Friday, September 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn ‘doles’ out booths in Sector 22 at Rs 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A booth in Sector 22 on rent for just Rs 14 per month. Sounds shocking but it is true. Around 15 booths owned by the Chandigarh Administration have been let out for the past four decades for this ‘princely’ sum.

Current market rent in the area had been between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month for the past decade or so thus causing a loss of several lakhs of rupees each year. The officers kept getting transferred after a couple of years, while long-serving clerks had not bothered to take up the issue of rents, said a source while pin pointing that the losses on account of this oversight maybe in crores.

Actually no one in the Administration seemed to know the exact dates of tenancy of these booths and who were the original tenants, sources said. The rent of these booths was not revised even in 1999 when rent of showrooms owned by the Chandigarh Administration in Sector 17 was hiked. At that time policy governing rent for the Administration-owned property was also framed.

Now, the Administration had asked the Estate Office to pin point the booths, make a list and also hike the rent under the 1999 rules. The rules had been formulated under which rent were fixed on the basis of categories of high potential and medium potential. The categories were fixed on the basis of the market and the location of the booth.

In any case the hike in rent would not be on a par with the market rates. The rules had a segment which also said that since the traders in these booths had helped in development of the city the rates could not be compared with the market.

The booths were constructed by the then Punjab Government when the city was coming up in early 1950s. Very few people had opted to live here which was then a vast open area unlike the cosmopolitan city of today.

These booths were offered on cheaper rates as an incentive to people and businessmen migrating from Pakistan following the Partition.

Certain segments were of the opinion that collection of rent was time consuming process and added to needless paper work in the Estate office. Thus as one-time arrangement the places must be sold off to the tenants at market rates.


Exploit tourism potential: Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The tourism authorities and various agencies — private and public — here today launched four-day tourism activities on World Tourism Day aimed at making the city the hub of North India’s tourism.

Tourist participates in "Tourism Slogan Writing Competetion" on Hop On -Hop Off tourist coach to mark the world Tourism day in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Tourist participates in "Tourism Slogan Writing Competetion" on Hop On -Hop Off tourist coach to mark the world Tourism day in Chandigarh on Thursday. — Tribune Photo Pankaj Sharma

An effort in this direction was to get a Northern India Tourism and Aviation Newsletter by the UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who urged children to explore nature and asserted there was tremendous untapped tourism potential in states linked to Chandigarh.

Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Chandigarh had massive tourism potential, which required to be exploited, he told a gathering this evening to inaugurate the newsletter, brought out by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFMT), a nodal agency to promote the sector in North India.

The newsletter provides information regarding all states, their and Central Government’s policies, prospects and future plans of different agencies to promote tourism.

As a curtain raiser to the International Eco-Tourism Year-2002 announced by the United Nations, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh (HRAC), Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Tourism Department, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) and ITFT jointly organised an eco-quiz in Tagore Theatre.

A dance was performed by students of the ITFT to pray for peace. A five-minute promotion film on city was also screened today.

The quiz winners were Rajiv, Gagan, Rajesh, Gagan, Gaurav, Ankur, Abhishek and Deven amongst others.

The celebrations began at 9.30 am when CITCO Chairman G. K. Marwah flagged off hop-on-hop-off bus with children on board. The kids wrote a slogan on the bus while travelling. Three such trips were made.

Ms Avantika, Anupam Gupta, Mohinder, Shivani and Nikhil, Priyanka and Supriya, Param, Anchit and Sumit, Jaswinder, Prabhmit, Mr and Mrs Mohinder Singh, Aditya and Anupama won the contest.

The ride on the bus was enjoyed by deaf and dumb children of the Vatika institute and free rides were given to children in general.

CITCO also organised a sight-seeing tour to Morni Hills in Haryana for 45 senior citizens who were also provided free lunch, snacks and high tea.

The Home-cum-Tourism Secretary, UT, Mr R. S. Gujaral, dedicated roundabouts of Sectors 2 and 3 and 10 and 11 to be maintained by the Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh (TPSC).

The IHM and TPSC distributed flowers to passengers of the Shatabdi on their arrival in the city in the morning. Members of the HRAC offered 15 per cent discount on food and beverages and the Food Craft Institute drew visitors at its Elevenses Bakery Shop put up at the Chef Lakeview Cafeteria.

In a separate function, the Children’s Alliance for Protection of the Environment organised discussions, demonstrations, kar-seva involving 200 children at Nature Park, Sector 26.

The President of the Environment Society of India, Mr S. K. Sharma, urged the state governments to make their tourism policies to promote and protect environment, heritage and art.


Quiz contest on tourism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Food Craft Institute, Sector 42, joined in the celebrations of World Tourism Day with an inter-organisation/institution quiz contest on hospitality and tourism held in the institute in the morning and a theme dinner for the general public in the evening.

Teams from Hotel Shivalikview, Mountview, Parkview, Aroma, Domino’s Pizza, G.K. International, Thomas Cook, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10 and Sector 27, participated in the quiz.

Mohit Gopal and Rakesh Pandey of Shivalikview won the first prize in the quiz, while Pushkar Malhotra and Munish won the second prize. The team of Dinesh Gandhi and Adarshpreet from the Institute of Hotel Management got the third prize. Mr N.S. Brar, Chief General Manager, CITCO, was the chief guest on the occasion who gave away prizes to the winners.

The institute was decorated for the special theme dinner organised for the evening. The theme was “Tourism: a tool for peace and dialogue among civilisations”.

The dinner, which was open to the public, had a blend of food from various cuisines served with live performances of music and dance.


Being forced to donate for a ‘good cause’
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 27
The district administration has come up with a novel way to keep the coffers of the district Red Cross Society overflowing. After all attempts of securing voluntary donations from the public failed, the administration has found recourse in “forced donations”.

While this move has not won any applause, it has led to mounting resentment in the public being “harassed” into donating for a “good cause”. Being carried out in the office of the vehicle registering authority, all public persons coming for registering a vehicle are being pressed into buying tickets, occasionally leading to rising tempers and frayed nerves.

While nobody seems to mind the Rs 100 being charged as donation along with the registration of the vehicle, Rs 1,100 being charged from four-wheelers and Rs 500 being charged for two-wheelers registered in the name of a firm or commercial establishment has invited the wrath of the public.

“They cannot threaten us into donating money to the Red Cross. Over a week back when I went to register my car, they did not mention any donation I was supposed to give. However, the day I went to get my registration card, using pressure tactics, they refused to give me my RC till I bought a Red Cross ticket for Rs 1,100,” a harassed industrialist said.

Further, he alleged that trying to reason out with the employees failed to yield results. “Instead, they told me that it was being done in compliance with orders of the Deputy Commissioner and that there was no choice in the matter,” he added.

In yet another case, a businessman who went to register his Ford Ikon, faced a similar problem at the hands of the registering body. “I was forced to part with Rs 1,100 despite not wanting to. Also, if you get into any argument over not donating to the Red Cross, there is always a chance that they will begin harassing you, asking for irrelevant papers,” another agitated donor said.

However, the authorities are not convinced they are doing any injustice to the public. All officials claim there is no harm in forced donations from the well-to-do since voluntary donations don’t seem to be coming about.

“What difference does it make if a commercial establishment does contribute Rs 1,100 to a good cause? Anyway, they are rolling in money and this is peanuts for them. There is no need to raise such a hue and cry,” they claimed.

When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, said that despite several attempts, the public did not come forward to donate to the Red Cross.

“There has to be some generation of funds and this was the most viable alternative under which vehicles registered under names of individuals are charged minimally while Rs 1,100 also is not much for firms,” she said. She stated that this was a practice being followed in other districts of the state as well.


Pandemonium in MC House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
An adjourned meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh here today was marred with marshals being called to remove Congress Senior Deputy Mayor, and the Congress and the BJP walking out.

The House witnessed uproar when the police was called to remove one of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretaries, Mr H.S. Sahni, from the corporation premises for allegedly threatening his rival party colleague and Deputy Mayor, Mr Mahender Singh.

The allegation was denied by party general secretary, Mr N.S. Minhas.

The ball was set rolling for an unruly House meeting with a section of the BJP led by Ms. Ranjana Shahi, leader of the Opposition, Mr Desraj Tandon, and senior party leader, Mr Gyanchand Gupta, demanding explanation from the Mayor, Ms. Harjinder Kaur, for reportedly demanding transfer of the Union Territory to Punjab.

They said: “Either explain before the House or apologise to the people of the city, or if you want to serve the interests of Punjab, resign immediately.”

The BJP leaders met with resistance from two party councillors, Mr Prem Sagar Jain and Mr O.P. Goel, but found friends in the Congress which also pounced upon the Mayor for the statement.

The Mayor was, however, bailed out to some extent by the Sagar Goel duo who pleaded such issues were not to be taken up in this House and agenda items of paid parking and privatisation of toilets should be discussed.

Ms Kaur faced attack from her own partymen who sought to blunt the attack of the Congress sarcastically, saying: “We should be thankful to the Congress that they are helping to solve the ticklish issue of transfer of Chandigarh by implementing the Rajiv Gandhi-Longowal accord by supporting a so-called Akali.’’

Mr Mahender Singh, however, sought to put the Mayor on the mat saying “a true Akali would not have taken the support of the Congress to win an election.”

The House was adjourned for a tea break when a section of the BJP members came to the well seeking explanation from the Mayor.

In the reconvened meeting, the BJP leaders again persisted with the issue and ultimately walked out.

One party member, Mr O.P. Goel, however, did not accompany others.

The Congress Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, raked up another issue seeking explanation from the Mayor for spending the corporation money on inauguration of community centres, which, he said, were already functioning.

The issue generated so much of heat that Mr Goel and Mr Kala virtually came to blows before marshals took Mr Kala out of the House.

The three-member Congress also boycotted on the issue.

The Mayor kept on pleading that the agenda items should be taken up and that she would explain her position in her chamber but it fell on deaf ears.


No challaning on no. plates till further orders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Chandigarh Administration will not challan motorists in the city for improper number plates till the issue of having special number plates for vehicles is decided, said a top official of the Transport Department tonight.

As per the Government of India’s instructions in March this year all vehicles in the country were required to have specially embossed number plates. A problem arose when the government realised that there were only three companies in the country which manufactured such plates.

Cars and scooter manufactures would start with the special plates initially and older vehicles would be allowed more time. These number plates would have an embossed Ashoka emblem.

At the moment due to the prevailing confusion several people have got the number plates with white background and black numbers. Owners of commercial vehicles have got plates for their vehicles with yellow background while several vehicles continue to have number plates with the standard black background.

In this prevailing confusion no challaning would start but the Administration would soon issue instructions on the number plates giving ample time to residents. As per the previous instructions the last date ends on Friday.


ORP promoters still enjoy their status
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 27
The reversion of police officers promoted in their “Own Rank and Pay” in light of the orders by the Punjab and Haryana High Court seems to have been implemented only on papers.

The inspectors, promoted under the ORP scheme in the Ropar district, who were reverted to their original ranks by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar — following the directives of the Punjab Director-General of Police — continue to hold their ranks.

Sources in the department said even though the reversion orders of the officers had been complied with on papers, the Station House Officer of Phase 1 Police Station, Sohana; Station House Officer, Nangal; Station House Officer, Morinda; and Inspector CIA, Kharar; were among other ORP promotees who continued to hold their rank.

The ORP promotions were initiated to boost the morale of the police force during the militancy era. The district police chiefs were then empowered to recommend for the ORP promotions of personnel having done some exceptionally good work. The DIG could then pass the orders for the promotion. However, police officials continued to give ORP promotions even after 1994 — when the effective period of terrorism in the state ended.

Meanwhile, the regular promotees in the department lament that despite Director-General writing to the range DIGs to revert the ORP promotees holding rank of an SI and below, no order had been passed. Sources said over 150 ORP promotee — SIs, ASIs, HC and constables — were in the district alone. Some regular promotees lament that their promotions had been due since 1983 but the ORP officials had blocked their promotion.


Bus passengers harassed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
About 50 passengers who were to board a private bus to Jammu were offloaded and put to harassment here tonight as transporters and officials of the Chandigarh Administration’s Transport Department argued for about two hours over the amount of alleged gratification.

A team of the Transport Department stopped a private bus from plying near the Aroma hotel. The transporters alleged that they had been paying money to ply illegal buses from the city. This allegation could not be refuted with conviction by the officials of the department. Transporters alleged that they have to pay Rs 2,500 per bus on a monthly basis. However, the officials denied this. According to sources, it is well known that tickets of private buses are openly sold from offices of various transporters in Sector 22.

Private buses ply in the night to destinations like Jammu, Katra, Delhi and major cities of Punjab. Tonight the passengers on board the bus called up their relatives as they feared that the bus which was to start for Jammu at 9 p.m. would not commence its journey. Pleas from passengers had no effect. The police was called in but the deadlock continued.

In the past one year a scheme to permit legal operation of private air-conditioned and luxury buses has been pending with the Administration. This would have permitted the buses to ply after legally paying the passenger tax.


Sonia constitutes CTCC election committee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Ms Sonia Gandhi, AICC President, has constituted the election committee of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee(CTCC).

According to a press note, the members of the committee will be Mr BB Bahl, CTCC chief, Mr Pawan Bansal, local MP, Mr Venod Sharma, a former Union minister, Mr Sham Lal Gupta, a former CTCC chief, Mr Munish Tewari, a former Indian Youth Congress chief, Mr Ram Pal Sharma, vice-president of the CTCC and INTUC chief,Mr Amar Nath Sarhadi, a member of the AICC, and Ms Kulwant Dhaliwal, besides the heads of all frontal organisations.


Hand-painted fabrics’ exhibition
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 27
Bugli’s creations come to the city with a wide range of hand-painted suits, sarees, shawls and dupattas in beautiful floral patterns, which are going to be shown at the exhibition hall of Hotel Aroma in Sector 22 from tomorrow.

Ms Kiran Singh, who is the brain behind the Bugli’s Creations, has created all her designs specially keeping in mind of the taste of the people of this region. ‘‘Floral-patterned suits are hot favourite with the Punjabi customers,’’ says this Delhi-based designer. However, she has done a little experiment this time by combining floral patterns with abstracts and the result is outstanding.

Kiran seeks inspiration from nature to create her paintings on fabric. Though she no longer does the painting herself, she has engaged a number of artists do to them for her. ‘‘ I do the colour schemes, the designs and selection of the fabric and constantly supervise the works of the artists to get the desired effect,’’ she says.

The suits of the Bugli’s are unstitched. ‘‘This was done to cater to the style of individuals as the length of the kurta seems to be different choice for different women,’’ says Kiran. The price range starts from Rs 1,500 and goes up to Rs 3,500 depending on the fabric she has used.

Besides a wide range of sarees, Bugli’s also has a collection of a few unique pieces of shawls painted with Frolika tubes and complemented with bead work that imparts a 3-D effect to her creations.


Non-delivery PO for Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A computerised fullfledged non-delivery post office in bay shop No. 54, Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, was inaugurated today by Justice B.S. Nehra, former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The function was attended by Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, Chief Postmaster-General, and Mrs Manjula Prasher, Postmaster-General, Punjab Circle, and others.

All types of postal business will be transacted in this post office.

With this, the department has stepped forward in providing better postal services to the residents of the area, according to Mr S.P.Jain, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Chandigarh.


Fraud case against computer institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The police registered a case of a breach of the trust and fraud against a computer training institute in the city here yesterday.

A case under Sections 406 and 420, IPC, has been registered against Jupiter IT Solutions. The institute was engaged in training people in medical transcription. A number of students enrolled here had alleged that the institute had neither the trained faculty nor were they paying the promised stipend.

Earlier, the police had booked at least four other computer institutes on similar charges. All these institutes were luring students by placing advertisements in various newspapers and promising job opportunities.


210 booked for traffic offences in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The traffic police, in association with police personnel drawn from various police stations in the city, launched a special two-hour drive to check traffic violations today. Over 210 commuters were booked in different parts of the city during the drive from 4 pm to 6pm.

According to information available, the police also impounded several vehicles for violating the traffic rules and regulations. It is learnt that the police had set up check points on 17 roads across the city. Speed guns to check over-speeding vehicles were set up at four places.

All the Sub-divisional Police Officers, DSPs, and Station House Officers, were posted at different places during the drive. They assisted the traffic staff to check the violators. With the Traffic Department facing a shortage of manpower, the help of the local police was sought for such special drives.

It may be noted that the drive was also launched on September 18 and 19. As many as 70 per cent of the booking were for overspeeding.

Even today, the commuters were checked for various offences like overspeeding, driving without helmets, triple riding, tinted glasses, wrong entry, wrong turn, jumping red lights and under-aged drivers etc.


Cop caught for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, September 27
The Additional Station House Officer of the Sohana police station was today caught red-handed by a flying squad of the Punjab Vigilance Department while accepting a bribe of Rs 1000 from a complainant of Goggo Majra village in the premises of the police station here. The Additional Station House Officer, SI Bhadhur Singh, had reportedly sought the bribe for registering a case of theft of the complainant.

According to information available, Mr Shinder Singh of Goggo Majra village had lodged a written complaint of theft of bajri from his house with the Station House Officer of Sohana police station, Mr G.P. Singh on September 25. The complaint came to SI Bhadhur Singh. The SI was asked to visit the spot to enquire into the matter. However, when the complainant visited the police station, he was asked to pay Rs 2000 if he wanted the case to be registered.

When the case was brought to the notice of the Superintendent of Police, Vigilance Flying Squad, Mr H.S. Randhawa, he sent DSP, Mr Zora Singh Brar, and DSP, Mr Banarssi Dass, to raid the police station. The SI after accepting the money had gone to the room of the SHO. The bribe money was recovered in presence of ADO, Mr Madan Mohan, and a senior assistant, Directorate of Agriculture.

A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered at the Phase 8 police station. The SI would be produced before the Duty Magistrate, Kharar, tomorrow.


15-yr-old girl drugged, raped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man at her employer’s residence during the intervening night of September 24 and 25. She had allegedly been coerced into staying overnight by her employer.

According to an FIR registered at the Police Station 39, the victim has alleged that she was raped by Satnam Singh at her employer’s residence in Butrela village. She has also alleged that her employer, Shabana, was also in cahoots with Satnam Singh. The girl was learning tailoring work at a tailoring centre being run by Shabana in her house. Satnam Singh was a frequent visitor there. The girl said Shabana had asked her to stay overnight. Shabana brought samosas for her. However, after the victim ate the samosas, she became semi-conscious. Satnam Singh came there and he reportedly raped her. A case has been registered.


Cars stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Two cars were reportedly stolen from different parts of the city during the past 24 hours.

A Maruti car (CH-01K-5797) was stolen from Sector 34 , while another Maruti car (CH-01T-1472) was stolen during the night intervening September 25 and 26 from Mani Majra.

In both cases, FIR’s under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

One held: Lal Yadav was arrested last evening on charges of eve teasing and then threatening the victim in the Sector 20 market. A case under Sections 506 and 509 of the IPC has been registered.

Woman assaulted: Ms Krishna Devi was reportedly assaulted by Rama and Sikandar in Palsora Colony here yesterday. A case under Sections 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.


Two held for possessing poppy husk

SAS Nagar, September 27
The Sohana police has arrested two persons who were allegedly carrying 3 kg of poppy husk at Nanomajra village here on Tuesday night. The suspects, Pawan Kumar (35) and Prabhat (40), were carrying it on a scooter when they were intercepted by a police party. The suspects used to bring their consignment from Rajasthan and in the last trip had brought 20 kg of poppy husk.

Both have been booked under the NDPS Act.



ROAD SHOW: TVS Scooty organised a promotional road show in Chandigarh on Thursday. The company in association with Sony Music is conducting live audition of “First Love Khoj”, a search for a new hero for Esha, the female featured in Sony’s music video Deewano ka Jalwa.

LAUNCHED: A mild alcoholic drink “cyder”, which is an apple wine, has been launched in Chandigarh. The carbonated drink, manufactured by Solan Food Product Private Limited, is available in liquor vends and leading stores. A sample of 100 ml is available for taste.

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