Monday, April 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC installs voice-mail system
Complaints can be registered round the clock
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The residents of the city will now be able to record their complaints pertaining to electricity, public health, horticulture and other general problems round-the-clock in the Municipal Corporation’s office. This has been made possible with the installation of a computerised voice mail system since the first week of April, whereby complaints will get recorded on the telephone in the absence of the official and he can hear the same later.

According to the information available, the MC has, alongwith the existing PBX system, has installed an electronic auto allocating unit-cum-voice mail system. This has the facility whereby the residents can presently dial the MC exchange numbers 711672 and 710670 and record their complaints about any public utility service. The numbers of various public utility services have been attached with these numbers. Hence, even when the officials are not present in the office, a message can be left.

Those availing the voice mail facility, while dialling these two numbers, will be greeted by a welcome message. Following this, the extension numbers of the officials recording the complaints of various public utility services will be told.

On pressing the desired number, the concerned official can be spoken to and the complaint is lodged. However, if the official is not present in the office, the system will tell that the official is not in his room, but you can leave your complaint and message.

Sources reveal that the facility installed at a cost of Rs 2.62 lakh, has at present been attached only to two telephone lines. But with a view to reduce the pressure on the existing lines and to make the system work more effectively, the same will be extended to six more lines shortly.

Subsequently, more such facilities will be attached to this mega electronic system for the benefit of the city residents, so that they face no problems in recording their day to day complaints pertaining to these problems.

It is further learnt that the recorded messages cannot be assessed by everyone as the code numbers have been given to the concerned officials.

The facility will go a long way in helping the residents, who in the past had to face several problems to get their complaints registered. The system is likely to ensure immediate redressal of at least some of their problems.

  • People can now dial the MC exchange numbers 711672 and 710670 to record their complaints.
  • The caller will be given extension numbers of officials concerned.
  • The complaint and message, if any, can be left on the voice mail system.
  • Only the officers concerned can listen to the recorded messages.



Bangladesh flag burnt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The local unit of the BSP today burnt the effigy of the NDA Government in protest against the killing of 16 BSF personnel by Bangladesh troops.

The party activists, under the leadership of the party president, Mr Mata Ram Dhiman, assembled near Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35 and burnt the effigy of the government for its alleged failure to protect the lives of the BSF personnel.

Meanwhile, students of Panjab University, under the aegis of the Punjab University Students Union and the Haryana Students Association, burnt the flag of Bangladesh at the Students Centre in protest against the killings.

Meanwhile, activists of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) burnt the flag of Bangladesh in protest against the killing of 16 BSF personnel, in Sector 17 Plaza here yesterday.

A press note issued here alleged that instead of reacting strongly on the killings, the Indian Government unfortunately felt satisfied by receiving the mutilated bodies of the personnel. Such acts of the Central Government were demoralising our forces and creating a feeling of insecurity among the countrymen.

They also raised slogans against Bangladesh and the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani.


Penalty for defacing public property now
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 22
The local Municipal Council will now penalise those who deface public property. The issue will be taken up in tomorrow’s meeting of the civic body. An official will be authorised to penalise violators. Offenders will have the FIRs registered against them.

Though legal provisions for such a punishment existed earlier, the civic body had been delaying its enforcement. Now, even vital signboards and guide-maps of sectors are smudged with posters and bills.

In Chandigarh, several cases have already been registered under the West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act extended to Chandigarh. Violators have to pay a fine of Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 or undergo a three-month simple imprisonment.

However, the local civic body has never taken a preventive action. In every drive, it only removes posters and banners that are back on the walls the next day. The traffic police tries hard to remove the banners from traffic lights and signboards, but advertisers never mend their ways.

The civic body is serious in combating the menace this time, according to its head. A court octroi inspector will identify violators and lodge complaints with the police.

He civic body chief said lakhs of rupees were spent on putting up signboards and sectors guide-maps, but the sticking of posters and bills on these defeated the purpose.

He said the issue of providing an alternative road to the local cremation ground at a cost of Rs 1.15 lakh would also be taken up in tomorrow’s meeting. The Balongi bypass road that is to be opened soon, passes along the entrance to the cremation ground.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority had requested the MC to provide an alternative route to the cremation ground to avoid traffic congestion. The MC chief said there was also a plan to make a cattle pond in southern part of the town.

The punishment

SECTION 178 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, says that, “Whoever without the consent of the owner, occupier or person in charge of the property, affixes any poster, bill, notice, placard or any other paper or advertisement on any building, wall, tree, board, fence or pole, or writes on soil, defaces or marks a building, wall, tree, board, fence or pole with chalk, paint or any other thing, shall be fined upto Rs 500.”



Zaffarwal should be punished according to law’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 22
“Wassan Singh Zaffarwal should be punished according to the law if he is found guilty in either murder or attempt to murder cases registered against him, but there should be no human rights violation. Everyone, whether a simple criminal or a terrorist, should be punished after trial and should have legal right to fight their cases,” said president of the Lawyers For Human Right International, Mr Amar Singh, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune after a conference on “The role of Central Bureau of Investigation in investigating cases of human rights violations in Punjab,” here today.

The organisation presented a case study of seven cases of human rights violation by the Punjab Police in the conference. The cases were CBI versus DSP Surjit Singh, ASI Amarjit Singh (retd), SI Birbal Dass (retd), ASI Gurcharan Singh, H.C Nikka Ram, ASI Chanan Singh, Constable Dayal Singh.

Mr Chahal said that the body condemned the working of the CBI on its poor investigation and not providing efficient legal assistance in trial court in cases concerning human rights violations. He added that the victims have now lost faith in the agency. It has proved to be another organ of the government trying to hide the truth and fabricating evidence, resulting in the failure of the investigation process.

The Lawyers For Human Right International demanded that police officials of Punjab charged for human rights offences should be taken off from active duty. The body expressed disappointment due to the sympathetic attitude of courts in granting bail to police officials charged for heinous human rights violations in Punjab.

Mr B.S. Dhillon, senior vice-president of the body, B.S Walia, president of the Patiala unit of the body and, Mr A.S. Walia, a human rights activist, said that the role of the CBI in investigating cases of human rights violation in Punjab has been most callous and rather to shield the guilty policemen. It has acted in an appalling manner, making mockery of the entire criminal justice system. With poor quality of investigation and serious lapses committed by it during the preparation of charge- sheet, it has experimented embarrassing situation more than once, when the courts granted bail to the accused senior police personnel held for serious offence or acquitted them for lack of evidence.

The general secretary of the organisation, Mr Navkiran Singh, said that in many cases the CBI simply filed untraceable reports, showing its incompetence, thereby betraying the confidence reposed in it by the victims. Its prosecution is too favourably disposed towards the offender. Even the tale of police excesses in Punjab has failed to make the agency sensitive and diligent enough to investigate and prosecute fairly.

The President of the India Centre for Human Right and Law, Mumbai, Mr Collins Gonsalves, said that he was shocked after reading a case study and there is a need to improve our most trusted investigating agency. He said that in all cases filed by the CBI against the police officials in Punjab, bails have been granted to the accused policemen. Terribly enough, very lenient sections of the Indian Penal Code are framed against the police personnel accused of most heinous crimes of fake encounter, forced disappearance and summary execution enabling them to easily go out of bounds of law.

The Lawyers For Human Right International felt that most of the challans presented by the CBI in the courts relating to fake encounter or disappearance of innocent people by the Punjab Police may not be able to stand the test of judicial scrutiny because of the faulty investigation done by the CBI, bringing the agency under a cloud. The parents of the deceased whose cases were mentioned in the case study were also present in the press conference. A man whose son was allegedly killed by the Punjab Police said, “If the CBI has the interest of the victims at heart, as it claims, it should come up with more effective, less cumbersome and sound proof investigation.”


Two Major-Gens in the dock
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
In an unusual case, two senior Army officers are in the dock for alleged professional impropriety and acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline. While a Major-General is being tried by general court martial for allegedly remaining absent from duty without leave, action is reportedly being contemplated against another officer of the same rank.

According to sources, a Major-General, of the Army Service Corps posted in Northern Command is facing disciplinary action for remaining absent for two days without proper authority.

While the GCM is currently in progress at Ferozepore, the offence is said to have occurred five or six months ago. While the Army authorities have confirmed the trial, they have declined to elaborate on the matter.

Sources say that the General, who had gone to Madras on temporary duty, thereafter proceeded to Bangalore in an “unauthorised” manner. As per his movement order, he was not supposed to go elsewhere from Madras. He was accompanied by another Major-General. The reasons the General has cited for allegedly remaining absent are not known.

On the basis of a court of inquiry and other investigations conducted into his absence, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, ordered that he be tried by GCM for his alleged lapses. Under Section 39 of the Army Act, which deals with absence without leave or proper authority, if found guilty, the General is liable to suffer imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or such lesser punishment as the court may decide.

According to sources, the two Generals, who were reportedly vying for some post-retirement appointment, were involved in a tiff with another officer and a woman at a private residence where they had gone after attending a party. One of the Generals was reportedly hit on the head with a hard object by the woman and had to be admitted to a Military Hospital in Bangalore. Sources say that the injured General had to be put on the “DI List”, which implies that his injury was serious.

It was this incident of hospitalisation which brought to light the General remaining absent without leave.

Another court of inquiry has been conducted into this matter and, as per sources, has been put up before Headquarters, Southern Command, for directions and subsequent actions.

While this is probably the first case where an officer of the rank of a Major-General is being tried by GCM for remaining absent without leave, a few officers of this rank have been tried by GCM for various other offences, particularly those relating to corruption.

According to informed sources, GCMs of officers of the rank of Major-General are rare.


Global money transfer service from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
An international money transfer service is being launched by the Chandigarh and Punjab circle of the Postal Department at Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar from tomorrow. The facility being provided by the Postal Department which had tied up with Western Union Financial Services, the world’s largest money transfer company, would enable people from abroad to send money within hours.

Under the facility people living abroad would be able to send only money with a maximum limit of Rs 50,000 at the prevailing market rate of rupee on that particular day and that, too, only for social exchange. People sending money for commercial or investment purposes will not be entertained as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had not permitted the same.

Giving details of the project, the Chief Post Master General, Punjab and Chandigarh circle, Mr A.S.I.S. Paul said the scheme was being launched at 93 different post offices throughout the country. Explaining the process of money transfer, he said a person will have to deposit money at any of the outlets of the Western Union Financial Services — which has its outlets in 150 countries and around 95,000 agents throughout the world . The western union will give a password to the sender and ask him to inform the recipient in India to approach the post office where the service was available.

The recipient would have to give the password, identity and then the department would confirm the deposits from western union and deliver the money. However, the money would have to be collected from the post office and the recipient would not be informed by the department. The entire process takes only a few hours if the sender informs the recipient about the transfer. A fee ranging between Rs 1,600 and Rs 1,800, depending upon the country would be charged from the sender by the Western Union Financial Services.

The Postal Department plans to extend the facility to 750 and to 3,000 in the next three years. In Punjab the international money transfer service would be extended to 200 post offices, said Mr Paul. The facility would also be available at the Sector 14 post office for the benefit of foreign students studying in Panjab University and other institutions in the area.

On being asked about the benefits of the service provided by the department when already agents in the country were providing the service on behalf of the Western Union, he said it would be a legal way of sending money and in a minimum time. The reach and credibility of the Postal Department was more as compared to private agents, he said adding that the facility would be available at district and tehsil headquarters.

On being asked about the falling collections from the small savings with the department, he said the trend had set in after the interest rates were reduced by the government. He said the Postal Department would be selling ICICI and IDBI bonds at its post offices. On the failure of the scheme involving door-to-door collection telephone bills by postmen, Mr Paul said the department could think of sending the postmen on Saturdays and Sundays.

Those applying for passport would not have to stand in long queues to obtain the passport form and submit it at the Chandigarh-based Regional Passport Office. The Chief Post Master General, Punjab and Chandigarh circle, Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, has written to the higher authorities to extend a facility, enabling the Postal Department to deal with the passport forms, to Chandigarh. Under the service available at Delhi, Ahmedabad and some other stations in the country, the applicants would have to just submit the passport forms and collect their passports at the post office concerned.


MCC: raids on staff bring issues to the fore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The CBI raids on the municipal staff leading to the arrest of two employees has led to a row between the beleaguered Mayor of Chandigarh, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, and officials of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

While MCC officials have alleged that the CBI raids had been conducted at the behest of the Mayor, the latter denies it, saying that the central investigating agency has acted on its own following the receipt of definite information about the happenings in the city and the corporation. The very fact that the employees have been caught red-handed while accepting bribes speaks for itself. How could anyone blame him for this? he asks.

Mr Goyal also met Lieut-General J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Administrator of Chandigarh, to complain about the alleged rampant corruption in the civic body and demand action against the guilty officials.

On the face of it, the CBI raids seem a routine affair. But the fact of the matter is that tension has been growing between the Mayor and MCC officials. While the Mayor has been complaining that he is ignored by senior officials, especially its senior functionaries, the latter say that due consideration is shown to the mayor and his directions as provided under the law.

In addition, Mr Goyal has also been facing problems on the political front. While the BJP has levelled a series of charges against him and demanded his resignation, his own party councillors have not been forthcoming in lending him a helping hand.

There does not seem to be easy going for the Mayor in the coming months and to begin with the forthcoming meeting of the MC House on April 25 is likely to be adjourned once again. While leaders of the Opposition, in the House, Mr Des Raj Tandon, is firm that the Mayor should call a special meeting of the House to clarify before the members the allegations levelled against him and also the allegations mentioned by him against three former BJP Mayors, the Mayor has no plans to convene any such meeting and willl only discuss the agenda items. However, having failed in his attempt to impress upon the BJP councillors the need to cooperate with him so that the long-pending business meeting of the House can be transacted, Mr Goyal is upset and is contemplating as to how he can conduct the House. Besides talking to his party leaders, he is even thinking of getting in touch with certain BJP councillors to elicit support to run the House.

Sources reveal that the BJP-SAD councillors do not want the Congress to undertake developmental work in the city this year and get the advantage of it in the MC elections in December. But the Mayor feels that if they still do not cooperate with him, they will find it difficult to answer to the general public later.


Is Shatabdi losing its sheen?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
A series of unsavoury incidents during the past couple of months have seen the Shatabdi — billed as the train for carrying the “classes of the City Beautiful” to the Capital each day, with all the comforts and luxuries — loses some of its so-called glory.

These were the views expressed by a cross section of people interviewed by Chandigarh Tribune, while they were waiting to board the train at the Chandigarh Railway Station here today. Most of the residents lamented that the train had failed to live upto the original standards as indifferent service, poor quality of food and irregular timings have become the bane of this premier train and the recent spate of thefts on board the train have served as the last nail in the coffin.

During the past week itself, three cases of theft were reported on board the train. Two passengers were deprived of their laptops when these were stolen in two separate incidents on April 17. In another case on April 16, a city resident had been duped of his briefcase, containing his mobile, electronic diary and important documents in the train, after two miscreants threw some powder on him which caused severe itching on the back of the victim and in the confusion that followed, the accused fled with the briefcase.

Following these incidents, the fear psychosis about travelling in the train has remained high amongst the city residents. Most of the people said they preferred to board this train because no other alternative was available and it also helped save time. Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Gurgaon, who was travelling in the train with her baby said, “The Shatabdi is still the most convenient train when it comes to travelling with a child. It is only this factor that has kept me commuting by this train for the past couple of years.”

Her views were echoed by another regular traveller in this train, Mr Gagan Malik. “Earlier, I used to travel in this train every week and enjoy the trip. But now, I prefer to board the Amritsar Shatabdi from Ambala as it is much more clean and the food served on board is also better. In this train, what one comes across is the rude staff, dirty corridors, poorly cooked food and now the rise in the cases of thefts.”

The Member of Parliament from the Union Territory, Mr. Pawan Bansal, who was also travelling in the train said he was planning to take up the matter of the fall in standards of Shatabdi with the Railway Ministry. “The food served on board is so bad that I prefer to carry my own food. For lack of any suitable alternative, this train still enjoys a rush.” he said.

The Railway authorities, however, denied that there was a fall in the standards of the train. They also blamed the careless attitude of the passengers for the thefts. The Train Superintendent, Mr Mohan Singh, said the train was providing the best possible service to the commuters of the region. “The thefts in the train are largely the result of the careless attitude of the passengers who leave their luggage in the train and then feel that they are free of all responsibility for the safety of their own things,” he said.


Chandigarh calling

THE Shatabdi rides are getting more and more exciting and filmi these days. One never knows when he or she might be duped of his or her luggage and personal belongings. Or when some poor unsuspecting relative or friend, just like a proverbial Hindi film hero, might have to jump off the moving train. All because he unfortunately decided to see you off on a day, when you were in a dibba, which was opened by the railway staff just two minutes before the train was flagged off by a disinterested guard who despite being just metres away from all the chaos happening around him, failed to anticipate the outcome of his actions. Anyway, this is India and like all good Indians, we must grin and bear it. And also be thankful that this moving, shaking, stinking and fast deteriorating train, takes us, to and fro, between Delhi and Chandigarh, two times a day. Thank god for these small mercies.

But, purely as a part of a personal experience, one does feel shortchanged while coming back from Delhi to Chandigarh in the blessed 5.20 pm evening Shatabdi. While the morning guys, both from Delhi and Chandigarh, get an almost filling, though cold, breakfast, and the 12.20 pm Shatabdi passengers from Chandigarh are fed till they are actually fed up, those in the evening train from Delhi are served a meagre patty and a samosa with a piece of burfi or gulabjamun. Needless to add that regular passengers grumble and crumple with hunger. Since the fare is the same, one also expects similar treatment. Bhai, afterall bhook to sabhi ko lagti hai.

Fight is on

With the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) scheduled to be held later this year, the political activity and faction-fighting in the local political parties has intensified.

For the Congress factions, which have always been at loggerheads, it seem to be a fight to the finish now. With the Harmohan Dhawan faction boycotting the April 15 rally and his supporters coming to the Press against the party leadership almost daily, the stage is set for his expulsion or leaving the party.

Will he join the yet-to-be activated Third Front? To this a Congressman replied that given the current political situation, the city cannot sustain more political formations. But how many political formations came into being ahead of the MCC polls, particularly when almost every party is faction-ridden, is anybody’s guess.

Ustad’s “pure” warning

The first thing that Ustad Amjad Ali Khan did after alighting from the Shatabdi on April 16 was to visit the house of Subhash Ghosh, his disciple from the city. The moment Amjadji reached the entrance of the house, he bent to take off his shoes. He was, however, requested by Ghosh to come in with his shoes on. Though the Ustad entered the room, he made it a point to admonish Subhash on this issue at the time of his departure from the house. Said the Ustad: Koshish karo ki jute ghar ke bahar hi rahen. Sangeet ki sadhna ke liye zaruri hai ki ghar mein pavitrata rahe. Jahan Saraswati ko puja chahte ho, vahan juton ka kya kaam?”

PERC member

Mr L.S. Deol, a former Engineer-in-Chief (generation) Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), was virtually handpicked last week to be a member of the newly formed Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission (PERC). The commission will have its headquarters in Chandigarh.

Mr Deol brings with him 36 years of experience. He has worked in various capacities with the PSEB and the BBMB. He has been involved in the building of the 360MW power house at Pong dam. He has worked on uprating and renovation of the Bhakra power houses.

Hailing from Sangrur district, Mr Deol joined the PSEB as Assistant Engineer in 1964. He has been on deputation to Libya for seven years.

Novel cheating!

Students have always been inventing better means of cheating during examinations. But this time around, giving a slip to the anti-cheating flying squad has not been easy for them, at least not so in Government College for Girls, Sector 11. The squad caught two girls while cheating during the ongoing BA Ist year examinations. Though trapping the cheaters is a routine activity during exams, interesting to note is the way the two girls were cheating.

The first one had pasted pages of her book behind the door of the lavatory. Suspicion arose when she kept asking the invigilator to go out again and again. She was finally trapped and turned out. Later many slips were also pulled out of her socks and sleeves.

The second one was more professional and innovative. To avoid any risk, she had written tips of each chapter in Sociology on her undershirt. Most of the time, instead of looking at the answer sheet, she was caught peeping through her shirt. She was nabbed after the flying squad member noticed this unusual behaviour.

Gritty fighter

The Tehelka expose dominated the dharna scene in the city during the entire last week. While there were aguments in support of the expose, there were counter-arguments also, which were equally vociferous as political parties, whether it was the BJP or the Congress, the RJD or the BSP, vied with one another to make themselves heard.

However, what ultimately grabbed the headlines was the demonstration by hundreds of Youth Congress workers led by their president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, at the Matka chowk. Down but not out after being thrashed by the police, Mr Surjewala, true to his nature, kept up with his jokes with workers even as he was being wheeled into the PGI with a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder as they scurried here and there looking for doctors and arranging treatment for their VIP patient.

Dancing HS

Mr R.S. Gujral, the Chandigarh Administration Home Secretary, surprised many, including the Adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, at the annual day celebrations of the Foodcraft Institute, Sector 42, when he danced away merrily to the beats of the dhol with the bhangra troupe of the institute. “I could’t have possibly disappointed the students. One does have to let his or hair down even in a job like this,” he said later talking to mediapersons.

Ms Nanda seems to be a person who enjoys thoroughly whatever she is involved in. Whether she is watching the cultural show being presented by students in an institute or the tea afterwards, she is a person who is living each moment fully. As the students presented dance after dance from different states Ms Nanda saw each dance carefully, smiled at every nuance and every now and then her feet would start tapping to the music.

Then at the tea afterwards, Ms Nanda was at her charming best with the guests many of whom she seemed to know personally. Then she located a friend whom she seemed to have met after a long time, rushed towards her, hugged her warmly and took her to her table and chatted like teenage friends.

Poor response

Last week the ITF women tennis meet was organised at CLTA Courts, Sector 10. This was another big tournament in the year 2001 for the city fans. Earlier it was ATP challengers, ITF Juniors. But as expected the response of the spectators was poor, considering the amount of publicity this international meet was getting in the newspapers.

Even Doordarshan Sports specially covered matches on the last three days. On the day of finals matches, the children from Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, were “hired” to watch the matches and they intruded when the women singles final was in progress. The Chair Umpire, Chief coach, kept on making announcements to the “respectful” children to maintain silence. Also the young children who were of class VI and VII were told not to move from there seat when the rally was in progress. This diverted the attention of the players.

Road widening

Several of Chandigarh’s important and busy roads are being widened and doublelaned to provide for one way flow of traffic and reduce accidents. Most of these roads are in the southern sectors. Some of these roads had become accident prone and the Chandigarh Traffic Police had been pressing for long to improve them.

The road dividing Sectors 22 and 23 is the one to be widened and also the road between Sectors 21 and 22. Road between Sectors 33/45, 34/44, 35/43, and 36/42 is being widened and doublelaned. One of the salient features of the work is that the Administration has taken care of motorists. On both sides of the roads special halogen lamps have been set up at a height of about 10 feet to illuminate the portion where the widening process is being carried out. This is a boon for motorists at night time. Normally when the widening is carried out the edges of the existing road are also affected and it results in accidents.

Fire Services week

Fire Services week was organised at the Chandigarh Air Force Station from April 14 to 20. During the week, held under the aegis of No.3 Base Repair Depot, various firefighting drills were rehearsed. Fire tenders and personnel from 3 BRD as well as 12 Wing participated in the drills and competitions. Such events are a regular feature and are designed to test skills as well as enhance professionalism.

Tree plantation

The Environment Society of India (ESI) has urged the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) to reconsider its tree plantation plan in its 12-acre Kalagram on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road.

The ESI says the plants which are associated with the art and culture history of the country should be planted in this campus if the main aim of the NZCC is to preserve and promote our art and cultural heritage.

Of the 31 species of plants that are to be planted only nine adorn our culture. These are peepal, banyan, amaltas, kachnar, gulmohar, maulsari, pagoda, sita ashoka and kusum. The remaining 22 varieties are mainly ornamental. All these species except holarrhena antidysentrica are found in Chandigarh.

The species that the ESI has asked to include are kadamba, neem, bel, pari-jat, sandalwood, arjun, palas, amla, gular, mango, kanak champa, kathal, samudarphal, barna, putranjeeva, rudraksha etc. The ESI has grown successfully sandalwood at the golf grounds Chandimandir and rudraksha and parijat at several places around the city.


Sign noticed at the Chandigarh Air Force Station — “Minds are like parachutes. They work best when open”.

— Sentinel


Sharma asks Sonia to intervene
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Harmohan Dhawan faction today got a shot in the arm when the President of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, urged the party high command to intervene in the ongoing tussle between the Bansal and Dhawan factions.

In a letter to the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Sharma termed the fight between the two factions as “devastating for the grassroot workers”. If immediate steps to stem the rot in the party were not taken then we may have to pay a high price in the forthcoming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), he said.

The letter said, “Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, lost twice consecutively before the current term. Mr Harmohan Dhawan joined the Congress under your leadership. We managed to win the seat by a margin of 5,500 votes. Mr Dhawan commands a sizeable base, particularly among the rural and Sikh population. Since the BJP-SAD are together, the rural and the Sikh votes are the clinching factors in our favour”.

After the victory, Mr Bansal graciously accepted the contribution of Mr Dhawan and acknowledged the contribution of Mr Dhawan at public meetings. Later on, due to the reasons best known to him, Mr Bansal started ignoring Mr Dhawan with the result that the matter had reached the flashpoint now. First they traded charges at the TCC meeting and now they were going to the Press and expressing their differences in the public.

The letter demanded the resignations of the Mayor and the Senior Deputy Mayor so that the Congress could prepare for the MCC elections. If we continue in power for longer, then the inefficiency of these leaders and the anti-incumbency favours may work against us.

Saying that the Congress which had five councillors as against 15 of the BJP-SAD alliance had engineered defections from the alliance to install its Mayor and the Senior Deputy Mayor. Since then they had not been able to manage the affairs of the corporation and were even going to the Press against the officers. Their activities may result in the defeat of the party in the coming elections because we are holding the office, the letter added.


Forum vows to save city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The Citizens Forum for Chandigarh Heritage, a body of the eminent residents concerned about the distortions in the original character of the city, has decided to play a more active role.

Members of the forum, which was floated almost a year back, at a meeting held here today, decided to register the body besides making the people aware of the distortions in the character of the city so that the original character of the City Beautiful could be retained.

Those, who attended the meeting included Justice Kuldip Singh, a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice S.S. Sodhi, a former Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Mr P.H. Vaishnav, a former Chief Secretary of Punjab, Dr Y.N. Mehra, Professor Emeritus of the PGI, Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd), a nominated councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), Mr S.D. Sharma, an architect, besides Mr M.N. Sharma and Mr S.N. Kohli, president and secretary, respectively, of the forum.

Giving details of the objectives of the forum, Mr M.N. Sharma, the first Indian Architect of Punjab and Chandigarh, said the forum would act as a watchdog and apprise and help the authorities concerned about how to maintain the Master Plan of the city and its periphery. The aim of the forum would be to initiate steps for the maintenance and growth of the city and focus on the problems areas like sanitation and garbage disposal.

Coming down heavily on the illegal covering of varandahs and defacement of the walls in violations of norms, Mr Sharma regretted that the green cover was being “eaten up with the result that we would ultimately move towards forests leading to a serious threat to flora and fauna.”

There are hardly any foothpaths and cycle tracks and these would not be possible till the municipal corporation imposed taxes. Blaming politicians for the haphazard growth of slums, Mr Sharma opined that a comprehensive policy to accommodate all sections of society must be formed.

Blaming the lack of will and discipline for the rot that had set in, Mr Sharma hoped that the trend could be reversed if the bureaucrats were given a free hand and political interference was minimal.


40 jhuggis removed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 22
The police removed over 40 unauthorised jhuggis from the land owned by the Haryana Urban Development Authority here today as one of the steps towards checking rising incidents of crime in the city.

Sources said that operation of clearing jhuggis from open spaces was undertaken this afternoon and again in the evening by the police which gave the jhuggi-dwellers one day's notice to vacate the place.

In a news item titled ''HUDA, police to blame for spurt in crime'', residents had expressed concern over the rising number of jhuggi clusters in open spaces and vacant plots in the town while adding that nothing was being done to remove these.

The police removed jhuggis from Sector 12 and 2 and later from some pockets of Sector 4. Accompanied by 40 personnel, the team asked roadside vendors to move out of the place before the Enforcement Wing of HUDA took action against trespassers by confiscating their belongings.


Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Kulbir Thakur, senior bromide paster, with The Tribune group of publications, died in the General Hospital, Sector 16, here today. He was injured in a road accident yesterday.

He had been working here since 1980.


Two injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
Two persons were seriously injured in two separate road accidents late this evening. A pedestrian was hit by a three-wheeler (CHB-703) near Dadua village. He was rushed to the PGI with serious head injury.


Woman ‘elopes’ with beau
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 22
A woman is alleged to have been kidnapped by her beau, along with her two children, though the woman had herself given a statement to the police on April 13 that she was planning to desert her husband and go away with her landlord’s son on her own.

The Sector 39 police has today registered a case under section 363 and 369 of the IPC on the statement of Rajinder Kumar, where in he has stated that the son of his landlord, Avtar Singh has kidnapped his wife, Madhu alias Makani and their two children, Poonam, (3), and Resha, (2).

It is learnt that Rajinder Kumar along with his family was staying in a rented accommodation in Butrela village. The couple had been married for the past seven years. The complainant is employed as a waiter in West Restaurant in Sector 20-C. His wife, Makani is alleged to have developed illicit relations with the landlord’s son, Avtar Singh.

However, the police also maintains that on April 13, Makani had given a statement to the police that she was being physically tortured by her husband and was not happy with her married life. She had also stated that she was planning to elope with Avtar Singh.


Booked for possessing duplicate video CDs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22
The police has booked the owners of Raj Video Laboratory in Sector 35-D on the charges of preparing and possessing duplicate video CDs and video cassette of the movie Jodi No. 1.

The accused had allegedly prepared five video cassettes and one CD was recovered from the SCO on Saturday afternoon. The police has registered a case under Sections 52-A, 63 and 68-A of the Copy Right Act.

Four booked
The police has booked four persons — Anil Dubey, Ram Asra, Babloo and Man Raj — on the charges of taking forceful possession of a shop in Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran after breaking open the lock of the shop. The complaint has been registered on the statement of Nazima under Sections 452, 511, 506 and 34 of the IPC.

Copper stolen
Copper weighing 200 kg was stolen from a factory in Industrial Area, Phase I. The police has registered a case of theft on the complaint of Mr Bishambar Nath Sharma.

Cars stolen
A Maruti car (CH-01-N-8376) was stolen from in front of a house in Sector 37 on Saturday night. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of the car owner, Vasu Jaiswal.

In another case, a Contessa car(DL-3CE-9053) was stolen from the Lyons Parking in Sector 17. The police has registered an FIR on the complaint of Mr Baljinder Singh.

Five Injured
Five persons were injured in two separate accidents here today. A 22-year-old woman and her two nephews were injured when their LML Vespa scooter (CH-03A-5851) was hit by a car (HR-41-7107) near the Sector 26 roundabout here on Sunday.

In another incident, Mr S.K. Rai and his wife were injured when their scooter (CH-01-U-9239) was hit by a truck (CHW- 7172) near the airport chowk. The couple, residents of Sector 47, was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.


One dead
A 35-year-old cyclist , Babham, was killed in an accident with a car (PB-10 AD- 7677) in Old Panchkula on Sunday.


Two held for theft of cable
The Punjab Police has reportedly arrested two youths of Zirakpur in a case of theft and recovered 100 m cable and an amplifier from their possession.

According to sources the police team nabbed the youths after getting information that the youths were going to sell the cable to a cable operator of Zirakpur.

The sources also informed that investigations revealed that there were seven more members of the group involved in the theft.


Husband assaulted by wife’s kin

Chandigarh, April 22
A resident of Badheri is alleged to have been beaten up by the relatives of his estranged wife in full public view yesterday. He has also accused the police of conniving with the accused and forcing him to sign a compromise.

Navjeet Singh, a tailor , had been married to Daljit Kaur, a resident of Naya Gaon, in September 2000, but the couple did not get along well and divorce proceedings were going on between the couple since November 2000. Navjeet Singh has alleged that yesterday, Daljit Kaur’s father, Uttam Singh and uncle, Kuldeep Singh, a DDPO in Ropar district converged at his residence along with four other persons and beat him up. He has alleged that one of the assailants was also carrying a sten gun and was threatening anyone who dared come to the former’s rescue.

However, Daljit’s brother managed to call up the police and it was after the police intervention that the assailants let go of Navjeet Singh. However, when the two parties were taken to the police station, Navjeet was allegedly forced to sign a compromise by the police.

The victim has now also sent a complaint to the UT Inspector General of Police and the Senior Superintendent of Police. However, the SHO of the Sector 39 police station, Mr. Qadian, when contacted said that the police would investigate the matter and suitable action would be taken.

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