Thursday, July 5, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Immigration racket busted, six held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The city police conducted a raid on the Gulati Bhavan in Sector 33 late last night and unearthed an immigration racket, in which allegedly hundreds of people were duped as they were lured with jobs in Western Europe.

Six members of a gang were arrested and 186 blood samples, 42 urine samples and 17 passports of aspirants for the jobs were seized from them. A sum of Rs 5,02,000 , given to the accused by the interviewees for the said jobs, was also seized.

The police claimed that the arrest of the accused could have wider ramifications as they were allegedly planning to dupe people in other cities of the country.

The DSP South, Mr. S.C. Sagar, said that the racketeers were fraudulently enticing unsuspecting people to pay lakhs of rupees for arranging jobs for them in Spain, Italy, Holland and the UK. ‘‘A local company, the Continental Services in Sector 42, Attawa, had placed advertisements in a section of the press for jobs in catering, restaurant and resident workers (pay scale US $ 680) and general helpers and cleaners (US$ 500 to $ 680). A visa for three years and a month’s leave after one year was promised in these advertisements that appeared on June 24,’’ he says.

It is learnt that this company was given a contract for conducting interviews of aspirants in the city by another firm, Reem General Services Overseas Man Power Recruitment, registered in Dubai in the name of Mr SA Mohammad Ali Pasha and with Mr Krishan Lal Hans as its MD there. The latter’s wife was managing the Indian office of the company in Mumbai.

This company was reportedly had a contract with a Sharjah-based company, Marine Shipping LLG and people from Punjab and southern states of the country, especially Kerala, were to being recruited on behalf of the latter. In fact, Reem General Services had also signed a contract with Jain Diagnostics in Jaagesghwari, Mumbai, for taking blood and urine tests of the candidates. This centre is being run by Dr Madhu Jain and her husband, Kishore Madan Lal Jain was a witness for the contract.

However, Kishore Madan Lal Jain and his two brothers, Sunil Jain and Nitin Jain, came here, posing as doctors, along with a technician, Fazal Ahmed. As many as 179 candidates appeared in the interview yesterday and all of them were subjected to a medical examination and blood and urine tests by the three brothers and the technician. All these candidates were made to shell out Rs 2,500 each for thee tests.

The remaining amount of Rs 1.5 lakh was to be paid by the selected candidates before they departed for the job.

It is learnt that Reem General Services had also given a contract for recruiting people in Jalandhar to a firm floated by its MD’s brother, R. K. Enterprises. This firm had also similarly duped several people in Jalandhar on July 2, where the recruitment drive was held.

Mr Sagar said that the police inquired from the Protector of Immigrants if the local company had been issued any licence for recruiting manpower. When it was found that Continental Services did not have a valid licence, the police had its informers infiltrate among the prospective candidates .

‘‘ We gathered the information that the said company would conduct the interview and medical examination of the aspirants in the city on July 3. However, the accused changed the venue at the last minute from Parshuram Bhavan to Gulati Bhavan so as to avoid its detection by the local police. But we tracked them down to the venue on a tip-off and arrested Krishan Lal, Harjit Singh of Continental Services, Kishore Madan Lal Jain, Sunil Jain and Nitin Jain, who had posed as doctors from Jain Diagnostics and Fazal Ahmed, technician, from the firm,’’ he said .

The other partner of Continental Services, Manjit Singh escaped. A number of passports of the aspirants were said to be in his possession. A case under Sections 419, 420 of the IPC and 25 of the Immigration Act has been registered at Police Station, Sector 34.

Meanwhile, the police has registered yet another case of fraud against the proprietors of Continental Services. Harjit Singh and Manjit Singh have been booked under Section 420 of the IPC at the Sector 36 police station.

It is learnt that the two accused had duped Mr Paramjit Singh of Rs 55,000 on the pretext of sending him to Libya. They had got him a visa of two months and later began avoiding away.

Our Correspondent adds: The UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class) on Wednesday remanded to judicial custody for fourteen days the accused Krishan Lal Hans, Fazal Ahmed, Sunil Jain, Nitin Jain, Kishore Jain, held by the city police in a case of cheating. The another accused, Harjit Singh, was remanded to two days police custody by the magistrate.

The accused were arrested by the city police yesterday and had registered a case under sections 419, 420, of the Indian Penal Code and 25 of the Immigration Act. The defence counsel argued that the accused were falsely implicated in the case. He also argued that the accused had a license issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Labour, to sent people abroad. 


7 arrested in Siau murder case
Our Correspondent

Ropar, July 4
The Ropar police claims to have solved the mystery of the murder of two Dalit children of Siau village in Sohana police station, by arresting seven persons on a charge of murder.

The SSP Ropar, Mr GPS Bhullar, while addressing a press conference here today told that Swaran Singh, Mian Singh, Nirmal Singh and Gurcharan Singh, borthers, Nirmal Singh, a family friend of the accused, Gurnam Singh, paternal uncle, and Surmukh Singh, son of Nirmal Singh, had been arrested. He also told that the Youth Akali Dal leader, Mr Kiran Vir Kang, who was accused in the case had been questioned by the investigating officer.

Giving details of the conspiracy, Mr Bhullar told that the feud between the families of Jarnail Singh and Mian Singh arose over the cowdung manure dump. Mian Singh allegedly used the manure dump of Jarnail Singh in his fields, which led to an altercation between him and the mother of Jarnail Singh. Mian Singh allegedly assaulted and abused the mother of Jarnail Singh who lodged a complaint regarding it in the Sohana police station following which he was arrested. The family of Mian Singh got agitated alleged conspired to revenge themselves against the opposite party. On that fateful day, Vikramjit Singh, eight-year-old son of Jarnail Singh, and Rimpi, five-year-old son of Dhani Ram, the brother of Jarnail Singh, went to pay obeisance at the village gurdwara. Surmukh Singh, son of one of the accused Nirmal Singh, reportedly, lured both the children to the tubewell, where his uncle Surmukh Singh was waiting for them in a drunk state. He allegedly straingulated the children and later with the help of other accused, dumped the bodies in the village pond. The case had been generating a lot of heat in the district, with Opposition parties alleging that the police was trying to shield the Youth Akali Dal leader, Mr Kiran Vir Singh Kang, who was also accused in the case.

The SSP, however, termed the allegations as baseless. He said questioning of Mr Kang revealed nothing that substantiated his role in the murder. His name has been dragged in the case due to political rivalry, he said.Back


Chaos in result preparation: board finds a solution
Tribune News Service

The board says

  • The delay in the declaration of the results of the Class X examinations was due to ‘an inept handling of the job’ by a Delhi-based computer firm.
  • The pass percentage in the Class X examinations is about 60.

SAS Nagar, July 4
To reduce the chaos of preparing results of the middle-standard, matriculation and senior secondary examinations simultaneously, the Punjab School Education Board has decided to have separate branches for these examinations.

At present, same employees of the three branches of the examination cell are handling all the work. There is chaos as they tabulate the results of the Class X examinations and redress the grievances regarding the Class XII results at the same time.

Dr Kehar Singh, Chairman of the board, said the division of the work would be introduced in phases with the help of the employees’ union to avoid confusion. Experts of various state education boards of the region would be asked to suggest ways of improving the systems of processing examination forms and tabulating results.

It has also been decided to handle the results of private and regular candidates separately. “The scrutiny of examination forms of private candidates is more tedious than processing the forms of regular candidates that are submitted in sets. Separate examination centres for private and open-school candidates were also in the offing,” said Dr Kehar Singh.

The board has decided to computerise the system of result preparation. The Chairman of the board said opinion of computer experts of the CBSE, the ICSE and other boards would be sought for this purpose. The infrastructure is expected to be in place by the time the next annual examinations are held. After this, the board will be able to do jobs that are now given to private computer firms.

Dr Kehar Singh said the enquiry counter in the board office would also be improved. Candidates will be able to get the feedback regarding their queries within a certain time. An officer of the rank of a Deputy Secretary would be asked to monitor the coordination between the enquiry counter and examination branches.

“The delay in the declaration of the results of the Class X examinations was due to an inept handling of the job by a Delhi-based computer firm,” Dr Kehar Singh said. He also said the problem had been sorted out.

The computer firm was not equipped to process the subject-wise award lists as sought by the board. “Rather than seeking a set-wise award list, we had sought a subject-wise award list to prevent the leakage of the result, but the computer programmer goofed up. A single error was compounded by the computer,” said Dr Singh.

He said the number of award lists that the computer had not punched was much less than what had been reported in the media. He said the RLA cases in the result gazettes would be less than 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Punjab School Education Board (non-teaching) Karamchari Association has sought that the Controller of Examination be sent back to her parent department. They demanded that the results be prepared manually till computers were installed in the board.Back



No audit by CHB for five years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh July 4
A surprising fact has come to light that the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), in the past five years, did not conduct any audit of its spending and nor did it prepare a financial statement of its accounts. Sources said the spending amount ran into crores of rupees but no action had been initiated against any of the erring staff members of the CHB.

Sources in the CHB confirmed that though an audit cell was in place in the CHB but it did little or no work and no spending of funds was shown in the annual statement of accounts as it should have been under the guidelines for the functioning of the board.

In the past five years the board carried out one of its major schemes of constructing hundreds of flats in Sector 38-West besides paying up for land allotted to the CHB for further allotment to cooperative housing societies.

The fact that no audit had been conducted was unearthed about three months ago by alert officials. The matter was brought to the notice of senior officials and it was placed before the Board of Directors of the CHB.

The directors, who are mostly officials of the Chandigarh Administration and also a few private persons, had now suggested that an audit should also be done by an outside party like inviting a team from the Accountant-General’s office to look into the matter. This, said sources, should be done as internal audit was not considered effective enough.

Since the inception of the CHB in 1979, an internal audit was being done but the effectivity of this was under question. Most of the staff of the CHB had remained within the board in the past two decades on plum seats handling public dealing matters thus development of favourites within the CHB was not been ruled out by senior officials.

Now the work of conducting an internal audit had been speeded up following pressure from certain quarters, sources said, while adding that it had naturally led to heartburning among some sections of the staff.

The same was true for financial statements of the CHB which had been held due to various administrative reasons. Now under orders from top the statements were being prepared.

Meanwhile, sources pointed out even after all this there had been no action taken or initiated against any of the staff which lagged behind in its duty. 


Tax net widens, but catch still low
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
About 350 towns of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have come under the one-by-six scheme of the Income Tax Department from June 1, but the income tax authorities in the region do not have a sufficient infrastructure to carry out the task.

The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax here, Mr J.S. Ahluwalia, said the scheme had been extended to 120 towns of Punjab, about 100 of Haryana, 58 of Himachal Pradesh and 75 of Jammu and Kashmir, as per the provisions in this year’s Union Budget.

He said the exercise to identify income tax assessees at these places had already begun. He said the department was gathering details on who all at these places enjoyed any of the following privileges: telephone connection, car, at least one foreign tour and membership of an expensive club, besides a leased, rented or self-owned house of 2,000 square feet or more.

The Chief Commissioner said, as providing assessees with a sufficient infrastructure was a tough task, the regional IT Department had mooted a proposal for acquiring vans for collecting returns from different places.

Mr Ahluwalia said the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha had called a meeting of the Chief Commissioners of all regions on July 11 and 12 to work out ways of expanding the tax base as announced in the Budget.

He said, after collecting the details of all persons who fulfilled the six conditions for being an assessee, the department would check whether they had already been listed or not. After this, the department would check who all of these were already PAN holders. The department is using a specially designed software for this purpose.

Mr Ahluwalia said the software would help the department match the names, which had not been possible earlier. It used to be a tedious task to match the lists manually. He said the Union Government had set a target of collecting Rs 1,920 crore in income tax for this year against the past year’s target of collecting Rs 1,538 crore. He said this was an attempt to double the number of assessees from 2.5 crore to 5 crore.

However, the department officials said, due to a lack of manpower in the department and a low level of awareness among people of the region regarding taxation, the tax realisation may not be to the expectations for the next two years.

They said, though the Income Tax Act did not allow lump-sum payment, the department might have to allow it because most assessees did not even have bank accounts. They neither keep proper account books nor follow the accounting norms. “The first year will be more for creating awareness on taxation among people than anything else,” they said.

The Chief Commissioner said, initially, the department might have to request the assessees to pay the tax. The scheme would be extended to municipal committees, cantonment boards, notified area committees, town area committees and census towns.


HUDA allows iron gates at entry points of lanes
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 4
After much deliberation and controversy, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has given its final verdict: the residents can put up iron gates at entry points of their lanes to guard against thefts. This, however, comes with the condition that they don’t seek approval of HUDA in the matter.

The installation of gates in sectors, a project pioneered and funded by the local residents to check against increasing thefts and the rising crime graph, had been put on hold last year after HUDA refused to give permission for the same.

A senior official of HUDA said that the HUDA bylaws did not empower the body to grant permission for installation of iron gates. Consequently, the request for permission for gates by residents was turned down and such projects in many sectors shelved.

“If the residents feel safe by installing gates, and everything is being done at their expense, we have nothing to lose. Our intention was not to raise objections but we are helpless in case they seek our permission. Under the rules we cannot allow them to install gates. However, we will not touch these in case they decide to go ahead,” he explained.

The controversy of disallowing residents to erect gates came to the fore yet again at yesterday’s khula darbar of the district administration chaired by the Deputy Commissioner.

The president of the Joint Action Forum of bodies, Mr R.P. Malhotra, had stated that the instances of thefts in the city could be checked to a certain extent if HUDA was willing to grant permission for gates. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, had assured him that the matter would be taken up with HUDA.

Initially, the ball was set rolling by residents of Sector 6 who pooled in resources and installed gates at entry points in one lane last year as an experiment to check crime when thefts were at their peak in the city. The residents of Sector 8 followed suit and no instances of thefts were reported from these areas.

The two projects being a success in these two cases, the installation of gates at entry points to lanes attracted the public troubled by thefts. For this, they began putting in applications to HUDA for installation of gates which were turned down since it was not provided for under the rules. Taking this to be a “no” from HUDA, residents began approaching various agencies for permission in recent times.


No reservation for local students in various courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
In a significant development it has been discovered that there exists no formal order on reservation of 85 per cent seats for local students in normal degree colleges for entry to arts, commerce and science streams.

The point has been brought to light by office of the colleges branch of Panjab University. A case has been prepared and forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor for a formal order.

Talking to The Tribune, Prof Ramesh Kapoor, Dean, College Development Council, said that there existed a misnomer in certain colleges that there was a reservation policy of 85 per cent seats for the local students in all the streams. There were certain others who followed the reservation policy of reserving 60 per cent seats for the local students.

Professor Kapoor said that he discovered the fact of an existing confusion in one of the senior-level meetings he attended recently. When the concerned papers were asked for, it was discovered that a communication of the Education department in 1998 said that there would be a reservation of 60 per cent seats for the local students and the remaining 40 per cent seats could be filled by outsiders.

This reservation policy has been specifically mentioned for streams of education, technical and medical. It has been categorically said that it does not apply to ‘colleges giving undergraduate classes in arts, science and commerce streams’.

Another order in 1999 said that 85 per cent seats would be reserved for the local students. The rest of the conditions remain the same.

“There exists a confusion on the word ‘education’. My office has gone into details of the subject and found that if the word ‘education’ meant all streams it did not need a special separate mention along with the words technical and medical. Education meant colleges imparting the B Ed or M Ed courses. Seats in the commerce, arts and science streams in local colleges did not need any special reservation”, Professor Kapoor said.

The Vice-Chancellor is the best authority to pass his final orders or he can seek expert opinion before any final decision, he added. The VC is currently out of the city on an official visit.


Is the traffic police ignoring southern sectors?
High incidence of accidents in these parts of city
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Southern sectors when compared with northern sectors have ...

  • Only about five per cent of the traffic staff is deployed in the southern sectors as compared to the sectors in the north.
  • Fewer cops as per population .
  • Police officials admit the disparity and also that the south of the city is more accident-prone than the north because of poor road engineering and little regard for traffic rules and regulations. 

Chandigarh, July 4
Southern sectors of the city — located south of the Dakshin Marg — do not figure high on the list of priorities of the Chandigarh Traffic Police. In matters of deployment of traffic force and management, residents of southern sectors are like poor cousins to residents living in the northern parts of the city.

This lopsided deployment of the police force is inspite of the fact that the population in the southern parts of the city has increased manifold in the past ten years, while the population in the north has shown a declining trend.

According to police deployment figures, a mere seven traffic cops are posted to man various sectors, villages and slum colonies located south of Dakshin Marg. As against this, 150 personnel are posted north of Dakshin Marg — considered the VIP part of the City Beautiful. As a result, traffic management in the south of the city is alleged to be suffering. The actual ground force in the two parts is, however, much less than the posted strength as a large number of police personnel are drivers, munshis and readers.

In private, senior police officers in the city concede that the traffic deployment in the city is biased in favour of the northern sectors. A senior police official in the city , while maintaining that there was an elitist bias in the city with regard to deployment of the force, said that though the force in the southern sectors was needed for ensuring that traffic rules and regulations are adhered to and the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents are curbed, the northern sectors required more traffic cops for maintaining law and order and proper security arrangements.

It is learnt that of the 300 accidents that have taken place in the city so far this year, around 65 percent of the accidents took place in the south of the city. According to the data available, of the 43 fatal accidents in the city during this year, 26 fatal accidents took place in one of the southern sectors.

It may be noted that the preliminary report of the recent census puts the city’s population at 9,00914 — an increase of almost 40 percent since the 1991 census. Though the Census Directorate has not declared the population separately in the northern or the southern sectors, sources in the Directorate concede that the population in the southern parts of the city has increased as a result of high growth rate and increase of the migrant population. The population in the north of the city is declining.

Well-placed sources in the police department also inform that more number of police control room (PCR) vans are stationed in the north than in the south. Similarly, the traffic police, too, shows a minimal presence in the south of the city — courtesy the two to three VIP route alerts that have to be set up (mostly in the north) on an average each day. It is learnt that most of the PCR vans and motor cycles and more than 50 per cent of the traffic police staff is deployed for the VIP route alert each day. As a result, the vans and the traffic police personnel are deployed only at strategic points and there is little staff left for the enforcement duty.

Senior police officers, however, express their inability in deploying more traffic cops in the south because of shortage of staff. They maintain that they are making up for this “elitist bias” by launching several special drives to curb the crime in the south of the city.

A senior official, when contacted, said that they were planning to increase the deployment of traffic personnel in the southern sectors. He informed that the police was planning to deploy Home Guards for the traffic enforcement duty. He also said that they were also planning to improve the road engineering in the south of the city for better traffic management.

However, it is also learnt that around 2000 police personnel out of the strength of 3929 are also posted in the VIP Security (410), CID (104), PCR staff (411), Wireless (166) Crime Against Women Cell, Economic Offences Wing, CIA, COB, MOB, Photo Section, DDA Branch, Vigilance, Enforcement and Excise. Even the personnel posted in the MT section, dog squad, police lines, Mounted Staff, Band staff, tear gas squad, players etc. are also exempted from the routine policing duty.Back


Stray dogs in city to be sterilised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh 
(MCC) at its meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Mayor Raj Kumar Goyal gave its consent to the proposal of sterilising of stray dogs in the city with a view to controlling their increasing population.

A sum of Rs 1 lakh each will be given to two non-governmental organisations, People for Animals (PFA) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), for sterilisation of these dogs.

As per the plan, the medical officer of the Health wing of the MCC after catching the stray dogs will hand them over to the PFA and SPCA for sterilisation. Every week, each of these organisations will sterilise five dogs.

The members were also informed that Rs 700 per bitch and Rs 300 per dog will be incurred on sterilisation including medicines, diet and post-operative care.

After sterilisation they will be tattooed and the MCC will keep proper record of dogs caught, operated upon and rehabilitated.

The members unanimously decided to sanction an estimated sum of Rs 7.72 lakh for purchasing two sewer cleaning machines in order to further spruce up the maintenance of the sewerage system of the city.

Since these machines can easily enter the narrow sewer lanes of villages and colonies, these machines will prove very useful in attending to the complaints of sewer blockage in these areas.

The F and CC also considered the proposal to replace all electronic cash collection machines as they had outlived their lives and became outdated.

It was decided to purchase eight new machines at the cost of Rs 4.0376 lakh and provide one each to all the eight centres that collect water and electricity bills.

Taking cognizance of some complaints pertaining to stagnation of water and flooding of some low-lying areas during rainy season, the members passed proposals to the tune of Rs 43.15 lakh for providing storm water drainage (SWD) systems, surface drains and additional storm water drainage lines.

As per this, Rs 10.95 lakh has been passed for providing surface drains in rehabilitation colony of Maloya; another Rs 8.15 lakh for providing storm water drainage scheme from police station to the old Mansa Devi road, Mani Majra. Similarly, Rs 12.18 lakh and Rs 6.25 lakh would be spent on providing additional storm water drainage line for Sector 15-C and the railway station road, whereas Rs 3.73 lakh has been earmarked for Madrasi Colony, Sector 26.

An estimate of Rs 1.89 lakh has been sanctioned for the storm water drain in rehabilitation colony, Khuda Lahora.

To solve the ongoing problem of water shortage for the residents of Sector 34-C and D, the members approved an estimate of Rs 17.34 lakh for boring and installing a new tubewell.

The installation of the new tubewell will go a long way in ensuring ample supply of potable water to the residents of this sector, the officials maintain.

Meanwhile, only three of the total seven members of the F and CC were present at the meeting.

Those present were Mayor Raj Kumar Goyal, Commissioner M.P. Singh and nominated councillor R.S. Kailey.

The 11 items listed on the agenda were passed in less than 40 minutes.

Sources disclose that even as these members had expressed their reservations to attend the said meeting at the given date and time, the Mayor was determined to pass these items. Since the business meetings of the House do not yield anything, the Mayor tries to get most of the development agenda items, which fall within the purview of the F and CC, passed by it.

He is even contemplating having at least two F and CC meetings a week, it is learnt.

Sources further add that in reality only two members were present in today’s meeting as the Commissioner attends the meeting in his official capacity and has no voting right.

The Act also stipulates that majority of members of F and CC shall form the quorum and they shall take decisions.


Haryana, Punjab favour VAT
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Haryana and Punjab will support the introduction of value added tax(VAT) with effect from the next financial year. This issue will come up for deliberation at the Chief Ministers’ conference to be held tomorrow in Delhi under the chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha.

Haryana will be represented by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, while Punjab is likely to be represented by the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh. The two states see VAT as another important milestone on the road to tax reforms after the implementation of uniform floor rates of sales tax throughout the country.

According to informed sources, Haryana is apprehensive that the introduction of VAT will adversely affect the state’s revenue, at least in the initial stages, because of the proposed reduction in central sales tax (CST). Moreover, because of globalisation the industrial sector in the state is currently going through a period of recession. Therefore, it wants support from the Central Government in the initial stages of the introduction of VAT.

The sources say that Haryana also wants the Centre to help it strengthen and modernise the tax collection system so that VAT can be implemented properly.

Haryana is also likely to lodge a protest against the continuation of tax incentives to new industries by certain states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, though one of the recommendations of the Finance Ministers’ committee was the discontinuation of such incentives by all states.

Haryana discontinued tax incentives from the last financial year. It feels that if all states do not do this immediately, it may lead to the fresh start of the race among the states to offer tax incentives. This will lead to the premature death of the uniform sales tax structure, introduced in the country after great difficulty.


Steps to save Chhat Bir zoo boundary wall
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, July 4
Continual rain in catchment areas of Himachal Pradesh and lower Shivalik Hills has forced the Drainage Department of Punjab to provide more safety for the boundary wall of the Chhat Bir zoo, apart from protecting human life in flood-prone villages located on the banks of the Ghaggar.

The department has constructed a protective spur on the bundh adjacent to the lion safari by spending about Rs 7 lakh. The spur has been strengthened through ECE sandbags. Wire messed-stone pitching grouted with cement mortar has also been done over the spur to divert the water current.

The bundh had failed to provide any protection last year as most of the sandbags were washed away by the raging Ghaggar.

Flowing at a record 2 lakh cusecs and 4 feet above danger level, the river had left a trail of destruction by damaging crops, washing away protective spurs near the lion safari at the zoo, besides endangering over six surrounding villages.

The swirling water of the river washed away about 2 acres of Bakarpur village on its right bank and even destroyed crops and fodder.

The Sub-Divisional Officer of the Drainage Department, Patiala range, Mr N.K. Chopra, said, “Protection of the Chhat Bir zoo, particularly the lion safari, will be the priority of the department. To restrain the water from entering the surrounding villages will be the second step”. Four departmental employees have been deployed round the clock with a wireless system on the spot.

A permanent control room has been set up in Bhankharpur near the Ghaggar to get information about the daily water discharge. Employees in the control room have been directed to inform the Patiala control room if the water level goes beyond the danger level indicator at the bridge over the Ghaggar at Bhankharpur village, he said.

The department has made all arrangements to control floods at all sensitive points along the river, Mr Chopra claimed.

Meanwhile, sources in the department said that the department had failed to take flood-control measures in Jhajjon Buddanpur, Rajjomajra, Karali, Humbran and Hansla villages. These flood-prone villages are located on the right bank of the river near Rajpura and the floods often create massive destruction of property and crops every year.

It is learnt that shortage of funds has forced the state government to dump the flood protective measures. The department had also given a representation to the government, demanding funds to raise the 12,000-foot-long bundh, constructed along the Ghaggar to protect the Chhat Bir zoo permanently. But the representation has not been given attention.

Mr P.S. Johal, SDM today visited the floodprone areas and asked the employees to take precautionary measures against the floods. He assured Mr Chopra that the administration would extend every help to them in flood protection measures.


Chandigarh Club notices to Mayor, 194 others
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Chandigarh Club has issued notices to its 195 members, including the Mayor, Mr Raj Kumar Goyal, for defaulting on payments to the club.

According to the defaulters list released by the club, these members owed an amount of the Rs 19.70 lakh to the club till June 30. Mr Goyal alone owed an amount of the Rs 38,433 to the club.

Sources said the defaulters, all of them, who owed Rs 5,000 and above, would be given specified days to pay up following which their membership would be cancelled. The club could also take legal action against the defaulters, the sources added.

Mr Goyal, when contacted, denied that he owed any amount to the club. He claimed that he had paid Rs 16,000 as the membership fee to the club in 1997. ‘‘I will not pay anything to the club now and the club was free to cancel my membership,’’ he quipped.

Meanwhile, the club president, Mr Ravinder Chopra, said that the notice had been issued ‘inadvertently’ and would be withdrawn tomorrow. Echoing Mayor’s views, he clarified that Mr Goyal was made member in 1997 when the membership fee was Rs 16,000.Back


Sohi cremated
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 4
The cremation of Ravinder Singh Sohi, who died of a heart attack here yesterday, was attended by various political leaders and residents of Bartana village today.

Leaders of all political parties joined the cremation and paid homage to the departed soul.

Those who attended the cremation included Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, Punjab, Mr H.S. Hero, former President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mrs Praneet Kaur, MP, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP, Mr M.S. Gill, a former minister, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Harnek Singh Gharunan, Mr Hamir Singh Ghagga (all former ministers), Mr Hansraj Sharma, former Finance Minister, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, General Secretary of the SHSAD, Mr Balbir Singh Umranangal, Mr Sudhir Singla, Mr Surinder Singh Virdi, Mr Jatinder Singh Aulakh, Ms Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Ms Jagdish Kaur Garcha, Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, treasurer of the PPCC Legal Cell, and Mr Sahibjit Singh Sandhu, Mr Krishan Pal Shram, general secretary of the District Congress Committee, and a number of party workers. 


Housing society members' grievance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh July 4
The Shivalik Cooperative Residents Welfare Association has said that work in the housing society in Sector 49 was not progressing even after the UT Administration appointed an official to administer the working by replacing the previous managing committee.

The association in a press release today demanded investigation into the matter and the fraud played with by the previous managing committee and contractor.

The association said the authorities had assured that essential facilities would be made available to flat owners within a couple of weeks. But to our agony the work at the site had been suddenly stopped by the contractor, probably on the instructions of his previous bosses, and we have been left high and dry. Despite all this the society had not provided basic requirements like water and electricity, said the release.

Members had raised loans and invested the money for the dwelling units. But the previous managing committee of the society, after taking full payment of the cost of construction of flats (Rs 7.50 lakh for category B and Rs 10.5 lakh for category A), has given possession of incomplete flats.

More so the quality of construction is so poor that many flats are leaking and there are pools of water on the floors.


Landshapes around your building

The laws and the fundamentals of landshapes around a building relate to simple living in harmony with the environment, creating balance in the living space. Blending with the natural landscape of the terrain of the earth, the rivers, sunlight, vegetation, moonlight, orientation, wind and water that surround us enjoy much significance.

One can go back to a mountain.

So, if your home or apartment is backed by something solid and firm, you will have support all your life.

In modern language you should have a large solid building behind you. There should be open space in front of your home or apartment.

This will not hamper your vision. The horizon should be visible. Another lucky feature to have in front of your home is a view of water. Water brings auspicious energy into your living area.

It is said that the cleaner, fresher and more sparkling the water is, the better is your fortune.

The left side of your home should have a building larger than the right side building. If your home has all these things around it, your home will never lack in protection. It brings wonderful opportunities in your life.


Address your Feng Shui queries to:
E-mail: [email protected]
Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



Date for professional tax extended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 4
The Municipal Council has extended the last date for depositing professional tax and procuring licences for their establishments till July 30 here today.

Stating that all those involved in commercial activity of any kind, be it shopkeepers, petrol station owners, rickshaw and rehris, gas agencies, doctors, cinemas, computer agencies, marriage palaces, medical stores and tent houses, the official spokesman said that they would be required to deposit the fee and get licences from the council.

Earlier, the council had announced June 30 as the last date for the tax and licences and 950 licences had been issued by the local body during this time. It was stated that the Vyapar Mandal had requested for an extension of the last date while adding that action would be taken against those who failed to comply with the orders.


Public service commission for city demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The local unit of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has demanded that the local eligible persons belonging to the handicapped, the Scheduled Castes and other backward classes should be allowed to appear in the PCS(Judicial Branch) to be held by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) from August 16 to 18.

In a memorandum to the UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, the party said since Chandigarh was the capital of Punjab, the eligible candidates belonging these categories should be given a chance to appear in the examination. The PPSC had demanded domicile certificates from the candidates to be eligible for appearing in the examination.

The party also demanded the setting up of a separate public service commission for city so that the local unemployed youths were not inconvenienced.


Vasudeva on experts panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
National Institute of Science and Communication (Niscom) of the Council of Scientific and Institutional Research has included the name of Dr P.K. Vasudeva, member, state Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, in the panel of experts in Intellectual Property Rights for the constitution of selection/assessment committee during 2001-2003.


Auto mechanics on fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Executive committee members of the Auto Mechanics Federation today held a meeting under the chairmanship of Mr Mohinder Singh.

A press note issued by the federation said the meeting decided to oppose the policies of the Chandigarh Administration which are against the interests of the mechanics. They alleged that the Administration has tried to disrupt their fast unto death. However, the federation warned that they would not break their fast until all their demands were accepted.Back


Labourer missing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 4
Chandan Kumar (17), a labourer and resident of Colony No. 5, has reportedly been missing since June 10 from Sector 30 here. According to a relative of the missing boy, Mr Ashok Prashad, all efforts to trace Chandan had proved futile. Chandan hails from Bihar and was working with a Sector 30 based contractor on daily wage. The police has been informed about the disappearance of the boy. Mr Prashad has ruled out any foul play in the reported disappearance.


PGI security superviser slaps villager
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 4
A resident of Khuda Lahora village was injured after he was slapped on his ear by Sanjay, a security supervisor of the PGI, here yesterday. According to the police, Mr Ram Prashad was slapped by the security supervisor on the fifth floor of the hospital building. Mr Prashad was later admitted to the PGI for treatment.

A case under Section 325 of the IPC was registered.

Cyclist hit: A cyclist, Reshujit, a resident of Mani Majra, was injured after he was hit by an autorickshaw near the transport traffic light point here yesterday. The victim was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The auto-driver reportedly fled the spot after abandoning the rickshaw which was later impounded by the police. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC was registered.

Two held: The police arrested Chandan (Mauli Jagran) and Rakesh (Indira Colony) for gambling near Janata Rehri Market in Mani Majra here yesterday.

A case under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act was registered against them.

Three held: The local police yesterday arrested Ajit Singh and Pardeep from Sector 25 and Parmod from Maloya and claimed to have recovered 455 pouches and 12 bottles of liquor from their possession.

The three were booked under the Excise Act.

Vehicles stolen: Mr Sanjeev Jain, a resident of Sector 18, reported to the police that his Maruti Car (CH-01-R-4986) was stolen from the parking lot near the Neelam cinema here yesterday. Mr Kamal Nain, a resident of Sector 41, reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01-D-0929) was stolen from Kisan Mandi in Sector 40.

Two cases under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Chain snatched: An unidentified person snatched a gold chain of Rukmani Devi while she was walking towards the Sectors 16-17 light point. A case under Section 356 of the IPC has been registered.

One booked: The police has booked a rehra owner under the Cruelty to Animals Act. He had reportedly overloaded the rehra. Back

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