Tuesday, August 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn turns the heat on MLAs
No ACs in hostels till dues are paid
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh Administration has refused to take up fresh development work in the MLA hostels of Sectors 3 and 4 here, saying that the Punjab and Haryana Governments will have to clear the maintenance dues first.

Both buildings having 112 flats each owned by the UT Administration. While the Punjab MLAs occupy 72 flats, those of Haryana have the rest.

The two state governments and the Administration have been fighting over the flats for a long time now. The Administration is not energising about 100 air-conditioners that have recently been installed in the hostels, saying that a new transformer and cables have to be set up for the purpose. The UT officials say, “ACs draw a great deal of power and the present load needs to be enhanced. In the Sector 4 hostel, a 145 KW load needs to be added to the existing load of 122 KW. In the Sector 3 hostel, a 40 KW load needs to be added to the existing load of 92 KW. All this work will cost about Rs 10 lakh.”

The Administration has said that it will not energise the ACs unless the Rs 60 lakh arrears are paid up. It also wants that the state governments should first shell out Rs 10 lakh for the transformer and the other works. Anyone seeking a load enhancement has to pay up for it and state governments are no exception.

The UT also plans to make each state pay more per flat. At present, a day’s stay in the hostel costs an MLA Rs 6. In September 2000, the Administration wanted this cost to be raised to Rs 30, but the decision could not be implemented for some reason.

In April, the Administration had asked each MLA to pay Rs 100 for a day’s stay in the hostel, but the state Assemblies had rejected this move.

On the issue of the rent, an official said, “Rs 100 is the least which is required to meet the costs of maintenance, power bills and water bills. It is the Administration’s property and it reserves the right to fix the rent. The state governments can provides their MLAs with free accommodation, but they will have to pay us if they need the hostels.”

The issue is to be raised at a meeting soon as the MLAs want the ACs to be switched on in this weather.


Militants’ attacks suspected: security beefed up for ID
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Following intelligence reports of suspected attacks by activists of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and various J and K militant organisations during the Independence Day celebrations, the local police has beefed up security all over the Union Territory.

According to the information, reports from various intelligence agencies have suggested that the activists of the KZF, which has its base in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir and finds support from the Kashmiri Sikh community, is likely to strike in the city.

Following this, the police has beefed up its security in the Transport Area and the antecedents of truck drivers and cleaners, coming from the terrorist-affected state, are being closely checked. Also, the persons reaching the city from Jammu and Kashmir in buses are being closely watched.

The intelligence reports also caution against possible attacks by Kashmiri militant organisations, especially Hizb-ul-Mujaheeddin and Lashkar-e-Toiba.

The police is now keeping a close watch near the mosques and madrasas in the city. The personnel deployed with the Crime Branch Operation Cell have reportedly conducted surveillance at more than 100 such places.

Also, the police is keeping a check on ‘sleepers’ (members of militant outfits, who remain inactive for years altogether as common people) in and around the city.

These ‘sleepers’ have earlier also been used by various militant outfits against each other during the days of terrorism. It is learnt that at least 60 such persons are being watched by the police.

With a large number of militants now sending feelers to the Punjab police and expressing their desire to return to the mainstream after facing trial here, following the return of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and Dr. Jagjit Singh Chohan, the police is now worried about the proactive role that these ‘sleepers’ could play.

This exercise is being carried out by the Crime Branch Operation Cell, Chandigarh Crime Branch, staff of the Police Control Room, besides the staff from the police stations concerned. Highly placed sources in the police say that they are laying more emphasis on night patrolling.

As many as 28 officers of the rank of Inspectors are deployed for night patrolling each day along with most of the 12 Deputy Superintendents of Police. It is learnt that more than 200 cops are assisting the officials in order to make their presence felt in the city.

Sources in the police say that with the attack at the Jammu Railway Station which left nine dead, followed by the blast in South Delhi, the city is being considered as a vulnerable place - courtesy its strategic location. Thus, the police is leaving nothing to chance.


Security beefed up in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Security has been beefed up all over the city on the eve of Independence Day. The police is making its presence felt at all sensitive installations, especially the bus stand and railway station.

In view of the celebrations at the Parade Ground and “At Home” celebrations at Punjab Raj Bhavan, the city traffic police has imposed traffic restrictions at various places on August 15. Commuters have been advised to use alternate routes.

The restrictions have been imposed on roads around the Parade Ground in Sector 17 as well as the Punjab Raj Bhavan.

The road stretch from Sectors 16/17/22/23 roundabout up to the small rotary near Gurdial Singh Petrol pump, Sector 22-A on Udyog Path from Sector 16/17 crossing up to the Sectors 16/17/ 22/ 23 roundabout on Jan Marg, and from Lyons Restaurant light point up to Parade Ground will remain closed to public from 7 a.m. onwards till the function is over.

Near the Punjab Raj Bhavan the road stretch from the roundabout of Sectors 5/6/7/8 up to T-point near Golf Club and from T-point near Punjab Raj Bhavan towards the residence of the Adviser to the Administrator, will remain closed to the general public from 2 p.m. onwards till the function is over.

Invitees to the Raj Bhawan with pink car parking labels shall park their vehicles in the parking area on the rear side of the Adviser’s residence, while the self-driven cars of senior citizens with pink car parking labels shall be provided parking towards the erstwhile mini zoo.

The invitees with the green car parking labels have been asked to use the road turn from Sectors 7/8 onwards for parking in the area adjacent to the Adviser’s residence.

Even near the Parade Ground, the traffic police has banned all parking in front of shops in Sector 22-A market from 7 a.m. onwards. The vehicles of VIPs and other invitees have been allowed in front of this market after entering from Sectors 16/17/22 roundabout on Udyog Path.

The general public has been allowed parking in Sector 22-B, Sector 23-B, on the rear side of Neelam Cinema and in the parking area of the Football Stadium and Circus Ground in Sector 17.


I-Day celebrations at Golf Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Independence Day will be celebrated this year also at the Chandigarh Golf Club. The main function will be on August 14 and will include prize distribution for the Independence Day Cup Golf Tournament winners and runners-up. There will also be prizes for the Independence Day Losers Plate winners and runners-up.

The tournament which started on July 3 will culminate with the finals tomorrow followed by a dance and dinner in the evening. The dance will start at 8 p.m. and will continue into the wee hours of the next morning.


Rain floods city streets
Drainage system unable to bear the pressure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Heavy rain lashed the city and its environs early this evening, flooding streets and disrupting normal life and bringing to the fore once again the inefficiency of the drainage system.

The skies, which were generally cloudy throughout the day, became heavily overcast in the evening, resulting in a torrential downpour which lasted for over an hour. According to the local meteorological office, the city received 7 mm rain till 5.30 pm. Besides, the city also experienced sharp showers last night, with 10 mm rain being recorded till 8.30 this morning.

Low-lying areas and parking lots were inundated and streets turned into rivulets, affecting a large number of office-goers and commuters. Water logging on major roads led to a large number of vehicles and two-wheelers being stranded, resulting in a traffic chaos at several places.

A stretch of the National Highway- 21 passing through the city was hard hit, with traffic jams at several places. The Sector 21-22-34-35 roundabout, Kisan Bhavan roundabout and the Sector 20-30-32-33 roundabout were particularly hard hit. The road dividing Sector 21 and 22 was flooded.

Even the Madhya Marg, which normally remains clear of water, was flooded. Several inches of water collected around the road berms, while roundabouts mirrored a sorry of the state of the drainage system in the city. Slow carriage ways along the Madhya Marg as well as parking lots outside showrooms on the road were full of water. The Sector 7-19-26-27 roundabout was heavily flooded.

At places, the water level reached above the floor of small-sized cars, adding to the misery of car owners. A large number of scooters parked in inundated areas refused to start, while many two-wheelers had to be dragged through flooded streets as their engines seized due to rain water.

A report from Sector 44 said that the area around the St Joseph School and the sector church was heavily flooded, while residents of Sector 32 said that digging trenches and removing vegetation by the MC had resulted in rain water unable to flow away, thereby inundating the area.


Beware! A little monster is around
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
Though it is an “off-season” for the aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the dengue fever with its deadly bite, a recent survey in the district after a death in Rewari showed mosquito presence in 11.71 per cent of the houses that were surveyed. This high figure has made the health authorities scurry to find a solution.

Insect collectors surveyed 640 houses and 777 containers past month and found the house index to be a high 11.7 per cent and the container index to be 9.65 per cent. If the house index is 25 per cent or more, the situation is considered alarming.

“For July, this is a rather high figure. Usually, the number of mosquitoes increases this much by August end or September. The season has not even set in, yet the situation is not good and may become worse if preventive measures are not taken soon,” said Dr H.C. Nagpal, Director Health Services. Expecting a dengue strike, the authorities have planned various awareness drives and given the task of educating the public to 50 employees.

How to beat aedes

  • Check the stagnation of fresh water.
  • Change water in coolers and utensils regularly
  • Carry out fogging in high risk zones.
  • Spray larvicide oil on stagnant water.
  • Consult only a qualified medical practitioner in case of fever.
  • Wear full-sleeved clothes and long dresses to keep the limbs covered.
  • Use mosquito coils, vapour mats, repellents and nets.

Aedes breeds only in fresh water and attacks in day, so, doctors advise everyone not to let water get accumulated anywhere for more than a week. Regular changing of the water in coolers and utensils and not allowing water to get accumulated in abandoned tyres is the only way to keep the fever away.

Initially, fogging drives were undertaken as soon as the presence of aedes was detected. “Frequent fogging makes aedes get immune to the chemical, which then become ineffective, so, educating the public is a better option.

We will also spray larvicide oil where water has accumulated and this will be done soon,” Dr Nagpal said.

Dr Nagpal said that treating the fever and the resultant body aches through self-prescription with Aspirins could further worsen a patient’s condition. “This usually leads to excessive bleeding and loss of plasma. The only treatment in case of a dengue attack is to take fluids in adequate quantity and no medicine that has not been prescribed by a qualified doctor,” he said.

Dr Nagpal does not advise blood transfusion in case of a dengue attack unless there is an emergency. He said, in many cases, blood transfusion had resulted in damage to the liver and the patients contracting the Hepititis C virus.


New uniform code peeves Army nurses
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
With the uniform of nursing officers serving with the Military Nursing Services (MNS) once again in for a change, a fresh controversy has arisen over the issue. Besides the change, it is the manner and duration of wearing the new uniform which is now peeving the “Florence Nightingales” of the Indian Army.

The new dress code, while involving additional expenses, will require them to change their uniform on reporting for duty and while leaving, which could be several times a day. Added to this is the “loss” of military dignity which the present olive green uniforms brought them about a couple of years ago.

The uniform of nurses was changed in 1999 from the western-style white blouses, skirts and stockings to olive green shirts and trousers as are worn by regular Army personnel. Starched white veils too, were replaced by dark blue berets bearing the MNS regimental crest.

The new dress designed by Army headquarters will now be a combination of both. Earlier this year, there had been a move to revert back to the white blouses and skirts, which had drawn considerable flak from the nurses, who wanted to continue with the olive green.

The new dress code entails wearing a long white full front open coat with ordinary buttons, worn over olive green trousers. Black shoes and socks are to be worn.

The coat, which will be “well fitting catering for the flexibility which may be required for ladies,” will have a waist band, pleats and shoulder straps. Cherry-red epaulettes bearing brass badges of rank and MNS title will be worn over shoulder straps. No head gear is to be worn with the coat. Metal collar dogs, standard name tags and ribands will be worn.

While nursing officers would continue to wear the present olive green shirts and trousers when not performing professional duties, they are to change while in contact with patients.

According to a letter (No.B/42706/MNS/AG/CW-1) circulated to all Army commands by the Adjutant General’s Branch a few days ago, the new dress code, for which approval of the competent authority has been accorded, will be applicable from September 1.

In February this year, the Director-General, Armed Forces, Medical Services, Lieut-Gen R.K. Jetley, had recommended that the uniform of MNS officers while working in hospital wards and departments be of white colour. The type of dress, whether it be a skirt, saree or salwar-kameez was to be decided by the Additional Director General MNS, once the change was approved.

The reasons for change cited by the DGAFMS was the olive green dress hindered movements and was not patient-friendly.


CTCC meeting postponed till August 16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, to take action against two councillors who had defied the party whip, was today deferred to August 16 as the Acting Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, denied charges of indiscipline and questioned the party line on the Mayoral election saying it was meant to help the Akalis.

‘‘The reply of Acting Mayor and party councillor, Mr Kala, reached us in the evening and will be examined by the disciplinary action committee of the party on August 16,’’ The CTCC President, Mr B.B. Bahl, told The Tribune here today.

Mr Kala, while exposing contradictions in the statements of party President, said when the meeting on August 8 had decided the party would not support any candidate, how come instructions were given to support the rebel Akali candidate, Ms Harjinder Kaur, decision on which was verbally communicated.

He denied that he had shouted slogans against Ms Sonia Gandhi, the local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and the party. He said he respected all these persons and Mr Bahl.

Another party councillor, Ms Sunita, who had also been issued a show-cause notice for not being present in the Mayoral election meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) on August 10 as directed by the party whip, had been given seven-days’ time.

Ms Sunita had indicated that she was hospitalised on the same day and formal reply was yet to reach Mr Bahl.

The crisis in the BJP which resurfaced yesterday with a section of the party launching a campaign to dislodge the local unit president, Mr. Dharampal Gupta, indicating that the a group of eight councillors would meet the national party President, Mr Janakrishnamurthy, on Tuesday, remained on hold as appointment for the group had not yet materialised.

Another section of the BJP backing Mr Gupta, had already approached the central leadership on the issue and had apprised it of the alleged objectionable activities of the president and his group.

The faction-ridden local Akali Dal unit today witnessed two of its ousted general secretaries, Mr N.S. Minhas and Mr H.S. Sahni challenging the authority of their president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, to suspend them from the membership of the party and to remove them this authority was only vested in the Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

The duo, joined by certain other executive members in a bid to show strength, warned Mr Riar that if he continued with ‘dictatorial’ style of functioning, they would launch a campaign to removed him and approach Mr Badal in this regard.

The group had already sought time from Mr Badal in this regard and was likely to be heard tomorrow.

The rebel Akali candidate for Mayoral election, Ms Harjinder Kaur, and two her supporter general secretaries, today met the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, to demand reconvening of the Mayoral election meeting at the earliest.

They were told that the legal opinion on the issue had been sought and action would be in accordance with the law. The removed general secretaries said that they were not issued any notices nor was there any general House meeting called for the purpose so action was illegal.


Police medals for 10 officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
On the eve of Independence Day, the Administrator, Chandigarh, has awarded police medals to 10 officials for meritorious services. Five Head Constables, one Assistant Sub Inspector and four Sub Inspectors of the Chandigarh police, posted in various branches of the police comprise this list.

According to an official press release, these medals have been awarded to them in recognition of hard work, dedication to duty and excellent performance in various fields. All these officials have put in more than 15 years' of service and have unblemished service record.

This proposal was sent by the UT IGP, Mr. B.S. Bassi, which was accepted by the Administration. Those who have been awarded the medals are: SI Devinder Kumar in the CID branch , who was promoted as a SI in 1991. He has spent long years in Special Branch and helped collect important information which helped the police in planning major law and order arrangements.

SI Tripta Kumari, posted in the Police Lines, has served in various branches, including the Crime Against Women Cell. She is also an excellent shooter.

SI Jarnail Singh of the Crime Branch, has been awarded the medal for his commendable service during militancy when he had helped in various operations in militancy.

SI Bishi Ram in Sector 19 Police Station had also helped solve various sensational cases, including the murder of Ms Usha Grover, whose skeleton was discovered by the police from her Sector 18 residence.

ASI Daya Ram, posted in the Regional Training Centre, has done a commendable job in training and helped in maintaining discipline among the trainees.

HC Rajinder Kumar, reader to SSP, HC Des Raj, HC Praveen Kumar, Computer Section, HC Pahhu Lal, accountants branch and HC Des Raj in Traffic police, have also been chosen for these awards.


Zoo staff ‘exposed’ to lion attack
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, August 13
The Chhat Bir Zoo cleaning staff was today ‘‘nearly exposed’’ to lioness attack after they spotted a lion cub in the Lion Safari after the big cats were moved to their ‘‘houses’’ this morning.

‘‘When the staff spotted the cub they feared that its mother must be around after which we ran for our lives,” a cleaning staff member said.

The staff then again entered the safari riding an elephant in search of the mother of the cub.

The incident indicated that the zoo authorities seemed to have lost the count of lions and their cubs which could have posed danger to the cleaning staff.

When contacted the Zoo Director, Mr R.K. Luna said, the cub had remained unnoticed under the wild growth within the safari. He said that the cub was quite small and about 15-days-old.

It might have been left there after its mother might have been closed within the ‘‘house’’after being tranquilised on Saturday morning. He said that the cub had been released into the house and a lioness had accepted it.

The zoo authorities had started closing the big cats within the houses on last Tuesday to launch a weed eradication drive. The authorities claimed that all lions and cubs were closed in the houses before starting the eradication drive.

Moreover, to check whether any lion had been mistakenly left inside the safari, four elephants were also used to locate the hiding animals.

Panic gripped the zoo when the news of the lion cub spread. Elephants were again pressed into service in search of any hiding animal in the safari.

Mr Luna said the weed eradication drive in the Lion Safari and the Deer Safari was completed today. He said that the animals would be released into the safaris for the public view tomorrow.

On the other hand, sources in zoo, said that the authorities had stopped the weed eradication drive in between due to fear of the possibility of the lioness and other lions hiding within the safari. Sources said that the cub was over one month old.

The pregnant lionesses were often closed in the ‘houses’ before the delivery and were released in the safari only after the cubs grew up, sources said.

Resentment prevailed among the zoo employees about the negligent behaviour of the authorities before starting the weed eradication drive without proper preventive measures.

Meanwhile, the zoo authorities have decided to install a mirror on a wall in the ‘‘house’’ of Rita’s enclosure. Rita, a female chimpanzee, without a male partner for the past over 10 years in the zoo. Due to non availability of a male partner, the animal used to remain sad and was becoming aggressive, so the authorities decide to install the mirror which may help to remove her loneliness, Mr Luna said.


Death of lions to be probed
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, August 13
In less than 24 hours after The Tribune unearthed the mystery shrouding the death of two lions, Mr M.P. Rai, Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab, stated that an enquiry would be marked into the matter.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Rai said a proper investigation would be conducted about the death of the lions. Taking a serious view of the unnoticed death of two lions, he said, the zoo records about the population of lions in the lion safari would be thoroughly checked.

The zoo authorities including the keepers of the lion safari would be given show-cause notices, if the death of the lions was found to be true, asking them why they did not notice the injured and old animals while feeding them. All the lapses in the upkeep and medication of the animals would be probed, he claimed.

Mr Rai said he was locating the Zoo director, Mr R K Luna, to know about the facts and circumstances under which the animals died and remained unnoticed for a long time.

The Tribune had reported about the recovery of skeletons of two lions from the lion safari. Whose skeletons remains were found in thickets after a gap of over four months.

Skeletons of both lions were noticed by the employees on Sunday morning while eradicating wild growth from the safari.

Interestingly no one is still clear whether the lions were killed or died of old age or while fighting each other. However, Mr R.K. Luna, Zoo director, had confirmed the death of only one lion due to old age, yesterday.


Zoos to remain closed on Aug 15
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 13
The Wildlife Department of Punjab has decided to close all zoos, including Chhat Bir Zoo, Ludhiana Zoo, Deer Parks in Moti Bag, Patiala and at Bir Talab in Bathinda for general public on August 15.


Punwire employees demand CBI inquiry
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 13
The Punwire Employees Union today demanded that the investigations of the cases of cheating and misappropriation of funds of the company should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The local police had not been able to recover any amount from the officials of the company named in the first information reports (FIRs), registered in the past one year. The cases have been registered on the separate complaints by the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC).

So far the police has registered over 30 cases of misappropriation of funds to the tune of over Rs 137 crore. “Not a single penny had been recovered from the senior officials of the company”, said Mr Saheed Ahmed, general secretary of the union.

At least 16 cases of misappropriation of around Rs 54 crore were registered last year and 14 cases of cheating and misappropriation of over Rs 80 crore were registered few days back. A police official on the condition of anonymity said apart from wasting “scare” stationery to register the FIRs, over six police personnel were fully involved in investigating the cases but no recovery could be made.

The employees said some of the suspects named in the cases had got benami property in their name or have invested in setting up their business. The facts should be thoroughly probed by the CBI before further proceedings, said Mr Ahmed.

He said the government was showing that the management of the company was corrupt. But the Board of Directors of the company which had senior bureaucrats as its members should be held responsible for the present state of affairs. The once blue chip company did not sink in one day, lamented the employees. A demand to make the report of the Price Water House and the inquiry conducted by a retired judge, Mr H.K. Sandhu, should be made public, the union demanded.


HUDA to auction commercial sites on Aug 22
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 13
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will auction commercial sites in Urban Estate here on August 22 in the office of Estate Officer, HUDA Complex, Sector 6. The HUDA will also auction commercial sites on free hold basis in various sectors at Kurukshetra on August 30 at Community Centre, Sector 13, Urban Estate, Kurukshetra.

A spokesman of the HUDA said here today that three booth sites without basement and two corner booths would be auctioned in Sector 8. Five booth sites without basement and one double-storey shop without basement would be auctioned in Sector 9. Two kiosks and two hotel sites, 3-storey with basement, would be auctioned in Sector 10.

Three booth sites without basement and one service booth without basement would be auctioned in Sector 11 and two 3-storey show-room sites with basement in Sector 11 part B, the spokesman added. Similarly, one booth site without basement would be auctioned in Sector 12 (Pocket B). Two 3-storey SCO sites with basement and one booth site without basement would be auctioned in Sector 12-A.

The HUDA will also be auctioning three built-up booths without basement in Sector 14, one service booth without basement, three built up booths without basement and three booth sites without basement in Sector 15 Pocket A. Similarly, two booth sites without basement and two built-up booths would be auctioned in Sector 16. Three booth sites and one built-up booth all without basement would be auctioned in Sector 17.

Eight booth sites with basement, three double storey shops with basement and one SCO site with basement would be auctioned in Sector 20. Also, two booth sites with basement would be put to auction in Sector 21. In addition three 3-storey SCOs with basement and four booth sites with basement would be auctioned in Sector 25.

The authority would also auction two built-up booths and two booth sites in Sector 2. Five 3-storey SCO-cum-flat sites with basement and three single storey shop sites would be auctioned in Sector 3. Also, five SCO sites, two booth sites and one corner booth site would be auctioned in Sector 5.

Three kiosk sites, five booth sites and three built-up booths would be auctioned in Sector 7. Similarly, two booth sites with corridor would be auctioned in Sector 13. The HUDA spokesman said that two SCO sites, one corner SCO site, 13 booth sites and 24 kiosk type booth sites would be auctioned in Sector 17.


A stretch of rubble and potholes
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

It needs an acrobat to negotiate this V-3 road dividing Ram Darbar and Sector 31, since the road has been reduced to a stretch of cobbled stones and only some patches of the road can be seen here and there. Hundreds of persons use this road every day.

The road is at its worst at the tri-junction where it turns towards 3 BRD on one side and Sectors 31 and 47 on the other. It is marked by one-foot deep potholes and craters, which make the spot highly accident prone, especially during the monsoon season when even a small shower turns them into cesspools. At many places the surface of the road has vanished. The road is also marked by cracks and depressions, that make a ride along this road bumpy and risky.

Road users, who do not want to use this road have to make inconvenient and long detours to reach their homes. The problem worsens during the rains when heavy vehicles and school buses get stuck on this stretch. This in turn causes traffic jams.

It is indeed a nightmare for two- wheeler drivers. They have to move at a snail’s pace and still the vehicles are damaged. On an average, people living in these areas have to change tyres almost every six months. The position of car owners is no better. Neha says: “My Maruti has started rattling in six months and even the mechanic was shocked to see its condition.”

Road users who have often met with accidents on this stretch of road point out the difficulties they face in the absence of functional streetlights and the presence of stray animals. “You get to know whether it is a cow or a dog, only when you are about to bump into it,” said an IAF officers who commutes on this road. In fact, the road is mostly used by Air Force personnel going to 12 Wing and 3 BRD.

It seems nothing substantial has ever been done for its upkeep and maintenance. As for footpaths and road berms, they simply do not exist.

Teachers and students of a government school and Kendriya Vidyalaya, who also use this road have brought its condition to the notice of the authorities concerned, but point out that their indifference only shows that they are waiting for a major tragedy to happen.

Sources reveal that all tarred roads need recarpeting after five years, but the authorities have never bothered about it. An attempt was made to repair the potholes after repeated complaints, but the patch-work soon gives way because of the heavy vehicular traffic.

This road figures in the list of V-3 roads, that has been sent to the Administration for widening, strengthening and recarpeting as a one-time measure. Sources in the Administration attribute its poor condition to the indifferent attitude of MC officials who on their part maintain that they have been unable to mend matters for want of funds. However, a senior official of the Administration said that work on the road would start in due course.


City centre a bagful of problems
Tribune News Service

The commercial hub of the City Beautiful, Sector 17, continues to be plagued by problems. The story of maintenance and development of this prestigious sector is the story of missed opportunities. Ambitious plans to spruce up this sector and develop it into a major tourist attraction have been prepared from time to time but most of the proposals have remained on paper in the absence of adequate follow-up action.

Despite sufficient parking space, the sector continues to face parking problems. While it is difficult to park vehicles in certain areas such as the parking lot in front of the CMC and Sahib Singh and Sons, and in front of the Sub Registrar’s Office and the Bank Square, parking spaces in other areas continue to be under-utilised.

According to estimates of the Traffic Police and the Traders Association, more than one lakh vehicles enter this sector every day. There is no charge on parking, and vehicles continue to be parked haphazardly. Moreover, even patch work has not been done on most of the parking lots, leave aside recarpeting.

Encroachments in the corridors and open spaces continue unabated. Scores of vendors squat in these areas. Vendors selling “paranthas” under most unhygienic conditions, particularly in the evening hours, are a common sight. Nothing has been done to clear the encroachments, despite repeated requests, alleges Mr Jagdish Pal Singh Kalra, general secretary of the association.

The working of streetlights is also erratic. Sanitation leaves much to be desired. Pruning of the trees has also not been done and the foliage blocks the view of certain shops.

Not that efforts have not been made to improve the sector. But implementation has been tardy. The most recent proposal for infrastructural development of the sector, a presentation of which was given by a Delhi-based company a few months ago, remains confined to the files. Under the proposal, a separate authority is to be crated for the development and maintenance of the infrastructure and public utilies in this sector. A joint venture approach to make the public utilities self-sustaining, optimum use of vacant spaces, clearing of encroachments by crating a “hawkers pavilion” and a “piano corner” for entertainment are some of the highlights of the project.

It seems that the authorities have not adopted an integral approach for the overall development of this sector. While the Plaza can be called a developed portion, not much thought seems to have been given to the area beyond the Bridge Market.

The traders have their own problems. They are unhappy over piece-meal amendments to the building by-laws, which they allege, fall short of their expectations. The Estate Office should allow need-based internal changes and partitions as these are the need of the hour, demands Mr Sanjay Abbot, a trader.

The traders also demand that commercial use of the basements should be allowed provided there are proper emergency exits and entrances in case of a fire.

It will be unreasonable to dislodge registered shopkeepers, who have been doing business here for more than 20 years, without any valid reason. Tenants with proper sales tax number, rent deed and registration under the Shops Act should be allowed to stay on “as is where is basis”, demands another shopkeeper.


Roads that cry for attention
Shashi Pal Jain

The condition of roads connecting Kharar with the adjoining villages is such that even pedestrians and cyclists find it difficult to use them in the rainy season. The town’s proximity to Chandigarh has done it no good in this regard. The Punjab Government has after promised to repair these roads but the promises have not been fulfilled so far.

An important road known as Badala Road which passes beside the Grain Market and links Kharar with Bassi Pathana is in the worst condition. It has, at some places, become worse than a kucha road. Deep potholes filled with mud mark this road. The spot opposite the City Police Post and the stretch that links this road with the Grain Market are the worst in this regard. Tonnes of foodgrain are brought here from the nearby village over this road but nobody has cared to see the problems it causes to the farmers.

the condition of Kharar-Jhungian Road which is used by many villages on Kharar-Mullanpur Road and the residents of Dashemesh nagar here, is again the same. Its condition is worst near Jandpur village. It is common to see vehicles stuck in the mud on this road. Although this road links these villages with the National Highway, no repair has been done to it. The portion that falls within the Kharar municipal limits needs immediate repairs.

The Mundi Kharar-Chajju Majra - Sante Majra Road which falls within the Kharar municipal limits and links the National Highway with Kharar-Banur Road also needs urgent repairs. If this road is properly maintained, it can take some of the traffic from Kharar-Banur Road meant for Chandigarh and also reduce the distance.

Mandi Road which links Randhawa Road and Badala Road and passes through the Sabzi Mandi requires the attention of the Punjab Government. The condition of this road near the Sabzi Mandi and the entrance to the Grain Market can only be called horrible. Foul smell from the mud and slush accumulated in knee-deep potholes near the Sabzi Mandi fills the area.

The lying of concrete mixture on the famous Randhawa Road is yet to be started. After a long struggle, the residents were able to get the earth work and stone work done recently. It was then promised that the road would be completed before the rainy season but it is nowhere near completion yet.

Some portions of Arya College Road also need repairs. Encroachments on the Kharar-Chandigarh Road were removed many years ago but no step has been taken to widen this road.


Sarpanches meet DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
Following a brawl over duty for thikri pehra in Sultanpur village last night, sarpanches of all villages in the Barwala block met the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, here today.

They complained that while duties had been assigned to all villagers to maintain vigil at night and help the police in maintaining law and order, each village had its share of people unwilling to do their job despite directions from the administration.

“We are willing to give up the scheme altogether if the district administration fails to take action against the non-performing villagers. We don’t want to be a party to any project if there is no enforcement from the government agency,” they said.

Last night, the sarpanch of Sultanpur village had gone to wake up the family on duty. After the police left, the villager allegedly abused and threatened him resulting in a brawl. Later, the family registered a case against the sarpanch.


PUDA urged to develop green belts
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 13
The Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Association of Phase VII has urged the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to develop green belts near their flats. Mr N.S. Lamba, general secretary of the association, said for the last 32 years, the occupants of the EWS flats had been using an open space for holding functions and social get togethers.

He said PUDA had carved out residential plots in the open space, located adjacent to the Chandigarh Housing Board Flats in the area. The association called upon the PUDA officials demanding that should be provided an alternative open space.


PUDA offers land for gaushala, cattle pond
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 13
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today offered to allot at least two acres of land on the outer fringes of the town for construction of a gaushala and a cattle pond. The issue was raised at a meeting between the officials of the Local Government and PUDA officials.

The land was likely to be allotted along the Patiala Ki Rao behind the cremation ground.

An official of the local civic body said the cattle pond was required at the earliest as the existing cattle pond was inadequate to handle the stray cattle caught from the town. A proposal to construct a cattle pond in the Phase IX Industrial Area water works here could not materialise as industrial plots were carved out by the PSIEC.


Una Roy dowry case
Police alerts air, seaport authorities
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 13
Fearing that former cine star Nirupa Roy and her relatives might make an attempt to flee from the country following the registration of a criminal case against them, the district police today alerted the authorities at air and seaports all over India.

According to sources in the Police Department, a message to this effect was flashed soon after news items appeared in local papers regarding the registration of a case against them by Nirupa Roy’s daughter-in-law, Ms Una Roy.

Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, said this has been done so that the accused may not leave the country. He said a police party would be sent to Mumbai for investigation in Una Roy dowry case. The police team would be sent after the Independence Day celebrations were over.

Earlier, Ms Una Roy, daughter-in-law of famous Bollywood actress Nirupa Roy, had complained to the Panchkula police against her mother-in-law for harassing her for dowry. In her complaint Ms Una Roy had alleged that she was being continuously harassed physically and mentally by her in-laws.

The charges against the star, who often plays the roles of a bold and affectionate mother in movies, include causing cruelty to a woman, criminal breach of trust and beating.

The complainant, Ms Una Roy, an NRI and working with a foreign airlines, had alleged that Nirupa Roy was a very dominating mother-in-law and threatened her with dire consequences when ever she was disrupted from channeling money through her foreign accounts.


Dowry death: 7 of a family booked
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 13
The Panchkula police has booked seven members of Rajiv Colony- based family, for allegedly forcing daughter-in-law Balwinder Kaur to commit suicide seeking more dowry from her.

According to police, Iqbal Singh, husband of the deceased, Govadhi, father-in-law, Roshani, mother-in-law, Dinesh, brother-in-law and three sisters-in-law, Kamlesh, Neelam and Malti have been booked under Sections 304-B and 201 of the Indian Penal Code.

Earlier, Mr Banarsi Das, a resident of Chaugama near Karnal, had complained that his daughter, Balwinder Kaur, was forced to commit suicide by her in-laws demanding as they were demanding more dowry. Moreover, they had cremated the body without getting any post-mortem conducted. He said that the accused did not inform her parents about the death of his daughter.


Four vehicles stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Four cases of vehicle theft were reported from different parts of the city in the past 24 hours.

A Hero Honda motorcycle ( CH-01V-0882) was stolen from outside the Gugga Marhi temple in Sector 20- C late last night.

An FIR under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of the owner, Mr Pawan Katyal, a resident of Sector 46- A.

Mr Harpreet Singh’s Kinetic Honda ( PB-27-6705) was stolen last afternoon, while it was parked near KC Cinema in Sector 17.

Another scooter (CH-01H-4394) was stolen from outside the residence of Mr Lalit Mohan in Sector 41-A during the intervening night of August 11 and 12. In both these cases, FIRs under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

The third scooter ( HR-03E- 8030) was stolen from the parking of Government Medical College and Hospital yesterday. The police has registered a case under Section 406 of the IPC.

Jewellery stolen: Gold and silver ornaments and diamond jewellery worth thousands of rupees and Rs 6,000 cash was stolen from the Sector 33 residence of Mr Anil Behal. The burglary took place between August 9 and 12, when the family was out of station. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Two arrested: Amar Lal and Ravinder Kumar were arrested on charges of eve teasing near the Sector 20 masjid during the intervening night of August 12 and 13. A case under Section 294 of the IPC has been registered.


One booked for cheating bank
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 13
The local police has registered a cheating case against Joginder Kumar Sharma, a resident of Sector 45, for allegedly cheating the Phase V branch of Punjab and Sind Bank of Rs 1.70 lakh here. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471, IPC, has been registered by the police.

The suspect was also wanted by the police in a case in which two thugs had cheated two local banks of over Rs 5 lakh three years ago. The two thugs were arrested by the police.


Constable commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Two persons, including a constable of Chandigarh Police, committed suicide in different parts of the city today.

According to the information available, Constable Ramesh, posted with the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, ended his life by consuming Baygon at his residence in Police Lines this morning.

He was reportedly under the influence of liquor when he took the extreme step. Police officials say that the deceased was an alcoholic and had recently been pulled up by his seniors for the same reason. He was also alleged to have strained relations with his wife. In another incident, a 21-year-old youth ended his life by hanging himself from the hook of a ceiling fan at his Sector 29 residence at about 10: 30 am today.

The police said that his father, Sajid Ahmed, found the victim, Khursheed Ahmed, dead at his residence when he returned back home after an hour at work in the morning.

The victim had developed strained relations with his father after the latter refused to finance his new artificial flowers business.

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