Tuesday, January 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC to reduce tubewell installation charges
Last date for replacing faulty water meters may be extended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh proposes to extend the last date for replacing the defective water meters to March 31. It also proposes amendments in certain clauses which provide among other things revision of supervision charges and reduction in tubewell installation charges.

Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, MC, said the proposed amendments had been sent to the Administration for approval before being taken up at the next meeting of the Finance and Contracts Committee. The water byelaws were last amended vide a notification dated June 5, 2000, but certain clauses were not amended. Numerous representations were received from the public against the policy decision of the MC.

The MC had earlier given a notice that the residents would have to get their defective water meters replaced by December 30, failing which the water charges would be doubled the average rate of consumption. There was a lukewarm response to the MC proposal to simplify the process of replacing defective water meters. While extending the date, they specified that if the consumer failed to get the defective meter replaced by March 31, the water charges would be doubled.

As per the amended byelaws, meters were to be arranged by the consumers or the same could be purchased from the MC. An amedment was proposed with regard to the replacement of defective water meters in government houses, wherein meters of all sizes were to be supplied or replaced by the corporation and monthly rent is to be charged from such consumers. The occupants had in their representation submitted that they were tenants of the Chandigarh Administration or the Municipal Corporation and the houses allotted to them were only temporarily.

The supervision charges, to be levied on consumers who arranged water meters themselves, would also be enhanced. As per the notification, no meter rent was to be charged from them. The enhancement would be in accordance with the size of the meter. Some amendments in the rates for supply of water to villages and resettlement colonies was also proposed. The public had earlier represented that the rate of Rs 150 per month per connection for supply of water to houses having upto 3 taps but no animal was on the higher side. Keeping in view their demand, the same was proposed to be reduced.

The MC also proposed a reduction in the installation charges of tubewells. The consumers had expressed resentment and pointed out that the charges proposed in the notification were on the higher side. Besides this, prior sanction had to be sought from the authority concerned, failing which the person would have to pay double the charges. As per the revised rates, a person would now have to pay Rs 500 per month for installing a 50 mm bore tubewell as against Rs 9,000 per month.


Mann magic beats chill
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — In run up to Lohri, a huge crowd gathered on the university ground to let their hair down with five Manns — Gurdas, Harbhajan, Gursevak, Bhagwant and Babu Singh, here tonight. The event was organised by Alpha Punjabi and aptly titled Mann Punjab De.

It was a treat for the audience to watch Gurdas, Harbhajan and Gursevak Singh a Lohri song written by the fifth Mann Babu Singh.

Babu singh started off on polemical note about the significance of Lohri and the changing trends in Punjabi music. Then came a comic relief through Bhagwant Mann. His pithy comments had the audience rolling with laughter.

Gursevak performed a few numbers from his album Lara Lappa. Ik Kuri and Habiba made the audience jig. Another of the clan, Harbhajan of Galan Gorian fame, betted out his chart-busting numbers. The brother duo, Harbhajan and Gursevak also rendered a Kavishri.

Gurdas proved once again that Punjabi pop has not substituted traditional songs. He started with Heer and followed it with his memorable numbers Dil Da Mamla, Jaadugariyan and Pyar Kar Le.


Undertrial dies of heart attack
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — An undertrail in a murder case, lodged at Model Jail in Burail village near here, was declared dead at the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital in the morning today.

Ruling out the possibility of foul play, senior jail authorities said Shiv Kumar of Ram Darbar had died due to heart attack. Officials added that Shiv was suffering from depression as arrangements for getting him released on bail had not been made.

The officials claimed that Shiv Kumar had requested his mother to make the arrangements as fast as possible during her visit to the jail about a month back.

Shiv Kumar was booked by the Chandigarh police for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code in September 1999 and was behind bars ever since.

Today, according to sources in the police department, Shiv Kumar complained of being unwell before losing his consciousness at about 7.40 in the morning. He was rushed to the hospital in a vehicle which had arrived at the jail premises for taking another undertrial to the PGI.

Sources in the jail revealed that Shiv Kumar was lodged there along with his brother. They added that four others were sleeping in the barrack along with Shiv Kumar.

The Superintendent of Model Jail, Mr R.D. Sharma, when contacted, said all the inmates lodged in the adjoining barracks had been questioned regarding the death. All of them were of the opinion that the death had taken place due to natural reasons.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr S.C. Sagar, said further probe into the matter was on and the body had been sent for postmortem. “Inquest proceedings have been ordered,” the DSP added.


Santro, Matiz sale sluggish
Alto helps Maruti regain lost ground 
By Ruchika Mohindra Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 8 — The successful launching of Alto, it seems, has helped Maruti Udyog Ltd to regain its sale in the city.

According to the figures available from the Regional Office of Maruti Udyog, the car has done much better during the past month than the other cars — Hyundai’s Santro and Daewoo’s Matiz — and marched ahead of its competitors in just two months after its launch in the last week of September, 2000.

This has happened after Hyundai had gained a major chunk of Maruti’s customers after its launch in early 1999, to be soon followed by Indica and Matiz in the same year. These three new entrants in the small luxury car market ate into Maruti’s share that had been catering to an untapped market since the early 1980’s. After Maruti began losing its clientele to the other companies and lost on its profits, they have now reportedly rebound their sales with the launch of Wagon R in the end of 1999 and Alto a few months back.

During a random survey carried out by TNS over the past few days, it was found that while the sale for Santro had come down over the past two months, the sales of the two available models of Alto has picked up well. In fact, Alto is learnt to have sold as many as 140 cars in the city alone during the month of December, thus coming at par with Santro, which sold a little over 100 cars during the same time period. It is also learnt that it is the more powerful of the two models of Maruti’s new car( Alto VX) that has been stealing the show.

In fact, this model of the car has a six to eight-week booking period in the city, and according to unconfirmed reports, the car is selling at a premium of anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000/-. Says Mr. Vikram Mehtani, Regional Manager of Maruti Udyog at Chandigarh. “The combined sale of Alto and Wagon R in the month of December ( 140-Alto and 50-Wagon R) has certainly had its impact on the sale of other cars in the same segment.”

On the other hand, Mr. Jaspal Singh, General Manager of Ultimate Hyundai Pvt. Ltd., when contacted by TNS, said that so far there was no affect on the sales of Santro and that it was maintaining a steady flow. He, however, conceded that Alto had done extremely well in the first trimester since its launch.

“The Alto’s engine is very good, but the performance of the car can be judged only after a few months. Moreover, the look of the car is old and technologically too, there is a difference of almost 20 years in the two cars,” he said. However, Mr. Singh agreed that because of the trust that Maruti’s brand name had built in the mindset of the public and the car being more cost effective, it could eventually leave Santro behind in the rat race.

It may also be noted that the sales of the other car in the same segment, Matiz, nosedived after reports of the company being in dire financial straits hit the newstands a couple of months back. It is believed that most of the customers who were eyeing to buy a Matiz, switched their loyalties towards an Alto. The reason being the difference in the costs of the two cars with Alto being cheaper and with a more powerful engine than the Santro (the former has an 1061 cc engine and the latter has an 999 cc engine.)

Opines Mr. Vikram Joshi, Executive Director of Joshi Autozone Pvt. Ltd., one of the dealers for Maruti Udyog in the city, “The fact that all models of Maruti cars are indigenously developed contributes a lot towards its maintenance being cheaper than that of Santro or Matiz, which are made in Korea. For most people, the spare parts of the car are very expensive and this becomes a deterrent when buying a new car.”


Lawyers protest against removal of canteens
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — District Court lawyers observed strike today and even the entrance gates of the court were locked for sometime in protest against the removal of three canteens within the court premises by the administration. The administration had removed the canteens in the courts on December 7.

The gates were opened later only after the direction of the Senior District Courts officials. The president of the District Bar Association, Mr N.K. Nanda, said “Thousands of advocates, litigants, employees of the district courts depend upon the services of these canteens. Lawyers will face problems daily in the absence of the canteens”. Mr Nanda added that the lawyers had locked the gates only for a little while in order to show their resentment against the decision and they had no intention of disturbing the functioning of the courts and the locks were removed after some time to avoid any inconvenience to the public. Sources in the court, however, revealed that a majority of the lawyers had joined the strike on the apprehension that after the canteens, the administration would remove their temporary chambers also. The General Secretary of the Bar Association, Mr Benny Parshad, said the administration had removed the canteens without taking the Bar Association into confidence.

But the District Court official said the gates of the court were not locked and the strike had not hit the functioning of the court.

According to sources at around 3.30 p.m a meeting was held in the District Court between district court authority, Deputy Commissioner, and the members of the Bar Association. The Deputy Commissioner had granted the permission to run only one canteen for the benefit of the lawyers and it was decided that the administration would take care of the canteen and would charge rent. The administration will not be removing the temporary chambers made by the lawyers in the courts.

Mr N.K. Nanda, said the Bar Association had decided to resume work from tomorrow, as the Deputy Commissioner had granted the permission to run, one canteen and had also given assurance that the temporary chambers would not be removed. He added that the District and Sessions Judge had sent a letter to the Chief Architect of Chandigarh regarding the new building of the court.

The sources in the administration revealed that the administration had removed the kiosk canteens on the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court had earlier directed the UT Commissioner and the Estate Office to take action on a Public Interest Litigation regarding the kiosk canteens. Sources revealed that the another reason for removing the canteens could be that none of the contractors, who had taken the government canteens on rent, had started the canteens till now. The contractors had demanded that they would start the canteens only after the removal of the kiosk canteens in the court.


Alpha Channel studio for Mohali
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — “It is the Punjabisation of India,” says Mr Ranjan Bakshi, vice-president, Communications, Alpha Channel, predicting a bright future for language channels in general and Punjabi in particular.

Talking to The Tribune here, Mr Bakshi said that if anyone had talked about a Punjabi channel five years ago, he would have been considered “crazy”. “But today Punjabi is the key word. You have Punjabi singers at the top, be it Daler Mehndi, Harbhajan Mann, Jaspinder Narula, Gurdas Mann or Malkiat Singh. Mumbai’s discos are doing extremely well because of Punjabi singers and their popular hits.

“As far as quality programmes, including serials, are concerned, an effort is being made to make new serials in Punjabi. We are setting up our own studio at SAS Nagar. Similar ventures will come up elsewhere in Punjab and at other places.

“At present, we have an eight-hour telecast of Punjabi programmes of which three hours are taken up by devotional music and three hours by music for youngsters. Then we have news and other programmes,” said Mr Bakshi.

One of the reasons for the quick popularity of Punjabi channels, he said, was the Punjab diaspora, which was spread all over the globe.

He admitted that certain Punjabi channels, launched recently, were struggling to survive because of the lack of both financial support as well as good quality programmes.

“Now when Punjabi singers are dominating the music scene all over the country, soon Punjabi programmes will be everywhere. In fact, most of the successful TV serials, like ‘Amanat’ now and ‘Buniyaad’ earlier, had the Punjabi tinge. The dominance of Punjabis in Bollywood may also be a contributing factor,” said Mr Bakshi.

To provide some good quality programmes, Alpha TV Punjabi, would soon be launching a series of new serials on contemporary Punjabi society, social issues, new trends in its literature, besides nostalgia.

Theatre and the small screen complemented each other, he said, maintaining that every effort was being made to look for talent from the Punjabi-speaking population for the new serials.

“Once we have sufficient stocks of quality productions, the growth of language channels is going to be boundless,” added Mr Bakshi.

Among the new serials planned by Alpha TV Punjabi is “Nikki Nuh” (the younger daughter-in-law), bringing out a conflict between hollow modern lifestyles and traditional values.

“Keho jai Saadi Jindagi” (what type of life do we have) is another serial, dealing with the common problem of the girl child. It is the story of a girl who proves herself to be more than a son.

The third new serial — “Man Jeete Jagjeet” (conquer the world after conquering the mind) — is about a troubled mind on the verge of committing a crime.

The story of a girl whose lover was murdered by her husband, father and brother is the highlight of the fourth serial, “Preet”.

“Sirnaavan” and “Sadda School” are the other new serials planned by Alpha TV Punjabi.


Followers of Bacchus to wind up operations by midnight
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — All restaurants, pubs, liquor shops, discos, clubs and roadside vendors in the city will have to wind up their operations by midnight. All such establishments will also have to remain closed from midnight to 4.30 a.m, on all days except Saturday and Sunday. On the these two days the closing hour will be 1 a.m.

The order issued by the District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramsekhar, comes into force on January 8 and shall remain in force till March 8. The order shall not apply to coffee shops and restaurants and hotels. Cyber cafes can remain open till 2 a.m. on all days.

In an another order, the District Magistrate, has imposed orders that all owners or managers of commercial establishments shall have to inform the police station concerned before employing any servants, helpers, maids. All details will have to be furnished in writing. Any breach in the order, will invite action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In a separate order, the District Magistrate, has imposed orders under Section 144 of the CrPC directing all those seeking employment in petty and non-formal trade or services or to provide contract labour should provide their particulars along with their passport-sized photographs to the local police for verifications. Any breach of this order will invite action under Section 188 of the IPC. The order came into force today and will remain in force till March 8.

The orders will not effect police or military persons or any other government servant on official duty. The processions or meetings for which prior permission in writing of the District Magistrate or the SDM is obtained. The order will also not apply to weddings and funeral and other religious processions. The orders shall remain in force till March 8.


Protest against demolition of jhuggies
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — Residents of Palsora, Janta and Kumhar Colony today observed strike in protest against the demolition of jhuggies in Palsora Colony by the Chandigarh Administration. The Administration also removed jhuggies of Colony number 5 on January 5. The residents raised slogans in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Later the delegation had submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

They alleged that the administration had removed jhuggies without issuing a notice to them.

Meanwhile, Mr P.A. Sangma, general secretary of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), yesterday suspended his return journey to Delhi and visited the LBS Colony (near Palsora).

While criticising the Chandigarh Administration for this “rude action”, Mr Sangma assured the residents that he would take up the matter with the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).


9 drivers of govt vehicles challaned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — In its special drive against the misuse of official vehicles and other traffic violations, the Chandigarh police today challaned over 240 drivers.

Legally speaking, fine for traffic violations has to be paid by the driver or the officer allotted the government vehicle. Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, in the traffic regulation case, had earlier observed: “It is unfortunate that first senior officers indulge in violation of law and then make the general public and tax payers pay for their misdeeds. It will be proper for the government concerned to ensure that general public or a common tax payer is not held liable to pay the fines for the traffic offences committed by the government vehicles”. Mr Justice Kumar had added: “Such fines should be paid or in alternative be recovered only from the government officer concerned or the driver as the case may be”. Mr Justice Kumar also asked the Chief Secretaries of the two states, along with the Adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, to issue instructions in this regard. 

Nine drivers of government vehicles were reportedly challaned for zipping down the city roads with a red light atop without the official sitting inside the vehicle. Six others were challaned for driving cars with black films. Two more were challaned for smoking while driving.

The action against the violators is significant as the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in traffic regulation and pollution control case, had earlier directed against the use of red lights and black films in cars without permission stickers.

The use of mobile phones and smoking while driving too had been prohibited by the High Court. The directions were issued by Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar.

Today, the police also challaned 46 riders for manoeuvering their bikes and scooters without wearing helmets. Over 30 persons were fined for overtaking from the wrong side.

Twentyseven others were challaned for jumping the red lights. More than 60 challans were issued for miscellaneous offences, including wrong parking and crossing the yellow line.

Drivers of commercial vehicles were also not spared. Three were challaned for driving vehicles without indicators. Two others were fined for driving vehicles without break lights.

In another drive, 50 truck drivers whizzing down the city roads with mud-coated or blurry number plates were challaned by the police. Truck drivers without numbers painted on both the sides were also challaned.

The drive, under the supervision of SP Balbir Singh and DSP S.S. Randhawa, against truckers assumes significance as in a large number of hit-and-run cases the police was unable to trace the truck as the “registration number was not clearly visible”.

For the purpose of challaning, the police had set up 20 barriers all over the city. Special vigil was kept on the Housing Board Chowk, Sector 16 General Hospital roundabout, Sector 18 government press roundabout and Sector 10 museum roundabout.

Over 100 cops were also deputed for carrying out the challaning. The help of the regular police was also taken. The Station House Officers of all the police stations were also requested to join in the drive.

SP Balbir Singh, when contacted in the evening, said the intention behind the drive was not to harass the truck drivers or the VIPs, but to instil a sense of confidence among the residents by telling them that the police was serious about ensuring their safety.


UT MC mutilates city’s charm

Dear Editor,

Today, men with chain saws walked the streets and started hacking mercilessly at the city’s pride and joy — the trees. Acting with the approval of the municipality, these men have mutilated trees’ branches beyond recognition, and done a lousy job of it too.

The reason? The trees were blocking the streetlights. OK, here’s an analogy. When your nails are long, you don’t cut off your hands! There is a huge difference between trimming branches and cutting them clean off. If there is an ecology department in this ‘modern’ city, then here is a heartfelt plea: Please let an expert supervise this task. Please leave the next generation with a city to live in and love, to cherish the green treasures that our city has kept so long. General Jacob came to my school less than half a year ago, telling us to plant trees so that we can breathe clean air Sir, are you aware of the damage done in one sweep? Those trees have taken half a century to grow branches three metres long, and have all been cut in less than half-a-day. I beg of you to stop this rampage before it is too late.

Yours in sorrow and hope

Nikhil Chandra
Vivek High School



Complainant alleges police inaction in robbery case
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — It has been over a week but the police is still clueless about the dacoity in which Rs 6.81 lakh were stolen from a Sector 18 based medicine distributor’s shop. No arrests have been made so far. The complainant alleges that the police is not taking the matter seriously.

Mr Jeewan Gupta, proprietor of the firm, said he had even pinned his suspicion on one of his workers. He alleged that despite this, the police was not arresting him. Mr Gupta, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, said, “I am sure that the suspect has committed the crime, but police simply allowed him to go after interrogating him”.

Mr Gupta was of the view that the police should have used the services of a sniffer dog so that the culprit could have been identified. He remarked, “When I asked the police officers to bring a sniffer dog, they showed their inability to do so on the pretext that the Chandigarh police had only one dog”.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station was not available for comment. However, another senior police official said the police would act in accordance with the law. He said the person named by Mr Gupta had been interrogated and he might be called for further interrogation if needed. He also said recoveries in such cases were not easy.

When contacted, Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, Assistant Superintendent of Police (East), denied such allegations. He said, “The police is making all the efforts to nab the culprits”.

When asked why he had not named the suspect in the FIR, Mr Gupta said, “When I came to know about the burglary, I was shocked and I simply reported the matter to the police”. According to him, it was later that he and his family went over the whole matter and pinned suspicion on one of the employees.

Mr Gupta said the suspect had been with them for the past 16 years and had all the knowledge about the cash being in the safe. He said, “Everyday we leave a cash of about Rs 2 lakh but on that particular day, a payment had come which could not be deposited in the bank”. He said they would have deposited the amount in the bank the next day.

The proprietor said his three employees lived on the first floor of the shop. On that fateful night, he said the man they suspected drugged his two roommates and with the help of another accomplice and committed the theft.

Mr Gupta said, “He had all the knowledge about the medicines”. Mr Gupta also said he had gone to his native place on two month’s leave but returned after about four months. He said, “When I asked why he came late, he said he was in jail for two months in some land dispute case”. According to the proprietor, he had said this in front of at least 50 persons. “But he denied any such statements before the police”, he added.

Earlier, the police had claimed of laying down its hand on certain vital clues. Initial investigations carried out by the police had revealed that the “theft was carried out in the Sector 18 medical distributor’s shop by professionals”. However, they had not ruled out the possibility of the staff’s involvement in the theft, as they believed that the information about the cash could have been handed over to the professionals by the “insiders”.

A medicine distributor’s shop in Sector 18 was burgled after breaking the rear door lock and safe on the night of January 1. The robbers had decamped with Rs 6. 81 lakh.


Anandgarh project a money-spinner, says counsel
By Our Legal Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — In writ petitions challenging the construction of Anandgarh by the Punjab Government, near Chandigarh, it was argued today before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the scheme was illegal, without the jurisdiction of the Punjab Government and a money-making proposition by people having resources to make money by selling to the Punjab Government land purchased from farmers at low rates.

The arguments commenced before a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice J.L. Gupta and Mr Justice N.K. Sud.

Arguing on behalf of the petitioners, counsel submitted that the Punjab Government issued a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act in March, 2000 for acquiring land to set up the new township. In 1995, the Punjab Regional and Town Planning Act, was passed when the then Beant Singh government declared its intention to construct the township known as New Chandigarh. Later that year Mr Beant Singh was assassinated. At that time Mr Parkash Singh Badal, now Chief minister, and the Akali Dal had opposed the construction of the township “as anti-people”. On October 10, 1998, a fresh proposal was made to construct a new township of Anandgarh.

According to Mr Garewal, under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning Act, a board had to be constituted and it was the duty of the board to select the site and area for establishing the township. But this exercise had not been carried out by the board and everything had been decided by the Cabinet, which was not authorised. He submitted that the scheme had been opposed by 22 panchayats of the area and the Union of India, as it would violate the Periphery Act.

Counsel further submitted that no definite purpose was given against which the landowners could file objections. He criticised the stated purpose that NRIs wanted to settle there.

Mr Garewal was still arguing when the court rose for the day.


8,420 apply for PUDA scheme 
Demand for bigger plots less
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — About 8,420 applications have been received till date by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for different sizes of plots under a housing scheme floated in the town on November 27 last. The scheme closes on January 15. The maximum response has been for the plots up to a size of 250 sq yard.

Under the housing project in the southern part of the existing town, at least 3,959 plots of different sizes had been offered in five new sectors — land for which was being acquired. To review the response to the scheme and the progress made in the acquisition process, a meeting of the PUDA officials led by the Chief Administrator was held at Chandigarh. Officials of the Engineering Wing and the Town and Country Planning Department were also present at the meeting.

An official said the plots — ranging between four marlas and two kanals — would be handed over to the successful allottees by December 2002. Under the scheme the plots of different sizes were — 850 (125 sq yard), 850 (150 sq yard), 700 (200 sq yard), 500 (250 sq yard), 500 (300 sq yard), 300 (400 sq yard), 200 (500 sq yard) and 50 (1000 sq yard). Though 75 per cent of the applications were for the small sized plots, the plots of one and two kanals had not attracted much response so far. The PUDA has offered 50 two-kanal plots, for the first time.

During the meeting the issues of the anticipated less response to the bigger plots was discussed. While some officials opined that the one and two kanals plots could be converted into smaller plots which had high demand. The Chief Administrator, Mr KBS Sidhu, said though the final response would be known after the scheme closed, but in case there was poor response to the two-kanal plots there were chances of these being converted into one kanal and 10 marla plots. No final decision had been taken in this regard yet.

The Chief Administrator has asked the officials concerned to speed up the process of issuing Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. By rough estimates the Section 6 has to be issued within one year of the issuing of Section 4 of the Act — which means it has to be done by March 6. Around Rs 150 crore is likely to be incurred in the acquisition of 1,300 acres of land of Sohana and Mauli Baidwan villages for the five new sectors ( 76 to 80). By rough estimates the PUDA has received about Rs 55 crore on account of the earnest money with the application forms.

The Engineering Wing and the Town and Country Planning Department have been asked to workout the details within the next two months.


Dhawan opposes power tariff hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 8 — The Former Union Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, today demanded that the Mayor of Chandigarh should be elected for a five-year term instead of the present one year term. He also sought a ban on the use of party symbols in elections to Municipal Corporations and local bodies as “these institutions in Chandigarh have been converted into battle grounds to settle political rivalries both within and outside the parties”.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Dhawan said because of the members getting more involved in settling political scores among themselves, the developmental works had taken a back seat. “Let Parliament enact an Act that elections (to the corporations) should not be fought on party election symbols,” he said. At the press conference he was accompanied by Mr Devinder Singh Babla besides, Mr Sandeep Singh, Mr V.P.S. Dimpy, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Dr O.P. Verma, Mr Subhash Kataria and Mr Jagdish Pal Singh Khalra.

Mr Dhawan opposed the proposed power tariff hike in the city and demanded a probe into the incidents of power theft especially in slum and industrial areas. He alleged that power theft in their areas was done in connivance with the officials in the administration. “Instead of hiking the power tariff, the city administration should look into the reasons of heavy losses in the power sector as a result of pilferage, theft and mismanagement in transmission,” he said. Responding to former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma’s statement that Chandigarh should have an Assembly like Delhi, Mr Dhawan said he had been raising the issue for the past several years.

Mr Dhawan, who recently submitted his resignation from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) membership, after the election of Mr B.B. Bahl as the Chandigarh Pradesh Congress Committee President, refused to give reasons for the submission of his resignation.

Mr Dhawan expressed serious concern over the liquidation of Super Bazaars in the city and said as many as 204 employees of this co-opertive sector should be absorbed in other corporations as proposed by a committee. He said the management of Super Bazaars should be given to a committee of renowned businessmen on trial basis for revival of these sick units.


Goel, Kala inspect parts of city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goel, and the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, today inspected various parts of the city and heard the grievances of the residents.

The Mayor visited the Sector 26 grain market along with SE (Public Health), Mr Manmohanjit Singh, and SE (Roads), Mr I.S Sokhey, XENs and SDOs. Going around the market, he directed the officials to level the road berms and put tiles in the area in front of the police lines. He also asked them to make all the flood lights functional in Timber Market, Sabzi Mandi and Anaj Mandi for the convenience of the buyers.

Taking stock of the sanitation, he directed that the roads in and around the area be cleaned up regularly. He had earlier sought that 20 safai karamcharis be deployed for the Grain Market alone, on contract basis. He assured the traders of the area that work on the storm water lines and road gulleys in the area would be taken up on priority basis.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, started his visit with Sector 44, where a large number of residents along with their families had blocked traffic on the road near Sector 44-C market for over two hours to register their protest against the authorities for not recarpeting the V-5 roads for the past 10 years. The president of the Residents Welfare Association, Mr Satish Sharma, told Mr Kala that big and deep pits on the road had been the cause of major accidents in the past. They also sought an inquiry into the delay, but Mr Kala, while addressing them, assured them that the recarpeting of the road would be done in the next two months.

The residents also urged him to direct the authorities to provide a proper parking place in the market and to make all the streetlights functional in their area. Mr Kala said he would also speak to the authorities so as to allow them to retain the boundary walls outside the small houses.

During his visit to Burail in Sector 45, he found filth and squalor all around the area, menance of stray animals and poor sewerage system. He observed that the MC, during the past four years, had simply ignored the development of the villages.

In Badheri, the Panchayat Bhawan, housing seven offices including a post office, a bank, two dispensaries, a creche, a school and a library for the old, was without proper electricity and water connections. The old were seen reading the newspapers in the open for want of light. The employees while highlighting their problems disclosed that there was no chowkidaar in the area. Stary buffaloes and pigs could be seen roaming everywhere amidst heaps of garbage.

Later, he visited the public toilets in Sectors 15, 18 and 22, only to find those in deplorable condition. He lamented that this only created bad impression among the visitors.

Mr Kala was accompanied by a Congress leader, Mr Sunil Parti. He now plans to visit these areas along with the officials to give them necessary directions for improving the infrastructure and services. 


Prominent blood donor dead
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — A prominent blood donor of the city, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, died of renal failure here today. He was 53. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

He had donated blood for 92 times for which he was honoured a number of times by the various Administrators of Chandigarh, according to members of the family.

The body of Mr Malhotra was cremated in the evening. Among others, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, attended the funeral. The chautha will be held at the Sector 22-B Sanatan Dharam Mandir on January 11 from 1 p.m to 2 p.m.


Protest by ad hoc staff of PTL
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — A number of workers of the Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL), working on ad hoc basis in the factory, today gathered in front of the office of the Assistant Labour Commissioner (ALC) in Phase 3B 2 here and submitted a memorandum to him against an alleged move of the company to terminate their services on ad hoc basis. The Managing Director of the company, Mr Yash Mahajan, was not available for comments.

The workers lamented that the over 200 ITI-trained workers in different trades who had been working in the company on ad hoc basis for the past five to six years, had been asked to go on contract. Lamenting that they had been asked to opt for the contract on December 26 last the affected workers demanded that they should be regularised. The workers had been asked to go contract following certain new rules and regulations passed by the company, they added.

5 striking staff court arrest
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — Five striking employees, Pratap Singh Sangwan, Jagdish June, Ramavtar Kaushik, Balbir Singh and Dharamvir Malik, today courted arrest when they were stopped by the police at Matka Chowk here while moving in procession towards the Haryana Chief Minister’s residence.

A press note issued by the Haryana General and Backward Classes Employees Welfare Organisation said when the procession was stopped by the Chandigarh police, the employees staged a dharna.


5,700 vie for Ms Pretty Hands title
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — More than 11,000 women and children participated in different contests organised by Amex International at the consumer fair held at Hotel Shivalikview. The fair concluded today. While 5,700 ladies participated in the Ms Pretty Hands contest, there were more than 2,100 participants for the ‘Cuddly Child’ contest and more than 3,800 for the “Mamma Mia” contest, said a spokesperson of the company. The results of these contests will be declared on January 10.


Club gives sweaters to students
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — The Lions Club, Chandigarh Plaza, distributed sweaters to needy students of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 18. Principal of the school, Ms Rajesh Minhas thanked the president of the club.

The club will organise a Pulse Polio rally on January 18 from Sector 18 in which students of Sector 18 GGSS school will take part.

Meanwhile, more than 500 delegates from 100 Lion Clubs all over Punjab participated in an inter active seminar, Sankalp-2001 on leadership, membership development and extension organised by Lions Club International, district 311-F at Tagore Theatre yesterday, Eminent speakers, including past district governors, K.S. Sandhu, Ravi Goyal and Vice-District Governor, Dinesh Sood spoke about quality millennium membership, club extension and leadership. In his concluding remarks, Dr N.K. Grover, District Governor, emphasised that human mind should be positively utilised to take the best out of it for the service of mankind.

Challan noise polluters: DSP
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 8 — The Deputy Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar, has directed the Station House Officer to challan the residents who violate the provisions of the Noise Pollution Act, 1956. The cops have been asked to educate people about the use of loudspeakers at a low volume and issue challans who violate the Act after 10 pm.


A hit and run case
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 8 — Ms Jatinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 18, was injured when the car she was travelling in was hit by a Qualis Toyota, here yesterday. The accident happened near Makhanmajra Chowk. She was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where her condition was reported to be stable.

The driver of the Qualis ran away after leaving the vehicle. The vehicle has been impounded.

In another road accident, Ramji Mahato, a rickshaw puller suffered minor injuries, when a Maruti car hit him near Poultary Farm Chowk, here yesterday. The driver of the car reportedly sped away.

Cases have been registered under the Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code.

Truck stolen
Mr Sat Pal of Ram Darbar has alleged in a report with the police that Manjit Singh of Patiala district had stolen his D C M Toyota (mini truck) (HR-37- 8886), here during the intervening night of January 3 and 4. He reported the truck was stolen form Golden Transport, Industrial Area, Phase II.

A case under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Held with liquor
The local police arrested Surinder Kumar of Burail from the locality with 60 pouches of whisky, here yesterday. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

SAS nagar

Four arrested
The local police raided four places in the town during the past 48 hours and arrested four persons on the charges of gambling at a public place. A mobile phone and Rs 33,239 have been recovered from them.

According to information, acting on specific information the police arrested Ashwani with Rs 26,300. The three other suspects namely Sanjeev, Rajesh and Ramesh were arrested with Rs 2,440, Rs 2,039 and Rs 2,460, respectively. They have been booked under the Gambling Act.

Theft case
Kushra, a resident of Phase 2, in a complaint lodged with the police said Rs 20,000 and a camera were stolen allegedly by his servant, Ravi. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.


Medical reps start strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Jan 8 — The Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Association of India and Punjab (FMRAI) and Punjab and Chandigarh Medical and Sales Representative Union (PCMSRU) went on a five-day strike from today, in pursuance of their 27-point charter of demands.

According to Mr A. Sawhney, president, of the PCMSRU, the demands of the pharmaceutical industry include: all recruitments should be in permanent category, implementation of SPE Act, Minimum Wages Act and other labour Acts.

Statutory working rules for sales promotion employees, extension of SPE Act to field workers of all industries and constitution of industrial standing committee for sales promotion employees include the demands from the Union Labour Ministry.

The medical representatives are also demanding reverse policies leading to the closure of the sick industries and reduction of drug prices from the Central Government. Their other demands include strengthening of public sector drug companies and self-reliant drug production besides no amendment in the Indian Patent Act, 1970, and not surrendering to the WTO dictats.

The PCMSRU and FMRAI are also demanding fixing and implementation of minimum wages for sales promotion employees from the state government. 


Competition Master goes online
From Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, Jan 8 — Competition Master launched the online edition www.competitionmaster.com here today.

Mr D.D. Khanna, Editor and publisher, said the online edition, which came with a nominal subscription, was offered free to the existing subscribers of the magazine.

The online subscribers shall have access to mock tests, examination schedules and career information. The site also has an infobank that contains useful information on the India history, geography and science.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |