Thursday, February 8, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CHB changes flats transaction rules
General power of attorney to be recognised 
By Ajay Banerjee and
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — In a major decision that will change the way property is sold and purchased in the city, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has allowed that ownership flats can now be converted from leasehold to freehold basis.

Even those who have bought CHB flats from allottees on a general power of attorney (GPA) will be allowed to get their sale deeds regularised and then get the ownership of the flat converted into freehold. 

* Those who purchased flats under GPA will be allowed to get their flats converted into freehold properly after getting their sale deeds regularised under newly framed rules.

* Formula for regularisation charges in case of GPA holders will include pending instalments and interest.

* Person should have held the GPA for five years to be eligible for regularisation.

* The same policy will be soon extended to leasehold plots sold or allotted through the UT Estate Office. Separate policy for conversion of flats under rehabilitation schemes finalised.

* Rise in property prices expected.

This meets a long pending demand of more than 20,000 flat owners under the LIG, MIG, HIG categories and the independent housing schemes launched by the CHB since 1979. A notification is to be issued soon, sources said.

The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, who is also the Chairperson of the CHB, confirmed that conversions of flats from leasehold to freehold basis would be allowed under a new policy and upon payment. The same is true for regularisation of sale deeds made on GPA basis. There is a set formula for conversion rates and for regularisation, Ms Nanda said while adding that permission had been given to first allow GPA holders to get their sale deeds regularised and then get their flats converted into freehold. This means the CHB will now recognise GPA holders.

A legal cell has been created to handle conveyance deeds between the allottees and the CHB. It is located in the Sector 9 office of the CHB. The SDM (east), Mr Gyanesh Bharti, has been posted as Secretary, CHB, to coordinate the entire scheme, said Ms Nanda.

To carry out the scheme, changes have been made in the Chandigarh Housing Board (Allotment, Management and Sale of Tenements) Regulation, 1979. For conversion of flats which are in the possession of the first allottee, a simple formula has been devised which is based on rates of 1996. The cost will vary according to the built-up area.

In case of GPA holders the regularisation papers shall include: A copy of the GPA with an agreement to sell and a will, if any; an indemnity bond from the buyer; an affidavit from the buyer that he or she will remove all building violations existing in the dwelling unit and lastly the original copy of the allotment letter ( to be produced for verification) and proof of physical possession by applicant.

In case of successive GPA holders establishment of continuous link between original allottee and present GPA holder will be required. The sellers and buyers will be ineligible for further allotments under any other CHB scheme.

The policy, according to sources, has been formulated only in case of general scheme of the CHB in which applications were invited and allotments were made through a draw of lots. The amendments made in this regard shall not be applicable for allotments made under rehabilitation scheme or special schemes by the CHB, sources said.

The move of the CHB is expected to prevent several property disputes.

It may be recalled that the CHB Residents Federation, a body of over 25 resident welfare associations, has been urging the board to regularise and recognise the GPA holders, which comprise about 60 per cent of present day occupants.



Second phase of census begins tomorrow
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The second phase of Census of India 2001, viz, population enumeration will be conducted in Chandigarh and Punjab, along with parts of the country, from February 9 to 28.

The field operations will be undertaken by enumerators and supervisors drawn mainly from the Education Department. In Punjab alone, about 53000 enumerators and supervisors have been appointed, who will go house to house during February 9 to 28, 2001 to collect detailed information in 139-column household schedule for an estimated 250 lakh population covering about 42 lakh households.

With a view to improve the quality of data collection, a massive training programme of these enumerators and supervisors has been undertaken. All the enumerators and supervisors have been trained in three rounds of one day each during December, 2000 and January, 2001. Training of enumerators and supervisors was preceded by Divisional-level and District-level training of senior census officers, like principal census officers, district census officers, city census officers, sub-divisional census officers, charge census Officers Special charge census officers and assistant charge census officers. For the first time, principals, vice-principals, senior lecturers etc of colleges and schools were appointed as master trainers to impart thorough training to enumerators and supervisors. In Punjab, 222 master trainers were appointed, who were also thoroughly trained, first at the district-level and then, at the divisional-level. In addition, 11 census advisors were appointed for Punjab to impart specialised training of gender issues, correct recording of age, question on recording of work characteristics of the population, specially with regard to female workers etc.

Various modern techniques of training like computer-based power point presentations, over head projectors etc. were used in addition to the traditional techniques of trainings. The instructions manual which contains detailed instructions for population enumeration by the enumerators is exhaustive and is supplemented by illustrations, wherever necessary. In addition, for the supervisors, a separate supervisors manual has been published.

A special team was constituted, which trained more than 100 groups of trainers about computer-based power point presentation. The census advisors visited more than 475 groups for specialised training.

Such a detailed and thorough training of such a massive force will definitely help in improving the quality of data collection during the field operations and will ultimately result in the publication of a high quality data which will be used for formulation of various plans and policies of the government.


PU session may be bumpy
Academic bodies not set up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Academic activity in the forthcoming session at Panjab University may not go smoothly as top academic bodies have yet to be constituted.

The university will move to the new session without Board of Studies, subject Faculties, Academic Council, Board of Finance and the syndicate with expected results of weakening of the system.

The issue of elections to the graduates’ constituency in the Senate lies pending as the Punjab and Haryana High Court is pondering over a litigation in delivering “justice to the rightful claimants of the seats”.

The session will commence without Boards of Studies. The Undergraduate Boards alone have 20 units. Each board has nine members — six are elected from among the colleges and three from the university. The board studies the syllabi constitution and format, appointment of examiners and paper setters and also paper evaluators.

The boards are elected after every two years and 2001 happens to be an year of election.

Till date faculties have also not been constituted by the Senate. These includes languages, arts, science, law, medicine, business management and commerce, engineering and technical education, dairy, animal husbandry, agriculture, design and fine arts and pharmaceutical sciences.

The Vice-Chancellor is an ex-officio member of all faculties. Deans and secretaries are to be elected by the faculties. The positions of the deans also fall in the vacancy list under current set-up.

The faculties pursue lists of the Board of Studies pertaining to syllabi, courses and proposed changes. The items cleared here are sent to the Academic Council. This however, is not sent to the Senate in all subjects.

The university also is without a Board of Finance. According to the calendar members should be elected by January 31 each year. The members shall hold office for one year. These include the VC, the DUI, two elected members of the syndicate and two of the senate. The reports shall be submitted to the Syndicate and the Senate.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, a senior fellow said, Boards of Studies were nurseries of the university functioning. “How could a session move without discussions and recommendations for improvement, if any? The fate of vacant seats of added members also has an impact on the new teams”.

Prof Chawla said the issue of academic bodies in totality had repercussions beyond thought for they affected lakhs of students. The Vice-Chancellor had powers of the Syndicate in absence of the body on recommendation of the Senate but in totality the total exercise expected from his office and possible for improvement needed a re-thought.

Prof P.P. Arya, another Senior Fellow, said it would be “impossible for the university to handle academic issues under existing conditions”. Education is a dynamic field and needed more light at the moment, he added.


Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The anti-enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation and Estate office in a joint operation removed series of encroachments in various sectors of the city today. The drive, which was carried out under the leadership of Enforcement magistrate, Mr Ishwar Singh, issued challans to shopkeepers in Sectors 27, 35, 34 and 37 for encroaching upon public corridors and seized their belongings.

As many as seven dhaba owners in Sector 27 who had encroached the verandahs by putting tandoors, chairs and benches, were challaned. The staff took away the said articles and also took note of the material dumped by them in the vacant booths.

They also issued challans to three flower sellers in Sector 35 near the Quiet office and two others in Sector 34 market for blocking the verandahs with their stands. The stands were confiscated. Two other shopkeepers, who had displayed their furniture items in the front verandah of the furniture market were also issued challans. The staff had only a few days back kept a strict vigil to ensure that they do not display their articles in the front side, though they had allowed them to continue with the varnish work on the back side.

The staff comprising Inspector, Enforcement Mr Kashmira Singh, 40 odd labourers and 10 police personnel of the corporation and the Estate office had to face some opposition when they removed the big refrigerators of two ice-cream sellers in Sector 37 market. Despite warning, they had put pop corn machines, thereby blocking the verandah. They will now get the machines back only after paying removal charges to the corporation.

As many as five trucks, three belonging to the corporation and two to the Estate office were used in the drive.


It all started with love lotteries
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Good morning to you Valentine; curl your locks as I do mine — two before and three behind; good morning to you Valentine — One has almost grown with this verse which has come to depict the spirit of the Saint Valentine’s Day, which is perhaps the only festive occasion which originated in one country but is celebrated in all others. Come February and there is a breath of warmth in the air — a reason enough to know that it is time for tugging at the heartstrings, for affections to be spelt out and for love to be celebrated. As everywhere in the country, the spirit of celebration is underlined in the city also which has already stood in welcome of the Saint Valentine’s Day which falls on February 14.

Vague, however, is the fact that virtually no one knows what lies in the root of this tradition. When the Chandigarh Tribune went about asking the love birds as to what had triggered off the process of excitement and why were they flocking shops to buy gifts for the loved ones, they knew nothing about who St Valentine was and what legacy he had left behind.

There are varying opinions as to the origin of the Valentine’s Day. But in the end, all opinions point towards a singular truth — that love cannot be beaten. Some experts a stated that the day owes its origin to St Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He was jailed for the so-called sin and was condemned to death on February 14, 269 AD, the same day which had been devoted to “love lotteries”. Hence the connection of the day with feelings of love and affection. Legend also has it that St Valentine left a farewell note for the daughter of the jailer who had become his friend, and he signed it “Love from your Valentine”.

The day, thus, has origin in the Roman empire. In ancient Rome, February 14 was a holiday and a day to honour Juno, the queen of Roman gods. The Romans also knew Juno as the goddess of women and marriage. The following day — February 15 — began the massive feast of Lupercalia, the feast in honour of a heathen God.

During those times the lives of young men and women were strictly separated. However, one strong custom during those days was name drawing. On the eve of the feast of Lupercalia, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed in jars. Each young man was then supposed to draw slip from the jar and he would then be partners with the girl whose name was on that slip. Sometimes pairing of children lasted an entire year and, often, they would fall in love and then get married.

It would also serve well to get to the basics of Roman empire which have a strong connection with Valentine’s Day. In the third century Rome was under the reign of Emperor Claudius who was involved in many unpopular campaigns. He was, however, agitated over the fact that Romans would not leave their love and family for joining the military leagues. So Claudius prohibited marriage and engagement in Rome anticipating that men would join the Army.

During those days St Valentine was a priest in a temple. He defied the orders of Claudius and kept solemnising marriages secretly. For this sin of his, he was apprehended and brought to the Prefect of Rome who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. So St Valentine suffered martyrdom on February 14, 269 AD.

The pastors of the early Christian church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in the feast of Lupercalia by substituting names of saints with those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen St Valentine’s Day for the celebration of this new feast. So it seems that the customs of young men choosing maidens for Valentine, or saints as patrons for the coming year arose this way.


Drop in use of synthetic pesticides
By P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — There is a considerable decline in the use of synthetic pesticides in the country, despite their increasing food production, following an outcry that their indiscriminate use has made the agro-eco system fragile threatening the extinction of many a species of flora and fauna.

Consequent to the growing awareness of the harmful effects of the excessive use of agricultural chemicals—fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides and weedicides — scientists, the world over, have now turned their attention to the use of bio-technologies, bio-fertilisers and bio-pesticides. This means “incorporating biological inputs in crop production strategies,” as Dr A. S. Atwal, founder-president of the Indian Ecological Society, puts it.

The paradox before farm scientists and farmers, therefore, is how to curtail the excess use of these chemicals without hampering production and maintaining quality to compete in the market given the World Trade Organisation regime.

This calls for coupling integrated crop management with integrated pest management techniques and blending traditional knowledge with modern technologies to achieve the triple goal of more food, more income and better livelihood per hectare, as Dr S. P. Singh, project director, Biological Control, Indian council of agricultural research, Banagalore, describes it.

These and related aspects of bio-pesticides and the emerging trends were under focus at a three-day conference that opened at the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology here today with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Vice-Chancellor, Dr S. Kannaiyan, delivering the keynote address.

The Punjab Agricultural University, Vice-Chancellor, Dr G. S. Kalkat, administered a warning that if administrative steps were not initiated, dove-tailing with scientific recommendations and needs of the time, Punjab that boasts of the highest consumption of pesticides (along with Haryana), will one day rue why it did not change to bio-pesticides like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which had drastically cut down their pesticide consumption and shifted to other management techniques.

Both Dr Kannaiyan and Dr Kalkat emphasised that problems were known and so were the solutions. The question was where to begin and how? The former told TNS that there had to be government will since it was also the implementing agency.

The word of caution by these two vice-chancellors was responded to by the Principal Secretary, Science, Technology and Environment, Mr Rajan Kashyap in his inaugural address when he referred to tackling pollution at the “source point” as well as “non-point”, meaning at the farmers’ level. While the Punjab Pollution Control Board was taking care of the polluting industries along the major rivers in the state, a committee has been constituted to “educate” and create “awareness” among farmers on how much harm was being done to their health, crops, food and dairy products through contaminated fodder and stored grain dusted with farm chemicals.

The presence of Mr P. E. S. Vidyasagar, from the Small Industries Development Bank of India, was to show that new bio-technologies needed finance and unless small-scale industry stepped in, nothing much could be achieved given the fact that government investment was inadequate and shrinking.

Dr Kannaiyan gave a bird’s eye-view of the emerging trends in pest management and was all praise for neem whose 30-odd derivatives have already been commercialised. Yet chemical pesticide consumption remained high in India (97,726 tonnes as in 1996-97 against a mere 2,836 tonnes in 1955), he added.

Dr G.S. Dhaliwal. Professor of Ecology (Department of Entomology at PAU) and Dr Opendra Kaul (Director, Insect Bio-Pesicide Research Centre, Jalandhar) said that crop protection was imperative to increase production because pests were estimated to consume 30 per cent of the total global agricultural output. Currently, pest control solely relied upon synthetic chemical pesticides, which commanded, globally, a US $ 32 billion per annum market.

On the other hand, the world bio-pesticides market (excluding genetically modified crops) was around US $ 350 million, a little more than 1 per cent of the total world pesticide market. A recent survey of the European market alone for bio-pesticides predicts their sale will reach US $ 167 million by 2004.

Dr Kannaiyan, sharing his views on agriculture in India, told TNS that there was no option but to accept and get into the WTO by educating farmers and making them aware of the “quality” aspect of future food production. The farmers would have to grow separately for world markets and even process food differently with the government providing the wherewithal, including financial and technological.

The private sector had to step in in a big way to help the research efforts of universities, which had in turn to generate their own income given the resource crunch faced by them. There had also to be “freetrade” of foodgrains within the country but, he emphasised, with the appropriate quarantine checks.

Agricultural education had to be reoriented and human resource development given attention to make graduates become self-employed. 



GCM should probe forgery: Major
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Major Maneesh Bhatnagar today demanded that the alleged tampering with documents related to his disciplinary case should be investigated by the general court martial trying him. He added that if the court felt that the matter was out of its purview, he was entitled under the Constitution to approach a civilian court.

Major Bhatnagar contended that the “firm evidence” of forgery in the documents (Appendix A of Army Order 24 of 1994), which constituted vital evidence of the pre-trial proceedings, had resulted in illegally bringing the accused before the general court martial for trial.

He added that the defence was unable to carry out further examination of witnesses who, he alleged, were privy to and had indulged in forgery in connivance with the prosecution and other lawful custodians of documents, which amounted to conspiracy.

The defence further contended that due to the risk of pre-mature disclosure, it was not possible for the defence to lead evidence along a particular line or to put forth arguments based on forged documents and shaky accounts given by hostile, unreliable witnesses. He added that nobody should be allowed to question the importance of the documents as these had already been submitted before the court.

Meanwhile, in the other GCM trying Maj V K Madhan, the arguments focused on compliance with Section 3 of Army Rule 23 by the authorities concerned during the recording of the summary of evidence (SOE). Army Rule 23 lists the procedure to be adopted for recording the SOE and Section 3 deals with the recording of evidence given by witnesses.

The defence witness, Col Vivek Tripathi, on being questioned, stated before the court that only a part of Army Rule 23 was applied. Colonel Tripathi stated that complete narration of Army Rule 23 was not made, though the accused officer was given an opportunity to call witnesses in his defence.

The defence had contended that nowhere had it been brought out in the SOE that the accused had been specifically asked to lead evidence in his defence. He had only been asked if he wished to make any statement.



Holiday today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — All educational institutions, government offices, banks and courts in the city and its adjoining townships of SAS Nagar and Panchkula will remain closed tomorrow on account of Ravi Dass Jayanti. The holiday has been announced under Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

Government schools in the city will remain closed on Saturday also as the has decided to allow a holiday in schools on the second Saturday of each month.


Garden of Annuals coming up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The city is all set to add another garden to its galaxy of gardens during the Festival of Gardens, scheduled to be held at the Sector 16 Rose Garden from February 23 to 25.

The seven-acre garden — Garden of Annuals — developed by the Horticulture Wing of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) in one of the greenbelts in Sector 44 will mainly have seasonal flowers. The park will have circular footpaths paved with bricks, the first of its kind in the city.

In fact, music, fun and frolic and contests await the city residents during the festival, which has been included in national calendar of festivals by the Union Tourism Ministry. At a high-level meeting here yesterday, 10 committees were constituted to coordinate and organise various events during the festival.

It was reportedly decided that CITCO will coordinate the cultural events, sources said adding that help from the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, will be sought for the events particularly the folk dances. The whole programme would be approved by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (Retd), who is also likely to inaugurate the festival.

The sources informed that the inauguration and closing ceremony committee and the flower competition committee would be headed by Mr Kuldip Singh, SE (Planning Circle) and the rose prince and rose princess committee by Mr J.N. Sachdeva, SE (Electricity OP Circle). Similarly, the brass and pipe band contest committee’s chairman will be Mr V.P. Dhingra, SE (Electrical Circle).

While Mr Ashwani Sabharwal, Senior Architect, in the UT Department of Urban Planning will be the chairman of the on-the-spot-painting contest, Mr S.K. Mehtani, SE ( UT Public Health), will head the rose quiz committee. Mr Mehtani will also head the photography competition committee. The UT DPR, Mr Vivek Atrey, will be the chairman of the folk dances committee.

The SE (MCC Public Health), Mr Manmohanjit Singh, will chair the antakshri committee. Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, SE (Construction Circle) will be the chairman of the prize distribution committee, the sources added.


Kashmiri Sikhs: bound by roots, hounded by bullets
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — I will possibly never go back to my home in Singpura in Kashmir, militants will most probably kill me, says retired Havildar Major Jeevan Singh. Recuperating in the PGI from a serious bullet injury which he had sustained three days back in Jammu, Jeevan Singh recalled how it all had happened.

“We were protesting against the brutal killing of our innocent brothers in Kashmir by taking out a peaceful procession in the Malik Market in the Narwal area of Jammu. As I stood talking to a boy, Mohinder Singh, the police started firing indiscriminately. Hit by a bullet from behind, I saw Mohinder falling down. I turned around to help him but felt blood oozing from my right arm. It was then that I realised that I too had been shot but fortunately only in the arm,” said Jeevan Singh.

Following the incident he was rushed to Bakshi Nagar Hospital in Jammu where his family was informed by the doctors that since the nerves and blood vessels of his arm had been badly mutilated it would have to be amputated.

His son Harbans Singh, however, thought otherwise and requested the attending doctor that his father be referred to the PGI. He reached here on Monday at around 4.30 pm . After a reconstructive emergency operation performed till late in the night by Dr Rahul Jindal and Dr Ajay Thakur, it is almost sure that Mr Jeevan Singh will not loose his arm. Especially with the warmth, pulse and colour of his operated right arm being equal to his left arm, as per the attending doctors, he has a good chance of complete recovery.

But after he is discharged from the hospital, he plans to settle down in Jammu where he had just come for a couple of days for the grihapravesh of his new house. ‘‘What will I and my family achieve by going back to a place where we are not even safe?’’ he asks. ‘

“My elder son is in a government job in Batot and the younger one is with the Military Engineering Service. Once I get my daughter and daughter-in-law from Singpura we might as well settle down in Jammu,’’ for good he adds sadly.

But for the family breaking away from the roots will not be so easy. ‘‘ We have lived in Kashmir for centuries. The land which we have been tilling was given to my great grand father Hari Singh by Maharaja Ranjit Singh himself. Since generations my family has been a part of the Kashmiri culture and heritage. I can speak Kashmiri, Punjabi, Urdu , Hindi..... We have as many as 100 chuhlas. Breaking away will not be easy but what can we do when it is evident that militants want to drive away the Sikhs to from the valley,’’

However, a faint smile plays on his lips as he adds that when things get better he will go back. “My property, my roots are there. If only the government was firm in dealing with the militants. Decision of ceasefire has resulted in army personnel being killed. After all what can the army do if its hands are tied.’’ 


Drive against defaulting cable operators
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is planning to launch a drive to remove overhead cables of those sector level cable operators in the city, who have not been paying their monthly dues.

Sources disclose that there are as many as 86 such cable operators in the city, who have not been paying the monthly fee to the MC regularly, ever since it was imposed almost an year back, thereby causing loss of revenue to the corporation.

With a view to generate revenue, a monthly fee of Rs 1,000 per month per sector was to be charged from these sector level cable operators. This would mean an annual fee of Rs 12,000 from each operator. The same stands approved by the House, but only a few cable operators paid the fee for some time. Now in order to recover the money due to the MC, the drive has been planned though the date from which it will be started is yet to be decided.

The overhead cables of these defaulter operators will be removed by the enforcement and other staff of the MC.

Meanwhile, the MC had also decided to impose monthly fees of Rs 1 lakh per month on multi-system operators, ( MSO’s) who give signals to two or three small time cable operators. But following representations that the fee imposed is too high, the F and CC had proposed that the same be reduced to Rs 2,000 per month. But the proposal is yet to be approved by the House. It was also suggested that the fee charged should be according to the number of sectors a multi-system operator feeds. They had even moved the court and a decision on the issue is still pending.

The Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, also plans to take up the issue of recovery of all pending payments with the officials concerned so that the revenue generated can be used for development works.


Senior fellowship for Dr Singhal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Eminent scholar, Dr Dharam Pal Singhal has been awarded senior fellowship in the field of Hindi by the Government of India.

According to an official announcement the value of the fellowship is Rs 6,000 per month and it will start from December 1, 2000. He has also been selected for ‘‘S. Kartar Singh Dhaliwal Award’’ by the Punjabi Sahitya Academy, for his valuable services in the field of literature and arts. The award, carries Rs 21,000 in cash, a shawl and a commendation certificate.

Former Professor and Chairman of Guru Ravi Dass Chair of Panjab University Chandigarh, Dr Dharam Pal Singhal is a man of letters who has 40 years of teaching experience to his credit. He has written 31 books on literary criticism, edited 22 anthologies and translated 15 text books from Punjabi and Hindi to English and vice versa. Many of his articles and search papers have been published in different magazines and papers. He has supervised Ph.D research of a number of students in India and abroad.


Driving car without helmet!
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Believe it or not, an SAS Nagar resident was issued challan by the Chandigarh police for driving a car without wearing a safety helmet.

Dr Gurdeep Singh Virk of Phase IV was surprised to receive a notice by a Deputy Superintendent of Police stating that an offence of driving without wearing a helmet had been committed by the driver of the vehicle bearing registration number PB-65-8525.

Dr Virk, in a letter to The Tribune, stated that registration number mentioned in the challan receipt was that of a Maruti car registered in his name. A copy of the registration certificate was also annexed along with the letter.


Villagers protest custodial death
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Feb 7 — Jaspal Singh of Saherri village under Morinda police station died in police custody last night. Residents of the village sat in dharna in Morinda demanding action against the SHO of Morinda.

According to information, Jaspal Singh was taken into custody by the police yesterday in connection with a fight in the village. He died in custody of the Morinda police. The villagers sat in dharna today till late evening and vehicular traffic was also blocked.

According to a press note issued by the SSP of Ropar, Jaspal Singh was arrested under Sections 107 and 151 of Cr P.C. yesterday. During custody he developed some health problems and was taken to Civil Hospital is Morinda, where he was declared dead at 11.40 p.m. According to the press note, a case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered against Constable Manoj Kumar and four others — Surjit Singh, Gurmit Singh, Nirmal Singh and Jagtar Singh — all residents of Saherri.

He added that the District Magistrate of Ropar had been requested to depute a Magistrate to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the incident and that the postmortem should be conducted by a team of doctors under a video camera. Mr G.S. Grewal, District Magistrate of Ropar, had deputed Mr Devinder Singh, SDM of Kharar, to hold the inquiry.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, General Secretary, PPCC has condemned the act.


Move to revert some MC officials
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Mayor Raj Kumar Goyal has sought a list of all those officers and employees who have completed three years of service on deputation with the Municipal Corporation. A note in this regard has been sent to the Assistant Commissioner-I to provide the required information.

According to sources, there are more than 50 such employees and officials, including a senior official in the corporation, and the Mayor is contemplating a move to revert some of them back to their parent departments. The sources further reveal that recently, some of the junior officials disobeyed the Mayor’s order on certain issues and the move to send them back may be a consequence of the same. The Mayor, when contacted, said the said argument was baseless and the same had been sought only for the sake of information.


Mayor may face setback
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — The authority of the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, may suffer a setback on the controversial issue of dissolution of sub-committees, if the UT Administration directs him to convene another special meeting of the House to sort out the issue through proper voting.

An indication in this regard has come from the report submitted by the local government authorities to the Adviser yesterday, stating that the Mayor had violated the provisions of the Act by announcing the dissolution of the said committees without division of votes.

The Mayor, when contacted, said “I do not think I have done anything wrong as I simply dissolved the committees, keeping in view the demand and contents of the resolution moved by BJP councillors.’’ He said if the Administration directs him to convene another meeting and dissolve them accordingly, he would do so.


MC newsletter
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Taking a cue from the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana Update, the quarterly newsletter of MC, Ludhiana, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is planning to start one from the city shortly. Interestingly, the move comes as a little delayed one, especially in view of the fact that one such proposal was earlier mooted in July 2000. The same was however dismissed as unviable on account of staff shortage.

The revival of the newsletter this year, under the name of Chandigarh Nigam News, goes to credit of the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh. He lauded the Ludhiana MC newsletter as an interesting document and suggested a follow-up to the idea from the city.Back


Sambhar strays into house
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — A four-year-old male sambhar entered a house in Sector 2 by leaping over a six-feet wall after straying from the Kansal forest area this evening. The animal was later caught by one UT wildlife squad after tranquillising it.

Eyewitnesses said that the animal entered the house of Mr Niramal Singh Kahlon, Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, at about 4.30 pm. The security guards of the minister herded the animal and locked it inside a store.

A security guard, Jagdev Singh, revealed that after locking the sambhar, police and UT wildlife employees were informed. A police team headed by Inspector Baldev Singh and wildlife squad reached the spot immediately.

After tranquillising the animal, it was loaded in a Jeep only to be released in Nepli forest after it regained the senses. Mr Ishwar Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden, UT, said “During foggy and dry season green cover in forests diminish significantly and the wild animals descend from the upper hills in search of feed and fodder.” Wildlife experts say, straying of wild animals, during the dry season is very common.

This is the fifth incident of a sumbhar straying into the city from the surrounding forests during past four months.


PCS officers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Chief secretary N.K. Arora will address PCS officers of the state on February 10 at Punjab Bhavan, according to Mr Jaswant Singh, President of the PCS Association.



Rishi bereaved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Mrs Maya Wati, wife of Mr W.R. Rishi, a diplomat-turned Roma scholar, died here today after a prolonged illness. She was 76.

Her cremation this afternoon was largely attended by family members, friends of Rishis and other prominent citizens of the city.


Man cheated of Rs 25,000
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — Mr Kailash Chander Gaur of Manimajra complained that two persons cheated him of Rs 25,000. According to the police, the complainant was constructing his house at Kishangarh village, when two persons posing as junior engineers in the Public Works Department approached him with an offer to provide iron and cement on cheaper rates. It is learnt that the complainant fell into their trap and handed them the amount.

The two reportedly took him to Iron Market in Sector 29 and then vanished. A case under the Sections 420 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Dowry case registered
Ms Neerja Sood, a resident of Kharar, lodged a complaint with the local police that she was being harassed and maltreated by her husband and in-laws for bringing insufficient dowry. Ms Sood was married to Sanjeev Sood of Moga on March 9, 2000.

A case under the Sections 406 and 498 A of the IPC has been registered.

Theft in Sector 8
According to the police the house of Mr Vimal Bhasin in Sector 8 was burgled yesterday morning. The thieves decamped with gold and silver jewellery, wrist watches, a cordless phone and few other things.

A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Car thefts
The local police has received two complaints of car thefts during the past 24 hours. Mr Nartesh Sharma of Sector 21 reported that his car (CH-03-C-2793) was stolen on the night of February 3 from his residence. In the second complaint Ms Satwinder Kaur of Sector 35 reported that his car (PB-10W-0236) was stolen from her residence yesterday. Cases under Section 379, IPC, have been registered.

1 held, stolen goods recovered
The local police has claimed to have solved six cases of theft by arresting Shammi Kumar, alias Maano, of Sector 24, here today. A local court remanded the accused to judicial custody till February 20, 2001.

According to information available, the police also recovered some of the stolen goods, which were kept in sewerage drain under the dividing road of Sectors 23 and 24.

5 arrested
Acting on two separate complaints, the police arrested five persons allegedly for assaulting the complainants. Both the incidents reportedly took place near Bank Square, Sector 17, here this afternoon.

According to police sources, Mr Ramesh Khanna, resident of Sector 45 and an employee of a nationalised bank was reportedly attacked by three persons. The police arrested the three suspects Satwant Singh, Ram Kishore and Ashok Goyal.

In the second incident, the police sources said, two persons — Arun Kumar and Fakir Chand — were arrested for allegedly assaulting Satwant Singh. In his complaint Satwant Singh had named three persons. The police was reportedly searching for Ramesh Kumar, the third accused.

Imposter held
The local police arrested a youth for ‘‘posing as a police officer’’ and assaulting a vegetable vendor at Apni Mandi in Sector 15, here today. The victim reportedly received injuries and was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16. Sources in the hospital said the vendor was discharged later.

The youth, armed with a hockey stick and posing as a ‘‘cop’’ was reportedly demanding money from the vegetable sellers. According to the information available, Nagina Singh, a vegetable seller at the mandi, refused to pay money and this led to an altercation and the youth reportedly hit Nagina Singh with the hockey stick.

In the meantime the beat police personnel reached the spot and asked the youth to show his identity card. When he failed to do so the police got suspicious and after some interrogation arrested the ‘‘imposter’’.

However, the identity of the youth could not be ascertained. A senior police official when contacted said that investigations were on.


It was not Delhi police: SP
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Feb 7 — The local police has registered a case against “unidentified” persons who illegally picked up Bhupinder Singh from a house in Sector 71 here yesterday.

The SP, Mr Gurmeet Singh Chauhan, said today that he had no information that Bhupinder Singh had been picked up by personnel of the Delhi police in connection with a murder case. He said he had contacted the Delhi police officials, who denied any involvement in the matter.

He said if the Delhi police had picked up Bhupinder, it was required under the law to inform the local police either before the action or after it. In this case no information was given at all to the police here.

The SP said Bhupinder belonged to Haryana. A case under Section 364 of the IPC had been registered and investigations were in progress.


Wipro officials visit city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 7 — A team from one of top computer software and hardware producers, Wipro, visited the proposed site of the information technology park in Chandigarh. The site is located in Kishengarh village.

The Bangalore-based team also held a discussion with officials of the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab Government regarding setting up of IT related facilities in the north.

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