Thursday, January 11, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security around Parade Ground beefed up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Security in and around the Sector 17 Parade Ground has been beefed up by the Chandigarh Police following intelligence reports on the possibility of a bomb attack by terrorists on or before Republic Day.

Tents have been pitched and security guards have reportedly been posted round the clock. They have been asked to keep their eyes open for “militants-in-disguise looking out for an opportunity to strike”.

The guards have also been directed to look out for “persons roaming around the parade ground, even visiting the district courts, under suspicious circumstances”. They have further been ordered to verify the antecedents of all such persons wherever necessary”.

Confirming the fact regarding the tightening of security, a senior police officer, when contacted, revealed that the intelligence wing had also been briefed about the situation and men-in-plain clothes had been deployed at the Inter State Bus Terminus.

He added that the security personnel posted at the entrance of the District Courts had also been asked to “frisk the visitors thoroughly” and to make sure that the miscreants did not carry out a survey of the Parade Ground from the building.

Parade Ground, sources in the Police Department said, was vulnerable because of its “oneness”, besides proximity to the Inter State Bus Terminus and the district courts.

Sources added that otherwise also the area, because of the courts and the bus stand, was always overcrowded with strangers, making it difficult for the cops to identify the miscreants.

Chandigarh, sources claimed, was an “ideal target”, as, besides being the capital of two states, it has two major Air Force installations, along with a civil airport. Porous escape routes to Punjab and Haryana also made the city vulnerable.


Seat belt saved me: Gurdas Mann
by Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Punjabi pop singer Gurdas Mann says he was sleeping on the back seat of his Mitsubishi Pajero when his vehicle met with an accident 35 km from here yesterday. The seat belt which he had fastened at the insistence of his driver, Tej Pal Singh, saved his life. Tejpal was killed in the accident.

Speaking to The Tribune from his private ward amidst tight security at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 here, a visibly shaken and distressed Mann remembered that Tejpal had said “road te bahut rush hai, tussi seat belt bandh leyo.” Thanking the Almighty for saving his life, Gurdas Mann was, however, faced with the bitter truth about the death of his companion and associate of more than two decades. ‘‘I am concerned about the family of Tejpal and its welfare,” he said.

Recalling details about the accident, Gurdas Mann said: “In fact, I am not sure of when and how the accident took place. I do not remember how everything happened so fast. One moment I was sleeping and next I woke up with a jerk and a loud bang. It was when I stepped out of the car and touched my forehead that I found my hand was smeared with blood. It dawned on me that I had been hurt. But it was when I looked closely at Tejpal and felt his pulse that I realised the enormity of the situation,” he recalled.

A Maruti car coming from the opposite direction stopped to help them. “At that time, I felt it would be better to go to the Civil Hospital, Nakodar, thinking Nakodar was closer to where the accident had occurred. The person driving the Maruti, however, advised me that we should instead go to Chandigarh as better health facilities were available there. In fact, I could not even pick up my mobile from the car. But I made all calls from the mobile of the man driving the Maruti,” a grateful Mann said while recollecting the help rendered by the Maruti car driver, Mr Ravinder Singh Sodhi.

Gurdas Mann has been injured on the forehead and has received a couple of stitches. Although his X-ray and CT scan reports are normal, he has been advised bed rest by the doctors. When this reporter went to meet him, the singer, a true gentleman, despite his bandaged forehead and other problems, tried to get up and greet her.

‘‘Thanks to the concern shown by my well-wishers and the grace of God, I am absolutely fine and able to move around,” the singer said while adding laughingly that even though the doctors were not giving him permission, he felt fit enough to exercise. “Hopefully, I will be back on the stage within a week or two,” he added.Back



Wife’s appeal

Mrs Manjit Mann, wife of Gurdas Mann, appealed to all his friends, well-wishers and fans, not to rush to the GMCH. She said Gurdas felt extremely pained when people whose good wishes and concern saved his life were unable to meet him due to his condition, the doctor’s advice and tight security at the hospital

In a press release issued here, Mrs Mann said that her husband had also communicated his concern over yesterday’s incident when some mediapersons were injured in a scuffle with security personnel of the hospital.

Mrs Mann expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the concern shown by relatives, friends, well-wishers and admirers Gurdas was still in a state of deep shock at the death of his close associate and friend, Tejpal, Mrs Mann added. She said Gurdas was being looked very well by Prof S.B.S. Mann and his team of doctors and other staff members. Back


Sukhdev Dhindsa calls on Gurdas Mann 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The Union Cabinet Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, was among those who visited the injured Punjabi pop singer Gurdas Mann at the GMCH, here today.

Mr Dhindsa, accompanied by Prof S.B.S. Mann, Director Principal, GMCH, enquired about his welfare during the visit. According to Prof Mann, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal, also rang up Mrs Manjit Mann, wife of Gurdas Mann and enquired about the health of the singer.

Prof Mann has expressed his anguish over yesterday’s attack on journalists outside the emergency ward of the hospital. He said he would ensure that such incidents did not occur in future. A group of mediapersons, gathered on the gate of the emergency ward of the hospital had been roughed up by the security personnel.

Prof Mann has ordered an inquiry into the incident and has instructed the Medical Superintendent, GMCH, Prof Raj Bahdur, to submit the report within the next 72 hours.

Meanwhile, the Panchkula Journalists Association condemned the attack on the scribes at the GMCH at a meeting chaired by the president, Mr Veer Vikram Aditya. He said adequate steps should be taken by the hospital authorities to ensure that such incidents did not reoccur.


41 pc hike in auto fares soon; meters to be made mandatory
Taxi fares to go up by 33 pc
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — For the first time in four years a hike between 25 to 33 per cent was effected in fares for hiring of petrol and diesel-driven car taxis plying in city. A notification to this effect has been issued by the UT Home Department.

The orders will also be applicable in respect of maxi cabs as well as for cars. The notification says that night halting charges from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (outstation) have been fixed at Rs 125 for ordinary taxi cars and at Rs 175 for AC deluxe cars.

If the journey to a place outside Chandigarh is not more than 100 km a day and the vehicle is not freed immediately after reaching the destination, minimum fare to be charged will be for 200 km journey upto eight hours and beyond. For detention after eight hours, the detention charges will be as follows:

Ordinary taxis — Rs 25 per hour; air conditioned taxis —Rs 40 per hour and air condition luxury deluxe taxis — Rs 60 per hour.

Taxes, if any, charged by the other state government shall be extra. Separate taxi fares for journey within the city have been fixed. Hiring a taxi on a daily basis for upto eight hours will now cost Rs 450 as flat charge. Besides this the hirer will have to pay at the rate of 8 km per litre of petrol in case of Fiat and Ambassador models of cars. The rate for hiring a Maruti car will be 12 km per litre. This will be applicable for a maximum distance of 150 km.

Additional charges after eight hours beyond 150 km on the same day will be Rs 10 per hour. If one hires a taxi on a an hourly basis (with petrol/mobile oil) the charges will be Rs 200 for the first hour and Rs 150 for each subsequent hour.

The UT Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Transport, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, said fares for autorickshaws would also be hiked within the next two to three days. He, however, assured that meters will be mandatory for the autorickshaws and the bargaining system will go. Once a notification is issued the autorickshaw-owners will be given time, say for two months, to install meters before any action is initiated against them.


Road widening project on
by Poonam Baath
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The Chandigarh Administration has started widening and strengthening some major roads in the city. Work is slated to be completed by June 30. Interestingly, the Administration has taken up the task of widening the roads, a basic job of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The latter however was unable to do the needful due to fund shortage and even on account that the government’s grant in-aid cannot be increased beyond a certain limit.

As per the information made available by Superintending Engineer (Planning), Mr Kuldip Singh, the estimated cost of undertaking the work on five of the ten shortlisted roads is Rs 1.8 crore. With this budget approval, tenders have been invited. As for the rest of the roads, tenders will be invited over the next month, and works executed as soon as possible. After executing the work the charge of the roads would go back to the MC.

The roads which have been shortlisted are the V3 roads between Sectors 22 and 23; Sectors 36 and 42; Sectors 35 and 43; Sectors 34 and 44; Sector 33 and 45; Sectors 14 and 25 and those between Sector 25 and West of 25; Sector 38 and West of 38; Sector 39 and West of 38; between Sector 39 and West of 39 and the road passing between the grain market and the Golf Club.

Work has started on the roads dividing Sectors 22 and 23, 35 and 43 and between 34 and 44, where the volume of traffic has increased manifold over the years. This is mainly due to the densely populated sectors of Phase II, from Sectors 40 to 47 and the coming up of several schools and colleges in that area. These include St Stephen’s School, Sector 45 ; Government College in Sectors 42 and 46, GGDSD College, Sector 32.

The authorities with a view to further segregating the traffic in two different directions and ensure smooth flow of traffic on these heavily crowded roads have decided to do away with dividers and set up central verges instead. The central verge passing through the busy road of Sector 22 and 23 will be two and a half feet wide and a railing will be put on the same to check its misuse. Similarly, a 4-feet wide central verge will pass through the V3 road dividing Sectors 33 and 45; 34 and 44; 35 and 43; 36 and 42 to ensure more safety on these roads. However, the task of beautifying these verges will be left to the MC.

Officials maintain that the strengthening and widening of these roads and intersections will not only ease the traffic but will also improve the connectivity of Phase I and II sectors. A senior official said that this will also go a long way in decongesting Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. This will also improve connectivity to SAS Nagar.

Meanwhile, priority is being accorded to the construction of “rumble strips’’ at 90 odd spots in the city to check accidents. The 10-layered strip, along with cat-eye reflectors in three colours will be constructed on the V4 and V5 roads where they meet V 3 road or on blind curves. The police officials maintain that this will ensure a drop in the speed of vehicles plying on the subsidiary roads just before they hit the main road. The reflectors — in red, yellow and white — will help the commuters in identifying the strips from a distance and de-accelerate just before their cars and scooters step in the way of speeding vehicles on the major roads. Two reflectors will be put on the edges of the rumble strips on those roads where there are no dividers to forewarn the driver of the approaching strip. However, the same will not be constructed on the V-2,V-3 roads along with national highways, as per a notification issued by the central government.

Mr Singh said as per the Ministry of Surface Transport specifications, 10 strips of 20 cms width and 25mm thickness will be put at a distance of 1 mt each for these strips. The estimates for the same were being prepared and work on it would be undertaken soon. The ones constructed “for experimental purposes’’ last month at the Sector 34 and 44 crossing, along with the ones at the Sector 43 and 35 crossing are proving to be very effective’’.

The spots have been identified by a four-member committee headed by S.P Traffic, Mr Balbir Singh. While work of constructing these strips on 30 spots will be with the Administration, the work on the remaining will be undertaken by the MC. The idea for the same was mooted by the IG, Mr Bhim Sen Bassi based on his experience in Delhi and the project is dear to the UT Administrator, Lt Gen ( retd) JFR Jacob also. In fact, some work in this direction has already been done on the road adjacent to Raj Bhavan in Sectors 7 and 8 where the dividers have not only been made more prominent but also beautified. It indeed is a driver’s delight at night.


‘Education Bandh’ called off
by Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — An “Education Bandh” in private colleges called by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union on January 18 has been called off.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the PCCTU office-bearers at Ludhiana where deliberations lasted well over two hours. There were differences of opinion in deliberations. However, the decision was unanimous, sources said here today.

The decision directly effects 2900 teachers, nearly 140 principals, 250 DPEs, 229 additional Punjabi teachers and approximately 2570 non-teachers.

The teachers had decided for a march and rally in the constituency of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Announcement of a positive decision by the government is expected to be a time-bound one, which teachers hope will be released by the first week of February.

It was ultimately resolved that in view of the positive communication by Master Mohan Lal, Education Minister for Higher Education and Mr Amarjit Singh, a senior state secretary earlier, the union has decided to defer the bandh.

The Chief Minister had given his nod to the Bill which was unanimously accepted in the House, Prof Charanjit Chawla, General Secretary of the PCCTU, said while talking to The Tribune. The Governor gave his nod on April 17. The Act was also notified (extra-ordinary) on April 26, 1999.

A meeting of the Joint Action Committee comprising the PCCTU, the principals, managements and non-teaching wings took up the matter with the Chief Secretary, Punjab.

The main issue on the burner is 80 per cent government share to 23 unaided colleges. Despite hope for an implementation within a year after the issue last figured prominently, nothing has been done in this direction, an office-bearer said.

There is a slight opposition to the resolution of the pension being accepted from the cut-off date of April, 1999. The officials have asked for a month’s period which was under consideration.

The pension issue hit the headlines in a notification in 1992. The retirees between this period and 1999 are an aggrieved lot saying they were being deprived of their right. However, it is being considered seriously that if the matter is allowed to hang fire, the matter will continue endlessly.

College teachers of non-aided colleges seek reimbursement of salaries of 26 days which have not been given to them for a nationwide agitation. All government colleges and even universities staff has been paid for the same duration.

Another issue which received the government nod for a quick decision was the payment of arrears according to UGC scales with effect from September, 1986.

The state executive of the PCCTU will meet at Guru Nanak College, Doraha, on January 26 to decide on the issues. Does the executive endorse the office-bearers decision will be very crucial for the issue. Conveyors of all three universities of the state, DAV colleges and SGPC colleges are expected to participate.


Special literacy project for city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The Government of India has decided to sanction a special project for Chandigarh to focus on educating that part of the population which has remained out of the earlier phases of the National Literacy Mission (NLM). In what is being considered as a pat on the back of the Chandigarh Administration, the National Director, NLM, cum Joint Secretary, Adult Education, Government of India, Mr Jagan Mathews, lauded the efforts of the Chandigarh Administration as far as the achievements of literacy in UT were concerned, and said that Chandigarh is an example which every neighbour state ought to follow.

In an excellent presentation made by the city Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar, on the concluding day of the Northern Regional workshop of the Directors of State Resource Centres, Jan Shiksha Sansthans and State Directors, Adult Education, from North India, he gave a briefing of the achievements of the administration in having successfully launched the third phase of the NLM.

Stating that Chandigarh is a peculiar city in the sense that almost everyone who lives here is a migrant as they have all come from outside to settle here, Mr Ramshekhar went on to relate that out of the population of approximately 9 lakh people in the city, 83 per cent are educated. But the reason that the literacy levels tend to remain what they are is because of the large migrant labour population which comes to the city seasonally to make a living. And it is this group which ends up being enrolled by the CE centres but not completing the programme as they leave for their hometowns in winters.

Mr Ramshekhar also reported that there was no lack of coordination between the various agencies working in the mission but pointed out that the NLM at the centre had almost ignored the city’s presence on its map. He also came down heavily upon the city councillors who “are all educated but have made very little contribution towards the spread of education.”

During the presentation it was also pointed out that the city NGOs are relatively less involved in the spread of education but this was attributed to the fact that the city NGOs were doing exemplary work in other fields. Mr R.S. Gujral, Secretary, Education, Chandigarh, was also present during the presentation and informed that the NGOs were running 8 night schools in the city colonies and the number was likely to go up.

The states of Punjab, Uttranchal, Haryana had given their presentations yesterday while UP presented its status report today. The Education Secretary, Punjab, Mr R.S. Sandhu, was also present during the presentation. Ms Manjeet Paintal, Director, Regional Resource Centre, Panjab University, thanked the participants and the state Education Department and the NLM for providing this platform for the directors to highlight their experiences and problems.Back


United communities body on anvil
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Preambular Declaration for establishing a global body — the United Communities Organisation — was adopted at a representative meeting of eminent statesmen, scholars, political thinkers, opinion-makers and leading figures representing different communities and religious traditions held on Tuesday at India International Centre, New Delhi.

Those who attended the meeting representing different communities and religious traditions and dispensations included Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi; Mr S.S. Manchanda, Pramukh International Namdhari Trust; Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University; Mr Avtar Singh Hit, President, Delhi Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee; Mr L.M. Singhvi, MP; Mr Kulmohan Singh; Brahma Kumari Asha; Dr Sarojini Mahishi; Dr V.S. Lall; Dr A.K. Merchant; Khawaja Hasan Sani Nizami, New Delhi; and Muni Amrender Kumar.

According to a press note issued here today, the formation of this international forum resulted from the interaction and dialogue with leading figures of different communities in different parts of the world. They highlighted the need of setting up a global organistion for bringing together diverse communities of the world now divided and sub-divided by different kinds of denominational lines.

The historic declaration has laid down the following three main postulates for a new world order:-

a) Recognition and respect for self-defined identifies of racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious communities;

b) Participation of all communities, co-equally, in the political economic, cultural and social arenas based on mutual understanding reciprocal accommodation, fraternal bonds and recognition of interdependence.

c) Self-withdrawal and aggressive recourse to fundamentalism are negative responses to the conditions of repression; if the majoritarian fundamentalism is destructive, the minoritarian fundamentalism is self-destructive. So the minorities have to remain all the more vigilant against regress into fundamentalism.

Blessing the setting up of the United Communities Organisation, Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi said that different communities in interaction with one another have an essential role to play in the process of evolving the 21st century society, bringing into being a new world dispensation that would ensure that communities their free self-expression and self-development.

Unfolding the concept and objectives of the United Communities Organisation, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala (President, Guru Gobind Singh Foundation) observed that peace among nation-states of the world, to a very larger extent, depends upon peace between different communities — racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic etc.; he added that the conflicts based on class contradictions that marked the 20th century have given way to new kinds of conflicts which are of ethnic and ethno-religious nature. Dr Ahluwalia contended that the concept of nation and nation-states, which dominated the last three centuries has now yielded to the concept of community in contemporary political discourse. This makes it all the more necessary that different communities of the world whether in majority or in minority should be united together in the same manner in which the United Nations Organisation (UNO) had taken birth to bring together different nations and nation-states after the World War II. Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia said that the United Communities Organisation would work in close cooperation with the UNO.

Mr S.S. Manchanda presented the declaration which was unanimously adopted. He also announced that a representative convention of different communities would be held in coming June in New York, whereafter an international conference with representatives of all communities from different parts of the world would be held in Bangkok in September.

For the New York convention and the Bangkok conference and also for drawing up the constitution of United Communities Organisation, a Preparatory Committee was set up with Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia as its Chairman and Mr Surinder Singh Manchanda as its Co-chairman with Yogi Harbhajan Singh as Chief Patron and Mr L.M. Singhvi, MP, as Patron. Back


Model’ among 3 arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — A Mumbai-based model-cum-actress was among three alleged sex workers arrested by the Chandigarh Police with the help of decoy customers late in the evening on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old "model" was reportedly pushed into prostitution after being raped by her uncles and a family friend when she was "just a child". Initial interrogation has reportedly revealed that the accused, born and brought up in Panchkula, was soliciting clients "as she had fallen short of money".

She claimed that she owned a flat in Mumbai and reportedly told the police that she was getting Rs 50,000 per performance and had even danced during a show organised at Hrithik Roshan's wedding.

The suspect, according to sources in the police department, had also told the policemen that she had performed in a couple of shows held abroad. Sources added that the 'model' had also completed a course for becoming an air hostess. They added that her father had expired when she was still a teenager.

She, along with another girl, was arrested during a special drive held under the supervision of Assistant Superintendent of Chandigarh Police Dr. Sagar Preet Hooda.

According to sources the girl was operating here as a member of a gang headed by a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula, along with a resident of Narwana. The two alleged gangsters were also apprehended and a mobile phone was also recovered from their possession.

The other girl was taken into custody after another gang being operated by Krishna alias Aunty of Sector 20 was busted by the police. Mobile phones were reportedly being used by the gang to contact the customers.

Sources said two cases under Section 4,5,7,8 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act have been registered.


Fog forces change in school timings
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The ongoing cold wave and foggy weather in the region have forced a change in the school timings in the Union Territory.

Timings of single shift schools have been changed from 8 am to 8.30 am in the morning and schools will close at 2.30 pm instead of 2 pm. Similarly in the morning shift the timings will be from 7.30 am to 8.15 am and the school will close at 2 pm instead of 1.30 pm. For the afternoon shift the school timings would be from 1 pm to 5.30 pm instead of 12.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

A press note issued by the Chandigarh Administration said the teachers working in the evening shift would observe the same previous timing. The recess time will be curtailed accordingly. These timings would remain in force till January 31.


Middle standard exams deferred
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The middle standard examination for students in the local schools will be delayed by a month this year as teachers and the staff of the Chandigarh Education Department are busy with census duty.

Examinations will start tentatively on March 7. Traditionally, the middle standard exams commence in the first week of February. Last year, the middle standard examination commenced on February 8 and concluded on February 29. The result was declared on March 31.

In view of the census operations, the Education Department, UT, has decided that middle standard examinations will commence tentatively from March 7 and will conclude by the end of March. The results are likely to be declared in the last week of April. The Education Department will put extra staff for expeditious evaluation so as to ensure that result is declared in the last week of April.


Undertrial’s death: viscera sent to Patiala
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The viscera of Shiv Kumar, an undertrial in a murder case, who had died at the Burail Jail, was sent today to Patiala for chemical examination.

Confirming the information, the Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police Mr S.C. Sagar, when contacted, said a set of sealed documents had also been sent to the Head of the Pathology Department at the Sector 32 hospital.

Shiv Kumar, had been taken to the hospital from the jail after he complained of being unwell minutes before losing consciousness at about 7.40 in the morning a couple of days ago.

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

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

The officials had also claimed that Shiv Kumar had requested his mother to make the arrangements for his bait 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 in the jail ever since.


Hike in water, sewer rates to snowball
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 10 — The issue of hike in the water and sewer rates in the local civic body is likely to snowball at the forthcoming meeting of the council. The Opposition councillors today threatened to sit on dharna if the hike was not withdrawn.

The councillors, led by Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari, today told mediapersons that the loss to be suffered by the civic body by withdrawing the hike could be made up by checking the large scale pilferage of octroi. They claimed that the president of the council, Mr Kulwant Singh had promised to put the item of water and sewer rates hike on the agenda of the next meeting scheduled to be held in the last week of this month.

“If the issue was not put on the agenda we will protest” said Mr Manjit Singh, a councillor. Ms Harbans Kaur, a councillor from Phase X, said the hike in sewer fee was unwarranted. They said the Citizens Welfare Council had also threatened to sit on a dharna in front of the council office on January 21.

Besides, the councillors said the maximum pilferage in octroi was taking place on the building material items. Citing an example they said a number of dealers selling cement had opened their godowns in the villages, located within the town but outside the municipal limits. The cement from the godowns was being sold in the town and its peripheral areas in connivance with the octroi collection staff. Allowing the councillors to inspect the working of the octroi posts has been demanded by the councillors.

On the issue of withdrawing the 40 safai karamcharis unofficially working at the residence of officers and politicians, Mr Patwari said at least 50 per cent of the karamcharis were yet to be withdrawn. Some drivers and peons of the council were posted at Chandigarh, but drew their salaries from here.

Demanding the stray cattle menace be controlled in the township, they said the cattle pond was insufficient. They have sought probe into the working of the wing engaged in catching the stray cattle.

Alleging overcharging on wood at the local cremation ground, Mr Manjit Singh said the attendant was charging Rs 470 for 4 quintals of wood against Rs 380, the fixed rate by the civic body. He said there was more to the racket at the cremation ground as the Junior Engineer in charge was running the real business in the name of attendant. A thorough probe has been demanded in to the entire affair. The president of the council, Mr Kulwant Singh said he had so far received no written complaint in this regard.


Cop evicted from flat
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 10 — Cops do not always call the shots. At times they can be at the receiving end too. In one such incident, a constable of Ropar police, posted at the Phase VIII police station here, was allegedly thrown out of his flat in the Commando Complex in Phase XI here by the officials of the Fourth Commando unit.

The policeman, Mr Bajinder Singh, was in his flat when the officials came to get the house vacated. He said his wife had been ill for the past some time and he had requested to be allowed in the flat for more time after he was served notice to vacate the place several months ago. He said he lodged a Daily Diary Report (DDR) at the Phase 8 police station. Alleging that his household goods had not been given back to him, he said he had met the Superintendent of Police, SAS Nagar, Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan.

The Commandant of the Fourth Commando, Mr KS Pannu, when contacted, termed the allegations of the constable as baseless. “The flat was got vacated as per the departmental procedure and the constable had vacated the flat willingly after he had been served the notice to vacate the same,” he said. He added that there was a waiting list of the employees who had to be given the flats. Mr Pannu said the constable had been offered another flat in the complex.


Lawyers chambers: memorandum given to Chautala
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 10 — A memorandum seeking allotment of land for construction of lawyers’ chambers was submitted by the District Bar Association to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, here today.

Led by the president of the association, Mr S. Kashyap, and the Secretary, Mr Deepak Kapoor, the members of the delegation informed that the government grant approval to the project had been pending for three years.

They said the Deputy Commissioner and the District Bar Association had entered into an agreement in 1999 in which detailed terms and conditions along with a site plan and a map of the complex had been prepared.

Mr Kapoor said the Chief Minister had assured the delegation that the agreement would be adhered to and that construction of chambers would begin soon.

The lawyers had abstained from work and gone on an indefinite strike to protest against the indifferent attitude of the administration regarding the demand for the construction of chambers.

It was then that the administration stepped in and worked out an agreement with the lawyers under which the proposal of construction of chambers for them was forwarded.


Rally by medical reps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 —Medical representatives working in pharmaceutical companies observed a strike and organised a rally in front of the office of the Labour Commissioner, Punjab and Chandigarh, here today.

Addressing the rally, the speakers highlighted the anti-people drug policies of the Central Government and appealed to medical representatives to launch an agitation against these.

The members of the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Union of India submitted a memorandum regarding fixation and implementation of minimum wages for sales promotion for employees.


Stone laid for UT Guest House
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The foundation stone of the additional block of the UT Guest House in Sector 6 was laid by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F. R. Jacob (retd), here today. The new wing will have 30 rooms and 11 VVIP suites.

The Chief Engineer, Mr R.K. Jain, informed the Administrator that a contract for the project had already been awarded and structural work would be completed within 18 months. Among the officials to attend the function were the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, the Advisor to the Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai, the Chairperson of Chandigarh Housing Board, Ms Neeru Nanda, the Home Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, besides other senior officers.

Shatabadi delayed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Heavy fog has forced the Northern Railway to operate all mail and express trains at a speed of 30 km per hour in the region resulting in delays between 4 to 6 hours for long distance mail and express trains.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident the Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabadi Express departing from here in the afternoon was delayed by more than 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Railway sources while explaining the technical reasons for the delay said a ‘‘pin’’ that is used to secure undercarriage parts in a bogie had fallen off. Workmen at Chandigarh had tried to replace these but could not as the exact size of pins used in an air-conditioned coach was not available here.Back


Navya Zari show
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Navya Zari, an establishment which specialises in zari work has exhibited some of it’s home furnishing pieces at Innoxa in Sector 8.

Exquisite dabka, zardozi, ari, tissue applic, sippi work and nalki on rich material like silk, velvet satin and organdy has produced a few fine pieces of cushions, table runners and dining sheets. One can get a four-piece cushion cover sets starting from Rs 1100 to Rs 3000.

Navya Zari, the brainchild of Vimi Singh, zari work has demanded in Delhi and abroad. 


Pedestrian hurt, driver held
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Sushil Kumar was arrested after his three-wheeler hit a pedestrian, Surinder Kumar, near a petrol pump at Mani Majra, yesterday. The accident happened late in the night and the pedestrian reportedly sustained minor injuries. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

House burgled
Mr Ishwar Singh of Sector 16 reported to the police that his house was burgled on Tuesday night. The thieves reportedly took away one gold chain and Rs 1,000. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Vehicles stolen
Mr Gurpartap Singh of Sector 43 reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-C-1121) was stolen from his residence. Dr M Phani Kumar, a resident doctor at the PGI, reported that his Kinetic Honda (AP-05-H-3674) was stolen from the PGI parking. Cases under Section 379 of Indian Penal Code have been registered.

Held with whisky
The police arrested Avtar Singh of Naya Gaon village from Sector 24 for carrying liquor pouches yesterday evening. A total of 48 pouches were recovered from his possession. A case under Excise Act has been registered.Back


Jeweller duped
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — A Sector 19 jeweller today complained to the police that three clean-shaven thugs, posing as customers, escaped in a car after taking three gold sets of 110 g on the pretext of showing them to the family waiting at home in Sector 18.

According to sources in the police department, the three, aged about 35 years came in an Indica car and asked for the ornaments. Two of the thieves reportedly took two sets after making one of them sit in the shop.

The third thug reportedly picked up another set and left the shop on the pretext of handing over the jeweller’s visiting card to the others so that they could call back from the Sector 18 house. Sources added that within minutes, the three were gone.

In a similar incident, a Sector 34 jeweller had recently alleged that three gold sets of about 18 tolas were taken away after a middle-aged person came to the shop posing as a customer.

He had reportedly asked his son to show the sets to his wife sitting outside the shop in a car. He had himself escaped on the pretext of showing her the jeweller’s visiting card.

In yet another incident, two youngsters had reached the Sector 37 shop of a jeweller and had escaped with gold chains on the pretext of seeing them in natural light.

Following the thefts, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, had advised the jewellers to tighten security after holding a special meeting with them.

The SSP had reportedly told the jewellers that licences for keeping arms could be provided to the security guards if desired. He had also asked the shopkeepers to keep the jewellery in chest and to be careful of the customers, according to sources in the police department.

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