Wednesday, January 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Local call up to 200 km from Jan 26
By Sarbjit Singh & Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — From January 25 midnight whole of Punjab — except Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepore districts — will be accessible via local call and subscribers will not have to dial through STD lines.

This will reduce down call charges benefiting subscribers. Dialling code for stations within the 200 km radius will be ‘ 95 ’ followed by the STD code number and the number called. However, subscribers will not be required to dial ‘0’ in the STD code under the new scheme. This scheme will bring local call facility to a distance of 200 km in Punjab.

Informed officials sources told The Tribune that the programmes dealing with the new calling codes had been fed into computers in all telephone exchanges in this connection in the state. Officers concerned had also been intimated accordingly. The system will be made functional at midnigh on January 25.

“It will be just a two second job”, explained a senior officer of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). There will be no need to use the Subscriber trunk dialling (STD) within Punjab area and also from Chandigarh, which is the headquarter of the Punjab Telecom Circle, to various parts of the state within a radius of 200 Km. The scheme will not apply to adjoining areas of Haryana despite these being within the 200 km as the BSNL has allowed the scheme only for cities within the same Telecom Circle . Subscribers in the districts of Patiala, Sangrur and Bathinda besides Chandigarh which border Haryana will be benefiting partially as these will still have to use the STD facility for dialling numbers in adjoining state.

Sources said that only three districts— Ferozepore, Amritsar and Gurdaspur— would not be covered under the facility if one is to dial any number in these districts from Chandigarh. Efforts were made by the authorities concerned to cover these districts under this facility but it could not be done due to technical reasons. Those dialing telephone numbers from Chandigarh to these districts would have to use the STD system.

The central districts - Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Sangrur and Ludhiana- would be benefited most by the local call facility because from the headquarter of these districts every part of the state falls within a zone of 200 Km as the crow flies sources said. As a new year gift, the BSNL had announced the introduction of the local call system up to 200 Km in the entire country on January 5. It is to be enforced from January 26.

Any telephone number could be accessed by dialling 95 in place of zero, followed by the STD code and the telephone number as a part of this facility. A call within the state between 50 Km and 100 Km would come under a pulse rate of 120 seconds as against the 15 seconds at present. Cities between 100 Km to 200 Km will come under a pulse rate of 30 seconds. There shall be no off-peak rates. Rates will be uniform throughout the day.

The BSNL has revised the monthly rental to compensate a part of the loss to be suffered by it for providing the local call facility up to 200 Km. However, these rentals will be applicable from February 1 this year, according to official sources.Monthly rental for rural exchange with less than 1,000 lines remains unchanged- Rs 50 per month. In case of exchange having capacity up to 30,000 lines, monthly rental for telephone subscriber will be Rs 110 and in case of exchange with a capacity up to one lakh lines, rental will be Rs 150 per month and above this capacity, rental for such subscribers will be Rs 210 per month.

In case of urban areas, monthly rental has been revised to Rs 120 from the existing Rs 50 to Rs 100 in case of exchange having less than 30,000 lines. For exchange having capacity up to one lakh lines, monthly rental in urban areas will be Rs 180 and above this capacity Rs 250 per month.

Fact sheet

  • From Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar all Punjab towns, with the exception of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepore, will be on local call.
  • Facility will not be for Haryana or Himachal towns falling within 200 kilometre radius. However, local call facility to places like Ambala, Shimla and Solan to continue.
  • Dialling code will be ‘95’ followed by the present STD code ( without the zero) and the desired number.
  • Codes will be: Ludhiana — 95161; Jalandhar — 95181; Patiala — 95175; Similar combinations will prevail for other places.
  • Call charges to decrease.
  • BSNL adding equipment to deal with additional rush of calls.
  • Subscribers in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur will be able to dial numbers in the entire state of Punjab on local call. 



Self-immolation by 20-year-old
From Tribune Reporters

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — A student committed suicide by setting himself on fire and two persons were hospitalised following accidents in the city today. One person was admitted to hospital after he consumed poison and three others were injured in quarrels. Three persons held yesterday with poppy husk were today remanded in judicial custody. The police was yet to establish the identity of the girl whose body was found near bushes in a Mani Majra park yesterday.

Twenty-year-old BCA student Kamal Tyagi, reportedly depressed over his performance in examinations, immolated himself early this morning. Son of a sergeant in the Indian Air Force, Tyagi was declared dead at the Command Hospital. He had reportedly set himself on fire at about 6 am after pouring kerosene on himself.

According to neighbours, Tyagi’s mother, after hearing something fall on the roof, asked her husband to go and have a look. Sgt U.K. Tyagi found his son lying there with burn injuries. Sources in the police department said Kamal was immediately rushed to the SSQ from where he was referred to the Command Hospital in Chandi Mandir. He died on way to hospital at about 8 am. Before dying, he made a statement clarifying that his parents were not to be blamed for the extreme step he had taken.

A neighbour, Ms Baljeet Kaur, said Kamal was normal when she visited the family on Monday. She added that Kamal’s parents had never scolded him for his performance in the examinations. A senior police, when contacted, said further investigations into the matter were on. He added that the statement of the witnesses was being recorded.

In an accident case, the autorickshaw Sher Singh of Patiala was driving was hit by a Tata Sumo on the road dividing Sector 15 and 24 this afternoon. His condition was reported to be stable. In another incident, Sohan Lal of Palsora was injured when the rickshaw he was riding was hit by a car in front of MCM DAV College in Sector 36 this afternoon. His condition was also reported to be stable.

Mukesh of Attawa village was admitted to the hospital after consuming poison. His associates said the medicine was consumed accidentally. He was being kept under observation, said doctors on duty. Two Kaimbwala village residents, along with a Khuda Ali Sher resident, were admitted to hospital after being injured in different quarrels. A senior police officer, when contacted, said the cases were being looked into and the police would proceed in the matter after recording the statement of witnesses.

Meanwhile, initial interrogation of the three persons arrested by the police reportedly revealed that poppy husk cultivated by drug dealers in Madhya Pradesh was being sold in the region at Rs 900 per kg. According to sources in the police department, the three also told their interrogators that the drug was grown by the families of the peddlers before being sold in far-off areas for almost double the price it fetched in Madhya Pradesh.

The three — Sunita, Ram Kali and Papu Bai — were remanded in judicial custody till February 5 by the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Pushvinder Singh. They were booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act after 51 kg of poppy husk was recovered from their possession. They were reportedly arrested from the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus during a special drive launched by the police.

In another case, the identity of the newborn girl whose body was found dumped near some bushes in a Mani Majra park was yet to be established. According to sources in the police department, cops questioned residents of nearby areas in a bid to find witnesses or any other person with information regarding the incident, but could not succeed.

In crime incidents reported yesterday, Mr T.K. Kishore of Sector 31 reported that two Sikh youths entered his house and snatched the gold ornaments which his wife was wearing. The accident reportedly happened at around 7:30 pm. Details of the ornaments could not be known. A case under Sections 452, 382 and 34 of Indian Penal Code has been registered. A senior police official, when contacted, said it was rare incident and they were looking into the allegations.

Elsewhere, the local police arrested Satnam Singh of Ropar district under the NDPS Act from near the turn of Sectors 15 and 24 and 16 g of opium was recovered from his possession. The police also arrested Sanjay Kumar of Sector 15 from the same sector under the same Act and about 2.8 g of smack was recovered from his possession. The police also arrested Rameshwar of Colony Number 5 for selling liquor at his house. The police also arrested Mokha of Muradabad district in Uttar Pradesh for carrying liquor pouches. A total of 100 pouches were recovered from his possession. Both of them were booked under the Excise Act.


Two attacked
A driver and a conductor of a Punjab Roadways Chandigarh depot bus were attacked by some taxi operators while they were picking passengers from Mubarikpur bus stop yesterday evening. According to information available, the taxi operators objected to picking of the passengers by the employees of Punjab Roadways Chandigarh.

Heated arguments resulted in a brawl. On the intervention of the police personnel deployed there, they later came to a compromise at the Mubarikpur police post. The authorities of Punjab Roadways Chandigarh demanded unauthorised plying of taxis from Mubarikpur to be stopped.


Liquor seized
According to information available, Surinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur was caught with 20 bottles of IMFL. In another case, Hans Raj of Kharar was nabbed with 73 pouches of country liquor. 


Madhoks were done to death on January 12, 
says kin
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 23 — While there are no clues to the double-murder of the Madhoks in Sector 2 discovered dead at their residence yesterday, investigations have revealed that it possibly took place on the night of January 12 and not January 10.

Claiming that a new cheque book was issued in DP Madhok’s name on January 12 and some cash was also withdrawn, the brother-in-law of DP Madhok, Mr Raman Bhalla, a former Minister of Punjab, said that this came to light when the car door was found open.

He said that a recently stitched shirt and pant along with some packed food and a cheque book was found lying in the car. In the kitchen, similar packets of food were found.

He said that though the bank confirmed that a cheque book had been issued in his name on January 12, Mr Bhalla said that they refused to divulge the exact amount withdrawn from the bank, asking for an application in this regard.

"This implies that he must have put some packets inside and was on his way out to bring in the rest when the intruders, already inside, attacked him”, Mr Bhalla added.

Mr Bhalla said that he repeatedly tried calling up the couple but nobody took the call. Assuming the two had gone off to Shimla where they have another house, he thought he would check on them when he came to Chandigarh and gave up.

Meanwhile, police sources said that police parties had been sent in different directions to get leads on the involvement of the members of the Banwaria tribe.

It maybe recalled that the couple, DP Madhok and his wife, Rita, were found murdered on Sunday night. A dhobi, working nearby, saw the house lights on and information was passed on to the police through the president of the Residents Welfare Association, Mr M.L. Sharma.

He claimed that though the police was doing its duty well, they were not given adequate facilities to perform up to the mark. ``On giving them information of suspected foul play in D.P. Madhok’s house, we had to go and get them. How can we expect them to arrive on the scene when crime is actually happening? They are not to blame for the rising crime,’’ he rued.


Quota for senior citizens in parking lots likely
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — Claiming to be sensitive towards the problems faced by the senior citizens, the Chandigarh Police is reportedly planning to demarcate parking space for them in city markets and other public places, including hospital and bus-stands.

To begin with, the police is exploring the possibility of marking parking spaces for them in crowded shopping complexes like the one in Sector 17 and Sector 22.

A survey is also being conducted for the Sector 34 bank square, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, besides the Sector 16 General Hospital, say sources.

A senior police officer, claiming to be working out the modalities of the proposal, says that separate parking spaces for the VIPs and officers are already existing at the railway station and certain other places. Parking spaces, on the same pattern, would be demarcated for the senior citizens, they add.

The police, according to the sources, is also considering the possibility of issuing parking stickers to the senior citizens for ensuring against the misuse of slots being provided for them.

He, however, admits that the implementation of the new scheme would not be easy as residents, seeing the vacant parking space, would definitely leave their vehicle there. “This kind of a system works like a well-oiled machine only in advanced societies,” he says.

The decision to provide separate space for the senior citizens is significant as they have regularly been complaining about difficulties in parking their vehicles.

In representations to the police, the 65 plus have claimed that they were being forced to walk long distances after parking their vehicles at “far of places” due to the lack of space in the sector parking lot.

It may be recalled that the police, in a bid to solve the problem, had recommended that the commercial sectors be declared “car free zones”. The cars, under the proposed scheme, were to be parked in the peripheries of “busy sectors”, including Sector 17, 22 and 34.

The Police has also planned to “better utilise” the existing parking lots. The strategy under consideration includes the cleaning of the underground parkings spaces. 


Officialese begins for five new sectors
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 23 — The Punjab Government today decided to issue a gazette notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring 1350 acres for five new sectors, located in the southern part of the town by February 7.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of officials of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) chaired by the Housing and Urban Development Minister, Dr Upinderjit Kaur.

The land Acquisition Collector has been directed to prepare the land acquisition award by March 15 and declare the compensation amount within a month thereof.

However, the government has said that the cost of the plots to be offered under the new housing scheme to the oustees (as per the oustee quota) would be the same as for the general category. The applications under the oustee quota would be called through a public advertisement after the awards were announced.

The land owners have been assured by the government that the possession of their land would not be taken without paying compensation at the rates recommended by the District Price Fixation Committee, headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar. The compensation package apart from the basic price would include, 30 per cent amount as solatium and an interest component of 12 per cent per annum from the date of notification under Section 4 of the Act (February 21, 2000) till the date of actual disbursement. The PUDA has entered into a financial tie-up with HUDCO and different banks to finance the acquisition. The remaining amount of the compensation would be funded by the internal accruals and the amount of the successful allottees.

The District Price Fixation Committee has recommended a compensation between Rs 10 lakh per acre and Rs 7 lakh per acre, depending the type of the land. The committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, had recommended land rates according to the location of land in Sohana, Mauli Baidwan, Raipur and Lakhnour villages. While the rate of land to the North of the Chandigarh-Landhran road and near Sectors 70 and 71 and the industrial area has been recommended at Rs 10 lakh an acre. For the land along the Chandigarh-Landhran-Fatehgarh road, a compensation of Rs 10 lakh per acre had been recommended.

For the fertile land of Sohana village, the district collector had recommended a rate of Rs 9 lakh per acre and Rs 7.50 lakh for the barren land. For the fertile land of Mauli Baidwan, Raipur and Lakhnour villages, Rs 8 lakh per acre and for barren land in the villages, Rs 7 lakh per acre had been recommended. The land fixation committee has already forwarded the recommendations to the government.

The minister also approved the conceptual plan of the five new sectors prepared by the Town and Country Planning Department, Punjab. A unique feature of the planning is that the maximum number of plots face parks. A mini-city centre has been planned at the junction of the proposed Sectors 78 and 79. An area of 15 acres has been earmarked in Sector 77 for the Low Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG).

The Chief Administrator of the PUDA, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, said the government departments concerned have been directed to assess the existing structures, trees and other things. Regarding the unauthorised structures, he said those after December 31, 1998, would not be regularised.

Meanwhile as many as 13,412 applications had been received for 3950 plots of different categories under the housing scheme in five new Sectors (from 76 to 80) and an amount of Rs 92.93 crore had been collected as the earnest money.


One-day reprieve to Rajiv Colony residents
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Jan 23 — Tension prevailed at Rajiv Colony in Sector 16, here today, with the arrival of staff of the enforcement wing, bulldozer and the police force on the scene to mow down what was left undone in the demolition drive on January 19.

The Estate Officer, Mr D.P. Singh, however, managed to pacify the irate residents and worked out a compromise under which the residents were given one day to shift out. The new site ‘allotted’ to them is the open space near Buddanpur.

Tension began to mount this morning as officials of HUDA arrived at the police post in Sector 16, making arrangements for razing the illegal structures in the colony.

As soon as the residents got the wind of the designs of the officials, they came out on the road, raising slogans against HUDA and the Haryana government. The women of the colony stood outside the partially razed structures with lathis in their hands, challenging the officials to attempt demolition.

Women constables were summoned and the force, armed with lathis and tear gas shells, prepared for ‘action’.

Meanwhile, Mr D.P. Singh reached the site. He asked a few representatives to come forward and discuss the matter instead of blocking the road.

Four persons, led by a former sarpanch, Mr Roshan Lal, came forward and explained to the officials that despite being willing to move out, they could not do so as they did not have anywhere to go. ‘‘We have been allotted land near Buddanpur, but the villagers don’t allow us to settle there. Moreover, mounds of cow dung dot the entire area. If you remove those, we will go without protest,’’ he added.

Immediately, a team of HUDA was sent with them and the site where they could be shifted was identified and shown to them.

Satisfied, the representatives went back to the residents and explained the situation. Though the residents agreed to shift, they demanded some more time which HUDA officials, initially, were unwilling to give.

Later, finding the residents adamant on this demand, they agreed to come back tomorrow.

Another resident, Dr Ram Prasad, said that this would give them time to see how villagers of Buddanpur reacted to their settling in the area. ‘‘If it poses a problem we can go back to HUDA and seek action. We have been ensured of the police help in case the villagers create problem,’’ he stated.


1,500 pouches of liquor seized
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 23 — The Sohana police has arrested two persons and seized 1,500 pouches of liquor which was brought from Chandigarh in a Jeep (HR-01 E 1618). Mr G.P. Singh, SHO, said they were arrested yesterday and a case had been registered against them under the Excise Act. 

The arrested had been identified as Avtar Singh and Vinod Kumar. The Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, Mrs Harinder Sidhu, today sent them to judicial custody till February 7.

Similarly, the police has arrested Surinder Kumar of Mataur village and seized 36 pouches of liquor.


Central power from February 1
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — The union territory will start getting a share of power from central power projects from February 1. The total allocation made by the Union Power Ministry — of about 45 mega watt — will, however, be received from April 1 onwards. The power is being made available to Chandigarh at a rate varying between Rs 1.40 and Rs 2.50 per unit. The average works out to between Rs 2 and Rs 2.10 per unit.

This total allocation means approximately 10 lakh units of power everyday and this is more than sufficient to meet the present demand of power in Chandigarh, sources said. From February 1 about 4.30 lakh units of additional power will be available in Chandigarh. The power has been sourced from unallocated power surplus of the central power projects controlled or run by the Union Power Ministry.

Giving details sources said the total allocation from the Centre is 5 per cent of the surplus which is about 600 mega watt. Out of this 5 per cent 2 per cent will be available from February 1. A decision in this regard was taken yesterday at a high level meeting between the Chandigarh Administration and Power Ministry officials in Delhi yesterday.

The Finance Secretary-cum- Secretary Engineering, Mr Rakesh Singh, said each year the Power Ministry used to allocate the 2 per cent of Chandigarh’s share in the peak summer months. Now this 2 per cent share will be available throughout the year while another 3 per cent of the share from Central projects will be available in the summer months beginning from April 1. The rates shall vary according to the source of power and how much it costs the producer, Mr Singh added. The allocation from February 1 will help in overcoming rotational power cuts imposed in all residential areas last week. But the grid discipline will be maintained at all costs.

Initially the Chandigarh Administration had proposed to set up a 100 to 150 mega watt power generation plant in Kishengarh, just North of the Sukhna lake. Firstly the idea was to use Naptha as the base to produce power. But it was ruled out as the cost per unit was coming to be Rs 6.

Later a gas pipeline was proposed and the Power Ministry was very keen on the project but the cost of the gas pipeline hindered the project. The Union Ministry of Petroleum indicated to the Power Ministry that the gas pipeline cannot be laid for Chandigarh as it will cost several crores in itself. In turn the Chandigarh Administration was asked to pay for the pipeline. This would have jacked up the price of project and the cost of each unit of power produced would have virtually gone through the roof, added a source.

  • City to get about 10 lakh units a day as additional power for
  • summer months.
  • Quota increased in share from central power projects.
  • About 4.30 lakh units a day will be available from February 1.
  •  Power at good rates, say engineers. 



Common land issue: MC seeks probe
From Shashi Pal Jain

KHARAR, Jan 23 — The local Municipal Committee has demanded that the allotment of nearly 1,000 bighas of common land of Khanpur village, which falls in the Kharar municipal limits, should be cancelled and handed over to the committee. A unanimous resolution in this regard was passed at a meeting of the committee held under the presidentship of Mr Ranbir Singh Kala today.

According to the resolution, the land was allotted to certain persons between 1966 and 1969. After the allotment villagers of Khanpur challenged this and it was cancelled by the Chief Settlement Commissioner, Jalandhar. The village came under the Kharar municipal limits in 1975 and so the land came under the municipal committee. Later the ‘influential’ persons challenged the decision of the Settlement Commissioner in the Punjab and Haryana High Court but the committee was not made a party in the case and the case was announced in the favour of the ‘influential’ persons.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court decided in 1985 that the common land cannot be allotted to anyone. According to the resolution, the land has been entered as common land ‘gau charand’ in the revenue record of the village in 1947 and the land is in the name of the Gram Panchayat in ‘jamabandi’ of 1957.

The committee demanded a probe. The committee also decided to file an application in the court of the SDM for getting the correction in the ‘girdawri’. The committee decided to send the copies of the resolution to the SSP, Ropar, and the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar.Back


Tributes paid to Netaji
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee celebrated the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chander Bose.

Mr B.B Bahl, President, CTCC, highlighted his contributions towards the freedom struggle. Among other senior leaders who present on the occasion were Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Surinder Bhatia, Mr Sunil Parti, Mr Ram Pal Sharma, Mr Sham Lal Gupta, Ms Lalit Joshi, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, Mayor, Mr G.D. Kala, Senior Deputy Mayor, and Ms Kamlesh, councillor.

The local unit of the Nationalist Congress Party celebrated the anniversary at Palsora Colony, here. Among others who present at the function were Mr Gurbachan Singh, president of the unit, Mr Navjinder Singh Mallah, Mr Darshan Garg and Mr M.S. Goldy.


The 115th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chander Bose, after whom the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports has been named, was celebrated with enthusiasm at the NIS complex here today.

Coaches, members of the sports faculty and other employees paid tributes by garlanding his bust installed at the main gate of the complex. The Executive Director (Academics) of the NIS, Lieut-Col B.S. Ahluwalia (retd), exhorted the employees to follow the values as propounded by the leader and urged the sportspersons to work with dedication and discipline for the upliftment of sport in the country.


Technical snag eclipses KBC
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — Popular game show on Star TV, Kaun Banega Crorepati was not beamed to a number of houses in the city and its adjoining townships tonight due to a technical snag leaving anxious viewers calling up newspaper offices and local cable operators to lodge protest.

The areas where the game show was not beamed are serviced by a local satellite channel provider — Siti Channel. When angry viewers rang up the Siti Cable office they were told that a signal decoder on which Star TV was tuned had been out of order and fresh one had been called in from Delhi.

Wherever services are provided by other operators, the channel was being viewed as usual. Mr Sandeep Bansal, the franchisee of Siti Channel, was not available for comments and was reportedly out of statison.


MC officials told to be strict
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — The Chief Engineer, MC, Mr Puranjit Singh, today directed the officials of the departments concerned to adopt strict measures in checking the misuse of municipal land in the city, failing which necessary action will be taken against them.

He directed the officials of the Roads Wing to clear the road berms and service roads in various markets, which are being increasingly used by tent house owners and other shopkeepers. During his visit to the Sector 18-D and Sector 22-C markets today he found that shopkeepers had virtually occupied the MC land. Taking strict note of the same, he directed the XEN Roads to issue notices to them. 


Novelist honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 23 — A face-to-face programme with England-based Punjabi novelist Darshan Singh Dhir was organised by Postgraduate Punjabi Department at SGGS College, Sector 26, here today.

In an interactive session with BA and MA students, Dhir talked about his transformation into a writer and on international issues like apartheid, political discrimination and life abroad. Teachers of the department also participated. Dhir was later honoured by Mr P.S. Sangha, Principal of the college.

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