Friday, July 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CHB to wield stick against violators
Extension of July 31 deadline unlikely
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
There is bad news for thousands of Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) allottees, who have made unauthorised additions and alterations in their flats, as the board has decided to get tough with them after the expiry of the July 31 deadline.

With the CHB and the CHB Residents’ Federation, a representative body of the 35 residents’ welfare associations, sticking to their guns over the regularisaton of the existing additions and alterations, a long, drawn-out battle is in the offing. And in this battle, violators seem to be at the receiving end as the CHB authorities have decided to take strict action against the violators.

Even as the CHB authorities gear up for action, the federation, which started its relay fast on July 20, is also leaving no stone unturned to convince the Chandigarh Administration about what it calls its genuine demands. And as a show of strength the federation is holding a massive rally here on July 29. With the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) slated later this year, the federation has been getting a good response from the political parties, which would stand to gain in the poll if they supported the thousands of allottees of the board.

Official sources told The Tribune that since the three-month deadline expired on July 31, the board would be left with no alternative but to take stringent action against the allottees. The action will include the cancellation of the dwelling units and demolition of the additions and alterations at the cost of the allottees.

In fact, the board had already done its ground work by conducting a survey of additions and alterations in the flats in various sectors. The CHB is contemplating action on the basis of the survey to be completed by July 31.

And regarding the fresh demands of the federation there seem to be little common ground between the federation and the board authorities. While the federation wants the regularisation of the “need-based” additions and alterations already done, reduction in the conversion charges from leasehold to freehold, reduction in the transfer fee for the general power of attorney (GPA) holders and composition fee with nominal charges, the sources, on the other hand, pleaded that there was no move to accede to any of the fresh demands for the time being.

It may be recalled that responding to the demands of the federations, the CHB had allowed over 40 “need-based” additions and alterations in May this year. These concessions were allowed keeping in view the structural safety of the flats, neighbours’ rights and with a view to discouraging further additions and alterations, the sources said.

The major changes in the flats such as additional floor and additional staircases endangered the very structures putting the lives of residents at a risk in case of any natural calamity such as earthquake.

This is not all. Even now, the allottees are making unauthorised additions and alterations and the welfare associations, which had started relay fasts to press their demands, had done precious little to stop them, the sources alleged.

Saying that there would be no extension of the July 31 deadline, the sources said it would not serve any purpose as about three months’ time had already been to the violators. After the deadline, notices would be issued to the violators and action as per law, including the cancellation and demolition of the additions, would be undertaken.

With that end in view, the CHB will strengthen its enforcement wing with the posting of six sectional officers, besides an SDO.


BJP unit split on contesting Mayor’s poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation meeting to clear pending agenda and announcement of Congress Mayor’s resignation amidst allegations of corruption is likely to witness attempts to discuss dissolution of the House with sections of the main force BJP and the Congress favouring the move.

Ms Satinder Dhawan, wife of former expelled Congressman and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, is likely to bring a resolution before the House to dissolve the House allegedly to save the people from a self-interest seeker getting the post of Mayor for merely three to four months, which will allow those in the BJP to favour it after discussing it at a party meeting likely to be called on July 30 or 31 in Chandigarh, sources close to Mr Dhawan told The Tribune.

The BJP local unit which has decided to go in for the Mayor’s election, however, seems divided on the issue of contesting election with a section favouring dissolution of the House ahead of corporation elections due by the end of the year.

The national General Secretary of the BJP, Mr O.P. Kohli, told The Tribune on telephone that the party had been getting opinion from the Chandigarh unit and he was likely to call a meeting on either July 30 or 31 to finally decide if contesting election of the Mayor or dissolution of the House would suit the party.

Mr Kohli said the party would decide on the matter after comprehensively considering both issues at the meeting after the three-day national executive beginning tomorrow in Delhi.

In a late night development, Ms Dhawan, who is lone member of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch headed by her husband who was expelled from the Congress recently, decided that she would bring a resolution to the effect to confront big political parties to show the courage of facing the electorate on their performance and expose fissures in established parties.

This was reflected in the admission made by president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress B.B. Bahal’s that the party could not shy away from an early election.

He said the party would decide next course of action after watching the attitude of its opponent BJP how it allowed acting Congress Mayor to function till the next election for the post and would hold a meeting to decide finally what they would do.

The acting Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, who would remain in the chair till the next elections, would also seek to increase his term by allowing a resolution to the effect of dissolution in a next meeting before August 15 effectively stopping the process of notification of election and increasing his term and the Congress being able to embarrass the majority BJP despite minority by holding the chair till fresh elections and having the honour of somehow maintaining the last term before the election.

Those in favour of dissolution of the House had been trying to meet Mr Kala to convince him that he could continue in the last term before the election of the corporation giving opportunity to face his constituency electorate increasing his chances of winning the councillor election with a cout of the Mayor.

Main items on the agenda

Constitution of ward committees; revised approval for purchase of deluxe bus for Municipal Corporation; repayment of loan taken by the erstwhile Notified Area Commitee (NAC), Mani Majra; revised estimates for providing public health services/amenities for in-situ upgradation of Kumhar and Janta Colony, Sector 25.



War widows, next of kin honoured
Tributes paid to Kargil martyrs
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 26
A solemn ceremony at Chandi Mandir cantonment to pay homage to the fallen soldiers of Operation Vijay marked the second anniversary of Kargil Vijay Divas. It was on this day two years ago that the operations to flush out Pakistani intruders in the inhospitable heights of the Kargil Sector in Jammu and Kashmir were formally declared to be over.

Schoolchildren take out a rally on Kargil Vijay Divas in Sector 23 on Thursday.
Schoolchildren take out a rally on Kargil Vijay Divas in Sector 23 on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

A wreath was laid at the Veer Smriti War Memorial adjacent to the Headquarters Western Command by the Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (Retd), and the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh.

Floral tributes were also paid by several retired service personnel as well as next of kin of martyrs. These included Maj-Gen R S Mavi, Air Marshal M.M. Singh, Brig M.S. Dullat, Lieut-Col H.I.S. Bhaliwal and Lieut-Col P.S. Grewal.

The next of kin who paid homage to the fallen soldiers included Mrs Usha Sharma, mother of Capt Amol Kalia (12 JAK LI), Mrs Paramjit Kaur, wife of Hav Bikram Singh (8 Sikh), Mrs Trishna Devi, mother of Nk Gopal Singh (7 Para), Mrs Harnik Kaur, wife of Nk Bachittar Singh (41 Field Regt), Mrs Gurdayal Kaur, wife of Sep Jaswinder Singh (8 Sikh) and Mr Khushi Ram, father of Sep Purshottam Lal (5231 ASC Bn).

The war widows and next of kin were also honoured by the Governor, who presented them with gifts. A photo exhibition on the Kargil operations was also organised. In the evening, a candle-lighting ceremony was held at all station units to keep alive the spirit of patriotism generated by Operation Vijay.

At the Chandigarh Air Force Station, homage was paid to the martyrs at the newly constructed war memorial at No12 Wing. Wreaths were laid at the memorial by the Air Officers Commanding, Air Cdre V.S. Govindarajan, all principal staff officer and commanding officers of all operational units. In the evening, IAF personnel lit candles in front of the war memorial as well as their residences.

Meanwhile, at a function organised by the Directorate of Sainik Welfare Punjab, members of martyrs’ families and disabled soldiers were honoured by the Director, Brig K.S. Kahlon (Retd). Those who received financial assistance on the occasion included Mrs Amandeep Kaur, widow of Maj Sikanderjit Singh (Nawanshahr), who was given Rs 2 lakh. Sep Jagdeep Singh (Ropar) who was boarded out of service with 60 per cent disability, was given Rs 1 lakh, while Asst Cdr Surinder Singh (Ropar), who suffered 50 per cent disability was given Rs 50,000.

Brigadier Kahlon said while Punjab lost 66 soldiers during the Kargil operations, 230 soldiers from the state had laid down their lives since January 1999 in various operations.

So far the state government has disbursed Rs 4.15 crore as ex gratia grants and extended financial assistance totalling Rs 10.10 crore for the purchase of a plot or flat. While 15 next of kin have been allotted a plot or flat, five have been nominated to the Punjab Civil Services and another 18 placed in Class I and II jobs in the state government.

The tally for Class III and IV jobs is 63 and 44, respectively.

At another function organised by Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, the Punjab Governor said the nation must remember the sacrifices made by our jawans. He added that on this day we must pay tributes to all those killed in wars since Independence.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Governor, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (Retd), organised “At Home” function for war widows, war veterans, ex-servicemen and decorated soldiers at the Raj Bhavan on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Divas today.

A statement issued here today said the Governor listened to their problems, most of which were related to intra-family disputes concerning share of ex-gratia given by the Army. Some of the ex-servicemen also wanted an increase in the quota in government service for kin of ex-servicemen as well as enhancement in quota for houses and plots.

Stating that the nation was indebted to all those who laid down their lives while defending the frontiers, General Jacob assured them that he would pursue their problems.

Meanwhile Kargil Vijay Divas was celebrated at different schools of the city here today. A function was organised at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23. The Principal of the school, Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, highlighted the importance of freedom. He also explained the importance of Vijay Divas to the children.

Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33-D, also celebrated the day. The staff and students of the school paid homage to the martyrs. The Principal of the school , Mr Karan Singh, advised the students to read biographies of the freedom fighters.

Students also took out a procession to remind the general public of the significance of this day. The day was also celebrated at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 38 W. A prabhat pheri was taken outfrom the school to Dadu Majra. A cultural programme and a painting competition were also held at the school.

The Principal, teachers and students paid homage to martyrs. The Principal asked the students to inculcate the spirit of patriotism. Patriotic songs , speeches and dramas depicting various aspects of Kargil episode were performed at Government High School, Sector 38-B. A two-minute silence was also observed in order to pay homage to the martyrs at the school.

Ambala: The second anniversary of Kargil Vijay Divas was observed here today.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr D.D. Gautam, presented shawls to members of the families of 10 martyrs at a function held at the Sainik Rest House, Ambala Cantonment. Mr Gautam said the nation would always remain indebted to them.

The Vice-president of the Zila Sainik Board, Lieut-Col B.N. Bali (Retd), said the Indian soldiers were the best in the world. He said though the population of Haryana was only two per cent of the total population, the soldiers from the state who laid down their lives constituted 18 per cent of the total number of martyrs.

The Secretary of the Zila Sainik Board, Capt V.S. Narwal (Retd), said the amount due to the next of kin of the Kargil martyrs had already been paid.

Among others, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Sandeep Khirwar, the Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr D.P. Sirohi, Col Inder Singh (Retd), Col O.P. Sharma (Retd) and Maj C.L. Malhotra were also present.

A function was organised at the Air Force Station, Ambala, to pay homage to the martyrs who had made the supreme sacrifice to protect the nation’s territorial integrity. On the occasion, Air Cdre V.R. Iyer, Air Officer Commanding of the Air Force Station, Ambala, Brig N.D. Prasad, Sub Area Commander PH & HP (I) and other officers laid wreaths at the station war memorial ‘A Frozen Tear’ as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

A two-minute silence was observed by personnel of Air Force, Army, Army Postal Service, Defence Security Corps, including civilians, who formed a hollow square at the memorial. The ‘Samman Guards reversed their arms while the buglers sounded the last post.

In the evening, all personnel and their families lit candles at the war memorial and also at their residences.

Kargil Vijay Day was also observed at the Sainik Institute, Ambala Cantonment.



Explanation sought from DSP
Detection of illicit liquor factory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Deputy Superintendent of Police, East, and the Station House Officer of the Industrial Area police station have been pulled up by the police authorities over their alleged failure in gathering intelligence about the illicit liquor factory in Industrial Area.

According to highly-placed sources, both the police officers were asked today to explain within a week why they had no intimation about the illicit liquor being manufactured in the heart of Industrial Area on such a large-scale. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.

The two officers have reportedly been asked to explain why the beat staff of the area or the Division Officer were unable to report to the seniors about the liquor factory operating for the last 15 to 20 days.

This factory was a chance discovery by the UT police when a short-circuiting on the premises had led to a major fire. It was only when the fire was extinguished yesterday that the police discovered that the factory functioning in the garb of a chemical factory.

It may be noted that the factory is located on a corner plot and factories employing thousands of labourers are located on both sides as well as on the opposite sides. Yesterday, the police had maintained that since the factory was closed during the day and operated after the other factories in the area had closed down, no one had any intimation about the factory.

The owner of the factory, Mr Harinder Pal Singla, a resident of Sector 34, is a nephew of one of the biggest liquor contractors in the city. He is also a sleeping partner in one of the liquor syndicates in the city.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the police is still on the lookout for the accused. Raids are being conducted in different parts of the city in order to nab him.

In a press note, the local unit of the BJP has taken a strong notice of the illegal production and the sale of liquor and alleged that the Excise Department had failed to keep vigil on the illicit liquor production and smuggling.


Bypass to aid of octroi evaders
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 26
Opening of the Balongi bypass, providing an alternative road link between the town and the busy Chandigarh, Kharar highway, is costing the SAS Nagar municipal council heavily. Within ten days of the inauguration of the bridge by the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister, evasion of octroi has started.

Though the civic body has not calculated the daily loss being suffered by it in the past ten days, staff of the octroi wing at the Balongi collection post admit that a number of vehicles are taking the alternative route to enter the town. Being located on the busy road, providing linkage with different towns in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the daily octroi collection at the post is around Rs 1 lakh.

Sources in the civic body say a proposal to shift the Balongi octroi post to cover both roads leading to the town is being placed before the meeting of the General House for approval. Mr Bhagwan Garg, executive officer of the civic body, say he has visited the spot for selecting the site to set up a temporary kiosk. “Once we get land on rent, we will set up the kiosks”, he says adding that the superintendent in charge of the octroi wing has been asked to keep a check on the vehicles evading octroi.

Enquires reveal that local civic body is not the only victim of evasion of octroi. The staff at the Information Collection Centre (IIC) of the Sales Tax Department has to remain more vigilant to check the vehicles evading sales tax. Officials at the ICC say two policemen have to be posted at the alternative road to nab the vehicles passing by without getting their sales tax documents checked at the centre. A request to shift the ICC towards Daun is already pending before the higher authorities.

The alternative bridge on Patiala ki Rao is leading to traffic chaos. The end of the bridge which opens on the Chandigarh, Kharar highway at Balongi opens at an point where a Information Collection Centre (ICC) of the Sales Tax Department is located. Truck drivers halt at the ICC to get their documents checked, leading to chaos.


Rs 10,000 costs on Mohali SDM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today imposed costs of Rs 10,000 on SAS Nagar SDM J.P. Singh for his failure to submit in time a written statement on a petition filed by four Ajnala residents.

In his petition taken up by Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, Mr Kans Dass and others had earlier sought directions to the state of Punjab to take disciplinary action against the SDM for committing offences under Sections 452, 427 and 506 IPC.

The petitioners had earlier stated that the SDM was involved in the demolition of their houses. Going into the background, the petitioners had alleged that the SDM wanted to take money collected by them from the hawkers during a congregation. The SDM, with the intentions of teaching them a lesson, had demolished their houses, they alleged.

Director of Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension Ajaib Singh’s petition was today referred to some other Bench by Mr Justice V.K. Bali of the high court.

Pronouncing the orders Mr Justice Bali observed that he had been receiving letters from irresponsible persons regarding the matter and two such letters had been placed on the file.

The case will now be placed before the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for assigning the same to some other Bench. Seeking the quashing of an order passed by PU Vice-Chancellor’s rejecting his nomination papers for Senate elections, Dr Ajaib Singh, in his petition had earlier asked for directions to the university to permit him to contest the elections after accepting his nomination papers.

Claiming to have been rendered disqualified to contest the elections as a result of the order, counsel for the petitioner had contended that the same was passed on August 17 last year even though the Syndicate had already declared him eligible for elections scheduled for September 17, 2000.

The order, he added, was liable to be set aside as the VC had decided the question regarding the petitioner’s entitlement to contest the elections even though it was beyond the powers conferred upon him under the regulations.

Going into the background, he had further added that the VC had set aside the Returning Officer’s decision and had rejected the petitioner’s nomination papers on the ground of his candidature being “hit by disqualification imposed by Sector 16 of the Panjab University Act”.


Students want ‘improvement’ exam restored
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The discontinued practice of Panjab University of conducting the examination for “improvement” along with the supplementary examination in September has led to growing resentment among students.

Nearly 500 students in a signed request to the Vice-Chancellor have sought the restoration of the university provision of the ‘special’ examination for improvement along with the other examination in September.

The application signed by students of a number of different teaching departments (both graduate and postgraduate) says that the “improvement examination for different classes was earlier conducted twice a year till 1995-96, one along with supplementary examination in September and the other along with the final examination in April.”

It has been pointed out that ‘the system of conducting improvement examination along with the supplementary examination was discontinued due to problems in conducting the examination’as pointed out by the staff.

It was easier for the students to avail the improvement chance in September because they had ‘ ample time for preparation’. Under existing norms, in a large number of cases the improvement examination coincided with annual examination of the subsequent class, which was less beneficial because of simultaneous preparation needed for the examination of the subsequent class.

Mr Ashok Raj Bhandari, the officiating Controller of Examination, said that the number of students seeking the ‘improvement’ chance was not very big. The ‘improvement’ examination during September would consume a lot of academic time while the supplementary examination was conducted in less than a week’s time.

Mr Bhandari said that that a graduate had two years after final year to improve his results in two chances. The postgraduates could take two chances within five years after the classes. The student can appear in as many papers he wants for the improvement of results.


Police to seek TV show’s help to nab accused
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 26
The Ropar police will approach the popular television show India’s Most Wanted to seek information about the suspects involved in the year-old murder case of a 39-year- old jeweller from Chandigarh, Ashok Kumar. The move follows failure of the police in nabbing the three assailants, Gurvinder, alias Gary, Ranbir, alias Shera and Lakha, alias Rana, involved in the murder.

The photographs and detailed information about the absconding suspects will be sent to the organisers of the show, according to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr G.P.S. Bhullar. He said all the suspects had been declared proclaimed offenders, but there was no further progress. The suspects had cleaved the body of the victim, Ashok Kumar, into four pieces before dumping these at secluded places along a nullah in the periphery of the town.

All the three assailants had been identified on the day of the murder on the basis of information given by Kulwinder Singh, an eyewitness to the incident. The suspects had been successful in evading the police despite the police claiming on several occasions that it was on the verge of arresting them. The police had recovered the car in which the severed body parts of the victim were dumped.

On several occasions the police officials claimed that they were close to arresting the assailants. A police official said a police party which had gone to arrest them from a flat at Delhi missed them by minutes. A theory of the suspects making frantic efforts to escape from the country had also been explored, without any success.

The local police had already written to the DIG (Crime), Punjab, to pursue the matter with different investigation agencies concerned, but outcome could not be ascertained. Photographs of the suspects, along with identification features had been sent to the airport authorities at Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata under the Lookout for criminals category so as to prevent the suspects from leaving the country .

In June last, the police, during search operations conducted at the Phase 3B 1 house of Gary, had recovered at least 440 grams of charas, several bottles of foreign liquor and a knife. Separate cases under the NDPS Act and the Arms Act had been registered. Around 70 tolas of gold ornaments, two video cameras, several video cassettes, 49 expensive watches, two swords, expensive mattresses, leopard skin, a stuffed black buck and a stuffed head of sambhar were recovered from the house.

An effort by the police to attach the property of the suspects reportedly did not yield any result as the property was not in the name of Gary. The SSP said efforts were being made through the relatives of the main suspect Gary to make his surrender before the police.


Govt determined to disinvest in PUNCOM
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Punjab government has made it clear that it is determined to disinvest in PUNCOM despite still opposition from its employees.

This is the impression gained by a deputation of the Joint Action Committee of PUNCOM Employees Unions which met Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, Principal Secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Industries, Punjab.

The JAC was of the view that there was no justification for the government to hand over control of a profit-making and growing unit like PUNCOM to a private party through the disinvestment process. But the government was of the view it could not allow a PUNWIRE-type situation to develop in any industrial unit managed by it. It would be the best to disinvest while the company was still healthy.

The JAC argued that the sale price of PUNCOM which had been pegged at Rs 33 crore, as reported in the press, was very low. The actual fact-sheet of the company clearly showed that the minimum reserve price for 44% shares should not be less than Rs 250 crore.

The JAC represented to the government if the sale of the PUNCOM had to be undertaken, then it must ensure job security for all the 764 employees of PUNCOM up to the normal retirement age of 58 years. All agreements, promotion policy, leaves, leave rules etc and other allowances and facilities in force with PUNCOM management must be retained and followed.

The strategic partner should be a company engaged in design and manufacture of telecom equipment so that the existing infrastructure and skill sets of the employees did not go waste.

The strategic partner should not be allowed to divert PUNCOM’s capital in any other venture, no should it be allowed to disinvest its stake in PUNCOM for the next five years. The strategic partner should have a net work of at least 10 times of PUNCOM’s net worth so that the control of the company did not pass in the hands of a financial institution.

According to Mr Jaswant Singh, convener of the JAC, the deputationists were assured that if the ownership of the company went into private hands, then the jobs of the employees would be fully secured. The JAC would participate in all the decisions of disinvestment.

The sale of the company would not be linked with the market price of the share. The real worth of the company would be given the topmost priority. The qualifying criteria of the strategic partner would be evaluated according to JAC recommendations. The strategic partner would be a telecommunication giant.


Chaotic Grain Market crossing

The Grain Market Chowk on Madhya Marg, which happens to be the meeting point of light and heavy traffic (trucks and tractor-trailers carrying agricultural produce), is one of the major accident-prone spots of the city.

So far two major accidents have taken place at this junction this year. These accidents led to two deaths. While one of the fatal accidents took place on the road leading to Sector 26, the other one happened in the slow-way carriage near the petrol pump.

In another accident last month, two persons were injured when their scooter was hit by a truck carrying agricultural produce to the Grain Market.

The police, however, concedes that many minor accidents take place at this intersection which is one of the busiest road crossings in the city. According to official estimates, at least three minor accidents take place here every day, mostly during the rush hours (8.30 am to 10 am and 7.30 pm to 9 pm).

Though the administration has banned the entry of heavy vehicles on Madhya Marg during certain hours of the day, heavy vehicles carrying agricultural produce are allowed. The police believes that most of these heavy vehicles are driven by persons not conversant with road safety norms and it is generally a mistake on the part of these drivers that results in an accident.

It is also a fact that many scooterists going to the Grain Market ignore to wear helmets. The Grain Market is often filled with slush, and they meet with serious accidents when their scooters slip on the slushy surface.

Moreover, about 50,000 vehicles leave Panchkula in the morning for the city and go back to the satellite town in the evening. This adds to the problem and during rush hours the traffic moves at a snail’s pace. Accidents involving slow moving vehicles have become a routine.

Though a number of traffic policemen have been deployed here to manage the movement of buses and trucks, things have hardly changed for the better.


Confusion of house numbers
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 26
Le Corbusier himself may not be able to trace houses in his well-planned creation, if he were to go to Sector 23-D.

The residents often get wrong electricity and telephone bills, the gas agency delivers cylinders in wrong houses, and visitors knock at wrong doors.

The residents say that they have requested the UT Administration for a change of numbers, but nothing has happened and many houses still carry similar numbers.

Narrating his tale of woe, Raju said “I am 85 per cent handicapped and doctors have advised me bed rest. But due to the confusion of house numbers, wrong persons often disturb me at any time of the day. I have an old mother who is unable to get up every time to convince a stranger that he is at a wrong place. I have made a complaint to the Administration but to no avail.”

Dinesh Sharma, another resident, complained that he was greatly disturbed by the problem caused by another house bearing the same number. He said often strangers entered his house without even knocking and created problems.

Neena Puri, another resident, said: “There is panic among the resident as they often lose important letters. In the afternoon, the residents stand outside their houses, waiting for the postman”.

S.D. Gupta, a resident, complained that he was greatly disturbed when he received wrong electricity, water and telephone bills. Many times his letters were delivered at the other house which has the same number.

Jaswant Kaur, a 65-year-old woman said: “I have been living here for more than 30 years. There were very few houses around when we built this house. Only after 1970, more houses were built and they put up numbers in continuation of the others.

Many of them changed the numbers according to the ones allotted by the Estate Office but some did not want to change their old numbers so, others faced problems.

Nirmal Kanta said that many times the gas agency delivered cylinders at wrong places and no one could be held responsible as there were two houses with the same number. Many of their guests got confused and returned without meeting them because of this problem.

Gorky Bedi, another resident, said “They have been living here for more than 30 years. Initially, the resident marked house numbers on their own. The Estate Office issued new numbers in 1995 but some of the resident did not make the change.


Development work in 10 wards reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The councillors of the first 10 wards of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, have claimed to have spend more than 50 per cent of the Rs 35 lakh allocated to them under the Ward Development Fund during the past five years.

This came out during a meeting convened by the Chief Engineer, Mr Manmohanjit Singh, here today to review the financial and physical progress of development works in ward Nos 1 to 10.

While discussing the status report of work undertaken by the Horticulture, Roads, Electricity and Public Health wings, Mr Singh asked the officers concerned to complete the pending work as per the target.

According to figures made available, the Congress councillor, Mrs Satinder Dhawan, has spent Rs 33 lakh on the recarpeting of roads and for the development of parks and parking areas in her ward.

Mr R.L. Arora, BJP councillor of ward No. 4, has already spent Rs 35 Lakh on various development works.

Mr Prem Sagar Jain has already spent Rs 18 lakh and his proposals worth Rs 4.25 lakh stand approved for various development projects in his ward. Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (Retd), BJP councillor of ward No. 6, has spent Rs 33 lakh and the former Mayor and councillor of ward no. 8, Mrs Kamala Sharma, has spent Rs 23 lakh.

They expressed satisfaction at the pace of development work in their respective wards. Mr K.K. Adiwal of ward No. 5 has spent Rs 28 lakh, Mr Kanhya Lal has spent Rs 31 lakh.

The SAD councillor, Mrs Harjinder Kaur has spent Rs 19 lakh in her ward No. 9, while the BJP councillor, Mr Bachan Singh, has spent Rs 22 lakhs in his ward (no.10).

The Chief Engineer has asked the councillors, to submit proposals for various schemes so that the same can be undertaken before the term of the civic body expires.

According to official sources, an expenditure to the tune of Rs 3.22 crore has been incurred on the development work of these 10 wards till June 22, and a sum of Rs 2.56 crore is needed to complete the pending works within the stipulated time period.

Seven councillors attended the meeting, Mr Des Raj Tandon, Mrs Harjinder Kaur and Mr Bachan Singh were the absent ones.

Certain councillors also pointed out the difficulties being faced by them in getting some of the sanctioned works executed.

The meeting was attended by the SE (B and R), Mr I.S Sokhey; SE (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh Kanwal, the Xens, Mr S.K Chadha and Mr Mukesh Anand of the Road wing, the Xens Mr Raghubir Singh and Mr Lakhwinder Singh of the Horticulture wing.

The review of development works for ward No 11 to 20 is scheduled for July 31.


Plagued by stray cattle
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar
Driving in this town can be a risky proposition, thanks to the stray cattle that roam on the roads. Some motorists have suffered injuries in accidents caused by stray cattle.

Several head of cattle are seen rummaging through the heaps of garbage at different points in the town. The menace of pigs is also becoming a headache for the residents. Mr Manjeet Sethi, a municipal councillor, said that though sanitation in the residential areas had been privatised, heaps of garbage remain scattered around garbage bins, attracting stray animals.

The “stray cattle” and pigs are reared by people in unauthorised colonies and slum areas in and around the town. Owners of these animals leave them to rummage through the garbage right under the nose of civic officials. Residents of different sectors complain that pigs are causing extensive damage to small gardens that they are maintaining in open spaces outside their houses.

Municipal officials claim that every effort is being made to control the menace. But with limited space to impound the animals, the drive to catch them is launched after intervals. An effort by the municipal council to set up a cattle pond in the water works complex in the Industrial Area in Phase 9 did not materialise when the PSIEC allotted plots there.


Subscribers rue BSNL action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Scores of BSNL telephone subscribers, wanting to have duplicate bills, faced a lot of inconvenience at the Sector 34 Telephone Exchange here.

Tempers ran high as the harassed subscribers alleged that their telephones had been disconnected or made one-way without giving them any warning. They also alleged they had not received any bill in the past couple of month since the TRA was shifted from Sector 8 to Sector 34.

It may be recalled that the BSNL had disconnected about 9,000 telephones and made another 6,000 one-way on account of the non-payment of bills. However, BSNL sources maintained that the bills were prepared in time and despatched to the Department of Posts, RMS. The department had even given the consumers an extra week to deposit the bills.

The officials had a tough time calming down the agitated subscribers.


Counselling workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A four-day workshop for training personnel deployed in the Crime Against Women Cell and representatives of NGOs concluded in the Regional Training Centre Hall, Police Lines, Sector 26, here today. This was for the first time that a structured training in counselling was provided to the CAW staff since its inception in the Chandigarh police.

The four-day training programme aimed at teaching counselling techniques to the participants. Cousellors like Dr Reetinder Kohli, Dr Sudha Panth, Dr Promila Vasudeva , Dr Vidhu Mohan Sharma and Dr Jagat Mohan Jerath conducted the workshop and taught counselling techniques through sessions in brain storming , leadership, listening skills and counselling skills.


CTU to purchase 46 buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , July 26
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) will purchase 46 buses this year at a cost of Rs 3.70 crore. The new fleet of buses will have tinted glasses on the pattern of buses in Haryana and also have better cushioned seats.

A formal approval has been granted by the Chandigarh Administration in this connection. The new facilities do not in anyway mean a hike in fares, explained top transport officials.

The new buses are replacement for old buses. The buses will conform to EURO II pollution emission norms. The new buses will have the power steering facility.

Most of these buses would be deployed on long-routes.


Rafi finals on July 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The curtains are finally ready to be drawn on the annual singing competition organised by Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society, Chandigarh with the organisers pruning the number to 10 best male and 10 best female singers from the huge entry list of 250. The results were arrived at after two rounds of screening.

The male singers will sing Rafi’s songs and the female Lata’s numbers on the final day of the competition on July 29 at Tagore Theatre at 5 pm here.

The three winners in both categories will get award and two runners-up trophies each from a film personality in the society’s annual Rafi Memorial Nite to be held in November this year.

Prof Sampat Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, Haryana will be the chief guest of the evening.


Diploma engineers’ rally today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Diploma Engineers Association, Punjab Irrigation Department, will hold a protest rally here tomorrow.

Association president Pargat Singh Grewal and general secretary Daljit Singh claimed here in a press note that the rally would be attended by diploma engineers from various district headquarters of Punjab. Both leaders accused the Punjab Government of violating the earlier agreements regarding promotions and other related matters.


Rotary chief installed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Mr Rohit Jain was installed as president of Rotary Chandigarh Plaza at a function held at a hotel in Sector 35 this evening.

Mr Parag Jain, SSP, was the chief guest, while the Advocate-General, Mr T.S Anand, was the guest of honour. The outgoing president, Mr Pardeep Tayal, presented the annual report, highlighting the activities undertaken in various fields during 2000-2001.

The newly installed president spoke about his plans for the club during the current Rotary year. The incoming team was introduced to the gathering by the president.


Briefcase stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
A briefcase containing Rs 15,200 and other important documents was stolen from a Tata Safari ( HR- 01H- 0007) parked near the football ground in Sector 17, here yesterday.

In another case, a Bajaj Chetak scooter ( HR-03A-7689) was stolen from NAC showroom in Mani Majra yesterday. In both the cases, FIRs have been registered.

Burglary cases: Cash worth Rs 6,000 and a cheque book was stolen from the Quite Office No 5 in Sector 35 during the intervening night of July 24 and 25. An FIR under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

In a similar incident in Sector 22-A, cash worth Rs. 4,000 and two wrist watches were stolen from the residence of Ms Santosh Kumari yesterday. An FIR under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

One arrested: Kanwar Singh was arrested for eve-teasing from Phase II, Ram Darbar, and booked under Section 354 of the IPC.

Eight held: Eight persons— Munna Yadav, Kawal Yadav, Roshan Ali, Mohan Lal, Rajinder Singh, Sachdeva Sharma, Amar Singh and Ashok Kumar have been arrested for drinking at a public place from different parts of the city. Six cases have been registered.



FUNCTION: Punjab National Bank, regional office, Chandigarh-B, organised a krishi card distribution function at Kurali on Thursday. It was attended by a large number of prominent citizens and customers of the bank. Mr Devinder Singh, SIM, Kharar, was the chief guest. Mr M.L. Arora, Chief Manager, Punjab National Bank, Patiala, presided over the function.

PRIZE: Mr Ashoke Kumar Sharma, proprietor of M/s Ram Sarup and Sons, here, has won one kg silver (bumper prize) in ‘Vim Bar Ban Jaye Car’ offer of Hindustan Lever Limited.

MEETING: Mr S.J. Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer of Wipro (Consumer Care and Lighting) on Thursday met Chandigarh stockists and some of the prominent dealers. The vanaspati, which is available in the pouch pack today, is a gift of Mr Ghosh. As Product Manager he introduced the vanaspati pouch pack in the Indian market. Under his guidance, Wipro consumer care is focussing on the rural market with a 5000 stockist network, according to a press note of the company.

JOINED: Dr Atul Marwah, who is an MD in the superspeciality of nuclear medicine from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, has joined the INSCOL hospital. He has also worked in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick children, London. He has bagged number of awards, including “Young Investigator Award” and has 13 international research paper presentations and 30 publications in leading international journals to his credit.

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