Saturday, September 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Notices to bhavan owners
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — Land allotted by the Chandigarh Administration on concessional rates to various social organisations is being misused. Allottees are using it for commercial purpose. Now, at last, the Administration is taking some action.

Notices for resumption of property have been issued to owners of eight bhavans in the city. These have been built on the land allotted for social purpose. The owners of these bhavans were allegedly misusing these for hosting various functions.

Some of the owners have been found to be running marriage halls with catering services. In one case, a house has been built on a place for a bhavan. Owners rent these out for exhibitions as well. Reports in this regard have been filed by field staff of the Estate Office.

A notice does not mean that the property is going to be resumed immediately. The allottee will be given a chance to appear before the Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) and explain his or her position and will even be given time to remove the unauthorised structures. A source said complaints had been received from city residents about such bhavans where functions carry on till late night, to the discomfort of the persons living nearby.

According to well-placed sources, notices have been issued to owners of Himachal Bhavan (Sector 28), Rajasthan Bhavan (Sector 33), Lajpat Rai Bhavan (Sector 15), Guru Gobind Singh Bhavan (Sector 15), Satsang Bhavan (Sector 26), Gandhi Samarak Bhavan (Sector 16), Jat Bhavan (Sector 27), and Namdev Bhavan (Sector 27).

This is just the first lot of notices and more are to follow. In some cases, complaints have also been made by the hotel lobby of the city as it is losing business due to such bhavans. Lands to hotels are allotted on commercial rates or the sites are auctioned. The land for bhavans is sold at low rates. This had triggered protests even from CITCO.


The ‘Hottest Little Thing’ is here
By Nirmal Sandhu
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — Reminding one of a bride’s ghund-chukai, the Alto was unveiled in the Sector 17 Piazza here this morning before a crowd of curious passers-by, presspersons and photographers with college boys and girls in attendance and music at full blast.

TV personality Roshan Abbas’s Encompass company had unleashed a unique ad campaign for Maruti Udyog in newspapers in the recent days, building up a hype about the “Hottest Little Thing” and raising expectations the Alto may find hard to meet.

Maruti Udyog has spent Rs 50,000 on publicising the car in the city, including Rs 10,000 going to the Municipal Corporation’s kitty for the three-day display in Sector 17. Today’s show was managed by Pasco Automobiles. Tomorrow Modern and the day after Joshi Autozone will showcase the hot little thing.

Curious visitors had a close inside-outside look and made comments such as “The body’s beautiful”, “better than Zen”, will it beat the Matiz?” “What’s the price?”

The white Alto LX costs Rs 3.1 lakh and the white Alto VX Rs 3.66 lakh in Chandigarh, said Rohit from Pasco. Add Rs 4,000 for metallic colour models. Cars are available for on-the-spot delivery. Deepak Joshi of Joshi Autozone said he had already sold two Alto cars till noon. “The pick-up is better. So is the body design”, he said, when asked to compare the Alto VX with the Zen. Will it affect the Zen sales?

“Not at all”, Joshi continued. “Zen has its own committed admirers.”

The Alto is Maruti Udyog’s latest attempt to lift its sagging market share. Instead of giving the lead, the market leader is now busy meeting the competitor’s challenge. The Wagon-R has been positioned against the Santro and the Alto is directed at the Matiz. The LX model with AC and black bumper is cheaper than the Matiz base model which has body colour bumper by Rs 6,000.

How do the rivals feel about the Alto? The Alto is actually an old product in Suzuki’s portfolio (developed in 1979) that has been brought to India. The Alto LX (796cc) is actually Maruti 800 with the looks of a mixture of Zen and 800. The Alto VX 1.1 (1061cc) uses the engine of Wagon R. Both Alto models have low ground clearance. The Matiz with power steering remains the cheapest at Rs 3.47 lakh, claimed a local Daewoo dealer.

The immediate response to the Alto is encouraging. Maruti Udyog had sold about 100 cars between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 300 others had been booked in this region, according to Mr Shashi Kapoor, Regional Manager, MUL.


Reduced STD rates from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — The Department of Telecommunications had reduced subscriber trunk dialing (STD) charges on long-distance telephone calls during two of the four time slabs from October 1, DoT sources said.

The sources said that daytime calls from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and night time calls from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. would become cheaper due to an increase in the charging pulse time for four of the five distance slabs. The pulse rate of 180 seconds per unit for calls between stations within 50 km would remain unchanged.

The daytime has been revised from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at present to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pulse rate during morning hours slabs of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and evening hours slabs of 9 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. would also remain unchanged.

The pulse in four time slabs have been fixed at 15 seconds, 28 seconds, 36 seconds and 60 seconds for stations in the 50 km to 200 km distance slab, at (old pulse rates in brackets 14,28,36,48 seconds), at 6.2 10, 14 and 24 second (5, 10, 14, 16 seconds) in the 200 km to 500 km distance slabs, at 4, 1, 7, 10 and 16 seconds (3, 5, 7, 10, 12 sec) in the 500 to 100 km distance slabs and at 3, 5, 7 and 12 sec (2.5, 5, 7 and 8 sec) in the distance of above 1000 km.

The STD pulse rates for international STD calls have also been revised from the same dates, the sources said.

The revised peak time and off peak time pulse for SAARC and neighbouring countries are 2.8 second and 3.3 seconds, respectively.

The sources said that the peak and off peak pulse rates for the countries in Africa, Asia, Gulf, Europe and Oceania are 1.8 second and 2.1 second, respectively.

All countries in American continent and other places in western hemisphere would have pulse rates of 1.5 seconds and 1.7 seconds in peak and off peak hours, the sources added.


Three school board employees suspended
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 29 — In a significant development, three officials, including an Assistant Secretary of the Punjab School Education Board have been placed under suspension for allegedly tampering with the official record to benefit a constable of the Punjab police. The services of the constable had been terminated by the Police Department on the basis of a bogus matriculation certificate of the board submitted by him.

Sources in the board said the officials, Mr Rajnish Sharma, Assistant Secretary, Mr Yashpal Sharma, Superintendent, and Mr Varinder Madan, Senior Assistant, were suspended after an inquiry into the case brought the above facts to light. The candidate, Jagtar Singh, had secured a job in the Punjab police on the basis of his matriculation certificate which was sent by his department for verification to the board. The duplicate section of the board, in which the suspended officials had been posted then, had in the verification report said that the date of birth (DOB) of the candidate in the matriculation certificate had been tampered with.

On being removed from service the candidate had approached the above said officials to state that there was no tempering with the particulars in the certificate. A correction was sent by the officials to the Police Department, but since no clarification was sought, the latter wrote to the board authorities in this regard. The matter came for inquiry about two months earlier, following which the employees have been suspended. A retired Deputy Secretary, who was then in the duplicate section, has reportedly been named in the inquiry report.

Meanwhile, in another development the Secretary of the board has been given extension till further orders, said sources in the board. The term of the Secretary expires by the end of this month.


3 coaches for Howrah mail
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — Northern Railway has added three coaches in 2311/2312 Kalka-Howraha-Kalka mail from here to facilitate passengers in view of odd arrival and departure time of the train at Chandigarh.

Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM), Ashwani Kapoor, said that two sleeper class and one air-conditioned two-tier coach would be attached and detached here for the benefit of the passengers.

The Kalka Mail departs from here at 1 a.m. for Howraha and arrives here at 3.40 a.m. Coaches, which were attached with the train earlier, were withdrawn some time back, resulting in protests from the passengers.

Railway Users Association said with the new arrangement, passengers could reach the station earlier and occupy their berths.


Farewell Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, good luck
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 —The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, was given a guard of honour on the last day of his tenure as Army Commander at the command headquarters in Chandi Mandir today.

He will leave early tomorrow morning for New Delhi to take over as Vice-Chief of the Army Staff at the Army Headquarters. He will be replaced here by Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh Sangra, who will arrive here tomorrow from the Central Command headquarters in Lucknow.

Lieut-Gen Oberoi took the general salute from a 48-strong contingent drawn from the 12th Battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry and inspected the guard of honour commanded by Major M.S. Mokha. All top functionaries of the Western Command, Corps Commanders, some Division Commanders and a large number of officers were present on the occasion.

Commissioned into the First Battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry in June 1961, Lieut-Gen Oberoi had taken over as the Western Army Commander on October 15, 1999. An alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington and the United States Army War College, he has held a number of command, staff and instructional positions, including a tenure as Defence Adviser at the Indian High Commission in Malaysia.

He saw action during the Goa operations in 1961 and the 1965 India-Pakistan war. He also has the rare distinction of having commanded an armoured division in spite of being an infantry officer. He has also been the Director General of Military Operations, GOC 1 Corps and GOC-in-C of the Army Training Command. He has also been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal.Back


‘Phase out CFC consumption’
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 29 — A two-day workshop on “servicing and retro fitting of refrigeration appliances using alternative refrigerants” being organised by the High Tech Trainning Institute and the Godrej GE Appliances started here today.

As many as 40 participants comprising instructors from 40 different Industrial Training Institute (ITIs) of Punjab are being given information and practical exposure on servicing and retro fitting practices for appliances, using alternative refrigerants and techniques for conversion of the CFC-based refrigeration appliances to HC refrigerations.

Mr B.S. Kapur, Additional Directors, Industrial Training, Punjab, in his inaugural address said there was an urgent need to preserve the ozone layer. He said since India was a signatory to the Montreal Protocol, it had been decided to phase out consumption of EFCs by the years 2010. Prof R.S. Agarwal, IIT, Delhi, said according to the draft legislation on a phase-out of ozone depleting substances, the manufacture of refrigeration and air-conditioning appliances using CECs will not be allowed from January 1, 2003. He said that the Indian refrigerator market was expected to witness introduction of both hydrocarbon and HFC 134a-based appliances in large numbers.


Gurmat samagam begins
From Our Correspondent

RATWARA SAHIB, Sept 29 — The 10th Gurmat samagam organised by the Vishwa Gurmat Ruhani Mission Charitable Trust started here today. The samagam is being organised under the supervision of Sant Waryam Singh.

The new gurdwara building was inaugurated today. A large number of devotees turned out from various parts of the country. Devotees have also come from the USA, England, Canada, and Australia.

The gurdwara complex spread over 80 acres was colourfully adorned. Special arrangements to accommodate people coming from far-off places have been made. About 150 television sets have been installed in the compound. Special arrangements for langar have been made. Forty people have been specially deputed to distribute prasad round the clock.

Sant Waryam Singh of Ratwara Sahib addressed the devotees today. Among others who enlightened the gathering were Bhai Harpal Singh, Bhai Gurdeep Singh, Sant Kalyan Das Singh, Sant Sadhu Singh, Bibi Pritam Joti Hari, Sant Mohinder Singh, Sant Ranjot Singh, Bhai Gurpal Singh, Sant Sarbjot Singh and Bhai Bhupinder Singh.

Programme schedule: September 30 — Simran 3.00 a.m. to 3. 45 a.m; Asa ji di var 3.45 a.m. to 6.00 a.m; and Discourse 8.00 a.m. onwards.

Sants who will participate in the discourse are Bhai Pal Singh, Bhai Lashkar Singh, Bhai Gurdev Singh, Swami Pritam Jyoti Hari, Dr Shamsher Singh, Sant Hari Singh, Sant Dhanwant Singh, Sant Kalyan Das Singh, Sant Bhupinder Singh, Dr Jagjit Singh and Sant Waryam Singh.

The evening schedule will start at 6 p.m. and will continue till 11 p.m. This will include Rahiras Sahib at 6 p.m. followed by discourse by sants.


‘Spread message of literacy’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — The international literacy week on ‘Literacy and sustainable development’, organised by the Regional Resource Centre for Adult and Continuation Education, Panjab University, at Guru Nanak Foundation School at Chappar Chiri village in Ropar district, was concluded today. Nearly 300 volunteers, key resource persons, master trainers, sarpanches and member of mahila mandal participated.

Mrs Manjeet Paintal, Director, Regional Resource Centre, Panjab University, highlighted the importance of the celebration of literacy week and stressed the need of literacy to bring a change in their life and attitudes that guide life-long learning. She further reiterated that by learning how to read and write the students can help in spreading this message of sakharta in the villages through their parents and community. The village school was selected for celebration owing to higher illiteracy rate in the villages. She expressed her concern over the health issues and the dropping out of the girl child from the school after Class V due to compulsions at home and ignoring the education of the girl.

Mrs Anuradha Sharma, Project Officer of the centre, appealed to the participants and the students to adopt illiterates in their locality for improvement in quality of life. Mr Prem Bhatia, Joint Coordinator, ZSS, delivered a lecture on general awareness and adult literacy. Mr Devinder Singh, SDM, gave away certificates to participants.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman, Zila Sakharta Samiti, Nawanshahr, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, was present on the occasion and awarded prizes to winner of poster making and quiz competitions.

An exhibition of stuffed toys and embroidered dresses by learners of the literacy centres was displayed. A cultural programme was presented by students of nearby schools.Back



100 examined at eye camp
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — A screening camp was organised at the Primary Health Centre, Mani Majra. As many as 100 persons were examined in the eye department out of which 27 were operated upon for cataract and 19 for intraocular lens transplant.

The surgeries were performed at Government Hospital, Sector 16, under the National Blindness Control Programme. According to Dr Manjula Khosla, Head of the Department, medicines as well as glasses were given free of cost of the patients by the Medical Superintendent, Mr K.K. Garg.Back


2 die as car, bus collide
From Our Correspondent

RAJPURA, Sept 29 — Two persons were killed and another person was injured when a bus and a car collided on the Ambala-Ludhiana highway, 9 km from here, yesterday. The dead were identified as Deepak (22) and Baldev Raj (47).

The accident occurred when the driver of the bus (DL-1PA-3838) could not control the vehicle and the bus collided with a Maruti car (HP-33C-0088).

The post-mortem was conducted at the A.P. Jain Hospital, Rajpura.

The injured person, Ashwani Kumar, was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh.


3 SHOs shifted
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 29 — The Ropar police authorities today ordered transfers of the Station House Officers (SHOs) of the Central police station here and Sohana police station.

Sources said the SHO Sohana, Mr Balwinder Pal Sharma, has been transferred as such to Central Police Station, and in his place the SHO Kurali, Mr Jasdev Singh, has been made SHO, Sohana. The SHO (Central), Inspector, Pritam Singh, is the new SHO, Kurali.


Tourist Information Centre

On February 14, I, a British citizen, arrived in Chandigarh and visited the Tourist Information Centre at the ISBT in Sector 17 to get information about affordable accommodation in the city for a low-budget tourist. I wish to draw your attention to the misinformation provided to me on two counts which I took in good faith.

First, I was told that the Panchayat Bhavan provided lockers for dormitory accommodation. On going there, I found that this was not the case.

Secondly, I was directed to Sood Dharamsala to get cheap accommodation. When I went there, I was told that their policy excluded foreign visitors. It proved to be the second abortive trip for me at considerable expense.

Either the Tourist Information Centre is misinforming the tourists or Sood Dharamsala is breaching its directive to provide cheap accommodation to all irrespective of caste, creed or colour.

Could anyone explain to me why foreigners visiting Chandigarh are allowed free access to the roof of the High Court but not to the Secretariat building without written confirmation from the Chief Architect? Is it rational that the powers of the Chief Architect should exceed those of the Chief of Security?


Too many rickshaws

The Chandigarh Police has recommended that rickshaws which are not registered in the city should be impounded or destroyed as is being done in Delhi to reduce accidents on the roads. I welcome this decision. There are about 20,000 rickshaws plying in Chandigarh, a number the city does not need. Surprisingly, only 1,432 persons in the city have applied for rickshaw licences so far.

In Delhi, rickshaws which ply against the norms are impounded and destroyed by the police so that these do not surface on the roads again. Keeping in view the needs of the Capital, the number of rickshaws allowed to ply in the city has been fixed. A similar practice should also be adopted by the Chandigarh Police as the growing number of rickshaws in the city is only adding to the traffic jams and chaos on the roads.

Most of the rickshaw-pullers are ignorant of the traffic rules and add to the number of road accidents. The number of rickshaws allowed to ply in the city should be fixed by the Administration. The Chandigarh Police should issue licences to these rickshaw-pullers and educate them about the traffic rules.


Advisory Council

I Loud the nomination of “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh to the Chandigarh Administrator’s Advisory Council. This is the first time that an eminent sportsman has been included in the council. However, I wish to point out that the Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, has not included even a single freedom fighter in his council. Most of the 48 members in the council have a political background. This is one reason why the council has not met the expectations of the people in the past. The Mayor of Chandigarh, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, has demanded that the council should also have representatives of social and voluntary organisations. She could have also asked for the inclusion of a freedom fighter.



FIR registered in kidnapping case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — In connection with a case in which a 15-year-old son of a leader of the VHP was allegedly kidnapped from Sector 53 on last Sunday, the local police today registered a First Information Report (FIR) under Section 364 of the IPC. The boy after being picked up by the unidentified persons had managed to escape and reach home the same evening.

According to the police, the case had been registered on the basis of a statement given by the father of the boy, Mr Vijay Paratap Singh, who stated that his son, Shamsher Partap Singh, had gone to the Sector 43 market when unidentified persons came in a Maruti Omni and forcibly took his son and fled away. The boy, a Class X student of a Sector 16 school, managed to escape while the kidnappers were waiting for one of their accomplices being named by them as Kamal.

The registration number of the vehicle could not be ascertained. The matter was being investigated by the police.

Gunman dies
The 30-year-old gunman of the Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Surinder Singh, who was yesterday admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of the PGI, Chandigarh, after he allegedly shot himself with his service revolver, succumbed to his injuries today.

Varinder Verma, a resident of Bilaspur, was arrested for allegedly stealing petrol from a motor cycle from near a shop in Sector 17 here on Friday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


Death of milch cattle
The local police has booked four jhuggi dwellers for making unauthorised kundi connections from transmission lines which resulted in the electrocution of four buffaloes. Sources in the police said the animals were electrocuted after they accidentally came in contact with a live wire. A case under Sections 429 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the Phase I police station.

Assault case
Amrik Singh and his son, Manjinder Singh, have been booked by the local police for allegedly assaulting their tenant Mastan Singh of Phase X. A case under Sections 323, 452 and 506 of the IPC has been registered by the police.

Dowry case
The police has registered a case under the Dowry Act after Sunita Rani complained that her in-laws residing in Sector 23 of Chandigarh were allegedly pressing her to bring more dowry. A case under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC has been registered by the police.

Several vehicles in the town were challaned by officials of the District Transport Authority for violating traffic rules which include using mobile phone while driving and not using seat belts.


One killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 29 — One person was killed and three others were injured in separate road accidents in the city today.

An unidentified woman cyclist was crushed to death by a speeding truck at the Mani Majra traffic lights in the afternoon. The victim who had fallen on the road after being hit by a scooterist was moments later run over by the truck. The driver of the truck fled the scene leaving behind his vehicle. A case under Sections 279 and 304A of the IPC has been registered.

In another incident a pedestrian, Bhola Das of Sector 49, was injured after being hit by a Tata Sumo in Sector 49. The victim was rushed to the GMCH, Sector 32. The driver of Tata Sumo fled from the scene. One cyclist, Pankaj Sharma of Hallo Majra village, was injured after being hit by a car near the Hallo Majra chowk.

A resident of Sector 18, Parveen Singh Kapoor, who was driving a scooter was hit by a car near the old barricade here. He was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16. In all the above accidents, cases under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC have been registered.

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