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


Punjab CM’s kin grabs land, say villagers
From Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — Tension has gripped Pawala village, after a well-connected landlord, who claims to be a relative of the Chief Minister of Punjab, forcibly occupied about four acre of land by constructing a boundary wall around it on Monday night, about 15 km from here.

The residents alleged that Mr Kartar Singh, a resident of Chandigarh, escorted by some senior police personnel, came to the village and asked residents to vacate the land last week. He also threatened the residents to demolish their houses if they dared to object.

According to villagers, Mr Kartar Singh identified himself as a brother-in-law of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, and claimed that the land on which the residents (most of them Balmikis) were living, was his ancestral property.

It was surprising for the residents when allegedly accompanied by about 100 persons, some of police personnel, he reached the village on Monday and started constructing a boundary wall. Around the piece of land and even blocked the doors of some houses facing the disputed land. Moreover, some kikar trees were also felled to make way for the wall, allege residents.

Mr Mangal Dass, a former sarpanch of the village, alleged that the masons and other persons were armed with batons and sharp-edged weapons. They kept on drinking, abusing residents, performing a livid dance and constructing the wall at different places around the area under dispute till 2.00 a.m. on Tuesday. There was no one to restrain them, said Mr Balwant Singh, another resident.

Mr Kartar Singh was reportedly accompanied by a team of Punjab Police commandos, including lady constables, which was allegedly lead by a senior police official. Youths of the villages were threatened not to come out of their houses, alleged Mr Khairati Lal.

Ms Pushpa Devi, a 50-year-old widow, complained that the bricks, which she had purchased by her hard-earned money were thrown out from the land, without any prior notice. “I do not have a house and have been living on the mercy of my neighbours for the past many years. Now where should I go to construct a shelter for the remaining years of my life?” questioned the shattered lady with tears in her eyes.

“I have never seen the man, who claims to be the owner of the land. We are from the minority community and living here for the past over 75 years. The land is Shamlat deh and we have been using it for a long time”, claimed Mr Arjun Singh, a 70-year-old resident.

Mr Kartar Singh, who claims to be the owner of the land, claimed that the land was his ancestral property, which had been occupied by villagers. Counter charging them, he said that the villagers intended to grab the land and then distribute it among themselves.

While replying about the illegal felling of trees, he said that they had been removed as they were obstructing an overhead electricity wire. “The boundary wall had been constructed to occupy my own land. The residents had been using the land by making additional doors towards the land to use it personally. So they were blocked by constructing brick walls. I had to seek police help in acquiring the land,” he revealed.

When asked about the documents concerning the disputed land, he was not able to produce them, saying that they were lying with his brother. But interestingly, he was ignorant about his brother’s address. The DSP of Bassi Pathana was not available for comments.


MC backs out on guide maps’ contract: firm
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — The controversy regarding the installation of sector guide maps continues, with the Chief Operating Officer of Selvel Vantage Group, Mr S Dey Niyogi, alleging that the MC Commissioner has backed out of the agreement signed with the company nine months ago.

In a statement issued as a reaction to news reports, Mr Niyogi criticised the Commissioner for admitting in the 42nd general house meeting yesterday that they had made a mistake in signing the agreement as they had no power to sign the same. He pointed out that the Commissioner and other top officials had been silent on this issue during the past four meetings, in which the guide map issue had featured on the agenda. They also kept silent in the lower courts against the PIL filed by the lawyers’ forum, in which they had defended their stand of signing the MoU.

Mr Niyogi questioned, that if the corporation did not have any right to sign the MoU, why had they invited open offers twice through various national dailies and why common people and advertisers were misled to bid in the sponsorships. The company invested lakhs of rupees in the project, he added.

As far as their power to sign an MoU for advertisements was concerned, he pointed out that the MC was leasing out roundabouts to private parties against advertisement rights. They had also been signing MoUs and their claim that they did not have power to lease out advertisement rights was not true. He further alleged that the episode had been politically influenced.

The company appealed to the higher authorities to look into the matter so as to ensure justice. The Commissioner was not available for comment. 


Punjabi conference to widen its scope
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — The World Punjabi Conference being organised by the Punjab Arts Council this time will include deliberations on various issues in the fields of science, technology, medicine, agriculture, industry and fine arts.

This is a big change from the usual practice of deliberations on literature alone. The single subject featured at all World Punjabi Conferences held earlier in London, Ottawa, Bangkok and Milwaukee.

The Punjabi conference is scheduled to be held from December 22 to 25 at Panjab University here.

More striking is the list of those likely to be present at the conference. To name a few: Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, first Indian Premier of British Columbia, Lord Swraj Paul, first Punjabi Lord in the UK, actor Dilip Kmar, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, a former Prime Minister of the nation and Mr Manmohan Singh a former Finance Minister.

The list also has the names of many other heavyweights, including Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Mr Sukhvir Singh Badal.

Mr H.S. Bhatti, general secretary of the arts council, said a list of nearly 24 achievers in their respective fields was being finalised to whom awards would be given at the conference. A conscious effort was being made to broaden the area for discussion and ensure the gradual followup action.

Dr Deepak Manmohan, an organising secretary of the conference, dwelling on the spirit behind the conference, said an effort was being made to have the best minds in their respective fields on a common platform. It could possibly lead to improvements.

Mr Bhatti and Dr Deepak Manmohan said it was proposed to have a discussion on “reverse immigration”. This was an area where professional experts could spare time to come home, temporarily or permanently, to help the nation. The example of a doctor, who recently returned from the USA with a dream to serve his land, was quoted.

Dr Deepak Manmohan said the term “Punjabi” was often misunderstood and used in the context of India alone. The conference would make it “Punjabiat”, including those areas of Pakistan which were originally a part of Punjab. Fakhar Zaman, a former Cultural Attache of Pakistan, also figures at the conference.

“Punjabi 21 Sadi Di Dahleeze te” (Punjabi on the threshold of the 21st century) has been made the central theme for the occasion. The conference will highlight the demand for more public support in binding the culture and people. “It is strange that we have all kinds of ministries, including Petroleum, Agriculture, Fisheries, Education, but why is there no ministry for culture alone?” Mr Bhatti asked.

On the priority list under plans to expand cultural activity are a Randhawa auditorium and a World Punjabi foundation. There is a long list of sessions at the conference. There will be a cultural show on the first day and poetry recitation the following day.


Sector 40 shopkeepers observe bandh
Resettlement of Sector 22 phariwallahs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — In a controversial move, the Chandigarh Administration today allowed about 300 phariwallahs, evicted from Municipal land in Sector 22, to set up temporary stalls in Sector 40-D, leading to resentment among shopkeepers of the main market , who blocked roads and downed their shutters this evening.

The Administration buckled under pressure and took upon itself the duty to rehabilitate the unauthorised phariwallahs, by allowing these people to set up shop almost on the day-market pattern, once adopted by the Municipal Corporation in 1997. This evening, the shopkeepers who had paid lakhs of rupees to build their shops and buy land from the Chandigarh Administration on commercial rates, protested, saying the arrival of phariwallahs (road side vendors ) in the Sector 40 market would adversely effect their business.

The protesting shopkeepers downed their shutters after lunch time and took to the road to seek the removal of the phariwallahs. Mr Ashwani Kumar, president, Market Welfare Association, said that they would not allow phariwallahs to stay there. If the Administration did not revert its decision, the shopkeepers would go on a hunger strike, Mr Kumar said.

Once the shopkeepers protested, the SDM, South, Mr H.K. Nagpal, accompanied by DSP, South, Mr S.C. Sagar, reached the spot. Meanwhile, sources said that the phariwallahs could not produce any document to substantiate the Chandigarh Administration’s order to allow them to set up temporary stalls. Interestingly, the area where the phariwallahs were allowed today, is earmarked for an informal type of day-market in the Chandigarh Master Plan, but no concrete decision about its utilisation had been taken so far.

As a compromise formula, the shopkeepers allowed the Chandigarh Administration time till tomorrow to remove the phariwallahs. Mr Kanhiya Lal, the area councillor, whose house was gheraoed, said he was not taken into confidence, before any decision was taken to allow the phariwallahs to come and set up shop in Sector 40. Mr Kanhiya Lal said he would be meeting the Deputy Commissioner to sort out the issue.Back



Ojha’s son files complaint
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — Mr Sandeep Ojha, son of Mr B.S. Ojha, a former Chief Secretary of Haryana, has filed a complaint against his father-in-law, Mr Kamal Likhi, Inspector-General of the, Punjab Armed Police, Jalandhar, alleging cheating, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust, at the Sector 11 police station here.

In his complaint, a copy of which was sent to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh, Mr Sandeep Ojha wanted that a criminal case under Sections 420 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code should be registered against Mr Likhi for allegedly taking away his Contessa car “fraudulently and selling it without any authorisation and for misappropriating the sale proceeds of the vehicle”.

When contacted, Mr Likhi, however, denied all charges saying: “How can I sell his car? I have not sold any car. I have filed a case against them for harassing us for more dowry. They have filed a complaint as they wield a lot of influence in Chandigarh. Let there be an inquiry to establish the truth,” he said.

Mr Sandeep Ojha in his complaint said that he was married to Mr Likhi’s daughter in Chandigarh on August 9, 1996, and had been residing in New Delhi where he ran a company, Sterling international. It was this company which owned the Contessa car purchased in 1995 by him and registered in Chandigarh (CHC 9).

Mr Sandeep Ojha maintained that on April 1, 1999, Mr Likhi took away his car on the pretext of getting it repaired at Bahadurgarh where he was then posted. But the car was never returned in spite of repeated requests to his father-in-law. “I did not press them too hard for it because I have another vehicle with me in Delhi. In between, my wife went to Patiala to visit her parents but never returned. I was compelled to file a petition for the restitution of my conjugal rights in the court of the District Judge, Delhi, on May 20, 2000. The petition is pending there.

“As a counter-blast, my wife, under the influence of her parents, got a false case registered against me and my mother under Sections 406, 498-A and 34 of the Indian Penal Code at Jalandhar. In August this year, I got the registration number of my Contessa car changed to CH03B 4918 and put the original number— CHC 9 — on my new Cielo car.

“On November 27, Mr Shinder Pal of Dhaner village in Barnala tehsil came to my residence in Delhi to demand registration certificate of my Contessa car on the plea that he had purchased this car from Mr Kamal Likhi for Rs 75,000. He said that he purchased this car on December 20, 1999. I told him that the car belonged to me and Mr Likhi had no authority to sell it. Mr Shinder Pal volunteered to give an affidavit regarding the purchase of the car,” said Mr Sandeep Ojha in his complaint.

He attached a copy of the affidavit of Mr Shinder Pal with his complaint.

When contacted, police sources confirmed that copies of the complaint had been received at the Sector 11 police station as well as the public window of the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police.

Mr Likhi, however, alleged that in a little more than three years of her marriage, his daughter was tortured, harassed and even kept locked up for bringing insufficient dowry.

“We have filed a complaint against Sandeep and his mother for harassing us for more dowry and ill-treating our daughter. We have also filed a case for separation in Chandigarh,” said Mr Likhi.


Chandigarh MP made MCC member also
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Nov 29 — The Rajya Sabha today passed the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Amendment Bill 2000 by voice vote.

The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha last week provides that the Member of Parliament elected from Chandigarh should also be a member of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and have the right to vote. Minister of State for Home Vidyasagar Rao moved the motion on the Bill.

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh was set up under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Ordinance, 1994. The statement further says that since the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, does not provide for the representation of the member of the House of the People in the Municipal Corporation, no provision was made in the Act for the representation of the House of the People representing the union territory of Chandigarh in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia (Lok Bhalai Manch) said that the Governor of Punjab should be the Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh. He contended that 90 per cent of residents of Chandigarh speak Punjabi and it should be handed over to Punjab. He reminded the House of the Rajeev-Longowal Accord according to which Chandigarh was to be transferred to Punjab in January, 1986.

Mr Ramoowalia drew the attention of the House to the lack of efforts made to encourage the development of the Punjabi language in Panjab University. He said that the university had done nothing to promote Punjabi. On the other hand, it had shut down Punjabi research centres and even discouraged Punjabi students. He said that Chandigarh neither had a Punjabi academy nor any funds to promote the Punjabi language. A CPM member, Ms Sarla Maheshwari, said that there were special reasons for bringing about the amendment to the Bill. She said that the Municipal Corporation would become more accountable if the amendment is introduced.

Scooterist caught in red tape
Two vehicles, one number — Babus do it again
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — A city-based man is harassed because he has to prove that his 1989 model scooter is a registered vehicle while records of the registering authority say the number allotted to his scooter is now on a Maruti van! The original file is missing.

Mr Anurag Joshi, alias Jimmy Joshi, a resident of Sector 43, got entangled in the bureaucratic red tape when he lost the original registration certificate of his white colour LML Vespa (CH-01-6401) in August this year. He got a first information report (FIR) registered with the police and approached the Registering and Licensing Authority to get a duplicate RC issued.

The babus went around and declared that the original file which contained all papers submitted by Mr Joshi to get a registration number for his scooter in 1989 was untraceable. Later a computer print out of the RC was handed over to him. In that RC the registration number CH-01-6401 has been allotted to a 1994 model Maruti van owned by a private company. Mr Joshi alleges the authorities told him that nothing could be done. So Mr Joshi cannot sell his scooter or even use it legally as he does not possess the RC of his own scooter.

Though Mr Joshi’s scooter was registered much before the van but going by official records the van is registered while Mr Joshi’s vehicle is not on the records.

In the past too several cases of two numbers having being allocated to different vehicles have been reported in Chandigarh. Mr Joshi asked how come such a thing could happen when the entire system was computerised was supposed to be modernised.

Sources guided Chandigarh Tribune for a visit to the official record room where the original files are stored. This told a portion of the story of missing files. There is no system to locate a file and the staff is inadequate. The files are not in a sequence. At one time the files used to be in bundles of 100 registration numbers in a sequence. Whenever the officers wanted certain file it was sent to them and later put back in the same slot.

But this procedure could be followed when the staff was more and the number of vehicles was much less. Today more than 400 vehicles are added to the city everyday and each vehicle means a file too whereas the staff strength remains the same.



Master plan of Anandgarh

THIS refers to the report “No particular architect favoured for project” (Chandigarh Tribune, Nov 12). Project Anandgarh is again in the news because of the National Design Competition for the Master Plan of Anandgarh.

It was reported that only four of the 10 short-listed architects and planners had submitted their entries for the competition. Those who chose to drop out included some internationally known Indian architects and planners. Obviously these architects had some serious doubts about the planning of the proposed city.

Mr Charles Correa is learnt to have withdrawn from the competition for want of sufficient socio-economic data. Besides, the land earmarked for the proposed town is not adequate for the projected population of 10 lakh.

Points such as those raised by Mr Correa need to be addressed immediately. I suggest that all the planning issues, including land and environmental analysis and other related problems, should be resolved before preparing a design of the proposed city. A thorough assessment should also be made of the likely impact on Chandigarh of such massive urbanisation and development right on its borders. It has not been done so far.

An architect ‘master planner’ will need a good analysis of all project lands, their natural potential and constraints, an assessment of the problems likely to crop up because of the existing villages to be retained, availability of infrastructure and costs, viability of inter-city transportation and convenient access to the railway station and the airport in Chandigarh. In short, it is essential that planning should precede architectural designing.


Apni Mandi

People have been expressing their views for or against the shifting of Apni Mandis. HUDA has taken the initiative to stop the holding of Apni Mandi in Sector 15, Panchkula, on repeated requests of the residents of Sector 17, who heaved a sigh of relief following this decision. The Mandi was a source of nuisance on various counts. The biggest nuisance was that mandi workers and others used to urinate on the walls of houses in Sector 17. Some would even deficate in the area. The other nuisance was the waste left behind by the mandi. This used to fill the area with stink and insects.

No one is against the concept of Apni Mandis, but these should be properly managed. These should be located at sites a little away from residential areas. The Managing Board has to ensure that only farmers are allowed in these mandis. Prices should be displayed and enforced. The area should be cleaned properly after the mandi is over. This should be strictly enforced. The participants can be asked to pay for it. There should be a sufficient number of public toilets and caretakers to look after them.

We insist on behalf of the residents of Sector 15 and 17 that the decision to shift the Apni Mandi should not be reversed.


Tibetan market

Last year a Tibetan market was set up in Panchkula and when it was wound up a number of people were found enquiring how and where to file complaints regarding goods purchased from them, which turned out to be fake or defective. Now again, they have been allowed to set up their shops after depositing Rs 11,000 with the Haryana Urban Development Authority.

An important question that arises is that these traders sell their goods without issuing any receipt or cash memo, which is a customer’s right. Moreover, the goods they sell are also subject to sales tax. Who is paying this tax to the State Government.



Khalsa Panchayat warns RSS
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — The Khalsa Panchayat has criticised attempts by the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS) to defame and malign the Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.

Mr Rajinder Singh, convenor of the panchayat, said a meeting of members of the Joint Action Committee of Gurdwaras and Religious Institutions, now christened the Khalsa Panchayat, took serious note of attempts by the RSS to distort facts and malign the Gurus. In this context, a book brought out by the ABVP, ‘Vidiarthi Jagran Avum Gian Pariksha’, was discussed.

The members felt the organisation was trying to create a wedge between the Sikhs and the Hindus, the outcome of which would be very disastrous for the country. It was felt that the RSS leaders were suffering from an inferiority complex and were now trying to absorb and claim the glorious Sikh religion as their own.

They warned the communal forces to desist from doing so, or else the panchayat would be forced to take appropriate action. The community would not tolerate any attempt to interfere in their religious matters, he added.Back


Black-winged stilts are here again!
By Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — The Sukhna Lake is at its picture-postcard best. Verdant forests, sheets of clear water with grassy pastures and its aquatic life make it a perfect abode for migratory birds.

A visit to the lake on Wednesday morning along with Dr H.S. Mehta, Deputy Director, Zoological Survey of India, Solan, (who is presently studying the avi-fauna diversity of Chandigarh) and his research officer, Mr R.Paliwal, revealed that presently, the lake is home to nearly 2,000-odd migratory birds of 10 species, including brahminy duck, mallard, common pochard, wigeon, shoveller and common teal. Dr Mehta says that the avian migration, which began at the fag-end of September will continue till March.

As we entered the catchment area, we were greeted by a myriad of ventriloquial noises. From a distance we could see the coots in flight. Now is the time when one sees an interesting kaleidoscope of insect and bird life.

Dr Mehta attributes this increase in bird concentration to the catchment area, which supports an extremely varied and rich bird life. Of course, the new management inputs by the Administration like regulation of optimum water level, controlled exploitation of fish and stocking Indian major carps and exotic carps in the lake have attracted a sizeble number of birds even from places as far, and as varied, as Central Asia, Russia, Poland and China.

He says, “It is too early for us to say as to how many birds are expected to arrive this year, because the migrants are still to arrive. But like last year, we expect nearly 20,000 birds of 140 species, both migratory and resident”.

Ornithologists observe that when it comes to food, roosting and nesting, bird preferences are extremely varied, but all tastes can be catered to without much expenses. For example, the Administration may plant fig trees: some birds would eat the fruits, while others would eat flies and beetles attracted to the fruits while some would prefer the crawling insects that inhabit the decaying leaves around the tree. Even small rodents that burrow into the roots and hollows would be food for some bird species like the owls. For birds like the partridge, dense shrubby plants would do nicely, the egrets and herons would like cat-tails along the shore and for the coots and ducks some rocks and sand islands in the shallows would be needed. All this requires time and effort, but not much cost.

Meanwhile, the Environment Society of India will organise a function to welcome the migratory birds at the lake on December 2. Nearly 700 school students will welcome the winged visitors. A quiz and banner competition will also be organised on the occasion Similarly, the survey of India will hold an exhibition of maps.


Police needs intelligent youngsters: Padmanabhaiah
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — Accepting political interference in police functioning as a sordid truth, Mr K. Padmanabhaiah, Chairperson of the Police Reforms Committee, today agreed it was convenient for the government to have semi-literates, good-at-following their directions, enrolled in the force. The recruitment policy, he added, needed a change in favour of intelligent youngsters, capable of being trained to combat specialised crime.

In an interview soon after addressing the delegates at the XXXII All-India Police Science Congress, Mr Padmanabhaiah said political interference should also be cut by taking care of the transfers and postings. He added that the police could not be converted into an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation as it was the enforcement arm of the state government.

Earlier during his address, he spoke in favour of detecting crime through forensic science, besides improving the living and working conditions of the cops, along with converting some of the non-cognizable offences into cognizable ones. He was against deploying cops on static duties, besides posting them for conducting examinations and catching electricity thieves.

Professing the policy of “catch them young”, he said for the post of constables, a candidate, after passing Class X, should take a nationwide common entrance test before being trained for two years. Besides subjects relating to policing, he should also be taught science, Mr Padmanabhaiah said. He added that till date, the policy was to recruit semi-literates, out of touch with the progressing society, after they passed Class VIII or procured forged certificates. The only necessary qualification was their ability to cover 16 or 30 km, he stated.

He said for Sub-Inspectors, a student should be trained for three years and he should be presented graduation degree after the completion of the course. Regarding training, he insisted that the cops should be educated in human rights, besides the value system. They should be given the freedom of taking up special courses, like investigation or interrogation, depending upon their choice, he added.

Postings should be linked with training, he suggested. Giving details, he said a person trained in tackling homicide cases should be posted in the same department. Promotions should also be linked with training, he asserted. Nominations must stop and the training should be on the basis of rotation, he emphasised. He favoured the setting up of a Police Training Advisory Council, comprising 12 members, six being officials. For improving the living and working conditions of the police officials, Mr Padmanabhaiah said weekly offs should be enforced though the shift system had proved a failure.

Regarding accountability, he suggested the setting up of an independent Inspectorate of Police, consisting of retired police officials and management experts, which could inspect performance of police officials and submit a report to the government. Claiming that 122 offences in the Indian Penal Code were non-cognizable, he added that some of these could be converted into cognizable offences.

He revealed that in the North, 70 per cent of the people came to police stations for reporting non-cognizable cases, while in the South the percentage of such visitors was 80. He said in hardly one per cent of the cases were fingerprints being lifted. The use of third-degree methods for reaching at the truth would come down if scientific methods were used for solving crime, he opined.

The five resolutions

On the concluding day of the XXXII All-India Police Science Congress, five resolutions, including the time-bound implementation of Padmanabhaiah recommendations, besides separation of investigating process from law and order, were adopted.

The other resolution to be passed was adoption of community policing as a policy by the states. Addressing the gathering, the Director of Intelligence Bureau, Mr Shyamal Datta, said 80 per cent of the police force was not fully conscious of threats, including terrorism, insurgency, cyber crime and other organised crimes.

He added that the police was not trained enough to deal with enemies better equipped in terms of weapons and knowledge. The three-day annual conference, hosted by the Chandigarh police, along with BPRD, was attended by over 50 delegates from all over the country.Back


Colourful Gurpurb procession
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — For the first time in the city only one gurpurb procession was taken out in connection with the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur here today.

The procession started from the Sector 22 gurdwara and after passing through Sectors 17, 27, 19, 20, 21, culminated at the Sector 22 gurdwara at about 7.30 p.m.

The entire route had been tastefully decorated with colourful welcome arches and the devotees weregiven parsad at various places. A large number of schoolchildren dressed up as panj piaras led the procession followed by bands playing religious tunes. After this was a bedecked vehicle carrying Guru Granth Sahib.

A large number of vehicles and trucks carrying devotees followed. The police had made elaborate arrangements to manage traffic and prevent any untoward incident.

It is after a gap of several years that only one nagar kirtan was organised. Earlier two processions used to be organised, one of which used to culminate at the Sector 37 gurdwara.


City can be eco-friendly and computer
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — Imagine this: A busy Chandigarh road chee-a-block with fast moving vehicles — every possibility for an accident to occur. A child runs out onto the road. A tragedy waiting to happen? No! thanks to strides made in the field of information technology, the road is embedded with a network of computer sensors and information equipment, which activate the brakes of approaching vehicles and a tragic accident is prevented — thanks to the ‘intelligent road’ which may be reality, 15 to 20 years down the line.

It may be difficult for some people to imagine this happening in Chandigarh, but it could be a possibility as the Chandigarh Administration is examining a proposal submitted by New Zealand based, Dr Dushko Bogunovich, an Associate Professor of Urban Design and Environmental Planning at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, along with Mr Arvind K. Varshney, a lecturer at the Chandigarh College of Architecture. The duo is researching on a project “Cyber-Eco-City Chandigarh” to evolve development proposals which could help Chandigarh turn into an environmentally friendly (‘eco-’) and computer-intelligent (‘cyber-’) city.

The research intends to propose IT-based solutions for the problems the city is facing by retrofitting existing buildings for enhanced efficiency and programming, as well as designing new buildings with IT. This will achieve sustainable development by conserving energy and fossil fuel, and make optimum use of natural resources in construction, operation and maintenance of buildings and urban infrastructure in the city.

Proposals for residential and commercial buildings, sector and city level facilities and infrastructure (as road and services etc.) will be developed. Such solutions would help evolve a model for sustainable urban architecture. They would also help in more efficient governance, planning for disasters and emergencies also. They can also be tried on other cities facing similar problems with necessary modification.

The Director, Information Technology, Mr Vivek Atray, when contacted, said that it was an interesting concept, and was being examined by the Administration.

The concept paper of the planners says Chandigarh’s main roads are bursting at their seams due to heavy traffic and all infrastructure is overloaded. Shortage of power and water plagues the city. Sewers overflow. Waste disposal is inadequate. Housing is scarce. Slums are mushrooming. And crime is on the rise. All this contributes to deterioration of the social and ecological environment.

The idea of a ‘Cyber-eco-city’ is based on the prediction that cities of the 21st century have little option but to become both ‘green’ and ‘smart’. There are powerful global civilisational forces pushing urban development in this direction. The most important ones are: the growing realisation that a global environmental crisis is a reality, not mere science fiction; that cities of the world are the main source of pollution and unsustainable consumption; that information technology is penetrating all spheres of life; and that economic prosperity lies in a knowledge-based, highly automated society, says Mr Varshney.

Within such a global context, and having in mind India’s spectacular emergence on the global scene as an IT power — as well as an ever greater global polluter of the biosphere — the authors of the project have embarked on producing an early vision of what the cities of future should look like, in terms of infrastructure, landscape, and architecture. They chose Chandigarh, fully aware of its 50-year tradition of good planning and as a symbol of progress and independence.

The research is based on the premise that ‘Information Technology (IT) has given numerous answers to which architects and planners have to find right questions.’ Intelligent building concepts and building automation systems; artificial intelligence and knowledge-based experts system; Database facilities Management, networking and telecommunication, are among some of the IT concepts and tools which can help solve a plethora of urban-environment related problems.


Long wait for allotment of plots
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Nov 29 — After over a year of applying for industrial plots under a scheme floated by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) in the Industrial Area, Phase 8 here, applicants are still waiting for the allotment of the plots measuring 500 sq yard. They lament that the PSIEC is sitting on their applications after taking Rs 35,000 as earnest money for a plot.

Under the scheme the PSIEC had offered plots measuring 500 sq yard, 1000 sq yard, 2500 sq yard and 5000 sq yard. The applicants for plots, other than the 500 sq yard were screened as per the allotment criteria and the successful applicants were allotted plots. An entrepreneur, on the condition of anonymity, said the PSIEC had in the scheme brochure mentioned that the plots would be allotted within three months from the closing date of the receipt of applications but it had been almost two years.

It is pertinent to mention that the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) had taken up the issue with the PSIEC on more than one occasions. The association had sought that the allotment of the plots be made on a priority basis to those who were running their business from rented accommodation. Reservation for unemployed youth, women entrepreneurs and qualified applicants was also sought.

An official of the PSIEC said the process to scrutinise over 30,000 applications for the 500 sq yard category plots was in progress and plots would be allotted soon. 


Implement SC verdict, say striking Haryana employees
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — Continuing their indefinite pen-down strike today, members of the Haryana State General Categories and Backward Classes Action Committee, held a long rally at Sector 17, in front of the 30 Bays building today.

Mr Desh Raj Lamba, Dharambir Malik and Jagdish addressed the rally. Talking to The Tribune, Mr Lamba, said that there was need for a positive attitude of the government to resolve the strike. The government should take initiative and invite the leaders for talks. Mr Lamba further added that work of the government had suffered a lot.

All the leaders asked the government for implementation of the Supreme Court verdict on seniority of quota and non quota employees.

Meanwhile the Haryana government today issued a direction to all department heads to apply the “no work no pay” rule for employees, who had been on strike for the past 30 days in two phases for the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict.


Denim Day a draw
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — The ‘denim day’ celebrations by the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) turned out to be a big draw. The students came up with their creative ideas on their denim wear.

The impressive canopy at the entrance set the mood for the occasion and the creative denim decoration which adorned the entire campus was a treat for the eye. The creativity of the students was stamped all across, with denim decoration on mannequins and denim figures in innovative forms. An interesting variation was the traditional treatment of denim, incorporation of embroidery, block printing, leaf printing, and thumb prints on denim fabric.

The students of the streams of fashion, textile and interior design had different presentations, wherein different cuts and innovative styles of denim were portrayed.

The theme of the fashion design was glitter, sparkle and gloss represented in creative forms, whereas the students of textile design worked on the fusion of the legendary rough and tough look of denim with traditional bandhanis, bangles and , tattoos. Those of interior design stressed on flower power creating designer denim wear by fusing real, artificial and paper flowers with denim.

Ms Ritu Kochhar, director of the institute, said it was an ‘‘in house’’ presentation of the students and she was satisfied by their work.


Terrace Garden spruced up for chrysanthemum show
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — The Sector 33 Terrace Garden is all spruced up for the 14th annual chrysanthemum show, which will be inaugurated by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, on December 9.

Hundreds of chrysanthemums (guldaudis) will be displayed by the horticulture wing of the Engineering Department in half of the garden, while the other half will be used to display more than 10,000 entries to various competitions. The different varieties to be displayed will include incurved, reflexed, spider, anemone, Korean, pompon, button and spoon chrysanthemums.

The entrance to the garden will have a special display of blow-ups of major varieties of chrysanthemums. The Executive Engineer, Mr Raghbir Singh, said to make the venue more attractive, flower bedecked topiary of various animals would be put up. The focus would be on retaining the essence of the flower show and the corporation had decided not to allow any commercial stalls, he added.

Meanwhile, officials have invited entries for competitions in various categories, to be held on December 8. The winners will be finalised the same evening. There is no entry fee and the forms will be accepted by 10 am on December 8. A person can make any number of entries. The winners will be awarded prizes on December 10.

The regulations specify that the exhibits must have been grown in exhibitors’ gardens and the organisers will have the right to inspect these gardens. The competitions will be divided into different categories — for amateurs, for government and semi-government institutions and nurseries, and for individuals and institutions.

The Department of Tourism, UT, had proposed that a cultural evening of performances by local artistes be organised on one of these days. However, the same is yet to be finalised. The Department of Tourism had asked the MC to pay the artistes for the time being and the same would be reimbursed to them later, but MC officials expressed their inability to do so without approval of the committee concerned and the House.

The show has been included in the national calendar of events by the Union Ministry of Tourism. The ministry prepares a calendar for different states on the basis of tourism potential in a particular event. The show is being held at the venue since 1985.


Senior citizens go for picnic
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — Two coaches carrying over 100 senior citizens for a picnic to Pincassia was flagged off by Mr S.P. Singh, Managing Director, CITCO, from Hotel Shivalikview here today. The citizens were selected by CITCO on the “first come, first serve” basis from the applicants who had responded to an advertisement placed by CITCO. They were served tea and snacks at Hotel Shivalikview. Packed food was also served by Chandigarh Yatri Niwas in the afternoon. Colonel Kapur expressed thanks on behalf of the senior citizens to Mr. S. P. Singh and complimented about good arrangements made by CITCO.


Medicine boxes stolen
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Nov 29 — In a complaint to the police, a Ram Darbar resident has alleged that two boxes of medicine were stolen from his godown. Claiming the cost of the boxes to be around Rs 1.6 lakh, the complainant, Mr Vijay Sethi, alleged that they were stolen by the godown keeper and the packer. Taking up his complaint, the Chandigarh Police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code. Senior police officials, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on.


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