Sunday, December 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Crackdown soon on rickshaw-pullers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The news is not good for rickshaw-pullers of the city. The men-in-khaki are all set to challan those rickshaw-pullers who do not have valid licences.

The move, say officials of the Police Department, is significant as rickshaw-pullers are involved in a substantial number of road accidents everyday in the city.

Unofficial studies conducted by the Chandigarh police show that out of 546 accidents in 1999, most were caused due to the negligence of rickshaw-pullers.

The situation was not much different in 2000. “As many as 550 accidents, more than 110 of these fatal, have occurred so far this year,”says a senior official of the Chandigarh police. “The involvement of rickshaw-pullers in at least some of these cannot be ruled out,” he says.

He also says, migrant labourers who come here from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, having poor road sense. They hire rickshaws at cheap rates soon after coming to the city and often cross the road without giving any indication. Scooterists and car drivers try to avoid the accidents, “but most of the times, it is too late.”

The process of challaning will begin in January. “It has been delayed due to a shortage of manpower in the traffic police,” says an official. “At present, we have about 50 personnel in the traffic police and they are not enough. Most of them stand on duty in front of schools every morning and afternoon. The others are busy in taking care of the traffic for the movement of the VIPs.

Officials said a drive to educate the rickshaw-pullers had been launched earlier this year, but the rickshaw-pullers said no one had ever approached them. “We have not even been asked to get our licences issued from the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh,” said a rickshaw-puller.

Certain officials say, “Challaning rickshaw-pullers will not be effective as they will have no document to surrender as fine. Impounding the rickshaws will not be possible.”


Chrysanthemum show opens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — More than 200 varieties and thousands of colourful chrysanthemums in their full bloom presented a visual delight for the visitors to the annual chrysanthemum show, which opened at the Sector 33 Terrace Garden, today morning.

Mountains of flowers in circular arrangements with the musical fountain in the backdrop added to the ambience on an otherwise pleasant sunny Saturday morning, adding to the holiday mood of the visitors.

The spectacular flower show, which is an annual event and has recently been included in the national calendar of events this year, had the UT Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, showing keen interest in various arrangements as she moved about in the garden after inaugurating the same.

Ms Rai was accompanied by the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, the Mayor, Ms Shanta Abihlashi and other senior officials of the Administration and corporation. Talking to the exhibitors, Ms Rai inquired about the different varieties of chrysanthemums, their maintenance and upkeep.

The competitors, after the hectic judgement day yesterday, could be seen hovering around their respective arrangements to ensure that they are not touched or damaged by the visitors. The competitions had been divided into four different categories, for amateurs, for government and semi-government institutions, for individuals and for nurseries.

The entry to the garden had a special display with blow-ups of major varieties of chrysanthemums . To make the venue even more attractive, flower bedecked topiaries also dotted the garden while a police band played in the background.

Attired in their colourful best, people in large numbers accompanied by their families thronged the venue to see the flowers. Children enjoyed themselves running around the garden, totally fascinated by the musical fountain.

However, those who were visiting the show for the first time were disappointed not to see any stall of eatables. The authorities maintain that no stalls are even put here, as this was a flower show.

The organisation of the show was a joint effort by the MC’s Horticulture and Engineering Department. The garden, which otherwise has 25 malis on its rolls had added another 25 before the show to arrange the flowers and prepare the flower beds. It was also an effort on the part of the competitors who show keen interest in displaying newer varieties and artistic formats each year. The show has been held regularly since past many years. The officials disclosed that the show is held at an appropriate cost of Rs 2.25 lakh.

This year, in the individual category, maximum prizes, as many as 14, were won by Mr Varinder Sharma from Sector 8, Panchkula. Out of them five were first, five second and four third prizes. He was followed by Georgina Roy of St Xaviers School, Chandigarh and Mr Divye Mathur, Sector 8, Chandigarh. In the institutional category, Chandigarh Housing Board and CITCO won the maximum first prizes. The prizes to the winners will be given on the concluding day tomorrow by Ms Shanta Hit Abhilashi.


3 bank officials suspended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Three officials of Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank Limited, Sector 22, who were held responsible for "wrongly investing" Rs 11 crore in Punwire, have reportedly been suspended by the bank authorities.

Sources reveal that the three officers are Malkit Singh, Manager, Joga Singh, Deputy Manager, and Satpal Singh. They have been suspended for investing in the organisation which was closed down some months ago. While Malkit Singh is presently posted at the head office in Sector 22, Joga Singh is the branch manager at Maloya village. Satpal was working in the investment section of the bank.

It may be recalled that The Tribune had carried a report highlighting the wrongdoing which is said to have had an adverse impact on the bank on November 27.

Action against the then Managing Director of the bank, Jagtar Singh and the GM, Venod K. Sharma, for “allowing” the investment is yet to be initiated. The huge sum was invested as unsecured loans and the deal between the bank and Punwire was suspiciously inked within a single day almost three years ago, sources have indicated.

Such was the confidence of the officers that they threw all norms to the winds and even bypassed the mandatory permission from the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), who is also the Deputy Commissioner, before carrying out such an investment.

Sources added that this was done despite the fact that the word about the “poor financial status” was already doing the rounds of the business circles in the region. This proved true since by the beginning of 1998, Punwire was already downswing on the stock market and the promised return of money on investments could not have materialised. Although indications of the money going down the drain were evident, nothing was done to stop it.

The RCS is said to have strongly reacted and wrote a note to the GM asking why these persons had not been “suspended and surcharge proceeding initiated against them.”


Low turnout in Golf Club poll
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The Golf Club elections were a low-key affair as only about 50 per cent of the members voted today. Out of the total 1,776 voters, only 888 cast their votes to elect executive members of the managing committee of the club for 2001.

Mr Gurinderjit Singh Sandhu, who was the only candidate for the post of the club President this year. He was the President of the club for this year also. According to the Returning Officer, Col J.S. Gill, only a few outstation members turned up to cast their votes. The local members kept coming in groups of twos and threes all through the day and the number increased an hour before polling finished. The contestants and their supporters were seen making last-minute attempts to woo the voters.

The polling officials said the low turnout was because there was no contest for the post of the club President. As many as 1,052 members had cast their votes last year.

Meanwhile, a decision on the candidature of Mr K.S. Sibia will be taken tomorrow. He had earlier withdrawn from the race, but as he had done it after the deadline, the withdrawal had not been accepted. Though his name was included in the ballot paper, it was found that he was not eligible to contest for any post. As per Rule 43/(H) of the Memorandum of Rules, a professional golfer cannot be on the managing committee of the club.

In the elections, 20 members were in the fray for 11 posts of the managing committee. The members of the Sandhu’s group are Mr Alamgir Singh Grewal, Lieut-Col A.P.S. Dhillon, Lieut-Col G.S. Sidhu, Mr Gurinder Singh Attariwala, Col H.S. Baidwan, Dr J.S. Chadha, Col J.S. Panag, Col Ranjit Grewal, Mr S.M.S. Sandhu, Mr Nippya Ghai and Mr Sandeep Singh Sandhu.

The members of the other group and the independent candidates included Mr Bhavneet Singh Gill, Col Iqbal Singh, Col J.S. Kang, Mr Kuldip Singh Bedi, Mr K.S. Sibia, Mr K.S. Brar, Mr Nirmaljit Singh Gill, Mr Ravinder Chadha and Mr Sukhjotpreet Singh Matharu.

The counting of votes will begin tomorrow at 9 am and the results will be declared in the evening.


Syndics discuss PU finances
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Controversy on over-expenditure and undefined construction works in Panjab University remained the centre of debate in the Syndicate meeting here today.

Reliable sources said the issue consumed over four hours with drawbacks in expenditure on the construction business and flaws in the list submitted as part of the agenda being pointed out.

Another key-issue on the agenda featured university dissatisfaction with government assurances on money for the budget. Out of the proposed Rs 78.69 crore budget, Rs 35 crore have been estimated as deficit. The university expects to generate Rs 20 crore through its sources. There is still a deficit of Rs 15 crore which sources say the governments has declined to fund.

Prof Charanjit Chawla spoke on the issues of alleged “misuse of funds”, illegal constructions and non reporting on completed projects in several cases.

Dr R.D. Anand said, “the university white paper was really “white”. What it reveals is revealing and what it conceals is excelling”.

Dr Raghuvir Singh, Mr Kehar Singh, Dr I.M. Govil, Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Dr Deepak Manmohan and Dr V.K. Bansal also spoke on the issue.

The university accepted a proposal of the Ministry of Science and Technology for an offer of Rs 23 lakh to the Botany Department and Rs 31.5 lakh to the Statistics Department for higher studies.

Mr Satish Kumar Sharma objected to a retired principal’s continuing in the post of the principal in Master Tara Singh Memorial College, Ludhiana. It has been demanded that the seniormost teacher be given the charge of the affairs till a new principal was appointed.

The Syndicate passed the UGC orders to reduce retirement age from 62 to 60 in case of deputy and assistant registrars, deputy and assistant librarians and physical education officials.

The Syndicate passed a resolution of introducing post-graduate courses in Government Medical College, Sector 32. These include dermatology, venereology, forensic medicine and TB, besides others.

The budget came in for severe criticism for the government role in supporting the finances. Dr Raghuvir Singh and Mr Chatrath said the role of bureaucracy was not fair and the issue needed a fresh look into the existing financial conditions. Professor Chawla said the role of the UT and the Punjab Government had been unfair in finance management.

After thorough deliberations, the body decided to further pursue the matter at the highest levels.

Another significant issue was the ongoing student resentment on the issue of upgradation of the Bachelor of Computer Application course. Students on protest contacted the Syndicate members outside the venue. A new committee will look into the matter, sources said.

The Syndicate accepted Rs 50,000 as donation from Prof Megh K. Jain from California (USA) for instituting the Bhagyatara Scholarship and Bhagyatara Award of Excellence.

The Department of Microbiology has been earmarked a grant of Rs 35 lakh by the Ministry of Science and Technology, while the Department of Chemistry tops the list with a sum of Rs one crore.

The Syndicate cancelled the provisional extension of affiliation to GGS DAV Centenary College, Jalalabad, in the subject of Tax Procedures and Practices for BA I and B Sc I. DAV College , Abohar, has been granted permanent affiliation for B Com classes from the current session.


Fear of leopard stalks Chowki villagers
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 9 — Villagers of Chowki near here are forced to stay in the confines of their houses after a leopard killed 10 goats in the village recently. The leopard has been stalking the village ever since.

The villagers inform that while there are three full-grown leopards, there are two cubs as well according to pugmarks found near the water tank, which has been frequented by the leopard family to quench its thirst.

The leopard family has been seen near the river bed during evenings but has graduated to making appearances during the day as well. The villagers, meanwhile, are hoping that the Haryana Wildlife Department will come to their rescue, though little help has been forthcoming, they say.

Primarily, a village of daily-wagers, the main source of their livelihood, their cattle, are being hounded and leaving them to graze will ensure they fall easy prey to leopards on the prowl, they contend. “Out of 30 goats, I have lost nine in the last attack. They were grazing nearby when they were “picked up” and were found dead next morning,’’ recalls Muktiar Kaur.

Giving details, she said that the flock of goats was taken as usual to the grazing ground in the morning. While most of them returned in the evening, 10 belonging to Kuldeep Singh and one to Mukhtiar Singh were missing. The former went looking for the missing goats and instead was faced with a tiger staring him in the face.

“He was so scared he turned ran from the site. After that, the visits have become a regular feature and our safety and protection is under question,’’ his mother said.

Meanwhile, a visit from officials of the Haryana Wildlife Department the next day was all the response the attack elicited.” They told us to bury the carcasses of the goats. Beyond that there has neither been any visit to the area nor has anybody come up with any suggestions concerning protection,’’ Gurmail Kaur adds.

While the day dawns with discussions focusing on safety, nights brings with it a greater dread of the animals’ visit. “We don’t know whose house will be the next target. We have a track record of these gruesome attacks by wild animals in the past years but for the first time the damage has been as extensive, resulting in a loss of over Rs 20,000. We are poor people and can ill-afford feeding goats which are lost in such attacks,’’ Pal Singh, another villager, rues.

Presently, the villagers are demanding the nabbing of the leopards and compensation for whatever has been lost in attacks spread out during the past month.


Behl is city Congress chief
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Mr B.B. Behl was elected the President of the local unit of the Congress here today. His name was proposed by Mr Sunil Parti and was seconded by 28 persons in the presence of the election officer, Mr Harikesh Bahadur. The faction headed by a former union minister, Mr Venod Sharma, had already declared its intention to contest the elections.

It was party time in the Sector 35 Congress Bhavan where supporters of Mr Behl could be seen dancing and distributing sweets among visitors. The supporters garlanded Mr Behl and showered him with flower petals.

Mr Behl told mediapersons that he would announce his team shortly after the AICC and district unit elections. He said he wanted to see his party win the coming corporation and panchayat elections.

Initially, the other factions led by a former union minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan and Mr Manish Tiwari, had opposed the candidature of Mr Behl. However, these factions relented after the president elect was declared by the party high command on December 6. The party leaders had met in Delhi after that and had decided to support the candidature of Mr Behl.

Sources in the party say that members of all factions will be satisfied when the office-bearers are announced.

It has been learnt that the leaders of various factions — Mr Bansal, Mr Venod Sharma, Mr Manish Tiwari and Mr Harmohan Dhawan — will be made members of the All-India Congress Committee.


Burglars decamp with Rs 40,000
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Striking at a ready-made garment factory in Ram Darbar, burglars decamped with Rs 40,000, along with some clothes, early in the morning today.

The burglars reportedly entered the factory by breaking the locks of the main gate after scaling the wall. The money, according to sources in the Police Department, had been withdrawn for paying the salaries to the factory workers.

Confirming the incident, the Deputy Superintendent of the Chandigarh police, Mr S.C. Sagar, said further investigations into the allegations were on. He added that all efforts to nab the culprits were being made.


Business centre in a state of neglect
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The sub-city centre in Sector 34 here is in a state of neglect on account of continued official apathy.

Conceived as an ultra-modern parallel business centre patterned on the heart of the city — Sector 17 — for the southern part of the city about two decades back, the centre now seems to be nobody’s baby. Businessmen and building-owners say that the centre seems to be last on the agenda of the authorities for the provision of civic amenities.

Property owners rue the fact that while the Estate Office had netted crores of rupees at a recent auction, the administration seemed to have washed its hands of providing basic amenities to the centre.

Mr Devinder Lal Gupta, president of the City Centre Sector 34 Building Owners Association, who was one of the first to set up business here in 1983, rues the day when he decided to set up shop here." Even after 17 years, the provision of civic amenities left much to be desired even though each of the about 190 allottees pays close to Rs 50,000 per month as lease money,’’ said an angry Mr Gupta.

A number of SCOs, which had been constructed by the allottees at crores of rupees do not have approach roads. The SCOs (from 121 to 123 and from 121 to 196) do not have proper entries. Several blocks do not have entry from the front side with the result that the shops and offices are forced to make entries from the rear side.

In fact, a large portion of the complex seemed to have been overwhelmed by wild growth. The space meant for the approach roads and parking spaces is particularly vulnerable to wild growth.

And the parking of the vehicles had always been a problem since a large number of persons visit the Regional Passport Office and offices of the top companies and the computer institutes, said Mr Parveen Gupta, while pointing out to a vacant plot of land which could be developed into a parking lot.

Apart from this, it takes months to get the power connection. The fixing of the tiles in the vacant land is yet to be completed. Besides, several of the approach roads are yet to laid with the result that tenants were avoiding the buildings, putting the owners to a lot of loss, alleged Mr Ashok Dua, another building-owner.

In fact, the initial euphoria of buying property in the centre seems to have receded. At a recent auction of commercial property by the UT Estate Office, the seven SCOs of sector put under the hammer were withdrawn reportedly for lack of response from the bidder. The association had stayed away from the auction and protested the lack of amenities on the auction days.

But what irks the association most is the fact that though it had written to top functionaries of administration, including the UT Administrator, several times, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Even if a portion of the lease money earned by the administration is spent on developmental work, it would make a lot of difference, added Mr Gupta.

The centre reportedly had provision for 375 SCOs. Out of which about 190 had been auctioned and over 160 SCOs completed. Mr Gupta alleged about 20 buildings were lying vacant on account of lack of amenities.

The story of the development of centre is the classic example of shifting of blame by the one wing of the Chandigarh Administration to the another. Before the transfer to Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) in 1995, the area was with the administration. But the “lack” funds with the MCC prompted the administration to hand over the development works to the Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB) in 1998.

Acting fast, the CHB did some developmental work such as laying of certain roads and fixing tiles on some portions. But after a few months, the situation was back to square one, with the CHB suspending the works. It is anybody’s guess when the work would resume so that the property owners, who had invested crore of rupees, could have a sigh of relief.


Schoolboy goes ‘missing’
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Seventeen-year-old Gopal, studying in Class IX in Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya, a residential school in Sector 25, reportedly ran away from the institution last Sunday.

The interesting part, in this otherwise grim tale, is that both the school authorities and the family came to know about the boy’s disappearance after more than 48 hour.

Gopal’s father, Sita Ram, a Class IV employee in the Accounts Branch of the PGI, recalls that the last time he met his son was on December 3 on the parent- teacher meeting and Gopal was very disturbed.

“He had very less marks in almost all the subjects. Fearing that he would not be able to clear the final exam, he pleaded with me to withdraw him from the school. I assured him that after current academic session, I would think about it,” said Sita Ram.

On December 5, the house master of the school contacted him and gave him the shocking news about his son’s missing from the school since December 3, soon after the parent-teacher meeting. “ I was told that if I gave an application saying that I took my son home on December 3 itself, then he would be taken back in the school without informing the principal,” he said.

The school authorities, however, deny this. “If we had any intention of suppressing this matter and passing the onus of Gopal’s disappearance on his father, we would not have lodged an FIR in the Sector 11 Police Station, “says Mr S.C. Sharma, Principal of the school. He added that Gopal was obedient and sincere student and we never expected him to take such a drastic step’’.

“In fact, if we had asked him to submit a leave application for Gopal then the responsibility would have been entirely his. We are all very disturbed over the matter and wish that the boy is located as soon as possible,” said Mr Sharma.

He further adds that Gopal also left a note saying that no one was responsible for his leaving the school. “Since the house master, who looks after the hostel was away for two days, we did not come to know of the incident till December 5. Moreover, other students kept insisting that Gopal had gone home with his father and we had no reason to doubt that since Mr Sita Ram had met his son on December 3,” he added.

Mr Sita Ram agrees that the school authorities are extending all their help to locate his son. He has contacted all his relatives and friends in the close vicinity. Since he belongs to a village near Jamshedpur Tata Nagar in Bihar, he hopes that Gopal possibly has gone there.

But, with the on going postal strike, he has been unable to send a telegram and there is no way to find him out. “I hope, wherever he is he comes back safely,” he prays.

According the police officials, the case has been referred to the missing persons squad.


Postal services remain crippled
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The postal services remained crippled for the fifth day today in Chandigarh and Punjab on account of the all-India strike by postal employees, putting the public to great hardship.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, Chief Post Master General of the Punjab and Chandigarh Circle, said the Army help would be sought from Monday to tide over the situation created by the nationwide strike. Today also, the mail could not be distributed and only very essential services, such as the sale of the postal orders and postal stationery and speed post, were maintained.

Mr Paul informed that out of a total of 3,900 post offices in the circle 594 post offices remained open. The circle got a revenue collection of Rs 43 lakh and payments worth Rs 37 lakh were made. Skeleton service would also be maintained on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a press note of the Joint Council of Action condemned the statements of Mr Paul regarding the pay scales of the employees. It said the agreement of December 12,1998, for the implementation of which employees were striking work, tried to remove anomalies of the 5th Pay Commission in respect of the postal employees.

Besides financial losses to the employees, a majority of the promotion scales in respect of Group C and D, postmen, stenographers and mail motor service drivers had not been upgraded, the press note said.

A rally was organised by the employees in front of the GPO, Sector 17. Speakers condemned the statements issued by the postal authorities in calling for the Army and the student help to man the postal services.


Workshop on child protection
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — A workshop on Child Protection and Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, was organised by the Social Welfare Department of the Chandigarh Administration, here today. The main objective of the workshop was to explore the possibilities for achieving the objectives of integrated development of children and to find workable solutions for child protection and rehabilitation.

Mr R.K. Saboo, Chairman Juvenile Welfare Board, while delivering the inaugural address called for pro-active approach to improve the lot of under privileged children. He emphasised the importance for networking of various governmental agencies with NGOs and Social Organisations. Deliberating on the problem of neglected children, he further stressed that the prevention and juvenile delinquency was vital for dealing meaningfully with the problem of increasing crime.

Ms Madhvi Kataria, Director Social Welfare, Chandigarh Administration, during her address said that it was essential to remember that problems arise due to lack of educational, health and recreational facilities. It is, therefore, vital that community steps in purposefully and take effective measures in this regard. She called upon all to join hands for creating a more child friendly society.

Ms Rita Panikar of Butterfly, an NGO, suggested that a task force could be created comprising members of allied doctors, educationists, counsellors and NGOs. The target should not be only the children, but the community as a whole. Dr Savita Malhotra, Department of Psychiatry, PGI shared her insights about child development.

Theatre Age Group staged a short skit ‘Khichdi’. Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institution of Correctional Administration spoke on psychological dimensions of juvenile delinquents and different patterns of dealing with them.


Residents can watch MC proceedings
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Any resident can now watch the proceedings of the municipal corporation house, provided he has the necessary recommendation from the councillor of his ward. A notification in this regard has been issued by the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh.

As per the notification, any resident who wishes to see the proceedings of the House will be required to submit a written request a day prior to the meeting. The application addressed to the Mayor in a requisite format will be submitted in the office of the MC Secretary. The same will also bear the recommendation of the area councillor. The Mayor will accept or reject the same in consultation with the Secretary.

The notification further empowers the Mayor to reject any application without assigning any particular reason. However, the Mayor will grant permission only on the basis of the seating capacity available. But in certain cases permission can also be granted by relaxing certain norms. In the absence of the Mayor, permission can be granted by the Senior Deputy Mayor or the Deputy Mayor.

The residents on their part will also have to observe certain rules while watching these proceedings. He will not interrupt the proceedings of the House by talking loudly or by raising slogans. He will also not carry any weapon, camera, telephone or other objectional items at the venue of the meeting. The notification further mentions that those who violate these rules, will be forcibly evicted from the assembly hall. 


Villagers protest against PUDA scheme
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 9 — A housing scheme of five new sectors in the town recently floated by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has attracted protests from the land holders whose land is being acquired for the project. They said the land in Sohana, Mauli Baidwan, Lakhnour and Raipur Khurd villages was yet to be acquired.

Members of the Sohana Circle Sangharsh Committee said the government had not decided on the objections filed by the land holders under Section 5(A) of the Land Acquisition Act. They said the government should first pay compensation to the evacuees and then go ahead with the scheme.

Mr Bhagat Singh, sarpanch of the village, said PUDA was selling the plots in the proposed five new sectors between Rs 3,350 per sq yard and Rs 3,990 per sq yard and the villagers apprehend that they would be paid much less. Giving a rough estimate, Mr Devinder Pal Singh, convener of the sangarsh committee, claimed that in contrast to a compensation between Rs 10 lakh per acre and Rs 7 lakh per acre, varying on the type of the land, recommended by the government, PUDA would be earning around Rs 1.50 crore per acre. They demanded that they be provided alternative plots by the government.


Good response to PUDA housing scheme
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 9 — A housing scheme for five new sectors floated by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) on November 27 last has attracted an overwhelming response. A spokesman of PUDA said as many as 8000 application forms of the housing scheme had been sold so far.

He said the maximum response was from Chandigarh and SAS Nagar branches of the banks, where the forms were being sold. The total number of sold forms would be known after the closure of the scheme on January 2.

The rate being offered was Rs 3350 per sq yard for 125, 150 and 200 sq yard plots and Rs 3990 for two-kanal plots.

Quoting the rates attracted by residential plots in the town during a recent auction, he said the highest bid was attracted by a 10-marla plot which was sold at Rs 5885 per sq yard and the rate attracted by a 400 sq yard plot was Rs 5100 per sq yard.


PSEB engineers’ body to join Dec 12 strike
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The PSEB Engineers Association at an emergency meeting held today decided to participate in the strike on December 12 in response to a call for countrywide strike given by the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers. It was decided at today’s meeting that there would be no exemption from participation in strike to anyone.

The executive committee members felt the board by ignoring engineers had alienated the community and lost its confidence. While maintaining that it was against privatisation it was going full stream ahead to clinch the deal for the 500 MW thermal station at Goindwal by GVK.

The executive also condemned the Electricity Bill 2000, as a sell out to country’s economic independence to multinational and private profiteers.


Rs 100 note in 500-rupee wad
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Don’t just count your cash before leaving the bank counter, but look at it carefully, especially when notes are of Rs 500 denomination. This is the moral of the story learned the hard way by a city resident when he discovered a 100-rupee note in a bundle of 500-rupee notes issued by the Faridkot branch of a bank.

Sector 34 resident Gurnam Mauji, running a construction company, has complained that he had withdrawn Rs 4 lakh from the bank for making payment to a party at Faridkot. He added that all the bundles were carrying the bank’s seal. As such he paid little attention while taking away the money.

He said soon after making the payment, a bundle of Rs 500 notes was returned to him as one of the notes was of Rs 100 denomination. “The possibility of a racket behind this kind of happening should be probed into,” he remarked.

Boogie-Woogie dance contest
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Dec 9 — The evening was filled with music, masti and dance when 142 participants from all over the region competed for Lion’s Boogie-Woogie open dance competition at Yavnika, Sector 5, Panchkula today.

The contest was organised by Lions Club (Mid Town) Panchkula under the slogan of Child Care. The market event manager from Channel V Vicky Kapoor was among the jury of judges.

The participants were divided into different age groups of 6-9, 9-12, and 12-16, based on solo and group dances on peppy numbers.


Honour for city architect
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Mr M.N. Sharma, a renowned architect, has been chosen to receive the coveted award of the Indian Institute of Architects’ “Baburao Mahatre Gold Medal” for the year 2000.

This decision was recently taken by the council of the institute in Mumbai in recognition of Mr Sharma’s distinguished career. He has already received several national and international awards for his works.


Workshop on human rights
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — For making the constabulary sensitive towards human rights, the Chandigarh police is holding a debate and a workshop at the Sector 29 Traffic Lines Auditorium. The idea behind holding the workshop, according to the Assistant Superintendent of the Chandigarh police, Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, was to explain the concept to the lower ranks as for them it was all very abstract and confusing. 


Public toilet pulled down
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The authorities today pulled down a public toilet in Sector 41-D built nearly 16 years ago.

The toilet block on a vacant piece of land and was planned to cater to the needs of the residents in the neighbourhood. But since a park has come up in the area, following requests by residents the same, was allowed to be demolished by a team led by the SDM (East), Mr H.K. Nagpal and the XEN (PH), Mr Shyam Singh.

One dies of cold
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The cold took its first victim today. An unidentified beggar, who used to move about in the Mani Majra motor market, was found dead early in the morning. Another body was found outside a dhaba is Sector 22. Sources maintain, the death in this case also was due to natural reasons.

Senior police officials, when contacted, said the unidentified person was coming out of a dhaba after having food when he died probably due to heart attack. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination.


Forgery accused remanded in police custody
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Balwinder Singh, a resident of Kurukshetra, who was arrested by the Chandigarh Police on the charge of forging a cheque was yesterday remanded in police custody till December 12 by the UT Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

A case against the accused was registered under Sections 420,467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of the area manager of the M-Way India Enterprises, Sector 26, Mr Vikas Seth.

Bail plea dismissed
The UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.C Godara, yesterday dismissed the bail application moved by a resident of Bareli, Jai Pal, in an NDPS case.

The city police had seized 600 gm opium from the accused on May 15, near Jagat cinema. The case against the accused had been registered under Section 18 of the NDPS Act, in the Sector 17 police station.

The defence counsel argued that the prosecution had not complied with the provisions of Section 50 of the NDPS Act 1985, therefore applicant was entitled to be released on bail.

Judicial remand
Parmjit Jhandu was sentenced to judicial remand till December 22 by the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash, in a forgery case, yesterday.

Parmjit had surrendered before the court on December 7 and was in the police custody. It was alleged that the accused duped people on the pretext of securing a job for them. It was also alleged that the accused was involved in forgery cases.

One acquitted
Jai Pal Singh, a resident of Ropar, was yesterday acquitted by the UT Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class) in a rash driving case. The case against the accused was registered under Section 279 of the IPC in the Mani Majra police station on January 1995.

Assault case
Seven persons, including a son of the Punjab’s former MP, Ms Bimal Khalsa, were sentenced to 14-day judicial remand today by the UT Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class) in a case of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

A case against the seven accused, Sarabjit Singh alias Khalsa, Gurjant Singh,Paramdeep Singh,Tajinder Singh,Surinder Singh and Jagjit Singh and Karamjit Singh had been registered under Sections 147, 148, 149 and 323, 506 of the Indian Penal Code .

The complainant Gurjeet Singh had alleged that the accused had beaten him and his two friends, Harpreet and Kamalinder Singh, with iron roads and sticks in Sector 46.

Meanwhile, the bail application moved by Sarabjit Singh and Paramdeep Singh in the same case was dismissed by the UT Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class).

Breach of trust
Naveen Kumar,a resident of Sector 40, was sentenced to five-day police remand today by the UT Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class) in a case of criminal breach of trust. A case against the accused was registered under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code on October 28.

The complainant, a resident of the Sector 34, Suresh Kumar, had alleged that the accused had collected an amount Rs 9,96,000 on behalf of the company for depositing the sum in the Oriental Bank of Commerce, but he failed to deposit the same.

Man fined
Suresh Pal,a resident of Sector 24, was fined Rs 500 today by the UT Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class) under Section 4/5 of the Noise Control Act 1956.

It was alleged that the accused, Suresh Pal, got permission only for 8 p.m to 10 p.m. for using Loudspeaker in a Jagran, but he used loudspeaker beyond the permitted time.

Three convicted
The UT Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class) today convicted three persons under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act and released them on six-months probation and furnishing of a bond of Rs 2000. The case against the accused Manjit Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Jatinder Singh was registered on October 10.

It was alleged that the three accused were consuming liquor in the Attawa fish market.


House burgled in Sector 8
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — The house of Ms Tania Mehta, a Panjab University lecturer, was burgled in Sector 8 here on Friday. According to the police, the burglars entered the house during the day time by breaking a lock. The thieves reportedly took away two gold bangles, weighing 5 tolas, three “walkmans”, eight compact discs and four silver glasses. The thieves also decamped with some woolen clothes and approximately Rs 36,000 in cash.

The police has registered a case under the Sections 454 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code.

Two cyclists injured
Mr Sat Pal and his sister, both residents of Bapu Dham Colony, were injured when the cycle they were riding was hit by a truck near Gurdwara Transport Area, on Friday evening. The injured were admitted to General Hospital, Sector 16, where there condition was reportedly to be stable.

The driver has been arrested and the truck impounded. The police has registered a case under the Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code.

Whisky recovered
The local police arrested Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 38, from the same sector and recovered 40 pouches of whisky from his possession.

A case under Section 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

2 held for satta
Ram Subodh, a resident of Sector 38, and Kuldip Singh of Sector 23 were arrested on the charge of satta gambling. The former was arrested from near government houses, Sector 11, while the latter was arrested from his own Sector.

A case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.

Eve-teasing case
A Palsora Colony resident, Sandeep Kumar, was arrested on the charge of eve-teasing, here on Friday. He was arrested in Sector 40.

A case under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered.

Scooter stolen
Mr Gurdip Singh, head mistri of Gurdwara in Sector 34 reported that an unknown person borrowed his scooter to attend some function. In his complaint with the police, he alleged the person never come back with the scooter (Bajaj Chetak, HR-41-7275).

A case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered. 


What a shitty thief!
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — A boy who was caught after he tried to snatch a purse, smeared his face, hands and clothes with human excreta that he was carrying in a polythene bag, here today.

Senior police officials said, by doing this, he wanted to foil any move to arrest him. He thought nobody would like to touch him in this condition.

Two urchins snatched a purse from a woman while she was buying books from a stall in front of Gate No 2 Panjab University. A passerby who was a PU campus resident, caught one of them, while the other ran away. The urchin who was caught took out a bag from his pocket that was filled with excreta and smeared it all over his face and clothes.

Shocked at his behaviour, the man released him. The urchin did not make any move to run, rather he fell on the ground, unconscious. The crowd that had gathered there believed that he was pretending.

A person brought water from a nearby house and tried to clean up the boy’s face. The boy was trembling and foam was coming out of his mouth.

In the meantime, the police was called. The policemen did not carry the boy to hospital in their vehicle, but hired a rickshaw to take him to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The purse was later returned to its owner.


5 booked for assault
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Dec 9 — The local police has booked five members of a local truckers union for allegedly bashing up a truck driver and damaging his vehicle in Sector 71 last evening.

According to the information available the victim, Dilbar Raj, was assaulted by Anurag, Mukesh, Bobby, Kuldeep and Manjit. The truck driver was bringing sand from Chandigarh when the incident took place. A case under Sections 148, 149, 332, 341 and 506 of the IPC has been registered against the suspects.


JTC officials visit site of IT towers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 9 — Two top officials of the Singapore-based Jurong Trading Corporation (JTC), which is in the business of building information technology parks, visited the site for information technology towers in Sector 47 and also made a presentation to the Chandigarh Administration officials led by the Adviser, Ms Vineeta Rai, here yesterday.

Two company officials, Mr M.S. Jagan, Chief Executive Officer India , JTC, and the principal infrastructure planner, Mr Wilfred Loo Boon Hian, were here on visit and expressed their interest in developing the IT towers. The JTC officials had recently met the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), when he had visited Chennai a few weeks ago.

The Administration official, however, said that the process of proper invitation of bids still have to be invited through newspaper advertisements.

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