Tuesday, December 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Land allotted to 36 housing societies
137 acres for flats in Sector 48 to 51
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — The uncertainty about the allotment of land to 57 cooperative housing societies ended today with the Chandigarh Administration allotting 137 acres for the construction of multi-storey residential flats in Sectors 48 to 51.

All went well at the venue of the “draw of lots” at the UT State Guest House where societies were allotted land in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, who is also the Estate Officer. The CITCO Managing Director and officiating CEO of the Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr S.P. Singh, and a representative of housing societies and chairman of the Chandigarh Housefed, Mr Surjit Choudhry, were also present.

Addressing the housing society members, Mr Ramasekhar, said out of the eligible 57 societies the land was being allotted to 36 societies. Since the minimum land allotted to a society was two acres, the smaller societies had been clubbed together for the allotment purposes.

Since it was a plotted area, the land for various societies had been to fitted in the available pockets in the four sectors, he said, adding that provision had also be made for the provision of civic amenities.

It may be recalled that land was being allotted at a rate of Rs 2,500 per square yard for the societies and will net a whopping amount close to Rs 170 crore for the administration by way of revenue.

However, the woes of the certain society members may not be over as the largest slum of the city — Colony No 5 — straddles the Sectors 50 and 51. Actually the slum will straddle the lands allotted to societies in Sectors 50 and 51, sources said while showing on the map how close the slum will be to the proposed flats. There is no mention of the slum anywhere in the detailed maps of the Chandigarh Administration dealing with the scheme for societies nor is a concrete proposal in place to shift the slum in the near future. The slum is spread across portions of Sectors 50 and 51.

Besides these two sectors, societies have also to be allotted land in Sector 48 and 49. In these two sectors the first phase of the cooperative societies have already build flats. In the first phase societies were allotted land and this area is by and large free from slums.Back


MoU between Admn and 6 IT companies on Friday
Internet, cable TV and telephone to be possible via
a single cable
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between a consortium of six top information technology companies and the Chandigarh Administration on Friday to lay 50 km of underground optical fibre cable to link the city under a proposed futuristic ‘‘wired city’’ project of the Administration.

This will help in speeding up the Internet access, provide the very latest in telephone systems and also provide satellite TV channels, all through a single cable. This will give a boost to the Administration’s vision of setting up top class IT facilities in the city.

The MoU will be signed at Raj Bhavan. The entire cable system will be in place till April 30, 2001, by the six companies which have been selected after screening carried out by a high-powered committee. The companies have informally sought time till May 31 to lay the cable in the entire 50-km length, the Secretary, Information Technology, Mr Rakesh Singh, said.

The companies will be providing free bandwidth to the Chandigarh Administration for its e-governance project. This entails linking up all offices of the Administration and allowing city residents to access information through the same cable and also to communicate with officials.

The cabling will be done according to a route plan worked out by the Administration in consultation with the companies. From any place in the city the optic fibre cable “backbone” will not be more than 1 km away, explained the Director, Information Technology, Mr Vivek Atray. The cables are being laid along all major roads in the city, he added. The last mile , which means the distance from the OFC cable node to any home or office, will be covered by the six companies in collaboration with the cable operators. The latter will also have an Interest and this part is expected to grow the fastest with cable TV already being a readymade and flourishing market.

The companies have held several rounds of discussions with officials. At the outset, the Administration had invited “expressions of interest” from companies. Later it was decided that a consortium be formed to have a healthy competition and to keep the usage rates down. As per the latest rulings of the Government of India the companies will enjoy free right of way which means they will not have to pay for laying cables underground. Already the companies have been told to use trenchless technology which does not require any road cuts.


UT to have new Adviser
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — Chandigarh may soon have a new Adviser to the UT Administrator as Ms Vineeta Rai is all set to be posted with the Government of India. Her posting is pending with the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The entire process is expected to take about 30 days.

Ms Rai, a 1968-batch UT cadre IAS official, has been empanelled to be posted as Additional Secretary with the Government of India.

In the case of Ms Rai, her stint with the United Nations needed to be regularised by the Review Committee before any kind of empanelment could be made. With information about the Adviser already known among bureaucratic and political circles, speculations are on to know who will be the new Adviser. Sources said since the 1969 batch is also set to be empanelled as Additional Secretaries shortly due to the exigencies, this is being projected that an officer of the 1970 batch or latter will be the new Adviser.

Traditionally, in the case of posting Advisers, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been prompt as the post is pivotal for the functioning of the Chandigarh Administration and cannot be allowed to be held on an ad hoc basis for a long time.

Locally the name of Ms Neeru Nanda, a 1971-batch UT cadre official, presently posted as Chairperson, CITCO and Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), is being touted.

But, sources add, the consent of the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will also be kept in mind before the MHA posts an official. This had been true when the present Home Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, was taken on deputation from Haryana.


80 per cent postal staff resume duty
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — With two major unions calling off the strike, postal services are limping back to normal in the Punjab and Chandigarh Circle.

The postal authorities claimed that about 80 per cent of the striking employees resumed duty today. The counter operations and deliveries in almost all post offices have become normal. However, attendance remained low at Patiala, Ropar, Nangal, and the tehsil of Jagraon and RMS offices as a section of the employees affiliated to the National Federation of Postal Employees have not joined duty so far.

Today the public visited various post offices and the GPO in large numbers here and post offices not only sold over 2500 IPOs, but also 1078 TRC bills were collected. Besides this, a large number of registered letters, speed post articles and money orders were booked. Mail was delivered through postmen and Home Guard volunteers.

Sources said today about 3437 post offices of 3900 remained open and rendered essential postal services. A collection of revenue to the tune of Rs 15.91 crore in the form of telephone bills, savings bank deposit, money orders and sale of IPOs was made. The payments made to the public amounted to Rs 8.14 crore in the form of MO payments and savings bank withdrawals.

Similarly, sale of postal stamps and stationery amounted to Rs 11.30 lakh and 1635 speed post articles and 14138 registered articles were booked. As many as 1361 speed post articles were delivered with the help of inspecting staff and the officers.


Thieves on the prowl
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — Mocking the efforts of the Chandigarh police, thieves are making off with briefcases carelessly tossed on the back seats of the cars or with bundles of money recklessly stacked in the tool boxes of two-wheelers.

At least three to four such cases are being reported to the police every week despite deployment of cops in plain clothes at parking lots particularly around the banks in Sectors 35, 17 and 9.

Just three days ago, a city resident Sukhpal Singh had alleged the theft of Rs 45,000 from the tool box of his scooter parked outside a bank in Sector 35. A first information report was registered, as in the case of other thefts, but no arrest has been made so far, confirm sources.

Admitting "failure to curb the menace", a senior official of the Chandigarh police said, "The task to arrest the culprits was not so easy as there were no organised gangs".

Street urchins loitering around in the parking lots, are doing the job. On the pretext of cleaning the scooter, they break open the lock of the tool box at random and decamp with the cash, he added.

The involvement of drug addicts and gamblers also can not be ruled out, the officer claims. "Chances are that they keep tabs on the activities of businessmen withdrawing money from the banks before striking at the first possible opportunity," he says.

The Senior Superintendent of the Chandigarh police, Mr Parag Jain, reveals, "We are even taking the help of shoe-shine boys, tea vendors and panwallas. They have been requested to keep their eyes open for the bag-pickers and inform us about the thefts."

The police, he asserts, is not to be blamed. "The residents leave the bags containing cash inside their cars or in the scooters. The temptation of easy money is too strong to resist", the SSP added.

As a precautionary measure, police officials suggest that the bags should not be left inside the car even if they do not contain cash. Electronic locks, they assert, reduce the chances of theft to a large extent. 


Excise evasion of Rs 20 cr detected
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — As a result of the stepped-up the anti-evasion operations in the Central Excise Commissionerate, Chandigarh-I, excise duty evasion amounting to Rs 20 crore was detected between April and November this year.

This was stated by Mr Inder Raj Soni, Commissioner, while addressing a press conference here last night. Besides this, the tax evaders had voluntarily paid Rs 71.51 lakh in the jurisdiction of commissionerate comprising Chandigarh, four districts of Punjab — Ludhiana, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala — and the state of Punjab.

The department had initiated proceedings against a Ludhiana-based firm CR Coils dealer, who had units in Chandigarh and Barotiwala. A scrutiny of the records revealed that they had fraudulently passed on Modvat credit without the movement of goods, he added. An amount of Rs 30 lakh had also been recovered from different manufacturers by the officers, he added.

In a separate case, duty evasion of Rs 3 crore by a manufacturer of sanitary fittings had been detected at Chandigarh. Incriminating private records seized showed clandestine removal of sanitary fittings to more than 140 dealers in the country. In yet another case evasion of duty was detected to the tune of Rs 50 lakh by the manufacturers of yarn, who had shown the clearance of their goods to the cooperative societies at zero rate of duty to be used for handloom.

Talking about the operations against 100 per cent EOUs, he said the duty evasion of Rs 1.35 crore had been detected against the 100 per cent EOUs manufacturing and clearing yearn in domestic tariff area out of indigenously procured raw materials as these units were not paying additional excise duty since March 1,2000. And duty evasion of about Rs 2 crore by the 100 per cent EOUs of Dera Bassi has also been detected.

He said the officers had also detected cases against 19 units manufacturing tractor parts at Chandigarh, Dera Bassi and SAS Nagar for fraudulently availing off Modvat/Cenvat credit on galvanised sheet, which was never used in the manufacture of tractor parts. The total evasion of duty on this account was Rs 3.26 crore.

Giving details, Mr Soni claimed that the department had realised the revenue of Rs 653 crore by November as against Rs 606 crore by November last year registering a growth of 7.62 per cent over the corresponding period of last financial year. Himachal contributed Rs 253.37 crore against Rs 239.12 crore last year, registering a growth of 5.98 per cent.

Similarly, Chandigarh contributed Rs17.24 crore as against Rs 16.20 crore last year — a growth of 6.41 per cent and four districts of Punjab contributed Rs 382.39 crore as against Rs 351.43 crore, thereby registering the growth of 8.8 per cent, he added.


Maid accuses ADGP of molestation bid
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — A 19-year-old resident of Shahabad has alleged that a Punjab Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) attempted to molest and rape her at his Phase 9 SAS Nagar residence on December 14.

The victim, Mamta, was working as a maid at the house of Mr B.P. Tiwari, ADGP, Security, and was allegedly repeatedly harassed.

A frail-looking Mamta was presented before mediapersons here today by Mr Navkiran Singh, general secretary of the Lawyers for Human Rights International.

Narrating her tale of woe, she said: “I was taken to the house of Mr Tiwari on December 10 by my mother on the request of a family friend, Mr Jagjit Singh Sandhu, for helping the ADGPs wife in household chores since she was not well. I was assured that I would be treated as a family member and would not find the stay lacking in any respect.” But that was not to be. The ADGP allegedly started misbehaving with her the next day.

Later on, she further alleged, when she refused to submit to his wishes, “he flew into a rage and threatened me and my family members with dire consequences”

Subsequently, when Mr Tiwari and his wife went to visit their daughter at Nabha they made her sit between them in the car. On the way Mr Tiwari allegedly misbehaved with her and brushed aside her protests that night his wife pressured her to do his biddings, which she refused.

On December 14, he would have succeeded in his attempt but for the timely arrival of her uncle she further alleged.

Her uncle then took her to her mother at Shahbad.

Mamta is the eldest among three daughters of the late Keshav Mohan Sharma, who was a small-time shopkeeper at the Khanna mandi but had shifted to Shahabad in 1991. Her mother, Bimla, does odd job to make both ends meet.

Mr Navkiran Singh said they wanted a CBI inquiry into the whole affair and the removal of the officer from active duty. He said they had not taken up the matter with the police since they apprehended danger to the victim’s life and hushing up of the case. He said they would file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court tomorrow.


Probe ordered; Tiwari refutes charges
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — The Punjab Director-General of Police, Mr Sarabjit Singh, has asked the Superintendent of Police of SAS Nagar to hold a preliminary inquiry into the allegations made by Mamta against the Additional Director-General of Police, Security, Mr B.P. Tiwari. However, the latter has refuted all allegations made against him and his wife, Promila.

Mr Sarabjit Singh told The Tribune that since no complaint had been made by Mamta to the police, he had ordered the inquiry suo motu. The SAS Nagar Superintendent of Police had been asked to look into all allegations made by Mamta or her mother against Mr Tiwari and his wife during her brief employment with them as a maid servant.

The Punjab DGP said no one had approached him or complained to him in this case. “Let there be an inquiry into the entire episode. The law will take its own course against whosoever is guilty,” he added.

The SAS Nagar SP had been asked to complete his preliminary inquiry at the earliest and submit his report on the basis of which future action in the case would be decided, the DGP added.

Meanwhile, Mr Tiwari refuted all allegations made against him and his wife, Promila, at a Press conference maintaining that “all was absolute falsehood and done with a view to counter blast any move to take legal action against Mamta and her so-called maternal uncle, Jagjit Singh, a resident of Jalandhar.”

Mr Tiwari said that only some weeks ago, he received a telephone call from a Cabinet Minister stressing that Jagjit Singh Sandhu, an active political worker, was facing serious threats at the hands of terrorists and should be provided with security. A similar request was received from a Punjab MLA for Mr Sandhu.

A few days after these telephone calls, Mr Jagjit Singh Sandhu turned up at his office and described himself as a wine contractor and gave a Saraswati Nagar, Jalandhar, address. “He also claimed to be a brother-in-law of Mr Rajinder Singh, MLA, Ganganagar in Rajasthan. Fearing a threat to his life, I ordered two PSOs for his security as an interim arrangement,” said Mr Tiwari maintaining that in the meanwhile, he called for information regarding his antecedents and threat perception as per the usual practice of the Police Department.

“He came to my office a few more times as permission for the use of dark films in his car was not granted for want of reports about his antecedents and threat perception. He probably overheard during one of his visits to my office that I was looking for a maid servant to assist my wife, facing a severe knee problem. He offered to send a poor relative to my house. I accepted this offer,” Mr Tiwari admitted and said that he brought the girl to his home in SAS Nagar on December 11.

In the meanwhile, Mr Tewari, one of visitors to his office noticed the presence of Mr Sandhu in his office and cautioned him against him.

“Though I did not believe this information, I asked the Senior Superintendent of Police, Nawanshahr, for a report. The report came on December 14 which said that there were three cases of cheating registered against Mr Jagjit Singh Sandhu and he had been arrested and stayed in judicial custody in Ludhiana early this year. The cases (FIR numbers 75, 177 and 178) were registered under Section 420 of the IPC on May 15, August 22 and August 23 this year.

Mr Tiwari said during a “sangat darshan programme of the Chief Minister at Banga”, complaints were made to Mr Parkash Singh Badal about activities of Mr Sandhu. The Chief Minister had then ordered the SSP, Nawanshahr, to conduct an inquiry into these complaints. On the basis of the inquiry, two cases were registered against him at City Police Station, Nawanshahr, and he was arrested.

“Once it was brought to my notice on December 14, I immediately asked Mr Jagjit Singh Sandhu to take away the maid servant from my house and asked him about his activities. We had no problem with the girl though she refused to massage the knees of my wife. We did take her out to Nabha where my daughter is studying and we had our dinner there and came back at about 10 p.m. She stayed with us only for two days,” Mr Tewari said.

Also present at the press conference was his wife. She too, refuted all allegations made against her and her husband. “We treated her like a child,” she said.

Mr Tiwari said subsequent investigations revealed that cases of cheating were also registered against Mr Jagjit Singh Sandhu at Jalandhar (FIR no 41 of 1994) and Police Station North of Chandigarh (FIR no 123 of 1995).

“I told him that I would get further inquiries conducted against him and accused him of using dubious means to procure security cover and plant his girl in my house. It is obvious that to avoid any legal action against him and the girl, Jagjit Singh has concocted the story to malign my image to forestall any action against him.”

Mr Tiwari said he was contemplating legal action against Jagjit Singh Sandhu.


Corruption in society
Politician-babu-trader nexus blamed
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — The nexus among politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen was held responsible for the corruption in society by almost all speakers at the Haryana Vigilance Bureau-sponsored seminar on “Prevention and detection of corruption” held at the CII headquarters here today.

However, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, extended the triangle to include corrupt non-government organisations and criminals. Mr Vittal, who was presiding over the forenoon session of the seminar, said the root cause of corruption was political corruption, which, in turn, led to corruption in business. Bureaucratic corruption followed political corruption because the bureaucracy worked in close coordination with the political executive and interfaced with the public, which included businessmen also. “We have a vicious cycle of corruption in India which comprised the ‘neta-babu-lala-jhola-dada’ syndrome.”

Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who was the chief guest at the afternoon session, sounded an optimistic note when he said we should not forget that a country which could produce two immortals like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in one generation, had nothing to despair of.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who was the chief guest at the forenoon session, described corruption as a social evil, which, if not checked, could weaken the very foundation of the nation. He said the freedom struggle was launched against British rule because of its corruption. While we were able to get rid of British rule, he regretted, we inherited the same administrative system. Anyone who fought against corruption, like Mr Devi Lal, who believed that “lok raj lok laj se chalta hai”, did in 1977 when he set up an Anti-Corruption Commission under the chairmanship of a renowned freedom fighter, Mr Siri Chand Sharma, had to face great hardships. Mr Devi Lal lost power in the process, Mr Chautala said.

Referring to the Dangi case, Mr Chautala regretted that when a case was lodged against the former Revenue Minister, as demanded in the Vidhan Sabha, the president of the Haryana unit of a national party accompanied Mr Dangi on his way to the court to surrender as ordered by the Supreme Court as if someone was going to be enthroned.

He said the Press should not highlight such incidents. But before saying anything further to newsmen, he checked himself because, as he said, he believed in “ceasefire”.


Sanitation contracts for city approved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — The Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh in its meeting held today approved the sanitation contracts for 13 pockets of the city to the lowest bidders. The present contract expires on December 31 this year. Various other development works to the tune of over Rs four and a half crore were also passed by the committee in its last meeting under the present Mayor, Mrs Shanta Hit Abhilashi.

Sources reveal that a decision on the supplementary agenda item regarding sanitation contract had finally broken the monopoly of Sharma brothers, who have allegedly been bagging the sanitation contract for all the pockets in the city for the past four years under the name of different companies. But this time, while the contract of 11 pockets has been once again been given to them, two contracts have been awarded to other parties which had quoted rates lower than them. With this the MC will stand to benefit to the tune of Rs 3.6 lakh per month.

M/s Bharti Associates, who had allegedly submitted the tenders late on that day is one of the parties this time for it quoted Rs 79,999 per month for Dadu majra, Maloya, Dhanas as against another party who submitted tenders within time and quoted Rs 81,120 per month.

It may be recalled that there was confusion following the rejection of certain tenders on the ground that the same were not submitted on time. The Commissioner today reportedly clarified that the allegation that the tenders of these parties were submitted late does not hold ground for the Mayor had contacted him at 1.05 pm and the representatives of the parties must have reached the office of the Medical Officer Health ( MOH) much earlier to submit their tenders. And only later they came to the Mayor with their complaint that they were not allowed to put their tenders, even when they were well within time. The tenders were to be submitted by 1 pm on December 4.

The Chief Engineer is also learnt to have told the Committee that even if the parties had submitted the tenders beyond the designated time, the chairman of the tender opening committee, who in this case is Assistant Commissioner-I, Mr Ashok Vashisht has the power to accept the tenders provided the tenders have not been opened. The “so-called late” tenders were not only accepted but two of them have bagged the contract also this time.

The committee passed the revised estimates of Rs 3 crore, 65 lakh and 24 thousand for providing basic amenities in the colonies of Kumhar and Janta colony. The entire work of providing water and electricity connections, besides laying sewerage and roads has been entrusted to the MC by the Administration. The revised estimate has gone up approximately by Rs 1 crore, it is learnt.

The members also gave their nod for purchasing a mechanised road- cleaning machine worth Rs 6.31 lakh from a Samrala-based company. They maintained that purchasing the same would be more economical than leasing the same on a monthly rent of Rs 70,000 for 3 months as decided earlier. This would have cost the MC Rs 2 lakh 10,000. The use of the said machine would not only help ensure more cleanliness in the city, but will also require less manpower and time. It would prove useful for all the major roads in the city. However, it will not affect the job of the existing sweepers as the number of sweepers is already less than required.

To provide parking and road lights in pocket No. 1, Mani Majra a sum of Rs 12.38 lakh was also passed. The enhanced estimate of recarpetting the V6 roads in Sectors 20 A and B was also passed. The purchase of a sewer cleaning machine mounted on a truck, was also passed for Mani Majra at a cost of Rs 12.99 lakh. The same was earlier approved by the Water Sewerage and Disposal committee but since the amount was beyond their jurisdiction, the same was referred to the F and CC for approval.

It was further revealed that the MC has netted a revenue of Rs 12 lakh 40 thousand as the removal charges, from the collection of Diwali mela in the city. This is despite the fact that MC did not give permission to set up stalls in Sector 17 Plaza and Sector 22 market and also includes 25 per cent of the bid amount forfeited from the organisers of the mela at the Sector 34 Circus grounds. It is higher than the Rs 7 lakh, 23 thousand netted by the MC last year.

For the maintenance of storm water drainage system in the city, purchase of 5000 RCC fibre pre-cast road gully covers was passed at an estimated cost of Rs 5.62 lakh. The same would be used to replace broken/missing road gullies and had been given to two parties.

While reviewing the quarterly budget of the MC for the period ending on September 30, it was pointed out that the receipts were approximately Rs 54 crore, while the expenditure was Rs 58 crore. About 10.70 crore had been spent under the planned expenditure head, while Rs 47.17 crore had been spent under the non-planned head.

Permission to instal jhulas in the open space near House No. 4591, Sector 46 was withdrawn. Of the five members, only two, namely Mr R.S. Kailey and Ms Ranjana Shahi were present today.Back



Ludhiana rail line work in full swing
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Dec 18 — Work on laying of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway line is going on in full swing, both at the level of the local administration and that of the Railways. Earthwork on the project began last week.

The exact area of the land to be acquired is being calculated and the relevant revenue records are being scrutinised. This aspect will be completed within this week, the local SDM, Mr Jai Pal Singh, said here today.

The land of 14 villages in SAS Nagar subdivision comes under the project. A total of around 370 acres are to be acquired. As many as 32 acres of Kambala village have been acquired and the physical possession of these has been handed over to the railway authorities. The PUDA authorities have already acquired land in Jagatpura and Kambali villages and could be transferred to the department concerned.

It is learnt that the Railways have made a payment of Rs 13.50 crore towards the land to the Punjab Government till date.

The SDM said alignment and realignment of the railway line had led to some delay in the work. The final alignment was done almost two weeks ago.

However, Mr P.K. Gupta, Deputy Chief Engineer, Construction, Northern Railway, denied this, saying that the alignment work had been completed over six months ago and the Railways had no power to alter the alignment.

In the case of five villages — Raipur Khurd, Jagatpura, Kambali, Manauli and Chilla — land price fixation had been done by the Ropar Deputy Commissioner, who was the Chairman of the committee set for the purpose. A notification under Section 6 of the Punjab Land Acquisition Act, 1894, was about to be issued.

On Thursday evening a meeting was held at the SDM’s office here at which the Deputy Commissioner and Railway officials were present. Various departmental problems were sorted out and it was decided to speed up the work.


Parkash couple honoured for fearless fight
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — “A case of abetment to suicide should be registered against the police personnel who implicated Ruchika’s brother. We are getting hundreds of letters of support from all over the country, including from leaders of political parties, journalists, students and many voluntary organisations,” said Ms Madhu Parkash during a function organised to honour her and her husband for their “battle” in the Ruchika molestation case.

The two were honoured by All- India Anti-Corruption and Crime Prevention Council, Chandigarh. The council presented shawl and memento Mr Anand and Mrs Madhu Parkash. The council organised a function to appreciate the effort made by the couple and “their fearless fight against the injustice”.

The couple thanked the efforts of the media in spreading awareness about the injustice and to put pressure on the authorities to take serious action against the persons who responsible for Ruchika’s death.

Talking to The Tribune Mr Anand said: “Press has played a very vital role, the editorial on December 5 by the Editor of The Tribune and the full page article in the Saturday magazine Window on November 25 helped us a lot to spread our message to the public. It created pressure on the authorities and generated public awareness. 


Seminar on road safety measures
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — Road safety measures, medical aid and legal aspects were discussed at a two-day road safety seminar being organised by the Western Air Command (WAC), which began at the Chandigarh Air Force Station today.

In his inaugural address, Air Officer Commanding, No12 Wing, Air Commodore S. K. Banerjee highlighted the importance of general awareness on road safety as it concerns everyone. He also applauded the effort and idea to conduct a seminar on road safety.

Speaking on policing aspects of road safety, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh Police, Mr Parag Jain, laid stress on strict observance of traffic rules and regulations to avoid accidents. He also delved on the causes of accidents in Chandigarh as well as the challenges of traffic management in the union territory.

The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mrs Sneh Prashar, spoke on the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal and aspects of free legal aid, which she said, the public should be aware about.

Dr Raj Bahadur, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, covered the medical aspects of road safety, including head injuries and traumatic paraplegia. He also touched upon first aid measures.

The Assistant Provost Marshal, Squadron Leader A.K. Saxena, delved on the pitfalls and remedies in regard to road safety.

He also spoke about modern trends and research being done in the field. The staff Officer Provost, HQ WAC, Wing Commander, D.N. Gopal, spoke on grey areas in the Air Force on road safety and remedial measures.

The seminar also included a live demonstration of alcometer for testing the level of alcohol intake by drivers, speed check radar and Aqua Clean, a pressure wash trolley developed by the local provost unit for washing vehicles. During the seminar, educative films, highlighting various aspects of road safety were also screened.

Besides representatives from civilian institutions and law enforcement agencies, a large number of IAF officers from stations under the WAC are attending the seminar.


‘Raise voice against corruption’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — “Identify the source of corruption and raise your voice against it, contact the media and come out in the open against injustice.” said Mr N. Vittal, Chief Vigilance Commissioner, addressing the Panjab University faculty and students at a lecture organised by the Panjab University at the English auditorium here today.

Talking on the theme, “Can India become corruption-free?”, Mr Vittal spoke against corruption being anti-development, anti -poor and anti-national. He said that corruption had led to a vicious circle among politicians, businessmen, criminals, bureaucrats and NGOs. “Corruption can be dealt with the involvement of the ordinary citizen including intellectuals and students,” he said. Mr Vittal also suggested amendments in the laws governing the country, including the Income Tax Act, which could keep criminals away from active politics.

The address was followed by an intense question-answer session with the audience and assured the complainants that their problems would be looked into seriously, including cases relating to the university examination system.

Answering a question relating to the role of Lok Adalats and Lok Pal, he categorically stated that the Lok Pal was a toothless watchdog and nothing more and most of the MPs wanted to be exempted from in its purview. He also emphasised the importance of regularising banking systems, computerised information and systematise record-keeping in curbing corruption.

The session was presided over by Mr Ashok Sahni, Dean University Instructions, who in his welcome address stated that the University was a powerhouse of information and awareness of problems with suitable solutions could make the country corruption-free. Dr Veer Singh and Dr S.K. Kulkarni were present on the occasion as organisers of the series of the Distinguished Lecture series 2000-2001. 


Ugly patch on road
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Dec 18 — An over five-foot stretch has become the bane of residents of the Mansa Devi Complex. This patch has especially been dug up to check the menace of encroachments around the shrine but has clearly defeated the purpose it set out to achieve.

The dug up road, under the preview of the PWD, was cut deliberately in consultation with the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in an attempt to discourage the coming up of pharis near the shrine but these continue to thrive despite the deterrent.

An official of the PWD Department admitted that the work had been carried out three months back and a proposal to hand over the road in question to HUDA was also debated at that time since an alternative route to the shrine and area in the vicinity is under HUDA.

At that time, it was decided to dig up the road and ensure diversion of traffic to the other road. Also, the purpose was to discourage the phariowners to set up pharis in that area.

Adding to the woes, the stretch has become a traffic hazard with two-wheelers crossing over despite inconvenience. Even this attempt has failed in checking encroachment, no attempt has been made to bridge the gap.

An official of HUDA contends that benefit has come in the form of fewer number of encroachments in the area. Also, they contend that the decision was taken to facilitate the work of the Mansa Devi Shrine Board in checking encroachment.


New Year cards by slum kids released
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — For the slum children of Sector 25 Janata Colony, the day could not have ended on a happier note. For about three months now, they had been waiting for the inauguration of the pack of cards which they had painted for the New Year. Today, their dream of sending their creations across to a large section of people came true, after their cards were released by the visiting Information and Communication Officer, UNICEF, Ms Anjana Jena.

Ms Jena is currently on a visit to Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh NGOs, to get an insight into the concepts of development being implemented in this region. She congratulated the children for their concerted efforts, despite many odds. She also viewed a street play by children, directed by a local theatre artist, Zulfikar Khan. Zulfikar is the man behind Aasha, a school where most slum children study after their working hours.

The cards released today numbered about 300 and had also been exhibited about a month ago at the gallery of Government College of Art, Sector 10. Introducing the work of the children to the gathering today, Mr Prem Singh, Principal, Government College of Art, Sector 10 said, “When I watched these children at work, I saw a rainbow in their eyes. They were all painters in their own right and the works they created were great in the sense of concepts that they had tried to depict.”

Meanwhile, the kids were all but jumping for joy. After the release function, they went about telling everybody of the great mission they had accomplished. They presented the street play, ‘Khichdi’ later. The play, which has already been staged twice, was well received today, as on the earlier occasions.

The play was based on a folk tale and carries a singular message: that a man should not believe in hearsay and should only trust in what he himself sees or feels. The play had about eight actors and each one put forth a very powerful performance. Cards priced at Rs 5, were also sold out on the occasion. 


Resolution of Chandigarh Bachao Committee criticised
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — The statement given by the Chandigarh Bachao Committee to snatch the right of vote of migrants in the city has created confusion and social instability. This was stated by Mr Rajinder Kumar, Councillor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

In a press release the councillor also criticised the statements given by Mr Kuldeep Singh, former judge of the Supreme Court. Mr Kumar said the statements given by various leaders at the seminar by the committee were dangerous for the unity of the country.

Mr Kumar rejected the appeal of the committee to grant special status to Chandigarh. He said very soon he along with a delegation, would meet the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and the Administrator of Chandigarh and bring to their notice the alleged malafide intentions behind such statements.

The councillor said that if the migrants become panch, sarpanch and councillor, it is because of the maltreatment they had been getting at the hands of some people. He appealed to all the city residents including those from the villages to unite and protest against any such move of these so called committees who are attacking on their rights.

Meanwhile, the Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchyat also criticised the resolutions adopted by the Chandigarh Bachao Committee. In a press note, Mr Mohamad Salim Khan, president of the panchayat, said laws applicable in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh cannot be imposed in Chandigarh. He said that most of the population of the city is of those from other states.

The pancahyat also condemned the demand by the committee to remove the names of labourers from the voting list of Chandigarh. It was also said that the pancahyat would convene a meeting next month and would protest against the Chandigarh Bachao Committee.


Welder injured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — A welder was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital with injuries after an electricity meter reportedly went up in flames today morning.

According to sources in the police department, the meter caught fire while Gurmeet Singh was welding. They added that the fire was caused due to electric short-circuit after some wires were accidently touched by the victim.

Sources added that Gurmeet Singh was released from the hospital after first-aid. A senior police officer, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on and the cops would proceed in accordance with the law after recording the statement of witnesses.


Theft complaint against servant
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — In a complaint before the police, Sector 38 resident Jagdish Chander Gupta alleged that his domestic servant Ashok Kumar decamped with Rs 36,000.

He added that the servant, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, also stole 100 silver coins, along with silver ornaments, four gold rings, a chain and a diamond ring, from his resident. Taking up his complaint, a case of theft has been registered by the police under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code.

Theft reported
In yet another case of house-break, Mr Tara Singh of Mani Majra alleged that his colour television, a gold ring and a chain, along with Rs 2500, were stolen from his residence on the night of December 16 while he was out of station. Acting on his complaint, the police has registered a case of theft under Sections 457 and 380 of IPC.

A Mani Majra resident, Raju, was arrested by the police on a complaint of Attawa village resident Mantro Mehto. He had alleged that his rickshaw was stolen by the accused.

Fodder set afire
A Dadu Majra resident, Parmal Singh, alleged that the fodder he had cut was set on fire on December 17. He added that the fodder was costing about Rs 60,000. Taking up his complaint, the police has registered a case under Section 435 of the IPC.Back



FIR registered in cheating case
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — After more than six months, the police has registered an FIR on the complaint of a Sector 20 resident against a finance company. The company had allegedly duped the complainant of Rs 15,000.

In July, Ms Anita Khurana reported to the police that she had applied to the Hindustan Development Finance Corporation India, Sector 34, for a loan of Rs 50,000. She said that she had given all documents, including 24 blank cheques to the company.

She alleged that she did not get any money from the company, but Rs 15,000 were withdrawn from her account using her two cheques.

According to a senior police official, after proper investigation an FIR was registered against the company. A case under the Sections 420 and 406 of IPC has been registered.

Woman injured
Ms Lakshmi Devi was injured when she was hit by a scooter, while crossing the dividing road of Sector 29 and 30, here. She was admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. Her condition was reportedly stable. The scooterist reportedly fled from the spot.

A case under the Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Two held for assault
The police has arrested two persons for allegedly attacking a Sector 45 resident. Mr Sarwan Kumar alleged that he was assaulted by Anil Kumar and Parabjit Singh, in front of his house on Saturday evening. He also alleged that the duo had threatened him. A case under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Man assaulted
Mr Jagmohan Lal of Ambala has reported that he was beaten up and threatened by Sanjay Soni, a Sector 40 resident, here. According to sources in the police, the complainant had gone to the latter's residence for collecting money, but he was allegedly locked inside the house by the accused and assaulted. A case under the Sections 323, 342 and 506 of IPC has been registered.

Held with liquor
Sewa Ram, a resident of Nehru Colony, was arrested from near new Mohali barrier and 350 pouches and 12 bottles of whisky were seized from his possession. According to police sources he was arrested following the search of a three wheeler. A case under the Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Woman dies
Amarjeet Kaur (23) died in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here. According to the police sources she had consumed acid, on Friday.

The exact cause of her consuming acid could not be ascertained, but police sources said that she was going through depression. A senior police offical said that they would be in a position to give more information after recording statements of the witnesses and her relatives.


Computer stolen from school
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — A Computer, two key boards, along with a monitor were reportedly stolen from Kendriya Vidyayala (number two) situated at the Air Force Station here.

In a complaint before the police, school Principal Hargopal alleged that two CPUs, along with speakers and multi-media kits, were also stolen. Giving details, he added that the theft took place in the school on December 17 at about 8 p.m.

Taking up the complaint, the Chandigarh Police has registered a case of theft under Sections 380 and 457 of the Indian Penal Code. A senior police official, when contacted, said investigations into the matter were on.

The officer added that a team of cops was immediately sent to the school for gathering evidence after examining the spot. The police, he added, was keeping a vigil at all possible places where the thieves could sell the computer and other stolen article.


Importance of insurance in tourism emphasised
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Dec 18 — Importance of insurance in the tourism industry was highlighted by Dr R.K Bahl, a Senior Divisional Manager, Oriental Insurance Company, while delivering a talk organised by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT) here today.

“With liberalisation and globalisation, the movement of the people from one place to another has also gathered momentum, thus exposing them to unforeseen situations which could be easily come over by insurance policies,” said Dr Bahl. As accidents, loss of baggage, illness, natural calamities, clashes, damage to property, cancellation of events, loss of passport and cash are part of hazards related to travel and tourism, people related to this industry should be well versed with different types of insurance covers, he added.

Discussing the contents of the overseas medi-claim and videsh yatra mitra policies, Dr Bahl said one should take such policies locally before travelling abroad. The overseas medi-claim policy provided insurance cover up to $ 5 lakh, he added.

Dr Bahl said that while travelling one should ensure that the vehicle had the route permit and the fitness certificate. Besides, the tourist places offering adventure sports like trekking and mountaineering, hang and para gliding, skiing and water sports should have the policy to cover any eventuality, he said .

Discussing the importance of obtaining a driving licence as per the Motor Vehicles Act, Dr Bahl emphasised the necessity to have basic insurance of home, including fire hazards and burglary.

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