Thursday, July 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Protesters block traffic for over 4 hours
Seek arrest of Youth Akali Dal leader
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 25
Demanding arrest of the youth Akali Dal leader allegedly involved in the month-old murder case of two children of Siau village, a joint action committee of different political parties blocked the Chandigarh- Kharar highway at Balongi near here for over four hours.

The blockade was lifted at around 2 pm after the Director-General of Police (DGP) assured the leaders of the committee of a proper inquiry into the alleged role of the Akali leader in the case. The leaders agreed to meet the DGP after they, during parleys with the DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr Suresh Arora, said they had no faith in the Ropar police. The ADGP (Crime), Mr S.V. Singh, would probe the role of the Akali leader in the crime.

The joint action committee of the political parties had been demanding action against the Akali leader for his alleged involvement in the death of the two kids. Earlier they had blocked the Chandigarh-Sohana highway and courted arrest on way to Chandigarh.

Addressing the protesters, the leaders demanded a CBI probe into the incident. They alleged that they had lost faith in the Ropar police as it had failed to nail the Akali leader. Mr Joginder Dyal of the CPI said it was due to pressure from the people that the police had arrested the other suspects in the case. The occasion was used by leaders of different political parties to vent their ire against the Badal-led government

Mr Balwant Singh of the CPM said the police had not even questioned the Akali Dal leader. Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha of the Congress and Mr Rajbir Singh Patiala of the SHSAD also spoke. Mr Dhan Ran, father of the victims, said the Akali leader should come forward to prove his innocence in the case. He said the Akali leader, along with the ministers, had not even visited the village to express their sympathy with the bereaved family.

After the protesters blocked the highway from the Chandigarh side by parking trucks in a haphazard manner, people commuting between Kurali and Kharar had to face a lot of problems as there was no source of local transport. The traffic coming from Chandigarh and from the Kurali side was diverted by the local police.

A contingency plan for diversion of traffic, recently prepared by the police, was put on test today. The traffic coming from Chandigarh was routed through Sohana-Landhran road and traffic coming from Kurali side was diverted towards the Mullanpur-Chandigarh road. A police official said road blockade on the Chandigarh-Landhran-Fatehgarh Sahib and Chandigarh-Ludhiana roads by people protesting against the government inaction was becoming a regular feature. The roads were vital linkages to different stations in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.


O. N. Nagi appointed PGI Dean
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
A long-standing demand of a large number of serving and retired Central Government employees of Chandigarh for being provided treatment in a government hospital notified for reimbursement under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) is likely to be met soon.

Sources in the Health Ministry told TNS here today evening that the governing body of the PGIMER at its meeting had designated the institute as the hospital where serving and retired employees of the Central Government could seek treatment and later get reimbursement under the CGHS scheme.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP from Chandigarh and member of the institute body who had taken up this demand several times, told TNS that the PGI would soon be notified for this purpose.

Another significant decision taken by the governing body pertained to the appointment of Professor O.N. Nagi, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, PGIMER, as the Dean of the institute.

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr C.P. Thakur, who chaired the governing body and institute body meetings told TNS that a notification on Professor Nagi’s appointment would be issued soon.

Confirming that the PGI had been designated as the hospital where the Central Government employees could avail themselves of the treatment, the Health Minister said thousands of employees were not getting CGHS benefits in the absence of a CGHS dispensary in Chandigarh. He said the 15-member governing body had declared the PGI to provide facilities to Central Government employees at par with the benefits they got in other CGHS dispensaries throughout the country.

Apart from this, the institute body had also approved an amendment which made approval of the Central Government mandatory for appointments to the post of Professors in PGI and other autonomous institutes under the Central Government. According to Mr Bansal, the approval of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet was previously required only for the post of Directors.


Police mute spectator to child marriage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
An 11- year-old girl was married to a 25- year-old man by her parents at their Naagla Basti residence in Mani Majra even as the police party which rushed there to stop this illegal wedding allegedly let the nikaah be read.

Eleven-year-old school drop-out Nisha’s wedding was fixed by her family about two months back. She is the elder of three children of a truck mechanic, Mushtaq Ali. The father of the girl and her stepmother, Satwinder Kaur , while conceding that the girl was a minor, claimed that she was actually 15 years old.

According to the information available, the police was given the information well in advance about the child marriage. Residents of the area complained that when the police arrived on the scene, they waited till the marriage was solemnized and only then disrupted the celebrations.

The police, denied this allegation and instead said they reached there only after the ceremony was over. “ We immediately asked all those attending the wedding to stop the celebrations and asked members of both parties not to leave the place,” said an official at the Mani Majra police station.

At the time of the filing of this report, both parties were still sitting in the police station and no FIR had been registered.

Her parents had fixed her marriage with Balwinder Khan, a resident of Dolon village near Morinda. He is a truck driver by profession and the son of a farm labourer. The ten-member marriage party had converged on their house at 9 this morning. The marriage was solemnized according to Muslim rites till the time the police came in and both the parties were virtually placed under house arrest.

Asked if they were aware that the law did not permit the marriage of a girl below 18 years of age, the parents of the girl said they were just marrying off their daughter, but she would be sent to her husband only after a couple of years.

The young girl was inconsolable that her family had been humiliated when her marriage was stalled. She said, “My parents can hardly afford to keep the family afloat in our meagre resources. They have to marry off all of us one by one in order to discharge their responsibility towards us,” she said.


BSNL leaves consumers high and dry
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The BSNL has disconnected as many as 9000 telephones and made 6,000 of them only in-coming for non-payment of bills. However, Department of Posts had termed the bill delivery procedure of the telecom company faulty resulting in inconvenience to the consumers.

“We have ordered disconnection of 9,000 connections and made 6,000 of them one way due to non-payment despite the BSNL giving consumers seven days more than the department allows,’’ a senior official of the company told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

A number of consumers, however, complained that they never got a bill during the past couple of months since TRA was shifted from Sector 8 to 34 and no prior warning was given to them before making telephones one way but the company countered it by maintaining that bills were prepared in proper time and dispatched to the Department of Posts, RMS.

Director, Telecom Services, Punjab and Chandigarh circle, Mr Vivek Kaul, however, termed the BSNL’s handing over of bills ‘’most unprofessional’’ saying there is no record of how many bills were received by the Postal Department and how many of them were delivered.

He said, “The BSNL dumps around one lakh telephone bills in the Railway Mail Service (RMS) without pin codes on addresses and without any record of their handing over to the department and chances of the bills getting misplaced are very high through this process and that is why the reports of missing bills are cropping up.’’

Mr Kaul said “the manual sorting through this process becomes very cumbersome and the staff of the Department of Posts is heavily over-burdened on these days leaving scope for wrong sorting and bills getting lost”.

He also added that as when there is no receipt of getting bills, the record of the delivery of bills is not there, which makes bills only useless papers which result in the consumer having to pay for delay or non-delivery.

Mr Kaul said despite the Telecom and Postal Departments falling under the same ministry and both not charging each other any thing for the services provided, repeated requests to the BSNL to have the bills delivered pincode-wise in different post offices in the city to ensure the delivery of bills in time, the telecom company had failed to that.

It seems the public sector telecom giant has not even learnt from its private sector competitors as the HFCL’s Connect sends monthly bills through courier to ensure delivery and also reminds the payment defaulter on telephone before applying staggered bars.

The BSNL, however, has tried to address the problem by introducing a service on telephone number 167 where the details of dues could be collected and the due bill could even be faxed to the consumer.

It has spread its network of payment collection with getting bank and post offices to receive payments and offering an electronic clearance scheme with an understanding with the RBI where the bill amount is directly deducted from the consumers’ account.

The BSNL officials said the response to the scheme devised for public convenience has been poor and only 250 persons had registered themselves for the scheme.

The BSNL said the problem of disconnection was due to the lax attitude of the people in paying their bills and claimed that 70 per cent of the defaulters pay their bills only after their connections are made one way.

The BSNL, however, said the transfer of TRA from Sector 8 to 34 had been properly advertised in media through advertisements and press notes and Chandigarh office had been giving consumers relief of seven additional days for payment before disconnection.

Certain consumers, however, said disconnecting a telephone, which a crucial link for essential services, just can not be resorted to for non-payment without a proper notice for a reasonable period.


58 Income Tax Dept officials transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
In a large-scale middle-level reshuffle, the Income Tax Department has transferred 58 officials of the rank of additional and joint commissioners in the North Western Region (NWR). Those transferred include six officials of the Chandigarh circle.

The orders were issued by the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, NWR, Mr J S Ahluwalia, late last evening. In addition, promotions and transfers of over 200 inspectors is under process.

According to sources, 42 of the officials transferred have been promoted from the rank of Deputy Commissioner to Joint Commissioner. While some of the officials have been moved within the region, some have been transferred from other regions.

This is reported to be one of the largest reshuffles, involving over 80 per cent of the officials in this rung. The established strength of joint / additional commissioners in the NWR, which has jurisdiction over the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, is 72.

Of the six officials shifted in Chandigarh, four have been appointed to the newly created posts. As part of the ongoing restructuring of the department, the Chandigarh circle has been bifurcated into two “charges”. Each charge, headed by a Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT), has three ranges under its control.

While Mr Ashwini Luthra continues to remain in Chandigarh and is heading Charge-I, Mrs Baljit Bains has been moved to Chandigarh to head Charge-II. She joined here earlier this month.

Charge-I has jurisdiction over Sectors 1 to 25, Industrial Area and Mani Majra, while Charge-II has jurisdiction over the remaining part of the City as well as Mohali, Ropar and Nangal.

As per the transfer orders, Mr R.S. Punia has been posted as Additional CIT, Range I, while Mr M.C. Singal, has been promoted to Commissioner and moved out of Chandigarh. Ms Geet Mala has been appointed Joint CIT (JCIT), Range II.

In the newly created posts, Mr K.K. Aggarwal has been appointed JCIT Range III, while Dr R K Gupta has been appointed JCIT Range IV. Ms P K Sidhu and Ms Parneet Suri have been appointed JCIT in Range V and Range VI, respectively.

The newly created posts will start functioning from August 1. 


Ordeal for owners of 8-seaters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Thanks to typically bureaucratic red tape, thousands of city residents who own eight-seater vehicles are facing harassment. Each year they are required to get their vehicles inspected and passed by the Motor Vehicle Inspector for fitness and road worthiness.

This clause applies only in case of eight-seater vehicles like the Maruti Omni, Toyota Qualis, Tata Sumo or any of the big jeeps. All other four-wheelers are exempt from such annual inspections. This clause means that owners of such vehicles have to go and stand in queues after every 12 months and get their vehicles inspected for road worthiness. The ordeal does not end here. Owners of these vehicles cannot pay one-time road tax like other vehicle owners can.

After the road worthiness certification is done, owners have to stand in another queue to deposit road tax. All this running around is required to be done only in Chandigarh. In neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, no annual inspection is required and vehicles can be registered and road tax paid in one go.

Sources say a proposal to allow one-time registration and payment of road tax in Chandigarh is doing the rounds of officials in the past two years. The original proposal was mooted two years back by the then SDM South Mr Ashish Kundra. Almost nothing has happened since then.

Sources point out that it seems ridiculous that vehicles which are manufactured under top-class technology are called upon each year for inspection. What can an MVI see in such a technologically superior vehicle is anyones guess, says a Sector 32 resident, who is agitated that he has to go around running to the authorities each year.

In the past, several owners have argued with the State Transport Authority (STA) over this fact. At times this has led to arguments. Lower level staff can do nothing unless orders are issued from the top. 


PEC rules fox sports quota aspirants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Non-clarity in rules and regulations for admission to various courses has put scores of students applying in sports quota in Panjab Engineering College and affiliated colleges of Panjab University offering M.Sc (Information Technology) courses at their wit’s end.

The last date for applying for seats in PEC was July 28. The same day, the UT Administration, in an order, deleted a paragraph from the prospectus qualifying gradation of sports which said “participation in a lower grade shall be a pre-requisite for acceptability in the higher grade. For instance, achievement in grade ‘A’ shall only be recognised if it is shown to have been achieved through participation in grade ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. Similarly, for recognition of an achievement in grade ‘B’ participation in grade ‘C’ and ‘D’ shall be compulsory”.

A parent said the last moment alteration in the rule made a big difference to the merit list. “The move seems aimed at helping certain categories of students. Otherwise, why should a meritorious student not possess grades of having participated at lower levels of the game where he claimed his merit.”

The prospectus clearly provides that “no gradation certificate shall be accepted after the last date of receipt of application”.

It has been pointed out that the full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has reported in a related case that “the prospectus cannot be subsequently changed by the state governments to the detriment of students to benefit certain other students”.

It is interesting to point out that the counsel of the UT Administration had made a written statement on July 17 that “the Directorate of Sports, Chandigarh Administration, has not issued any gradation certificate”.

One of the students facing the problem said that the college should announce its decision clearly to save the last minute confusion.

Principal R.S. Gupta, when contacted, confirmed the problem which had arisen. The matter was currently under study of the Joint Admission Committee and a final decision was soon to follow, Principal Gupta added.

Scores of students who spent more than Rs 900 each appearing for entrance examination of M Sc ( IT) were in for a surprise yesterday when they were refused counselling chance despite having cleared the entrance examination.

Students in this category belonged to the BBA and B.Sc (Computer Science) sections, who appeared commonly with students with a BCA background for the written test, which asked for BCA students, without clarifying the other section of students who could also apply for the written examination in the masters course.

Parents and students were a harassed lot and demanded immediate university action to dispel all doubts. Sources said the matter had been referred for legal opinion.


PU extends last date for form submission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Panjab University has extended the last date for submission of admission forms to certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses in various subjects up to July 26, an official press note said here today.

Students interested for diploma and certificate courses in Persian, Urdu, Chinese, Tibetan, French, German, Russian and Tamil can apply by the new date.

Entrance test and interviews for M. Phil. (Punjabi) and M Phil (Guru Granth Sahib) are scheduled for July 30. The interviews for diploma course in translation ( English to Punjabi), diploma in Punjabi language and culture and certificate course in functional Punjabi will be conducted on August 6.


SAD for Mohinder as Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The president of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurpratap Singh Riar, has informed the in charge of the BJP unit, Mr O.P. Kohli, that they have in their executive meeting held today unanimously decided to field the SAD councillor, Mr Mohinder Singh, who is presently occupying the post of Deputy Mayor, for the post of Mayor.

A decision to this effect has been taken in consultation with the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, keeping in view the forthcoming elections and the party image.

In a letter written to Mr Kohli, Mr Riar has also pointed out that despite a clear majority, the BJP is sharply divided on the issue and their factional infighting was responsible for losing the posts of Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor during the last elections. Both the posts were eventually bagged by the Congress due to cross-voting. Further, even now while one faction is in favour of dissolution of the house, the other is in favour of contesting the post of the Mayor.

He has further added that by fielding Mr Mohinder Singh, a SAD councillor, it would send a positive signal among the general public that a Sikh councillor has been given the chance for the post of Mayor and it would further strengthen the BJP-SAD alliance for the forthcoming general elections of the MC.

Mr Riar hoped that besides the BJP-SAD councillors, few nominated councillors were also likely to vote in his favour on account of his being a non-controversial candidate. He has also proposed the name of Air Marshal R.S Bedi, a BJP Sikh councillor, for the post, if the above suggestion was not acceptable.

Meanwhile, SAD has only two councillors in the 30-member House of the civic body and one of them is already facing a charge of dissidence. 


Factory fire: police on the lookout for owner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
It was a chance discovery by the UT police. A fire that broke out in a factory in Industrial Area Phase I late last night, later revealed that the factory was actually an illicit liquor manufacturing and bottling plant.

The police has recovered around 3,500 litres of illicit liquor in the form of pouches, while thousands of litres of rectified spirit (ethyl alcohol used for making liquor), artificial flavours and labels of famous brands were also recovered. The said factory has now been sealed by the police.

The police is now on the lookout for the owner of the unit, Mr Harinder Pal Singla, a well- known liquor contractor, who was selling this liquor under various brand names. The SP city, Mr Baldev Singh, said the police was conducting raids to arrest the accused.

It may be noted that a major tragedy was averted when short- circuiting in the main cable resulted in a fire in Plot No. 182\68 Industrial Area, Phase I past midnight. The premises, which is around two kanals in area, contained a large number of flammable substances like cartons, paper labels, plastic drums, besides ethyl alcohol. Three persons also sustained burn injuries in the process.

The firemen with active assistance of the police were able to extinguish the fire only after a couple of hours. A number of drums had reportedly melted down because of the heat. It was only at about 12 midnight , when the firemen and the police finally managed to break open the door of the factory. Only after the flames were extinguished, did the police realise that it had uncovered an alcohol manufacturing unit.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Parag Jain, said the unit had been functioning for the past 15 to 20 days. “ Investigations the case reveal that the unit was functioning in the name of S.K. Chemicals. The accused, Harinder Pal Singla, had taken the premises on rent on April 24, 2001,” he informed.

Interestingly, the said premises is in the name of two proprietors of a famous sweet shop in Sector 17 and their respective wives. They had signed a lease agreement with the accused for Rs 48,000 per month.

An official of the Excise and Taxation Department, on condition of anonymity said the concentration of 160 degrees of the ethyl alcohol was first brought down to 60 degrees by mixing water and various flavours like asfoetida, orange, rose were added to it. After the mixture was prepared in drums, it was lifted to the main tank with the help of a water booster and then released in the drums of the pouch filling machines. Pouches of various capacities (750ml, 275ml. and 180 ml.) were filled .

A manual bottling machine was also found alongwith thousands of bottles, which showed that the liquor thus prepared was also sold in bottles.

It is learnt that 16,600 pouches of 180 mlt. each, 500 pouches of 275 mlt. each and 400 pouches of 750 mlt. each have been seized. Labels of brands like Hero Whisky, Malwa No. 1 and Murthal No. 1 were recovered alongwith 13 and a half drums ( each of 200 lt. capacity) of rectified spirit have also been recovered.

The police has registered cases under various sections of the IPC, Excise Act and the Copyright Act.


Choked manholes bane of residents
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 25
Visitors to Arya Samaj temple in Sector 7-C and hundreds of residents living around the temple are being forced to live in stench emanating from the blocked manholes for the past seven months. The temple also houses an old age home and dispensary. The residents of the area allege that the Municipal Corporation officials have turned a deaf ear towards the problem.

The visitors to the temple have to jump the sewer water accumulated along the road berm to enter the temple. Interestingly, there are several government houses in the area and are being inhabited by senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration.

The source of stench are two manholes in a dumping ground adjacent to the temple. One of the manhole has reportedly “disappeared” below tonnes of debris.

After talking to a number of residents, including senior citizens living in the temple, it was learnt that for the past seven months foul smell prevailed in the air all through the day and night. Mr Prem Nath, a senior citizen and one of the resident in the Arya Samaj said many times because of the choked manholes, water also gets logged on the premises of the old age home. Mr Nath claimed, “The problem started on December 9 last year”.

Senior citizens and residents of the locality said they had brought the problem to the notice of the MC authorities on several times, but to no avail. Mr H.S. Kumar, another resident of the old age home, said after receiving a complain, MC employees come and remove blockage in one of the manholes. “This solves the problem of foul smell and logging of sewer water on the road and on the premises of the old age home, but only for a few days”, said Mr Kumar.

Mr Om Prakash Gahi, president of the Arya Samaj, said because of the clogged sewer system, they were forced to put up an underground pipe so that the water could be flushed out on the road. He informed that they had recently written to the Administrator of Chandigarh about their problem.

When contacted Mr Swaran Singh, Superintending Engineer in the Public Health Department of the MC, said he had not received any such complaint. However, he assured that “the manholes would be cleaned by tomorrow”.


Dream bus hits the road
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Almost everyone at the Sukhna Lake this evening was eager to be “taken for a ride”. A UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob flagged off the “Hop on Hop off” tourist coach this evening, excitement about the bus ride was at its peak.

Such was the rage for the delightfully-decorated coach which has been brought to life by designer Bheem Malhotra within about 25 days, that almost the entire entrance area to the lake was blocked by curious onlookers. In fact, the beauty of the bus only served to paint the Sukhna greener and better. As artist Bheem Malhotra, Lecturer in Art at the Chandigarh College of Architecture put it, “The predominant colours used on the body of the vehicle are green and blue, the colours of nature. I could not think of a better blending of colours while doing the creative art design for this dream coach.”

Even while most visiting UT Administration officials were heard praising the arresting “arty” look of the coach, the passengers who had the fortune of taking the maiden ride alongwith the Governor were the happiest of all. The atmosphere was surcharged with delight, and the Governor was seen waving at the crowd, as if declaring, “I am a party to your joy over this great addition to the city’s tourist treasure.”

The formal inauguration took no time and all that followed was only expected to be. As the bus hits the road, the city residents can look forward to a literal `` rendezvous’’ with Chandigarh’s soul, right from tomorrow.

At the Sukhna, the Governor, alongwith senior officials of the UT Administration and Municipal Corporation, went atop the upper deck of the bus to share the thrill of the short joyride with other passengers and children. He was visibly elated to see the beautiful environs around Sukhna from the top of the bus. The fun was furthered by the soothing and melodious numbers played by the band — “Music People”. Such was the combined effect of all these elements that the rather hot and sultry weather did not seem to disturb even a single soul. The songs which were doled out on this occasion by Neeraj Bakshi and his troupe included Do lafzon ki hai dil ki kahani, “Chura liye hai tumne jo dil ko.”

The coach, which is a mobile Chandigarh in itself, will dot the best spots in the city — from buildings and open spaces which reflect the amazing architectural genius that Le Corbusier was to the world-famous environmental space in the form of Rock Garden, a classic product of Nek Chand’s humble art. In fact, the very view of the coach serves to reveal the elements which make Chandigarh the second best town in Asia. In the various murals which adorn the facade of this coach, one can see and sense the wonderful ambience of the City Beautiful. “With bright colours adding that extra bit of zing to the coach, one cannot help but consider oneself fortunate to be a part of the city’s pleasure trip,” said one of the passengers on board.

A joint venture of CITCO and the Department of Tourism, UT, to promote tourism, it will facilitate not only the tourists but also the residents, as this coach will make several trips of tourist spots in the city throughout the day as per the itinerary for local sight seeing. The smartly turned out students of the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends ( ITFT) were busy serving aerated drinks and snacks to the passengers in the bus.

Officials disclosed that the coach would start from Hotel Shivalik View in Sector 17 and will return to the shopping centre, Sector 17 after making stopovers at Rose Garden, Sector 16; Gandhi Bhawan; Panjab University, Sector 14; Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10; Capitol Complex; Legislative Assembly; Punjab and Haryana Secretariat; High Court; Open Hand Monument, Sector 1; Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake.

The coach has 35 luxury seats in the lower deck and 22 seats on the upper deck. The exterior paintings besides featuring various tourist spots, also include a mural which had been originally designed and painted by Le Corbusier. 


Dhawan announces ‘action plan’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
With an eye on the forthcoming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, a former Union Minister and expelled Congress leader, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, today announced the body of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) and a new month-long agitation programme from July 31.

Giving details of the agitational “action plan” at a press conference here today, Mr Dhawan informed that on July 31 activists of the mahila wing of the CVM would resign en masse from the Congress. This would be followed by “quit Congress divas” on August 9, when a large number of active Congress workers would resign.

Tree plantation on August 19 and blood donation camp on August 23 would also be organised, he said, adding that the programme would conclude with a “yuva sammelan” on August 31. Pledging “total support” to various ongoing agitations such as that of the CHB Residents Federation and the auto mechanics, he urged the Chandigarh Administration to withdraw the threat of demolition of the “illegal” alterations and additions after July 31. Demanding the dissolution of the MC, he said in the changed scenario the corporation would not be able to work properly.

The following have been nominated office-bearers of the CVM: vice-presidents — Mr M.P. Kohli, Mr N.K. Nanda, Mr Harbans Gulati, Mr B.K. Sood, Ms Sudesh Rani Chauhan and Mr Neeraj Bajaj; general secretaries — Mr Devinder Singh Babla, Dr O.P. Verma, Mr Balwinder Cheema, Mr Sandeep Singh and Mr Davinder Singh Aulakh; and secretaries — Mr Jagdish Kapoor, Mr Arun Talwar, Mr Shyam Sundar Arora, Mr Lal Bahadur Gupta, Mr B.M. Kumawat; Mr Tehal Singh and Mr Gurvinder Singh.

The office-bearers of the mahila wing are: president — Ms Narinder Sandhu; vice-presidents — Ms Vidyawati Sharma, Ms Krishna Sharma, Ms Rajesh Sareen, Ms Manjit Malhotra, Ms Sheela Rathor, and Mr Sushila Negi; general secretaries — Ms Harpreet Kaur, Ms Shivcharan Kaur, Ms Krishna Rani, Ms Neena Soni, Ms Gurdip Kaur and Ms Rajwant Sidhu; and secretaries — Ms Anu Bhandari, Ms Renu Sabharwal, Ms Sangeeta Gupta, Ms Sunita Gaba, Ms Manju Handa, Ms Kirpal Saini, and Ms Anju Soni.


Talks to resolve land dispute inconclusive
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
Another meeting to resolve the land dispute between the villagers of Bir Ghaggar and the Haryana Forest Department has been fixed by the district administration following inconclusive talks held here today.

According to an official of the administration, the next meeting between the two parties is scheduled to be held in the first week of August.

The Indian National Lok Dal General Secretary, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, said the villagers had been asked to buy 35 acres elsewhere in the district and hand it over to the department to amicably settle the matter.

This was followed by a meeting of the villagers amongst themselves held late in the night. After arriving at a decision, the matter would be taken up at the meeting scheduled with the district administration.

Last week, the villagers had blocked the Panchkula-Kalka highway to protest against the demolition of a few structures in the village.

The district administration intervened and assured that table-talks would be held to sort out the long-pending dispute.


Five injured in clash
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 25
Five person including two police personnel and two women, were injured in a clash between the police and residents of Raipur Khurd village, who blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at the Airport chowk for over 30 minutes on Tuesday night.

The irate residents pelted stones at the police team headed by Mr Vishwa Lal, SHO of the Sector 31 police station. To disperse the mob the police had to resort a mild lathi-charge. Raising ‘anti-administration’ slogans, the protesters also pelted stones at vehicles crossing the road and even damaged some of the vehicles partially.

They were protesting against the Administration’s failure to restore the electricity and water supply to the village. The village has been without water and power for the past five days. However, the power supply was restored this morning. 


Grain market in state of neglect
Shashi Pal Jain

Kharar, July 25
The local grain market is in a state of neglect, due to which farmers and traders are facing a lot of problems.

The road leading to the market from Badala is in a bad condition and water accumulates here whenever there is a rain. Deep potholes on the road make it difficult for vehicles to cross it.

A foul smell is everywhere in this market and you cannot cross the road without getting your clothes dirty. The sheds in the market leak, and food grains stored under these often get wet whenever there is a rain.

Traders here said the Punjab Government and the Mandi Board were earning a lot of revenue from here, but not taking any step for the maintenance of the place. They had even apprised a visiting Punjab minister of the situation, past year but nothing had been done to improve the condition of the market. Some farmers have lost all hope of seeing any improvement here.

The condition of the vegetable market is similar as here, too, there is a lack of sanitation.

Mr Mukhtiar Singh, Secretary of the Market Committee of Kharar, said about Rs 14 lakh would be needed for the repair of the roads and the sheds. He said the committee could not spare all the amount, but had sent a cheque for Rs 7 lakh to the Mandi Board two or three days back. He said they had requested the board to start the repair work and allot the remaining funds. He hoped the work would start soon.


Chemical sterilisation of stray dogs proposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is considering a proposal for the chemical sterilisation of stray dogs in the city. This follows a detailed note sent by Prof N.R. Kalla of the Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, wherein he has claimed that single oral dose of cadmium fluoride can permanently sterilise the dogs and has offered the same to MC for consideration.

Giving details, Assistant Commissioner, Mr Ashok Vashishtha, said it could not only be cost effective, but also make the process much simpler. He further said the process would also enable them to set the dog free the same day without undergoing the botheration of providing shelter, feed, caretaker, medicines etc.

Mr Vishishtha has asked Prof Kalla to send all possible details about the efficacy and economy of the process.

It may be recalled that the Finance and Contract Committee of the MC had recently given its consent to the proposal of sterilisation of stray dogs in the city, with a view to control their increasing population. It was also decided that a sum of Rs 1 lakh each would be given to the People for Animal (PFA) and the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) as monetary aid for the sterilisation of these dogs. As per the plan the voluntary organisations will sterilise five dogs every week. But the process is yet to start. Mr Vishishtha said if the new method of sterilisation suggested by Dr Kalla was proved effective, they might switch over to the same. 


Telecom employees hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Telecom services were hit here today following the one-day token strike of telecom employees against the “anti-employee” and “anti-public” policies of the Central Government. The call for the strike was given by the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, New Delhi.

The strike was organised in protest against the privatisation of government departments and public sector undertakings. The policy of downsizing many services came in for severe criticism at the hands of employees leaders at rallies in Sectors 17 and 34, SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

They also criticised the reduction in the rate of interest on the GPF and the savings bank account. The disinvestment in Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited should be stopped as it was one of the most-profitable public sector undertakings. Restoration of LTC was also demanded.

Employees of the Postal and Telecom Department also held strike in front of the head office in Patiala. Mr Nirmal Parshad, convener, P&T Employees Coordination Committee, called upon all Central Government employees to unite and fight against the policies.

Among others who present on the occasion were Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma, Mr S.K. Singhi, Mr Narinder Pal Sharma, Mr Lalit Parshad, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Amarjit Singh and Mr Labh Singh.


Cable operators hike charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Watching your favourite programme will soon be costlier with local cable operators deciding to hike the monthly charges.

This was decided at a meeting of the Chandigarh Cable Operators Association held here yesterday. Keeping in view the conversion of free-to-air channels, increasing rate of the signal provider and the broadcasters, the minimum charges would be Rs 150 per month per connection, according to Mr Rajesh Sharma, spokesman of the association.

In the areas of the kanal houses, where the maintenance cost is higher and the connections are lesser in number, the subscription can be higher. However, in case of subscribers of villages and the EWS houses, the subscription fee will be Rs 120.

The association will take up various problems being faced by cable operators with the authorities concerned.


Residents call on Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
A delegation of the CHB Residents Federation accompanied by a former Union Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan, and a former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, met the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd) to plead their case.

The Administrator said that he would consider their demands sympathetically within the structural safety norms and neighbours’ rights. No encroachment on public land would be allowed.

Meanwhile, the relay fast by members of the federation entered the sixth day today.

Batches of the federation members sat on day-long relay fast to press the administration to offer more relief to the allottees of the CHB flats.


Brigadier bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
One of the country’s most decorated soldiers, Brigadier Sant Singh, was bereaved here today. His wife, Satwant Kaur, passed away this afternoon at the age of 75. The funeral is scheduled to be held at the Sector 25 cremation ground at 12 noon tomorrow.


Arrested on kidnapping charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Harwinder Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar, was arrested by the city police on the charge of kidnapping a minor girl of Sector 35 late night here yesterday.

The girl was recovered from the house of the accused. According to sources the girl went missing on July 19. The police has registered a case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the IPC


Imran, a motor cyclist, was reportedly hit by a car at Tajheri chowk here today. The victim was said to be in serious condition at a local hospital. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

One booked

S.S. Junadh, a resident of Surat, has been booked by the police on the charge of breach of trust after he took away Mr Chander Shekhar’s scooter and Rs 1,000 in cash. A case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

A truck (HP-24-5383) was stolen from the Transport Area while a car (CH-01-C-2006) was stolen from Sector 71, Chandigarh. In both the cases, an FIR under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |