Tuesday, October 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Court pulls up PUDA to pull down encroachments
VIPs set land-grab examples
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
On a petition seeking the removal of encroachments on public land at SAS Nagar, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana Court directed the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority and other respondents here today to issue within seven days a notice in newspapers, asking residents to remove encroachments within 15 days or watch them be removed by authorities.

In an open court, the Bench comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar also directed the respondents to file a status report in this case within five weeks. The Judges fixed November 20 as the next date of hearing in this case and asked PUDA officials to destroy obstructions and not greenery.

Earlier, the PUDA counsel filed a detailed status report that showed there were over 8,000 cases of encroachments by plot holders in the town. He said some of the residents had not been issued notices for removing encroachments on public land, but they would soon be issued these notices.

The counsel assured the court that the notices would be published in newspapers of heavy circulation. The notices would ask residents to remove the ‘pakka’, ‘kachha’ and the barbed-wire fences, besides iron grills, from in front of their plots, if they did not want PUDA to do so.

In its petition, the SAS Nagar Anti-encroachment Committee had earlier sought directions for the removal of encroachments. The head of the body, Mr N.S. Minhas, had also sought that government agencies be asked to enforce the laws against encroachment. He had said in the petition that some of the VIPs had initially started encroachment as PUDA ignored the violations and the other residents had followed their example.

The petitioner said the committee had been set up for safeguarding the interest of the public and making the government remove the encroachments. The counsel of the petitioner said, residents, in the name of beautification, had encroached upon open spaces outside their houses.

This land was “space for laying essential infrastructure like sewerage connections, water pipelines, electricity cables and telephone lines”.

The counsel said several complaints regarding encroachment had been addressed to the authorities concerned, including the Chief Minister and the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, but, so far, no action had been taken.


Ignorance ‘walls’ PUDA not residents
Tribune News Service

PUDA’s landscaping policy

An annual fee of Rs 25 per 100 sq ft will be charged for allowing landscaping along road berms.

Violators will be penalised at a rate of Rs 10 per sq ft. Thereafter, a fine at a rate of Rs 1 per sq ft per day will be charged from the date of the detection.

Obstructing or damaging the service lines laid under road berms will not be allowed.

SAS Nagar, October 8
Officials of the Estate Office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority are ignoring a common practice among plot holders that is in violation of the building bylaws. The practice is not to construct the front boundary wall of houses. According to estimates, at least 70 per cent of the houses, especially those in developing sectors, don’t have the front boundary walls.

The practice is fast catching among residents. An occupant of a house in Phase VII, who had recently removed the front boundary wall of his house to increase the green area in front, said, “When no action was taken against my neighbours, I, too, went ahead.” A survey of the developed sectors showed that violators included PUDA officials, politicians, municipal councillors and religious leaders.

According to a revised policy of PUDA, landscaping of road-berms in front of all plots here shall not be allowed if the front boundary walls of these premises have not been constructed. The policy was announced in April last, but the practice continued.

In has been seen in the past that people ignore guidelines because these are rarely enforced. When guidelines to allow the maintenance of road berms by growing grass on these was announced in 1999, no plot owner approached authorites to seek such a permission. Then, raising hedges, erecting railings and growing trees and flowers in front of plots was not permitted. Even the offer to allow the management of green spaces near the corner plots had few takers.

As per the new landscaping policy, raising of hedges upto two feet has been allowed, provided this does not obstruct pathways. The hedge or fence will have to be raised within the landscaped area. The permission to allow such land-use will be valid for three years for plots along the V5 and V6 roads. No such land-use will be allowed along the V2, V3 and V4 roads. The portion of the road berm to be landscaped will be 50 per cent of the berm width, but at least five-foot space from it will have to be left free. PUDA will fine those house owners who do not construct their front boundary walls.


2 cr for widening Panchkula road
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service


*The new Chandigarh-Panchkula road will have 4 lanes on each side instead of the 3 presently.

* Even the bridge over the railway line just across the railway traffic lights will be widened.

* Admn proposes an underpass below the main road to connect the railway station.

* On the other hand, an alternate road to connect Sectors 15 and 16 Panchkula with Chandigarh is facing problems.

* The widening of the road is separate from the project to build a flyover on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road.

Chandigarh, October 8
Travelling on the busy Chandigarh-Panchkula road will be relatively comfortable in the near future as the Government of India has sanctioned a sum of Rs 2 crore to widen the road from the existing three lanes on each side to four lanes on each side.

Work on the widening of the 3-km-stretch from the traffic lights at the transport area in Sector 26 to the traffic lights at the Housing Board crossing, Sector 7 of Panchkula, will start soon, well-placed sources said. Actually, tenders will be called and work will be allotted in the coming fours weeks. It is expected to be completed within this financial year. The money has been given by the Government of India as this road connects Chandigarh to the Ambala-Shimla National highway.

So far this road is the only link between Chandigarh and Panchkula. Thousands of vehicles come to Chandigarh each morning to return in the evening as Panchkula residents have businesses and jobs in Chandigarh. The volume of traffic is high and the need to have a four-lane road on each side is the right decision, said senior engineer. During peak hour traffic it can take up to 20 minutes to cross this 3-km-stretch. In case an accident takes place the travel time doubles.

Within the project will be the widening of the narrow “two-lane on each side” bridge passing over the railway line. This bridge located just beyond the railway station traffic lights is a major bottleneck in the smooth flow of traffic. The other bridge on the same road across the Sukhna choe has been widened just a few months ago and has a four-lane road on each side.

The four-laning of the road will be separate from the flyover planned to take traffic over the transport area traffic lights to connect it with the bridge across the Sukhna choe. Work on the flyover is to start soon, a source added. On the other hand, an alternate route connecting Chandigarh with Panchkula has run into problems. This route was to take off from the Chandigarh-Ambala highway to join sector 15 and 16 of Panchkula. A problem of charting the route is being faced near Makhan Majra village falling in the UT.

The Administration is also studying a scheme to have an underpass on the existing Chandigarh-Panchkula. This is aimed at providing unhindered access to the railway station for traffic coming from Chandigarh.



ASI, two others killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 8
Three persons, including an ASI of the Punjab police, were killed in a head-on collision between an Indica car and a truck near Padiala village on the Kharar-Kurali road today.

According to information received from the Kurali police, the accident occurred when an overspeeding truck (MP-09-KA-0495), which was coming from Kharar side, tried to overtake another vehicle and hit an Indica car (PB-08-AE-1883) coming from the opposite side.

The police said that all three persons, who were travelling in the car, died on the spot. The deceased are Santokh Singh, ASI, Police Division No 6, Jalandhar, Ashu Kumar, driver of the car, and Om Parkash.

According to the police, all these persons were going to Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with some case when the accident occurred. The bodies were taken to the Civil Hospital, Ropar, where post mortem was conducted.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A, IPC, against the driver of the truck who has absconded.



Hoax bomb call in police HQ
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A hoax bomb call in the UT police headquarters here this morning disrupted normal work for more than an hour.

The police immediately swung into action but it turned out to be an exercise in futility.

It is learnt that a woman clerk in the CP-4 wing of the UT Engineering Department received the call at around 9.45 a.m. This wing of the Engineering Department is housed in the Additional Deluxe Building, adjacent to the UT police headquarters.

Sources inform that the caller was a woman and told the clerk that a bomb had been planted in the police headquarters. The latter, in turn, informed the Police Control Room, and soon the police swung into action.

The entire building was thoroughly searched. A dog squad, bomb-disposal squad and other police personnel were put through a grilling one-hour schedule till the building was thoroughly searched.

As the call was received at the CP-4 wing, where no caller ID has been installed, the police was unable to trace the caller.

It is worthwhile to mention here that hoax bomb calls in the District Courts are a routine affair with five such calls having being received so far this year. But this is perhaps the first time that a hoax bomb call in the UT Police Headquarters has been reported.

Senior police officers informed that the department had taken steps to solve the problem. Five call-identification machines have been installed at the control room number 100. However, it becomes difficult for the police to nab the culprits as the calls are most often made from a public call office (PCO).



Sports meet for special children begins
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, October 8
More than 400 special children gathered at the Sports Complex, Sector 7, to take part in the ninth zonal meet of the Special Olympics North West Zone. As the vibrant and dynamic Ms Promila Chandermohan, Area Director, explained that even though these children were deprived, yet they had over the years developed their skills by playing in the field. There was no age bar for participation in these games, though minimum age was eight years. In this two-day meet, apart from regular athletics events, like various races, shot put, jumps, throws, there were also skating competition for children in 8-11 year age group, cycling for 12-15 year olds and table tennis competition for 16-21 year age group. She said the gold medalists of various events from this meet would be taken for the national-level special olympics to be held later.

Earlier, the morning was made lively when the chief guest, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) Governor, Punjab and UT Administrator, enjoyed the healthy atmosphere and remained glued to the sports complex for nearly one hour. He also appreciated the efforts made to encourage these special children.

The programme started with welcome of the chief guest by Ms Neelu Sarin. This was followed by raising of the special olympic flag and marchpast by the teams from 17 schools of the region. Later, the, special olympics oath — ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt’, was taken by Rounie Chandra.

The events began with low ability in 50 metre walk for girls and 200 metre dash for boys in 16-21 year age group. The best part of the events conducted was that the prize distribution was held simultaneously once a particular event was over.

The children were given free lunch, refreshments and volunteers from UT Administration, sports and education departments, Food and Craft Institute, Sector 42, students of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and Rotaract Club volunteers helped in various capacities for the smooth conduct of the two-day meet.

The school teams which have come from various parts of the region to take part in the meet included, Ambuja Manovikas Kendra-Ropar; Astha, Nahan (HP); Asha, Chandimandir; Asha Kiran, Hoshiarpur; Asha Rehabiliation, Pathankot; Bhagat Puran Singh, Amritsar; Bhavan Vidyalya, Sector 27, Chandigarh; Government Institute, Sector 32, Chandigarh; Jivan Jyoti, Nabha; Koshish, Amritsar; Little Flower, Panchkula; Devindra Red Cross, Navjivani, Patiala; Nirdosh, Ludhiana; Prayas, Jalandhar; St Soldier’s Chandigarh; St Stephen’s Sector 45; St John’s Sector 26 and Sadhana Society for Mentally Handicapped, Manimajra.


PU panels to study exam-related issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 7
Leaving aside a quantitative improvement in quick declaration of results, Panjab University has moved a step forward towards a qualitative improvement in terms of ensuring a fair system of evaluation and better check on unfair means cases.

The Vice-Chancellor has constituted separate committees to study the examination-related issues individually. One committee will study exclusively the system of evaluation and another committee will study ways to check using unfair means in examinations. Yet another committee will dwell on the issue of tampering with the answer-sheets.

Interestingly, a panel will meet soon to discuss the issue of continuous evaluation of a student which means marks of house tests and attendance can also be added to the total. The university has asked for suggestions of the Fellows on the issue of giving third chance to students who could not clear compartment examinations in first two chances.

A senior faculty member pointed out that a common problem faced during evaluation was that there were very few teachers who were willing to come for the evaluation duty. Certain senior teachers did not offer their services. In fact, the evaluation work should be made a mandatory part of the job-related assignments.

Sources in the examination branch pointed out that ‘‘Sometimes teachers refused to take up the evaluation job when the answer-books were sent to them. This was not a generalised statement but still affected a sizeable number of students’’.

A senior Fellow of the university Senate said that ‘‘The university should carry out a thorough exercise in getting the list of papers that a teacher teaches in class. It would be better that a teacher teaching BA(I) got related papers. Very little work had been done on this front’’.

One strange situation was that papers were not separated in the medium they were attempted at the examination centers. This resulted in a English medium evaluator getting a Punjabi medium copy. The answer-sheets were ‘‘generally returned’’, there had, however, been a case where a teacher was found to have checked a bulk of copies in Punjabi medium when he did not even know how to read.

Another Fellow said that a difference of 0-5 marks in the re-evaluation was understandable but each year there were scores of cases when the differences were more than 30. This was an unpardonable mistake on part of one of the separate evaluators. The university should be sincere in its effort of pulling up non-serious teachers.

Apart from the controversial case decided by the university where a teacher had been penalised from five increments for increasing marks of a candidate from 0 to 42, another case of the engineering college had come to light. It had been discovered that in a number of cases the increase in marks on re-evaluation had been more than 40, official sources in the examination branch said.

PU Senate had, in the past, accepted a UGC proposal of showing the answer-sheets to interested students on payment of a special fee. This had, however, not been put into actual practice. A teacher said that if student could see their answer-books, then teachers would be under a natural pressure to ensure serious work.

Another teacher said that university was often following three to four sessions in a day to ensure a quick pace of result declaration process. The UGC had proposed two sessions at the maximum. The university should try to stick to the UGC-recommended work principles.


Granth row: cop gets clean chit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A Chandigarh Police constable, posted in Crime Against Women Cell, has been given a clean chit by the top brass in the department, even as revelations of her involvement in preparing the controversial “Bhav Sagar Samundar Amar Bani Granth”, which is the cause of the tension prevailing in the state, these days.

According to information available, Satya Devi, alongwith Jaswinder Kaur, Jasbir Kaur, Jogindra Rani and Sukhwinder Kaur, used to write word-by-word what was tape recorded by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawale. The Baba used to tape record stories about people who had been relieved of their suffering due to his “divine powers.”

It is learnt that the police woman and her husband, Narinder Singh, who belong to Dhotian village in Amritsar, had been the followers of baba for the past several years and reportedly had a hand in helping the Baba prepare the more than 2000-page text of the granth- which the latter claimed to be parallel to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. As many as 19 other persons were involved in helping the Baba write the controversial granth.

The involvement of Satya Devi in the case came to light after the arrest of one of Baba’s followers Darshan Singh, a Superintendent in Punjab Industries Department at Chandigarh. After his arrest by Ropar police on October 6, Darshan Singh admitted that he had played a key role in preparing the banned granth. During his interrogation by Ropar police, he had revealed the names of other persons involved in preparing the granth.

Meanwhile, senior police officials today reportedly questioned Satya Devi for her involvement in writing the banned granth. She is reported to have told her seniors that she had nothing to do with the writing of the granth, although she had admitted that she was a follower of the Baba.

A senior police official, however, said no departmental action was being initiated against her. He, however, said if she was booked by the Ropar police, necessary action would be taken against her as and when the need arose.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggested that the policewoman had already applied for voluntary retirement. 


Seminar on adolescents’ problems held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Lions Club, Chandigarh Central, organised a seminar regarding the problems faced by adolescents—‘‘Entering the teen years — The challenge ahead’’, at Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21,here today. The seminar was arranged under the Quest Programme of the Lions Club. The programme is aimed at enabling the adolescents to adjust well in society and to overcome difficulties.

Lion Surjeet Patheja, district chairperson Quest Programme and the keynote speaker, laid stress on the importance of nurturing the heart and mind of every adolescent. She discussed in detail the various problems being faced by the students and parents. She persuaded the students to develop skills like responsibility, judgement, self-confidence and family values. Lion Renu Bali, region coordinator, laid stress on the role of various agencies like school, community and the media in removing the problems being faced by the adolescents. Speaking on the occasion Lion Sanjeev Gupta, region chairman, stressed the need for systematic educational programme.


Performing stunts on his mobike
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 8
If you encounter this lanky young man manoeuvering his motorcycle on the busy roads of Chandigarh while standing on it, do not be surprised, because this stuntman has several more tricks up his sleeve to mesmerise you.

He is Harjeet Mauji from Fatehgarh Sahib who has proved the fact that having a command over this machine using just any part of the body requires only a little bit of concentration and practice.

Harjeet, who wanted to be a musician, soon discarded this idea in favour of becoming a stuntman after he saw one of his classmates doing tricks with his mobike. "It was in 1996 while I was studying music in Ludhiana when I saw a young boy standing on a moving bike , I was so impressed that I immediately started copying him," says Harjeet.

Little did he know that his passion would soon become his profession. Harjeet who mastered the art of performing tricks like driving his bike facing the rear or driving the bike in sleeping position at a speed of 80 km per hour, soon started moonlighting as a stuntman in melas and other gatherings.

‘‘I have started performing stunts only since 1998 ,after two years of practice’’, says Harjeet. "So far I have performed in almost all districts in Punjab and also on the busy roads of Delhi and Kolkata," he adds.

What makes his stunts interesting is the cool confidence he radiates while riding his bike. Ask him what inspires him to take up such dangerous feats. ‘‘I want to be famous and earn some International award’’, he answers with a shy smile which is in total contrast with the adventurous spirit he possesses.


‘Media should work in rural areas’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Ramesh Bais, today called upon the media to create awareness in rural areas about various social and economic problems being faced by the country. He said various programmes of the government could not make much headway due to non-participation of people.

Addressing members of the state-level Inter Media Publicity Coordination Committee ( IMPCC) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the minister said the problem of female foeticide needed to be tackled urgently. The petroleum conservation campaign should be taken to villages for saving diesel, which is heavily used in these areas. He referred to the consumption of petrol and diesel in China where it was consumed only up to the level of its production in that country, whereas a lot of it was wasted in India owing to various considerations and casual approach.

He urged the media to formulate its programmes keeping in view the requirements of rural areas and said programmes like family welfare and polio eradication should be taken to villages and monitoring done to know about their impact.

The Chairman of the IMPCC, Mr Kanwal Kishore, Regional Director, Directorate of Field Publicity, while welcoming the minister highlighted various campaigns launched through the IMPCC from time to time. Mr Ramesh Bais visited the production centre of the Chandigarh Doordarshan and offices of the Directorate of Field Publicity and Press Information Bureau also.



Electronic designers’ council soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Electronic designers of the country who have put India firmly on the IT map of the world will soon have something they have lacked so far: a “home” of their own.

For the first time in the country, an Electronic Designers Council of India (EDCI) will be set up which will coordinate and promote design concepts related to international design rules and international standards through education, communication, seminars and workshops.

The council will function under the auspices of the Indian Printed Circuit Association and will have its headquarters in Bangalore. The EDCI will, in turn, be affiliated to the IPC Electronic Designers Council, USA, according to official information here today.

Creation of the Designers' Council is expected to provide ample opportunities for young engineers to put in their best efforts, vis-a-vis the latest technical literature and knowhow readily made available to them through global interaction within the purview of an internationally affiliated council. 



Coin-dispensing machine at RBI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Chandigarh branch of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today installed a coin-dispensing machine in its banking hall.

This is the first coin-dispensing machine to be installed in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The facility is available on working days between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and between 10 a.m. and 12 noon on Saturday.

The machine accepts denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100 of ‘Gandhi Series’ only and dispenses Re 1 and Rs 5 coins in exchange. The capacity of the machine is 22000 coins.

Mr K.L. Khetarpaul, Executive Director, RBI, inaugurated the machine by lighting a lamp and inserting a ‘Gandhi Series’ Rs 10 note in it and getting coins in exchange. He was accompanied by Mr Surindra Kumar, Regional Director for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.



Promoting scientific temper
Shashi Pal Jain

The Kharar unit of Taraksheel Society of Punjab organised a Taraksheel Chetna march from Kharar to Mamupur village, passing through Bhagumajra and Rurki. All through the march people were asked to develop a scientific approach to their problems and stay away from those who promoted superstition.


The ultrasound equipment in the Kharar Civil Hospital will start functioning soon. Dr SS Dhanoa, Senior Medical Officer, says that this will meet a long standing demand of the residents, and that now patients will get this facility in the hospital and they will not have to go to private clinics and pay heavy charges.


The Kharar branch of Union Bank of India celebrated the 25th anniversary of its opening in the presence of a number of prominent residents and customers of the bank. Mr Surjit Singh Sidana, Branch Manager, said that the annual business of this branch amounted to about Rs 24 crore. He thanked the customers for their cooperation.


As many as 521 persons were immunised against Hepatitus-B at a camp organised in Sacrulapur village by the Kharar Lions Club, in association with the Sports Club of the village. In all, 294 persons were medically examined at the camp.


IAF celebrates 69th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The 69th anniversary of the Indian Air Force was celebrated at the Western Command Headquarters, Chandi Mandir Cantonment, as well as at the Air Force Station, Chandigarh, today.

At a function organised at Headquarters Western Command, the GOC-in-C, Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh, greeted Air Vice-Marshal Nirmal Thusu, Air Officer Commanding, Advance Headquarters, and other Air Force officers present on the occasion.

The GOC-in-C joined the AOC in cutting the anniversary cake. The function displayed the spirit of jointmanship between the two services.

At the Chandigarh Air Force Station, the AOCs of 12 Wing and 3 Base Repair Depot addressed officers and airmen in their respective units. The messages received from the President, Chief of Air Staff and AOC-in-C, Western Air Command, were also read out on the occasion.


Stress on use of Hindi in banks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Despite best efforts by the government of India, the use of Hindi in the day-to-day functioning of public sector banks has been rather slow so far.

“It is just 50 per cent of our expectation”, said Dr Rajeshwar Gangwar, General Manager, RBI, in a talk with TNS. “We would have been liked it to be 100 per cent by now, given the fact that the government has been trying to promote its usage for the past 21 years”. The issue was discussed at the 22nd Official Language Conference of Public Sector Banks here today. Mr Krishan Lal Khetrapal, Executive Director of the RBI, was the chief guest at the conference, hosted by the Punjab and Sind Bank. The function was presided over by Mr N.S. Gujral, Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab and Sind Bank who appealed that every Indian should adopt Hindi voluntarily.

“Banking being a service-oriented industry must implement official language to establish a direct contact with the masses”, he observed.


NCP invites applications for MC election candidature
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The local unit of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here today invited applications for the candidature to the Municipal Corporation election.

This was informed by the local NCP President, Mr Gurbachan Singh, after getting green signal from the national executive of the party at a meeting held yesterday at Delhi. Mr Singh has fixed October 15 as the last date for receiving applications.

He said that the date had been fixed to start scrutiny of claims of individuals immediately after October 15. This was decided at the meeting of the local unit today, which was attended by the National Secretary, Mr Sukhbir Panwar.

Mr Singh said applicants are required to send bio-data, a photograph and the voter identity card to the party for candidature.


Washermen lay siege to MC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A section of washermen here today struck work and laid a siege to the Municipal Corporation office for an hour to protest their alleged removal from certain places in the city.

The protest was organised by the Hind Pressmen Dhobi Parishad and was led by the Chandigarh Vikas Manch general secretary, Mr Devinder Singh Babla.

Raising slogans against Municipal Corporation officials and the Commissioner, they alleged that their tools of work were confiscated on Saturday from Sectors 27, 28 and 7.

The protesters claimed they had the backing of sector residents to continue their service.

The members of the parishad offered to pay a reasonable amount of rent for the space they occupied.

Mr Babla, while addressing the washermen, offered full support to the fight of the parishad.

The siege was lifted after a delegation of the parishad met the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M. P. Singh, who was said to have promised them ‘’full cooperation.’’


Implementation of Apartment Act hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha today hailed the decision of the Administration to implement the Punjab Apartment Act in the city.

A press note issued jointly by Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, Mr Chaman Lal Sharma and Tejbana Singh Jauhar, office-bearers of the sabha, said the decision would help various segments of society to own property in Chandigarh, apart from helping retired and old people to sell their upper floors to augment their income while staying in their own house.

The press note added that this decision would also help professionals to buy small places for their work. This would also generate revenue for the Administration.



Samata Party threatens dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The local unit of the Samata Party today decided to organise a dharna on October 14 to demand removal of a wine shop facing Government High School in Mauli Jagran complex.

They said the shop had become a nuisance for the residents and was violative of bylaws as there cannot be a wine shop within a 500-metre radius of a school or hospital.

They alleged that this shop was merely 100 metres from the school.


Gujjars, Sunars in OBC category
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Chandigarh Administration has included two more castes in the category of other backward classes (OBCs). As per recent notification of the Administration, Gujjars and Sunars/sawarnkars have been added to the list at serial Nos 61 and 62, respectively.

This has been done on the basis of the recommendations made by a permanent body constituted for the purpose of entertaining, examining and recommending on the request for inclusion exclusion in the OBC list notified in June, 1995. 


Lucky becomes CTYC President
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Mr H. S. Lucky was today appointed the President of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) after replacing Mr Chandramukhi Sharma. The IYC President, Mr Randeep Surjewala, cleared Mr Lucky’s name for the post ahead of the municipal corporation elections.



Labourer found dead
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 8
The body of an 18-year-old labourer was found in a house under construction in Sector 70 here today. A bottle of liquor was found near the body.

The police suspects that the deceased died of consuming liquor, the DSP, Mr A.S. Bajwa, said there were no injury mark on the body. He said efforts were being made to identify the labourer. There were, however minor scratches on the body.


Vehicle thefts: During the past 24 hours, the police received four complaints of vehicle thefts here. A Maruti gypsy (WB-02-J-6453) of Mr K.K. Sharma of SCO 347-48, Sector 35, was stolen from Sector 34, while A Maruti car (CHF - 846) of Mr Subash Chander, a resident of Modern Complex, Mani Majra, was stolen from the Sector 22 market.

Mr Kamal Dogra, a resident of Sector 27, reported that his Hero Honda motor cycle (CH-03-D-6783) was stolen from his residence on Saturday night. Mr Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 41, also reported that his scooter (CH-01-C-9325) was stolen from his residence.

Four cases under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

Two arrested: Two persons were arrested by the police after a girl, a resident of Solan district, accused them of teasing her here yesterday. The two allegedly threatened her with dire consequences. The incident took place in the Sector 19 market at about 4.35 pm. Those arrested were Suresh Kumar and Rajesh Kumar, both residents of Hamirpur district (HP).

Liquor siezed: The police arrested Shanti, a resident of Sector 22, and seized 25 pouches of liquor form her possession. She was booked under the Excise Act.


House stoned: Some unidentified persons hurled stones at the house of Brig R.M. Soni (retd) in Sector 8 late last night.

Sources said that the miscreants broke windowpanes of the house and fled after the house inmates woke up and switched on the lights.

It may be recalled that thieves had struck at the house a few months back and took away jewellery and other valuables.


Youth commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A 20-year-old youth committed suicide by hanging himself from a branch of a tree outside Shiv Shakti Colony this morning. It is learnt that Ramya hung himself from the branch of a neem tree. He was reportedly in a state of depression because of his instable financial condition. He was a labourer and was unable to get work continuously.

He was residing in a hutment in Shiv Shakti Colony with his mother, sister and younger brother. All of them were working as casual labourers. It is learnt that the victim consumed a lot of liquor last evening and after having his dinner went off to sleep. He was reportedly not at his residence in the morning when the rest of the family members left home for work. They were later informed by neighbours that Ramya’s body was found hanging from the tree. 


Dry fruits get dearer after attacks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The US air strikes on Afghanistan, a major dry fruit supplier to India, have created panic in the local markets leading to a rise in the prices of dry fruits. The prices are likely to shoot up further, according to the dealers.

Dry fruit prices, including those of almonds, pistachio and raisins, increased between Rs 20 and Rs 25 in the wholesale markets here today . “With Diwali around the corner and the supply from Afghanistan likely to be affected, prices will definitely show an upward trend ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 60 per kilogram on all dry fruits”, said Mr Tarlok Singh of Khalsa Dry Fruit Store, Sector 22.

The local markets get most of their supplies directly or through wholesalers from Delhi, who import majority of the dry fruits, including almonds, raisins and pistachio, from Kabul or Kandhar in Afghanistan.

The impending increase in the prices following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre have shown an upward trend only today, that is, after the attacks and President Bush’s announcement of tightening of economic, diplomatic and military noose around the Taliban regime. The announcement has been viewed as a likely closure of Afghan borders from all sides. The dry fruit market, which picks up around the festive season, was comparatively sluggish.

A survey of the local markets by the TNS showed that the dry fruit prices that were almost stable for the last few weeks showed an upward trend today. Almonds for instance, which were available in the wholesale market for around Rs 210, were today available at Rs 230 per Kilogram. Similarly, pistachio prices rose from Rs 400 per kilogram to Rs 420, whereas raisins showed an increase from Rs 185 to Rs 210 per kilogram.

“This is only a marginal increase . Within a few days when situation regarding supplies will be clearer, only then we’d be able to predict something. A more than usual increase is expected this time”, said Mr Tilak Raj of Kishan Lal Anil Kumar wholesalers in Sector 26.

Retail markets, however, had not started showing an increase till evening. “We still have previous stocks piled up with us and people have not yet started their Diwali purchases”, said Mr Tarlok Singh. While cashewnuts were available in the retail market today for Rs 280, almonds were priced at Rs 240, walnuts at Rs 240, pistachio at Rs 300, dried dates at Rs 60, raisins — Indian at Rs 150 and those from Afghanistan at Rs 240 per kilogram.

“Present scenario does not indicate anything positive. Apart from the usual increase due to the festive season, the cross-border tensions, which would affect supply in the peak demand season, would lead to a substantial price increase”, another retailer said.


Jewellery collection launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Tanishq, a national jeweller, today announced the launch of Aria, a diamond jewellery collection, with over 80 exquisite designs of ear-rings, finger-rings, bangles and neckwear.

The collection has been inspired by the traditional seven-stone floral/petal arrangement, worn by women since time immemorial. There is a touch of modernity to the collection by the use of various cuts of diamonds like the princess cut and the pear cut apart from the regular round cuts.

“Aria is Tanishq’s tribute to modern woman’s quest for diamond jewellery. The collection targets women of today, with designs representing a blend of the traditional and the modern. It has been crafted based on our understanding of the woman’s jewellery needs, and we are sure that women will be delighted with our wonderful and unique designs,” said Ms Saroja YL from Tanishq.

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