 0387, near the Sector 34, 44 crossing. The driver of the car fled from the scene of the crime. Both were admitted to the GMCH. A case under Section 279, 337, IPC, has been registered.

11 arrested: The police arrested 11 persons, seven men and four women, for roaming under suspicious circumstances and were booked under 109, Cr PC.

Similarly, three persons were arrested under Section 107, 151 Cr PC for apprehension of breach of peace.Back


Baby found abandoned
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, July 13 — A new-born female baby was found abandoned near the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here today.

The hospital staff took possession of the baby and also informed the police.

Dr Harinder Rana Brar, Chief Medical Officer and in charge of the hospital, said a passerby had seen the baby lying near the hospital gate early in the morning today. He informed the hospital staff and immediately the baby was taken care of.

She said that many people had approached her for adopting the newly-born but she could not hand over the baby under the law.

It is learnt that one of the patients at the hospital was so moved that she presented bangles to the baby that appeared to be made of silver.

Mr R.S. Sohal, SHO, said he had written an application to the SDM for the proper custody of the baby. Investigations as to why and by whom the baby had been abandoned were on. A case had been registered in this regard.


Upward swing in vegetable prices
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, July 13 — While prices of most vegetables remained high in the local markets, some of these came down marginally. While lady’s finger was available in plenty, the supply of other vegetables was erratic, resulting in increase of their prices.

The price of peas remained static in the local markets with the vegetable available for Rs 32 a kg in Sector 7 and Rs 30 a kg in Sector 8. Ginger prices which had doubled last week remained at last week’s high of Rs 80 a kg in both the markets. However, the prices of tomatoes dipped from Rs 18 a kg to Rs 15 a kg.

The price of French beans also remained same at Rs 20 a kg in Sector 8 while it was priced at Rs 22 a kg in Sector 7. One kg of lady’s finger, in spite of being available in plenty, did not show a fall in prices and continued to be available for Rs 20 in both the sectors for the second week. The price of cucumber went up considerably from Rs 12 a kg last week to Rs 15 a kg this week.

Brinjal, costing Rs 24 a kg in Sector 7 and priced at Rs 25 a kg in Sector 8, could be bought for a lower price of Rs 20 a kg this week. The price of one kg of capsicum came down from Rs 50 a kg to Rs 40 a kg this week in Sector 8. The vegetable was priced at Rs 42 a kg in Sector 7.

One kg of cabbage and cauliflower were available at last week’s price of Rs 20 a kg each. The prices of potatoes available in two varieties remained the same. While the stored variety cost Rs 5 a kg, pahari potato was more expensive and cost Rs 8 a kg. The price of onion went up marginally to Rs 10 a kg in the markets of Sector 7 and 8 this week against last week’s Rs 8 a kg.

The price of lemon showed a significant fall in prices with one kg being priced at Rs 30 against last week’s Rs 40.

Prices of gourd also went up from Rs 12 a kg to Rs 15 a kg this week while squashgourd was priced at last week’s Rs 20 a kg in Sector 8. Bittergourd was available for Rs 20 a kg and tori also cost the same in Sector 7 and 8.


Estate Office prepares to counter 
property dealers’ threats
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 13 — Making discreet preparations to counter threats of legal action issued by property dealers’ associations against the imposition of 33 per cent of present market value as “unearned income” , the Estate Office officials are digging out old files to strengthen their case if any senior officer chooses to re-check the provisions.

Around two weeks ago, ‘The Tribune had reported how people selling free hold plots allotted in 1967 for defence personnel on concessional rates in sectors 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 were being levied a charge for unearned income’. Various property dealers issued statements through the media making various allegations. Officials say it is perfectly legal to charge unearned income, while the property deals swear to the contrary.

“The issue of ‘unearned income’ from the defence quota plots is a tricky one”, said a source. All these plots were allotted in 1967. In 1979 a condition was incorporated that the allottee cannot transfer by way of sale, gift or mortgage, the site for a period of ten years from the date of completion. And if any sale took place within ten years of completion, then, 33 per cent of the market value would be charged for change of name as “unearned income”.

Between 1969 and 1979 the sale of plots was totally banned, however, permission to sell was granted on the basis of discretion without charging any profit. So all plot holders , who carried out the conveyance deed with the Estate Office before 1979, enjoyed the benefit of selling their plots without coming under the ambit of the “unearned income” clause. After 1979, the unearned income was charged for a few years before a resident, Mr Harbans Singh Sekhon, petitioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the addition of the clause.

The plea was accepted by the court. The Chandigarh Administration moved the Supreme Court by filing a Leave Petition Application (LPA) which was dismissed. Even a Special Leave Petition (SLP) and a review on it was dismissed.

Subsequently, the Administration started refunding money. A new development took place when Dr Sehdev Gupta was refused refund and he moved the High Court. In 1997, a double Bench of the High Court held that the act of the Chandigarh Administration charging unearned income was correct.

Officials say that since then, Mr Sekhon had won his case in front of a single Judge Bench of the High Court. Subsequent reviews in the Supreme Court were dismissed without any discussion on the order thus the later order of a double Bench of the High Court allowing a charge of unearned income was being followed.

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