Thursday, September 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Fake CBSE certificates in circulation
Business thriving in engineering colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Scores of students are deprived of their rightful seats in the local Engineering College and also in Engineering Colleges in the region because of admissions by certain students in more than one college based on fake certificates.

It is an openly accepted fact even by the college authorities that fake certificates of the CBSE are procured from the office claiming to have lost or misplaced the original. This is done by students to procure admission in more than one engineering college. They have to submit the original documents at the time of admission.

It has been pointed out that often students do not get the optional stream according to their wishes due to high merit and fixed number of seats. Students in that case indulge in seeking admission in more than one engineering college.

What compounds the problem is that ‘shifting’ students do not get their names struck off the rolls within the fixed schedule of admissions. This leaves the seats vacant. The vacant seats continue to be vacant for four years of the course batch.

Parents of the affected wards have written a letter to the Director, Technical Education of the UT, highlighting their problem. The letter says that “many students seek admission at more than one place on the basis of duplicate certificates. This is illegal. Lack of awareness or inaction on the part of the authorities emboldens the students to continue with the practice”.

Students attend certain number of classes in one institution and then mark themselves present in the other. As a result, institutions fail to get a clear picture. Subsequently, the students on the waiting list stop coming and the vacant seats remain vacant for next four years ( whole duration of the degree course).

Parents have requested the technical education authorities to “ask the authorities concerned to evolve a system to ensure that no seat falls vacant after the counselling. Students should be asked to submit affidavits or undertakings. Stern action, including cancellation of admissions’ should also be initiated against students who do not divulge the information about having secured admission somewhere else.

At least a couple of incidents of producing duplicate certificates have come to light even during recent admissions to the local Engineering College. A student lodged an FIR with the police of his certificate having been stolen. In another case a student took away his original certificates on some pretext after the admissions and on later submission, the document was found to be duplicate.

The situation this year is more peculiar because admissions to both the local college and colleges in Haryana were postponed parents pointed out.

The first counselling in the local colleges was held from September 9 to September 27. The second counselling will be held from September 27 to September 30.



Gang of robbers busted; goods worth Rs 5 lakh recovered
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 26
The police here claims to have busted a gang of robbers which was active in this part of the state, and arrested its five members besides recovering goods worth Rs 5 lakh from their possession.

Addressing mediapersons at the Dera Bassi police station, Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP, Patiala, said five persons — Ram Swaroop and Ranbir Singh, both of Mankatvra village near Raipur Rani, Gurdeep Singh, Pawan Kumar and Sant Ram of Alipur near Chandi Mandir, Jaloli and Naniyola villages respectively — have been arrested from different places.

The police has also recovered four countrymade pistols of .12 bore, eight live and one used cartridges, a television set and a truck from their possession.

Mr Grewal said the accused were also involved in the Naraingarh firing incident in which a man was shot at on February 13. The gang also robbed factory workers on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway of Rs 14,500 and a television set on June 1.

After a gap of two months, they also attempted to rob the owner of a liquor vend while he was carrying money to deposit in a bank in Dera Bassi. The accused also confessed to have shot at Mr Dharampla Mahajan, a shopkeeper of Handesra village, on September 19, added Mr Grewal.

The SSP further said that the same gang also made an attempt to rob a liquor vend in Dera Bassi on September 20. The gang members also lifted a truck from Mubarikpur and sold its accessories in New Delhi and abandoned the vehicle at a place which falls in the jurisdiction of Haryana, he revealed.

On getting information, the CIA staff under the leadership on Mr Pritpal Singh Virk, SP (Detective), Patiala, laid traps on the roads leading to the adjacent states and succeeded in nabbing Pawan Kumar and Ranbir Singh in Handesra and Joula village chowk. Two pistols of . 12 bore and four live cartridges were also recovered from them.

Ram Swaroop, Gurdeep Singh and Sant Ram were arrested while hatching a conspiracy near a brick-kiln on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road near Barwala. Two pistols and five live cartridges were also recovered from their possession.

Phool Singh of Rampura Bahel village, the main accused in Jagmal Singh murder case, was also arrested by the police.

Meanwhile, the police is still clueless in the two separate robberies in which armed robbers looted cash and valuables over worth Rs 10 lakh at gunpoint and left nine persons injured.

On September 10, an armed gang of masked robbers broke into a milk processing industry in Gholumajra village near Lalru, tied the cashier to a chair and took away Rs 6.69 lakh at gunpoint. The robbers fled from the scene by scaling the outer wall of the industry.

In a similar incident, a gang of armed robbers broke into the house of Mr Anwar Hussain, an auto-electrician, in Sarswati Vihar Colony in Dera Bassi on September 11 and robbed the family and their relatives of cash, jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 4 lakh.


Bravery awards presented
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The physical bravery as well as the social acts of courage of 12 persons hailing from Punjab and Haryana were recognised here today. They included one woman besides a youth who lost his life while trying to save others from drowning.

The 12 were honoured at a Red & White Bravery Awards function where the Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), gave away the awards. There were three medals — gold, sliver and bronze — with cash awards of Rs 15,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively.

One of the awardees, Mr Rajat Raj, was conferred the award posthumously. He was drowned while trying to save two of his college mates from drowning in a stream.

Far away from Rohtak in Sangrur in Punjab two men, Mr Shamsher Singh and Mr Harjeet Singh, unsuccessfully tried to save a pilot trapped in a crashed MiG, M. Rajkumar.

The duo was awarded the gold medal in the physical bravery category.

Mr Narendra Singh of Sher Majra in Patiala, warded off an intrusion by dacoits. Besides, he helped victims of the Gujarat earthquake this year. He was awarded the silver medal in the physical bravery category.

Mr Sudhir Kakkar caught an accomplice of a terrorist while the latter was attempting to fax a handwritten letter to his relations in England, briefing them about a murder. Mr Kakkar was awarded the bronze medal in the physical bravery category.

It was on the evening of November 22, 2000, in Chandigarh when Mr Paramjeet Singh chased and caught a chain snatcher. He was awarded the bronze medal in the physical bravery category.

The lone woman on the list was Mrs Manjit Kaur Jhanji. She is actively associated with the Nagar and Village Women Organisation. The organisation imparts vocational training to women and spreads literacy. She was awarded the gold medal.

Mr Vinod Rampal has launched a fight to help the illiterate and the helpless.

He helps people get their pensions as well as widows seeking social justice. He was awarded the gold medal in the category of social acts of courage.

Punjab Women Welfare College in Hoshiarpur educates women in far-off areas and helps them become self-dependent. The college got the silver medal.

Mr Mohanlal Verma, a resident of Bainival locality of Samalkha, burned his hands while trying to save his neighbours when LPG cylinder caught fire in his neighbour’s house. He covered the burning cylinder with a blanket soaked in water. He got the silver medal for bravery.

Mr Virendra Kaushik, sarpanch of Noona Majra, Jhajjar district, today become an emblem of the limitless potential and brilliance of panchayati raj. He has always taken the initiative in the eradication of social evils. He got the gold medal for social causes.

Dr Abdul Aziz a former university professor, quit his job to serve the people of the Mewat region in Haryana. Facing religious and political protests, he established an adult education programme, a women literacy programme and a mobile library. He got silver medal for social causes.

Mr Dayal Singh of Kaithal, Haryana, heads the Adarsh Gram Udyog Samiti, a group aided by government agencies that works in the direction of helping the backward classes, especially women.

Be it the issue of potable water in far-off areas or helping backward people by making them self-dependent and raising their standard of living, Mr Dayal Singh is always around. He got the bronze medal for social causes.



Electricity poles to carry TV cables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The cable TV operators are soon to get permission to use electricity poles in the city to set up wires transmitting cable TV signals to thousands of city homes. This will be done on the Punjab pattern followed by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

The PSEB collects Rs 375 per pole on an annual basis for permission to allow cable TV wires. The Chandigarh Administration is also working on the same theory, but permission to set up wires will be given on a block basis of a minimum of 25 poles. The permission will only be for poles which have low tension (LT) lines with or without streetlights on them. At no cost will permission be given for poles holding up high tension power cables, sources say.

Various parameters like height of the cable TV wires at each pole and height at the point of road cross will be laid down. Specifications for the type of clamps to be allowed for cable TV wires will also be laid down.

The cable TV wires will also have proper earthing to prevent from shocks. All repair work by the cable TV operators will have to be carried out under information to the area junior engineer (JE).

For long, the cable TV operators have been demanding this facility but they have been forced to set up their own poles to hold up the wires. In the past the department had even removed the wires attached or tied to their poles.


Man with dual identity disappears
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
A local resident has been staying in the city for the past more than a decade by assuming dual identity. But ever since the Ministry of External Affairs has turned the heat on him, he has vanished.

Kushal Singh, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26 here, until recently, had reportedly changed his name in 1989 to Rakesh Kumar, after a passport was issued to him in his new name. However, for all legal purposes, he has been using his original name .

According to information available, Kushal Singh was issued a passport by the Regional Passport Office in Chandigarh on June 30, 1989. This passport (F- 678822) was issued to him in the name of Rakesh Kumar. Interestingly, the basic requirement of giving a public notice for change of name was reportedly not given till 20 days after the passport was issued.

Kushal Singh placed an advertisement in a vernacular daily on July 20, 1989, declaring that he had changed his name to Ramesh Kumar.

Interestingly, the same advertisement mentioned his father’s name as Mathura Dass instead of his real name, Mathura Singh. Even the residential address mentioned in the said advertisement was of Garhshanakar in Hoshiarpur, while the passport mentions his address as Behdala village of Una district in Himachal Pradesh . However, he had been residing in Chandigarh and holds a ration card on his Chandigarh address.

Meanwhile, investigations made by TNS show that his ration card, voter’s identity card (number 663743) as also the agency of National Insurance Company — all issued after he had changed his name to Ramesh Kumar — still identify him as Kushal Singh.

The same passport, again in the name of Ramesh Kumar , was reissued in March 2000 (A- 8749027), allegedly by giving false particulars.

It is learnt that a complaint about Kushal Singh having a dual identity was sent to the Ministry of External Affairs in February earlier this year. Subsequently, the local police was asked to investigate the case in March this year and to take action against the accused. However, the police exonerated Kushal Singh in its inquiry on the grounds that the public notice for change of name was given before the passport was issued.

Meanwhile, fearing action, Kushal Singh sold off his house (702/3, Bapu Dham Colony) and even the power of attorney, for the lease of the house mentions him as Kushal Singh. Ever since then, the whereabouts of the man are not known. 



Ravinder Gill gets bail
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 26
Ravinder Singh Gill, who was arrested by the police in connection with the murder of his father Satwant Singh Gill, owner of the Gill Estate, was granted bail today by the District and Sessions Judge, Ropar. He had been in judicial custody for the last one month.

Mr Anil Kaushik, counsel of Ravinder, pleaded before the court that he had been arrested on the basis of extra-judicial confession and no circumstantial evidence had been produced so far by the police. He stated that recovery of the weapons made by the police was false.

Earlier, the police had arrested the suspect claiming that it had enough circumstantial evidence and statement of certain witnesses to prove that he had committed the act. The suspect had , however, claimed that he had been falsely implicated. The investigating officials maintained that the “weapons”, a baseball bat, a knife and leather gloves had been recovered from a place along a road leading to the Dhanas village on the basis of the information given by the suspect. The police was banking its investigations on the basis of four private witnesses and statements of police officials as part of the investigating team. The blood-stained clothes and other items recovered were admissible in the court.

The autopsy report of the deceased was being matched with the weapons used in the crime. “The blood stains on the baseball bat, the knife and leather gloves would be matched by the forensic experts with the blood-soaked bedsheet on which the body of the deceased was found. We are also trying to ascertain whether the blood stains left on the clothes of the suspect while he was hitting the deceased match with the blood stains left while he took the body to the PGI,” said an investigating official.


Jacob’s surprise visit boon for public
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) today paid a surprise visit to the Licencing and Registering Authority office in Sector 17 and saw functional problems being faced by city residents in getting vehicles registered and getting driving licences. The chaos there had General Jacob in an angry mood as he directed officials to get things moving.

The General saw queues of people waiting for registration of vehicles or getting a driving licence made; only two counters out of the total 10 counters were working; the clerks at the counters were overworked; people were being sent back with objections after a long wait in the queues.

Immediately after inaugurating a website of the Central State Library in Sector 17, General Jacob asked the Home Secretary, Mr RS Gujral and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar, to accompany him to the Registration branch for a surprise visit. People standing in the queue told the General that they had been there since morning.

Mrs Lajja Rani complained to the Governor that she was standing in the queue since 9 a.m. and then on reaching the counter, her file was rejected by the counter clerk asking her to come after three days. Mr Dayal Singh, a 70-year-old man, complained to the Governor that the separate counter for senior citizens was not working.

Mr Vijay Kumar complained that he was coming to this office for the third time and every time a new objection was raised. General Jacob suggested to the Deputy Commissioner that all objections should be pointed out on the very first visit and people should not be put to inconvenience.

The Deputy Commissioner explained to him that there was a shortage of staff due to arrest of few persons in a fake licence case and more staff was to be re-allocated from other branches to this branch to solve this problem. The Governor was quite unhappy to see the attitude of counter clerks.

He said that despite modernisation and streamlining of this branch, people were still being put to inconvenience. He asked the Home Secretary to supply with the forms xeroxed or printed instructions of documents required along with the form so that person should come to the branch after completing all formalities.

After this, the Governor reached the old Estate Office and directly went to the facilitation counters and found the working of the counters satisfactory. Later on the Administrator also visited the building branch. The Governor asked the Deputy Commissioner to computerise all files of the building branch. The Deputy Commissioner said that Punjab Engineering College was conducting a study to transfer all files on CDs after micro filming them for easy retrieval. The Deputy Commissioner explained that later on these hard files would be shifted to safe custody, which would be opened only extreme emergency cases. General Jacob noticed a substantial improvement in the working of building branch.



Villagers to get less price than quoted
Nishikant Dwivedi

Siswan (Kharar), September 26
Over 350 villagers whose land was acquired for building the Siswan Dam near here will get compensation at rates much less than that quoted for registration after years of wait.

Compensation rates for about 213 acre of land submerged under the Siswan Dam here, have been re-fixed by a district-level Land Price Fixation Committee. The villagers have been waiting for the compensation for the land for about four years now.

The Punjab Government would be paying Rs 1.65 lakh per acre for the ‘chahi’ (irrigated) land and Rs 40,000 per acre for the ‘garimumkin phar’ (non-cultivated) type of land. The villagers would get Rs 1.30 lakh for the ‘barani’ (baron) type of land. The rates were fixed at a meeting held by the Deputy Commissioner of Ropar last week.

Besides, this a solatium for forced acquisition at the rate of 30 per cent would also be paid to the villagers who had shared the submerged land. The Punjab Government would also be paying an interest on the amount at the rate of 9 per cent for the first year from the date acquisition and 15 per cent for the subsequent years till the entire compensation was paid off.

The notice under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, to acquire the land, was re-issued in August this year. The original notices had lapsed after the World Bank, which was assisting the projects being carried by the Kandi Area Development (KAD), stopped the assistance in July, 1998.

Now, the KAD was being assisted by the National Agriculture and Development Bank (NABARD). A KAD official said that earlier, the compensations were not given because of lack of funds ‘because the World Bank did not renew the agreement with the KAD in 1998’.

The rates were fixed on the basis of prices prevailing in the area in the one year preceding the date of issue of notice.

Mr Sushil Chand, a nominee of the village sarpanch, in the meeting, when asked about his opinion, had claimed that the prevalent rate of ‘chahi’ type of land in the village was Rs 6 lakh. An official connected with the KAD said that the sarpanch’s nominee was of the opinion that the government should at least pay the rates fixed by it for registration of land in the village.

The registration price (per acre) of the ‘chahi’ type of land in the village is Rs 3 lakh, for ‘barani’ type it is Rs 2 lakh and for the ‘garimumkin pahr’, the registration price is Rs 50,000.

A KAD official claimed that after adding the solatium and interest, the villagers would be getting more than the registration prices for the various type of land prevalent in the village. 


TPSC plan to attract tourists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
With a view to promote tourism in an area within a radius of 50 to 60 km around the city the Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh ( TPSC) has supplemented the efforts of various tourist bodies in focussing some of the major tourist destinations in this region.

To begin with, the emphasis is on promoting Barog, Kumhar Hatti, Renuka Lake and Morni Hills. Giving this information during a press conference here today on the eve of World Tourism Day president of the society, Mr Manmohan Singh Kohli, said presently the society is providing the advertisement support, and sports equipment for tourists at Barog railway station. This has seen an increase in the number of city tourists to this place.

Plans are also afoot to develop Morni Hills, situated 45 km away from the city, as a day-long destination, which otherwise is considered to be a comparatively dry area. The TPSC also plans to hold musical concerts at Morni particularly on full moon lights. Mr Kohli is of the view that after one or two recitals, the complex will gain popularity and thus make market for such programmes.

The society, which came into being on August 15, 1999, has produced a slide show titled “Chandigarh-the City Beautiful’’. The collection of over 150 coloured slides, which were screened today takes you to a discovering journey of what the city and few adjoining areas look like.

The efforts of the society in promoting Renuka Lake area has made a remarkable difference in the tourist inflow there. This was necessary as both the private and public sector had invested a huge sum of money on this location. Similarly, the society is all out to develop Kumhar Hatti as a destination in lower Shivaliks range. Now they are looking towards Ropar in Punjab and Shambhu in the Rajpura area as lucrative tourist destinations in Punjab.

Highlighting the other activities of the society during the last two years, Mr Kohli disclosed that they also took part in the traffic management efforts and also in the ecological maintenance endeavours of the city. The TPSC has also commissioned Mr Sumeet Inder Singh, a fresh graduate from the College of Art, Chandigarh, for constructing a photo essay on Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge track, which completes 100 years next year. All the photos will be in black and white or is sepia tone to reflect a heritage feeling.

To promote hospitality education, they have also adopted two children, one at the Institute of Hotel Management, Chandigarh, and another at Delhi.

To symbolise the presence of a tourism promotion body and its efforts to nurture the enhancement of tourism, the society will be dedicating a roundabout at the junction of Sectors 10,11, 3 and 2 to the city. The location of the same is strategic, since it is situated on the road leading to the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat. The same has been developed by Mr Sumeet Midha.


World Tourism Day today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The World Tourism Day tomorrow unfolds four days of bonanza for food lovers as all hotels and restaurants of the city will offer 15 per cent discount on food, free hop-on-hop-off bus ride for children and free visit for old age home residents to picturesque Morni Hills.

The city will also welcome visitors at the Shatabdi train with flowers during the week-long celebrations ending on September 30, an official release said.

The Union Territory Administrator, Mr J.F.R. Jacob, will release the first issue of the Northern India Aviation and Tourism Newsletter at the Tagore Theatre tomorrow.

A tourism slogan-writing competition on Hop-on-Hop-Off bus between 9.30 am to 12.30 pm tomorrow will be organised.

The celebrations will also tomorrow witness quiz on eco-tourism ‘Curtain raiser UN Declaration of Eco-tourism International Year 2002’ at Tagore Theatre.

The four days beginning from tomorrow will also offer a slew of other attractions like Elevenses-II Bakery Shop by Food Craft Institute at Chef Lakeview, food fusion theme dinner with live entertainment at FCI.

The celebrations will also provide free boating rides for children at Sukhna Lake on September 28, Plaza Carnival on September in Sector-17 on September 29, sight-seeing tour for mentally-challenged children to zoo on the same day and music and orchestra performances.

A roller-skating competition for children at Sukhna, skit by a group of students and classical fusion music performance by Mr Subhash Ghosh at Chef Lakeview will be seen on the last day of the celebrations on September 30.


ESIC’s timely help saves life
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
It is virtually the second birth for Mr Barinder Singh Negi, a heart patient and former employee of the ASJ Security Services. And all this has been possible through monetary help rendered by the Regional Office of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) under a special scheme.

Mr Negi, who was advised a bypass surgery by doctors at the PGI in 1999, had virtually lost all hopes of survival till he was informed of a special scheme for financing the super-speciality treatments for the insured persons by the ESIC.

Narrating the sequence of events at the Regional Office of the ESIC in Sector 19 here, Mr Negi, a resident of Kot Dwar in Pauri Garhwal in the UP, informed that after his pre-mature retirement from the Army in 1987, he led a normal life for a few years. However, he developed some problems while climbing uphills in his native place.

In the meantime, he had joined the security services at Baddi. He got himself examined at the Command Hospital in Chandi Mandir where he was advised to go in for TMT test (angiography).

Once at the PGI for angiography, Mr Negi was worried about the treatment of his serious ailment as he was given an estimate of Rs 1.25 lakh for the treatment. “I did not see any hope of survival till I was informed of the special scheme of the ESIC by a friend,” Mr Negi informed.

Acting quickly, the ESIC sanctioned the required amount swiftly with the result that Mr Negi operated upon successfully on April this year successfully at the PGI. “The ESIC had given me a second birth and my family will remain indebted to the corporation for whole of our lives,” quipped a visibly-moved Mr Negi.

When contacted, Mr A.W. Khadgi, Regional Director of the ESIC, informed that the scheme had been launched with a view to avoid delay in the super-speciality treatment. The benefits of the scheme are available to insured persons by the ESIC where the expenditure involved was very heavy, he added.



Illiteracy among women highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The All-India Women Conference (South Punjab Branch) today sponsored a workshop of the north zone of the All-India Committee for Eradication of Illiteracy Among Women.

Ms Pritpal Kaur Wasu, Zonal Chairperson of the region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Jammu Kashmir and the Union Territory, said the main cause of dropouts in rural schools was the social background and poverty that confront rural-area girls. These poverty stricken girls can hardly concentrate on their studies.

Mr R.N. Talwar, secretary of the All-India Committee for Eradication of Illiteracy Among Women, presided over the workshop. He also answered questions flung on him by a large number women participants in the workshop.

The workshop was attended by more than 150 women from Chandigarh and surrounding villages.

The All-India Women’s Conference is a social organisation and runs vocational training programmes in computer, health care assistants, beautician and hair care course in villages.

Prominent among those who attended the seminar were Mr Sudesh Kalra, Deputy Director Adult Education, Union Territory, and Ms M.S. Randhawa, former Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh.



Work skills competition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Work skills competitions promote the spirit of competitiveness and excellence in workmanship. These events also positively motivate the work force.

These observations were made by Mr R.S.Gujral, Home Secretary, Chandigarh, while addressing the CII’s 14th regional work skills competition which began here yesterday.

He suggested that the winners of the competition should be invited as guest faculty to the ITIs for a minimum period of two weeks. As many as 61 delegates from 18 companies across the northern region are participating in the competition. Mr Vivek Atray, Director, IT and Public Relations, joined the inaugural session.

Mr Y. Saboo, Vice-Chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, said that the main objective of the competition was to encourage workers by recognising excellence in skills through organised competitions in select trades. The CII had initiated such competitions in select trades. The CII had initiated such competitions in 1989, and this is the 14th work skills competition in the northern region.

The regional work skills competition organised by the CII is recognised by the Directorate-General of Employment and Training, Ministry of Labour, Government of India.

The competition was held in seven trades: electrician, fitter, industrial electronics, miller, turner, tool and die maker welder.



Central State Library gets website
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 26
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), inaugurated a website of the Central State Library, Sector 17, here today. The website address is

A list of all the English books in the library could now be found on the site. The list of the language books will be put on the web soon.

Ms K.C Ramola, Librarian, said the computerisation of the library started in 1991. Ms Ramola, told the history of the library to the Administrator.

The Administrator also inaugurated second information and facilitation counter (IFC) in the library. The IFC provides citizen interface services such as online telephone and e-mail directory, guide map, besides other things. The Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, the Secretary to the Governor, Mr S.C. Aggarwal, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar, and the Joint Secretary, Finance, Mr K.A.P. Sinha were also present on the occasion.



Candlelight march against global terrorism
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
A candlelight peace procession was organised by the All-India Human Rights Watch here today to protest against international terrorism and killing of innocents in the USA terrorist strike. Beginning from DC Model School in Sector 7, the procession went round the sector to conclude at the same place.

Expressing concern over the recent terrorist attack, the members said that terrorism should not be supported by terming it as a fight for independence. They were of the unanimous opinion that the United Nations must hold meetings to work out ways of getting rid of international terrorism.

Stating that all countries must present a united front to combat terrorism, they added that no innocent life should be lost in the battle against terrorism. The procession was led by the national president of the organisation, Col N.S. Pandher (retd).



Naval Vice-Chief visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Vice-Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Madhvendra Singh, today met the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh, at Chandi Mandir today.

This is Admiral Madhvendra Singh’s first official visit to the Western Command Headquarters since he took over as Naval Vice-Chief earlier this year. According to sources, the purpose of the visit was to interact with his Army counterpart on military matters. The visit assumes significance in view of the ongoing exercise to integrate the three services and greater stress upon inter-service synergy and joint operations.

A social get-together, attended by top Western Command functionaries, was also organised in the visiting dignitary’s honour. The Vice-Chief is scheduled to depart for New Delhi tomorrow.



Polythene-free drive launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The hazardous polythene-free drive was launched here today from the Sector 26 fruit and vegetable market by the Municipal Corporation.

“As much As 70 kg of hazardous and recycled polythene was confiscated today by a team of officials and shopkeepers were made aware about what kind of polybags were not to be used,” the Assistant Commissioner-I, Mr Ashok Vashishth, told The Tribune here today.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramashekhar, said initially that the city authorities would try to educate people about what kind of polythene had been banned.

The awareness campaign will continue in Apni Mandis and at all shops selling eatables and using recycled and banned quality of polybags, the Deputy Commissioner said.

Mr Vashishth informed that there was no resistance from those whose polybags were confiscated. He said the authorities would get tough after some time and may even prosecute violators of ban with five years of imprisonment and one lakh of penalty.


Mansa Devi residents flay house tax move
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
Residents of the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, have criticised the move of the Panchkula council to issue annual house tax notices to the owners of property under its jurisdiction. Although the council is stated to be applying a uniform assessment formula, this uniformity is not applicable to the areas which are underdeveloped. It is mandatory for the council to fix the annual rental value of a property before imposing house tax. Where the Rent Act is applicable, the value of the property has to be assessed in accordance with the principles laid down for determining a fair rent under the Act.

Even when no standard rent has been fixed, the annual value of the property must be limited to the measure of a reasonable standard rent expected to be received under the relevant Rent Act, Mr Deepak Rai Walia, president of the New Kuteer Group Housing Society, said in a statement today.

He said the house tax move was both illegal and unjust since the Mansa Devi Complex is a grossly underdeveloped area plagued by civic related problems. He threatened to move court in this connection.


Traders want road repaired
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 26
Entrepreneurs having units in the Industrial Area, Phase IX, here and residents of Phases X and XI have lamented that the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and the council are not repairing the road leading to the bulk material market from Chandigarh. A number of potholes had appeared all over the road up to the octroi collection post.

Over the years the condition of the road had deteriorated. Incidentally the much-hyped bulk material market of PUDA is also located along the road. A prospective buyer in the bulk material market said the poor condition of road would act as a damper in the future auctions of sites in the market. Despite a substantial increase in the flow of traffic, the road had not been strengthened accordingly.

The road serves as an important linkage for the freight moving from the Industrial Area to Chandigarh. A number of residents of the area use the road daily to go to their work. Much to the plight of the road users, the portion of the road in Chandigarh has been repaired.

Several representations have been made to the authorities concerned but without any result. A narrow bridge with potholes over a seasonal rivulet was the worst part of the road.


BJP warned on language issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Mr M.P. Verma, Chairman of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Backward Classes Cell, yesterday warned the BJP leadership against declaring Chandigarh as a Punjabi-speaking area.

In a press statement, Mr Verma alleged that BJP leaders, in connivance with the Akali Dal, was hatching a conspiracy to get Chandigarh declared as a Punjabi-speaking region. He maintained that Mr Satya Pal Jain, senior BJP leader put forward the arugments that Chandigarh was the capital of both Punjab and Haryana and it was, therefore, in the fitness of things that Punjabi should also be considered the language of the Punjab capital.

Mr Verma said when Punjab and Haryana came into being in 1966, the Shah Commission was constituted by the Centre to resolve the issue of the language. The commission, Mr Verma claimed , gave its verdict in favour of Hindi.

It was stated in the report of the commission that, apart from Chandigarh the adjoining areas, including Kharar and Banur, should also be considered part of Hindi-speaking region.

He said Congress leaders committed a faux pas by helping Mrs Harjinder Kaur become Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.



IAF review put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The IAF's forthcoming presidential review, scheduled to be held here on October 17 has been postponed indefinitely, it is learnt.

Sources say that it has been cancelled due to operational readiness in view of the events in Afghanistan. About 100 aircraft, alongwith about 750 airmen were scheduled to participate in the review which was to be attended by the President, the Defence Minister, the three service chiefs and the air chiefs of several foreign countries, besides civil and military dignitaries.



Gupta’s appeal to PM, Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , September 26
Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, president, Bharatiya Janata Party, Chandigarh unit, has sought intervention of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), over the issue of inviting tenders from private firms to install a CT scanner on the premises of Government College of Education and Research, Sector 32.

In a letter written to them, he questioned as to why private assistance was being sought when World Bank had offered monetary assistance for such projects.


MC employees’ dharna on Oct 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The coordination committee of the government and MC employees and workers, Chandigarh, has called a mass dharna on October 4 to protest against the “anti-people and anti-worker” policies of the Central Government.

This was announced by the committee at preparatory rallies for the dharna at various places here today.

The co-convener of the committee, Mr Rakesh Kumar, lashed out at the Central Government for the decision to reduce government employees’ strength by 10 per cent.

Mr Kumar gave a call to the employees to participate in the dharna.

The committee demanded bonus for the past four years, payment of arrears of house rent allowance, dearness allowance and city compensatory allowance to daily wagers as per the Supreme Court order and fixation of travelling allowance to class III employees.

The committee also demanded that Administration employees shifted to the Municipal Corporation be treated on deputation.

The rallies were held today at the MC water supply booth, Sector 29; building maintenance booth, Sector 27; road maintenance booth, Sector 28; electrical maintenance booth, Sector 27 and horticulture booth in Sector 28.



Spate of thefts in Panchkula
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 26
Robbers struck here again last night in two houses and a showroom and decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 50000.

Sources in the Police Department said the thieves broke into six houses of Housing Board Colony in Sector 15 and took away gold and silver jewellery, cash and some other valuables. After committing thefts in two adjacent houses, they also made futile attempts in three other houses in the same colony.

Thieves took away gold and silver jewellery and cash worth Rs 1,500 from Mr Ved Prakash’s house, while Rs 1,500 was stolen from the house of Mr Ajit Kumar.

In a similar incident, thieves broke into a showroom in the Swastik Vihar market and took away Rs 7,000, a passport and gift items worth hundreds of rupees late last night.


Murder convict from Bihar held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The crime branch of the city police had a chance success when a person they had arrested for loitering from Sector 22 turned out to be a murder convict in Bihar.

According to information available, Raj Kumar Mandal (38) was arrested by the police and his verification brought to light his real antecedents. It was learnt that the man had been convicted of murdering his beloved brother-in-law in Semapur village in Kathiar district of Bihar.

He had allegedly jumped bail in 1998 and was in the city since then along with his 10-year-old son, Sudesh Kumar. The latter has been sent to Juvenile Home in Sector 15, while the accused has been remanded to judicial custody till September 28. Police sources said he was employed as a labourer with a tent house owner and was homeless. Interestingly, he was educated and had passed his intermediate examinations with economics honours. 



Man barges into SP’s office
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 26
A bearded youth, attired in robes and reportedly associated with some sect, here yesterday barged into the office of the Superintendent of Police and was involved in a scuffle with the latter’s security guards.

The man was nabbed by the police and handed over to the CIA staff for interrogation.

The man entered the SP’s office forcibly and even abused the cops who tried to stop him at the gate. Saying that he hailed from Nabha in Punjab and was presently putting up at Nada Sahib Gurdwara, he said he had come to the city in search of a suitable job.

The man even bit the SP’s driver on his hand and injured another cop when they tried to stop him from entering the office.

According to Mr Manoj Yadav, SP, the man was noticed wandering around the Hafed building adjoining the police headquarters, and later reached near the Mini-Secretariat. 


Servant found dead in master’s car
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 26
A 25-year-old servant was found dead in a car parked in the garage of a house in Sector 10 here this morning.

The master of the deceased, Mr Mohan Lal, said Kiran found her husband, Pan Bahadur, dead inside their car this morning. He said that the car was locked from inside and the AC and stereo were on.

Hailing from Nepal, Pan Bahadur had been working as a servant for the past 10 years, said Kiran. She said that she got suspicious after Pan Bahadur did not wake up in the morning.

The body has been sent to the Sector 6 General Hospital for a postmortem examination. After registering a case under Section 174 of the IPC, the police has started investigations. 


Shop burgled
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 26
Robbers broke into a wholesale grocery shop here located in the Grain Market and reportedly took away Rs 45,000 late last night.

Mr Hukum Singh, owner of the shop said the thieves entered the shop by breaking a side door. They also broke open the locker and took away money.

Interestingly, the robbery was committed even though over 35 cops of the CIA staff were deployed in the subdivision to check the chain of robberies in this part of the district.



New management for hotel complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The fast food chain, Hot Millions, has taken over the management of the North Park Complex.

Spread over an area of over 4 acres, the hotel complex has 28 rooms with a swimming pool, banquet hall, bar, disco and other facilities. Built over a decade ago, the complex has never really taken off. Terrorism, which prevailed in the early 90s, changing excise policies of the Haryana Government, indifferent service and a few other factors, contributed to the rather lacklusture performance of the complex. Hot Millions hopes to change all that in the coming days.

According to Col A. B. Singh, chairman-cum-managing director of Hot Millions Pvt Ltd., negotiations with the owners of North Park complex began about a fortnight ago. “We concluded the deal quickly. We have taken it on a long lease. It is a complex with a lot of potential. For us it was a major decision because so far we were engaged in fast food only. This is our first foray into hotel industry”.

Colonel Singh said his attempt would be to offer five-star facilities at three-star rates. “We plan to give big hotels in the city a run for their money”.


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