Thursday, April 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Power connections outside lal dora likely
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Individual power connections are likely to be allowed to people who have constructed houses outside the lal dora (village Phirni) in any of the 18 villages of the Union Territory. The engineering wing of the Chandigarh Administration has said the same should be allowed while moving a scheme for approval of the Administration.
Action has come about after a story was published in Chandigarh Tribune on March 31, highlighting how thousands of people living outside the lal dora of 18 villages in Chandigarh were not being released individual power connections while slum-dwellers were entitled for the same.

The approval is to be accorded soon as all senior officers have been apprised of the two power distribution policies. One of which does not favour house-owners outside the lal dora. This comes 11 days after The Tribune highlighted the power problems of people living outside the lal dora of 18 villages.

According to sources, after the news-item appeared, the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, reportedly asked engineers to explain as to how two policies, one not allowing individual power connections outside lal dora and the other allowing the same facility to slum-dwellers, were in place in Chandigarh.

The engineering wing has already moved a proposal, saying the individual connections are possible. This is in line with the original idea to allow the same about 10 months ago. Then the proposal was shot down on legal grounds with queries being raised if an individual power connection will provide for a lever to house-owners claiming regularisation of their structures. Residents were told that nothing can be done till the limits of the lal dora are extended, this in itself is a cumbersome process in which a decision is pending.

Under the present policy, people outside the lal dora have to approach the Power Department as a group of residents to collectively take one bulk connection from a designated point fixed by the Electricity Department and re-distribute the power among themselves on their own through their own cable network. The department has nothing to do with the residents in case of breakdowns beyond the tap-off point of bulk power and problems of cable, distribution and bill disputes. All the department does is to collect the bill of the power consumed at tap-off point of the bulk connection.

In case of slum-dwellers an individual power connection is allowed. The Chandigarh Administration provided connections at the door-step as it does in case of sector level development the city. All breakdowns, problems of distribution are handled by the Administration.

It was this lopsidedness in the policies of the Administration in the distribution of power in the Union Territory which was brought out in this paper.

People living outside the lal dora are mostly employees who cannot afford the exorbitant costs in Chandigarh and per force opt to construct a house in one of the villages. Almost all such residents — more than 1.25 lakh people live in places outside the lal dora of the villages — are salaried class, and tax-paying people and primarily belong to the region.


Harbhajan’s nostalgic visit to city
Abhijit Chatterjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
It was a function with a difference at the Chandigarh Golf Range here this evening. A large number of young schoolboys and girls milled around the new Indian cricketing sensation, off spinner Harbhajan Singh, as he arrived at the range to receive an honorary membership of the range.

Autograph books were pushed into his hands. And comfortable with his new-found status, Harbhajan obliged, returning them signed. Photographs were taken and the youngsters smiled while rubbing shoulders with the new cricket star. Harbhajan, or bhajji, as he is known to his teammates, was patience personified as he posed for innumerable photographs and signed hundreds of autographs. In fact, the range management took quite some time before they could begin the actual function.

For Harbhajan Singh today’s function was nostalgic for more than one reason. The President of the Chandigarh Golf Association is Desh Prem Azad, his one-time coach, mentor and guide when Harbhajan was a trainee at the Chandigarh Cricket Academy, a joint project of the Sports Authority of India and the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Also, Mrs Desh Prem Azad had then looked after the young Harbhajan Singh as a mother because she was told by Harbhajan’s father that the young player was venturing out of Jalandhar for probably the first time. And today as Harbhajan hugged Mrs Azad one could visualise the binding ties between the two.

The function got under way with Mrs Desh Prem Azad presenting a shawl to Mrs Avtar Kaur, mother of Harbhajan Singh, who had accompanied her son to Chandigarh today. Then Harbhajan Singh was presented the membership card by Mr Azad. One hopes that Harbhajan Singh would make use of the facilities at the Chandigarh Golf Range once he is in town.

The star spinner is now contemplating returning to the cricket ground to further hone his skills as India are scheduled to tour Zimbabwe in June. Speaking to mediapersons after the function, Harbhajan said that the time was ripe for him to return to the cricket ground as the string of felicitation parties were seriously affecting his preparations for the future.

He disclosed that the team physio Andrew Leipus had given a set of exercises to each player, and when they return to the national camp in preparation for the tour of Zimbabwe, each player would have to pass the required physical test which, Harbhajan Singh admitted, was ‘‘very tough’’.

Speaking about his preparations, Harbhajan said he would try to practice first at Jalandhar but in case he did not get the right type of practice, he would have no hesitation in shifting to the PCA Stadium at SAS Nagar. ‘‘With Manjit sir ( a former coach of the Chandigarh Cricket Academy) and Daljit sir (Mr Daljit Singh, who has played a major role in polishing up the Punjab Ranji team players) available at the PCA stadium, I can practice under their eyes .’’

In any case the facilities available at the PCA stadium are at par with any international facility available in the country. This is the stadium where Punjab and India opener Navjot Sidhu had first asked Harbhajan Singh to bowl to the Indian team members when the national squad was practising for a Test. At that time he was barely into his teens. At that time this young player could hardly reckon that one day he would be playing with the same squad and sharing the same dressing room and, of course, breaking records.

Speaking about this experience in the recently concluded tour against the Australians, Harbhajan said the Australians were very combative on the ground but off the ground they would mix well with the Indian players. He disclosed that once he got his hattrick in the Kolkata Test, a number of Australians, including Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist, had congratulated him. As far as sledging was concerned, Harbhajan said the visitors never used foul language against him although their body language was always aggressive.

He said that of all the Australian batsmen he found that Mathew Hayden was the most difficult to dislodge. ‘‘His tremendous reach gave him a lot of time to execute his shots,’’ was the remark that the Indian off spinner while recalling Hayden’s exploits.

The Indian spinner was all praise for his skipper Saurav Ganguly. He said he and the skipper together planned the capture of each Australian wicket he got (and, mind you, he claimed as many as 32 wickets in a three-test series). ‘‘The skipper backed me to the hilt and always encouraged me to perform even better.’’ The new Indian coach, John Wright, also cane in for handsome praise. Harbhajan said Wright made him bowl for hours at the coaching camp conducted at Chennai prior to the series.

And now with Harbhajan planning to return to the nets, one can say with some sense of surety that given the pitch conditions in Zimbabwe, he would pose serious problems for the Zimbabweans as well.

Earlier in the evening the Indian off spinner and Yuvraj Singh were invited for a cup of tea at the Punjab Raj Bhavan by the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). The General asked the two sportsmen, who were accompanied by their respective mothers, to work harder and not to be complacent with success.

The General said Harbhajan had done the country proud with his efforts, while telling the two cricketers that he also played a bit of cricket in his school days. The cricketers were overjoyed in the company of the Governor, who is an ardent sports lover.


PU to auction shops that don’t fetch enough rent
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Shops in Panjab University complex, for which paltry sums are being paid as rent, may soon be auctioned.

Unauthorised structural additions have also been made in these shops. “For a cup of tea at some of these shops, students have to pay Rs 3, which is not a subsidised rate. Some other items are also overpriced,” a senior student of the university said.

A committee led by Prof Ashok Sahni, Dean University Instructions, is studying this matter. The committee has been formed at a time when the terms of lease deeds of all shops on the campus have already expired.

A detailed report on owners who sublet their shops and make unauthorised additions in these has also been submitted to the committee.

It was decided that the rents that shopkeepers had paid after the expiry of the lease be refunded to them. According to sources, a university letter after a committee meeting in January said, “As per orders of the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendations the committee, cheques were prepared in names of lessees of the shops who had paid rents for January and sent to them.”

Lessees refused to accept these cheques and said they wanted to meet the VC in this regard. The university has leased out two milk booths.

Prof V.K. Bansal said in a meeting that, “The term of lease deeds of shops on the university campus expired in December 2000, so, shopkeepers should be asked to vacate the premises. Authorities should find out the original purpose for which these shops had been leased out.” The DUI said, whereas, one shopkeeper was paying only Rs 300 as the monthly rent, another paid Rs 6,000.



Water samples fail bacteriological tests
Residents unhappy over erratic water supply
Poonam Batth and Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Two of the 11 water samples were found to be contaminated and not fit for human consumption as the Chandigarh Tribune team launched a special campaign to redress the consumer’s general complaints pertaining to the supply of muddy, highly chlorinated and at times ‘foamy’ drinking water in the city and the surrounding townships of SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

The team collected fresh drinking water samples at random from different parts of the city on March 28 and submitted them for a comprehensive bacteriological analysis to a government approved laboratory, IDMA Laboratories Limited, without disclosing their source of collection.

A detailed report received after 10 days, during which these samples were subjected to bacteriological examination based on Bureau of Indian Standards IS: 10500 — 1991, revealed that two samples — one from Sector 39 and the other from SAS Nagar — failed these tests drastically while the other samples, collected from Sectors 48, 42, 20, 8, 45, 26, 45, Attawa village and Panchkula, were found fit for drinking water with respect to presence of coliform bacteria in them.

Infact, as against more than 10 coliform bacteria in every 100 milliliter of water sample in these two cases, SAS Nagar (172) and Sector 39 (221), the samples were further subjected to an extended test for E.Coli. The reports received after these tests confirmed the presence of E.Coli, which in ideal conditions, should have been absent.

Come summers and Chandigarh and its surrounding areas cry for water. However, most residents are reportedly unhappy about the water supply and few others are more concerned about the quality of water that is being supplied by the civic authorities. Few residents have also complained about presence of worms from their drinking water supply and this problem intensifies during the monsoon seasons. It is perhaps the most legitimate demand of residents that the water they drink should be safe for drinking.

Interestingly, the samples have also once again brought out the much hyped north and south divide. While, the people in the northern sectors, supposed to be a privileged lot, enjoy the taste of clean drinking water, those residing in the southern sectors are at the receiving end. Not only do they have to face discomfort on account of irregular water supply and low water pressure but also unclean water, which can lead to complications like jaundice, diarrhoea, cholera and other water borne diseases. It is also worthwhile to mention that a study in the city conducted some time back had revealed that highest number of children suffer from worm infested infections in the city.

Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, vehemently denied that any of the drinking water samples could fail in the bacteriological test. He said, “The Sector 39 laboratory, where the raw water from Kajauli is treated with alum and then chlorinated, has the facility to take hourly samples to check the quality of water.” The water that reaches our homes has been filtered regularly and treated to remove and also bring down all kinds of impurities from water. Similarly, the right volume and the quantity of chlorine is checked and then added to water, he added.

Mr Singh further disclosed that Chandigarh, which has a water pipeline almost 1200 km long, now has a mobile van that collects almost 20 to 24 water samples daily to check the impurities and chlorination level from various houses and shops of the city.

The Superintending Engineer (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh Kanwal, also maintains that checks are conducted till the water reaches the last tap point. “If we come to know that quality of water is not at par with the standards, then we inform the residents well in advance. But such problems normally occur only when pipes get rusted and need to be replaced.” he said.

Meanwhile, the XEN (Public Health), SAS Nagar Mr S.S. Ghuman, when contacted said the raw water is received from the Sector 39 water works and is sent for further testing from the Phase VI water works to the Municipal Corporation laboratory in Chandigarh. He said that samples collected possibly failed due to some other reason.

E.Coli are the representatives of the coliform bacteria found in the colon of human beings and other mammals. In colon these bacteria are normally present. However, in any other part of the body they can cause infections. Sources reveal that even the bacteriological tests conducted by the Microbiology Department of the GMCH, Sector 32, on the drinking water collected by the UT Health Department have been found to be unsatisfactory on the Macrade’s Table. 


Lawyers call off strike
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
Over 1,000 lawyers of the District Courts complex called off their strike here today after their demand for space for temporary chambers was accepted by authorities.

These lawyers were protesting for the past two days against the demolition of temporary chambers in the District Courts complex by the Administration. The Secretary of the District Bar Association, Mr Benny Parshad, said the decision to call off the strike had been taken at a meeting between members of the body and the District Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, today.

He also said an eight-member committee of lawyers had been formed to decide the procedure for allotment of the space for chambers.

Meanwhile, about 20 typists gave a representation to the District Courts officials today, alleging that, on April 10, many lawyers had occupied their space in the courts building. The dispute was solved after these typists were also allotted space for chambers on the courts premises. The police had also been deployed at the courts today.



Eloped couple returns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The kidnap drama that began on April 4 near a Sector 10 petrol station here concluded today after the lovers returned after being in hiding for eight days in two states.

The couple — 17-year-old girl and her 21-year-old beau, Arvind — returned here after their relatives and the police assured them that they would not be harmed. The couple said they had been visiting various religious places in these eight days.

Arvind said the girl had forced him to take this step as she feared that her mother would force her to leave for their native village and marry someone else. He said the girl and he were in love since 1998 and their families were aware of this relationship.

Arvind said, on April 4, he had taken the girl to his relatives in Naya Gaon in the car that was used to pick her up. Later, they left for Daddu Majra on foot and took a bus for Amritsar from SAS Nagar afterwards. They visited the Golden Temple and after spending a night there, left for the Vaishno Devi shrine.

From there, they went to Ludhiana, but, fearing a police raid there at the residence of Arvind’s father, Sita Ram, they left for Patiala. They continued to be in contact with their relatives and the police who persuaded them to return.

Regarding the case of kidnapping against him, Arvind said, “I love this girl and expect her to reciprocate by telling the police the truth.”

Meanwhile, the police has placed him under arrest.


Shot fired by MLA’s kin
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 11
A shot was reportedly fired from a pistol in a clash between two groups in front of the house of a MLA of Punjab in Phase 3B I here last night. Though no formal complaint has been lodged by any one sources in the police said the trouble started when two of the kin of the MLA from Amloh in an inebriated cardition overtook another car near Phase 7. In the ensuing moment abusive language was used, by both side.

When they reached the Housing Board flat of the MLA in Phase 3 B I here, the kin of the MLA allegedly fired, but luckily the shot hit the ground. Residents of the locality came out of their houses on hearing the shot.

Police officials say though no formal complaint in this regard was lodged with them yet they were inquiring into the matter.


Panel of officers for FS’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
A panel of four officers has been sent by Punjab for the post of Finance Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, sources said tonight.

The officers are Mr R.S. Nayyar (1982 batch), Mr S.S. Chani (1983), Mr Jagpal Singh (1984) and Mr Karan A. Singh (1984 batch).

Present Finance Secretary Rakesh Singh's tenure ends in June. As per the process the names will first be cleared by the Administration followed by clearances by the Union Cabinet and then the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). 



Regularise additions and alterations in flats

The Administration plans to convert to freehold, flats in which no additions or alterations have been made. But the welfare associations are pressing the authorities to regularise the additions and alterations. In this respect, I would like to make the following points.

That the ground floor owners purchased the houses at prices higher than those on the upper storeys because of the courtyard. If the balconies are regularised the privacy of the ground floor owners will be lost and they will stand cheated for having paid the higher price. Sometimes articles fall from the balconies, which is a risk for the ground floor residents.

Some top floor owners have constructed additional rooms on the roofs of their houses. This weakens the whole structure. Regularisation may be done keeping in view this aspect.

Additional rooms have been constructed in the courtyard by inserting reinforcement into the walls of the main building thus causing a danger to the structure. The additional rooms may be allowed if these are not connected with the main structure.

However, minor additions and alterations inside the houses may be regularised.

OM PARKASH Chandigarh

Mati Das memorial

More than 18 years ago, the foundation of Bhai Mati Das Bhawan was laid in Sector 11, by Giani Zail Singh who was then the Union Home Minister. The stone is now surrounded by wild growth and has become the haunt of stray dogs. More than two years ago, the then Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Lt-Gen B K N Chhibber, who is a descendant of Bhai Mati Das and is the chairman of Bhai Mati Das Trust, had announced that the memorial would consist of a home for children and old persons and a library and that the project would be completed within a year. More than three years have passed since he made this commitment. So far there is nothing at the site except congress grass and stray dogs.


Employment exchanges

Two employment exchanges are functioning in Chandigarh — one in Sector 17 for the UT, and the other in Sector 22 for Punjab.

A round trip to Chandigarh from any station in Punjab costs at least Rs 20 which is a heavy burden on the unemployed youths who want to visit the office in Sector 22. Moreover, this office stops public dealing at 1 p.m.

If the Sector 22 employment exchange is shifted to Mohali, it will offer them easy access, besides saving time and money of those who have to make trips to this office.


Letter boxes

Letter boxes fixed at different places in Panchkula do not display the time of clearance of mail, although a slide for this purpose is placed in the letter boxes.

It is not understood why the practice of writing the time of clearance has been discontinued and surprisingly it does not seem to have come to the notice of the postal authorities who are supposed to supervise the working of the department. The absence of the clearance time often creates doubts whether the mail is cleared from these boxes at all.

It is hoped that the authorities concerned will look into this aspect and take the necessary corrective measures.

R S GUPTA Panchkula

Traffic jam

Blocking the roads on one pretext or the other is common. But the blockade on March 26 in connection with the inauguration of a bridge near the railway station was a cruel joke as the bridge had already been opened to traffic. It was a working day and people had to face the jam for hours. Leave alone the office-goers and businessmen, the worst suffers were the students who were to take their examinations and the patients heading for hospitals. But the administration seems indifferent to the people’s woes.

On such occasions, the absence of the traffic police adds to the confusion. With no one to control the movement, traffic inches forward in four or five columns. If the movement is regulated in a single file, it can lessen the congestion to some extent.

J. K. MAGO Panchkula

Summer problems

With the onset of summer , flies and mosquitoes have started showing. In their appearance lies a message about the problems to come. The authorities will do well to start taking preventive steps now, rather than waking up when the damage is already done. It will be easy now to eradicate flies and mosquitoes and so will be the follow-up. This is the right time to act.



Blame it on the Kajauli waterline
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Despite tall claims by the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, residents in various parts of the city faced water shortage problems during the past three days. The areas which were badly affected were sectors 19, 20, 22, 29, 40, 41, 45, 47, 38 (West) Ram Durbar, Hallo Majra and Raipur Khurd village.

A large number of residents of these areas have been put to a lot of inconvenience. The situation in Sector 22 was so bad, that shopkeepers had to procure drinking water from nearby houses to quench their thirst. In sector 19 and 22, tankers were called.

Those who are feeling the pinch of the shortfall in the supply are the ones residing on the third floors of Ram Durbar and Hallo Majra, which have almost gone without water despite booster pumps. Similarly, there has been no water supply to Raipur Khurd for the past three days and there is a virtual stampede to take water from the two tankers, which visit to the area daily. And still many residents have not been able to get a drop of water.

Residents of sectors 40, 41, 45 and 47 have also complained that the morning supply of water begins late and stops early and even the evening supply is for a much shorter duration. Those residing in sector 29 have also pointed out that morning water supply virtually stops at 6 am and after that there is barely a trickle and the evening supply also starts at about 7 p.m. The water pressure is so low that it does not reach the top floors.

Due to low water pressure in Sector 47, water was not reaching the top storeys, thereby causing inconvenience to residents. Some residents of Sector 45 have complained of dirty water in the taps.

The SE (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh Kanwal, attributed the water shortage to a defect in one of the the water lines from Kajauli. The same had been out of order for the past 3 days, as a result of which of the total 60 MGD water which comes from Kajauli, the city was receiving only 40 MGD.

The shortage was mainly on account of the 20 MGD less which was being received and even the stored stocks of water had been exhausted. However, the line has been repaired and normal supplies will be restored by tomorrow. Hence, residents need not panic.


Tributes paid to Devi Lal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 11
A large gathering from adjoining villages was present at Bagwali village to receive the urn containing the ashes of former Deputy Prime Minister, Devi Lal here today.

The urn was brought from Yamunanagar to Panchkula by his grandson, Abhey Chautala and was sent to Ambala by afternoon to enable the public to pay homage to the departed soul.

At Bagwali, the urn was handed over to the district administration and was received by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, and representatives of various social and political parties.

They passed through Mauli, Alipur, Mattanwala, Bhanu, Mankaya, Ramgarh, Madanpur, Kishengarh, Moginand, Nada and Majri village before passing through Sector 2, 10 and11. Later, the urn was placed at the Jang Ghar in Sector 10 where a large number of members of the residents welfare associations paid homage.

The personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police also paid tributes by reversing their arms. Earlier, a sarv dharam sabha was organised at Bagwali on the occasion.

Prominent among those who paid homage and floral tributes was the Minister of State for Social Welfare, Mr Risal Singh and the President of the All-India Jat Mahasabha and the noted film actor, Dara Singh.

Floral tributes were paid to the urn containing the ashes of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal when it entered Ambala district at Sherpur village this morning.

The MLA and grandson of Devi Lal, Mr Abhay Chautala, accompanied the urn along with the Haryana Minister, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu.

A contingent of Haryana police did ‘ulta shastra’ and a band of 14 Gorkha Training Centre played a sad tune. “Ch Devi Lal Amar Rahein” and “Jab Tak Sooraj Chand Rahega, Tau tera naam rahega” were some of the slogans raised by the people.

Among others, the Haryana Minister, Mr Risal Singh, MLAs, Mr Anil Vij, Mr Pawan Dewan, Ms Veena Chhibber and district INLD president Surjit Singh Sondha were present. The officials present included the DC, Mr D.D. Gautam, the ADC, Mr Mahinder Kumar, the SP, Mr Sandeep Khirwar and the Additional SP, Ms Mamta Singh.

Tributes were also paid to the urn at Do Sadka chowk, Kalpi, Saha and Shahzadpur.


Web site for defence pensioners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) has launched a Web site catering to the specific needs of nearly two million defence pensioners.

According to a statement issued here today, the site can be accessed at

The site, which was recently inaugurated by Mr P R Sivasubramanium, Financial Adviser (Defence Services) in the Ministry of Defence, contains comprehensive information on rules and procedures concerning pensionary entitlements of commissioned officers, personnel below officer rank as well as civilians employed in defence establishments.

Post January 1, 1996, retirees can also work out their pensionary benefits through a “pension calculator” on the site.

Model calculations are also provided for the benefit of those wishing to work out their pension.

All important forms and application formats can be downloaded from the website and quarries as well as suggestions can be logged in.

Latest government orders and information concerning forthcoming pension adalats would also be displayed on the site.

Though based at Allahabad, the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) is centrally responsible for sanction of pension and disbursements to individual pensioners made by around 35,000 branches of public sector banks, 62 defence pension disbursement offices, around 600 treasury offices, 5 pay account offices and the Indian Embassy in Nepal in respect of Gorkha pensioners.



Encroachment drive annoys residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The drive carried out by the Municipal Corporation today to remove encroachments on road berms in Sector 18 led to resentment among residents of the area.

The residents pointed out that they had not been given any prior notice by the civic body for removing the dustbins and other such structures from in front of their houses. Prof G. C. Bansal, a resident of the area, pointed out that residents were not aware that the dustbins in front of the houses were an encroachment on the MC land, and had the authorities informed them they would have removed the same. They are perhaps doing so since the inefficient MC staff is not able to keep their upkeep by cleaning these regularly, he added.

Another resident said what is the MC achieving by spoiling the look of the area. The staff simply comes and starts demolishing structures, even though these are beyond 6 ft, which is required to be left on either side of the road.

The authorities, however, maintain that verbal warnings were issued in few cases yesterday. They maintain that such drives are carried out in a routine manner so that the berm is cleared of encroachments and is free for passers-by.

The anti-enforcement staff of the MC today issued 100 challans in various parts of the city to those encroaching upon the MC land.

Besides, a khokha being put up by a person in Industrial Area, Phase-I, to run a STD booth was also razed to the ground. The same had also been removed a few days ago. Five cane juice crushers were also challaned on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and their crushing machines confiscated and three others were seized in the Burail area.


Unannounced power cuts irk residents
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, April 11
Frequent power cuts at odd hours are being faced by residents of this township and the industrial units located in the surrounding areas for the past over one week, thanks to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), which has forced them to use kerosene, candles and generators for light in their houses and business concerns.

Residents of the area complain that erratic power supply had affected their routine adversely. Most sufferers are students as the unannounced power cuts hinder their preparations for the final examination.

Power supply from the transformers feeding the urban areas remains suspended for over five to six hours within 24 hours to different villages, colonies and industrial units in the area. The electricity supply from the rural feeder to villages in the surrounding areas remains disrupted for almost the whole night, complained Mr Surjit Singh of Lalru village.

Moreover, low electrical voltage affects the water supply adversely, which is the basic need of life. The residents are forced to go for other natural water resources and draw water from handpumps as public health tubewells fail to fulfill the water demands of the area.

Power cuts are not only paralysing normal life but also giving a sense of insecurity to farmers. Farmers have started storing diesel for thrashing of crops.

Mr D.P. Balasi, president of Residents Welfare Society, Preet Nagar, Zirakpur, alleged that the power situation has worsened for the last five days. Despite repeated complaints to the PSEB authorities, there was hardly any improvement. The authorities has never given prior information regarding power cuts, complained Mr Bhupinder Singh Saini, a resident of Dera Bassi. The PSEB authorities, however, claimed that they receive directions from Patiala and accordingly suspend power supply for a particular area feeder.


Chopra elected Chandigarh Club president
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
Mr Ravinder Chopra was tonight elected president of the Chandigarh Club, defeating Mr R. S. Sachdeva by three votes. He secured 1160 votes.

Mr Sunil Khanna was elected vice-president of the prestigious club by defeating his nearest rival Mr Sunil Gupta. The counting for the post of the president was still on till the filling of this report.

Mr Sunil Khanna polled 1504 votes while his rival managed only 1422 votes. The elections to the posts — president, vice-president and eight-member executive body were held on March 3.

Mr Sanjay Sahni who was elected to the executive body of the club polled 1254 votes. The other seven members who had been elected are Mr Ajay Vir Singh (1171), Dr Anomol Ratan Sidhu (940), Mr C.M. Munjal (940), Mr Gopal Gupta (920), Mr Naresh Choudhary (850), Mr Bhushan Sharma (841) and Mr Sanjay Mohan (840).

Those who did not manage to get through in the executive body polled Mr Rakesh Garg (826), Mr Anil Mahajan (586), Mr Virender Malik (216), Mr Harpreet Singh (216) and Mr Amrit Vir Uppal polled 114 votes.

It may be recalled that the elections were held on March 3 but the counting was stopped after a member of the club challenged the elections. On March 28, a candidate had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court for declaration of results. The high court shifted the case to the court of the District and Sessions Judge and asked it to declare the result within one week.



Baisakhi function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
A Baisakhi function will be held at Gurdwara Mukatsar Sahib on the Panjab University campus on April 13.

A religious diwan will be held by famous ragi jathas. Sikh scholar Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon will speak on the historical background of the Khalsa.



Naval Chief visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Adm Sushil Kumar, arrived in the city on a brief visit this morning. He left for New Delhi by service aircraft after reportedly spending about one and a half hours.


Lawyers allege misbehavior
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The District Bar Association has made a representation to the UT Administrator and Governor, Lt. Gen. J.F.R. Jacob alleging misbehavior of the UT SP Security and Traffic towards the president of the Bar, Mr N.K. Nanda.

A copy of the representation, which was also released to the press, said that the concerned officer had “misbehaved with Mr Nanda and shown high-handedness in dealing with him” when the latter had gone to the Punjab Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor after seeking prior appointment.


Massive hunt for conmen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The computer sketches of the two conmen, who had duped a Sector 42 housewife of her gold ornaments yesterday, were made by the local police today.

The police also launched a massive manhunt for the two accused, who reportedly appeared to be Bengalis. The police has conducted several raids in the nearby areas to nab the accused, but to no avail. The accused had reportedly duped the woman, Nirmal Kaur, of her gold bangles on the pretext of cleaning them.

The police had registered a case under Sections 420 and 34 of the IPC.

Purse stolen: A purse containing Rs 10,000, a few cheques and other documents were stolen from the car of a woman from outside Hotel Khyber in Sector 35 at 12.30 pm this afternoon.

It is learnt that when the owner of the car, Ms Balwinder Kaur, came out of the hotel after attending a kitty party and sat in her car, a youth, around 14 years of age began banging at the rear end of her car. The moment she got out of her car, another youth came in and stole away the purse she had left behind in the car.

Woman missing: Sita, who was deserted by her husband following a dispute over dowry, is alleged to have been kidnapped by her husband and in- laws since Diwali in the 1999. A case under sections 498-A, 368 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against three persons on the complaint of the victim’s father, Ram Avadh, after a police inquiry was conducted.

It is alleged that Sita was married to Gur Prasad, a resident of Maloya, on March 20, 1998. The husband of the girl and her in-laws, Babu Lal and Somvati, have been accused of harrassing the girl and demanding more dowry.

Employee booked for duping school: An employee of the Pt. Mohan Lal S.D. Public School , Prem Narain Sharma, has been accused of withdrawing Rs 48, 700 from the school accounts in the extension counter of the Central Bank of India, Sector 32, by forging signatures. A case under Sections 468 and 471 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of the school Principal, Ms Manju.

Car stolen: Mr. Narinder Singh Bhanot’s Maruti car (CH-03D-8781) was stolen from the parking in Sector 8, Madhaya Marg, yesterday. A case under section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Pendent snatched: Unknown miscreants attempted to snatch a gold chain from Ms Sarwana Sood, while she was walking near house in Sector 42. Though the miscreants were unable to pull the chain, they were able to pull the gold pendant and then fled away. A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the IPC had been registered.

Burglary: A government depot was burgled by unknown persons in Palsora Colony on the intervening night of April 7 and 8. A large number of daily need items were stolen and a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC have been registered.

Cylinder blast: An LPG cylinder burst in a house in Sector 40 here today. Though no casualty or injury to the housewife, Sunita, was reported, a portion of the house was destroyed because of the impact of the blast.

A 70-year-old man, K.N. Joshi, allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance. 


VOA launched in northern India
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 11
The Mohali Satellite Communication (MSC) Network has become the first cable service provider in northern India and fourth in the country to launch the Voice of America (VOA) and the Worldnet channel here today.

Speaking to mediapersons here Ms Julie A. Nickles, Information Officer, US Embassy, said “This is a great step forward in our relations with the people of India. Through the VOA channel we shall be able to provide the latest in news, business and entertainment related programmes.”

Mr Amar Bansal, Programme Technical Manager for TVRO installation, said the equipment installed for the purpose was state of the art and had been flown in from the US. The equipment would ensure a high quality broadcast to the people of the town and was comparable to the best in the world.

Col S.S. Chahal (retd), owner of the MSC, said the network had started in 1994 and today it was providing more than 50 channels to its subscribers.

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