Friday, April 20, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



30 jhuggies gutted in Gur Sagar colony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Scores of labourers were rendered homeless after 30 jhuggis were gutted in a major fire that also destroyed goods worth over Rs 1 lakh. However, no loss of life was reported in the fire which broke out today morning at Gur Sagar colony, near Kaimbwala village.

The fire, which broke out during the observance of the Fire Safety Week destroyed the household belongings and cash worth over Rs 1 lakh, leaving some of the dwellers penniless.

According to sources in the fire department, the fire which broke out at about 9 a.m was caused by short-circuit in the `kundi' connections put by the dwellers to draw electricity from the streetlight poles. The fire department received information about the outbreak of the fire within a few minutes as a passer by called them up. Six fire tenders, which were rushed to the spot soon after were able to control the fire in about 45 minutes, though the fire was completely extinguished within an hour.

People, mostly women and children ran out of the jhuggis soon after the fire broke out as it spread very fast, but the timely action of the fire personnel saved 200 other jhuggis as they prevented the fire from spreading in the area.

While according to official claims, as many as 30 jhuggis have been gutted, the colony dwellers claim that near about 40-50 jhuggis have been gutted in today's fire. The employees of the Electrical circle of the Administration also came to remove the 'kundis' in the area, while the fire was still being extinguished.

According to the Chief Fire Officer, Mr G.S Bajwa, one fire tender each was sent from Fire stations in Sector 11, 17, 32, 38, Mani Majra to douze the fire. He pointed out that the firemen had a tough time controlling the fire in one corner due to lack of proper approach road to the unauthorised colony. The Station Fire Officer, Mr S.K Gosain, who was with him disclosed that 100m long hose pipes with each fire tender were not able to reach the area from where the tenders were parked .As a result, the damage to cycles, televisions, beds and other such belongings in the jhuggis could not be prevented.

Sheela, one of the victims, was shell-shocked as Rs 15,000 saved by her and her husband over the past few months got partially burnt as the box containing the money was burnt in the fire. However, since the numbers on some currency notes were visible, she hoped that it may be changed by the bank.

Some of the rickshaw-pullers were shattered as their rickshaws were burnt in the fire. On an average, the loss is being calculated at Rs 5,000 - Rs 6,000 per jhuggi.

Property worth Rs 1 lakh, mostly household belongings were destroyed when 14 jhuggis were gutted in a major fire which broke in the area near Gur Sagar gurdwara near Sukhna Lake in February this year. Fire broke out for the second time in this area. Three years back, 70 jhuggis were gutted in a fire in this very area.

Meanwhile, Mr Gosain gave general tips on elementary fire fighting training in Government Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra and later at Janata rehri market.


SAS Nagar expansion runs into rough weather
HC order on acquisition of land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/SAS Nagar, April 19
Punjab Urban Development Authority’s ambitious plan to expand SAS Nagar today hit a road block after Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice N.K. Sud of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the maintenance of status quo regarding possession on a petition filed by Ms Karnail Kaur and five other residents of Sohana village.

Taking up the petition, the Judges also issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab, PUDA and another respondent. The case will now come up for further hearing on September 24.

Seeking the quashing of notifications under Sections 4 and 6, besides notices under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act, the petitioners had also asked for quashing an advertisement for the sale of plots.

Terming the notices for acquiring land to set up a “residential urban estate” as “illegal and issued without jurisdiction”, the petitioners had contended that the state of Punjab had initiated the process without complying with the provisions of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act. Even master plan had not been prepared, the petitioners had claimed.

Giving details, counsel for the petitioners had contended that, under the Act, land for urban development had to be selected by a board but the provision had been completely ignored in the current case.

Counsel had asserted that the process of acquiring land was also in violation of the Periphery Act as, according to it, construction was permitted only for agricultural purposes.

PUDA, he said, had issued advertisements in a booklet giving details of the proposed plots, besides fixing the rate between Rs 3,350 to Rs 3,990 per yard, even though land had not been fully acquired. Some people, he claimed, had even purchased plots. He had added that there were as many as 100 houses and shops in the area, besides three schools, a dental college and an eye hospital in the area.Back

Order leaves applicants high & dry
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 19
The Punjab and Hayana High court order regarding the maintenance of status quo regarding possession of land by a petitioner in Sohana village holds significance as PUDA was in the final stages of announcing awards for acquiring over 1250 acres of land in Sohana, Mauli Baidwan, Lakhnour and Raipur Khurd villages in the southern part of the town

The land in the villages was being acquired for five new sectors ( 76 to 80) for further expansion of the town. As many as 3950 plots had been advertised under the ambitious housing scheme. Much to the anguish of the applicants draw of lots for different categories of plots ( 125 sq yard to 1000 sq yard) against the plots advertised had already been held between March 22 and March 30. An amount of Rs 92. 93 crore had been collected by the PUDA as earnest money and the successful allottee had submitted the required amount against the plot price. 



Funds of boards & corpns under tax net
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In an unprecedented move, the local office of the Income Tax Department has targeted the crores of rupees of boards, corporations, semi-government bodies or any other non-governmental organisations lying locked in fixed deposits. The department says the interest on FD’s is taxable.

All public and private sector banks in the city and adjoining township of SAS Nagar have been asked to deduct tax at source (TDS) on interest accruing from FD’s of all accounts of all corporations and boards of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh having a bank account anywhere in the Union Territory. Banks have been asked to deduct tax as they would normally on interest accruing from FD’s of any private person. Deposits made by such bodies in banks are ‘‘enormous’’ and run into several hundred crores, said a source.

Besides this, all board and corporations have been asked to file income tax returns. Some of them were filling it while others had never filed a single return in decades.

Confirming the move, the Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh Zone, Mr Ashwini Luthra, said banks had been told to deduct tax at source of all organisations other than government funds. Any amount of interest which is more than Rs 10,000 per annum during the financial year ending March 31, 2001. And from the ongoing financial year any interest which is more than Rs 2,500 per annum will be taxed at 10 per cent.

Everything which is being done is as per the Income Tax Act, 1961. Any semi-government board or corporation which is not exempt by a Central Act or is not recognised by the Income Tax Department for exemption is liable to pay taxes, says Mr Luthra. Even if the body claims to be running no-profit, no-loss basis it has to file its tax returns showing incomes, expenditure and profits, if any.

Some of the banks started deducting TDS from this month itself, while others are yet to comply with the instructions of the department. The sources said penalties leviable on banks for non-deduction of tax at source in part or whole are equal to the tax default plus an 18 per cent interest.

It is the duty of the bank to find out if anyone whose tax is not being deducted is exempt from taxation. The onus to prove its exemption lies with the party in whose name the account functions, tax laws say. Individuals can certify for themselves by filling in form number 15-H, but the same does not apply for organisations.


  • All boards and corporations, including those running on the non-profit, no loss basis, in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to file their income tax returns.
  • Banks to start tax deduction at source (TDS) on FD’s.
  • Hundreds of crores lying in FD’s.



Double trouble for city Mayor
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Mayor of Chandigarh, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, is a troubled man. A Congressman in a House where the BJP-SAD alliance commands a majority, Mr Goyal is finding his position increasingly untenable which has forced the UT Congress leadership to think in terms of asking him to resign from the post. Both the UT Congress MP, Mr Pawan Bansal and the CTCC chief, Mr B.B. Bahl, are credited with the view that if Mr Goyal is not allowed to function freely and discharge his lawful duties by the BJP-SAD alliance, it would be better for him to quit the post.

As a matter of fact, Mr Goyal has already publically held out the threat of resigning but there are reports that he is making last ditch efforts to muster support from amongst the independent councillors.

The immediate source of his problem is the chaotic scenes witnessed in the house a couple of weeks ago when slogan-shouting members of the alliance levelled a series of charges against the Mayor and demanded his resignation. Mr Goyal, of course, denied the charges and refused to oblige the alliance which provoked its members to gherao him in his own office and prevent transaction of any business in the House.

The General House of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC) consists of 29 members. In the first elections for the MCC held in 1996, the BJP-SAD alliance won 15 seats including 13 by the BJP and two by the SAD. The first four mayors of Chandigarh were from the BJP namely Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Mr Kewal Krishan Adiwal and Ms Shanta Hit Abhilashi. The Congress won only one seat but its ranks swelled to five when one independent and three councillors belonging to Mr Harmohan Dhawan’s outfit joined it. In addition, there are nine nominated members in the House who have the right to vote but cannot offer themselves for an elective post.

The trouble for ruling alliance began when fierce factionalism within the BJP led to large-scale cross-voting resulting in the defeat of the official BJP candidate for the post of Mayor, Ms Ranjana Sahi and election of Mr Raj Kumar Goyal about four months ago.

Mr Satyapal Jain, former BJP MP from Chandigarh, whose group is alleged to be mainly responsible for the election of Mr Goyal as the Mayor of Chandigarh, complains that Mr Goyal has failed to live up to the expectations of the people of Chandigarh. As Mayor, he should have tried to carry along with him all sections of the House. But the fact was that leave along the BJP-SAD alliance, he has not been able to muster support of his own party councillors. Mr Mr Jain denied that any cross-voting by BJP councillors owing allegiance to him had led to the election of Mr Goyal.

He also criticised the Mayor for holding out “empty threats” of resigning and said the fact of the matter was that he had failed to make his mark on the City Beautiful as far as developmental activities were concerned. There was little developmental work in the city because of the problems he was facing in the CMC as also in his own Congress party. “People are fed up due to this paralysis...” The BJP he said was ready for the fresh elections to the CMC which in any case were only a few months away.

The dilemma facing the ruling alliance is that it does not have the requisite two-thirds majority for the removal of the Mayor. At least 20 out of 30 members must vote against him. But the alliance has a strength of only 15. The role of the independents is, therefore, decisive. Mr Goyal has therefore gone all out to woo them.

The CTCC chief, Mr B.B. Bahl, when contacted, said the Congress councillors were solidly behind Mr Goyal. The Mayor also said that he was trying to reach an understanding with the independent members so as to allow the House function when it meets again next week to transact important official business.


CHB’s scheme on anvil in Sector 51-A
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is all set to launch its prestigious general housing scheme in Sector 51-A here.

To be approved by the Board of Directors meeting to be held here on April 23, the brochures of the scheme had almost been finalised. Under the scheme, 336 High Income Group (HIG) and 600 Middle Income Group (MIG) flats will be constructed and the scheme is likely to be thrown open to the general public next month.

Sources told Chandigarh Tribune today that the designs of the dwelling units had been finalised and tentative costs of the flats worked out. The tentative cost of the ground floor of the HIG flat would be Rs 13.5 lakh and that of the upper storeys Rs 11.5 lakh. Similarly, the ground floor in the MIG category would cost Rs 10.9 lakh and the upper storeys Rs 9.3 lakh. While the HIG flats will comprise three bed rooms, two toilets, drawing-cum-dining room and kitchen, the MIG flats will have two bedrooms and two toilets, besides the drawing-cum-dining room.

In fact, the new scheme has several innovative features. It will the first four-storeyed project of the board with a ground floor and three upper storeys. Since a piece of land was allotted to the CHB by the Chandigarh Administration at a comparatively higher rate of Rs 2,500 per square yard, the board had endeavoured to provide maximum covered area to allottees while keeping the cost of the flats in mind.

With that end in mind, there will be no rear courtyard for the ground floor allottees. Instead, the CHB will now provide more “common area” for a block of allottees so that it could be used for holding community functions. By doing this, the board had tried to rationalise the cost of the ground floor dwelling units, the sources argued.

And with a view to conserve water, stop cocks will be installed in the toilets. Development of the large chunks of the green areas and the use of the low cost construction material and the technologies will be the other highlights of the project.

The internal development of the complex will be undertaken by the CHB authorities so that the possession of the flats could be handed over to allottees in time. The development of Sectors 50 and 51 had already been handed to the board by the Administration, the sources pointed out.

It may be mentioned here that the foundation stone of the project was laid by the then Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber(retd), on October 8,1999, under the 5,000 dwelling units programme of the CHB. Earlier, the Union Housing Minister, Mr Ram Jathmalani, had announced that the board would construct 5,000 dwelling units in different categories, including the EWS, LIG, MIG and HIG.

But the project hanged fire reportedly due to encroachment by marble dealers on a portion of land. Now the marble dealers had reportedly lost the case in a court paving the way for the board to come out with the scheme. Another reason cited for the delay has been that the board had been urging the Administration to transfer land at the rate less than Rs 2,500 per square yard.Back


  • First four-storeyed scheme by the CHB
  • No rear courtyard for the ground floor allottees
  • “Common area” for a block of allottees
  • Tentative cost of ground floor HIG flat is Rs13.5 lakh and Rs 11.5 lakh for upper storeys.
  • Tentative cost of ground floor MIG flat is Rs 10.9 lakh and Rs 9.3 lakh for upper storeys.



Residents body’s plea to CHB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The CHB Residents Federation today again urged the Chandigarh Housing Board to delink the clause of submission of the affidavits on violations from giving ownership rights to the general power of attorney (GPA) holders of board flats.

The demand was raised at an emergency meeting of the federation in Sector 40-C here. The insistence on the clause will render the policy useless as the issue of violations was being considered separately. It would be proper if the process of the transfer of ownership was started immediately by dropping the clause on violations, a press note issued here said.

This will provide much-needed succour to the people, who made full payments years back besides netting revenue to the board by eliminating the original allottees, who ‘sell’ their houses again and again.

Meanwhile, the federation will invite political leaders for its ‘chetna jaloos’ to be organised from Sector 46 to Raj Bhavan on April 28.Back


7 cars recovered from engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The police has achieved a major success with the arrest of a notorious auto-lifter operating in Chandigarh and other cities of Punjab. While the police has already recovered seven Maruti cars stolen by the accused, efforts are on to recover at least nine more cars stolen by him from different parts of the city during the past four months. This is, perhaps, for the first time that such a large number of stolen cars have been recovered from a single person.

The accused, Karamveer Singh, would zip off in cars from parking places and remove the parts before abandoning those. He would go for cars with gas kits, having airconditioners and music systems,” informed Mr S.S. Randhawa, Sub Divisional Police Officer, Central.

The accused told a group of mediapersons that he had sold the accessories to a dealer in Panchkula. “ A stolen gas kit would fetch Rs 1,500, while an airconditioner Rs 3000, “he said. He would park his car beside the car to be stolen.

In fact this was the ploy that helped him escape the police net a couple of weeks ago. He sped away in a car from Sector 22. When the police chased him, he pretended that the theft was an error of judgement. He was thus let off the hook.

In October last year he stole a car from Amritsar, which was recovered from the city. A case of theft was also registered.

Karamveer Singh, alias Bobby, an electronics engineer employed by a private firm near Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh, was nabbed by the police yesterday from the Lyons parking area, while he was attempting to steal a car (CH-01J-2345) belonging to Dinesh Bainiwal. 

He was apprehended by the car owner, and the latter raised an alarm. The accused was picked up by the police with the help of the public and arrested under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

During the course of interrogation, it was revealed that the accused had left another Maruti car (PB-08K-5403), that he had reportedly stolen from Jalandhar last week, in the Sri Gurudev parking lot, while another car (PB-10D-0496) had also been stolen by him on the same day and left with a mechanic at Zirakpur.

Four other cars (PID-6321, PCK-1114, HR-29F-1117 and PCO-2690) were also recovered from his possession. The value of all the cars recovered so far is more than Rs 10 lakh. While 10 cars had been stolen from the parking areas in Sector 17, five were stolen from Sector 34 and another one was stolen from Kisan Bhawan.

Meanwhile, the accused was produced before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Prakash and has been given a police remand till April 22.

It may also be noted that the parking places in Sector 17 are a favourite haunt for the auto lifters. Though the police claims to have deployed adequate force at the six entry and exit points in the Sector 17 market, the number of car thefts from here is the highest in the city. It may also be noted that over one lakh vehicles commute in this area on an average each day. With a large number of agitations and dharnas being organised at Matka Chowk every now and then, the force from here has to be deployed for these agitations, inform sources.

However, Mr Randhawa said now they had ensured that there was a guard of at least three personnel at all times on the six points and this would help in bringing down the auto theft number in the area.Back


‘Nada fissures a local phenomenon’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Appearance of fissures at Nada village in Panchkula is a local phenomenon and not related either to seismic activities or neotectonic movements. The area is as safe or as unsafe as any other part of the country as far as earthquakes are concerned.

This was the consensus reached at by geologists at the concluding session of the field meeting organised by the Indian Geologists Association (IGA) at Panjab University here today. It was further recommended by a majority of the geologists present at the concluding session that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) should be given a go-ahead with the development of its area, leaving aside a hundred-metre belt area around the fissure, along with the approximate one-square-kilometre area of the fissure for geologists to study.

Studies and constant monitoring would be carried out by various agencies and another field meeting would be held in September and recommendations regarding the 100-metre belt would be made to HUDA. A project by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, would fund the studies, along with other agencies.

Despite a clear division between the geologists present at the meeting, consensus regarding the fissure was reached at. Studies should be carried out with both local and regional perspectives in mind, it was felt It was also decided that a multi-disciplinary approach be undertaken, using the latest available technology, to monitor the area. It was also mentioned that geologists had a public responsibility and they should not indulge in reporting to the public via the media and creating a sense of fear among residents that there was danger in being in the area.

Divergent views marked the morning and evening sessions of the meeting, in which arguments and counter-arguments were given whether the phenomenon was of local origin or a result of new seismic activities in the region. A view was that every original phenomenon had a local expression and this phenomenon could not be rejected as a local occurrence. The area should be preserved as a living geological museum and as a scientific heritage and the HUDA should gift this piece of land to science, was one of the views being expressed. The other view held was that the phenomenon was local in nature and loose earth and water action was responsible for the fissures and cracks detected in the village. To try and explain these fissures on the basis of seismic activity clearly required more data, which was not available and a final conclusion could be arrived at only after more data was collected and studied, it was felt.

Prof Ramesh Kakar of Department of Geology, Panjab University, stated that the matter had been blown out of proportion by relating it to the Kangra-Mansa Devi-Solan plate. Dr Ravinder Kumar, Prof L.N. Gupta, Prof G.S. Gill and Prof Naval Kishore, put forth the theory that the fissures were newly-formed surface manifestations of neotectonic movements in the Himalayan foothills. According to their report, regional studies of Himalayas had shown the presence of a Himalayan frontal fault beneath the alluvium south and south-west of Shivalik Hills and there was increased strain, released to give rise to these movements.

A field survey was also part of the meeting. The concluding session was presided over by Dr N.S. Virdi, director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology. The meeting was funded by the Haryana Government. Welcoming the guests, Prof Naresh Kochhar, secretary of the IGA, stressed the role of geologists in society. Mr K.K. Bhugra, Chief Engineer of HUDA, was also present at the concluding session.


Contradictions in CO’s statements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Commanding Officer (CO) of 2 Rajputana Rifles, Col M. B. Ravindranath, today stated before the general court martial trying Major V. K. Madhan that it was only after they captured the Tololing heights on July 13 that they learned about the presence of Pakistani troops in the area. Deposing before the court, he said that till June 30, 1999, the inputs available indicated that some heights in Kargil and Dras were occupied by militants. The successful attack revealed that the intrusions in Tololing had been by Pakistan’s 6 Northern Light Infantry.

During cross-examination by the defence, certain contradictions came to light in the statements of Colonel Ravindernath. He stated that it was incorrect to suggest that when the doctor at the Field Surgical Centre (FSC) advised three day rest for Major Madhan, he decided to appoint him the unit adjutant. In the next statement, he, however, stated that it was correct to suggest that he had mentioned in his letter dated July 15, 1999, that he had appointed the accused adjutant on account of the three-day rest advised by the FSC.

The CO also stated that it was correct to suggest that he did not receive any information on June 3 that the accused had twisted his ankle. In a subsequent statement he said that it was correct to suggest that he had stated during the summary of evidence (SOE) that he had received information about the accused twisting his ankle.

The CO stated that he did not inquire about the injury suffered by the accused from the Regimental Medical Officer (RMO), Capt S. Basu, at any stage. Subsequently, he said it was correct to suggest that he had stated during the SOE that he had inquired about the accused’s problem from the RMO and was told that the accused had a slight swelling in his knee and was referred to the FSC.

The CO also said that between June 6 and 14, he did not give the accused any task except coordinating the dumping of ammunition, rations and equipment at forward posts and manning the unit’s tactical HQ under the overall command of Maj S. S. Bajaj. He said that his actions regarding the injury of the accused were based on the opinion of the RMO as well as his own observation.

The court also witnessed long arguments between the defence counsel, Major R. S. Randhawa (retd), and the Judge Advocate, Major Mahender Yadav, on the manner in which the questions were to be asked from the accused. The defence counsel maintained that it was his prerogative to decide the type of questions he should ask during the cross-examination. He added that if the question was vague or not understandable, the witness should say so and not the Judge Advocate. The defence counsel added that if the court or the Judge Advocate felt that the question being put to the witness was not permissible, the court should record the same and then overrule it instead or orally dismissing it.

Meanwhile, in the other ongoing GCM of Maj Maneesh Bhatnagar, the Commanding Officer of 5 Para, Col A. K. Srivastava, admitted that there could be discrepancies in the records maintained by his unit. He conceded that the documents pertaining to the strength of officers in the unit as well as the daily parade statements were incorrect. He stated that he was responsible for all documents of his unit, but added that no action was taken against anyone for errors in the documents and nor had he reported the matter to the higher HQ.

The defence also pointed out that while the parade statements showed Major Bhatnagar to be on leave till June 5, other documents stated that he was on leave till June 20. The CO said that the period spent in reaching the base from forward positions could have been reflected as leave in some of the documents. He added that Major Bhatnagar had been admitted to hospital before proceeding on leave.

The court disallowed two questions put to the witness by the defence. The defence had asked him about the accused volunteering to go for attack or undertaking any task.


MC panel for mobile vending
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The vendors selling sugarcane juice have been allowed to sell the juice and other items on the V-5 and V-6 ( internal roads) in the city, provided they are mobile and have licence from the authorities concerned. A decision to this effect was taken at the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation held under the chairmanship of the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal today. However, they have not been given permission to put their rehris on the road berms on V-3 ( road dividing two sectors) and V4 ( road in front of the markets). The decisions will be forwarded to the MC House, comprising of elected and nominated councillors for approval.

On the issue of granting permission to watermelon sellers to sell melons by the road side, no decision could be taken at the meeting for the same was strongly opposed by the nominated councillor, Mr R.K Aggarwal and BJP councillor Ms Ranjana Shahi along with the Commissioner in view of the traffic hazard they pose on the main roads in the city. While not allowing permission to squiat, they said mobile vending is permissible as in case of juice vendors. However, Mayor when contacted said a five-member committee has been constituted to inspect various parts of the city and identify some spots where permission could be granted. The members of the committee will include two MC councillors, SP ( Traffic), a town planner, besides an MC official.

A final decision on the issue will be taken in the next meeting of the F and CC after the report is submitted by the concerned committee.

Meanwhile, the members recommended that a basic tender of Rs 5.15 crore inclusive of 10 per cent sales tax etc be awarded to M/s Food Processing Equipments Company Private Limited, New Delhi, for modernisation of its slaughter house at Industrial Area, Phase-I. Under the scheme, the existing slaughter house of the MC would have latest state-of-the-art equipment and machinery.

While going through minutely through the recommendations of the tender committee, the members decided that since the amount of Rs 5.15 crore was the lowest rate quoted by the bidder, therefore basic tender be alloted to them. The modernisation of the slaughter house would be done under a sponsored scheme of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Animal husbandry on 50:50 sharing basis. Under the scheme, 50 per cent of the total expenditure to be incurred on its modernisation will be borne by the Union government, which has already come, the rest will be taken care of by the UT Administration. While referring the matter to the House, the members have clarified that technicalities and price reasonability approved by them is subject to the recommendations of the committee of officers and consultants headed by Assistant Commissioner, Mr Ashok Vashishtha.

The committee also considered the proposal of some councillors to put restriction on the use of some of the open spaces adjoining residential areas for holding social and religious functions so as to curb the nuisance which is created by the use of loudspeakers till late at night. While, the Mayor was keen that outsiders should be allowed to use these open spaces, the others were of the view that the same should be used only by the sector residents. Finally, the issue is being sent to the House for consideration and approval.Back


No kidding on wheels now!
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, April 19
For preventing minor students from violating traffic rules, the Chandigarh Police carried out a special challaning drive outside the city schools today. As many as 45 riders were challaned and nine vehicles were impounded.

The drive is significant as the recent accidents involving school students have failed to act as a deterrent. Boys, worried about their hair style, are seen zipping down the fast track of life without wearing helmets. Three girls often ride a single Scooter.

Police sources said that several students were found driving with fake licences. About 65 cases were under investigation. The drive would go on for the next few days.

When contacted, the Director, Public Instructions (Schools), stated: ‘’The drive launched by the Traffic Police is a good effort to check the bad practice. It should be strict and should not release the impounded vehicles without its full satisfaction.’’

The main culprits are the parents who buy vehicles for their minor children.

“The parents should not allow their children to drive any kind of vehicle without valid licences. The erring guardians should also be penalised.

The principal of D.A.V. Model School, Sector 15, Ms Rakesh Sachdeva, said: “Written explanation must be obtained from the parents before releasing the vehicles. The copies must be endorsed by the principal and the Education Department before the police decides to release the vehicles”.

Talking to The Tribune, principals of various schools said in effect: “We have already been instructed to keep a strict vigil on the bringing of vehicles by students inside the school premises. They have been asked not to come on scooters or in cars. We have also been directed to check the genuineness of the driving licenses, if these are procured by students, with the dates of birth from the school record”.

The traffic police has made a proposal for the inclusion of traffic rules in the school curriculum. The principal of GMSSS, Sector 16, Mr Ram Kumar said: “This is a worthwhile step. The school authorities will extend their cooperation to the police”.

Giving the details of the drive, a police official said: “Over 15,300 students, besides 589 teachers, were educated in road safety steps in the year 2000. This is not all. More than 320 schools were visited by Chandigarh Traffic Police officers last year”.

Some of the parents said: “We always dissuade our kids from driving two-wheelers or four-wheelers but they break the rules. The strictness shown by the police will make them aware of the regulations”.

  • Strictness to check the violation of traffic rules by school students shown by the police as well as the Education Department.
  • Minor students barred from going to school on two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
  • Learner licences made compulsory for those who are eligible.
  • Principals involved in checking the genuineness of licences.
  • Suitable action against the parents or guardians who allow their wards to drive vehicles without proper licences.

Tanzanian leaders in Haryana
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 19
A Tanzanian Parliamentary delegation headed by Mr Pius Msekwa, Speaker of the Parliament of Republic of Tanzania and Chairman of the executive committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association met the Haryana Governor, Babu Parmanand, Himachal Pradesh Governor, Mr Suraj Bhan, and Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala at Pinjore, here today.

Mr Msekwa said that he was visiting India in the capacity of President of the Commonwealth Association wh comprised 53 Commonwealth countries. He thanked the Punjab and Haryana government for honouring the delegation and making their visit a memorable one.

The other members of the delegation included Mr William Lukuvi, Mr Omar Kwaang, Dr Aman Kabourou, Ms Anne Makinda, Ms Halima Kimbau, all MPs, and Mr Demetrius Mgalami, Chief Protocol Officer.

Earlier, the Speaker of of the Haryana Legislative Assembly welcomed the delegation and said that the two countries shared a cordial relation.

A number of officials of the Haryana government and those of the district administration were present on the occasion.


Jacob inspects waterworks
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today expressed satisfaction over quality of water and maintenance of waterworks in the city.

The General said security of the Sector 39 waterworks needed to be tightened and the Municipal Corporation should examine whether security of waterworks could be handed over to some private security agency to check the entrance of unauthorised persons. Sources said the security was handled by the Chandigarh police when water supply was with the Chandigarh Administration and it was later handed over to the MC. About three years back, the Chandigarh police asked the MC to cough up a fee for policing. The civic body could not do so, citing lack of funds, and the police removed its contingents.

Earlier, General Jacob paid a surprise visit to the waterworks in Sectors 39 and 26 this morning to have a look at the water distribution system for the city. Accompanied by the Chief Engineer, UT, Mr Puranjit Singh, and the Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Mr Manmohan Jeet Singh, the Administrator went to the tanks storing raw water coming from the Bhakra mainline canal.

Mr Manmohan Jeet Singh informed the Administrator that the city was receiving the supply directly from Kajauli to this main waterworks. After filtration and chlorination from this waterworks, the supply was directed to other waterworks of the city. He further informed the Governor that raw water from Kajauli was treated with alum (aluminium sulphates) and chlorinated at the Central Public Health laboratory in Sector 39, which had the facility to take samples every two hours to check quality of raw as well as clear water. The water supplied to homes was filtered regularly and treated to remove and bring down all kinds of impurities.

Mr Puranjit Singh further informed that PCC flooring of the water tanks had been replaced with the RCC flooring in new tanks to the check seepage. The capacity of the tanks was likely to be augmented to ensure 24-hour water supply in the near future, in case of breakdown in the Bhakra pipeline.

The Governor went to the laboratory and carefully went through all the values in the register to know the treatment meted out to the water. He told officials that as an Army officer posted in Delhi in 1958, he was asked to regulate water supply when an epidemic broke out in the capital.

General Jacob pointed out that the quality of water was paramount for public health network and the quality of water should be monitored stringently so that the public was sure about the quality of water they got. He said the network of pipes laid in the city for supply of recycled water for lawns and greens must be operationalised. People should be encouraged to use re-cycled sewage water for watering the lawns and expensive filtered water should not be used for lawns.

Later, the General visited the Sector 26 waterworks and emphasised the need to strengthen the security network. Noticing the broken boundary wall, he said the waterworks needed to have a complete boundary wall with barbed wire to ensure no anti-social elements entered the premises. He suggested that each waterworks should have a small laboratory to check samples, instead of sending it to the Sector 39 laboratory. He said the authorities should be more strict about checking the quality of water every two hours.

Mr Manmohan Jeet Singh appealed to the people not to panic as the drinking water being supplied to them was fit for drinking and checks were being conducted till the water reached the last tap point. He clarified that water in this part of the region, including the city, had no traces of fluorides, iron and phenol in its content and this was tested once the Bhakra mainline was established. The water samples collected and tested confirmed to the Bureau of Indian Standards (ISO 10500-1991). The right volume and quantity of chlorine was also checked and then added to the water in the Sector 39 waterworks, he added. The chlorine cylinders were taken from Punjab Alkalies in Nangal.

To check the supply of water from tubewells, water samples were being taken and analysis of water was being carried out. If water samples were found right as per standards, was the tubewell passed, otherwise it was rejected and a new one was drilled. He said campus lighting would be augmented in all water works to step up proper surveillance in all campuses.


CBI arrests 3 MC officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) today conducted a raid at the Enforcement Wing of the Municipal Corporation and arrested three officials on the charge of bribery.

A team of the CBI officials conducted a raid at the Sector 17 MC office, following a complaint against at least seven employees of the MC for extortion from the rehriwallahs. Sub- Inspector Sunil Kumar and SI D.P. Singh along with Inspector Kashmira Singh were arrested by the CBI.

However, four other Sub Inspectors of the said department escaped the CBI net and till the time of the filing of this report teams had been dispatched to nab them.

Sources inform that all the accused had been running an oragnised extortion ring and each of them was charging Rs 300 per month from the rehriwallahs. The rehriwallahs approached the CBI and a trap was laid with the help of a rehriwallah, Mewa Singh. The CBI decoy handed over Rs 2100 to the accused Sunil Kumar, who was caught by the CBI.

Sources in the Municipal Corporation, while confirming the arrest, said that departmental action will be taken against them if found guilty by the CBI. 


Device to check gas pilferage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
If you too have been complaining about the pilferage of gas from the cylinder you get from your agency, here is a solution: BR Industries has developed a device that can measure the actual weight of gas in the cylinder. The device will also remind the user to get the booking done when the amount of LPG falls to a given level.

The gas guide is available for Rs 1,100. Explaining the working of the device, Col S.S. Randhawa (retd), director of the company, says the product has a chip incorporated in it for the alarm. There are two weights indicated on any domestic LPG cylinder — the net gas weight, which should always be 14.2 kg, and the weight of the empty cylinder, which varies from cylinder to cylinder, he says.

The user, after adding both the weights, has to set the weight knob according to that. When the cylinder is placed on the gas guide, it will indicate the difference in the quantity of gas supplied. One can also set the device for an indication when the gas in the cylinder reaches a particular level, say 2 kg. “This quantity can last four to five days, so that one may book the new cylinder,” says Colonel Randhawa.


Alert neighbours save old woman
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 19
Alert neighbours saved the life of a 70-year-old, Kamla Jain, a resident of Sector 4, after she raised an alarm when Mukesh, 16, a jhuggi-dweller attempted to murder her last night.

The only other occupant of the house, her son, S.C. Jain, a lecturer in Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh, was bolted in the bedroom. “The murderer, with an accomplice, scaled a side wall of the backyard. He unlocked the collapsible door which opened with a screech. Unfortunately the kitchen door was open and he walked right into the house through the service window of the kitchen”, Mr Jain said.

From the kitchen, he made his way into the drawing room switched on all lights and bolted Mr Jain in his room. Still dazed by last night’s happenings, Ms Jain explained that she heard the noise of the door opening and saw the lights on. “I thought my son had woken up to get something and asked him aloud what he was doing. Then the steel cupboard in the adjoining room creaked. As soon as I got up, I saw the door move and knew somebody had managed to break into the house”, she said.

Before she realised what was going on, the son of her former maid, Mukesh, emerged from behind the door and hit her with a rod on the head. “We struggled with each other for a good 15 minutes and he managed to stab me four times in the abdomen. I pushed him away and unbolted the front door to raise an alarm”, she stated.

Apprehending he would be nabbed, the boy ran away from the backyard. Two pairs of foot marks were found on the spot which confirmed the suspicion that there were at least two persons involved.

Mr Jain claimed that his notoriety had cost his mother her job at their house a couple of years back. “The last we saw of him was nearly a week back when I told him that my wife was away and I was alone with my mother,” he said.Back


Man killed, 2 abducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
A man was killed in a road accident, when the scooter he was pillion riding with his son was hit by a Ford car (DL-6CC-0800) near Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12 late last night.

The victim Om Prakash was declared as brought dead at the PGI at about 11: 54 pm. The driver of the car, Suraj Prakash Singh, was arrested under section 279, 337, 304-A of the IPC and was later released on bail.

Two Abducted
A 17-year-old girl is alleged to have been abducted by Madan Singh Adhikari on April 15 from her residence in Burail. Another 17 year old girl was abducted by Vivek Sethi on April 18 from residence in Sector 23. In both the cases, complaints under sections 363 and 366 of the IPC have been registered.

One Arrested
Mool Chand was arrested by the Crime Branch for playing satta near the Mandi Board, Sector 17 and Rs 450 were recovered from him. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

Theft in temple
Seven persons, former members of the Shiv Mandir Committee, Sector 30, have been accused of illegally opening five collection boxes of the temple and misappropriation. Master Vasant Lal, Rakesh Pal, Rajinder Mehta, Shakuntala Devi, Pankaj Sharma, Gopal and Rama Bhaskar have been accused of taking away the money on April 16.

One arrested
The Mullanpur — Garibdas (Kharar) police yesterday arrested Sikander, who along with two others attacked a watchman of a paper mill at Tira village in the late hours of Tuesday. The three accused are said to be migrant labourers. Three persons attacked Mahinder Singh, a watchman at the Angadh Paper mill in the village. The mill was not functional for last few months. The 60-year-old watchman reportedly suffered injuries on his head, face, ear and right shoulder and was admitted to the PGI. His condition was said to be stable.

Sikander was a former mill employee. A case under Sections 307 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered. 

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