Saturday, March 17, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PUDA earns 13.77 cr in auction
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 16
The day began on a promising note for the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) as it sold commercial property for Rs 13.77 crore against a reserved price of Rs 12.88 crore in an auction of 27 commercial sites here. A total of 48 sites with a total reserved price of Rs 15 crore were put under the hammer. But of these 21 sites with a reserved price of 2.12 crore were withdrawn by the authorities seeing few bidders for them.



No of sites auctioned

Highest bid

Phase 3B2



Rs 34.05 lakh



Rs 73  lakh

Phase X



Rs 12.12 lakh

Sector 70



Rs 60.50 lakh

Officials of the local Estate Office of PUDA said the response was more for developing sectors as compared to developed sectors. All the 11 Shop-cum-Office (SCO’s) sites in Sector 70 which were put under the hammer were sold. The maximum price was attracted by an SCO (No 508) which was sold for Rs 60.50 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 43.45 lakh. The lowest bid attracted by an SCO (No 542) was for Rs 55 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 43.45 lakh.

The eight SSS (Single-storey-Shops) sites which were carved out of the millennium site in Phase 3B-2 along the main road passing through the town also attracted many bidders. Priced at Rs 7 crore, PUDA could not sell the millennium site and it was converted into SSS sites. Against a total reserved price of over Rs 1.99 crore, the sites were sold for over Rs 2.56 crore. A single-storey shop (No 130) was sold for Rs 30.05 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 24.12 lakh.

A Shop-cum-Flat (SCF) corner site in Phase 3B-2 was sold for Rs 73 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 65.98 lakh. Another SCF corner site was sold for Rs 69 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 58.65 lakh. Another SCF site in the same Phase was sold for Rs 60 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 58.55 lakh.

In Phase X the authorities were able to sell two of the 11 general use booth sites. The booths (No 3 and 4) were sold for Rs 12.10 lakh and Rs 12.12 lakh, respectively, against a reserved price of Rs 12.01 lakh, each.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today decided not to extend the date of receipt of applications for the allotment of residential plots from the persons holding R-numbers beyond March 16. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the senior officials of the authority at Chandigarh.

A total of 25 applications had been received by this evening, out of the 124 cases pending with the authority for the past over six years. PUDA has clarified that those who apply under the offer would be allotted plots at the rates for general category applicants in the five new sectors draw of lots of which were being held in the last two weeks of this month.

No concession on account of the rate of the plots would be offered to the applicants and those who had not apply will get back their earnest money with interest.

Protesting against the stand of PUDA, a number of persons holding the R-numbers said PUDA should allot the plots at the rate at which it had allotted earlier to other R-number holders.

They said after holding their earnest money for years its decision to offer plots at the existing allotment price was unjustified. Mr N.K. Marwaha, a former President of the Property Dealer Association, said the date to put in the applications should be extended.


Bomb hoax menace: police seeks list of cases
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The city police has requested the District Judge to furnish a list of all important cases that were listed for hearing on the two days when there was a bomb hoax in the District Courts in the past two months.

This has reportedly been done due to fears that some undertrial might be using this ploy to get his case adjourned. The District Judge has already appointed a functionary of the court to compile a list off al sensitive cases that were listed for hearing and where the Judge had to make pronouncements on these two days.

On March 13, the day of the bomb hoax, at least four cases of the Central Bureau of Investigation were scheduled for hearing.

The police investigations have not revealed anything so far as the call had been made from a PCO in Sector 22. Police sources said a man wearing a lawyer’s uniform and claiming to be “Advocate Vikram” had made this call.

The caller said he had heard three Kashmiri men planning to blow up the District Courts complex. The police was alerted and the ASP Central, Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, led the search operation for over two hours.

This was the second time this year and perhaps for the 20th in the past five years that a bomb hoax disrupted activity in the courts.

There are 19 courts in the complex here and hundreds of litigants, lawyers and employees visit these every day. “Any such call has to be handled with caution, in spite of the fact that, at most times, it turns out to be a hoax,” says the UT Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain.

Not just the District Courts, incidents of bomb hoax have also happened in two city schools twice this year. The first incident was reported at the Sector 32 SD School on February 2 and the second at St Joseph’s High School in Sector 44 here on March 7.

The police says that such pranks become an exercise in futility as about 100 policemen of the area police station, three reserves with the Senior Superintendent of Police, senior police officers, deep-search mine detectors, and mechanical sniffers have to be pressed into service. Besides this, the traffic police is also put on alert.

Though as many as five call identification machines have been installed in the control room, it becomes difficult for the police to catch the culprits as the calls are mostly made from a PCO. The SSP said all Station House Officers had been asked to keep in regular touch with the PCO owners of their areas to catch such persons.


Free tree arrests passing car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 16
Had the Horticulture Department, of the Union Territory cared to rise from its slumber a little earlier, the damage caused on account of a neem tree falling flat on a moving Maruti Zen here today could have been averted. The tree at the entrance of Advance Engineering Works in Industrial Area, Phase I, gave way today, damaging the car.

As per information available with Chandigarh Tribune, three reminders to the effect that the tree was in a precarious position and could fall any time had already been sent to the Horticulture Department. Even meetings in this regard had also reportedly been held with the XEN in charge of the area.

Mr Keval Sikka, one of the proprietors of the factory where the incident occurred informed that several letters had been sent to the Horticulture Department in this regard but in vain. He said, “The main gate of the factory was also damaged when the tree fell.

People of the area near the factory said some of the roots of the tree were cut long time ago. The base of the tree was weak and the tree could fall any time. According to officials of the factory, the obstructing tree was hampering day-to-day work also.

The owner of the factory had also reportedly written a letter to the Horticulture Department in July last year and then personally met the XEN in October. The XEN had promised to take necessary permission from the higher authorities and given an assurance that something would be done in the next 15 days.

Staff of the Horticulture Department had also visited the site and seen the position of the tree.


59 autorickshaw drivers fined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
After years of complaints from city residents, the Chandigarh Administration today cracked the whip and challaned 59 autorickshaw drivers for not having fare meters in their vehicles. The drive will carry on.

This was under a special drive by the Traffic Police in coordination with the Weights and Measure Department and the State Transport Authority to check defaulters and vehicles plying illegally and with non-calibrated fare meters. The challans were issued as per law, a spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration said today.

The Transport Department has asked the SP, Traffic and the Secretary, State Transport Authority (STA) to form separate teams and challan the autos which have not fallen in line and fixed meters as per notification issued on January 12.

Challaning started this morning as per schedule. Three teams were stationed outside the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17, PGI and the road leading to SAS Nagar. As the idea was to reduce harassment public, no auto was impounded.

The SP Traffic had assured the Transport authorities to feed all challans into police computers. The challaning teams will be able to ask over the wireless system from the computer control room and confirm that how many times a particular auto had been challaned.

Going by the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, the offending autos cannot be impounded for the first three violations. After that impounding is allowed. The idea is to have compliance of order and not impound the autos, thus avoiding harassment to public.


‘Fernandes was a soldier’s minister’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
With George Fernandes’ resignation being accepted, the country has lost, what was being termed as the most efficient and service friendly Raksha Mantri (RM). Having pushed through several reforms and working on the much-needed restructuring of the defence services, besides processing procurement files long gathering dust in the South Block, George Fernandes proved himself to be a soldier’s minister.

Sharing a cup of tea with troops in Siachen or sitting through commanders’ conferences, George has left his mark as RM. Welfare of the troops was his top priority.

TNS spoke to some eminent defence officers settled in and around the city to know the impact the RM’s resignation is likely to have on the troops as well as the armed forces as a whole.

Though most felt that welfare of troops may suffer and the modernisation process would slow down, some felt that there would not be any adverse impact on the functioning of the Defence Ministry.

Stating that the RM had to quit under circumstances which are not fully explained yet, Air Mrashal Randhir Singh (retd) said: “It is a sad day that so far, in my reckoning, George was proving to be better than his predecessors. What little progress we saw during his tenure is going to get halted. Adding that it is going to effect the morale, he said that if the resignation brings about any improvement in the system, it can be taken as a silver lining in the dark clouds, but questioned if any improvement can actually be brought about and by whom.

Stating that George was an effective Defence Minister and one who had always felt for the troops, Lt Gen J L Malhotra (retd) was of the opinion that when he had taken over as the Defence Minister, he wanted to stem the rot in defence deals, but could not do so. “This rot is coming out now,” he commented. Remarking that he was setting a good example by volunteering to resign, General Malhotra also felt that defence deals would be affected and modernisation of the armed forces would suffer.

“The resignation of the RM on moral and constitutional grounds would have an adverse effect on the armed forces in the sense that he was the only Defence Minister who regularly visited troops deployed in difficult terrain and counter insurgency areas,” commented Brig Sant Singh (retd). “Officers and jawans will feel that his going away will hit their welfare,” he added. Brig Sant Singh was also of the view that under George the process of procurement of weapons and equipment had speeded up, which may again get bogged down under the bureaucracy.

While viewing the easy access of people to the Defence Minister’s residence as a serious security lapse, Col A N Sharma (retd) opined that George Fernandes’ decision to resign, though belated, was a step in the right direction. “In the face of the doubts cast, the minimum which was expected out of him was to resign gracefully at the very onset, allow an independent inquiry into the matter and let the law take its own course,” he said. He added that if absolved of the charges, he should come back.

Terming the RM’s resignation as an unhappy event, Wg Cdr G B Singh (retd) said that George had aligned himself with the men in uniform and had worked for their benefit. Saying that he had involved himself with the forces, he remarked, “He had felt their problems and did something concrete.” He added that being from a relatively small party, he had no axe to grind.

Commodore R.N. Das Gupta (retd), while stating that taking action against the Army officers was a good thing, was of the view that George’s quitting will not have any adverse effect on the services. “It is true he was a go-getter, but in many cases it did not work out. The bureaucracy did not let him do everything he wanted to do,” he remarked.


It’s a conspiracy, says BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Chandigarh unit of the BJP today described the exposure about the alleged shady defence deals by as a political conspiracy hatched and funded to tarnish the image of the party in the forthcoming assembly elections in various states.

Ms Ranjana Shahi, official spokesperson of the party said after the exposures no government in the past had taken such a prompt action as taken by the party. She said the party national president had resigned on mere “ finger raising”. She said the Congress leadership should follow suit by asking Sonia Gandhi to resign in the Bofors scam for her Italian connection.


Ambala boy missing for three days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
A 19-year-old Ambala youth , who had come to the city in order to get his engineering entrance test forms, has been missing for the past three days. It is also learnt that the boy was kidnapped by unknown miscreants in November, 2000, and was released only after three days.

Siddharth Rao, who had been preparing for the CET exams, had left his Ambala cantonment residence on March 14, but he did not return back. His father, Mr. Samrat Singh Rao, a lawyer by profession, finally got a DDR entry in the Police Post Regiment Bazaar, Ambala, on the same date.

He has alleged that the boy had been sent to Chandigarh in November last year so as to get coaching in an institute here. Siddharath was staying here as a paying guest in Sector 35-D, and on the morning of November 23, while he had gone out to have tea, he was allegedly kidnapped by a few people.

While talking to TNS, Mr. Rao said that his son had been kept in illegal confinement for three days before being released on November 26 near Pipli in Haryana. “ The abductors had known that Siddharth belonged to Ambala and that he was my son. They kept on pestering him to confess to this, but he refused to comply and was later let off.

I suspect that the opposite party of one of my clients is behind my son’s disappearance so as to pressurise me against representing my clients,” he alleged.


Discrimination against Punjabi: MLAs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Concern was today expressed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha over “discrimination against the Punjabi language by the Union Territory of Chandigarh Administration’’ through a call-attention motion moved by two SAD members, Mr Makhan Singh and Mr Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh.

Replying to this, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, quoting from a Union Home Ministry letter of June, 1980, said the Chandigarh Administration could not decline applications presented in Punjabi. As per verbal information received from the Chandigarh Administration, it had also been found that no letter had been issued by it to prevent the entertaining of applications written in Punjabi, he added.

This was in response to apprehensions expressed by Mr Makhan Singh. The letter, inter alia, says that in a state where 70 per cent or more of the population spoke one language it would be declared a single-language state. As per the Home Department letter an area in which 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the population spoke a language, that area would be a minority lingual area. Thus, official notices, rules, etc were required to be published in the language of that area. Therefore, it was expected of the Chandigarh Administration not to reject applications submitted in Punjabi.

As per the 1991 census, out of a total population of 6,39,228 as many as 2,22,890 had mentioned Punjabi as their language in Chandigarh. So the Punjabi-speaking population was 34.86 per cent.


Boy caught for sodomy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
A five-year old child was allegedly sodomised by a 17-year-old-boy at his residence in Colony No. 4 here yesterday. The accused, Hanif Ansari, a Class VIII student of a local school, was arrested by the police yesterday and was today sent to judicial custody till March 30.

It is alleged that the accused had taken the victim to his hut in the colony, on the pretext of showing him a TV programme. In the evening that the child returned to his parents, crying and bleeding profusely.

The child’s father, Mohammad Yusuf, informed the police and the accused was arrested. A case under Sections 342 and 377 of the IPC was also registered against him. The child was taken to the General Hospital for treatment.

Couple attempts immolation

An Army personnel and his wife reportedly attempted self-immolation at their residence today.

The couple, Shashikant Patil and his wife, Sharda, live in Raipur Khurd village. They were rushed to Command Hospital and are undergoing treatment there.

Car stereo stolen

A stereo was stolen from the car of Harjit Singh, while it was parked in front of his Sector 36 residence on the night of March 14. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Scribes hurt

Four scribes — Anand Bhatia (Dainik Jagran), Prasoon Latant (Jansatta), Hitender Rao and Navneet Kumar (both Hindustan Times) were injured when they were hit by a speeding Esteem car near the Haryana CM’s residence. The driver of the car, Gursharan Goel has been arrested and a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against him. The accused is alleged to have been in an inebriated condition.

Liquor seized

Parlad Kumar a.k.a, Bittu has been arrested by the police for violation of the Excise Act and 48 quarters of Bonni Scot and one bottle of Royal Choice whisky have been seized from his possession.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |