Saturday, November 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ballot papers torn to sabotage meeting: Opposition
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Nov 24 — Controversy over delay in calling the meeting electing the new President of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council continued today. Major political parties of Punjab said the Badal government had stage-managed the show to get the meeting postponed. The parties also sought an immediate transfer of the Subdivisional Magistrate. The parties demanded that personnel of the paramilitary forces be deployed at the venue of the next meeting that was scheduled to be held on November 27.

At a joint press conference here, Mr H.S. Ghuran, a former minister of Congress, Mr Hardeep Singh of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Harbhajan Singh Gurdaspur of the Akali Dal Amritsar (Mann), Mr Sudagar Singh Grewal of the CPI and Mr T.S. Rana of the CPM, said, the government was not allowing the elected civic body to function.

“If some councillors were creating trouble, the SDM should have directed the police to stop them. If the quorum was complete, the election could have been held. Ballot papers were torn to sabotage the meeting,” said Mr Grewal. The 16 councillors who supported Mr Kulwant Singh had to get an anticipatory bail from the High Court as they apprehended some mischief by the local administration, said Mr Ghuran. He also said, “the Advocate General of Punjab had said before the Division Bench of the High Court that every possible arrangement would be made to conduct the meeting. However, the chaos still happened before the police and the SDM. The media was not allowed to cover the proceedings in order to hide the facts.”

Mr Hardeep Singh said the SDM had floated tenders of development works to the tune of over Rs 8 crores. He demanded an inquiry into the expenditure being incurred on the development works. He said money was being wasted on projects that were not required at the moment.

The parties also criticised the local administration for preventing the media from covering the alleged “misdeeds” of some councillors.

Meanwhile, a group of councillors led by Mr Kulwant Singh have again filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The petition says that the Deputy Commissioner of Ropar, and the Senior Superintendent of Police of Ropar should be directed to ensure that the next meeting is held peacefully. 

The events so far

Elections to the civic body were rescheduled on three occasions.

The elections to 23 wards out of 27 were held on August 20.

The elections to the four remaining reserved wards were held on August 29 after the Punjab Election Commission pulled up the SDM for rejecting the reserved category certificate, of a candidate of Ward No. 17.

Byelection in Ward No 17 was held on November 12 after the death of the elected candidate, Isher Singh Langh.

After announcing November 15 as the date for meeting to elect the President of the civic body the Ropar district administration postponed the meeting.

The meeting was re-scheduled for November 23 after a group of councillors approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The election was again postponed to November 27 after a councillor of the ruling party tore some ballot papers.Back


Cases against councillors

A case has been registered in connection with the tearing of ballot papers by some municipal councillors at yesterday’s meeting to elect the new President of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council. The local police has registered the case on the complaint of the Presiding Officer against three councillors — Mr Manjeet Singh, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali and Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari. The councillors had allegedly created the scuffle at the meeting that led to the postponement of the meeting.Back


Additional land for city petrol stations
Car-wash facility, convenience stores planned
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — The Chandigarh Administration may allot additional land to some of its existing petrol stations to facilitate opening up of car-wash, car-service and pollution-check counters, besides convenience stores on the pattern of the Sector 21 IBP petrol station.

A deputation of the Chandigarh Petrol Pumps Association had recently met the Administrator and other senior officials of the Administration to demand allotment of additional land to them for upgrading the facilities there. The deputation had basically met the Administrator to demand either lowering of sales tax on petroleum products or impressing upon the government to stop levying of CST on petroleum products supplied to the city from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

While in certain cases, there is no additional space available adjoining the existing petrol stations, only a limited number of existing filling stations and certain new petrol stations are likely to benefit by this decision of the Administration.

There has been a growing pressure on land of petrol stations after they were permitted to conduct pollution control checks. While most of the stations also have facilities for service of two and four-wheelers, none of these except the Sector 21 IBP station, has car-wash facility. The same petrol station has a “bazaar” or convenience store also.

Provision of additional land for car-wash and convenience stores is being viewed as a part of the endeavour of the Administration to convert Chandigarh from a “bureaucratic to commercial and young city”. The recent decision of the Administration to allow cyber cafes until 2 in the morning and discos and pubs until midnight was the first step in the direction.

The Administration has already issued a policy paper on allowing “multiplexes” in the city.

Meanwhile, the Administration is also contemplating to allow full three storeys on residential plots. At present, only two-and-a-half storeys are permitted on normal residential plots.

Another important amendment being made to building byelaws pertaining to residential property is the height of the boundary wall from the present 4 ft to almost 6 ft with provision of barbed wire fencing or iron/steel grills fixed on top for security reasons.

The Administration, according to sources, is keen that leasehold to freehold policy should be amended to make it people friendly so that more and more people should benefit from this.

Though it has been decided that all future auctions of land for residential purposes will be on a free-hold basis, the chances of the same facility being extended to commercial property are remote.

The arguments advanced in favour of auctioning of commercial property on leasehold basis is the assured lease income for the Administration for the years to come as the Union Territory has a limited land reserve to sell or auction.

The allotment of land to cooperative house building societies, who made the initial deposit of 25 per cent is likely to be made by draw of lots from December 15 this year. The Administration after considering the representations from various cooperative societies and their federation has decided to charge the revised rate of Rs 2500 per square yard.


Cops ‘beat up’ landlord, son
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — Two Punjab Armed Police personnel, who reportedly claimed that they were part of the security of the Chief Minister of Punjab, allegedly thrashed a Sector 23 landlord and his son here. The incident happened yesterday evening after the landlord stopped the policemen from “bringing a girl” to the house.

Constable Gurdhir Singh and driver Beant Singh along with three or four of their associates also “smashed” the glass centre-table before leaving the landlord’s family trembling with fear.

The friction began at about 1.30 pm yesterday. According to the landlord, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Walia, the two policemen thrashed him and his wife after they stopped them from taking the girl to the first-floor room. “The policemen and two others had reached the house in a white Ambassador car that had a red light on top of it,” the landlord alleged.

His wife, Krishna, said, “The policemen returned in the evening along with the other associates and started slapping Ravinder Pal Singh. We pulled him in and locked the door, but the policemen, who were all drunk, broke open the bolt and started hitting him with a baton. Meanwhile, I made my daughter scale the wall and raised alarm. As the neighbours gathered, the accused left.”

Her son, Baljit Singh Walia, who is a second-year BBA student, said he had also been beaten when he had tried to defend his father.

The family also handed over a letter to the Commandant of 13 Battalion of the PAP. They have said in the letter that the policemen had given their names as Randhir Singh and Bikramjit Singh of the Patiala district while taking the room on rent in September.

“The policemen said they were attached to the Punjab Vigilance Department and were part of the CM’s security. The information is wrong and the two are not in the CM’s security team as revealed by enquiries carried out by us,” the family alleged.

They also alleged that the policemen not only used abusive language, but had not paid the rent as well. “These two also used to bring call girls to the house,” the family said.

The Chandigarh police has registered a case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC in this regard. When contacted, the Assistant Superintendent of the Chandigarh police, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, said an FIR had been registered in this case, even though the accused were police personnel.


PAP cop held for extortion
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — A Punjab Armed Police (PAP) constable, accused of extorting money from a Ludhiana Municipal Corporation draftsman after posing as a CBI personnel was today arrested by the Chandigarh Police from behind Neelam Cinema in Sector 17. His “accomplice”, an ex-serviceman, managed to escape.

The accused, Swaran Singh, in city on deputation, was nabbed while he was reportedly waiting for the second instalment of money which he, along with ex-serviceman Kabul Singh, had allegedly asked draftsman Ranjeet Singh to bring for getting his wife’s earrings and chain released. The jewellery had been taken as security in lieu of the money.

The two, riding a cycle, had allegedly asked Ranjeet Singh to hand over Rs 50,000 following his “failure to prove his identity”. The two had reportedly stated that they were on cycle as they were CBI sleuths on secret duty.

The incident, according to sources in the police department, had occurred on Wednesday evening while the draftsman was roaming about with his wife at the Sukhna Lake.

The two, along with the couple, had left for Ludhiana for taking the money after the deal was finalised at Rs 10,000 but had returned from Samrala at about 4.30 p.m. as the banks were to close after half an hour, say sources. The two had reportedly decided to meet Ranjeet Singh on Friday with the rest of the money

Today, the draftsman, along with an acquaintance — head constable Kulwant Singh who was posted at Ludhiana, contacted a local police constable before nabbing the accused.

The Assistant Superintendent of Chandigarh Police, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, when contacted, said a case under Sections 341, 419, 384 and 34 of the IPC had been registered.

The ASP also stated that further investigations into the allegations were on and the police was on the lookout for the other accused. “He is likely to be arrested soon,” he added.


Good response to HUDA scheme
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Nov 24 — The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has received an overwhelming response to the allotment of residential sites in six urban estates of Panchkula, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Dharuhera, Sirsa and Pehowa.

The department received as many as 11,687 applications for 2747 free hold residential plots. While over 600 applications were received for the Mansa Devi Complex in Sector 4, 2224 were received for plots of various sizes in Sectors 11, 12, 21 and 25.

The plots were advertised in June this year while the last date for the receipt of entries was July 21. Relaxation in submission with the date being extended to August 21 was given to defence personnel, ex-servicemen and NRIs. Over Rs 60 crore was collected. 


Three booked for forgery
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Nov 24 — The local police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 474, 120-B, 341 of the IPC against three persons on the charge of preparing false documents showing the creation of tenancy and payment of money. The case has been registered against Devinder Kumar (Kurali), Baldev Singh (Barodi village) and Karam Singh (Sandhuan village) as per the orders passed by Ms Neelam Arora, Judicial Magistrate Kharar yesterday.

Mr Bhupinder Pal Sharma of Mullanpur Gharibdas village has filed a complaint in the court pleading that his mother is the owner of some shops in the village and he is her attorney. He had mortgaged a shop to the accused Devinder Kumar on March 29, 995, for a sum of Rs 15,000 and the mortgage deed was registered with the office of Sub Registrar, Kharar. He has written that in May 1997 Devinder Kumar requested for another shop for use and the same was allowed to him without any payment of rent.

He stated that when civil suits were filed by the complainant in the Kharar court after some time for getting the shops vacated, Devinder Kumar placed on record a rent agreement showing that both the shops had been given to the defendant on a monthly rent of Rs 750. The complainant pleaded before the court that the rent note produced by the accused was forged and fabricated as the complainant had never signed it.

The judge ordered the SHO Kharar to register a case and submit his investigation report on or before December 6.


Wanted: special buses for students
By Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — As the students of Government College for Girls, Sector ll, finish their classes and wait at the college gate for the CTU bus to come and take them home, a single question is on top of their minds. Will this driver stop for them or won’t he? Mostly he doesn’t, and the students are left waiting, sometimes for an hour, for the bus to stop and take them to their nearest changeover stop. For the students of Government College for Men next door, its worse. They have to run many meters before the bus takes them on and as far as seats are concerned, “its impossible to get seats.” “But at least they have a shelter to stand under. We do not even have that.” say girls of GCG-11, “and if it rains we rush back into the college. What is worse, standing here we are always subject to the unwanted attention of roadside Romeo’s from the college or otherwise. Now we simply laugh the whole thing off but at times it is really irritating and uncomfortable.”

In other colleges the problems are slightly different. Down the road is DAV college, Sector 10, where the bus-stand is on the main road and the students walk down to the main road or to the Sector 10 market to catch the bus. The two Khalsa colleges too have no bus-stands outside and the students walk down to the main road of Sector 26 to catch a bus home. And in case the students are coming from SAS Nagar, they end up changing on an average three buses to reach home. Similarly, MCM DAV, college girl students go to the Sector 36 market to catch the bus home or at times share the bus-stand near Dev Samaj College of Education. The students of Government College, Sector 46 “have a bus stop outside the college but no bus-stand. So it is a shelterless wait after classes. In fact we also take the short cut to the main road from the college grounds and walk till GGDSD College for buses where again there is no bus-stand just a stop,” say the students.

A similar problem is also felt by those studying in Government College, Sector 42, where those girls coming from the northern sectors of Chandigarh and Panchkula always have a problem. “At times we walk till Attawa Chowk to get a bus which drops us nearer home. In case we wait at the nearest bus stand which is on the Chandigarh SAS Nagar dividing road, it can take anything between one to two hours to reach home,” complain the students of the college. The girls of Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, too take the short-cut from the college grounds to the main road for buses or walk to the Burail village bus-stand.

The students strongly feel that if the Administration and the private college managements can start something like the “university specials” which ply in Delhi solely for the students here in Chandigarh too it will be of great value to the students. “It will save so much of petrol. Many of those students who come on their own vehicles due to a dearth of public transport facilities will shift to these student special buses.” Some girls colleges like GCG-11 and MCM DAV have made arrangements for girls who have to reach Panchkula but it is a service many other local students of the college would prefer.


Making Indian food a hit in Japan
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: A Punjabi waiter becomes the owner of a chain of hotels within a span of 10 years. And that also in a country like Japan. Sounds unbelievable. But it is true. The man who was achieved this is Mr Parminder Sodhi. Apart from being a hotelier, he has earned a name back in his native state — Punjab — as a Punjabi writer.

He was doing Ph.D in Punjabi at Panjab University in 1982 when a Japanese girl, who had come here for studies, developed a liking for him. He went to Japan with her, got married and settled there. He had his school education at Naya Nangal and later studied at Khalsa College, Anandpur Sahib.

Parminder started as a labourer in a carpet manufacturing factory and then shifted to a hotel as a waiter. “My first four years were of hard struggle in Japan. First I worked in a carpet factory as a labourer for six months and then got a job as a waiter for two years in a hotel, from where I shifted to another hotel as manager”, he said.

After one and a half years as manager, “I quit the job to set up my own business. As I had gained enough experience to run a hotel, the idea of adopting this line came to my mind again and again. I had enough savings to start a small venture”. Finally, he decided to set up a hotel exclusively of Indian food in Osaka, 800 km from Tokyo. Osaka is the second biggest city of Japan with a population of around 10 million.

“Believe it or not, Japanese queue up before Indian hotels on Fridays and Saturdays to taste Indian curries with an overdose of spices, especially red chillies. In fact, the Japanese have a weakness for India food. In hot days, it is not easy to digest Japanese food. Indian food suits most in such weather because spices help in quick digestion,” said Mr Sodhi.

One can see hotels named Meeran and Himalaya in various parts of Osaka. These are owned by Mr Sodhi. Though Indian food came to Japan via England, it had lost its oriental originality and purity. There were Indian hotels in various parts of Japan before Mr Sodhi landed there, but they were being run by locally trained cooks.

Mr Sodhi started differently. To serve original Indian food to Japanese, he took 12 Indian cooks from five star hotels in Mumbai and Delhi to Japan. And his efforts proved successful. As he was unable to cater to the growing clientele with his first venture, he set up one more in another part of the city. As the demand increased, he set up a chain of hotels. He also took his brother, Mr Rana Sodhi, and a friend, Jasbir Mand, a budding Punjabi novelist, to Japan. He helped Jasbir enter the hotel business. Jasbir is also doing well.

Another reason for the growing popularity of Indian food appears to be the use of items like turmeric, garlic, ginger, etc, in curries. At Indian hotels Japanese first enquire what sort of “herbals” have been used in the preparation of a particular dish. He said he had put raw spices on display at the main counters of his hotels.

However, his first love is poetry. He visits India at least thrice a year to buy Punjabi books. He has six books to his credit. The first was “Utsav”, a collection of poems published in 1990, and his latest in “Japani Haiku Shieri”, a translation of Japanese poetry. He has also translated another book “Taoism. He plans to translate the 10 best Asian classics into Punjabi.

What do Japanese think about India and Indians? Indians never tell a lie. “That is the firm belief of Japanese”, said Mr Sodhi. “What we think of ourselves is a different matter, but Japanese hold Indians in high esteem, perhaps because they believe that they belong to a pious land, the home of the Buddha. There is a saying in the Japanese language which means that an Indian always tells the truth.”


Postal Dept measure
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — The local Postal Department has started delivering the mail received by Ekta Express everyday to ensure speedy delivery. The train which arrives in the city at around 10.30 a.m. brings mail which the department has started sorting and delivering on the same day.

Earlier the mail received by the same train was delivered the next day in some sectors. With this decision, the ordinary as well as speed post will be delivered the same day.

According to officials of the department, postmen had to wait for the mail even when the train was delayed due to various reasons and this would delay the delivery also. From now onwards, the sorting of mail received by Kalka Mail in the morning will be sorted out and delivered in the first round and that by Ekta Express will be delivered in the second round.

Mr S.P. Jain, Senior Superintendent, Post Offices, Chandigarh Division, said the system had been introduced in order to provide more facilities to the general public. “It will help ensure faster delivery and the residents will get their mail on the same day instead of the next day.”Back


‘Seal’ Sector 46, demand residents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — The Residents Welfare Society, Sector 46, has urged the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) to “seal” the sector to prevent stray cattle from entering the sector.

In a representation, the association alleged that stray cattle from the adjoining Burail village created nuisance in the sector. Besides, the entry points needed to be plugged as thieves easily escape from the sector after committing thefts.

It claimed that the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, had already sanctioned the requisite amount from the MPLAD scheme for carrying out these works. These works were to be carried out between house nos 225 and 290, opposite house no 196, between house nos 395 and 396 and near house no 313.

Despite the fact that the amount was sanctioned in January this year, no work has been undertaken, the representation added.


NCC ANOs get trophies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — The Best Associate NCC Officer Trophies for the training year 1998-99 were presented to Maj M.K. Aggarwal and Capt Sunder Lal Chauhan at a function organised here today. The trophies were presented by the Deputy Director General, of the NCC, Brig R. S. Kalha.

Maj Aggarwal and Capt Chauhan were declared the best Associate NCC Officers (ANOs) out of 95 women and 718 men of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate. These officers have been selected on the basis of their performance in drill, discipline, turnout, group-level camps attended and the annual confidential reports of the past five years, besides the refresher courses held during the training year.

The ANOs are regular school and college teachers who are given a commission after a short training period. They serve as the link between NCC and the cadets. Each ANO is responsible for the performance of the NCC contingent of his or her institute.

Meanwhile, as part of its 53rd Raising Day celebrations, a basketball match between inmates of Army Paraplegic Home of SAS Nagar and the NCC girl cadets will be held tomorrow. A cultural programme and an exhibition of aircraft and ship models will also be held.Back


Case properties await disposal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — Despite a regular drive by the Chandigarh Police to dispose of case properties, including electronic gadgets, vehicles, liquor, arms and drugs, over 4,000 goods are still lying in the police stations.

The number, according to sources in the Police Department, would have been much higher, but for the one-and-a-half month special drive launched by the cops.

Sources reveal that as many as 925 case properties were disposed of during the drive. Giving details, sources said, a maximum of 255 case properties were disposed of by the Police Station (Central), followed by the Police Station (West).

At the third place was Police Station 39 with 82 disposals to its credit. About 60 case properties were disposed of by the Police Station 31 and Police Station (South).

Sources also said that 418 case properties were destroyed out of which 123 were destroyed by Police Station (Central). About 48 case properties were also destroyed by the Police Station 39, followed by the Police Station, Industrial Area, with the number of destroyed properties being 33.

Over 400 such properties were released, while another 354 had been “applied for auction”. Over 60 of them were with Police Station 36, said the sources.

Regarding the pending properties, 896 were lying with the Police Station (Central). Another 551 case properties were pending with the Police Station (West) followed by Police Station (South) with 394 properties.


Buses ‘not touching’ bus stand
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Nov 24 — The local unit of the Rashtriya Raksha Dal has said that the Punjab Roadways buses do not pass through the Phase VIII bus stand here. They said it was in violation of the instructions of the State Transport Department. The worst hit were the daily commuters who were being fleeced by autorickshaw drivers, the party said. Lieut-Col S.S. Sohi (retd), General Secretary of the RRD, said the ex-servicemen cell of the party had found that the staff at the Phase VIII police station was not regulating the traffic at the bus stand in the early morning and late evening.


Cheating case registered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 24 — On the complaint of a Sector 44 resident, the Chandigarh Police has registered a cheating case against Sukhwant Kaur of Ropar district, and four others, including property dealers, on the allegations of selling a mortgaged house.

Complainant Pawan Sahota had earlier alleged that Sukhwant Kaur had sold a house in Phase X of SAS Nagar to him through the property dealers even though the house had been mortgaged for Rs 10 lakh with the Sector 35 branch of the State Bank of Patiala.

Giving details, the complainant had stated that Rs 1 lakh was handed over through cheques on May 14 as token money. Taking up his complaint, a case under Sections 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.

Car stolen
The theft of a Maruti car has been reported to the Chandigarh Police by an SAS Nagar resident. In his complaint, Joginder Singh Sethi alleged that his Maruti car was stolen from Sector 17 on November 23. Acting on his complaint, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379.

House burgled
In a case of burglary, Sector 36 resident Anil Gupta alleged that his VCR, a movie camera and gold ornaments were stolen from his residence while he was out of station for three days from November 20.

The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.

A Bapu Dham Colony resident, Ravi Kumar, was arrested by the Chandigarh Police on the allegations of gambling from near a school in Sector 26. According to sources, a case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

Five held
Five persons were arrested from different parts of the city for not informing the police regarding the antecedents of the tenants. The accused have been booked under Section 188 of the IPC.Back

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