Thursday, August 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sectors 48, 49 development begins
CHB told to pay Rs 3.25 crore
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — At last the Chandigarh Administration has kick-started the much-delayed process for the overall development of Sectors 48 and 49 by asking the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to pay up Rs 3. 25 crore deposited by cooperative housing societies for development works. In addition to this, a sum of Rs 6 crore has already been deposited by the CHB to the Administration for the same work.

The development of trunk and peripheral services in Sector 48 and 49 allotted to housing societies entail an expenditure of almost Rs 10. 50 crore at today’s costs. A sum of Rs 9.25 crore had been lying with the CHB as balance of the sum it had collected from cooperative housing societies at the rate of Rs 250 per square yard of allotted land. Out of this Rs 40 lakh were for administrative expenditure of the CHB while the rest was to be used for development.

The balance between Rs 9.25 crore available with the CHB and the cost of various works calculated by Engineering wing of the Administration is approximately Rs 1.25 crore. The same will be met from the capital expenditure head of the Chandigarh Administration, a source in the Engineering wing told The Tribune. Already the Administration has decided to keep the two sectors and overall development and maintenance within its control and not transfer them to the Municipal Corporation.

Once this was decided the Administration has started the development work that had been neglected for the past five years. Under the new scheme the CHB has been supplied a detailed list of works being carried out by the Engineering Department. These include laying and strengthening of roads, laying of sewage lines, storm water lines, water supply lines, boring of four tubewells, development of open spaces, erecting new streetlights and starting of already erected streetlights and setting up of indoor sub stations. But all these works are to be carried out in the areas outside the complex of each society. All similar services within each society’s complex have to be carried out by the society.

To have better quality of power supply the Engineering wing has suggested double supply to its indoor substations. The sewage , water supply and storm water lines have already been laid. It is just that the department has sent the CHB the cost incurred on them. Four tubewells have already been bored and two of them are nearing completion with their buildings also being readied. On the horticulture front a plantation drive has started. But , residents opine, the immediate need is to give attention to roads as more than 30 per cent of the main roads leading to Sectors 48 and 49 is covered by congress grass and is broken at several places as underground water supply lines crossing the roads are leaking for the past several months. Similarly, street- lights have been installed but they do not work.

A source said with a plan in place, and a final decision that the sectors will be maintained by the Administration taken, responsibilities will be fixed and targets set for finishing the work while staff will be posted for maintenance.

The development of these sectors has been mired in controversy. As per the original scheme the Engineering Department was to carry out development work from the money to CHB collected from the societies way back in 1991 and 1992. All the while nothing happened. The money has been lying with the Administration and now after initiative from the highest authorities, the CHB has been asked to deposit the balance so that development can be completed in an integrated manner. Back


Punwire employees caned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — Several persons were injured when the police cane-charged the agitating employees of Punwire after they tried to break the security cordon near the housing board roundabout here this afternoon.

Prohibitory orders on the assembly of five persons or more are in force in the northern sectors of the city. The agitators assembled in front of Udyog Bhavan in Sector 17 and raised slogans against the state government for closing down the company. A large number of women were present and were injured in the lathi charge.

Addressing the gathering, leaders of various organisations supporting the protesters, said the government had gone back on its decision to revive the unit. They alleged that a certain section of bureaucrats was responsible for the non-implementation of the revival scheme to cover their past misdeeds. The company was dying due to this passive attitude.

They appealed to the Chief Minister to do something before it was too late as the survival of 1,500 persons was at stake. It was callous on the part of the government to have done nothing even after 45 days of chain fast by the employees. The protesters later reassembled and condemned the cane charge on the employees.



Accord on sector guide maps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today approved the agreement which had been entered into with Selvel Media Services Limited for the installation of coloured sector guide maps in Sectors 1 to 19 and 26 to 28 of the city. However, the offers for the installation of the same in the other sectors would be invited again.

As per the agreement, the guide map of each sector is to be displayed at one side and at the other side the sponsors are to be given space for advertisement for a period of three years. After three years the guide maps will become the property of the corporation and the civic body will earn revenue by auctioning backsides of the guide maps.

Keeping in view the already approved proposal pertaining to the installation of computers and development of then local area network (LAN) of the civic body, the members unanimously okayed the estimates of Rs 4.31 lakh for the radio connectivity (Internet) and peripheral devices, including the charges of Internet connections, for a period of one year.

The committee also gave its go-ahead signal for fixing of the reserve price for auctioning of commercial sites and built-up booths in Sector 9-C and Mani Majra on leasehold basis for 99 years.

The meeting also decided to lease out its two acres of land for a period of 10 years for the installation of a new hot mix plant and further fixed the reserve price for the auction of the condemned plant.

In another decision, the parking space in front of the circus ground in Sector 17 would now be attached with it. Henceforth, while giving permission for use the circus ground for commercial purposes, the allottee can further sub-let for putting up stalls and other things.Back


Getting tough with officials over water bills
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — Officials of the Public Health Wing of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) are likely to be held accountable for late recovery of water bills.

According to sources, the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, has written to the Public Health Wing to get tough with the officials concerned since the recoveries had been made in a "casual manner" and the water bills remained unpaid for several months, putting the already fund-starved civic body to a huge loss.

It may be mentioned that a large number of consumers had complained that officials, particularly at the lower level, had not been checking the water meters and sent "inflated" bills to the consumers. Besides putting the corporation at a loss, it also put the residents to inconvenience.

Under the new proposal, the civic body would make the officials concerned responsible for the delay in the payment of the bills which were three months old. This will make the payment circle shorter and help raise the resources of the corporation, the sources hoped.

It has been observed that in several cases, occupants of government and private houses leave without clearing the water bills which became the liability of the next occupant. This was being done deliberately, the letter said, while emphasising the need for fixing the responsibility of officials regarding the delayed payment of water bills.

In fact, the MCC has urged the Estate Office to make it mandatory for the persons vacating government houses to get a no-objection certificate from the Public Health Department regarding the payment of water bills.Back


10 illegal structures razed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — In a major anti-encroachment drive, enforcement wings of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and the Estate Office today demolished over 10 illegal structures in Faidan village, bordering Sector 47 here.

Led by the Anti-Encroachment Magistrate, Mr H.S. Sohal, the team, with the help of two bulldozers and over 100 personnel, demolished the concrete structures adjoining the two places of worship. Besides a couple of jhuggis, a service station was also pulled down by the enforcement staff in the operation which started at around 9 a.m. and continued for three hours. Two SDMs, Mr M.S. Yadav and Mr H.K. Nagpal, and the Tehsildar(Enforcement), Mr D.S. Baloria, were also present on the occasion.

Sources said some of the encroached land was being used by the residents for farming purposes, while certain structures were underconstruction.

Intermittent showers were no dampener for the staff, which pulled down the structures amid the presence of a strong police posse. The cleared-off land had already been acquired for the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link.

Meanwhile, residents, whose structures were demolished, resented the drive claiming that the structures were built years ago and no notices were given to them.

Mr Sohal warned that the anti-encroachment drive against all types of encroachments, including the new ones, would be intensified in the days to come.



Delhi-city OFC link opened
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — The Chandigarh Administration is keen on tying up with power generation giant Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) for use of the optical fibre cable of the BBMB to have a direct link for Internet connectivity with Delhi. Through this cable the administration aims at directly landing at the Internet gateway in Delhi.

Senior Administration officers have been apprised of the situation and the possibility to use the unlimited capacity of the OFC link of the BBMB between Delhi and Chandigarh, sources informed. The link was inaugurated today in the presence of the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob. Enquiries have been made by the BBMB as well as the administration, while indicating that the OFC could be the ideal link to speed up downloading and connectivity on the net.

While speaking at the inauguration of the link between Chandigarh and Delhi, the Administrator said, “We will integrate our proposed optical fibre-based wired city services with this OFC.’’ In the past few days the idea of using this OFC link has been taking shape as the BBMB officials at meetings with the Chandigarh Administration officials informed that the OFC could also be used for communication links.

Meanwhile, the Powergrid Corporation, which is major partner on the northern power grid, intending to diversify into the telecom sector by using such OFC links all over the country. The OFC links are atop existing towers on the gird.

The Administrator while speaking at the inauguration, asked the Union Power Minister, Mr R. Kumaramanglam, to allow the gas turbine based 120 MW generation plant located to the north of Sukhna Lake. The Ministry had promised the plant, however, it is yet to be approved, the General said.Back


Badal skips inauguration
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal mysteriously stayed away from the inauguration function of the optical fibre link between Delhi and Chandigarh here this evening.

The inauguration of the link was by video conferencing in which the Prime Minister was to speak from Delhi while the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers were to speak from Chandigarh using the optical fibre link. Political observers opined that the embarrassment caused to Mr Badal due to the inclusion of Udham Singh Nagar district in the proposed state of Uttaranchal, possibly made the CM to abstain from the function. 

Informed sources said Mr Badal was scheduled to be present at the function and his name also figured in all advertisements published in various newspapers with regard to the inauguration function.Back



Botanical garden in 175 acres: panel
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — The Expert Committee under the chairmanship of Prof S.S. Beer, constituted by the Chandigarh Administration for setting up the botanical garden in city, today submitted its interim recommendations to the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd).

The committee recommended that this botanical garden be set up on an area of 175 acres, the acquisition of which was under process, and should be known as Chandigarh Botanical Garden and Conservatory. The garden will be adjacent to a reserve forest of over 200 acres.

The committee recommended that specific areas in the garden needed to be earmarked for research and education facilities, herbarium and museum and seed bank. The committee recommended that the garden be divided into 17 sections, which would include bambusetum, pinetum, palm garden, aquatic plant garden, herbal garden (herbs of medicinal plants and plants of other economic importance), minor forest products garden, sacred plants grove, herbal garden (herbs of medicinal plants and plants of other economic importance), minor forest products garden, sacred plants grove, succulent and cactus garden, fernery, orchidarium, bulbous plant garden, garden of ornamental shrubs and trees (both indigenous and exotic), grasses (fodder and soil conservation), seed bank, phytotron (for plant propagation, conservation and experimentation), arboretum (indigenous and exotic) and conservatory.

The Administrator said the area acquired should be properly fenced to save it from encroachments. Professor Beer informed that the nursery would be set up on 30 acres and immediate steps should be taken for the collection of seedlings from other institutions and forest nurseries. It was further decided that at least 10,000 plants of about 1,000 species should be collected within a year’s time.

General Jacob asked the committee to get the garden affiliated with the Botanical Garden Conservation International (BGCI). This will help the garden in exchange of plants material and foreign financial help. It was also proposed to lay the foundation stone of the garden in October.


Sonu Singla adjudged Lady of Teej
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 2 — A colourful programme marked the Teej celebrations at Gymkhana Club, Sector 6, here today. Members of the Young Ladies Recreation Club arrived at the venue in their colourful best and put their best foot forward in the various contests organised by the club.

The honorary secretary of the club said that most members of the club turned up for the festival despite unfavorable conditions. The members kept on pouring in even when the function was about to conclude.

They swayed to the popular hindi pop numbers, participated enthusiastically in games and a cultural programme, not hesitating to shake a leg. Later, a contest to choose the Lady of Teej was also held and Sonu Singla was adjudged the winner. Folk songs and a flower bedecked swing proved to be the main attraction on the occasion.

The President of the club, Ms abha Jain, said that a noteworthy feature of the festival was that women of all ages, 16 to 60 years, responded positively to the celebrations of Teej which would be made an annual feature of the club from now on.


Phone exchange out of order
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Aug 2 — Telephone subscribers of the township remained cut off for over 14 hours from the surrounding areas because of the sudden failure of the local telephone exchange past night.

Subscribers of the township complained that telephones remained out of order for such a long time for the first time since the exchange was modernised. They complained that telephones went out of order at about 8 pm on Tuesday and the dial tone could be restored at about 10:30 am on Wednesday.

Due to the failure of the telephone exchange, PCO operators and other traders of the town could not communicate, which affected their business adversely. The worst affected were the industrialists who could not place or get orders for different goods.

Subscribers of this area complained that the Telecommunication Department was charging 4 per cent extra from them since the local exchange was connected to its mother exchange at Sector 34 of Chandigarh. The telecommunication authorities said the phones were dead due to some technical snag at the exchange at Chandigarh.


City kids taking to pubs
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — Pub culture has slowly but gradually taken its holdover Chandigarh teenagers. Thanks to satellite channels and their liquor advertisements which leave an impact on their minds. “The craze among teenagers to grow into a man quickly, is behind all this”, according to a psychologist.

There is no one to keep a check on the consumption of liquor by teenagers, although according to law, no one below the age of 18 years should be allowed to take liquor. An interaction with the police, pub managers and some teenagers revealed some interesting facts.

Gurpreet (18) from Sector 34 divulged, “I started taking hard drinks with my friends when I was 16”. He added, “Nobody in a pub ever objected to our presence”. A student of Government Model School (Sector 16) Vikram (17), also stated that he was never stopped by any pubwalas, although he looks quite young for his age. Aditya, in his early teens, and of the same school, confirmed the statements of his friends.

Interestingly, Nitin (18), a BCA student said, “I am grown up and do not think anybody should have any problem if I take whisky or the like”. He boasted that he entered the liquor culture at the age of 16. According to an Associate Professor at the Drug De-addiction Centre at the PGI, Mr D. Basu, “Actually at this tender age, they do not know what is good or bad for them, and they want to try different things. Not all of them, but some minors do develop drinking habits which leads to drug addiction also in a few cases. The tragedy is that they themselves do not know what to do and where to go for treatment. The patients which we receive are either dragged over by parents or friends. It is mostly college students who develop these habits in teens who come and very seldom do school students come.”

Senior Superintendent of Police Parag Jain asserted that the police is quite particular when it comes to nuisance in public because of the drunkards whether they are teenagers or grown-ups. According to him, whenever the police comes across any allegation against a pub owner, who allows minors in his pub, strict action is taken against him under the Punjab Excise Act, 1940, and the Excise and the Taxation Department is informed about it.

Most of the pub managers, and owners said that they do not allow youths less than 18 years of age in their pubs. Senior manager of Down Under Pub (Hot Millions II) in Sector 17 claimed that, “We do not serve minors, especially in school uniforms. As it is very hard to judged their age, it is difficult to disallow them. But if they come with their families we have no choice”.

Mr Vikas Verma, a barman at pub Lakeview, stated that as it is a government owned concern, minors are never allowed according to the orders of Manager, Mr Daniel Banerjee, Mr J.P. Singh, Manager of English Garden, a famous joint for teenagers, said that young people, especially minors came there for parties, but drinks were not allowed. Usually they went in for juice base drinks. Ms Aarti Janwan, working as Front-office Manager at K.C. Residency Pub in Sector 35, condemned even the entry of minors. Wild West Pub in Sector 35, interestingly has a notice displayed saying, ‘minors not allowed here for beer’. Mr Sanjeev Verma, partner of Khyber Wild West Pub, said that they never let minors in for hard drinks and all the employees are strictly warned against allowing the same.

Well, it seems that pub owners take care about minors’ entry, but it cannot be denied that more persons of the younger generation, mostly minors visit these places. We can keep a check on pubs to some extent but what about the many aahatas where an illiterate man sits and whatsoever the age of the customer, the desired drink is handed out to him?


Kids have a field day in the rain
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — Its raining, its pouring and the children are enjoying. Heavy showers flooded the city streets this morning. The city has already experienced the maximum rainfall in the past five years during the two months of June and July this year.

Normal life was affected as people reached their offices and work places either late or didn’t go at all. Traffic remained disrupted as cars and two-wheelers were struggling to get out from pot-holes which were not visible due to too much accumulated water. There was utter chaos for about two hours.

The kids, however, seemed to be freaking out in the rain. “We love the rains as it is a real break from the monotony of playing cricket or gully-danda. It is cool and refreshing too”, said Mahesh, a 12-year- old.

Even school was different than normal days. By the time it started pouring heavily the students were already in their classrooms. “During our recess period we played in the rain water and got a blowing from our teacher but it was a different kind of fun”, expressed Priyamvada, student of class VII.

The rehriwallahs did no business in the morning hours due to the showers and had no option but to sit back and wait for the sky to clear up. By noon the sun shone brightly and people returned back to normal life. 


Liquor vends sealed, beer seized
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Aug 2 — The Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab has sealed all liquor vends in Lalru, Dera Bassi, Banur and Zirakpur for selling a brand of beer not meant for sale in Punjab.

The vends have been sealed for three days to slap a penalty to the contractor of these vends.

On a tip-off, a team of departmental employees conducted raids on the various liquor vends and seized 24 cases of beer, beside 288 bottles of beer from different vends at Lalru and Dera Bassi.

Mr Inderjit Singh, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Patiala, said the rates of beer were higher in Punjab than in other states and the contractors use to smuggle it from adjoining states.

He claimed that the raids had broken all old records of recovering unauthorised brands of liquor being sold by contractors.Back


Cops suspended for beating up scribe
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 2 — Two local policemen involved in the alleged beating up of Saravmeet, a scribe of a Hindi daily published from Chandigarh, have been placed under suspension on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the Superintendent of Police (Detective), Mr J.S. Kahlon. A case under Sections 323 and 342 of the IPC has been registered against them.

The scribe had alleged that he was assaulated at the YPS roundabout and then at the Phase 8 police station on Monday night. Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against the scribe for causing nuisance at a public place. He was allegedly under the influence of liquor and misbehaved with the policemen. The SP (Detective) had been deputed by the SSP, Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, to inquire into the matter.


Scribes seek SP’s suspension
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — The Journalists Association Chandigarh has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to get an "attempt-to-murder" case registered against the policemen involved in the beating up Mr Saravmeet Singh, senior Staff Correspondent of a Hindi daily.

The association led by Mr Pradeep Saurabh submitted a memorandum to Mr Badal, the Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann, and the State Human Rights Commission and the Punjab DGP, Mr Sarabjit Singh.

Mr Saurabh in a statement issued here today said that the association was not satisfied with the FIR registered under section 323 of the IPC against the police constables involved in picking up the journalist. He said that though two policemen had been suspended, this action seemed to be an eyewash.

The association has also sought action against the SP whose personal vehicle and staff were allegedly involved in the incident. Mr Saurabh alleged that the extensively reported lathi charge on employees of a factory by the Mohali police was the provocation for behaving with a journalist in such a "brutal and criminal" manner. The association sought the suspension of the SP, SAS Nagar.

Mr Sarabjit Singh Pandher, Secretary-General of the Chandigarh Press Club; Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, President of The Tribune Employees Union; Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, Convener, Coordination Committee of Newspaper Employees, expressed their solidarity with the victim and demanded suspension of the SP.


Revamp beat system: IGP
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — In an effort to strengthen police-public relations, the station house officers (SHOs) of the city have been asked to undertake patrolling with their men on foot in areas under their jurisdiction at regular intervals. Besides this, instructions have been passed to revamp the beat system.

These were some of the directions given to police officers at the first crime review meeting chaired by the UT IGP, Mr B.S. Bassi, here today. He stressed the need for maintaining a good rapport with the people and adhering to instructions passed from time to time.

The meeting was attended by all SHOs, SDPOs and SPs.


MOH booked for firing in the air
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — The police today registered a case against the Chandigarh Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for reportedly firing in the air at the Industrial area cattle pond on Sunday night.

According to sources, Dr S.S. Cheema had gone on a surprise check following complaints of certain irregularities at the Industrial area cattle pond. The staff are said to have resented the check and raised slogans against the officer following which he reportedly fired in the air.

A compliant was filed in this regard with the Industrial Area police station by the employees' union. Following investigations, a case under Sections 336 and 188 of the IPC, besides Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act, has been registered.

Burglar held: Nepal resident Manish Gurung was overpowered by residents of the house where he had gone to burgle earth this morning.

Sources said he was trying to enter the house at about 3.45 a.m. when Susheel, who was sleeping in one of the rooms, woke up and raised the alarm. The accused was overpowered by him and handed over to the police.

One injured: SAS Nagar resident Tarantej Singh reported that he was hit by a car (CH-O3-A-7611) near the government press traffic lights. He was rushed to the PGI, while the driver, Sector 18 resident Anurag Krishan, was arrested and booked.

Whisky seized: The police arrested Ram Avtar, a resident of colony No 5, and seized 14 bottles of whisky from his possession. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the excise Act has been registered.

Vehicles stolen: Dhanas resident Suresh Kumar reported that his scooter (CH-OI-R-0896) was stolen from the fragrance garden, sector 36. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered. Sector 38 resident Raghubir Singh reported that someone had stolen his car (CHK-0994) from the estate office parking. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.


Father suspected of molesting daughter
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 2 — An eight-year-old girl of a Panjab University employee was rushed to the General Hospital (Sector 16).

The girl, suffering from ‘piles or a similar ailment, showing anal bleeding’ was brought to the university health centre. Raja Ram, a field worker and father of the girl, said some time after he took the girl to the hospital, he found himself in the police net who responded to a call from the university health staff.

Raja Ram said he was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16. “What was most humiliating was that I was accused of molesting my own daughter. The doctor at the university asked me questions which were very embarrassing and about which I had little knowledge”.

“We also went through the pain of being looked upon suspiciously by a section of fellow workers. The girl was earlier being treated in a private clinic by a practitioner,” he added.

“Police interference in the matter was unnecessary. The language of the policemen was undignified. What more punishment can one get than being literally dragged by the police in public as if I was a convict.”

The wife of Raja Ram said that the incident had left a deep scar on his husband’s psyche. We have six children. My husband is a good father. Unnecessary suspicion leaves us only with one hope that of the university presenting a true picture.

The Field Workers Union led a protest rally in front of the office of the Vice-Chancellor. A group went in to meet the Vice-Chancellor. The VC assured them that he would look into the matter. The union asked for cross-examination of Dr R.K. Khullar, the doctor concerned.

Dr Khullar, when contacted, denied any wrong intention. He said that piles was an unlikely infection at a tender age. The rashes at the back were clearly not fresh ones. The father was reluctant to talk about his daughter’s real problem.I checked the girl in front of a nurse who quietened her while she came desperately crying from her home. In the dispensary, she went off to sleep.

The girl needed a specialist’s care and was recommended to General Hospital, Sector 16. However, the response of the father to the earlier queries eroused suspicion and forced the calling of the police. This was done to ensure that the father took the patient to the right place, Dr Khullar said.

“I have no reason to disturb a troubled patient and her father. I called in the ambulance to transport the victim to the right place”, he added.

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