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


Illegal guest-houses mushroom in city
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — Thanks to little scrutiny being adopted by the Chandigarh Administration, the past few years have witnessed mushrooming of guest-houses in residential complexes of the city. And this in clear violation of Section 8 A of the Punjab Capital (Development and Regulation) Building Rules, 1952, which provides against commercialisation of complexes meant for residential purposes and also of Rule 20 of the Chandigarh Lease Hold of Sites and Building Rules, 1973.

Although the Punjab and Haryana High Court is already seized of the matter and had earlier in 1997 taken notice of the same by directing the Administration to take steps to prevent nuisance, no such steps are being reportedly taken. The same is clear from the fact that where two years back about 200 such guest-houses were reported to be existing, today this figure might easily be resting at 400. The guest-houses are particularly concentrated in and around the bus stand area and also near Attawa Chowk.

As per a random survey, most of them exist in Sectors 21, 22 and 36, sometimes about five to six in a row, especially in Sector 22-B and Sector 36-B. While criminal activities continue to be reported from such guest-houses, a stringent action to check their nuisance value is lacking despite a clear direction from the high court.

The high court, while taking up a petition filed in 1997, had directed the Chandigarh Administration to take steps to remove nuisance caused due to guest-houses in the entire city.

Although another petition in this regard filed by the Guest-Houses Social and Welfare Association is pending in the court and judgment reserved in the same, there are clear directions to the Administration to prevent nuisance in these guest houses.

Also, there is no stay on taking such measures in the interest of general peace. Interesting to note is the fact that even the Supreme Court in its 1996 judgment in the Babu Singh Bains V/s Union of India case provides for prevention of such public nuisance.

In its August 27, 1997, direction, the HC has clearly observed that "such an action is necessary because there has been a growing tendency of misuse of premises in the absence of fear of any action by a competent authority and also with a view to enforce the provisions of the law. "

With the issue not being redressed with urgency, more and more problems are cropping up due to proliferation of guest-houses in residential areas.

Says a Sector 22 resident who lives opposite one such guest house, "Sometimes about six to seven vehicles are parked on the road outside and there is no place left for our vehicles. Also drunken tourists keep loitering about and it is difficult for women to move outside." The resident welfare associations of many areas have been sending representations to the police and Administration in this regard but of no avail.

It may be mentioned here that even the local commissioner appointed by the high court to conduct a survey in this connection had mentioned that many guest-houses were openly being run causing trouble to the general public. In fact, the Administration in one of its own reports to the high court had admitted that such guest houses could not be allowed to function keeping in view the fact that it is in violation of the existing laws and it will amount to nuisance.

The Assistant Estate Officer, when contacted, however, refused to comment on the issue and said that the Estate Officer be consulted. The Estate Officer was not available for comment.Back



Rain water harvesting project for lower Shivaliks
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — The World Bank, through the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, has sanctioned a project for harvesting rain water for irrigation purposes in the lower Shivaliks. The project aims at changing the face of economy, agriculture and social life in the region with the immediate target being Baddi and Barotiwala areas of Solan district in Himachal Pradesh.

A pilot project will be started in village Jodhapur, located just north of the industrial enclave of Barotiwala. Scientists of the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research Centre (CSWC), based in Sector 27, will carry out the work.

The present site, located at a radial distance of no more than 20 km from Chandigarh, has been selected for the project to harvest rain water for reliable and year round supply for irrigation purposes in the area.

The site is a place where the construction of a check dam is not possible. To tide over the problem of creating a small lake, as in the case of check dams, the existing village pond will be desilted and its depth will be increased, says Dr R.K. Aggarwal, Head and Principal Scientist of the CSWC. The silt taken out of the pond will be used to build a bundh thus raising the height and water retaining capacity of the pond. For example if 100 cubic metres of silt is taken out it will not only increase the capacity of the pond the excavated silt will also be used build a bundh thus adding up to the capacity.

At present the pond is used only for cattle and rate of siltation is very high. After the project is completed the major use will be for irrigation. A team of the CSWC led by Dr R.P. Yadav will channelise rain water into the pond. This will help in retaining the run of rain water and recharge the underground water level. A plantation pattern will also evolved for the slopes to prevent soil erosion, says Dr Yadav.

Already the CSWC is credited for extensive and successful work in the lower Shivaliks in transforming the barren Sukhomajri and Bunga areas in Haryana and the Rail Majra area in Punjab into pockets of prosperity in this area which otherwise faces water shortage despite very good rainfall.

The area receives around 110 cm of rain yet the shortage of water persists as all water runs off. The CSWC aims at enhancing the agricultural production on a sustainable basis. Improving efficiency of surface water, adopting soil conservation measures and enhancing productivity of soil. The CSWC team will be applying the technology straight away on the field.

Seeing the success of projects at Sukho Majri, Bunga and Rail Majra has placed the present project has been placed under two categories, rain-fed farming and management of the hills. The hills in the lower Shivaliks are very ecologically fragile and the needs of residents and animals adds to the problem, says Dr Aggarwal.

The CSWC is one of the nine centres of the country on water and soil while the Chandigarh centre looks after the lower Shivaliks in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. The area covered by the centre is close to 5 million hectares.


Hoax bomb call causes panic
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — Fear gripped students of Sector 28 Government Model High School today morning following a bomb hoax. The information regarding the presence of the explosive in the school was communicated to a student at her residence by a ghost caller.

According to the school Principal, Mr Ranjit Singh, it was about 8 a.m. when class VIII student Deepika received the warning call. She immediately informed her mother. Her father, in turn, called up the police.

The police, reached the school when the prayer was going on. The police search operation which started at about 8.45 a.m., continued for nearly an hour. Nothing, however, was found. The police confirmed the carrying out of the search operation.

Meanwhile, fourth standard student Lovely said all students were asked to stay on for more than an hour in the ground before being permitted to attend the classes. “Initially we thought the cops were here to arrest some one”, she added. “It was much later we came to know that the police was here in search of a bomb.”

Most of the students, till the end of the day, were unsure whether the cops were able to find the explosive or not. As a result, several went home to tell their parents that a bomb had been found, causing panic among them. As the news spread, several parents rushed to the school for picking up their kids.


Number of women cops abysmally low in city
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — The number of women cops in the Chandigarh police is less than 4 per cent of the total force. The city, at present, has 4045 male cops in comparison to their 160 female counterparts. In other words, to every 25 policemen, there is only one policewomen in the city.

The Inspector-General of the Chandigarh Police, Mr Bhim Sen Bassi, admits that presently the number of women cops is less but also adds that the number is substantial and the ratio is increasing.

"Traditionally, the task of policing is done, more or less by men. Women officers have ben performing tasks which require handling of women prisoners and suspects. Keeping that in mind, in the past, marginal recruitment of the women were being done," says the IGP.

However, the requirements are increasing. Especially if the figures of crime against and by women and are taken into consideration. Moreover, there is also no denying the fact that women are surging ahead, in almost all the walks of life. A reason enough to encourage the recruitment of more women in the police force. Also, policewomen are being required to perform duties which go beyond those involving interaction with only their sex.

The SSP, Operations and Crime Against Women Cell, says that the force can certainly have women, not only for the purpose of investigation in police stations but also in the control rooms. "Beside, they are certainly required in larger numbers for investigating crimes against women. In fact, I feel that there should be no bar in women being posted as the SHOs and also being given the task of handling the law and order situations."

Mr Bassi, however, feels otherwise. "There could be some problems when women cops are used for night duties and patrolling. Assigning a task to a woman constable is a difficult task for the superior. Even if we are able to offer 100 per cent security to the her, she could still have some social problems. Her husband might object. Especially at junior levels, the problems happen to be different. When a woman is in a commanding position, like an officer, her position is totally different."

The IGP seems to be convincing but the fact remains that a dedicated and a zealous woman who takes up employment in police force would certainly not shirk from her responsibility.

Mr Farooqui, agrees with the view point. "This is no reason to exclude girls just because of this. If the girl is fit enough, she has to perform all duties. The gender bias has to be removed, if the nation has to progress. In fact that if women have perform better while dealing with the public."

However, both feel that the idea of an all woman police station would not be such a good idea. " The utility of establishing such a police station would be merely an exercise in publicity especially when we have a competent CAW cell, which she can approach within minutes."

The CAW in charge Mr Farooqui, does feel that the women could be appointed as the SHOs of the police stations. " I don't mind," says the IGP. But this can happen only a few years from now. After all they can't be planted at any stage. They have to grow with the organisations, " adds Mr Bassi.

As the SSP, Mr Parag Jain, says, the Chandigarh Police is small and young force. "The women are still at the constable and ASI levels. We don't have anyone at the senior level to fill up the positions at the SHO levels. Wee have made a couple of ASI's as the chowki in charge. The process has already started. A few years from now, a woman could take charge as the SHO of a police station." 


Tributes paid to Maj Shankla
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 8— Army men in all regalia paid tributes to late Major Sandeep Shankla at a homage ceremony held at the Major Sandeep Shankla War Memorial in Sector 2, here today as buglers sounded the last post.

A contingent of his battalion, 18 Dogra Regiment, presented a guard of honour to the valiant soldier. The honour guard reversed arms and a two-minutes’ silence was observed as a mark of respect to the martyrs.

Wreaths were laid at the flower-bedecked memorial on behalf of the Governor and Chief Minister of Haryana and on behalf of the GOC-in-Chief, Western Command. Those who laid wreaths included Maj-Gen Raj Pal, MGASC of the Western Command, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, General Secretary of the Indian National Lok Dal, Mr SK Monga, Deputy Commissioner, Col Surjeet Singh, Station Headquarters, Chandimandir, Col Kulwant Singh, CO of Rocket Regiment, Maj DPS Budhwar, Secretary of the Zila Sainik Board.

The martyrs parents, Col JS Kanwar (retd) and Manju Kanwar paid floral tributes at the memorial. Colonel Kanwar said that though the memorial was an excellent piece of work which had immortalised his son and recognised his sacrifice, a lot was left wanting on the maintenance front.

``The public is callous enough to make a child sit on top of the pillar with the Ashoka Chakra just because it has caught his fancy. It is indeed disgraceful to the memory of the soldier but they hardly seem to realise this. It pains me to see all this happen but there is very little I can do in this regard,’’ he says.

Later, children from local schools also paid floral tributes at the memorial.

Major Sandeep Shankla laid down his life in 1991 while fighting militants in Zafarkhani village in the Kashmir valley. The operation resulted in the death of three top militants and left four of them injured.

In recognition of the valour of the officer in the face of grave personal risk, he was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest peace time gallantry award. 


Newspapers best source of GK, says quiz master
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — One need not fret if faced with a tricky question for, the largest knowledge portal will be just a click away.

To be launched on 15th August, the site will comprise 1 lakh questions on 250 subjects divided into four parts - schools, career, leisure and self KQ’, informed Derek O’Brien, informs quiz wizard, who was in the city in connection with the Discovery Channel Quiz to be held in 18 cities across the country.

He says he reads and watches television three to four hours a day to keep himself well informed. It is essential to take care of the body and the mind.One has to give an impressive and fresh outlook. For this, I refrain from alcohol and heavy meals. I have to keep my voice in a good condition and for this I prefer not to drink cold water and practice speaking for two three hours a day, he reveals.

He suggested that to increase the general knowledge and to always remain well informed everybody should read a number of newspapers. Though he said that reading books also helps.

He is proud of his father, Neil O Brien who is a famous personality. He has influenced my choice of profession but hastens to add that it was his hard work that brought me rich dividends.

In comparison to previous years, there is too much of media exposure. The electronic media is quite vast and various informative channels provide the latest information. Knowledge is nowadays imparted in the form of entertainment. The time has really when a lot of information can be accessed at just the click of a button, he added.

The upcoming quiz shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati should also be encouraged. Efforts are afoot to make quiz programmes popularised as a mind sport among the people. Many kinds of programmes can be witnessed at various channels and there is a variety of quiz programmes coming up, he remarked.

The first informal quiz was conducted by and large in Calcutta in the early 1960’s. Previously on radio the Bournvita Quiz contest was broadcasted by Hamid and Amin Sayani. With the advent of television more quiz shows were conducted for different channels and this practice was adopted by schools and colleges also.

Talking about Bournvita Quiz, he said the questions asked in this quiz have everything which increases an individuals knowledge in various fields. Each year I host 14 shows in seven countries - Muscat, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Qatar and Sri Lanka. The students from India, I feel, are far ahead of students in these countries. Most of the students here are able to answer the toughest questions. Surprisingly, the awareness levels of students from non-metro cities have also risen given their participation in the quiz shows.

Appreciating the city he said, I find the city beautiful. I have visited the city many times but this time enjoyed the most because visited the famous Rock Garden for the first time. I spent three hours in the rock garden besides chatting with Nek Chand for 45 minutes.

Talking about his family, he says my wife helps me out in my work and I have a four-year-old daughter Aanya.


The colourful bonds of love
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — With the festival of Raksha Bandhan, a day symbolising the strong bond between a brother and sister, round the corner the markets in the city are flooded with a wide variety of rakhis. Women dressed in their best attire can be seen buying rakhis with great excitement.

Shops are also decked up for the festival as the shopkeepers offer different attractive packages of rakhis to their customers. At some shops fancy rakhis are available from Rs 10 up to Rs 75. For the kids, rakhis in the shape of teddy bears and clowns can be seen. Then there are musical rakhis for the tiny tots which play music on pressing a button. Many cute rakhis are seen on which little toffee are pasted on.

In some of the shops in Sector 17 most of the stock of rakhis have been sold off. The shopkeepers have also kept gift items to attract the customers. There are gift packs of thalis which have kumkum, rice and a rakhi in it.

Cards for rakhi are also in vogue . As the sisters and brothers in this era have little time to write letters to each other the cards serve the purpose. In some cards there are rakhis tied with fancy items pasted on them. Even the jewellers dealing in silver are doing good business as many people have opted for silver rakhis.

On the pious day of rakhi consumption of sweets is the most. There are gift packs of chocolates and other sweets available at the shops. Talking to shopkeepers revealed that nowadays the people prefer to buy small sized rakhis or attractive threads .The big sponge rakhis are seen displayed only in the colonies.

It is suprising, however, that the shops had much more attractive items for Friendship Day than they have for the festival of Raksha Bandhan.


Police phones dead as bills not paid
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 8 — Once again the telephone numbers of the Phase 8 police station and the Sohana police station have gone dead thanks to the financial crunch being faced by the Punjab police. Both the telephone numbers have gone dead as the department has failed to pay the bills.

In the past the telephone number of the office of the Superintendent of Police and of the police stations have remained disconnected for different periods for non-payment of bills. 


Pak not interested in Khalistan: DGP 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — There is no possibility of terrorism emerging again in Punjab, said Mr Sarbjit Singh, Director-General of Punjab Police, while speaking at a function organised by the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, here yesterday.

According to the DGP, the communication infrastructure and the information network in the state was much stronger and better organised than it was 10 years ago.

"Moreover, the insurgents no longer enjoy sympathy or support from the local" said Mr Sarbjit Singh.

He said that with stringent law enforcement and extradition laws, whatever support the militants earlier had in the foreign countries, was now on the wane." Barring of course, one odd case like in Germany where the Pakistan Ambassador, who is a former ISI chief, was recruiting illegal immigrants from Punjab," he added.

Tracing the genesis of terrorism in the state, he emphasised that Pakistan had never been interested in creating Khalistan in Punjab. " It was merely an attempt to divert our attention from Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Speaking about the sincerity of the Punjab Police, he said the force had lost as many as 2,000 men in action which included two DIGs, six SPs and 22 DSPs.


2 die, 4 hurt in mishaps
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 8 — Two persons were killed and four injured in two accidents last night. In another incident, Kaushalya Devi committed suicide at her village under the preview of the Chandimandir police station.

Giving details of the accidents, the SP of Police, Mrs Kala Ramachandran, said that Puran Chand, a resident of Kajyana village, was crushed to death by a truck (HHR-03 GA-0134) in the main market of Pinjore. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

In the other incident, Ranjit Singh, hailing from Bihar, complained that two trucks, HR-07-1695 and PB-11 F-8766, collided head on and hit his truck, HR-49-6123, and bus HR-03-PA-101 near Rampur. While one person died on the spot, four were injured. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC was registered.



Two-year-long wait for filing FIR
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 8 — An employee of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council, whose left leg was badly injured in a road accident two years ago, is running from pillar to post to get an FIR registered against the erring truck driver. The police is dilly-dallying over the registration of the case at the behest of the truck’s owner alleges the victim, Mr Suresh Kumar.

The accident resulted in a prolonged hospitalization of the victim at the PGI, Chandigarh. Even after having undergone a surgery to make his leg functional, he limps. A supporting PT boot had been fixed to enable him to walk.

Narrating the incident, he said, “On September 25, 1999, I was going to the factory of a former president of the council, Mr H.S. Billa, on a scooter along with a sanitary inspector for some official work. A truck suddenly came and his us from the front. While the sanitary inspector was lucky to escape, my left leg was badly injured in the accident”.

After being discharged from the hospital he enquired about the truck driver and lodged a complaint with the police. The president of the council also wrote to the police authorities several times to register a case against the erring truck driver. The victim, who is working as a junior assistant with the Municipal Council showed several representations written to police authorities.


The fine arts of policing
By Binny Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — The new 115 recruits (62 boys and 53 girls) of the Chandigarh Police could be seen dabbling with various musical instruments and learning human rights at Recruits Training Centre, Sector 26. Sounds unbelievable but it is really a part of the police training programme initiated from this year in Chandigarh.

From time to time efforts to train the police personnel from a rough and tough image to more pubic-friendly image have been made. Many steps have already been taken by various central and state government agencies. But the initiative taken by the Chandigarh Administration in this direction is really remarkable.

Gone are the days when one could clear the training schedule by merely learning about the law and order and clearing the physical curriculum. Today when a recruit joins the academy, he or she must learn to play on guitar or any other musical instrument one prefers. If not musical instruments, then the recruit can opt for singing or dancing.

Apart from above, a new entrant to the cell must learn the human rights, fine arts and specialised modules on human rights etc. After completing their training English language will be no problem for them as they are provided with the English speaking course.

The idea to include human rights, fine arts and music, in the training programme of the young police personnel was the brainchild of the SSP, Mr Ajay Kashyap. When asked why these new curriculum had been made compulsory? The SSP said, “This whole new concept is our effort to modify and decipline a policeman from the beginning. The new supplementary course is introduced as an attempt to develop and implement the basic sense of humanity and capability to learn many things simultaneously”.

But why introduction of the subject like fine arts in police training and what is the concept behind it? Can music really make a difference in the personality and the attitude of a person?

According to the Professor of psychology at Panjab University, Dr Vidhu Mohan: “Any of aesthetic activities can make a remarkable difference in the attitude of a person and music is the most effective one. It not only relaxes the body and soul but also makes a person more sensitive by nature. The idea of including music as supplementary course will not only relax their aesthetic senses but also help to be public friendly. The whole day dealing with criminals, law and punishments, music can prove as a very soothing hobby for them.”



Two more in fray for Beopar Mandal post
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 8 — Two more candidates filed nominations for the post of the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal here today.

With Mr Inder Lal Batra and Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi filing nominations, the number of candidates has got up to three. Mr Jagdish Arora had filed nomination yesterday.

Mr Batra, who is current president of the mandal, came in a cavalcade of vehicles from his shop in Sector 20 to file his papers before the chairman of the mandal, Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney in Sector 22. The election is scheduled to be held on August 13.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |