Tuesday, August 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Private parties may distribute power in UT slums
Move to check theft and loss of revenue
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service


* Private parties to get bulk power at a flat rate of Rs 1.70 per unit.

* The party will supply power to individuals in slums and unauthorised colonies.

* Private distributors will be paid up to 20 per cent of the bill he pays.

* Rate of power to be supplied to individuals will be fixed and controlled by Administration to prevent any sort of overcharging.

* With private participation the Administration aims at cutting out on kundis, which are presently causing losses running into crores. 

Chandigarh, August 6
Adapting a scheme functioning in metros like Delhi and Mumbai, the Chandigarh Administration will invite private parties to take bulk power connections from a pre-designated points to further supply power to individuals living in slums or in unauthorised colonies outside villages.

With this the Administration aims at cutting out losses incurred due to theft of power in slums on account of thousands of kundis and also to solve its problem of unpaid bills. The scheme awaits the final approval from the UT Administrator , Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), before the Administration implements it. Soon an advertisement will be issued inviting private participation in the scheme, which also has the recommendation of the Government of India, sources said today. The approval is expected in the next two to three days. Technical discussions between engineers and the Secretary, Engineering, have been taking place since last week.

Under the scheme the private party will be supplied power at a flat rate of Rs 1.70 per unit and will be responsible for further supply of power to individuals. Wiring to wheel the power from the tap-off point to each individual’s home has to be done by the private party. The Administration will collect bills of power supplied from a single meter installed at the premises of the private party. For these services the private party will be paid up to 20 percent commission.

Sources in the Engineering Department said the scheme was running well in metros and there was no such fear of its failure in Chandigarh. Actually, there will be a good number of takers for the scheme, officials are hopeful. The idea is that the private party will be allocated an area, say, for example a slum colony. He will be responsible for collecting money from individuals. The formula will be the same as the Department of Telecom while allocating STDs PCOs. A certain percentage of the bill is paid to the operator as his charges.

Since it will be a private enterprise the person taking the contract to supply power can even keep private security guards who will patrol his area of operation to remove kundis and will disconnect supply of those who do not pay up. As on date the Administration has to recover Rs 1 crore from jhuggi dwellers , who are not paying bills.

Explaining how the Administration will gain, an official said: Firstly , we will sign a contract with the private party, which will be bound to pay as per the units he consumes. The Administration will not be responsible for meter reading at individual premises, No bills are to be distributed and no money has to be collected. Besides this the private party will be very keen to remove kundis and will not allow anyone to get away without paying. The Administration on its own has been unable to remove kundis all these years.

At present the Administration does not get any revenue from slums. After the new scheme is implemented, some revenue will start flowing and line losses will come down.



56 persons rounded up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
With the Independence Day just round the corner, the city police has renewed its search operations in various hostels, guest houses, slum and labour colonies.

The police rounded up 56 persons from Sector 20-A during the wee hours of the morning today as part of this drive. Even yesterday, 138 persons were taken in by the police for their verification from Colony No. 5.

The police had earlier rounded up 124 persons from Sector 22 and 80 persons were rounded up from Ram Darbar. A couple of days ago, 56 persons were rounded up from six boys hostels in Punjab University.

However, the city residents are not taking very kindly to the police action of rounding up people.

Hundreds of people are rounded up from all parts of the city, each year before Independence Day and brought to the police station and are left off after having made to fill the verification forms. Though the senior police officials concede that these drives rarely serve a useful purpose as the verification forms are rarely attested and sent back by the other states.


Two SAD councillors file papers for Mayor’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh, and Ms Harjinder Kaur, who are both SAD nominees, have filed their nominations for the post of Mayor, elections for which, are scheduled for August 10, upsetting calculations of the BJP that the House will easily be dissolved.

The nominations of both candidates were proposed and seconded by nominated members opposed to the BJP’s move of dissolving the House.

Ms Kaur’s nomination was proposed by Major-General Rajinder Nath (retd) and seconded by Ms Saudamini Bambah. The nomination of the Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh, was proposed by Mr Harish Bhanot and seconded by Mr R.S. Kailey. Mr Bhanot is also the presiding officer for these elections.

Mr Mohinder Singh has been the Deputy Mayor of the MC for nearly four and a half years. Ms Kaur has also been the Deputy Mayor for six months in 1998. The same year she had lost to the BJP candidate, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, in the election to the post of Mayor by seven votes.

The SAD faction led by the Chandigarh unit president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, was camping in the MC office since this morning in anticipation that Ms Kaur might file her nomination without the authorisation of the party.

Ms Kaur filed her nomination at 4.07 p.m., followed by Mr Singh, who handed over his papers to the MC Secretary, Mr Ashwani Kumar, at 4.45 p.m. The SAD-BJP combine had last week given a notice of dissolution of the House to be taken up on August 8.

Ms Kaur was accompanied by general secretaries of the local unit of the party, Mr N.S. Minhas, Mr Harcharan Singh Sahni, Mr K.S. Chadha and Mr Kehar Singh, among others, when she filed the nomination.

Talking to mediapersons later Ms Kaur said she stood in the election to oppose the dissolution of the MC and it was not because of factionalism in the SAD. Mr Riar claimed that the decision on the candidature of Mr Singh was taken in consultation with the SAD general secrertary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar.

Mr Singh said he had never committed himself not to contest election and was the first one to announce his candidature and the party had only supported the resolution for the dissolution. He explained the decision regarding not to contest, propose and second and vote in the election for Mayor was only of the BJP and not of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Mr Riar said though the SAD had to support the dissolution move due to infighting in the BJP, the party had never said it would not contest the election for Mayor.

Ms Kaur claimed that she was still a member of SAD(B) and had never been expelled from the party. She would have the blessings of the party high command, she hoped, clarifying that she was not consulted on the issue of contesting the elections or dissolution of the House.

Answering questions if she would withdraw or arrive at a compromise at any stage, she said she would obey the directive of the party high command in this regard.

For the record, Ms Kaur had been saying that winning the election was not the issue, but it was opposing the move to dissolve the House and betraying the faith of the people who sent councillors for five years. “I am all for completing these five years and have accepted the challenge of shouldering the responsibility of completing the pending works,’’ she said.

Ms Kaur might have calculated that the Congress had not bound itself not to vote and a large number of nominated members would oppose the dissolution move.

A nominated councillor, Maj-Gen Rajinder Nath (retd), hailed the move of the SAD as a sensible one. He said, “This is a lesson for political parties of the stature of the BJP and the Congress, which think that if they do not contest and seek dissolution, no one else will come forward. The SAD will make best use of the vacuum created by them.’’ 


Rift puts SAD, BJP in difficult position
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The rebel Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Municipal Councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, who filed her nomination papers for the Mayor’s post today, has placed herself to get the maximum benefit of the strained relationship between the SAD and the BJP ahead of Punjab Assembly election and extract the best possible political bargain.

Ms Harjinder Kaur by contesting election for the Mayor post has positioned herself to exploit the differences between two factions of the BJP, 10 nominated members out of a house of 30 and the four Congress members who would like to embarrass the BJP and Akalis ahead of Punjab elections.

The rebel Akali leader, who had earlier contested for the post of Mayor against the local BJP strongman, Mr Gyanchand Gupta, and was defeated and won the election for Deputy Mayor’s post later, will force the two BJP groups to influence nominated members either for her or her party rival Mr Mohinder Singh.

The BJP, which has decided not to contest, second or propose anybody’s name or vote for anybody, will now have to muster support for Mr Mohinder Singh amongst the nominated members fearing that the blame for the loss of the Akali candidate will partially come to them.

The Akali Dal has supported the dissolution move of the BJP giving a signal that they would also not contest the election but changed its mind to suit one section of the BJP which had been able to persuade the party to seek dissolution of the House.

This group will now try to seek the help of the Centre to browbeat or persuade nominated members with a sop of a fresh nomination in the case of fresh election to muster their support.

If this group is not able to use the “hidden hand” for garnering support of the nominated members, then Akalis will accuse them of letting them down.

But the other BJP group which was opposed to the dissolution move and is said to be more popular amongst the nominated members would like to settle the score with the local leadership which got the party to decide dissolution to send a signal that the group had always been misguiding the party and staked even the relationship with an alliance partner for personal gains.

Ms Harjinder Kaur had said she would withdraw if the party high command asked her to do so. She seemed to have calculated that if she was asked to do so she would ask for a quid pro quo.

She may demand that her position in the party was cleared and that she was assured a party post and Councillor’s ticket in the next election.

The Congress is likely to exploit the situation in its meeting scheduled to be held on August 8, in a bid to drive a wedge between the BJP and Akalis ahead of Punjab elections and also embarrass the party locally just before the Corporation elections.

The party will see in the situation an opportunity to salvage its image sullied by the alleged involvement of the former Congress Mayor Mr Raj Kumar Goyal in a corruption case.

The local Akali unit general secretary, Mr. N. S. Minhas, opened front against Mr Riar saying that he had landed the party in a trying situation by first unilaterally deciding in favour of the dissolution of the House and then contesting the Mayoral election without holding any party meeting for such a decision.

He said the nomination of Mr Mahender Singh did not have blessing of the SAD President, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal.

A section of the BJP opposed to the dissolution move has also talked in similar terms saying that the Akalis have betrayed the alliance culture by first supporting the BJP move and then fielding a candidate in an apparent bid to ‘’sabotage the official party direction.’’

The other section of the BJP blamed those opposed to the dissolution for tacitly backing up Ms Harjinder Kaur.

Ms Harjinder Kaur might hope to get wider support from the nominated members apart from the Congress on the ground that a section of the BJP had opposed the voting right to the nominated members.


High drama marks nomination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The filing of nomination papers by Ms Harjinder Kaur was marked by high drama.

Even as the media and her partymen, who were expecting her to come, camped in the MC office all through the day, she took them by surprise when she came for filing her nomination at 4.07 p.m. She was accompanied by her husband and party general secretaries N. S. Minhas and H.S. Sahni, to the suprise of Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar.

Mr Riar was camping in the MC office, expecting her to file her nomination papers, to embarrass him as she had done earlier.

Earlier on, she was neither taking any calls on her mobile, nor giving any statements. She was making someone answer it on her behalf, saying that she was out of station and would reach the city by 3 pm. 


Illegal constructions on in periphery
PUDA plans criminal cases against violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Plots are being carved out of agricultural land and unauthorised construction activity is going on unabated in areas of Punjab in the periphery of the UT. Fresh construction activity is going on in Kansal and Nayagaon areas right under the nose of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

In certain cases the violators have started the construction activity without getting the requisite permission for change of land use from the state government and without the No-objection Certificate (NoC), mandatory for taking power connection from the electricity board. Several cases of the authority failing to act on its demolition orders passed against unauthorised structures had also come to light.

Sources in the government say that a number of people who raised construction in the periphery after the December 1998 deadline were taking advantage of absence of aerial photography of the periphery after March 1998. The National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad, had done aerial photography till March 31, 1998, on the request of the state government but then the government had extended the deadline till December 1998. Though the government was permitting change of land use for institutional and commercial purposes, no policy for change of land use in the periphery had been notified — giving an opportunity to the real estate agents to exploit the requirement of housing of unsuspecting people.

A senior official said video recording of the status of the construction was done by officials of PUDA. But the aerial photography was an authentic base to judge whether the construction was there or not. Though officials claim that no structure after the December 1998 deadline was being regularised but cases could not be ruled out. A visit of Kansal and Nayagaon area reveal that a property dealer had raised two-storeyed structure and had installed solar powered lights. Another incomplete double-storeyed structure had come up in Kansal along the road to Kaimbwala village.

A senior PUDA official said criminal cases were being filed against the violators. He said after the state electricity board had sought relaxation of norms to issue the NoC by PUDA, the latter had denied. The electricity board had been asked by the Chief Secretary to check Kundi connection in the periphery with their own resources. The officials said since the issue of construction in the periphery had been challenged by a resident of Chandigarh in the High Court, the matter was sub-judice.

Without officially commenting on the issue, officials of PUDA said the violators were raising structures at their own risk. The outcome of the court case would decide the future of the construction , said an official.


Father complains to DPI (S)
Controversy over shifting of student
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 6
Controversy over the shifting of a Class X Sikh student to another branch of same school soon after he got his hair cropped, continues with the boy’s father submitting a complaint to the Director, Public Instructions (Schools), Mr D.S. Saroya.

In his complaint, Mr Gurdeep Singh, working with the UT police, stated that Charanjit Singh got his hair cut due to medical reasons, as advised by a doctor. Going into the background, he stated that his son was medically examined after he complained of a regular headache.

Mr Saroya, when contacted, said the matter was being minutely examined by him. “Two separate meetings were held with the boy’s father and the school’s principal in an effort to resolve the issue,” he asserted. “I will meet both parties tomorrow again. It is sad that a matter involving an individual is being twisted into a communal issue”.

Justifying the decision, Principal of Shivalik Public School in Sector 41, Mr D. S. Bedi, said, “During the rule of Britishers and even after that, trimming of beard was not allowed in the Army. One could either be completely clean shaven or with unshaved beard and uncropped hair. Action has been taken so that bad impression is not conveyed to other students who are immature and are at an impressionable age.’’

Mr Bedi further said, “We have to maintain discipline and we are serious about it. Non-Sikh boys are not allowed to sport long hair for fashion. A clause in the school diary clearly mentions that non-Sikh boys should get their hair trimmed at regular intervals, while trimming of beard by Sikh boys is prohibited”.

Mr Bedi asserted that the student’s father was called to the school soon after the incident, but he failed to give a satisfactory explanation and asked us to ignore the matter. “He did not even inform us about the alleged medical advice, as reported in a section of the press,” he claimed.

He added, “The boy was allowed to attend classes in other branch of the school in SAS Nagar. Though he had flouted the rules, he was allowed to attend classes in the other school so that his studies did not suffer till he furnished the medical certificate. Instead of cooperating with the school authorities, the parents approached mediapersons. An issue has been made out of nothing”.


Battle lines drawn for PUTA poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
While three senior teachers will contest for the post of the President of Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA), two teachers have already been elected unopposed to the posts of the executive member of the body. The last day for the withdrawal of candidature was yesterday.

Mr Raunki Ram of the PU Political Science Department will fight Mr P.K. Mittal of the Zoology Department and Mr Rajeshwar Sharma of the Department of Biochemistry for the post of the chief of PUTA.

Ms Ranjana Vohra of the Department of Library and Information Science is a candidate for the post of the Vice-President of PUTA along with Mr Dhanraj Sharma of the Sanskrit Department.

Dr Sudhir Kumar of the Department of Evening Studies (English) is an aspirant for the post of the PUTA Secretary and Mr Navdeep Goyal of the Physics Department his opponent.

Mr Fateh Singh Nandel of the Department of Biophysics will contest for the post of the PUTA Joint Secretary against Ms Meena Datta of the Department of Correspondence Studies.

Mr G.S. Brar of the Department of Physical Education will be contest for the post of the PUTA Treasurer against Mr Ashwani Sharma of the Regional Resource Centre.

Ms Anu Celly of the Department of English, Mr Manjit Singh of the Department of Sociology, Mr S.K. Davesar of the School of Punjabi Studies, Mr Jeevan Kumar Sharma of the Department of German, Mr S.L. Kaushik of the Department of Public Administration and Mr Shakeel Khan of the Department of Urdu are candidates for four posts of the PUTA group I (the faculty of arts and languages) executive member.

Mr M.L. Sharma of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Mr B.K. Grover of the Department of Mathematics, Ms Promila Pathak of the Department of Botany, Ms Pushpinder Kaur of the Department of Zoology and Mr Rajat Sandhir of the Department of Biochemistry are candidates for four seats of the PUTA group II (the faculty of science and mathematics) executive member.

Ms Nandita of the Department of Education; Mr A.S. Walia, Mr G.C. Misra and Mr B.K. Rattan, all of the Department of Chemical Engineering; and Mr J.K. Chauhan of the Department of Laws are contestants for three seats of the PUTA group III (other departments) executive member.

Mr Mohammad Khalid has been elected unopposed to a post of the PUTA group IV (the Department of Evening Studies) executive member and Ms Jaspal Kaur Kang has been elected unopposed to a post of the PUTA group IV (the Department of Correspondence Studies) executive member.

The PUTA elections are to be held on August 13 in the PU auditorium. The major issues this time include some notifications by the Centre on the decisions of the Senate. These issues also include a pension scheme for university teachers, increase in the retirement age from 60 to 62 and an increase in the contributory provident fund.

The present teachers’ body has sought the processing of the 1999-2000 eligibility career advancement scheme (CAS), the allotment of vacant houses on the campus, new houses for faculty members, exposing of irregularities and an increase in the funds for improving infrastructure in the PU library and laboratories. The new team will follow up these issues.

Dr Satya Pal Gautam, a former PUTA chief, said, “Certain vested interests are trying to create mutual mistrust and hostility among various faction of the body, which is their usual practice before the elections every year. PUTA will have to be careful about it.”


Confederation of Grand Lodges formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
A Conferedation of the four Grand Lodges, called, “United Grand Lodges of India” has been formed with the signing of an agreement by the Grand Masters of the four Lodges of Upper India, Western India, South India and Eastern India.

The signatories are Dr Pritam Singh Egan, Mr Virendra B. Shah, Mr K. Aligiriswamy and Mr Om Nath Kapoor.

According to a spokesperson of the Grand Lodge, Dr Egan, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Upper India, constituted the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Eatern India at Lucknow on August 4 and installed Mr Kapoor as the Founder Grand Master.

For his 25 years of service to freemasons, Mr Kapoor was awarded the “Order of Service to Masonry”, the highest appreciation award in freemasonry by Dr Egan.

The consecration ceremony was performed by Dr Narender Vasishta and attended by Mr Ajit Singh Raunta, past Grand Master from Chandigarh, besides other Grand Masters and freemasons from all over the country.


Fire in Govt Textbook Press
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
A major fire tragedy was averted today due to the timely action taken by firemen and staff of the Government Textbook Press, Industrial Area, Phase-I. The fire, which broke out at 4 pm on a first floor room of the building storing waste paper cuttings, resulted in minor losses.

Sources in the fire department said the fire was caused by welding sparks, which fell on heaps of paper stocked in the room. Welding of windows by CPWD personnel was going on at that time. The entire staff of the office got into action to control the fire. It was, however, the firemen who battled the dense smoke, which had engulfed the area in no time and finally extinguished the fire.

Three fire-tenders, one each from Sector17, 32, and Industrial Area-I, and a fire bouser from Sector 32, were used to extinguish fire. The firemen broke open the windows to ease out the smoke and then doused the flames. They were able to control the fire in less than an hour.

A visit to the area revealed that had the fire spread over, the entire building and the machines, which were lying on the ground floor, would have got damaged.

The manager of the press, Mr T. Banerjee, appreciated the timely efforts of the firemen. He said his own staff also played a vital role. He said only a part of the waste paper cutting stored in a corner of the room was destroyed.


I want my daughter back’
Nishikant Dwivedi

Sangariwala (Kharar), August 6
Controversy shrouds ‘‘adoption’’ of 11- year- old Draupdi. Four years after handing over the girl’s custody to Mr Som Nath of Mullanpur-Garibdas village, her mother Ms Sharda Devi, a resident of this village, now wants her back. Som Nath’s family has, however, sent the girl to their childless relative at Jalandhar.

Ms Sharda Devi alleges that instead of returning her daughter, Som Nath was asking for her second daughter Rekha (11) for ‘‘adoption’’ by his another relative in Mumbai or Rs 1 lakh, which the family claims to have spent on rearing Draupdi during the past four years. Ms Sharda says that she does not have the capacity to pay Rs 1 lakh.

Denying allegations, Mr Som Nath claims, ‘‘My relatives had agreed to return the girl after the panchayats of the two villages met on July 22.

Ms Sharda, however, issued a legal notice to them the very next day’’. He also refused to have demanded Rs 1 lakh.

Ms Sharda gave her daughter to Mr Som Nath in 1997. ‘‘I was working as a maid at Som Nath’s house.

The family asked me to give Draupdi to them for rearing’’, informed Ms Sharda. According to her she was very poor during those days and she agreed to the proposal.

When asked why she wants her daughter back after four years, she said that about a month ago Som Nath asked her to give her another daughter Rekha Devi (11) to one of his relatives in Mumbai. She claims that Som Nath had offered her Rs 5,000 in lieu of the girl. ‘‘The new proposal irked me and I got suspicious’’, said Ms Sharda.

Ms Sharda, mother of five children from her two marriages, earns her livelihood by selling milk and owns a house in the village. She says during the past four years, she had met her daughter only thrice.

But Som Nath had another story to tell. According to him, Sharda Devi herself had approached him regarding her second daughter. ‘‘One of my relatives in Surat was looking for a babysitter and I asked Sharda to send Rekha to Surat’’. About the Rs 5,000 offer, he said, ‘‘I told her that she would be getting Rs 500 per month as her daughter would be working in Surat’’.

He also claimed that his relatives would also take care of the education of Rehka.

When asked whether he has demanded Rs 1 lakh for returning of Draupdi, he denied making any such demand and added,‘‘The couple has spend a lot on the education of the girl and my relatives must be paid back’’.

Recently Ms Sharda approached the SSP of Ropar, who reportedly directed the Mullanpur-Garibdas police to look into the matter.

Regarding allowing Ms Sharda to meet Draupdi, Som Nath said he had no problem if Sharda met Draupdi. ‘‘But she cannot make it an issue as she had committed her daughter to my relative on papers’’. Ms Sharda counters his claim by saying, ‘‘I was asked to sign some papers. Being an illiterate I signed the papers as I was told that my girl would be returned to me after few years or whenever I wanted her back’’. She claims that the documents were not got registered.


Villagers-Forest Dept dispute to be resolved
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
A solution to the long-standing dispute over 39 acres in possession of villagers of Bir Ghaggar and residents of Gate Number 1 in Chandimandir seems to be in sight.

Agreeing to return double the area under their occupation to the Haryana Forest Department, the villagers of Bir Ghaggar said a resolution to this effect would be passed by the gram sabha within a week’s time.

At a meeting held at the complex of the Haryana Forest Department, here today, the committee which met the villagers to resolve the stalemate over the land dispute between the villagers and the Forest Department, said the land would be identified and purchased by the villagers themselves.

Sources said it was also agreed that the entire cost of plantation on this new land purchased by the villagers after pooling their own resources would be funded by them. In addition, all court cases would be withdrawn as soon as the resolution was worked out.

The representatives of the villagers said a committee would be constituted to carry on transactions and formalities with the administration about purchase and transfer of land in the name of the Forest Department. This committee would have the approval of the gram sabha.

The members who attended the meeting include, the District Town Planner, Ms Geeta Prakash, the District Development and Panchayat Officer, Mr Rajesh Jogpal, the District Revenue Officer, Mr H.S. Sihag, while the meeting was chaired by Mr D.S. Barrak, Conservator of Forests.

It maybe recalled that the residents had blocked the Kalka-Panchkula highway to protest against the demolitions in Bir Ghaggar by the district administration. Following this, it was decided that the matter would be sorted out with the villagers in table-talks between the two parties, the Forest department and the villagers, for an amicable solution.


Stray dogs to be sterilised

The menace of stray dogs has at last caught the attention of the municipal council. At its recent meeting, the council decided to launch a drive to sterilise stray dogs with the help of People for Animals (PFA) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Citing the example of Chandigarh where financial assistance was given to NGO’s to sterilise stray dogs, the president of the municipal councils, Mr Kulwant Singh, said a similar practice would be started in the town. A target of sterilising at least five stray dogs every week had been set. But the council is finding itself helpless in controlling the menace of pigs.

A five-month old case of involvement of the municipal council staff was revived when the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Local Government Department recommended action against a Junior Assistant, Mr Sucha Singh under Section 41 of the Punjab Municipal Act. Termination of a daily wage worker, Rakesh Kumar has also been recommended by the CVO. On March 28 last, the employees at the Sohana octroi post had allowed a truck load of plastic granules to pass without paying octroi. However, no action has been taken against the owner of the factory who had received the consignment. Members of the opposition group in the municipal council said a penalty of over Rs 2 lakh had to be realised from the industrialist. 


Chandigarh’s garden sector
Tribune News Service

Sector 16 in the northern part of the city, can aptly be described as the garden sector.

It is a morning walker’s delight as it contains two most important gardens of the city — the Rose Garden and Shanti Kunj. This, coupled with its central location, makes it an ideal sector to live in.

Housing eminent persons such as judges, lawyers, bureaucrats and businessmen, the sector can boast of better civic amenities than most of the other sectors. According to the residents, the supply of water and power is satisfactory. Most of the streetlights function normally. The roads are in a good condition.

The lawns in the bungalows are well-maintained. However, as usual, the maintenance of open spaces which are looked after by the Municipal Corporation leaves much to be desired. Wild growth has overwhelmed the open areas. Congress grass grows unchecked, exposing the residents to health hazards.

Another problem which plagues this sector is the flooding of its low-lying areas. Even a small shower is enough to flood these areas. The situation become worse during the monsoon season.

The market of this sector has its own problems. Since the shops face a major road, parking of vehicles remains a major problem. In the evening, haphazard parking blocks almost half the road, making it an accident-prone area. The use of residential buildings for commercial purposes continues unabated as the authorities concerned seem to have decided to look the other way.

The sector has almost all facilities. While it has the General Hospital, the PGI is not far off. Similarly, the Inter-State Bus Terminus is also close by and the same is the case with the major educational institutions such as Panjab University, Government College and Government College for Girls which are both in Sector 11.

But what makes this sector stand apart from other sectors is the location of the Rose Garden and Shanti Kunj. Hundreds of persons, many of them tourists, throng these gardens all through the day. Maintained well by the horticulture wing of the Chandigarh Administration, the Rose Garden is the venue of the annual “Festival of Gardens” in February-March. This festival has been listed in the national calendar of festivals by the Union Ministry of Tourism.

The cricket stadium is another feature of this sector. This stadium which in the past has been the venue of some major matches including a semi-final of the 1987 Reliance World Cup, now holds only minor matches. The Punjab Cricket Association stadium at SAS Nagar attracts all the major events. However, the Cricket Academy in the Sector 16 stadium is quite popular.


Residents explain problems
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
Complaints of erratic electricity supply, frequent trippings and snapped telephones lines dominated “khula darbar” of the Deputy Commissioner at the Community Centre in Sector 25 here today.

Attended mostly by residents of Panchkula extension, the need for a police post in the area was a priority and repeated complaints of bad roads were taken up with the district administration and HUDA officials.

However, none of the complaints could be disposed of on the spot. While officials of the Electricity Department explained that the replacement of non-functional transformer would take at least a fortnight, HUDA Administrator, Arun Gupta said that the bad condition of roads would also be taken up.

The programme lasted just over an hour with the officials in a hurry to leave for the venue where the Chief Minister’s wife, Ms Sneh Lata Chautala, and her son, Mr Abhey Chautala, MLA, were scheduled to lay the foundation stone of a hospital.

Irked by the tendency of complainants to begin sermonising, the administration, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, repeatedly tried to appeal to them to point out specific problems. Later, she left the venue after a resident of Sector 25 persistently pointed out the problem of pot-holed roads.

Mr Gupta followed suit after residents of the sector, looking for an assurance of being handed over a piece of land for a temple, entered into an argument with him. Demanding that he should give them a written assurance, they expressed dissatisfaction with the way the case was being handled.

A few minutes after his departure, the entire programme folded up and the residents returned dissatisfied.


MP to lead ‘jail bharo’ campaign
Tribune News Service

Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, president of the Yuva Lok Jan Shakti, addresses a press conference in Chandigarh on Monday. Mr Jalil Ahmed is also seen in the picture.
Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, president of the Yuva Lok Jan Shakti, addresses a press conference in Chandigarh on Monday. Mr Jalil Ahmed is also seen in the picture. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, August 6
Mr Ram Chander Paswan, MP, general secretary of the Lok Janshakti Party, will lead a “jail bharo” campaign of the party here on August 9.

Announcing this here today, the president of the local unit of the Yuva Lok Janshakti, Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, said party activists would assemble at the circus ground in Sector 17 and march to Matka Chowk and later submit a memorandum to the UT Administrator.

Demanding an end to the contract system and privatisation, Mr Sharma called upon the Chandigarh Administration to simplify the procedure regarding the issuance of certificates to SC.



Demolition issue raised in LS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The issue relating to the additions and alterations made in the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) dwellings echoed in the Lok Sabha today.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, raised the issue and said the allottees were being harassed just because they had made some “need-based” additions and alterations in their houses in the absence of any guidelines by the board. “In several cases, they had to do so because of the poor quality of the original work,” said Mr Bansal.

He said, now, after over a decade of inaction, the CHB was threatening to demolish the added and altered portions and refusing to accept that architecture should move with time. This had caused widespread anxiety among allottees. Their woes had been multiplied by the insertions of unrealistic provisions in the rules relating to the transfer of proprietary rights, he said.

Mr Bansal said no discussions had been held with representatives of the residents federations before demolition order. He urged the government to call a meeting of the representatives of the federations and the UT Administration to sort out the matter.


Long-cherished desire fulfilled
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
“I am today, what I had always desired to be, an entrepreneur”, says Venu Kashyap, Director, Tata Infotech Professional Learning Centre, Sector 34.

Her experience as production engineer in two companies for 15 years( she worked as Head of the R&D and also as Management Representative) was enough to make her realise that reporting to a boss and punching her card was not what she wanted to do in life. She had to be her own boss . “When this opportunity came my way, I grabbed it”.

Today , the centre she opened just four months ago has more than 200 students and a turn over of almost Rs 3 lakh. “Software is what I have been connected with right from the day I started working. My specialisation in Finance (she has done MBA from Punjab University,) is also helping me a lot”. In today’s scenario, when softwares is the in- thing, she could have also chosen something like software development. “But I wanted to get into education, the point where software development starts”, she says. She does plan to get into other software related fields , but only after some time.

Having specialisation in the related field has helped a lot, says Venu, adding that today her centre which as per company standards is ISO 9001 certified, can even pass the ISO 9002 test.

The present Professional Learning Centre in Sector 34 , which is a franchise of Tata Infotech is offering computer based as well as instructor led training. This is one of the few centres that offer both kinds of training. Now, when many computer centres have closed or are on the verge of closing, this one , she claims , is doing really well. “The faculty is from Tata Infotech, which ensures that the employee turn-over is not much, thus giving a sense of security to the students also”.

A successful business person has to give personal attention to the minutest of the details in the organisation. “Dealing properly with employees, giving them a work-friendly atmosphere is important apart from managing other things.”

Being a woman entrepreneur is a wonderful experience for her and there have been no problems. “It is your own attitude that matters”, she says. Environment in which you are brought up , to a large extent, decides your confidence levels and your ability to deal with people, she feels.

However, not all are lucky enough to get the right kind of environment. “Entrepreneurship development programmes for women can help promoting the spirit of enterprise in women.” 


Exhibition on road safety begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Bhim Sain Bassi, today inaugurated an exhibition on road safety and a stall set up by the Police Family Welfare Society at the Sector 17 Piazza.

This is for the first time that the Police Family Welfare Society has set up its stall selling household goods. These goods have been manufactured by the wives and daughters of serving, retired and deceased police personnel, who work from the Police Lines.

The stall houses various items prepared by the members of the society like quilt covers, napkins, handkerchiefs, aprons, pillow covers, bed sheets, towels and cushion covers. The proceeds from the sale of these goods will be deposited in the Police Welfare Fund to be utilised for the welfare of police personnel and their families.


Hike in water tariff criticised
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
The proposed hike in water tariff by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) was criticised by the Panchkula Residents Welfare Association, Sector 16, here today.

In a press note general secretary of the association, Mr Subhash Papneja, said the public was already overburdened with the taxes. The increase in water and sewerage charges would further hit the average person, he said. 


Harassment for dowry alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The police has booked Harjeev Singh Bhurjee, his father Harjeet Singh, mother Mala and sisters Kanika and Malvika on the charge of mentally and physically harassing Anupreet for getting ‘insufficient’ dowry.

In an FIR registered against them at the police station of Sector 34, it has been alleged that the accused had cheated the complainant, Anupreet, by holding back the facts of Harjeev’s previous marriage and an issue from that marriage in Finland.

She has also alleged that she was physically and mentally harassed by her in-laws for bringing ‘insufficient’ dowry and that her parents where forced many a time to fulfil their demands for dowry during their four-month marriage.

Harjeev and Harjeet were also booked by the Mohali police recently when their arms manufacturing company, Hesbee, which also has units at Chandigarh and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, was found manufacturing arms without any licence at its local unit in Industrial Area, Phase 1.

The activity of manufacturing parts of .12 bore guns and air guns at the unit was going on for the past 11 years without any licence.

Vehicle theft
Two cases of vehicle theft have been reported in different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

A Maruti car ( CH-01T-0083) was stolen from the Burail residence of Mr Babu Lal Arora during the intervening night of August 4 and 5. In another case, a cycle was stolen from the Sector 23 Government Model High School .

In both the cases, the police has registered FIRs under section 379 of the IPC.

Liquor seized
Rameshwari, a resident of Sector 29- B, was arrested from the Sector 29 market and 40 pouches of Hero whisky were seized from her. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Two booked
The police has booked a resident of Sector 36 on the charge of defacing public property by putting up an advertisement on an electricity pole near Government College, Sector 42.

In another case, owner of the Hotel Hospitality Service Training Centre, Hamirpur, has been booked for defacing public property by pasting an advertisement of his centre on an electricity pole near Government College, Sector 42.

Five arrested
The local police has arrested five persons, Ram Brij, Ram Bhaj, Deolash, Lal Maj and Joginder, from Colony No. 5 on the apprehension of breach of peace.


Theft case
The police has arrested two employees of the Cepham Milk Specialities Limited, a milk products manufacturing unit, on the charge of stealing goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh from the factory premises here today.

In a press note Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP, said the accused — Satpal of Behabalpur and Satpal of Bataur villages near Chandimandir in Panchkula — had been arrested on the complaint of the factory management. The management had filed a complaint with the police that some of their employees had stolen goods including some pumps, filters, balls, plugs and steel body trunks from the factory premises on July 31.

Mr Bhullar said the accused had confessed the crime and disclosed that they had hidden the goods near an electricity power house on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road. The police had recovered the goods from the spot, he claimed.


Five booked
Five persons, including Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Phase 2 were booked for assaulting the son of Mr Suresh Kumari, a resident of Phase 2. A case under Section 448 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Dowry case
Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Rajpura, complained to the police that her in-laws in Phase 1 here were harassing her to bring dowry. A case under Section 498 of the IPC has been registered.


3 held in boy’s kidnapping case
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 6
Mystery shrouding the disappearance of an 11-year-old boy, a resident of Bartana village, has been solved following the arrest of three persons allegedly involved in his kidnapping on June 6.

The accused allegedly kidnapped Davinder from the village with the intention to sell him for Rs 20,000 to an Assam-based couple. The accused reportedly threw the body after strangling the boy in Harhar Ghar, a canal, in Bihar as they failed to sell him due to the fear of a Punjab police team which was after them.

Though the police team, which was investigating the matter, failed to trace out the body, it arrested the main accused — Jassi Lal and his two accomplices, Laddu Lal and Vinod Kumar — after one month of the incident. The three have been arrested under Sections 302, 364, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The accused had also disclosed that the boy was thrown into the canal after strangling him on June 18 night.

The police party was able to arrest the main accused, Jassi Lal, as Vinod Kumar, an ice-cream vendor in Bartana, who was arrested by the police on the complaint of the villagers and the parents of the boy, gave the clue about Davinder.

The villagers had complained to the police that Vinod Kumar lured the boy in the greed of a free ice-cream and later passed on the boy to his accomplice. On interrogation Vinod disclosed that Jassi Lal, who used to be an ice-cream vendor in Abheypur village in Panchkula some years ago, had taken the boy to the house of their Saharanpur-based common friend, Nathu Lal.

Following this the police raided Nathu Lal’s house in Saharanpur and found that Jassi Lal had taken the boy to Bitoli village near Chhindhwara in Bihar. The police was unable to nab the main accused there as he had taken shelter in a nearby village after leaving Bitoli village. Finally the accused was arrested from there.

It may be recalled that son of Mr Sham Lal, Davinder Kumar (11), a student of Class III of Government High School, Bartana, was reported missing after he went to the market on June 6 and did not return home.


Owner of detergent unit held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
Acting on a tip off, the local police today arrested the owner of a detergent powder manufacturing unit on allegations of selling the same under branded names.

According to sources in the police department, 40 packets of ‘Nirma’, 42 packets of ‘Fena’ and 50 packet of ‘Lovely’ were recovered from the factory in Phase I of the Industrial Area in Chandigarh after a raid.

Accused Rajinder Kumar of Sector 9 here, said sources, had been booked for cheating and other offences under Sections 420, 482, 484 and 486 of the Indian Penal Code.

Confirming the registration of the case, Superintendent of police, Manoj Yadav, when contacted, said further investigation into the matter was on.

He said the police was exploring the possibility of booking the accused under the provisions of the Patent and Copy Right Act as well. 


Cable operators’ merger
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
In reaction to the formation of residents’ body to take up the issue of hike in cable charges, the cable operators of Manimajra and Panchkula have merged, today, and elected a new executive body.

The operators said tariff hike was inevitable in view of the unprecedented hike of tariff by the pay channels. “We began operating with Rs 100 as cable charges in 1991. Since then, a number of pay channels have been added to the evergrowing list of channels being provided by us,’’ one of them said.

In a press statement, they said at present the number has come up to 24 channels and operators were paying Rs 140 to the pay channels in addition to the other expenditure.

Saying that the increase in cost of channels was necessary to meet the expenditure, the association said it would meet the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, in this regard and explain their view-point.

The following have been elected office-bearers of the association: president: Mr Rajesh Sodhi; vice-president: Mr Binder Bajwa; general-secretary: Mr Mayank Bansal; secretary: Mr Munish Nayyar; and treasurer — Mr Rajesh Sharma.


Drink launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Models, dazzling lights of disco and youngsters dancing to fusion of remix music marked the launch of ‘‘Bacardi Lim’on’’ in the city over the weekend. The company hosted two parties and the city youth thronged there to dance to the tunes of music and taste the drink. The first launch party was held at “Blues” and the second one followed the next day in “Jail House Rock”.

Models from Delhi — Swareena, Aarti, Seitu and Lada — shaked a leg with the youth at the parties. The drink is targetted at new generation that is why a launch at a disco, explained Mr Amit Lamba, Area Manager, Promotions, Bacardi Martini Limited. 


Subzi Mandi traders to observe strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
A strike will be observed in the Grain Market and the Subzi Mandi in Sector 26 tomorrow in protest against the decision of the Chandigarh Administration to set up barriers in the mandis.

A protest rally will also be held outside the office of the Market Committee on the call of the Grain Market Subzi Mandi Joint Action Committee.

Meanwhile, the BJP, while condemning the setting up of the barriers, alleged that the Administration had taken the decision to malign the image of the Central Government, which had taken a number of steps to free traders from many restrictions.

A press note alleged that the setting up of the barriers would increase corruption and the customers would face inconvenience. Demanding the withdrawal of the order, the party wanted that the Administration should immediately make arrangements for proper cleanliness, roads and sewerage in the mandis.

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