Tuesday, July 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kala is acting Mayor
Process to elect new Mayor initiated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, took over as the acting Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, following the resignation of Mr Raj Kumar Goyal from the post on Saturday.

Visibly elated on his elevation to the post, Mr Kala was greeted by streams of visitors all through the day. Excitement was writ large on his face as he attended the constantly ringing telephone.

Listing out his priorities, Mr Kala said he would focus more on the development of the city on various fronts, besides disposing off long pending agenda items. He pointed out that due to the non-functioning of the civic body during the past seven months, people had been suffering but he would try and redress their grievances at the earliest.

Mr Kala said he would refurbish the lost image of the party before the forthcoming MC elections. He would strive to run the House by taking all Councillors, of both the ruling as well as the opposition parties into confidence. He also made a beginning by visiting various Councillors at their respective homes today and even called on the party president, Mr B.B. Bahl, at his office. He claimed that he has the support of the Congress councillors, Ms Kamlesh and Ms Suneeta.

As per the Act, Mr Kala can officiate as the Mayor till August 20. Section 38(3) of the Act says, “on the occurence of any casual vacancy in the office of the Mayor, senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, the Corporation shall within one month of the occurence of such vacancy elect, one of its members as Mayor or Senior Deputy Mayor or Deputy Mayor, as the case may be, and every person so elected shall hold office for the remaining of his predecessor’s term of office.”

Meanwhile, the acting Mayor, Mr Kala, has convened a meeting of the House on July 27 to take up the remaining agenda items of the 46th adjourned meeting. However, an agenda item informing the House about Mr Goyal’s resignation from the post will be included in it.

BJP councillors, including leader of the opposition Des Raj Tandon, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Ms Ranjana Shahi and Mr Rajender Kumar, met MC Commissioner M.P. Singh today and sought that a statutory meeting of the House be called to take up long-pending business agenda items so that the work of the MC did not suffer. Mr Tandon assured the Commissioner, that even though the meeting would be presided over by the acting Mayor of the Congress, they would co-operate with him to get all business items passed.

The process to elect a new Mayor to fill the vacancy created by Mr Raj Kumar Goyal’s resignation was initiated today as the Chandigarh Administration asked the Deputy Commissioner to co-ordinate with the police and other agencies and notify the elections.

Technically the Administration has a time of 30 days to notify the elections, a notification to announce a date is expected within this week, well-placed sources confirmed. Mr Goyal had resigned on July 21 following allegations and the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, has been officiating since then.

Earlier, the MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, in a communication sent to the Chandigarh Administration informed him that since the Mayor had resigned, a meeting for the election of the Mayor be convened in accordance with the Act. Section 60 (a) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 as extended to Chandigarh stipulates that “meeting for election of the Mayor shall be convened by the Divisional Commissioner, who shall also nominate a councillor, who is not a candidate for such election to preside over the meeting.”


SAD joins race for post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The SAD, a two-member alliance partner of their BJP (13 members) forming the largest group in the 30-member Municipal Corporation, today threw in its hat in the Mayoral poll likely to be held early next month. The party maintained that if the senior party leaders did not heed its demand, the party may explore the possibility of putting up its candidate for the post.

“The party has been supporting the BJP for four-and-a-half-years, they should now consider its alliance partner and a representative of Sikhs for the top post of the city, if it does not happen then the party may talk to councillors and put up its candidate,” Senior Deputy Mayor of the Corporation, Mr Mohinder Singh, told The Tribune.

The Akali Dal had been supporting its senior party in parliament, corporation and Mayoral election for a long time, it is time now that the party gave its junior partner its due, Mr Mohinder Singh said.

The position of the Akali Dal assumes importance ahead of the crucial BJP meeting to decide candidate for the post tomorrow and is seen as an attempt to encash the chasm between the warring factions of the BJP led by a former Member of Parliament, Mr Satyapal Jain and BJP UT unit president Dharampal Gupta.

The strategic statement is an apparent attempt to offer an alternative to the warring BJP factions to support an ally in case their candidate does not get the nod from the party High Command.

He, however, said the party would meet in this regard soon and the UT president of the party, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, would consult party leaders to take a final decision in this regard.

Mr Mohinder Singh pleaded that if a faction of the BJP could support the Congress, why they could not support a candidate of an ally. He made his candidature apparent, saying that he would explore the possibility of contesting the elections and start contacting Councillors for the purpose.

BJP sources, however, rejected the claim of the Akali Dal saying that the party had made a similar demand earlier but was persuaded to keep the alliance intact.

BJP leaders met MC Commissioner MP Singh to seek certain clarifications as to how long it would take to hold fresh elections, whether the House can be dissolved etc. The BJP leaders were told that the house could be dissolved if a majority of the member in the House meeting called on July 27 or 28 recommended that the corporation should be dissolved if a majority of the member in the House meeting called on July 27 or 28 recommended that the corporation should be dissolved and that the election for the post should be held within 30 days of the resignation of the incumbent.

However, a legal expert said that the procedure for the dissolution of the House was not on the lines of the State Assemblies and Parliament where the majority or the House leader can recommend the dissolution of the House.

He said the process to dissolve the house was only through chargesheeting the corporation which takes at least two months with first sending a notification to the House why it should not be dissolved for failing to perform its duties.

The expert said, “when the notification is sent to the house then the it replies and then a charge sheet is framed and again it has to reply resulting in the process taking three to four months and if so much of time is spent on dissolution why not have elections for the remaining five month period of the House”.

The Congress has also decided to call a meeting of the party executive early next week which will be attended by the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Councillors, who will decide whether to contest election or recommend dissolution of the House, the Chandigarh Territorial Congress President, Mr B.B. Bahal told Chandigarh Tribune.

He, however, did not reveal the party’s strategy saying the decision will only be taken after consulting the executive and Mr Bansal.

Mr Bahal said the party will not object if the partymen and the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, was asked to continue as Mayor by the House.

The BJP expressed its keenness to grab the post ahead of the corporation elections saying a lot could be done within five months to go to the electorate on a positive agenda with the Central Government ready to give financial help to the corporation for development work.


Heady swig of fashion, beauty and colour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The National Institute of Fashion Design’s Fashion Fantasies was all about a narration of gripping fashion stories on the ramp today. As rain stopped around 5 p.m, the organisers settled down to converting the venue into a fiery stage to suit the mood of the outfits created by NIFD’s one-year and two-year diploma students.

After the show rolled on about an hour later than the scheduled hour, time seemed to have stopped for the moments that followed. Outstanding models, fair weather, and decent sound and audio system — most factors went in favour of the evening which was brought to life at Dara Studios in SAS Nagar. If at all any gaps were left, they were finely bridged by perfect ramp modelling brought to the packed venue by models of the order of Fleur Xavier, Aditi Govitrikar, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Priyadarshinin Pradhan and Annie Thomas.

The lines of fashion portrayed in life by leading models of the country were powerful and unique in the sense of elements of fashion they dared to combine. The 15 rounds of garments spanned through an entire field of human imagination. So if on the one hand, the colours of fire played hide and seek with delicate bodies in the “Jago” round, on the other the designer allowed his imagination to run wild with an exuberant collection of evening gowns under the ensemble called “Cocktail Sip.”

The first collection of the evening — “Cocktail Sip” — was all about brightness and sensuality. As Fleur Xavier set the ramp afire with her delicately designed evening gown, the crowd could not help asking for more. From there on, most of the collections scored well on the chart of fashion sensibility. Turning Point, a bright collection which saw the divine embrace between turquoise blue and stunning sap green, transformed the ambience completely and beautifully.

“Larger than life” lifted its inspiration from the haunting and deadly combine of jet black and red. A turbulent collection, “Larger than life” put in the best creative element forward. Following this innovative ensemble was “Enjoy the difference” — a special round of exclusively built up accessories for summers. The floral effect was predominant, so was the breath of fresh air and verdant leaves.

Another unwearable, but daringly different line of fashion came in the form of “Futurista Estilo” — a collection which suggested a leap forward into the future. Inspired by the future, the garments used wires, rods, metal rings, plastics, electric wares and pipes to add that extra bit of novelty, which was the hallmark of this techno look.

Music ruled the roost in the next collection titled “Symphony” which sought to pay a tribute to musical notes. Created in mauves, blues and greens, the collection reveled in the soothing notes of music. Next story was about “Flirt with colours” — a winsome get together of pinks, mauves, blues, greens and all other soft and subtle colours which underline the very grain of femininity.

The two traditional rounds, which were all-pleasing came under the packages of “Skikafat-e-adab” and “Jago”. Where the former reproduced the grandeur of folk traditions of Punjab, Bengal, Kerala, Manipur, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the latter brought out the beauty of Punjabi ethnicwear. “Jago” blended the colours of fire — orange, electric blue and red — to create effect of magic on stage. Undoubtedly, this was a collection appreciated the most by the audience.

Among other promising works which came in great designer packages were Mardi Grass (inspired by the colours of carnival) Frenzy Fever (a collection glistening with bright effects) and Reflections (an ensemble inspired by shimmering metallics flowing into boundaries of possibilities).

The evening also had performances from Dharna, the rising star on the horizon of popular music and Bhuppi.


Illicit liquor, 40 kg poppy husk seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The local police has achieved a major success with the arrest of a local liquor smuggler in Kishangarh village today and seized 1152 bottles and 16,000 pouches of liquor, worth over Rs 3.5 lakh from him.

It is learnt that the police received information regarding the hoarding of large scale liquor in a farmhouse in Kishangarh village. A police party under the supervision of the DSP East, Mr Surjit Singh and the Station House Officer of the Mani Majra police station, Mr S.S. Rana, raided Amar Farms at about 12 noon today.

The police found that two rooms in the farmhouse had been hired by one of the accused, Azad Singh, where he had stored a large consortium of liquor. The bottles of country-made liquor were being sold under the brand name Orange and the liquor pouches (having 250 mls of liquor) were of saunfia flavour.

Mr Surjit Singh informed that the accused had been in the business for the past two to three months. “They were buying alcohol at lower rates from Umaidpur in Himachal Pradesh and Panipat in Haryana. This would then be sold off in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and in Himachal Pradesh,” he said.

The DSP also said that the accused were selling the liquor pouches at the rate of Rs 15 per pouch.

Meanwhile, the police has seized 40 kg of poppy husk from two persons at the Sector 17 ISBT today. The accused were bringing the narcotic from Sanjhapur district in Rajasthan for its onward sale in the rural pockets in Punjab.

According to the information available, it is learnt that Satpal (20) and Amarjit Singh (40) were caught this morning and 24 kg and 16 kg of poppy husk respectively, were recovered from them.

While Satpal was taking the consignment of drugs to Hoshiarpur, the other accused, Amarjit was carrying the narcotic to Nawanshahr. The police has registered cases under section 18 of the NDPS Act.s


Proceedings against Colonel quashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed the Court of Inquiry (COI) proceedings, initiated against an Army Colonel accused of embezzling about Rs 4 lakhs, on grounds of several illegalities. It was on the findings and recommendations of this COI that the Army ordered the officer to be tried by a General Court Martial.

The High Court Bench, presided over 6, Mr Justice J.S. Narang, however, left the option with the authorities concerned to initiate proceedings against the officer in accordance with provisions of law again if they so desire.

A COI had been convened in June 1996 by Headquarters 3 Infantry Division against Lt Col G S Sandhu, who was then serving as Field Cash Officer at Leh, after about Rs 4 lakh was found missing from the amount meant for salaries and allowances of troops.

As per records, the petitioner, along with another officer, Capt Deepak Gaur, had gone to the State Bank of India at Leh and drawn Rs 4.36 crore. About Rs 2.18 crore was handed over to Captain Gaur for meeting the requirement of his formation. Later, Captain Gaur informed Colonel Sandhu that Rs 4 lakh was missing from the amount handed over to him.

After the matter was reported to higher authorities, an FIR was lodged with the police as well as a COI was ordered by the Army. The COI was presided over by Lt Col Rakesh Sharma, with two Majors as members.

“The order for convening the COI, having been passed in violation of the mandatory rules, is quashed and the proceedings and process of the inquiry has also been quashed on account of lack of jurisdiction of the COI and not having followed procedures as envisioned under rules,” the Bench observed.

The court observed that the COI was not constituted in accordance with rule 177 and Regulation 518. “When the character and military reputation of an officer is likely to be an issue, the presiding officer should be of a rank higher than the delinquint officer and other members should be of equivalent rank,” the order said Stating that procedure under Rule 180 was not followed, the Bench further observed that the proceedings of the COI in toto were not sustainable.

Stating that the respondents shall be at liberty to proceed against the petitioner in accordance with law, the Bench directed that such a decision shall not be taken as commencement of proceedings but as furtherance of proceedings initiated earlier, meaning that it shall not “fall within the mischief” of Section 122 of the Army Act.


DPC meeting to select XENs postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The departmental promotion committee (DPC) meeting scheduled for July 25 to select five Executive Engineers (XENs) of the Chandigarh Administration has been postponed. It was confirmed this morning.

The meeting was to be held under the auspices of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in Delhi.

The date of the meeting was confirmed on July 19 and this did not allow any change in predetermined schedules of the Home Secretary or the Finance Secretary, the two officials who have to attend the meeting, well-placed sources said.

The two senior officials could not go to attend the meeting as their own engagements concerning important inter-state issues could not be postponed.

In a communique to the UPSC, the Chandigarh Administration has said that the UPSC must give at least two weeks between finalising the meeting and the actual date of the meeting.

At the moment, five posts of XEN are lying vacant and they are occupied by (SDO) rank officials. This has been done under the nomenclature of current duty charge (CDC).

Under this provision an SDO can hold a senior post in his own rank and pay.

The posts of XEN have been lying vacant for the past 18 months and each time the DPC gets postponed due to one reason or the other.


Vacate premises, lawyers told
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 23
Lawyers, stamp vendors, copywriters and typists functioning from the complex of PUDA, adjacent to the office of the SDM, have been asked to vacate the accommodation by PUDA officials. The occupants were reported to be sitting unauthorisedly in the complex.

Since it was raining, they put up their tables in the corridor of the complex in front of the office of the Tehsildar. The PUDA officials said a letter had been written to the SDM about four years ago to get the accommodation vacated as there were different proposals to house various wings of the authority. Now the office of Superintending Engineer (Projects), looking after the construction of the PUDA head office complex, had to be accommodated in the complex. There was a little accommodation in the Chandigarh-based office of the Chief Engineer.

“Since the lawyers, typists and stamp vendors, nearly 25 in number, had already been asked to vacate the accommodation there was no resistance from them”, said a PUDA official. It is learnt that the PUDA officials were contemplating to allow them to set up kiosks at an open space in front of the PUDA complex.

It may be pertinent to mention that office of the SDM and the Tehsildar were running from rented accommodation.


PU campus has its problems
Tribune News Service

Sector 14, housing the sprawling campus of Panjab University, is not without its share of problems.

This sector, which provides an ideal atmosphere for academic pursuits, has better civic amenities than most of the southern sectors. A well-maintained campus, good roads and a market make it self-sufficient.

The roads are in good condition. Most of the streetlights also function normally. The residents do not face a major problem on the score of water and electricity supply.

The campus and the residences of senior functionaries of the university are well-maintained. However, the open spaces near the hostels and the backlanes have virtually been overwhelmed by wild growth. Similarly, the disposal of garbage leaves much to be desired.

Perhaps the biggest problem of this sector is the flooding of the low-lying areas of the campus. The area from the Construction Office to Hostels No. 9 and 10 is flooded even after a slight shower. Similarly, the area known as Ram Lila Ground Road also remains flooded most of the time during the rainy season.

The Students’ Centre, a popular haunt of youngsters, is also not without its problems. The water body next to the centre is in a neglected state. The water in it stinks and empty plastic cups are thrown in it without any compunction. Rubbish littered all over the centre, gives a dirty look to this landmark on the campus.

The condition of the water body near Gandhi Bhavan is no better. Here also the water stinks and does not seem to have been changed for a long time.

Neither of the two solar streetlights, one at the Students’ Centre and one near Gate No. 2, functions. Similarly, the streetlights on the road behind Hostels No. 9 and 10 function rarely, giving a scare to the girls living in these hostels.

Gates No. 1 and 3 are closed at night. Gate No. 2 is kept half-closed and this has made the area around it accident-prone. In the absence streetlights, drivers find it difficult to negotiate the sharp turn.

Another problem that troubles the campus is the menace of monkeys. They have made life in Hostels No. 4, 5 and 6 miserable.


DIG opens workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
A workshop for training personnel deployed in the Crime Against Women Cell and representatives of NGOs was inaugurated in the Regional Training Centre Hall, Police Lines, Sector 26, here by the UT Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ajay Kashyap today.

The four-day training programme will aim at teaching counselling techniques to the participants. The SP (Operations), Mr H.G.S. Dhaliwal, and the DSP, CAW, Mr B.D. Bector, were also present on the occasion. Noted counsellors like Dr Reetinder Kohli, Dr Sudha Panth, Dr Promila Vasudeva , Dr Vidhu Mohan Sharma and Dr Jagat Mohan Jerath will be delivering lectures.

Mr Dhaliwal said more such exercises would be held so that effective dispute resolution/amicable settlement could be facilitated through counselling techniques.


Telecom staff to strike work on July 25
Tribune News Services

Chandigarh, July 23
On the call of the Confederation of the Central Government Employees and Workers, employees of the Chandigarh Telecom District will observe a token strike on July 25 to protest against the “anti-employee” policies of the government.

According to a press note, the strike has been called to protest against the retiring of 25 per cent to 50 per cent of officials at the age of 52 years to 55 years, no DA increase for the next years, increase in rent to 20 per cent of the salary, ban on LTC for next two years and ban on recruitment.


Civic body sleeps over garbage bins
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 23
Overflowing garbage bins in the town during the past few days defy tall claims of the local civic body of having improved the sanitation in the town. At most of the garbage collection points in the town, the garbage is not being cleared on a regular basis, thereby attracting stray cattle and pigs.

Residents of different phases complained that during the past few days, especially when it was raining, the work of garbage collection by the sanitation staff virtually came to a standstill.

Enquires revealed that the land fill site at Badmajra village had also become inaccessible due to rains leading to delay in collection of refuse. Mr Manjeet Sethi, a resident of Phase 3A, complained that unhygenic conditions prevailed at the garbage collection points, attracting stray cattle and insects.


CHB residents’ fast continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The relay fast by members of the CHB Residents Federation in different sectors of the city entered the fourth day today.

Batches of members sat on fast to press the Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB) to withdraw the threat of demolishing the alterations and additions after July 31.


Doors should not face harmful objects

IT is very important to have a subtle energy flow within the living environment. One requires an acute awareness of all the harmful objects in one’s home. This means becoming sensitive to what is directly facing the door.

See carefully what one faces each time one opens the door into the room. Be careful about what is kept facing the main door. Feng Shui gives a lot of importance to the main door. This is the place from where all the good-luck Chi is going to enter the house.

When the good Chi enters a home, it is hit by harmful objects. The good Chi is reflected back.

Please keep in mind the fact that everything that harms the main door also harms the other doors within the home.

The toilet door, staircases and sharp edges of the corners cause bad luck to the household.

Never have any of these things facing the main door. If you have such a situation in your home, try to use a curtain or a screen to soften the effects of the bad Chi. Harshna

Address your Feng Shui queries to:
E-mail: fengshui@tribuneindia.com
Postal address: C/o F.S. TIPS
The Tribune, Sector-29, Chandigarh-160020.



Man assaulted at Chandigarh Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Mr Rajiv Vashisht was reportedly assaulted by Shalu Malik, alias Shalu, and the latter’s friends at the Chandigarh Club.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 147, 149, 323, 379 and 356 of the IPC, it is alleged that the accused assaulted him and also snatched his gold chain.

Theft cases

Two cases of theft have been reported from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours. A van (CH-01X- 1603) was stolen from the Sector 35 residence of Mr Satwinder Singh Virk on the intervening night of July 21 and 22.

In another case, a stone crusher machine was stolen from a house in Sector 40-A during the intervening night of July 21 and 22. A case under section 380 of the IPC has been registered.

3 arrested

Three persons were arrested from different parts of the city for smuggling liquor. Fifty pouches and seven bottles of liquor were recovered from the possession of the three accused — Jumi Devi, Om Prakash and Krishna.

Girl abducted

Mr Ashish Kumar, resident of Sector 43, has alleged that his minor sister had been abducted when she went to her school on July 19 . A case under sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered in this connection.


Bail granted

A teenager arrested on Sunday in connection with a property dispute here as a preventive measure was presented before the SDM on Monday.

Bhupinder Singh, a teenager, was taken into custody on a complaint by Mr Gurbachan Singh, a resident of Phase II, with whom the former’s family had a property dispute in Mohali village.

The SDM, Mr Jai Pal Singh, ordered that Bhupinder Singh be released on a personal bond and fixed August 7 as the next date of hearing.


Evening College president booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Panjab University Evening College president Kushal Raj Sharma was booked by the Chandigarh police for rioting and other offences late in the evening today on the allegation of indulging in a scuffle with two employees.

According to sources in the Police Department, the scuffle took place after the president jumped the queue for depositing the forms and started arguing with the employees following their refusal to accept the document.

Giving details of the incident, sources added that the form, belonging to some other student, was kept aside by an employee following which the president started misbehaving with the staff. In the scuffle that followed, cabin glass was shattered as the two employees received blows.

A senior police officer, when contacted, said the accused had been booked under Sections 147, 148, 149 and 352 of the IPC. He added that investigation into the matter was on.



Soda: Popular brand Bagpiper Club Soda is now being launched in Chandigarh. The brand will be bottled by M/s Punjland Beverages, Ludhiana. It is being made available in two convenient sizes 650 ml and 1,000 ml, according to a company press release. The soda is now being made available in PET bottles. TNS

Medallist: Mr Avtar Singh has become a gold medallist agent of the Chandigarh division of LIC by collecting Rs 12.04 lakh as first premium income. Mr Avtar Singh told Chandigarh Tribune that this became possible due to motivation by Mr Sat Pal, senior branch manager unit-I, and Mr Ashwani Sood, development officer. Mr Avtar Singh will be honoured with a gold medal by the LIC, Chandigarh division, at a function to be held in September. TNS

Camp: The State Bank of India, Sector 30, Chandigarh, sponsored a blood donation camp held at Indo Swiss Training Centre on Monday. The Principal, ISTC, inaugurated the camp. In all, 110 persons donated blood. The chief manager, SBI, presented mementoes. TNS

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