Friday, June 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



HC stays SAS Nagar expansion
Next hearing fixed for July 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Acting on a petition filed by 61 Sohana village residents alleging disregard of the stay orders by the Punjab Urban Development Authority in SAS Nagar extension case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that “all further proceedings regarding the acquisition of land shall remain stayed”.

Pronouncing the directions in the open court, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Ms Justice Bakhshish Kaur, also fixed July 2 as the next date of hearing in the case.

In their petition, Mr Jasmer Singh and others had earlier alleged that despite court orders on the maintenance of status quo regarding possession on May 16, PUDA’s Chief Administrator had called a press conference the next day claiming that 96 per cent of land acquired in Sohana and Mauli Baidwan villages was “free from legal encumbrances”.

Accusing the respondent of issuing false information to the press, the petitioners had sought directions for summoning him to the court for explaining “how he could proceed with the acquisition of land when the very foundation of notifications under the Land Acquisition Act had been challenged”.

Claiming the proceedings for acquiring land to be illegal, the petitioners had added that the announcement of awards, distribution of cheques, issuance of notices under Section 9 were being carried out by “the same authority which had assessed the compensation amount”. This, they claimed, was contrary to the basic principles of acquisition and natural justice.

Counsel for the petitioners had added that false announcements were being made. The residents were being misinformed. The status quo orders were being violated and plots were being sold. The instalments were being accepted even though the proceedings were under challenge in the court.

He had also asked for sealing the “so-called awards announced by the Land Acquisition Collector, along with the counterfoils of the cheques issued by the respondents.

After hearing the arguments in the case, the judges ordered stay on all further proceedings. The judges also observed that the respondents may file written statement on the next date of hearing.

It may be recalled that PUDA’s ambitious plan to expand SAS Nagar had hit a road block after the High Court had ordered the maintenance of status quo regarding possession on a petition filed by Ms Karnail Kaur and five other residents of Sohana village.

Seeking the quashing of notifications under Section 4 and 6, beside 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.


Jagannath Kaushal cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Former Law Minister and veteran Congress leader Jagannath Kaushal died here early this morning following a prolonged illness. He was 86.

Kaushal, who is survived by his wife, two sons, and six daughters, was admitted to a local private hospital about three weeks back as he had reportedly developed a clot in the brain. He was discharged on Sunday following slight improvement. However, his condition worsened and he passed away around 6.30 a.m. today, according to family sources.

Hundreds of persons from all walks of life paid their last respects to former minister, whose mortal remains were consigned to flames at the Sector 25 Cremation Ground here this evening. Mr Lokesh Kaushal, a son of the late leader, lit the funeral pyre amidst chanting of Vedic mantras.

Wreaths were placed on behalf of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab and Haryana Governments, the UT Administration, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association and the local units of the Congress and BJP and other institutions. Among those present were Mr Justice B. Saharya, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, several Judges, Mr Bhajan Lal, a former Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr S.K. Sharma, Haryana Advocate-General, Mr H.S. Mattewal, Punjab Advocate-General, Mr Pawan Bansal, local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former local MP, Mr B.B. Bahl, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee chief, Mr G.K. Chatrath, Bar Association chief, Prof K.N. Pathak, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof S.K. Sharma, PGI Director, Mr R.S. Gujral, UT Home Secretary, and Mr M. Ramsekhar, UT Deputy Commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), while expressing shock at his death, said in the death of Kaushal the “country in general and Chandigarh in particular had lost a beloved leader. He would be remembered for his active interest taken in the development of the city and for working throughout his life for the welfare of underprivileged,” he added.

The Haryana Chief Minister also expressed grief over the demise of former Union Law Minister, Jagannath Kaushal. He said Mr Kaushal was an able jurist, who served the country in various capacities with distinction. He said Kaushal was an able parliamentarian and a good administrator. He conveyed his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family. 


Jagannath Kaushal: Law was his first love
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
For former Union Minister for Law, the Bihar Governor and legal luminary, Jagannath Kaushal, who died here early this morning, law continued to be his first love throughout his life.

Born in the princely state of Patiala on April 23, 1915, he did law from Panjab University, Lahore, in 1936 and started legal practice at Patiala in 1937. Though he was selected as the District and Sessions Judge in 1947, he resigned from the post in 1949 after the princely state was merged with PEPSU to return to the legal practice.

Starting his long and illustrious political career spanning over five decades with the election to the Rajya Sabha in 1952, he started practice in the Supreme Court and was designated as the Senior Advocate in 1954. Following the merger of PEPSU with Punjab in 1956, he shifted to Chandigarh and started practice at the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On account of his popularity among the Bar, he was elected president of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association in 1962.

Since then he went from strength to strength. After his retirement from the Rajya Sabha in 1964, he was appointed the Advocate-General of Punjab. In 1966, he was appointed the Additional Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. But his love for the legal practice came to the fore again and he joined the Bar nine months after resigning from the post.

In 1967, he became the Advocate-General of Punjab and the Haryana Advocate-General a little later. During that period, he had the opportunity of conducting Indira Gandhi’s election petition in the Supreme Court when she had been unseated.

An expert in civil and criminal law, he was the Governor of Bihar between 1976 and 1979. Thereafter, he resigned to resume his practice. In 1980, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Chandigarh and remained the Union Law Minister from 1982 to 1985. In fact, he strode like a colossus in the local Congress in the eighties as he bagged the local seat again in 1985.

A member of the Syndicate of Panjab University for over 25 years, he was the chairman of the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha. As the Law Minister, he attended the final session of the UN Conference on Laws of Seas held in Jamaica and signed the treaty on behalf of India.

At a condolence meeting organised by the local unit of the Congress, the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, said Kaushal was a dedicated Congressman, who worked for the downtrodden and minorities. A two-minute silence was also observed in the memory of the deceased.

The Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.N. Pathak said, “In his death, the country had lost an eminent legal luminary, statesman and visionary.” Mr Chaman Lal Sharma and Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha, also condoled the death of Kaushal, who was also patron of the sabha.

In the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the work was suspended for the whole day as a mark of respect to the departed leader A full court reference would be held at the court tomorrow. Meanwhile, members of the District Bar Association observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed leader.


Lioness dies in Chhat Bir zoo
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, May 31
Death of a lioness after the death of seven monkeys in just two weeks at the Mahinder Chaudhary Zoological Park has given another setback to preservation of wildlife in the state. The lioness died in the early hours today.

Sources said that the lioness was suffering from stomach infection for the past over 15 days and was caged outside the lion safari to prevent the infection from spreading to other animals. Her condition deteriorated late in the night. The motionless animal was noticed by the zoo keepers and the authorities were informed.

The zoo authorities, however, denied the allegations regarding stomach infection and said that the lioness died due to old age. She was over 15 years old and postmortem reports confirmed intestinal blockage to be the reason of the death.

Mr Surjit Kumar Jyani, Forest Minister of Punjab, today chaired a meeting of top forest and wildlife officials and discussed some issues regarding beautification of the zoo.

Asked about the beef contract controversy, the minister said the issue had been solved. He also took a round of the zoo and stressed the need to procure new birds and animals.

The animals were not given beef today as the supplier, whom the contract was given recently, was not possessing a certificate regarding the slaughter house.


Bradlaugh Hall site to be resumed
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Controversy has again surrounded the Bradlaugh Hall Trust, which owns two acres of prime property in Chandigarh’s Sector 15-A along the Madhya Marg. The trust site is to be resumed for non-construction while Punjab and Haryana governments and the Chandigarh Administration have washed their hands off the proposed international centre project on the site.

The three governments had joined hands in 1999 to fund an international centre. Sources say functionaries of the Governments are irked at the permanent status of the office-bearers of the Bradlaugh Hall International Centre, a subsidiary of the trust, and officials among themselves have questioned why the governments should be funding any such project.

In the process, gone down the drain is Rs 20 lakh of public money given to the trust as grant by the Chandigarh Administration when it was headed by Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd). Interestingly, the General was then — and he still is — the honorary life president of Bradlaugh International Centre.

General Chhibber, when contacted at his Panchkula residence, denied that the money had been wasted. “We wanted an international centre to come up, but nothing can be done without funds,” the General added. In the past 33 years, the trust has remained bogged down due to one reason or the other. Once its site was resumed for non-construction by the Administration and then restored. Several notices for non-construction have been sent, but no action has been forthcoming. General Chhibber took over the reins of the international centre project to become its  honorary chairman-cum-president for life on August 3, 1999, as per records submitted by the trust to the Administration. Along with him, Ms Anuradha Gupta, the then Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, was made the honorary secretary for life of the trust. In the past two years since Mr Gupta was repatriated to her parent cadre of Haryana, she has offered to step down on three occasions citing that the incumbent Home Secretary of the Chandigarh Administration should be secretary of the international centre, sources in the Administration say.

The trust was allotted two acres for Rs 12,000 in 1967. Today, even on controlled rates it is valued at nearly Rs 5 crore and it could be ten times more if put to open auction for a five-star hotel or international centre. On the use of public money for the project, investigation by Chandigarh Tribune reveals, that on September 25, 1999 — just days before General Chhibber was to retire as Governor — a sum of Rs 14, 76,407, was deposited by the trust into the coffers of the Administration and a receipt bearing number 120056 was also issued. This money, according to financial files of the Administration, was part of the grant of Rs 20 lakh tranferred from the “liquor fund” of the Chandigarh Administration just one week earlier on approval by the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh. Out of this, about Rs 5 lakh was paid up to the architect for drawing up plans for the building which yet to be constructed.

The payment made by the Administration was a part of plan to promote the trust and its activities. Small amounts from this “liquor fund” are handed out to societies like the Thallasaemic Association or the Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals, to help out noble causes. The trust was facing resumption of site and was given extension till December 31, 1999. Officials, when looking back at the case in retrospect, admit that the money should not have been tranferred.

Actually within days after becoming the life chairman-cum-president of the Bradlaugh International Centre, General Chhibber and his team proposed that a cultural centre on the lines of the India International Centre in Delhi be set and funding be made jointly by Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. A meeting was called, where sanction of money was okayed by Chandigarh. However, Mr R.S. Mann and Mr R.S. Varma, the then Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, respectively, did not accept their part and wanted to know about the activities of the centre and the trust before promising any funds. A few months afterwards, the trust also floated the idea of opening up the membership and also announced several rules and procedures through the media.

Meanwhile, in a recent meeting of the international centre project, representatives of Punjab and Haryana governments did not turn up. When asked about the stand of the Chandigarh Administration on future funding of the trust, Ms Nerru Nanda, Adviser to the UT Administrator, said, “No budgetary allocation has been made for the trust during this year.” She refused further comment.

Before Partition, the Bradlaugh Hall Society was based in Lahore. Various political leaders like former Chief Ministers of Punjab Darbara Singh, Beant Singh and H.S. Brar have been its presidents. So has been the Rajesh Pilot.

Fact sheet

* An almost tottering and defunct Bradlaugh Hall Trust was bailed out by a proposed international centre project for which Punjab and Haryana governments, besides the Chandigarh Administration, pledged funds.

* Rs 20 lakh, which was paid as grant to the trust by Chandigarh Administration in 1999, may have been wasted.

* Two years later the building is nowhere in sight.

* At the moment Estate Office has initiated resumption proceedings against the two acre plot which may fetch up to Rs 5 crore even on controlled rates.

* Officials dealing with the files on the trust and its activities are tight-lipped.

* All three funding partners have washed their hands off. 



City nefarious for vehicle thefts
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

The UT police has issued certain do’s and don’ts to check vehicle thefts

* Park your cars at a paid parking place.
* Ensure that the car is properly locked and the windows rolled up, whenever you park your cars.
* Have a secret lock or go in for central locking for double safety.
* Etching of vehicles also helps.


* Use padlocks on two-wheelers.
* If you park your vehicles outside the house, use a chain and padlock to tie it to the gate of your house. 

Chandigarh, May 31
Maximum number of vehicle thefts north of Delhi take place in City Beautiful and its satellite townships of Panchkula and Mohali. These areas have also become the biggest centre for the resale of stolen cars in this region.

According to the city police’s own submission, on an average three to four vehicles are stolen from different parts of the city each day. Though the maximum number of vehicles stolen from the city are cars, a number of two-wheelers like scooters, motor cycles and mopeds are also being stolen here each day.

The police claims that the number of such thefts in the city are minimal as compared to the thefts of vehicles from Delhi. However, considering the geographical area of the two cities, the rising number of such cases here is a cause of concern.

Police sources point out that as against any organised gang of vehicle thieves operating in the city during the past, vehicle theft is more and more being managed individually or by a pair, with the intention of earning a quick buck. It may be recalled that until a few years ago, organised gangs from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were involved in vehicle thefts from the city. These gangs would frequent the city every now and then and after conducting a series of thefts, would run away from the city.

However, the trend of organised gangs of vehicle thieves has changed in the recent past. In fact, during the past couple of months the police has arrested a large number of youths involved in such cases, who were operating individually and with the intention of “ living it up”.

It may be recalled that a young electronics engineer from Amritsar, who was employed in Paonta Sahib, was arrested by the police in April this year, while he was trying to steal a car from a parking lot in Sector 17. He had stolen atleast 16 cars from different parts of the city during this year itself and was in the habit of leaving behind the cars at a deserted spot after he had removed the car accessories like the gas kit, airconditioners, stereos etc.

He was alleged to be in collusion with a mechanic in Zirakpur, who would help him first remove the accessories from the stolen car and later in selling these. The accused had also confessed that he was “in the business” for earning an extra buck in order to take care of his slightly extravagant needs.

Police sources say that in a majority of such cases, the vehicles are stolen only with the intention of taking away the spare parts, which find a huge market not just in the city, but also in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

Sources inform that the spare parts of stolen cars have a market in Punjab — Moga, Faridkot, Ferozepore, Abohar and Bathinda. In Haryana, too, the spare parts of these stolen vehicles have a market in Ambala, Hisar and Sirsa.

A number of scooter and car mechanics here in the city are also suspected to be dealing in spare parts of cars as well as redesigned stolen cars.

It is also learnt that a number of these stolen vehicles are sold to scrap dealers in these cities as well as in Hoshiarpur, where the body of the car is rebuilt by an expert mechanic and these are then sold off at a minimal price. It is alleged that after fake documents of the car are prepared, these ply on the roads of Punjab and Haryana.

Interestingly, the city and its neighbouring township of Panchkula has also emerged as the new destination for selling of stolen cars from Delhi. The recent episode of cars stolen from Delhi, being recovered from residents of the city and Panchkula, after they were sold off on fake documents is proof in this regard. A local INLD leader from Panchkula was also involved in this racket.

It is also alleged that a large number of stolen cars from Delhi find their way in the car bazaars. Following this, the police had issued instructions to the dealers that they give the details of the cars sold in the car bazaar to the nearest police station. 

Year  1999  2000  2001 (till 30.4.2001)





















Motor cycle























Schoolgirl died of jaundice, say doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 31
PGI doctors, who attended to Shobha Devi, a schoolgirl from Kasauli, who her family claimed died in the PGI yesterday due to beating up by her teachers in school, said today that she had actually succumbed to serious lung and chronic jaundice.

Doctors said in the absence of a final post-mortem report, it was difficult to comment on the cause of her death.

The girl was an old patient of cirrhosis of liver and had been undergoing treatment at the PGI for past four years.

Sources added that the initial report after post-mortem examination, which was conducted today morning, also suggested that there was no visible sign of injury on the body.

The organs and viscera were sent to the Pathology Department for further investigation and a detailed report would be available after ten days


Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The enforcement staff and staff of roads wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed illegal encroachments from the residential area in Sector 22. During the drive, encroachments on the road berms such as boundary walls, concrete structures, iron angles and barbed fencings were removed in accordance with the directions to clear 6 feet on both sides of the road.

The drive, which met with resistance from the residents, was however completed without report of any untoward incident. The work of recarpeting the V-6 road is to begin shortly. The residents complained that sufficient notice was not given to them.

Official sources maintain that such drives are carried out in routine manner so that the berm is left clear of encroachments, before recarpeting of the road is undertaken.

The clearance of road berms is also important to facilitate the public to walk on them.

PANCHKULA: The enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban and Development Authority removed 42 encroachments from Sector 21. It removed 30 unauthorised jhuggis which had come up adjacent to the police post in Sector 21, while 12 temporary structures on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road were also demolished.

Armed residents of Dhakauli village chased the members of the HUDA enforcement wing for a long distance while they tried to untie their cattle during the drive. They approached ASP of Panchkula and said the particular area was in Punjab and not in Haryana.


Rallies, seminars mark No Tobacco Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , May 31
Various non-government organisations and schools organised seminars and rallies to mark No Tobacco Day today to create awareness about the hazards of tobacco chewing and smoking.

Gurdwara management committee and Sikh institutions in collaboration with Voluntary Health Organisation, SAS Nagar, organised a seminar in the Gurudwara Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib. Jathedar of Shri Keshgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh urged all to be vigilant about the ill-effects of tobacco smoking and chewing.

Delivering the keynote address against the growing menace of tobacco especially amongst youngsters, he said in India, the government itself was not interested in curbing the menace. “This despite the fact that sales revenue from tobacco was Rs 5,000 crore per annum, while to fight the diseases arising to its intake, the government was spending Rs 14,000 crore,” he said.

Dr Kehar Singh, chairman, Punjab School Education Board, SAS Nagar, who presided over the function, also urged for a total ban on smoking. Dr Man Mohan Sharma, Voluntary Health Organisation, SAS Nagar, while highlighting the ill-effects of tobacco, stressed on a need to fight the menace of tobacco addiction. Tobacco smoking, chewing and eating were the single largest cause of untimely death, he said.

President of Sikh Nari Manch and Akali councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, also urged all to share a common platform and fight the menace as a one force. Other speakers, including Dr Lok Raj from Nasha Mukti Kendra, Mr Gurbir Singh and Paramjit Singh from Sikh Missionary College, Dr Darshanjot Kaur, Dr Inder Pal Kaur, Ms Amrit Kaur, Ms Raminder Kaur from Sikh Nari Manch, Mr Rajinder Singh from Khalsa Panchayat, Ms Manjit Kaur, from Mata Gujri Sukhmani Sabha, Sector 34, and Ms Amrita Kohli stressed for a clear cut ban on tobacco. They also urged to hold regular awareness camps by socioreligious and educational institutions.

Meanwhile, PGI Additional Professor, Dr D. Bahera from Department of Pulmonary Medicine, said every year one and a half million people were added to the number of people suffering from various problems related to tobacco addiction. The recent increase in the number of female smokers was particularly alarming, he said. Sharing his views with the TNS, he said a total ban on smoking should be introduced for which lot of political and social will was required.

The Servants of the People Society, organised a rally in Government High School, Khuda Alisher, and Government Senior Secondary School, Dadu Majra. As many as 250 students and 20 staff members of the two schools took part.

The children also distributed hand-outs with message about the ill-effects of the tobacco consumption. A talk on ‘No Tobacco Day was organised by Group Caption P.S. Soni, Honorary Administrator of the society, and Prof P.D. Sharma of Panjab University in the school of Dadu Majra.

The Children’s Alliance for Protection of the Environment also observed the day at Khuda Alisher village. Dr Madhu Gill and Mr Munish Kaul, led about 200 students of the Government High School through the streets of the village. Addressing the villagers, Mr S.K. Sharma, president of the Environment Society of India, appealed to the Administration to effectively implement ban on smoking at places where it was prohibited.

No Tobacco Day was also observed in the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 23. A poster- making competition was organised to mark the occasion.

Mr S.K. Sharma, president of ESI, and Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, principal of the school, apprised the students of the harmful effects of tobacco. Later a rally by the school students was also taken out.


Part of city’s heritage, sculptural fountains cry for care
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Preservation of city’s heritage seems to be on no one’s mind. At least that is what gets reflected through the state of some monuments which once formed a part of the ambitious project that Chandigarh was. After baring the appalling condition of Leisure Valley, Chandigarh Tribune now shifts focus to the three sculptural fountains placed in the City Centre, which seem to be looking to passersby for attention.

The vision behind the three sculptures executed in and around the Sector 17 commercial area by the first Chief Architect of the UT, Mr M.N. Sharma, is far from being realised. Where Mr Sharma had conceived these water features with a view to lure people into sitting around them and relaxing, the present condition of the fountains is anything but pleasing. There is hardly any water ever seen in the pools. Maintenance is utterly lacking. Wild growth dots the path to these historical sculptures which were created to breathe life into the concrete structure of Sector 17. The creator of these forms, however, has lived to see the disgrace they have been subjected to.

The first fountain, called Bird of Peace and Harmony, stands tall in front of Neelam cinema. Made of bronze, this sculpture is 20 feet high from the base. The beauty of this creation lies in its surreal rooting. The bird has three beaks, the third one signifying the elusive quality of peace. Water was supposed to flow from the beaks and fall upto the lowest pool. As per the original layout, trees were also to be planted.

Mr M.N. Sharma, when contacted, said, “Water flowing from the bird’s beak was supposed to create an illusion of a waterfall. There was to be a canopy of trees all around and it was for people to find out from where the sounds of water were emanating. Plans remain on paper till date.”

Although many a time, the beak has water, its pressure is not enough to carry it downward towards the pool. It may be mentioned that this sculpture finds a place in the most prestigious collection titled “World’s best sculptures”, by Louis G. Redstone.

The original Le Corbusier plan clearly mentions that the sculptures were not created to serve as mere objects of decoration. “These water features were meant to add beauty and life to the otherwise dry commercial area that Sector 17 was meant to be. Corbusier also wanted a pool to be maintained in the area so that its beauty and brightness are not lost in the dryness spawned by concrete.”

Where the condition of bird sculpture is still tolerable, that of the other two (Harmony and Growth) is pathetic, to say the least. Both these sculptures are concrete based and have a marble facing. While they are pure water features, no water is ever seen around them.

Growth, placed around the State Library in Sector 17, has two rounds to depict growth. The beauty of this seven and a half feet high sculpture was to be accentuated with the help of water and lighting. No water can, however, be seen in the surrounding pool. No benches have been installed ever since the chapter of beautifying Chandigarh was closed. Wild grass can be seen all around the sculpture.

Same is the state of Harmony, the 24 feet high form right in front of the library. The solids and voids of this feature signify the crests and troughs of life. The structure has a pipe running through its entire length to act as a fountain. And the fountain was to function with coloured lights and music to add to the beauty. There, however, are no lights, no water, no music to be seen anywhere around the sculptural fountain.

While the city can well sit back and start ruminating over the losses, the UT Administration needs to be posted on every matter. Officials say they are not in the know of things. They, however, inform that there is a capital fund meant for the maintenance of Sector 17 commercial complex. Says a highly-placed official, “Two per cent of this money must be used for the upkeep of structures which form a part of the Corbusier plan. It’s quite possible that the money is not being spent for the earmarked purpose.”


Plot owners foxed by MC decision
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 31
A decision of the State Local Government Department to regularise water and sewer connection after charging a flat rate of Rs 600 has led to confusion among the plot holders in the town. Though no cut off date for regularising the connections has been notified, the affected plot owners say that the decision could not be taken by the civic body as it involved the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and the Punjab Public Health Department.

In case of sewer connection taken illegally by an allottee while raising construction on his plot, PUDA was charging Rs 1,000 as the compounding fee for a connection. The role of the Public Health (Sewer Wing) was to collect sewer maintenance bills as per the notified rates, said Mr Harmohan Singh, a plot holder.

Officials of PUDA said in some cases the plot holders while raising structures in their plots took sewer connection from the main line without permission and when they applied for Occupation Certificate (OC) within the three-year moratorium period, Rs 1,000 was charged as compounding fee before issuing the OC. If the moratorium period had expired, a plot holder had to pay non-construction fee at a rate of 2.5 per cent of the prevailing market price of the respective plot.

It may be pertinent to mention that the PUDA has allowed one year extension to those plot owners who had failed to raise construction within the specified time period. The decision was applicable on the plots allotted up to year 1990 — where the three-year-additional extension period ended on December 31, 2000.

With the decision of the council to charge Rs 600 to regularise sewer connection, the plot holder would presume that their connections — even after the expiry of the three-year moratorium period — would be regularised after paying the flat fee. Mr Tarlochan Singh, a plot holder in Sector 70, said thinking that their connection had been regularised they would not apply to the PUDA. At the time of applying for Occupation Certificate, the allottee would have to pay the compounding fee or face harassment due to the confusion — which means that an allottee would end up paying Rs 1600.

In case of water connection, the Public Health Department was charging Rs 1,000 to regularise a connection. But as per the new decision the fee was Rs 600, both for water and sewer connection. Mr G.S. Ghuman, Executive Engineer of the Public Health, said he had so far received no communication about the new decision.

Another decision to charge Rs 10 per sq ft from plot owners dumping construction material on roads and on road berms has attracted protest from residents. Mr Manjit Sethi, a municipal councillor said the PUDA at the time of calculating cost of a plot included maintenance charges for 10 years and after that non-construction fee was charged. The PUDA to check the tendency of plot owners to dump construction material along roadsides had made it mandatory to get a NOC from the civic body before passing building plans but without charging any fee. Now a one-kanal plot owner undertaking construction or alteration on his plot would have to pay Rs 5,000. The fee would vary as per the size of a plot. 


Archaeological theme park project shelved
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
With the Punjab Government’s reported refusal to allocate land to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for setting up an archaeological theme park in the satellite township of SAS Nagar, the much-awaited project has been shelved.

It is learnt that the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) cited non-availability of land as the reason for turning down the ASI’s request. The ASI’s Chandigarh Circle had identified about 6 acres in Sector 62, adjoining the Chandigarh - SAS Nagar border for setting up the park and had submitted a project report to the Punjab Government last year.

Following PUDA’s refusal and an apparent lack of interest on both sides, ASI headquarters in Delhi decided to abandon the project altogether instead of seeking an alternative site. The project had been conceived by former ASI Director-General, Mr Ajai Shankar.

With an estimated cost of about Rs 1 crore, the three-phase park was supposed to have scaled-down replicas of 16 monuments of archaeological and architectural importance, which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage monuments. The proposal had also included sculpturing and landscaping the area to incorporate features of plains, mountains and water bodies to simulate the actual terrain on which the respective monument is situated.

The project had been mooted during a seminar on archaeology held at Ropar some time ago. The Punjab Government had then agreed to allocate land for a theme park free of cost. The earlier proposal had been to set up the park at Ropar, but it was then decided that SAS Nagar was a better option.

Adopting a resolution at its general conference in 1972, the UNESCO created a ‘’convention concerning the protection of world cultural and natural heritage. The objectives included defining world heritage in cultural and natural aspects and to enlist sites and monuments in member countries which are of exceptional interests and universal value.

Of the 506 cultural and natural sites worldwide, there are 16 cultural sites and five natural sites in India. India is among the 107 member countries which signed the resolution.

The 16 sites are Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Sun Temple at Konark, Mahabalipuram Temples, churches and convents at Goa, Khajuraho Temples, Hampi Temples, Fatepur Sikri, Pattadakal Temples, Elephanta Caves, Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, Buddhist monuments at Sanchi, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar.

The ASI had, in 1997, also proposed to set up a similar theme park at Panchkula. Due to certain technicalities, the proposal too had been shelved.


Doctor accused of conducting MTP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A woman has accused a local doctor of forcibly conducting her medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) in collusion with her estranged mother-in-law.

According to information available from police sources, the victim is a resident of Burail village and was staying with her husband and in-laws. She claimed that she was two and a half months pregnant at the time of the incident.

The police said that the relations between the woman and her husband and in- laws were estranged for quite some time.

It is alleged that about a month back, her mother- in- law took her to a private nursing home in Sector 44 on the pretext of getting her examined.

She further alleged that after an ultrasound test was performed at the nursing home by a lady doctor, also the wife of the owner of the nursing home, she was forcibly sedated and an MTP was performed.

The woman has already filed a complaint before the SP (Operations), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, currently officiating as SSP, and the Sector 34 police station. Following this, the police has made an entry in the daily diary report.

The police maintained that an FIR would be registered against the accused doctor as well as the in- laws after a medical examination of the woman was conducted and legal opinion sought.


4 minor fires reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Minor fires in electricity meters were reported from various parts of the city today.

An electric meter was partially damaged in a fire caused by short circuiting in the wires of the meter in Burail gurdwara at 5.10 am. The loss is yet to be estimated, though the fire was controlled by a fire tender from Sector 32 fire brigade.

Another fire was reported in an electricity meter installed in the computer room in the LIC building near KC Theatre due to short circuiting at 6 in the morning. Two fire tenders were rushed to the site from Sectors 11 and 17 fire brigade but the same was controlled with the help of carbon dioxide fire extinguishers. An electric meter caught fire in H No 603, Sector 36-B but was controlled within 10 minutes after the tender from Sector 38 fire brigade reached the spot.

No loss is reported from another electricity meter fire, which broke out in Sector 38-C market today evening. A fire tender from Sector 38 was sent to control the fire.


Killer spot near cricket stadium
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The heavy rush of traffic at the cricket stadium crossing in Sector 16, has made it one of the most accident-prone spots in the city.

Many lives have been lost in accidents at this junction and a large number of persons have been injured. On the night of May 28, a resident of a colony in Dhanas village was hit by an unknown vehicle here. He was found by a police van and taken to the PGI, where he was declared “brought dead”.

This roundabout, connecting four major roads to the ISBT, Sector 17, as well as the market on one side and Sector 22 on the other, is one of the busiest. Since it connects two of the major commercial hubs of the city- Sector 17 and Sector 22, a large number of people have to use this junction.

Police records show that as many as three major accidents have taken place at this junction so far this year. However, the police also says that on an average three or four minor accidents take place here every week.

Close proximity to the Inter State Bus Terminus has given this roundabout the reputation of being the most accident prone in the City Beautiful. With a large number of buses approaching the bus terminus, accidents with slow moving traffic have become routine.

At any given time during the rush hours for buses ( 7:00 am to 10: 00 am and 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm), unending lines of buses are leave for their journey. At the same time, a large number of workers are on their way to work in the mornings and returning in the evening. With the bus drivers unwilling to let the slow moving traffic to pass, accidents involving cycle rickshaws, cyclists and two-wheelers take place.

A couple of weeks ago, a woman scooterist was seriously injured when her scooter was hit by a bus at this point. The scooterist was trying to overtake the long line of buses ahead of her, when she was hit by a bus.

Though a number of traffic cops have been deployed here to manage the almost chaotic traffic of buses, things have hardly changed for the better.


Jacob hands over draft to PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), handed over a demand draft for Rs 65 lakh to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, for Gujarat Earthquake Relief Fund in New Delhi today.

The Governor informed Mr Vajpayee that residents of Chandigarh had collected Rs 2.66 crore for the quake fund. The Governor informed the Prime Minister that tents, temporary pre-fabricated structures, shelters, blankets, mineral water, medicines and dry rations worth Rs.76 lakh were airlifted to Gujarat.

The Governor also informed the Prime Minister about the special teams of engineers sent to Gujarat by the Chandigarh Administration to erect pre-fabricated structures. He said 26,000 blankets donated by city residents reached Bhuj the very next day of the quake. Lieut Gen Jacob said that remaining Rs 1.90 crore has been handed over to Prime Minister.


Drug awareness stressed upon
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 31
Consumption of drugs was on the rise in society and it was very important to create awareness to help people stay away from these.

These views were expressed by Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Punjab Minister for Local Government and Labour and Employment, at a function organised at Shivalik Public School by the Generation Saviour Club in connection with the World No Tobacco Day here today.

He said even children and women had taken to smoking. For women who indulged in too much of socialising, smoking had become a status symbol. However, people should not be allowed to smoke at public places as it adversely affected the health of others around.

He said people at times took to drugs to keep their mental stress at bay, but they did not realise that this would soon become a habit and in no time the person would become an addict.

Ms Amteshwar Kaur, president of the association, said as many as 80 prizes were given to the winners of various painting and essay writing competitions held during the year, in which 18 schools had participated. An exhibition of the award winning paintings was inaugurated by Mr Tandon, who was the chief guest on the occasion. Mr Tandon also released a souvenir of the association. Nanak Shah, Manak Ali and Manwinder Singh regaled the audience by presenting ghazals. Students of Golden Bells Public School presented giddha with a message for tobacco-free society. 


Protest over postponement of interview
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 31
Hundreds of persons from all over Punjab who had turned up for an interview for posts of driver in the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, returned disappointed, as the interview was called off at the last moment here today. The corporation had invited candidates for 15 vacancies of drivers through an advertisement in a newspaper.

According to information available, the candidates were asked to appear at 10 a.m. in front of the corporation’s office in Sector 34. The officials of the corporation had made no arrangements for the interviewees, as no tents were erected for the purpose. The officials also had no arrangement for water. The candidates assembled in open well before the schedule time.

Surprisingly, the application form which the candidates were to fill for interview were selling at a premium. 


Police action supported
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 31
The Punjab Police Pensioners Welfare Association has supported police action at Khanpur village recently when the police had resorted to cane charge to disperse protesting villagers blocking the Kharar-Morinda road.

Mr Baldev Singh Bains, general secretary of the state-level body, said the police had to resort to lathi charge after the local administration showed its inability to control the situation. Mr Bains, who visited the spot, said the protesters had been provoked by a political leader. He said certain unscrupulous elements had snatched rifle of a policeman a day before the incident.

He said if the state government acted against the police employees under political pressure it would be a wrong decision.

He, however, admitted that in the post-terrorism era, the police should undergo special training to equip them to handle Khanpur-like situation.


Welfare schemes for physically challenged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Special facilities in Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses are being suggested for physically challenged persons. While education opportunities and avenues for employment will be created. The Chandigarh Administration will shortly introduce new schemes for the physically challenged.

These were the decisions during a meeting of the State Executive Committee constituted under Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, various welfare schemes in progress for the disabled in the city were reviewed here today.


Cremation ground needs resuscitation
Nishikant Dwivedi

Nayagaon (Kharar), May 31
There is an open-air cremation ground located on the main road with no boundary wall and no shed here. Bodies are consigned to the flames in full view of passersby, including children. The cremation ground presents a horrific sight.

For want of a demarcation line, a large part of the ground has been encroached upon by villagers. Surprisingly, shops, a road and a horsecart stand have come to exist in there. Over 25,000 villagers are left with a very small part of the land to cremate their dead.

Sources in the Punjab Revenue Department say the total area of the cremation ground is six kanal and four marlas. This includes 18 marlas of graveyard owned by the Waqf Board. They admit that no measurement of the cremation ground has been ever done. Villagers allege that the Punjab Urban Development Authority, which keeps sending notices to all and sundry for unauthorised structures in the area, have never turned up to check the encroachment on the ground. A significant part of the ground has been encroached upon by the locals. A shop has also been allegedly constructed on the cremation ground.

The Punjab Government had given a grant of Rs 1.50 lakh for erecting a boundary wall around the cremation ground. In the name of the wall, only a heap of bricks is seen there.

A local says these bricks have been lying there for the past three to four months. The villagers allege that some persons in the village are obstructing the construction of the wall. In case the wall comes up, encroached land will have to vacated.

The general secretary of the Residents and Shopkeepers Joint Action Committee, Nayagaon, alleges that the village panchyat does not take any interest in the maintenance of the ground. He has demanded that a boundary wall should be immediately constructed. A senior resident of the area, who has announced donation for construction of a few sheds in the cremation ground, is unable to do so as the ground has not been demarcated.

The cremation ground is in such a sorry state that the locals have to go to Chandigarh to cremate their dead. However, majority of locals cremate their dead in the village. 


Road in poor condition
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 31
The Kharar-Sacrulapur-Bassi Pathana road is in a bad condition and it has not been repaired for the past about 8 to 9 years. According to a press note issued here yesterday by some residents of Sacrulapur, the condition outside the Government High School of the village was deplorable and dirty water had accumulated there, making it very difficult for any two-wheeler, to cross this road. 

Shramdan continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Even as the shramdan at the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake entered the 27th day today, 11,80,000 cubic feet of silt has been removed from the lake bed so far.

The principal, teachers and 60 students of Government Model High School, Sector 44, and 60 students participated in the shramdan today.

The UT Chief Engineer, and the staff of the UT DPR also removed earth from the lake bed.


12 hurt in clash
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 31
Twelve persons were injured in a clash between two groups of Drish Shoe Company workers late last night.

According to the police, some of the workers who were protesting for the past couple of days, were stoned when hoisting a union flag in front of the factory.

Sources said some pro-management workers pelted stones on the members of other group from inside the factory. Eleven workers who were agitating against the management were injured, besides another factory worker.


Tribune Employee retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31Mr Mohan Lal, Senior Painter, retired after putting in 28 years of service. Among those who lauded his work were the General Manager, Mr R.N. Gupta, and the Additional General Manager, Mr O.P. Arora. Mr Mohan Lal was presented with a gift by his colleagues.


Office in a high-rise building

With the advent of information technology industry in India, suburbs and townships around metros are coming up fast. The architecture of office complexes has changed drastically over the past few years. Everybody notices the amount of glass and metal being used in these buildings.

Having glass and metal-panes all over the business complexes is a Feng Shui feature. Even some architects designing these complexes are not aware of the fact but merely do it as it is a trend nowadays.

There is one very important feature that I would like my readers to bear in mind — the hollow space that these buildings have in the centre. The foyer extends to the roof which, in turn, allows the Chi to flow out rather than flow into the building.

If your office is located in such a building, any good fortune that is destined to come your way will flow away. These buildings lack in foundation. It is very bad for people with their offices on the top floor or the top brass of the company who have nothing but hollow space below. The emptiness will cause all the offices situated at higher levels to close down. 


Address your Feng Shui queries to:

Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



Girl abducted, raped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A 17-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by two men and later raped by one of them. It is learnt that the victim was abducted by the two accused from a house in Daddu Majra colony on May 28 on the pretext of that her mother had met with an accident. The girl was allegedly taken to Kalka, where she was raped by one of the accused.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 363, 366, 376 and 34 of the IPC, the girl reported alleged that the two accused, Raju, who was known to her, and Sonu, a resident of Sector 22, came to her aunt’s house, where she was staying, and told her that her mother had met with an accident.

The girl was taken to a dharamshala in Kalka and molested by Raju. The next morning the girl was abandoned at to Daddu Majra. It is learnt that Raju is married and has two children. 


Man stabbed by labourer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A man was stabbed by a migrant labourer near new mandi in Sector 39 yesterday. Amir Chand was rushed to the GMCH, where he is recovering. According to an FIR registered under Section 307 of the IPC, Maheshwar Singh stabbed Amir Chand. The accused has been arrested.

Scooter stolen

A scooter (CH-01-H-0713) was stolen from the parking of the PGI on Tuesday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Case registered

A 20-year-old youth was sodomised allegedly by a co-worker at a dhaba near the bus stand on Wednesday. A case under Section 377 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 police station. The accused, Vinod Kumar, has been arrested. The victim is a resident of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh and arrived in the city on Wednesday in search of a job.

One killed

A Home Guard was killed in a road accident on the Sectors 51-52 dividing road on Thursday. The deceased, Ram Pal, was driving a scooter (PB-65-0746) when he was hit by an unknown car near the Mataur barrier. He was rushed to the PGI, where he later died.


Plea to keep Pabhat octroi free zone
Shashi Pal Jain

Kharar, May 31
The Ropar District Chemists Association has appealed to the Punjab Government to keep Pabhat village as an octroi free zone. The state government plans to merge the village with Zirakpur municipal limits. The association maintained that if it was not done the state would loose huge revenue and the consumers would be forced to pay double tax. The association has also written to the Department of Local Self Government Punjab, and to the Minister concerned.

Mr Vinod Bhushan Jain, a member of the Punjab Pharmacy Council and leading wholesale dealer of Kharar while giving a copy of a letter to the Minister said they had learnt from a public notice published in The Tribune on May 11, that the government was merging this village in Zirakpur limits.

According to the letter when Zirakpur was declared a Municipal Council, Pabhat village was exempted and because of this all major companies had set up godowns at Pabhat as it was octroi free area. “No sale is made in these godowns in retail form and all companies have made Pabhat village as a centre of distribution. The Punjab Government earns about Rs 160 crores as Sales Tax revenue from this village alone and if octroi is imposed in the village the companies would move over to Chandigarh,” he said.

The association demanded that the village should be kept as an octroi free zone even if it comes under municipal limit of Zirakpur as otherwise local population which was dependent on these companies in terms of godown rent and employment would be badly affected.

He demanded that instead of indulging in this self-defeating and non-productive action the area should be earmarked and developed for transporters and company godowns as has been done by Maharashtra and Rajasthan governments in developing the Bhiwandi area.


SBI’s net profit up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
State Bank of India, Chandigarh Circle has recorded a net profit of Rs 281 crore during 2000-2001. This an increase of 11.77 per cent over the previous year profits.

According to a press release by the bank, deposits of Rs 13,929 crore had been recorded during the year as compared to Rs 12,001 crore last year (growth 16.06 per cent). The net advances rose from Rs 6,652 crore in 1999-2000 to Rs 9,226 crore in 2000-01. The bank has targeted 20 per cent growth in deposits and advances for 2001-02.

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