Saturday, January 20, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal structures demolished
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 19 — Encroachments in Rajiv Colony and Indira colony in Sector 16 here were razed to the ground by the enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) this morning in an operation which lasted over three hours.

Carried out amidst heavy police arrangement to ward off any trouble, the anti-encroachment drive began at 11 a.m. While the JCB began the task of demolishing the illegal structures, the residents of the colony alleged that HUDA officials were playing foul by demolishing their residences.

The Estate Officer, Mr D.P. Singh, said that the encroachments were on HUDA land and on the area earmarked for a green belt. Moreover, these were not allowing construction of a boundary wall which had been left midway despite allotment of a contract.

''We have attempted the demolition drive on two previous occasions but the staff had gone back with assurances that the residents of the colony would move out on their own. This has not happened so far,'' he added.

Earlier, employees of the Electricity Department came to the two colonies and removed the electricity meters from the houses. The residents said that they had been paying their bills regularly and the removal of meters was unjustified.

The residents alleged that they were forced to stay in the colony because HUDA had failed to allot the one-marla piece of land under the rehabilitation scheme even though they had paid the instalment of Rs 2,500 each.

''We have been residing here for the past 15 years. Why have they suddenly woken up to the fact that the land belongs to HUDA? Also, they have bulldozed all that lay in our houses which included not only belongings but our earnings as well,'' rued Phoolwati who said the demolition had cost her a loss of over Rs 20,000.

As they hurled abuses at the pradhan of the colony for not intervening and stopping the HUDA officials against destroying their houses, over 150 police personnel ensured they didn't turn violent.

''They come begging for votes to us but are nowhere to be seen when it comes to helping us out of a tight spot. Let them come next time,'' the agitated women added.

New equipment for an STD booth, a cycle repair shop, small shops opened in houses and other electrical gadgets, besides items of daily use were reduced to mangled iron mixed up in the debris of the houses. 


DFSO Kharar caught accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The District Food Supply Officer, in charge of Kharar and Mohali subdivision of the Ropar district was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 6000, at his Mohali residence from a businessman today.

According to information available from sources in the Vigilance Department, Punjab, the accused officer, Sant Singh was caught red-handed and the money presented to him as bribe by the complainant, Sarabjit Singh Dhillon, was recovered from the left hand pocket of the jacket of the accused.

It is learnt that the accused DFSO had threatened to cancel the license of the oil agency of the complainant, on the pretext that atleast three of the oil depots that he was supplying kerosene oil to, had indulged in blackmarketing of kerosene by selling the old stock of kerosene oil at the new higher prices in October, 2000. An inquiry against five such depot holders had since been marked to the DFSO by the District Food and Civil Supplies Comptrollor, Ropar, on the directions of the Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies.

It is learnt that the Government of India had revised kerosene prices from Rs. 6.80 per litre to Rs 10.05 per litre on September 29, 2000, with specific instructions that all stockists sell their old stock at the old rates. However, five depots in Kharar and Ropar were allegedly caught selling the old stocks at new rates.

Meanwhile, the oil company of the complainant, Dhillon Oil Agency at Kumbaran village near Mohali, was getting a quota of eight tankers each month ( 12,000 litre per tanker). “On January 17, the complainant received one tanker of kerosene carrying 12,000 litre of oil and approached the accused DFSO in order to get his stock registered. However, the complainant was reportedly threatened by the accused and was asked to either pay up or face the music,” informed DSP Vigilance, Ropar, Malwinder Singh Sidhu, who arrested the accused this evening.

When contacted, the SP, Vigilance, Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, while confirming the incident, said that further investigations into the case were on. He said that the accused had been arrested under Sections 7,13 (2), 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and that the Vigilance Department had also seized the bill books and stock register of the Dhillon Oil Agency from the possession of the accused.


Powers of MC officials redefined
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 19 — The work of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council was divided between the Executive Engineer (EO), Mr K.S. Brar, and the Additional Executive Engineer (AEO), Mr Charanjeet Singh, by the head of the civic body today.

While the Engineering Wing and the Octroi Wing will now be looked after the Executive Engineer, the work of enforcement, stray cattle, sanitation, street-lighting and accounts will be the responsibility of the AEO.

The issue of diving the work between the two officials had been pending before the civic body for the past more than two weeks. Earlier, a possibility of diving the town into two administrative zones along the road diving Phases VII and VIII was being explored by the civic body.

The decision to divide the work was taken at the last meeting of the council on December 27 past year. The municipal councillors had allowed the head to study different possibilities in this regard. The issue of curtailing the powers of the EO was also taken up at the meeting. Earlier, the AEO was looking after octroi collection and enforcement and the EO was looking after sanitation, development works, public dealing and accounts.


Cong bags coveted posts in MC panel elections
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Notwithstanding the conspicous absence of the majority of the BJP-SAD councillors during meetings held for elections for the office-bearers of six sub-committees, the minority Congress walked away with major posts. The Congress councillors bagged posts of chairperson in as many as four sub-committees and deputy chairpersons in as many as five sub-committees. The elections to the other three sub-committees will be held on January 25.

The trend was again set by nominated councillors who, after furthering victory on the Congress to the posts of Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor, once again held the key to today’s elections at the MC office. Interestingly, all the top posts have been bagged by women, three from Congress and one nominated councillor.

While elections to the five sub-committees were conducted smoothly and the nominees were declared elected unopposed, the election of Ms Kamlesh as the chairperson of the Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee was marked by some controversy within the party, following which she resigned from the chairmanship of the said committee. The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, while accepting her resignation directed that the elections for the chairman of the committee be held on January 29. The elections for the chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee also could not be held since Mr O.P. Goel had resigned from the chairmanship of the committee as well as from its membership on January 16.

Meanwhile, nominations were filed today for the posts of chairperson and deputy chairperson in the remaining three sub-committees namely the Apni Mandi Committee; Arts, Culture and Sports Committee and Electricity Committee. Since the cooperation of the nominated councillors is a must for the minority ruling Congress councillors, two nominated councillors today filed their papers, while Ms Surya Pandit filed the nomination for the post of chairman of Arts, Culture and Sports Committee and Mr R.K. Aggarwal filed the same for the chairmanship of the Electricity Committee. Major-Gen Gurdial Singh ( retd) is likely to file the nominations for the chairmanship of Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee on January 22.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, and the nominated councillor, Mr R.S Kailey, filed the nominations for the post of chairman and deputy chairman of the Apni Mandi committee in the morning. While Mrs Satinder Dhawan filed the nominations to the post of deputy chairman of the Arts, Culture and Sports Committee; Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala filed it for the deputy chairman of the Electricity committee. All nominations, except Ms Surya Pandit’s were filed today in the office of the Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar said today. Ms Pandit had filed them yesterday. The elections to these committees will be held on January 25 where they will be declared elected unopposed.

Ms Satinder Dhawan and Ms Suneeta (Congress councillors) were declared elected unopposed as chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Roads Committee, Ms Kamlesh and Ms Satinder Dhawan elected as the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the House tax Assessment Committee, respectively.

In the elections to the Slum Development Committee, Ms Kamlesh and Ms Suneeta were elected unopposed to the two coveted posts.

Ms Suneeta and Ms Satinder Dhawan were declared elected for the posts of chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Environment and City Beautification Committee. The nominated councillor, Ms Surya Pandit, was declared elected deputy chairperson of the Legal Affairs Committee by Mr R.K. Aggarwal. Elections for the post of chairman to the said committee will be held later since the resignation of BJP councillor, Mr O.P. Goyal, from the membership of the committee has been referred to the House.

Even though for the elections to the last two committees only three members were present, but the nominees stand elected as according to the Act, the quorum of at least more than half of the members of the sub-committee, are required to be present only if any business is to be transacted at a meeting. In these cases, they were simple meetings and since there were only one nomination for each of the posts, they were declared elected unopposed by the respective presiding officer, said the Secretary, MC.

Meanwhile, the elections of Ms Kamlesh as the chairperson Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee held at the end of the day was marked by some controversy soon after the presiding officer Ms Saudamini Bambah declared her elected. Following pressure from the party leaders and fellow Congress councillors, she was subsequently forced to resign from the post. However, in the resignation addressed to the Mayor she has stated that “since she has been elected as chairman of two other committees, she will not be able to do justice to the third committee.”

The Mayor has asked the Commissioner to conduct the elections of the chairman of the committee on January 29.


MC directive on community centre bookings
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — With a view to streamline the cash collection of bookings done at community centres and to check any move of embezzlement of funds by the supervisors, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has issued directions that the cash will now be deposited at the cash collection centre at the head office and not directly in bank.

The Assistant Commissioner-I, Mr Ashok Vashisht, said the supervisors of comunity centres in the city have been directed to deposit the cash collected during the day by way of booking charges in the head office on the same day or latest by the next day, in case they get late on the first day. It will subsequently be deposited in the bank by the cashier at the head office.

The earlier practice was of depositing the amount in the bank. The change, according to him, will help maintain proper records both at the cash collection centre as well as in the bank. Proper receipts issued by concerned persons will ensure that there is no misappropriation of funds at any level. The funds include the booking charges of the centre, the lawn and the hall and the membership fee.

It may be recalled that the MC had recently suspended the supervisor of Sector 16 Rose Club Community Centre following alleged embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rs 2,32,000. He had allegedly not deposited any amount in the bank since 1996. He has been issued a chargesheet and inquiry is on.


‘MC can’t meet budget target this year’
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Jan 19 — Development works involving about Rs 2.5 crore are likely to be cleared at a meeting of the local Municipal Council slated for January 22.

The Council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, said yesterday that the amount was not much as there were 27 wards in which development had to be carried out.

When asked whether the issue relating to the hike in the water rates and sewerage cess would be on the agenda, he said this would be considered at the next meeting. At present details were being worked out to find whether the charges could be reduced. The council did not want to cut the charges in a hurried manner and later be unable to provide satisfactory services. He claimed that the financial position of the Council at present was not good.

The president said there was a move to privatise the water and sewerage services. If the plan works out, it would become easier to reduce the charges.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari, a municipal councillor from the opposition side, said that he along with certain councillors would be staging a dharna if the issue of hike in water and sewerage rates was not put up on the agenda of the meeting. He said that earlier certain councillors had made a written request in this regard and they had been assured that the issue would be discussed at the next meeting.

He said that if the civic body faced a financial loss by withdrawing the hike the same could be compensated by checking large scale pilferage of octroi and tehbazari.

Mr N.K. Marwaha, a municipal councillor, said at present the local body had only about Rs 1.5 crore in its coffers. He said about Rs 2.5 crore had been spent on putting up mild steel railing at various places. The income had been coming down but the expenditure had not been kept in proportion to the income, he added.

He said the council would not be able to achieve its targeted income from octroi this year. He said till date the council had earned around Rs 11 crore from octroi against the budget estimate of over Rs 15 crore. And it was not possible for the civic body to earn the remaining Rs 4.5 crore till March 31. He said the octroi income had come down because certain industrial units had closed down and there was a general recession.

He said that council could increase its income only if PUDA hands over the developed sectors to the civic body completely. The income coming from selling plots even in developed sectors was going to PUDA.

Even the buildings of community centres in various phases and the swimming pool had not been handed over to the council. The income from all these sources was again being collected by PUDA.


Ban on cell phones in 3 colleges
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Bugged by the constant buzzing of mobile phones in classrooms, three city colleges today imposed a ban on their use by both teachers and students.

The ban, according to sources, has been imposed on using the phone in libraries and the classrooms. Notices to this effect have been pasted in Government College Sector 11, besides GGDSD College in Sector 32. Verbal instructions have also been issued in Government College for Girls in Sector 11. Other colleges are expected to follow suit.

The ban, said sources, was imposed less than 24 hours after Himachal Pradesh University reportedly prohibited their use in educational institutes.

Sources added that besides irritating other students and teachers, students were even bunking classes after receiving calls from friends. Teachers also moved out of classrooms to attend to calls, claimed sources.

It all started with a notice at the local GGDSD college, taking cue from the decision of Himachal Pradesh University. Government College, Sector 11 followed suit today. While most of the college principals state that verbal orders had long been issued to the students for not using mobile phones in colleges, an official decision has been pending on the issue.


Drivers warned against using mobile phones
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — In less than 24 hours after a mobile phone was snatched from an 18-year-old school girl riding pillion on a scooter, the Chandigarh Police today warned the subscribers against using the set while driving down the city roads and streets on cars and two-wheelers.

Claiming the use of mobile while driving to be against the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the traffic regulation and pollution control case, the police added that the “riders also made themselves vulnerable to attack by snatchers”.

Thursday’s incident, a senior officer said, was a testimony to this effect. He added that snatching mobile sets from the hands of causal riders was easier than pulling a chain from around a woman’s neck.

Tracing the sets, costing anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000, was also “difficult” as compared to chains and other ornaments, the officer said. Besides this, the loss of concentration while using mobile sets had also resulted in several accidents, he claimed.

Giving details of the incident, the officer revealed that the mobile phone, tightly clutched by Punit Sidhu of Sector 7, was snatched by two scooter-borne youngsters near the Sector 17 and 18 traffic signal while they were returning home from shopping.

Punit was sitting behind her sister Supreet when a turbaned youth, along with another “guy wearing a helmet”, came parallel to their scooter on the slip lane.

“Just as we turned in, the turbanded youth grabbed the instrument — a Nokia 8210,” said plus two student Punit. “I tried to resist but they were fast. It was about 8.30 p.m. then. I was holding the set as we had received a call from dad.”

Punit and her sister tried to chase the duo but the culprits reportedly took a wrong turn. The two sisters, however, managed to jot down the scooter’s number before handing it over to the police.

Taking up her complaint, the police has registered a case under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and was investigating the matter. Sources in the Police Department claimed that the statement of witnesses were being recorded.


Nabha shootout: case registered
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Jan 19 — The Rajpura police has registered a case against Tarlochan Singh and his 15-year-old son Talwinder Singh in the Swaroop Singh murder case.

According to the police sources, the main accused has absconded after the shootout. “Talwinder Singh, who was sent by his grandfather, Joginder Singh, to restrain Tarlochan Singh from taking any drastic step, has also absconded with his father,” sources said.

When contacted, Mr Joginder Singh said he had been the first man to inform the police about the incident. He, however, denied the allegations regarding a visit by Amrik Singh to his house. A case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.

Sources said residents of Nabha village today gheraoed Amrik Singh Patton, a close relative of the accused.


Move for UNESCO status for Rock Garden
By A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — A move is afoot to declare Nek Chand's masterpiece in rock, the world-famous Rock Garden, as international cultural heritage of mankind (UNESCO).

It is perceived as the largest monument ever made by a single individual as well as one of the most unique folk art environments in the world. The suggestion for declaring it as a cultural heritage of mankind has come from Prof Anton Rajer, Folk Art Conservator, University of Wisconsin, USA, in a report he submitted to the Nek Chand Foundation, London, after visiting Rock Garden a year ago.

The nomination process, he points out, is a complicated one, but the entire city of Chandigarh should have the designation. It is a project in which Panjab University, Chandigarh, should also be involved.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration plans to celebrate the silver jubilee of Rock Garden in a big way in March.

According to official sources here today, the celebrations may take place in the first week of March and will be spread over several days, possibly a week.

The Nek Chand Foundation in London will organise a special trip to Chandigarh to participate in the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the public opening of the Rock Garden. As many as 14 folk art specialists and lovers of the Rock Garden from different parts of the world are among those expected to attend the celebrations, according to Prof Rajer, Cultural Preservation Specialist, University of Wisconsin, USA. In a communication to the Chandigarh Administration, Prof Rajer has expressed a desire to visit certain other spots also in the region.

In his report, Prof Rajer has also suggested establishment of an archives at the site of the Rock Garden. He points out that there are a lot of materials about Mr Nek Chand at the site, none of which has ever been catalogued. It is important that an administrator be hired who can answer the phone in various languages, and who can start inventorying and organizing all the archival material, a substantial body of which might be lost to history if it is not properly cared for. In addition, after an administrator has been hired, he can embark upon an educational programme for children, the creation of the guide services, as a part of the administration office that needs to be established.

A fax machine needs to be purchased, a PC computer, as well as other office equipment. All of this could take place after an administrator was hired. And the administration, depending upon the structure of Rock Garden Society and Nek Chand Foundation could jointly fund the project. If Rock Garden Society would pay the salary of the administrator, Nek Chand Foundation could possibly purchase the infrastructure materials, such as the fax machine and computer. It can be a wonderful binational Non-Government Organisation (NGO) project. An educational centre should be established in the cafeteria wing area for visitors.

A special oral history project should be undertaken having Nek Chand walk around the garden with a video camcorder recording his impressions in Hindi of each area of the garden. In turn, these videos should be translated and transcribed into English and made widely available for researchers as the basis of an authoritative book that would be written at some point in the future. The work should include biography, history, construction consequence and related topics.

A training programme should be started whereby guides could be trained to give guided tours throughout the site in English, Hindi, and Punjabi. This would certainly help people better understand the site. The guides could work out the educational centre.

A brochure and postcards in English and Hindi should be written and sold for approximately Rs 10 or Rs 15 at the site for visitors. Unfortunately, there are no materials available at the site, either inside or outside at the site, explaining what the site is all about. A short video, approximately 30 minutes in English, should also be made about Rock Garden.

An authoritative book should be written after the survey plan of the site is completed and the video filming of the oral history interviews with Mr Nek Chand concluded.

Another item that Mr Nek Chand personally mentioned should be of high priority is the acquisition of the laughing glasses (circus mirrors) for phase III. He wants to have the same type of laughing glasses that are found in circuses. Other items include the purchase of a lighting system for the Rock Garden, creation of a website, a press kit about the Rock Garden.


Change in phone numbers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The level-688 telephone numbers of subscribers in Sector 38 (west) will be changed to level 625 from 5 pm on Saturday. The last three digits of every number will remain the same, according to a press note issued by the local office of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Lmited.

Subscribers having the STD, ISD, call-forwading, wake-up call and abbreviated-dialling facilities will have to reactivate these facilities.


Power cuts on anvil in city
Separate electricity meters for each floor
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 —Cautioned by the Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC), a wing of the Power Grid Corporation of India, against overdrawl from the northern grid, the Chandigarh Administration may resort to load-shedding and power cuts in the next few days.

The Administration may ask the industrial units to change their timing from the present 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift, besides imposing power cuts on domestic consumers during the morning hours. Interestingly, power consumption drops at night when heaters and blowers are used and consumption shoots up as people start preparing to leave for work.

Since the beginning of the New Year, the electricity wing of the Engineering Depatment of the Administration has been finding it hard to meet the growing demand of power because of a severe cold spell sweeping the region. From 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. the overdrawl by Chandigarh from the northern grid varies between 30 MW and 67 MW. Though the excess withdrawl from the northern grid continues throughout the day with the exception of midnight to 5 a.m. the overdrawl between 3 p.m. and midnight normallly was within the permissible limits.

The NRLDC has been overcautious in controlling load on the northern grid after a major collapse of the system on January 2. A similar situation was partially avoided on January 4.

The Union Power Minister has written to Chief Ministers of all states advising them against overdrawl besides advising them to enforce grid discipline and ensure operations according to the grid code by resorting to load-shedding as and when required.

By June 1 this year, the defaulting states and union territories may be required to pay penal rate of Rs 5 per unit in case of both overdrawl or lesser drawl from the grid so as to keep the machines’ frequency within the tolerable limits.

The new regulation may put Chandigarh in a tighter position as its demand for captive power generation has been rejected. At present the firm allocation of Chandigarh is to the tune of 84 to 110 MW, including ad hoc and special assistance. The maximum peak demand recorded during the current peak winter season was almost 173 MW, thus indicating an average shortfall of about 50 MW. Between 6 am. and 3 p.m., the demand for power varies between 150 MW and 170 MW.

Though the Union Power Minister agreed to allot additional 5 per cent of the unallocated power from the Central Generating Stations, but the NRLDC is reportedly yet to receive any such direction from the ministry thus leading to status quo in the supply position. Once additional 5 per cent of unallocated quota is allowed, the Chandigarh Administration would get about 30 to 35 MW of additional power thus nearly bridging the present demand and supply gap. Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to extend amendments in the PSEB Sales Instructions (No 268 revised upto December 31,1991) to the entire Union Territory of Chandigarh. This has been done to eliminate unwarranted harassment to the power consumers without causing any loss to the State exchequer.

Under the amended rules , as extended to the Union Territory of Chandigarh, separate electricity connections may be allowed for each floor of the house in the name of the owner but not more than one connection at each floor. The same would apply in case of extension of load cases.

For an independent portion (Annexe) having a separate kitchen and a separate entry, separate power connection may be given or existing load extended in the name of owners for such portions of the houses.

In case of non-residential buildings, separate connections may be released for each floor. In case of two bays or multi bay buildings, same may be treated as a single unit for the purpose of electricity connection at each floor.

The maximum load of the all floors, for both domestic supply and non residential supply building, should not exceed 110 KW. Another important aspect of the new amendment is that change of name after the death of the owner or in case of resale of a property, where no extra load is demanded or applied for and the name in the revenue records is changed on the transfer of property, the number of connections already running in the premises would be allowed to be converted in the name of the new owner without insisting for clubbing of connections.


Power cuts by rotation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — To prevent overdrawing of power from the northern grid, the Engineering Wing of the Chandigarh Administration has started imposing power cuts by rotation in residential areas from today. However, this was done without any warning to the general public. These power cuts can be of 30 minutes to an hour.

The UT had been drawing more power from the northern grid than the sanctioned load. The Northern Region Load Despatch Centre had objected to the UT’s power-drawing system.

The timings of the power-cuts in various sectors are as follows: 7 am to 7.30 am: Sectors 29 and 42, Dadu Majra, Makhan Majra, Raipur Khurd, Hallo Majra and Behlana villages.

From 7.30 am to 8 am: Sectors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 33, 40, 43, 46, 48, 52, 61, besides Maloya, Kajheri and Kaimbwalla.

From 8 am to 8.30 am: Sectors 10, 14, 15, 25, 28, 31 and Air Force station, the CSIO, Kishangarh, Bhagwanpura, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Sarangpur and Dhanas villages, besides parts of Sectors 7, 11, 16, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 47 and the Industrial Area.

From 8.30 am to 9 am: Mani Majra town, Shivalik Enclave, Bapu Dham, Mauli Jagran, Modern Housing Complex, the BRD, Ram Darbar and Raipur Kalan.

From 9 am to 10 am: Sector 17, 18 and parts of Sectors 8, 9, 16, 19, 21, 22 and 23.

From 10 am to 11 am: Sectors 34, 35 and 36, besides parts of Sectors 20, 21, 22, 23, 37, 41 and 45.


Power supply restored
From Our Correspondent

PERCH (Kharar), Jan 19 — Power supply to the villages, which were disrupted by the theft of overhead high tension cables on Wednesday night at Perch village, was restored last night, claimed a press release of the Punjab State Electricity Board here today.

The PSEB in a press release said that the loss due to the theft had been estimated at Rs 50,000. Mr P. S. Bains, Senior Executive Engineer (Supply Division), PSEB, said that the employees of the department braved the darkness and cold to restore power supply. He said: ‘‘By 10 last night power supply was restored.”

The press release also claimed that the villages affected were eight in number.


Captain decorated with medal
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 19 — Capt Tejinder Singh Bawa, a local resident has been decorated with the Sena Medal for gallantry on the occasion of Army Day. The medal was presented to him by the GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lieut-Gen H.M. Khanna at an investiture ceremony organised at Jammu two days ago.

Currently posted with the 13th battalion of Rashtriya Rifles deployed in the valley, Captain Bawa is the son of Col I.B.S. Bawa, who had been decorated posthumously with the Maha Vir Chakra in 1987 during the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka.

“For displaying tactical acumen and the highest quality of combat leadership, Capt T.S. Bawa is awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry,” reads his citation. “In a search operation on December 12, 1999, Zazuna village in J&K was cordoned.

While carrying out search in a house, Capt Bawa noticed a small niche in a wall covered by a trap door. When he made an attempt to enter the hideout, the terrorist fired.

In a desperate bid to escape, the terrorist charged out of the house. Capt T.S. Bawa, displaying exceptional skills, shot them dead, thus preventing casualties to his own troops. He killed a third terrorist hiding in a ditch by lobbying a hand grenade,” the citation states.


Scooterist in trouble 
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Jan 19 — In an interesting case, the police here yesterday challaned Mr Gurcharan Singh, a local resident, for not putting on a seat belt while riding a scooter.

According to sources, Gurcharan Singh was riding scooter (CH-01-T-9007) when he was stopped near the bus stand by an ASI deployed with the Dera Bassi police and challaned. 


Two hurt in mishaps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — In separate accidents, two city residents were admitted to the PGI with injuries. Another resident was admitted after he consumed poison. A Pinjore resident was also admitted with burn injuries.

Sources in the Police Department said Shiva of Burail village sustained injuries after being hit by a truck near the Model Jail. They added that his condition was stable.

Laxmi of Sector 25 Kumhar Colony was admitted to the institute after being hit by a cycle outside the colony. Sources in the hospital said the 29-year-old victim was being kept under observation.

Nandan Mata of Sector 32 was rushed to the emergency after he consumed poison at home. Sources added that the 16-year-old had accidentally consumed some medicine.

Rajesh Kumar of Sito Majra village in Pinjore was admitted to the hospital after sustaining burn injuries due to electric shock. Doctors on duty said his condition was stable.

A senior police officer, when contacted, said they were looking into the matter and would register cases, only if necessary, after going through the evidence. The statement of witnesses were being recorded, he added.


Jacob visits Yatri Nivas, Estate Office
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The UT Administrator, Lieut. Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd.), today paid surprise visits to four places in the city where public dealing work is carried out. He started from the Estate Office, and then went to Yatri Niwas, Polyclinic, Sector 45, and ESI dispensary, Sector 29.

Accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar, the Administrator reached the public facilitation counters of Estate Office to see the pendency list. He interacted with various persons standing at various counters to get their work done. He was informed that the Administration should give the notification regarding issue of completion certificate of a building from the date of sewerage connection at the earliest as it would save the public from the harassment. The Governor assured that there were certain legal complications and Administration would issue the notification soon after clearing the legal hurdles.

Later, the Administrator visited the building branch. He was surprised to see the record room where files were stacked improperly. On inquiring about the fire fighting system in the building, he was told that there were few fire extinguishers in the office. He saw the fire extinguishers stacked in a locked almirah, in polythene bags. He said: “We had already faced one fire in the estate office building and the Administration should equip all government buildings with suitable fire fighting system.”

The Administrator sought a suggestion as to how the clearance of building plans could be expedited. The Deputy Commissioner explained to the Administrator that four agencies were involved in the clearance of the building plans. There were often objections from one or two bodies involved in the clearance leading to the delay. The Administrator said that all the four bodies should hold weekly meetings to clear the building plans in the stipulated time.

From here the Administrator went to Yatri Niwas. He went straight to the reception and checked about the occupancy rate. Later general Jacob went to the kitchen. A flooded kitchen, dirty and stinking sinks without any soaps greeted the Administrator, who expressed unhappiness to see the unhygienic conditions in the kitchen. The Senior Manager, Mr. Satish Kumar was not present in Yatri Niwas at that time. But he came in 25 minutes later. The Administrator said it should be ensured that every worker washes his hand with soap before cooking the food and proper cleanliness be maintained. He said that he would visit the Chandigarh Yatri Niwas again to see the improvement. The Governor also saw a deluxe room and expressed satisfaction over upkeep of rooms.

Later, the Administrator went to see the polyclinic in Sector 45, which he himself had inaugurated on March 28 last year. He was generally satisfied with the sanitation and working of the dispensary. The Senior Medical Officer, Dr Goel, informed that tenders for an auto-analyzer for performing biochemistry test have been opened. He informed that an X-ray plant would also be installed in the dispensary next week.

Later, General Jacob went to the ESI Dispensary, Sector 29. He was not happy with the sanitation and upkeep of the dispensary. There was no fire fighting system in the dispensary and toilets were flooded. Papers were dumped in the minor OT and the almirah was broken. Dr. Sharma, SMO, informed the Administrator that there was no facility of X-ray in the ESI dispensary and fracture cases are sent to the General Hospital, Sector-16.


Dharna against suspension
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The Chandigarh UT Subordinate Services Federation today held a dharna on the premises of the Museum and Art Gallery to voice their resentment against the suspension of a museum official by the Director, Mr V.N. Singh.

A press note issued by Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, President of the Federation, said the talk they held with Mr V.N. Singh proved futile. He claimed that various unions of employees demanded immediate withdrawal of the suspension order of the official.

A memorandum that the federation submitted to the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, alleged that Mr V.N. Singh was in the habit of suspending employees on frivilous grounds . Until now, the memorandum alleged, as many as 26 employees had been suspended during the past eight to 10 years. All these employees were however, reinstated without any procedural inquiry. This action of Mr V.N. Singh caused a massive loss to the government exchequer.


Residents want water problem solved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — The Sector 34 House Owners Welfare Association today urged the Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to sink a deep tubewell in their area to mitigate the problem of drinking water.

A press note issued by the association claimed that it had been facing the potable water problem for the past several years. However, the Municipal Corporation did not do anything to solve their problem.

The residents of Sector 34 today urged the Municipal Corporation to take immediate steps for installing a deep tubewell to solve their problem.


Work on Shanti Kunj eating joint begins
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — There is good news for visitors to the Sector 16 Shanti Kunj as the garden will soon have a eating joint. The construction work for the joint formally started yesterday and is likely to be completed within the next three months.

The joint will be constructed in an area of 800 sq feet at an estimated cost of Rs 7 lakh. The joint will be located on the left side of the main entrance to the garden from the Sector 16 V-4 road. The structure, with sloping roofs, will have seating space for about 30 persons, a self-service counter with washing and cooking area behind it. However, the proposed toilets, which are also part of the plan, have been shelved for the time being because of cost factor.

The seating area will have Kota stone flooring in combination with marble. The sloping roof will have mangalore tiles.

Earlier, the Department of Urban Planning had approved the construction of the eating joint in 3600 sq ft area at an estimated cost of Rs 21 lakh and it had provision for seating capacity of 90 persons, including some benches on the sides. It was proposed to come up at the back of the garden towards the cricket stadium, with the entrance on the V-3 road.

Chief Engineer Puranjit Singh said that delay in undertaking the construction had been on account of finalising the new site and cutting down the cost estimates. He said the new site, located near the entrance, is more suitable, for it opens on the Sector 16 V 4 road and being a little low lying, the visibility of the joint will be less prominent. This will therefore, not interefere with the character of the City Beautiful in any way, he added.

The foundation stone for the joint was laid by Mr Gian Chand Gupta during his tenure as Mayor in 1997 and the work had been lying pending since then.

Meanwhile, the green belt in Sector 44 will be inaugurated in the first or second week of February by the UT Administrator, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd). It is likely to coincide with the Festival of Gardens next month. The work undertaken includes landscaping of the area, provision of railing and footpath. Benches will also be put up soon.

The Community Centre in Sector 46 is also slated for inauguration later this month as work in all respects has been completed. Few other community centres, which are also complete, will also be inaugurated shortly. 


Ram Jass’ relatives gherao police station
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Alleging inaction, relatives and residents of Bapu Dham colony resident, Ram Jass, crushed to death under sheets of plywood in a showroom, today gheraoed the Sector 22 Police Post. The gherao continued till the filing of the report.

An agitated crowed of about 30 people was demanding registration of a case in Ram Jass’ death. Sources in the police department, however, said the crowed was creating pressure for extracting compensation.

According to sources in the police department, 24-year-old Ram Jass was trying to remove a sheet from the pile of plywood, when the accident occurred.

Sources added that a “profusely bleeding” Jass was pulled out after removing the sheets before being taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.


4 held for eve-teasing
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 19 — Continuing with the drive against eve-teasers, the Chandigarh police today arrested alleged five persons from different parts of the city.

According to sources in the Police Department, the arrested persons included Surjit Singh of Patiala district, Bhupinder Singh of Sector 44, Sartaj Singh of Zirakpur, Satnam Singh and Jaspal Singh of Ropar district.

Sources added that four cases of eve teasing under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code have been registered in Police Station (Central) and Police Station (North).

‘Register case’
In a complaint before the police, the president of Sector 17 Traders’ Association today sought the registration of a case against a soft drink manufacturer for allegedly defacing the walls.

According to president Subhash Kataria, the company had been painting its brand name on the walls of toilets and other public places. He also sought the withdrawal of cases against shopkeepers who had hung banners in front of their establishments.

A senior police officer, when contacted, said the complaint would be looked into and action would be taken against the violators in accordance with law.

Theft from car
The theft of a stereo, a video camera and speakers from a car parked in front of his house was reported to the Chandigarh police by a Sector 37 resident. Taking up the complaint of Avneet Pal Singh, the police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC.

Case registered
Acting on the complaint of a Subdivisional Officer of the Electricity Department, the Chandigarh police has registered a case against a Burail resident for allegedly drawing electricity without meter.

Daljit Singh, according to sources, was booked for theft under Section 379 of the IPC, besides under the provisions of the Electricity Act. The complaint was lodged by SDO C.S. Gujral.

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