Tuesday, January 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Couple found murdered after 11 days
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 21 — A lawyer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr D.P. Madhhok (72), and his wife, Rita (50), were found dead at their residence, 559, Sector 2, last night.

It is learnt that the murder took place on the intervening night of January 10 and 11. Newspapers after January 10 were lying outside the house, inside the main gate.

The police suspect the involvement of the Banwaria tribe of Rajasthan in the murder and teams have already been dispatched to Yamunanagar where a similar murder took place recently, the Superintendent of Police, Dr C.S. Rao, said.

Police sources said that the murder of the couple, staying by themselves, came to light when a dhobi, working nearby, told a resident of 591 that the lights in the corner house had not been put off for quite sometime. They, in turn, informed the president of the Residents Welfare Association, Mr M.L. Sharma, who called up the police.

The police party made its way through the barbed wire and the side gate in the wall. Through the window they peeped in to find the cupboards ransacked and clothes and belongings strewn all over the floor.

While the wiremesh door was open, the wooden door was ajar and the main gate locked. On entering the house, the police party saw the body of Madhok lying in his office in a pool of blood. His wife was murdered on the bed, a pillow on her face, and an axe lying nearby.

This morning, the milkman, on being questioned, said everyday he would come to the house to pour out milk but nobody would come out despite his ringing the bell. Sandeep also called up his parents on January 19 but nobody took the call.

Neighbours said that they had not bothered to find out about the couple since there was absolutely no interaction with them. The two stayed inside the house most of the time and were seen once in a fortnight to 20 days by those staying nearby. They added that the lawyer’s wife, Rita, was mentally unsound and they had often heard her screaming in the house.

Also, their only son, Sandeep Madhok, is employed as a commercial officer in a company at Delhi and the two stayed all alone in the city. They had not employed a domestic help.

Today morning, around 10 am, the bodies were shifted out of the house for post-mortem. Head injury was stated to be the reason for death in the report.

Reconstructing the sequences of events, Dr Rao said that the marks on the window indicated that the intruders might have tried entering through it. Hearing the sound, the Madhoks might have come out to check and were overpowered by the intruders, he said.

Meanwhile, a dog squad was called in from Chandigarh last night but failed to give any clue to the direction taken by the intruders. A team of forensic experts also came to inspect the scene of crime this morning. No estimate of the loss of cash and jewellery is available yet. A case under Section 460 of the IPC has been registered.


Administration’s no to boards at development sites
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — The Chandigarh Administration has turned down the Municipal Corporation’s plans to instal boards at the sites developed by the councillors under the ward development fund, even as they stand passed in the House. The Chief Architect, UT, had in a meeting held recently with the Chief Engineer, MC, clarified that as per the spirit of the Edict of Chandigarh such boards containing the names of persons could not be permitted in the city.

The MC had almost two years back in the House approved the decision in principle that they would instal name plates highlighting any development work done by a councillor out of his/her ward development fund in his area. The idea behind the same was to give the councillors due recognition of the work done by them in their respective areas. The matter was subsequently referred to the Secretary Urban Planning and Chief Architect for concurrence and approval of the design of the boards to be installed. The CA has denied permission, but one still finds such boards highlighting the work done by the MP from his local area development fund in various green belts of the city. Chief Engineer, MC Mr Puranjit Singh however maintained that the department of Urban Planning had earlier asked them to put these boards sparingly at few places, without marring the character of the city.

Chief Architect, UT, Mr Sarabjeet Singh Sandhu, while turning down the request, observed that a similar request under MPLAD had also not been awarded earlier to by the Department. When contacted, Mr Sandhu said anything which went against the edict of Chandigarh could not be permitted. For instance, the edict does not have any provision for naming any roads after the name of political leaders, putting up statues or names plates to glorify political figures in the city. Giving any such permission will only mean a beginning of wrong doings.

He clarified that such boards could be displayed during the construction period, only to be removed once the work was completed. When it was brought to his notice that at some places such boards were there, he said that” it was for the MC or the Estate Office to take necessary action for our jurisdiction was confined to the planning aspect.

MC Commissioner, Mr M.P Singh said approval from the Chief Architect was mandatory for putting up anything in the city, as per the Act. The House by no means overruled the decision of the Chief Architect on any such issue. He said if any such name plate had been put by the MC in any councillors ward without the same having been approved by the authority concerned necessary action would be taken.

Mr Prem Sagar Jain, one of the senior BJP councillors, felt good about permission being denied by the Chief Architect. He said “We are elected representatives of the people and it is our duty to serve people. But we do not have to need such gimmicks to show that what we have done and where. If such nameplates are put for every little work a councillor undertakes from his fund, the day is not far when the entire city will be flooded with name plates, marring the character of City Beautiful”.

Another BJP councillor, Ms Ranjana Shahi, said if putting name plates was not in tune with the character of the city, the same should not be allowed. But the authorities should be firm in adopting a uniform policy with regard to that and not discriminate by granting permission to putting boards highlighting the inaugurations done by Governor and senior bureaucrats. On the other hand, she maintained that elected councillors did not represent any political party but were the representatives of the people, hence there was nothing wrong in highlighting the work done by them for the public from the earmarked fund. There was no other way to publicise the same, she added.

Ms Shahi further questioned the delay on the part of the Chief Architect in deciding the issue, though the issue of putting boards was passed nearly two years ago. She further said only the Administrator had the power to reject or modify the decision of the House. Some councillors alleged that when the design of the boards to be put had not been approved by the Chief Architect so far, how a few boards had been put in the ward of one of the Congress councillors.

Nominated councillor, Maj-Gen (retd) Rajinder Nath was also not in favour of putting such name plates for their mere purpose was to ensure the credibility of a councillor in his ward and helping him in future elections. But this was not required for the wards were small and good work of the councillor was bound to be recognised. However, if some major development work was undertaken, there was no harm in putting a board for the same. Back

Recharge of ground water in Punjab, Haryana
By A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — To arrest the continuous fall in the watertable in the region, the Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, plans to take up in a big way the artificial recharge of ground water reservoirs in Punjab , Haryana and Chandigarh.

This was stated here today by Dr D.K.Chadha, Chairman, Central Ground Water Board and Central Ground Water Authority. He said the Green Revolution coupled with urbanisation, industrialisation and indiscriminate use of ground water had resulted in the lowering of water levels in most parts of the country in general and Punjab and Haryana in particular.

The per capita income had increased manifold which had brought prosperity in the two states. Over-exploitation of ground water resources started showing adverse effects on ground water and resulted in a decline in water levels at an alarming rate, especially in the cities where the ground water was the only source of domestic water supply.

Owing to increased depth of the water level, centrifugal pumps had to be replaced with submersible pumps which increased the burden on individuals and farmers in particular. Many tubewells failed because of the decline of the water level below the pump hosing, with the discharge of the well decreasing considerably. To recharge the desaturated water-bearing zones, the Central Ground Water Board had taken up artificial recharge schemes on an experimental basis for the first time in the country. This would provide sustainability to the existing ground water regime.

Eight artificial recharge schemes have been taken up in Haryana in the districts of Kurukshetra, Panipat and Mahendragarh. The total cost of these schemes is Rs 124 lakh. Similarly, nine artificial recharge schemes have been completed in Punjab while three more schemes are under execution and two are likely to be launched shortly. Funds for the schemes are being provided to various government departments of Punjab and Haryana and these are executed on a cost deposit basis for the Central Ground Water Board, according to Dr Chadha.

He said the Government of India fully met the expenditure on various schemes for the artificial recharge of ground water. So far, Rs 213.63 lakh had been released to the Punjab Government.

Three artificial recharge schemes had been taken up in the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Out of these, one has been completed in the CSIO complex. At Panjab University and Shanti Kunj, the work would start shortly. So far, Rs 24.14 lakh had been released under the Central scheme. In addition, artificial recharge schemes were being taken up at DAV School, Sector 8, the TTTI, Sector 26, Bhujal Bhavan, Sector 27, in the Chandigarh Housing Board complex, Sector 9, and at the circular crossing of Sectors 26,7,27 and 19. Under these schemes, rooftop rain water, surplus water of N-choe (Leisure Valley) and monsoon surface run-off would be used for recharging ground water.

Dr Chadha visited Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana during the past four days to review the progress of artificial recharge schemes launched in the Union Territory and the two states. Dr Chadha also inspected the artificial recharge project of the Golden Temple at Amritsar and roof to drain water harvesting in Kheti Bhavan, Amritsar city.

Dr Chadha said that under the artificial recharge projects, the ground water was being recharged by utilising pond water, surplus surface runoff and spare canal water. In cities, emphasis was being laid on roof-top rain water harvesting techniques. The schemes completed or under execution included recharging ground water through drains, village ponds, sarovars, low dams, etc. All schemes were being executed under the supervision of Dr M.D. Nautiyal, Regional Director, Central Ground Water Board, North Western Region, Chandigarh.

The results of these experiments would be replicated in other parts of the states. New areas feasible for artificial recharge were being identified and more new schemes in the states would be launched shortly.


41 pc food items ‘adulterated’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — An anti-adulteration drive launched by the Chandigarh Administration has revealed that the menace of adulteration and misbranding of food articles in the city has touched an all-time high, nearly 41 per cent.

According to official information available here today, the Prevention of Food Adulteration cell (PFA cell) of the Health Department, Chandigarh Administration under the supervision of Dr Maninderjit Singh of the Health Department along with Food Inspectorate staff has been conducting extensive raids to detect cases of adulteration or misbranding food articles under rule 32 and rule 49(24) of the PFA rules 1955. Under the supervision of Health Department since June, 2000, the adulteration or misbranding rate has risen to all time high i.e. 40.7 per cent.

Under the provisions of Sec 13 of the PFA Act, 1954, the department can send food samples to the notified laboratory only and in case any sample was found adulterated or misbranded then necessary prosecutions shall have to be instituted against the defaulters. There is no provision under the Act to launch prosecution on the basis of reports of adulteration given by any other laboratory.

During raids special attention was given to sampling of loose powdered spices, milk and milk products.

During the past six months, the team of food inspectors under the supervision of Health Department seized 95 samples of milk and milk products which include samples from milk vendors supplying milk on four wheelers i.e. trucks and jeeps and other branded milk pouches.

After receipt of report of analysis from the Public Analysts of Punjab and Haryana Chandigarh necessary prosecution has been launched against the defaulters for adulteration and misbranding which includes the famous and noted brands of milk i.e. Verka, Super, Milk Plus, Milk Time, Veerta, Abhi, Vatka and Rajit. None of the milk samples was declared adulterated with poisonous substances. The Chandigarh Administration has no food analysis laboratory. Two laboratories of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh have been notified by the Chandigarh Administration for analysis purposes.

The Administration has warned the milk vendors who supply milk on automobiles and cycles against selling substandard or adulterated milk or without a proper licence. In case any milk vendor was found selling milk in the city without a licence for sale of milk he shall be challaned by the raiding team of Food Inspectors and samples of milk will be taken.

The data for loose powdered spices is as under:

Samples seized 29

Results received 27

Found adulterated/

misbranded 19

The data of milk and milk products is as under:

Samples seized 50+45 95

Found adulterated/

misbranded 34

Results awaited 11

Total samples seized 266

Results received 238

Found adulterated/

misbranded under rule

32 and 49 (24). 97

Percentage of adulteration/

misbranding 40.7 



PUDA may grant 1-yr extension to plot owners
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 22 — The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) is considering to give one-year extension to those plot owners who had failed to start the construction within the specified time period. The decision, when taken, will be applicable on the plots allotted up to year 1990 — where the three-year-additional extension period ended on December 31, 2000.

The extension fee would be charged from the benefitting plot holders at the rate of 2.5 per cent of the prevailing allotment rate — around Rs 3,600 per sq yard. No hike in the extension fee from the existing extension fee structure, announced last year, has been proposed by the authority. As per the proposed rate of extension fee, for a one-kanal plot the fee would work out to over Rs 40,000. In case of 16 marla, 12 marla and 10 marla plots, the fee worked out to over Rs 35,000, Rs 27,000 and 22,000, respectively. For eight-marla and six-marla plots the fee to be paid would work out between Rs 18,000 and Rs 13,000.

The decision to allow one-year extension fee would also be applicable to the commercial sites on which the deadline for raising construction ended on December 31, 2000. The rate of extension would be 2.5 per cent of the auction price of the plot.

Sources in the PUDA said a proposal in this regard had already been mooted and would be put in the next meeting of the Accounts and Finance Committee or could be approved by the Housing and Urban Development Minister on a priority basis.

The Chandigarh Tribune had recently raised the issue of the local estate office issuing “occupation certificates” to houses still under construction. Sources do not rule out the possibility of those plots being issued the illegal occupation certificates on which the extension period ended on December 31, 2000. Involvement of unscrupulous among employees in the Estate Office had been highlighted in the illegal practice.

In a related development to the extension fee issue the PUDA has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court after an allottee, Tehal Singh had won a case against the PUDA over charging the extension fee. The Supreme Court had upheld the judgement of the High Court favouring the petitioner. The PUDA has prayed that the benefit given to the petitioner may not be extended to other similar allottees.

Sources said after another allottee had filed a similar case a Division Bench of the High Court while quoting the judgement in Tehal Singh case had observed : “We hope that the Chief Administrator of PUDA would consider the feasibility of issuing general instructions to the authorities for charging extension fee keeping in view the order passed by the court in an earlier case”.

Officials of the PUDA did not rule out the possibility of framing general guidelines for charging the extension fee but said any decision in this regard was yet to be taken.


A chart of the existing extension fee structure on residential and commercial plots in urban estates of the PUDA. 

Extension Fee for non-construction.(Non-construction means that completion/occupation certificate has not been obtained)

A. For Residential Plots:


Extension fee for the year ending i.e. on 31 December.

  1998     1999 2000  2001 2002 2003 2004
Allotment made before Dec. 1989 2%  2%  2.5%   No extension beyond 31.12.2000
Allotment made in 1989 where period of 8 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%  2%  2.5% No extension beyond 2000
Allotment made in 1990 where period of 7 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%  2%  2.5% No extension beyond 2000
Allotment made in 1991 where period of 6 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% No extension beyond 2000
Allotment made in 1992 where period of 5 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% No extension beyond 2001
Allotment made in 1993 where period of 4 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 3.0% No extension beyond 2002
Allotment made in 1994 where period of 3 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 3.0% 3.0%
Allotment made in 1995 and thereafter 2%  
(Ist year)      
(2nd year)
3rd year)
(4th year)
(5th year)
(6th year)
(7th year)
Note: Percentage rate to be calculated on the prevailing allotment price.
(This rate is subject to change from time to time as per policy).

B. For Commercial Plots:

Period Extension fee for the year ending i.e. on 31 December.
  1998     1999 2000  2001 2002 2003 2004
Allotment made before Dec. 1989 2%  2%  2.5%   No extension beyond 2000
Allotment made in 1989 where period of 8 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%  2%  2.5% No extension beyond 2000
Allotment made in 1990 where period of 7 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%  2%  2.5% No extension beyond 2000
Allotment made in 1991 where period of 6 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% No extension beyond 2001
Allotment made in 1992 where period of 5 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% No extension beyond 2002
Allotment made in 1993 where period of 4 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 3.0% No extension beyond 2003
Allotment made in 1994 where period of 3 years expires on 31.12.97. 2%     2% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 3.0% 3.0%
Allotment made in 1995 and thereafter 2%  
(Ist year)      
(2nd year)
3rd year)
(4th year)
(5th year)
(6th year)
(7th year)
Note: Rate on the percentage basis to be calculated on the auction price of plot.
Rate of Extension fee w.e.f. 1.1.1988 to 31.12.1997 applilicable as per policy revised from time to time.
However where the three years period for completing the construction has already expired on 31.12.1987 the extension fee will be applicable w.e.f. 1.1.1988). 



Centre ‘should bear’ transportation charges
Meeting on Antyodaya Anna Yojna
By P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — At a meeting to review the Antyodaya Anna Yojna, chaired by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar, the participating states today expressed their inability to bear the transportation charges involved and urged that the Centre should be more forthcoming in this regard.

Both Punjab and Haryana representatives said the Centre should also bear the commission to be paid to the depot holders. Under the public distribution scheme, the transportation charges, about Rs 4 per quintal, are borne by the Centre. It was pointed out that the transportation charges under the Antodaya scheme should also be borne by the Government of India.

As per New Delhi’s calculations, Punjab has been given a target of 71,700 families to be covered under the scheme considering that the number of families below the poverty line (BPL) is 4.68 lakh (11.77 per cent of the total population). But the state representative pointed out that as per the latest survey by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, the new figure is 6.25 lakh families. This showed disparity in the calculations made in New Delhi and Chandigarh. Moreover, BPL families living in urban slums are yet to be determined by the Department of Local Government.

Therefore, it was decided that 15.33 per cent of BPL families, as on December 31, 2000, may be given the benefit under the scheme. An Antodaya family is one that is the “poorest of the poor” among those considered to be below the poverty line and can ill-afford even two square meals a day.

Since the staple food in Punjab is wheat, only this will be made available under the scheme, which stipulates 25 kg of foodgrain per family per month at low rates of Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice.

In Haryana, identified Antodaya families number 1,20,900, while the number of BPL families is estimated to be 7.89 lakh, forming 25.05 per cent of the total population.

There were two Haryana Ministers, Mr Subash Goyal (Local Government) and Mr Dhirpal Singh (Town and Country Planning). The former told Tribune News Service that the transportation cost alone would mean an additional financial burden of Rs 2 crore per annum. Moreover, the state is yet to get the paddy package. Mr Shanta Kumar promised to release the money on return to New Delhi. Mr Goyal wondered how the Haryana BJP president, Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, had been quoting a wrong figure to mislead the people.

As per an action programme drawn up in Punjab, the work on the identification of beneficiaries is to be completed by the first week of February and Antodaya ration cards printed by February 10. Implementation, will start, tentatively, from February 15 next.

Mr Shanta Kumar gave a resume of the meeting and a thumbnail sketch of the Antyodaya Anna Yojna besides referring to four other schemes — Annapurna, food-for-work, Sarvpriya and the giving of 50 per cent concession on ration supplied to orphanages, houses of widows, hostels of the Scheduled Castes and backward classes and welfare organisations, government and non-government.

The Jammu and Kashmir representative said that as per the target, the state was to cover 1,12,900 Antodaya families out of a total of 7.36 lakh BPL households. The percentage of BPL population in the troubled valley was 40.86 of the total population of 99.45 lakh, as on March 1, 2000.

Chandigarh also has its share of BPL families as also Antodaya beneficiaries. The percentage of BPL families in the total population (8.88 lakh as on March 1, 2000) is 11.35 and the number of Antodaya families is 3,500. Given the population of slum dwellers who ring the Union Territory, this number appears to be small.

Countrywide, Mr Shanta Kumar said, 5 per cent of the total population was identified as BPL. This adds up to 5 crore, the target group to be covered in the next five years.

The bottom line of the scheme is making India “hunger-free”. In his characteristic style, the Minister wondered how “democracy and hunger” could march hand in hand. “One never thought that after Independence, instead of one India, there will be three distinct segments: prosperous India, whose people would not know what to do with excess wealth and scout for banks abroad; poor India, whose people would not have power to purchase food; and hungry India, whose poor will be so poor as to go to bed on an empty stomach every night”.

The time has changed, so has the food scene. So must the outlook change and also policies. India has transformed from a “scarcity bowl” to a “surplus bag” where looking after the stockpile of foodgrain poses a problem and a challenge that has to convert into an opportunity to feed the hungry (giving 10 kg ration free of cost to the poor above the age of 65 years) and accelerate development through the food-for-work programme that enables distribution at half the price to the labour employed.

There is a nationwide outcry over inefficiency, corruption and gross shortcomings in the public distribution system that operates through a network of 4,60,000 ration shops. The system, the Minister said, was being revamped and an inbuilt mechanism devised to ensure that ration reached the right depot and the right beneficiary. For that a utilisation certificate would have to come from the state concerned before more ration was released from the warehouse.

Moreover, a national cooperative organisation was engaged in distributing 11 essential items (salt, soap, pulses, oil, tea, etc) through the PDS network. “The aim of the government is food for all”, he added.

Mr Shanta Kumar had a word for farmers, whose immediate worry was if wheat would be procured in a proper way, at the proper price and in a proper way. He allayed their apprehensions and assured effective government intervention. The ghost of paddy procurement still haunts farmers.

Problems have also arisen creating an imbalance between surplus and deficit states. This called for a new policy initiative. The Ministry has constituted a core group to frame a new food policy encompassing the problems of stockpiling, storage, transportation and distribution. The report is expected in three months.

New schemes were aimed at to simply clear the piled up foodgrain stocks but the intention was to feed the people. No wonder the yojna will cost Rs 2,300 crore. Mr Shanta Kumar made it clear that the government could not buy every kind of farm produce. He was replying to a question on potatoes. He said foodgrain procurement cost Rs 25,000 crore last year. Export was an answer. In fact the effort was to swap wheat for oil with Middle East countries and export as much wheat, rice and sugar as possible. A beginning has been made with wheat and sugar by exporting 5.75 lakh tonnes and 3 lakh tonnes, respectively.

Care was also taken of famine-hit states: Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Orissa and Uttaranchal. The country had even a stock of 1.70 lakh tonnes foodgrain that is unfit for human consumption and is being given free.

The meeting was attended by Mr Shanta Kumar’s junior, Mr Sriram Chauhan, and senior officials of the Ministry. Back


High Court
Board ‘need not be’ told on Anandgarh land
By Our Legal Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — While replying to the arguments of the petitioner’s counsel challenging the decision of the Punjab Government and the notification for acquisition of land for setting up Anandgarh township near Chandigarh, Mr H.S. Mattewal, Advocate-General, submitted before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today that it was not necessary for the state government to consult the board constituted under the State Regional and Town Planning Act, 1995.

The Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice J.L. Gupta and Mr Justice N.K. Sud, referring to the arguments, asked whether the government could proceed with the acquisition of land without first consulting the board.

Mr Mattewal submitted that in pursuance of the Chief Minister’s declaration at the time of Khalsa tercentenary celebrations at Anandpur Sahib, an authority for the town’s construction was set up. The government could itself select a site and that is why the government had proceeded to acquire the land under the Land Acquisition Act and not under the Regional and Town Planning Act.

It was further submitted that the notification under Section 5 of the Land Acquisition Act could not be held to be bad because it did not consult the board, as there was no mala fides in the action of the state government.

The Advocate-General added that the land Acquisition Act and the Punjab State Regional & Town Planning Act, were parallel Acts and the state government could make use of any of them. He stated that the 1995 Act was not workable for speedy construction of the township. Thus the government on May 20, 1999, constituted an authority under Section 31 of the Act, and the government had the authority to select the site.

He also argued that the petitioners had come out against the notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act and they could only challenge the government’s action under that Act.

The arguments were continuing, when the court rose for the day.

Plea to quash FIR on land sale dismissed

Our Correspondent adds: Mr Justice Amar Dutt of the High Court today dismissed the plea of Sunita Rani and Ramesh Kumar, both residents of Jodhan village in Ludhiana district to quash an FIR registered against them at the Sudhra police station in a cheating case.

The alleged accused entered into an agreement with one Jagtar Singh on April 24 ,1999, for sale of residential property on land measuring one kanal and two marlas at Rattan village and received earnest money of Rs 5 lakh in cash in the presence of two witnesses, Mr Inderjit Singh Gill and Mr Raminder Singh. The final sale deed was to be executed on March 23, 2000.

At the time of execution of the agreement, the petitioners represented that they were the actual owners of the property in dispute and no portion of the land had been sold to any one. When the complainant finally asked the petitioners to execute the sale deed they postponed it on one pretext or the other . Finally, when the complainant came to know that they (petitioners) have already sold that piece of land to some one else, he got an FIR lodged against them for cheating and misappropriation of his money.

Mr Justice Dutt, while dismissing their plea to quash the FIR, observed that the petitioners had failed to convince the investigating agency and the court why they did not execute the sale deed with Mr Jagtar Singh.Back


Luedke thanks Chandigarhians
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — “I thank Chandigarhians for participating in the pulse polio campaign”, said Mr Frederick R. Luedke, Governor, Rotary International District 6270, here yesterday.

He and 11 other members of a team from the USA were here in the city as observers for the campaign.

Speaking about his experience, he stressed that reading about the campaign in a newspaper and actually being part of it made all the difference. ‘‘I gave drops to nearly 30 children while my wife, Katy, administered drops to 500 children at Bapu Dham and the Haryana barrier. This in itself was truly a momentous experience for us.’’

The Rotary International has so far contributed $ 500 million in the drive by giving 30 per cent of the total cost incurred in the campaign.

Commending the job done by the various agencies in the campaign, he said the way the Indian Government together with NGOs and other community members had achieved the wide broadening of the health delivery system was truly amazing. ‘‘Yesterday’s experience was the focus of our visit to India and we now go back with greater appreciation and understanding,’’ he added.

A management consultant by profession, this was his fourth visit to the city. He says that he is an avid reader of The Tribune even when he is back to the USA. "My visits to Chandigarh have made me even more close to The Tribune and now I see it regularly on the Internet. It is my way of being in touch with this beautiful city and the people”, he asserts.

“Interestingly, reading this newspaper I have realised that basic issues and the governments are the similar worldwide. Names and places might differ but rest everything remains the same,” he added laughingly.Back


9915 children get polio drops
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — On the second day of the round two of the pulse polio campaign, 9915 children were administered polio drops in a house-to-house campaign conducted by the Health Department in the city, here today.

A large number of volunteers, including anganwari workers, school children and teachers of private, government and government-aided schools and members of NGOs participated in the campaign.

According to Dr Satbir Singh, District RCH Officer, the house-to-house campaign will continue on January 23, as well.

The campaign was extended for two more days in this round since a wild-polio-virus case was detected in the city last year. Considering this fact, the neighbouring state, Haryana, is holding additional mopping-up campaigns in places close to the UT, including Ambala.

In all possibility a similar mopping-up exercise may also be carried out in the city in the next couple of months.


Development works cleared amid protests
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 22 — There was pandemonium at the second meeting of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council here today as the ruling group in the civic body, led by the president, Mr Kulwant Singh, got development works worth around Rs 2.5 crore approved on the basis of majority vote before adjourning the meeting within few minutes of starting the proceedings.

At least five councillors of the opposition, led by Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, kept on protesting against the inclusion of the item on the hike in water and sewerage rates when the meeting was adjourned. The president asked members of the opposition to discuss the issues of water and sewerage fee hike after discussion of the agenda items but Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mr S.S. Patwari, Mr Manjit Singh and Mr Langh protested over the non-democratic method of holding the meeting.

They said as per practice all items on the agenda had to be read out before the members and then passed on vote strength. The proceedings of the meeting were recorded in a register concurrently, they alleged. Mr Landha claimed that most of the development works in his ward were not added despite his recommendation. Mr N.K. Marwaha, another councillor, added that as per Section 25 of the Municipal Act, items on the agenda could be passed only on majority vote. Members of the opposition said the president had promised in the last meeting to review the increase in water and sewerage rates. The president said the issue was under consideration.

Talking to mediapersons later, he said details about the expenditure on and income from water supply was being sought from the Public Health Department before taking any decision in this regard. He said another possibility of handling the water supply and sewerage in the town or privatision was being explored. He said any decision in this regard would be taken before the next meeting or even before that.

The councillors in the opposition had announced to sit in dharna in the council office, but could not do so after the meeting was adjourned. Certain councillors said the move by the ruling group to adjourn the meeting was to preempt any move by the opposition to gain mileage over the issue of water and sewerage rate hike.


Challenged children lead rally for census
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 22 — Handicapped children from the Saket Hospital led a cycle rally, which was flagged off by the Governor of Haryana, Babu Parmanand, from Yavnika in Sector 5, here today.

Nearly 8000 school children participated in the rally spread awareness about census.

Carrying banners and placards, the children went through the various sectors of the city, each school catering to the sector it was located in. A short skit highlighting the necessity of giving right information was staged by the Shakuntalam Sangeet Sansthan of Rewari.

The Governor said the skit should be staged in all big villages of the state to reach out to as many people as possible. Later, talking to mediapersons, he said the information would help planners in framing policies and programmes.

The Director, Census Operation, Mr Sunil Gulati, informed that 6000 census assistance centres had been set up in the state and 5000 similar rallies were being taken out in all districts in collaboration with the district administration and the Education Department.

Mr Gulati added that registering the number of disabled, working women, homeless persons and exact ages would be the salient features of the present census operation which would be held from February 9 to 28.


Republic Day precautions
Police sounds alert on unclaimed objects
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — For the first time in the city’s 50-year-old history, the Chandigarh Police, apprehending attack by militants on or before Republic Day, is planning to distribute pamphlets through newspapers warning residents against touching “unclaimed objects”.

The pamphlets will also be asking the residents to keep their eyes open for militants in disguise stalking the length and breath of the city looking for an opportunity to strike.

These will further be requesting the residents to furnish information about suspicious objects or persons to the Police Control Room or to on-the-move police Gypsies and motor cycles.

Confirming the information, a senior police officer claims that about 1.50 lakh pamphlets are to be printed. Some of the handouts, he adds, would even carry a sketch of a “typical militant” to give the residents a “fairly good idea” regarding the appearance of a terrorist.

The decision to hand out the leaflets is significant as, according to sources in the Police Department, Chandigarh is an “ideal target”. Besides being the capital of two states, there are two major Air Force installations, along with a civil airport. Porous escape routes to Punjab and Haryana also made the city “vulnerable”.

Today the police also beefed up the security in and around the Sector 17 Parade Ground. Barricades were set up and vehicles were being checked. The decision to step up the vigil reportedly follows “fresh incidents of violence in the valley”.

The Chandigarh Police, it may be recalled, has already sounded an alert in the city. Travellers at the Sector 17 Inter State Bus Terminus were being warned against touching suspicious and unclaimed objects, including bags and wallets. Shopping crowd was also being asked to remain cautious.

A special 70-member-team, under the supervision of UT SP, Mr Baldev Singh, has also been formed and anti-sabotage checks were being carried out in the city. The antecedents of people who moved in the city 30 to 45 days back were also being verified to prevent militants from striking roots.Back


Delegation meets Jacob
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — A delegation of the LIG Residents Welfare Association, Sector 41-D, met Lieut-Gen (retd) J.F.R. Jacob, Administrator of Chandigarh, here today.

The presence of the second-hand scooter market on the V3 road near Sector 40-C and 41-D has created a nuisance for the residents, alleges the association president, Mr R.K. Mann. He said that a decision for shifting the market had already been taken by the authorities, but it was yet to be implemented. The association urged the Administrator to intervene into the matter.

Residents are demanding that the road leading to Sector 42 should be completed on priority basis. Their other demands include upgrading of Government Model High School into a senior secondary school, development of parks and the greenbelt in the locality.

They are also demanding regularisation of water and electricity supply, street lights on road between government school and petrol pump and beautification of the four roundabouts in the area. The association also demanded proper maintenance of the drainage system in the area.

The association also urged the Administrator to ensure early start of the community centre built near the church. Mr S.K. Juneja, general secretary of the association said the centre is non-functional since it was built.

Mr R.K. Mann, who led the delegation, said they were assured by the Administrator of a prompt action on their demands. The others who constituted the delegation included Mr Chamkaur Singh, vice-president, Mr R.S. Chahal and Mr Balwant Singh.


CM to lay stone of Sinchai Bhavan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — Haryana “Sinchai Bhavan will be constructed at Panchkula to house offices of the Haryana Irrigation Department. At present the offices of the department are functioning from different locations in Chandigarh and Manimajra.

The foundation stone of the building, to be constructed at a cost of Rs 12.38 crore in a record time of 16 months, will be laid by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on January 24. The “Sinchai Bhavan will be constructed over an area of 2.55 acre allotted by the Haryana Urban Development Authority in the institutional area of Sector-5.

The building is being funded under the institutional strengthening component of the Haryana Water Resources Consolidation Project with World Bank assistance.

With the construction of the new ‘Sinchai Bhavan,’ all offices of Irrigation Department will come under one roof thus facilitating the public.

The building has been designed in block ‘A’ and ‘B’ of six and seven storeys each within the architectural controls prescribed by HUDA. Bock ‘A’ will house all offices upto Executive Engineer level and block ‘B’ will house the senior officers and have a committee room. The open space, other than the parking areas in the plot, will be landscaped.

Efforts have been made to have an environment friendly building with minimum use of wood. Solar energy will be tapped for water heating and non-conventional energy systems are proposed for lighting major area of the building. Rain water harvesting has been proposed so as to make full use of rain water.

If will also have an auditorium with modem audio-visual equipment for seminars, conferences and training of in-service officers.


SDO, JE suspended
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 22 — The Housing and Urban Development Minister, Punjab, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, today ordered the suspension of a Sub-divisional Officer (Buildings), Mr Pritam Singh and a Junior Engineer, Mr Tara Chand, in connection with issuing an occupation certificate to a house ( no. 3207/ sector 71) still under construction here.

The minister has also sought an explanation from the Estate Officer concerned who had issued the occupation certificate. According to sources in future the SDO would be required to visit the respective house to verify the status of the building.

The Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), Headquarters, has already been asked to look into the issue of grant of illegal occupation certificates to plots in the town. 


DSOI members bury the hatchet
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — With both sides agreeing to resolve their dispute regarding the management of the institute, amicably, the Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI), Sector 36 will have a new governing body. This was decided after a meeting of both sides with the Punjab Governor, Lt Gen J F R Jacob (retd) today bringing to rest the controversy besieging the institute for the past nine years.

The development follows a long legal battle between two factions. An agreement was signed by the concerned members, which will be submitted to the court for its directions.

The DSOI, registered in 1992, was funded by the Government of Punjab, which provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs 90 lakh for land and construction of the building. However, a section of the members were against government control and got a parallel governing body registered, thereby coercing the original body to move court in 1996, seeking restraint on the activities of the parallel body.

The court declared both bodies to be illegal and directed that Secretary, Defence Services Welfare function as the receiver for the DSOI’s management. The appointment led to service officers accusing the bureaucracy of “hijacking” the institute and alleged that the receiver was enrolling new members in violation to the court orders.


Class C staff holds rally
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — Class C employees of Panjab University held a rally outside the office of the Finance Development Officer here today demanding release of the City Compensatory Allowance (CCA) to these employees. Sources at the Vice-Chancellor’s office, however stated that the CCA had already had been released and only some cases were pending. 


Ex-Dainik Tribune scribe dead
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — Mr Dwarka Dass Sharma, a former Senior Sub Editor of Dainik Tribune, died yesterday. Mr Sharma breathed his last while travelling from Ludhiana to Jalandhar by bus. Her was 72. Before joining Dainik Tribune, Mr Sharma worked with Veer Pratap in Jalandhar as Chief Sub Editor. Members of the Chandigarh Press Club have mourned his death.


Report confirms stabbing, strangulation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — The mystery shrouding the death of the unidentified youth whose body was found in a ditch on the road dividing Sectors 45 and 46 deepened today with the postmortem examination confirming the suspicion of death by strangulation and stabbing.

The examination, according to sources in the police department, was conducted by a team of doctors at the Sector 16 General Hospital. Sources added that his fingerprints, viscera and clothes had been preserved to enable identification at a later stage.

A senior police officer, when contacted, said handbills with the photographs of the deceased would be distributed to the residents in the colonies and the nearby areas in a bid to identify the deceased. He added that the motive behind the murder would become clear only after the victim was recognised.

The body, with two deep stab wounds on the right side of the neck, was discovered by a passerby on January 20. Strangulation marks were also present on the neck indicating that the victim was strangled before being stabbed, sources added.

Believing it to be a case of murder, the Chandigarh police had registered a first information report under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory were also called in to assist the police in solving the murder mystery.

Refusing to rule out the possibility of robbery to be behind the murder, sources had asserted that some old rivalry or drunken brawl could also have led to the gruesome incident. The police was also exploring the possibility of the victim being murdered in a scuffle on the other side of the border in SAS Nagar before being dumped in the ditch near the road which was being freshly laid. The absence of struggle marks near the spot was a testimony to this effect, the sources claimed.Back


Two killed in mishaps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — In separate incidents, 18-year-old Anita died after drowning in a septic tank while four-year-old Pooja was crushed to death by a speeding truck. A two-year-old girl was, meanwhile, admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education of Education and Research with burn injuries.

According to sources in the police department, epileptic Anita accidentally fell in the tank behind her house in Colony Number 5. She drowned after suffering from an epilepsy fit.

A senior police officer, when contacted, confirmed death by drowning. He added that inquest proceedings had been ordered and the body had been sent to Sector 16 General Hospital for postmortem examination.

In the other incident, Pooja of Shastri Nagar was returning home from school on a cycle with her uncle when a truck rammed into them near the railway crossing in Pipliwala. Sources said Pooja fell on the right side of the road before being crushed to death by the truck. Her uncle, Ram Kumar, sustained minor injuries.

A senior police officer said the driver escaped from the spot leaving behind the truck which was later impounded. He added that a case of causing death by rash and negligent act under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code had been registered.

He further added that efforts to trace the driver were on and the statement of the witnesses were being recorded. The body, he added, had been sent for post mortem examination.

Two-year-old Pooja of Sector 29-A was, meanwhile, admitted to the PGI with burn injuries. She sustained the inquires when she accidently put her hand in a “karai”.

Body dumped

A newborn girl’s body was found dumped near some bushes in a park in Mani Majra’s Indira Colony today. The motive was yet to be ascertained.

According to sources in the police department, it was still not clear whether the infant was killed and thrown or died due to cold after being “disposed of”.

Sources revealed that a case of concealing birth by secret disposal of body had been registered by the police under Section 318 of the Indian Penal Code. The offence, sources added, was punishable with imprisonment for a “term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both”.

They added that naked body was discovered by Mani Majra resident Sulekh Chand Jain as he was passing by. He informed the police which removed the body before sending it to the Sector 16 General Hospital where the postmortem examination was performed. The report, sources added, was expected soon.

Confirming the information, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, when contacted, said the child could have been abandoned “as a result of unwanted pregnancy”.

He added that the possibility of the child being cast off due to her being a girl could also not be ruled out. Further investigation into the matter were on and efforts were being to trace the parents of the child, the ASP added.

Poppy husk seized

The police claimed that 51 kilograms of poppy husk was recovered from three women arrested from the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 17. A “dentist” was also taken into custody for allegedly possessing 10 grams of “opium”

The three — Sunita (52), Ram Kali (35) and Papu Bai (22) — were apprehended on the basis of secret information. Sources added that the accused had boarded a train for Saharanpur from Madhya Pradesh. From there, they had arrived in the city in a bus. A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered, said sources.

The “dentist” — Satnam Singh of Ropar district — was also booked by the police for possessing “opium”. Sources said the accused was running a clinic in Nayagaon near here.


Woman hurt in mishap
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — Ms Saroj Bala, a resident of Sector 29, was injured when her scooter was hit by a Maruti car, here yesterday. According to police sources, the accident occurred near the roundabout of Sector 32 and 33. The driver of the car reportedly sped away in the car.

The victim was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, where her condition was stable. A case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, has been registered.

Theft cases
Three theft cases have been reported during the past 24 hours here. Mr Manoj Kumar of Sector 38 alleged that Shakti Chand along with other took away stationery items, some documents and Rs 200 from his shop in Sector 40-D. A case under Sections 448 and 380, IPC, has been registered.

Lieut-Col R.K. Sagwan, a resident of Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, reported that a battery along with some parts was stolen from his car parked outside his house on Sunday. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Clothes and a woolen carpet were stolen from the residence of Mr Vijay Soni of Sector 38, on Sunday. A case under Section 380, IPC, has been registered.

Liquor seized
The police has arrested Kamal Shankar of Ram Darbar and seized 50 pouches of whisky from his possession. He was arrested at the ISBT, Sector 43, here on Sunday. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.


Youth’s death: suicide note found
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 22 — A 25-year-old employee of Anand Lamps, Ravi Shankar, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his Phase XI residence, had committed suicide, according to the local police. A suicide note detailing the reasons for ending his life has been recovered from the clothes of the deceased.

A bottle of insecticide has also been found by the police in the box bed on which the body was found. According to the police the deceased, who died on the night of January 19, had made a call to his wife, Sashi in West Bengal from a STD PCO in Phase XI. The police suspects that the victim was depressed due to marital discord. The Superintendent of Police, Mr G.S. Chauhan, said the inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC had been initiated in the case. The body had been handed over to the relatives of the victim after autopsy. The viscera of the deceased has been sent for chemical examination to Patiala, said the SP. 


Misappropriation of funds alleged
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 22 — The SCL Employees Cooperative House Building Society has charged certain officials of the Registrar Cooperative Societies posted at Ropar for shielding a former president of the society, Mr Amritpal Singh, who was allegedly involved in unauthorised withdrawal of Rs 43 lakh from the account of the society.

In a complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, the society said that earlier on a complaint to the Registrar Cooperative Societies, Punjab, about the functioning of its former president, an inquiry was held by the Joint Registrar, Patiala. Mr Tejwant Singh, a member of the society, said the inquiry had indicated that four members of the society were carrying out the work in an illegal manner. The account books were also not properly maintained. He said the committee headed by Mr Amritpal Singh was suspended and fresh elections of the managing committee of the society were ordered.

The society members alleged that Mr Amritpal withdrew Rs 43 lakh from the society fund after he was removed from the post. They said the development was brought to the notice of the Deputy Registrar, Ropar, but no action was taken. The president of the existing managing committee of the society has demanded registration of an FIR against Mr Amritpal Singh.


2 houses burgled
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Jan 22 — Goods worth 15, 000 were stolen from a house in Sector 8 by some unidentified persons as they broke into the house in absence of the owners. The house owners had reportedly gone out of station while the robbers struck by breaking open the lock of front door of the house.

Mr Vikram Singh, house owner, said that goods worth 15,000 were missing and other items were scattered inside the house when he returned home yesterday evening. He had gone to Jaipur to attend some function. A case has been registered.

In another similar incident, robbers broke into the house in absence of the owners in Sector 12. The police was investigating the matter. The neighbours informed the police. The exact loss could not be ascertained as the police was waiting for the arrival of the house owners. 

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