Tuesday, October 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Collector’s rates for property hiked
It’s illegal, according to apex court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
To increase the revenue from the sale and purchase of real estate, the UT Administration has increased the rates fixed by the District Collector for registration of documents and payment of stamp duty.

The revised Collector’s rates have been increased by about 50 per cent for various categories. The office of the Sub Registrar has been directed not to register any documents if the consideration money in the sale deed is below the amount calculated at the revised rates.

Officials said here today that the property in Phases I and II of the Industrial Area of Chandigarh, coal depots, ‘chakki’ sites, iron market, timber market and motor market, besides commercial property in Mani Majra and booths in various sectors have been left untouched by the change. The property that has been left untouched includes the SCOs in Sector 17, Madhya Marg, the Sector 34 Sub City Centre, Sector 22 and Sector 35 (the ones facing the dividing road of Sectors 34 and 35).

However, the Collector’s rates for residential properties in urban areas has been revised as follows: 5 marlas — Rs 5 lakh against Rs 3.50 lakh, earlier; 7.5 marlas — Rs 7.50 lakh against Rs 5 lakh, earlier; 10 marlas — Rs 10 lakh against Rs 8.50 lakh, earlier; 12 marlas — Rs 12 lakh against Rs 10 lakh, earlier; 1 kanal — Rs 18 lakh against Rs 14.50 lakh, earlier; 2 kanals — Rs 30 lakh against Rs 24 lakh, earlier.

The revision of the Collector’s rates has drawn protests from several residents’ bodies. Mr R.P. Malhotra, chief of the Samadhaan, a pressure group for social justice, and Mr Amarjeet Singh Sethi, General Secretary of the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha, say that, as per the Indian Stamp Duty Act of 1899, it is illegal to fix the price of real estate for calculating the stamp duty for registration. However, this practice still prevails, in violation of various court orders.

Mr Malhotra says that, as per the Indian Stamp Act, it is mandatory for authorities concerned to register documents with the payment of consideration money settled between the seller and the buyer. “Such orders issued in the past by revenue officials have always been quashed by various courts, including even the Supreme Court. An application moved in the case of Shanti Devi versus the District Collector (Estate Office), UT, Chandigarh, on December 18, 1972, under Section 45 (2) of the Indian Stamp Act of 1899, was upheld by Mr B.S. Ojha, the then UT Commissioner.

In another judgment, the apex court had accepted the writ petition of Mohaiber Singh and others by declaring that the practice adopted by district collectors was illegal and in violation of Section 47-A (1) of the Indian Stamp Act. In a similar order in 1990, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had quashed similar orders of Punjab. In 1966, the full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed such guidelines issued to the registering authorities by the DCs.

Mr Malhotra said the rates that had been fixed did not match the prevailing market price. A two-bay-showroom site, measuring about 400 square yards, was sold in a recent auction at a premium of Rs 1.02 crore, that too, on instalment basis. The minimum price, calculated at recently fixed Collector’s rate of Rs 40,000 per sq yd for Sector 17, comes to Rs 1.60 crore. Similarly, a built-up showroom along Madhya Marg is available at about Rs 1.5 crore only, whereas, the value of the plot alone in the area, measuring about 800 sq yds, calculated at the Collector’s rate of Rs 25,000 per sq yd, comes out to be Rs 2 crore. All these calculations are based on the presumption that the property is vacant. “The practice, therefore, sounds unfeasible in case of occupied property. Though illegal, the practice also encourages underhand sales, resulting in loss of stamp-duty revenue,” he said.



Five killed, 6 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 22
Five persons were killed while six others were injured seriously in a road accident involving a Tata Sumo, a tractor and a bus near Gharuan village on Kharar-Morinda road this morning.

According to Kharar police the accident occurred at about 10 a.m. when a Tata Sumo HR-02-E-0231), which was coming from Ludhiana, hit a tractor and then rammed into a Punjab Roadways Bus (PB-12-8333). As a result II persons were injured seriously.

After the accident a large number of people assembled there and helped in taking out the injured from the badly damaged vehicle. The injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital, Kharar.

Dr S.S. Dhanoa, Civil Hospital, Kharar, said the injured were brought to the hospital at about 10.15 a.m. and all doctors and staff were put on alert. He said out of the II persons two were declared brought dead, while another person died in the hospital. Three others were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh and five were admitted to the hospital. The condition of one person out of them was stated to be serious.

According to the police the injured were coming from Ludhiana and most of them were employees of the Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana. They were going to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to submit a compromise already reached amongst themselves about a pending case.

Most of them were residents of Rajiv Gandhi Colony, Focal Point, Ludhiana.

According to the police those killed were identified as Ram Bahadur, Hari Lal and Kuldeep Singh (driver of the vehicle). The names of those referred to the PGI are Chote Lal, Raj Kumar and Bhai Lal. The injured admitted to the Civil Hospital, Kharar are — Ram Chander, Panna Lal, Nand Lal, Chote Lal and Ms Amrita.

The Kharar police has registered a case under Section 279/304, IPC against Gurdeep Singh, driver of the bus.



Zoning of waterworks planned
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 22
The Haryana Urban Development Authority has made up a plan of dividing water-works into various zones to solve the problem of low water pressure in old sectors of the town.

It has been learnt that officials of HUDA are conducting a survey of various water-works here. The load on each of these water-works is being assessed, so that, the excess load on some of these can be shifted to new facilities.

The town has been facing the problem of water supply at low pressure for a long time. Residents of these sectors say that water scarcity and low water pressure have become common for the past five years. The problem is rather severe in two-storey and three-storey houses where storage tanks have been built on top floors. Because of the water supply at low pressure, storage tanks cannot be filled regularly and this causes inconvenience to people.

Mr U.S. Sharma, head of the House Owners Welfare Association of Sector 11, said, though it was difficult to meet the water-supply demand of the rapidly increasing population, the authorities had failed to anticipate the increase. He said new augmentation plans had not been formed for a long time.

Residents said, though HUDA was approving construction plans of three-storey houses, it had failed to provide for water storage in these plans.

Representatives of various residents’ welfare associations had recently met the Deputy Commissioner and the administrator of HUDA. At the meeting, the administrator had accepted that the body had been unable to plan for providing water beyond the first-floor houses here.

The unavailability of a back-up power-generation facility at most tubewells leads to no supply of water to boosting stations, leaving all taps dry in case of a power failure.

This has prompted officials of HUDA to begin the zoning job. The town has three main water-works — in Sector 1, Sector 8 and the Industrial Area. Two other facilities in Sector 20 and a partially developed water-works of Panchkula Extension are also catering to the needs of townspeople. Besides, 85 tubewells pump water at these water-works for further distribution to various sectors.

In view of the fact that no new water works can be set up, authorities have decided to reorganise the water supply from boosting stations to sectors. New tubewells were installed past year, but there is no such plan for the near future. The load on the Industrial Area water-works is heavy and the zoning of this facility is likely to be done soon.



Admn invites cos. for IT park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Going ahead with its ambitious Information Technology Park, the Chandigarh Administration today invited global as well as Indian IT companies to come and set up their bases in the proposed IT park to be located north east of the Sukhna lake in Kishangarh village. Well-placed sources said each acre of land would cost Rs 65 lakh. However, with in-built incentives like time-bound construction, employment levels and other aspects will bring it down to Rs 45 lakh per acre.

Promoting the park, the Administration has claimed that the IT park will provide employment, especially for skilled and educated workers for enhancing the economic growth of the city and the region. It will also encourage development in higher education, technical education, and professional services by enhancing the demand for skilled workers and fuel economic activity and urban development besides inducting the latest technology.

The IT park will consist of two types of sites. The first has been termed as ‘‘anchor campus sites’’. These will measure at least 6 acres in area and will be put to use for construction of an independent campus for the exclusive use of the allottee only. The second category will be ‘‘sub anchor campus’’ sites. These may measure between 2 acres to 6 acres and like the main campus sites would be developed as a self-contained campus with one or more independent buildings.

An overall ground coverage of 31 per cent has been permitted for sites bigger than 10 acres and 25 per cent in case of sites between 5.0 and 10 acres, between 1 acre and 5 acres and also less than 1 acre.

Keeping in view the skyline of Chandigarh, the height restriction has been kept at 15 metres. Construction is permitted for three storeys above the ground level and also a single-level basement.

Under the eligibility criteria, anchor campus sites will be allotted to companies with a minimum of Rs 500 crore turnover per annum in each of the last two years for activities based in India, or minimum turnover equivalent to $ 500 million in each of the last two years for activities based overseas.

To cut out of any speculation the company will have to make investment in the campus to the tune of Rs 50 crore over the next three years and availability of at least Rs 25 crore immediately.



YC’s plan to “expose” NDA govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The All-India Youth Congress, from October 30, will launch a countrywide “offensive” to expose, what its President, Randeep Singh Surjewala, calls the deep-rooted conspiracy of National Democratic Alliance Government to communalise country’s political and social fabric.

Talking to reporters here today, he said the “offensive” would also aim at to demand “oust NDA, oust corrupt BJP from India”. He alleged that the Vajpayee Government had become fountainhead of corruption and the “needle of suspicion clearly is at Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee himself and nobody else”.

Mr Surjewala said the rehabilitation of Mr George Fernandes and Mr Bangaru Laxman, former BJP President, despite categorical assurance by the Prime Minister that Mr Fernandes would not join the Cabinet again till he was cleared by the judicial commission of inquiry, was a betrayal. It was not the issue of corruption alone, but, he said, Mr Fernandes re-entry in the Cabinet also had compromised national security.

He also accused Mr Vajpayee of backtracking from his promise that the conduct of the PMO, particularly that of Mr Brajesh Mishra and Mr N.K. Singh, and his adopted son-in-law would also be probed by the commission.

Youth Congress chief said the terms of reference of the commission were not only faulty and self-defeating, but it was also headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge. The Prime Minister had promised on the floor of the House that the inquiry would be held by a sitting Supreme Court Judge.

He alleged that Mr Fernandes, who “knew too much about the Prime Minister and his family, had blackmailed Mr Vajpayee to re-enter the Cabinet. The entire episode, he said, had exposed BJP Government’s claim of “middle-class morality”.

He added that with an eye on Assembly elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the BJP and allies were communalising the situation. While in UP, the government was harassing members of a particular community under the pretext of apprehending members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), in Punjab incidents of sacrilege were being committed by the people allegedly enjoying patronage of members of the first family.

Mr Surjewala said on October 30, the party would organise a big demonstration in Delhi as part of the “offensive”. Next day, a demonstration will be held in Nalanda, the parliamentary constituency of Mr Fernandes. Rallies will be held in Kathua (J&K) and Chandigarh on November 6 and in Jhajjar (Haryana), Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Bhopal on November 8, 9 and 10, respectively.



Youth Cong for George’s ouster
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Youth Congress activists of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh here today demanded from the President of India, Mr K.R. Naryanan, removal of the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, in the wake of the ongoing Tehelka Expose probe.

Youth Congress activists from the three states held a demonstration at the Sector-17 Piazza to condemn the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government at the Centre for letting the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) enter the prohibited area in the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and re-inducting Mr Fernandes.

The demonstrators also attacked the NDA Government for hastily following the USA in its fight against terrorism in Afghanistan without caring for the country’s interests. They, however, condemned international terrorism.

The appeal to the President of India to remove Mr Fernandes was made in a memorandum submitted to the Punjab and Haryana governors to be forwarded to Mr Narayanan.

The coming together of the three youth bodies of the Congress has come at a time when Punjab goes for the Assembly elections early next year and Chandigarh goes for the Municipal Corporation elections ahead of them.

The demonstration on the three issues by youth bodies seems part of the plan of the party to make them poll planks, apart from other local issues.

Banners and placards focussing on Mr Fernandes’ inclusion in the Ministry depicted the NDA Government led by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, as a pack of the corrupt compromising on the security of the country.

Addressing the gathering, The Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress President, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, said the re-induction of Mr Fernandes was against the spirit of the Constitution as a person under scrutiny before an enquiry commission could not be given a responsible position.

He also said it was against democratic norms.

The Haryana Youth Congress President, Mr Satwinder Singh Sandhu, said Mr Vajpayee, despite knowing that Mr Fernandes was a tainted person, re-inducted him without caring that the people would lose faith in the Venkataswamy Commission probing the Tehelka Expose.

Mr Sandhu lambasted the Vajpayee Government for fanning communalism by not taking adequate action against the VHP for violating the Supreme Court orders of prohibiting entry to the people in the specified area in Ayodhya.

The Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress President, Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, said that the Prime Minister himself had put the country’s security and integrity under risk by giving the Defence Ministry to Mr Fernandes.

The local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, also questioned the propriety of the Prime Minister to re-induct Mr Fernandes.



Number game: 0001 fetches 2,00,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The first number in the new series of registration of vehicles in the city has been claimed by a local businessman for a record Rs 2 lakh in an auction, held recently by the Registering and Licencing Authority of the Chandigarh Administration.

A source in the RLA confirmed the auction price saying that there were two applicants — a businessman and a business group — as claimants for the number CH-03-F-0001 put up for auction by the RLA. The businessman gave the highest bid of Rs 2 lakh for the number to be fixed on his luxury car.

The auction was higher by Rs 85,000 as compared with the bid of Rs 1.15 lakh for the first number of the last series CH-03-E. If there are more than one claimants for the number it is put to auction.


40 per cent rise in city population
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
It is shocking but true that Chandigarh has the dubious distinction of having the second lowest sex ratio in the country. There has also been a rise in the number of illiterates. On the other hand, it has also seen a phenomenal growth of 40 per cent in population in the past one decade compared to 21.34 per cent growth registered across the country.

Chandigarh has only 773 women per 1,000 males. It ranks just above the Union Territory of Daman and Diu, which has a ratio of 709. Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have a sex ratio of 874, 861 and 970, respectively. The countrywide sex ratio is 933. These figures were available in the provisional Population Totals released by the UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) here today. This was the second paper of the census conducted earlier this year and deals with rural and urban population distribution.

Dealing with the issue of low sex ratio, the census report explains that migrant labour which has come into the UT due to economic reasons is predominately male. Though the report claims that the picture of the sex ratio in 0-6 years of children is encouraging, statistics show that UT, with a ratio of 845, ranks the second lowest in the country in this sphere also. Chandigarh along with states like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh has registered the sharpest decline in sex ratio of child population.

Another shocking aspect in the report is that Chandigarh has also seen the number of illiterates rise in the past decade. The number in 1991 stood at 1.21 lakh and now it is 1.44 lakh. Due to an increase in the number of illiterates Chandigarh has been clubbed with places like Bihar, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Delhi and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. In Chandigarh this has happened due to migration of illiterate people who come here in the form of migrant labour, the report explains.

In the past decade, the UT also slipped in the countrywide literacy ranking. It now stands at number 6 with 81.76 per cent literacy. Children below the age of 6 have not been included in the figures despite the being admitted to school.

The report surprisingly puts the slum population of the UT at 13 per cent, whereas in reality this is close to 30 per cent. This has happened as census officials classified only those areas as slums which are officially recognised as slums by the Chandigarh Administration. Several slums are not recognised.

The city is getting more and more congested. The urban density jumped from 7,382 persons per square kilometre to 10,194 in the past decade. In rural areas, the density has jumped from 1,830 persons per square kilometre to 2,658. It was juts 431 in 1971. The report also has a ward-wise break-up of population.

Meanwhile at the function to release the report, General Jacob praised the Census Department for bringing out the report in a lucid language.

It would be helpful to the UT Administration in framing polices for the development of the city. He said the peculiar problem of influx of migratory population was due to conditions prevailing in the states from where these people come.

Mr Shyam Lal Goyal, Director of Census Operations, Chandigarh, informed the Administrator that this second set of paper contains data on rural-urban distribution of population. Since the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh came into existence in 1996, ward-wise data is also declared in this paper.

Census highlights

* Second lowest sex ratio in the country with 773 females per 1,000 males.

* Chandigarh has dropped from the fourth spot to sixth in countrywide literacy ratings.

* Number of illiterates has gone up from 1.21 lakh to 1.44 lakh.

* Population 9,00,914. Males — 5,08,224. Females — 3,92,690.

* 40 per cent growth in the past decade. In 1991, the population was 6,42,015.

* 89.78 per cent , or 8,08,796, is urban. This includes slum population.

* Rural 92,118. Males — 56,837. Females — 35,281.

* Density jumped from 5,632 persons per square kilometres to 7,903 persons.

* Urban density up from 7,382 persons to 10,194 persons. It was 4,044 in 1971.

* Highest population (70,302) is in ward number 7, comprising Sectors 39, 40, Maloya and Palsora rehabilitation colony.

* Lowest population (23,443 ) is in ward number 13, comprising sectors 27 and 28. 



Beating up of MC staff: no case registered
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 22
The police has not registered a case even three days after the beating up and obstruction of work of employees of the local Municipal Council who had gone to remove goods kept at an authorised place in the Phase IIIB1 rehri market area.

Kiosk owners had prevented the employees from removing the goods and had also beaten up a council driver, Mr Amrik Singh, on October 19.

The council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, said today that if action was not taken against the offenders, it would become difficult to assign anti-encroachment work to the civic body staff.

He said he had written to the ASP, Ms Kalpana Nayak, on the day of the incident, requesting her to direct the Phase-VIII SHO to take strict action against the culprits.

He had, in his complaint pointed out that the police personnel who had accompanied the enforcement staff to the rehri market did not help them against the rowdy elements.

On October 19 the superintendent of the council, Mr Mewa Singh, inspector Manjit Singh and clerk Ashok Kumar had complained in writing to the council authorities that when they loaded goods kept at unauthorised places on to a Canter, the president of the rehri market objected to this action.

He along with others blocked the movement of the vehicle and told the affected persons to unload the goods which they did.

On the basis of the complaint, the Executive Officer of the council, Mr H.B. Garg, had written to the Phase-VIII SHO to register a case.

The ASP today said that an enquiry had been ordered into the incident and it would take a day or two to complete.

The enquiry was being made by ASI Ranjit Singh. Action would be taken only after the completion of the enquiry.



Winged beauties arrive in Chhat Bir zoo
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir, October 22
A pair of long-tailed African parrots — blue-winged macaws — and two pairs of brown cock teals will be the centre of attraction for the visitors in Chhat Bir zoo from tomorrow.

The birds of exotic species have been procured from Delhi zoo under the exchange programme and have been caged in an enclosure located near the aviary.

The Zoo Director, Mr R.K. Luna, disclosed that the Chhat Bir zoo had provided a pair of emus, worth Rs 20,000 to Delhi zoo by purchasing these Australian birds from Kanpur zoo. Under the deal two pairs of cock teals were also procured from Delhi zoo.

The macaw pair has been received in exchange after paying Rs 1.5 lakh to the Delhi zoo authorities, confirmed Mr Luna.

The macaws were released in the cage at about 9.30 am. They remained clinging to the wiremesh on top of the enclosure. Out of the four cock teals a female bird was a little bit injured and unable to fly high to join its mates sitting on a handing wooden swing in the cage.

Mr Luna informed that being a shy bird, the macaws take time to adjust in the new habitat. The possibility of breeding of the bird is also very restricted, he added.

The zoo authorities have also tied up with some other zoos in the country and more exotic birds, including military macaws, cockatoos and turkeys are expected soon.

The zoo is already having seven cock teals and with the arrival of these birds the number of cock teals has increased to 11.

Sources in wildlife department said bringing of cock teals was in violation of the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority. The rulings state that small birds whose number was dwindling should not be kept in caged. The birds should either be released in open or sold off.

The CZA had also issued a notification that the domestic birds and animals should not be kept in zoos. The notices were circulated after the Central Environment Minister after visiting a number of zoos in the country.

Mr Luna denied violation of the CZA guidelines by precuring the cock teals. He, however, said the exotic birds were being bred in safe captivity and then released to preserve the particular species.



No firecrackers for them this Divali
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 22
Students of the local DAV Public School took a pledge here today not to burn firecrackers on Divali. The announcement was made at poster-making and slogan-writing competitions on the theme ‘No Fire Fun’ organised on the school premises.

Mr P.P. Sharma, Regional Director and Principal of Hansraj Mahavidyalaya of Jalandhar, presided over the function. Mr Sharma urged the students to avoid burning firecrackers to save the environment. “Divali is not a day of burning firecrackers, but a symbol of triumph of good over evil,” he said.

Ms Jaya Bhardwaj, Principal of the school, talked about the school activities. In Group A of the poster-making competition, Harpreet, Megha and Jatin stood first, second and third, respectively. In Group B of the poster-making competition, Khusboo, Minty and Sneha stood first, second and third, respectively.



Move to kindle spiritual awakening among women
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 22
A shobha yatra as a part of women spiritual empowerment campaign, organised by the women’s wing of Brahmakumaris, got a rousing reception with flowers and fruits by women organisations and market associations here today.

The campaign was organised by Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya and the women’s wing of the Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation .

The objective of the campaign was to “awaken” Indian women to build up a better society with love and spiritual empowerment. The yatra arrived from Kangra through Delhi at Kala Gram at about 9 am. The yatra moving through the various parts of the country will reach Delhi on November 10.

Today, the campaign was welcomed by national co-ordinator of the women’s wing of Brahmakumaris, B K Chakradhari and Zonal Chief B K Kusum.

The procession moved to Sector 19 where most of the women joined in and it was converted into a shobha yatra. Hundreds of women clad in white sarees and spiritual empowerment banners and slogans participated in the shobha yatra. Girls leading the shobha yatra were having holy “kalashas” on their heads and “mashaals” in their hands.

Shobha yatra included beautifully decorated “jhankis” of “bharat mata”, goddesses “Durga”, “Saraswati” and “Laxmi”. The yatra culminated at Rajyoga Bhavan after passing through market areas of Sectors 19,18, 17 and 34.

Campaign members held a programme organised by Rotarians at the auditorium in Architecture College in Sector 11 on “Freedom from stress through spiritual empowerment of women.” Dr Usha from New Delhi and Mr B.K. Chakradhari, spoke on the occasion.

A women’s conference would be organised at Tagore Theatre and different programmes would be held by Brahmakumaris at the Government College for Women in Sector 11, Central Club and Ajit Karam Singh School in Sector 41 on October 23.



Traders’ views on paid parking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Sector 8-C Madhya Marg Traders Association today expressed its resentment against the Chandigarh Administration for introducing paid parking in their market.

In a signed statement, Mr Rajeev Khanna and Mr Manoj Bhardwaj, president and senior vice-president of the association, respectively, said most of the labourers harassed by corporation officials had started buying items of their daily need from other sectors.

The leaders said that they were not apposed to the paid parking system. However, they were against the autocratic behaviour and high-handedness of the corporation officials.

They pointed out that if at all the corporation was serious about introducing the paid parking scheme it should be implemented only for regular shopkeepers, their staff and office-goers who park their vehicle on a regular basic for six to eight hours a day instead of levying parking fee on customers who visit the market for small duration of 15 to 20 minutes for buying their items.



City scientist on Chinese panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
A scientist from the city has been selected by China on an 11-member international expert consultants’ panel to advise it in the field of optics.

Dr A.K. Aggarwal, a scientist at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here, was selected to advise China when he went to attend the Seminar on International Personal Exchange and Technological Co-operation, Wuhan Optics Valley of China, last month.

Dr Aggarwal was the only one representing India amongst 100 participants at the seminar that drew experts from many countries. The CSIO scientist delivered a talk on ‘’Fiber optics research and development opportunities at CSIO’’ at the seminar.



Freedom fighter dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Mr Avtar Singh, a freedom fighter of the area, died here on Thursday. He was 80.

He is survived by a daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons.

Mr Avtar Singh used to write in English regarding India’s freedom movement. When Gen Mohan Singh started the first Indian National Army, he joined as a military officer. When first Indian National Army was disbanded at the end of 1943, he joined to Indian National Army Intelligence Service under Netaji Subhas Chander Bose and was trained at Penang, Malaysia, and was also trained as a parachutist in Indonesia. Towards the end of 1943, he came to Burma and participated in World War II on Burma front. He was much influenced by the Ghadar literature. He was captured in May, 1945, and kept in a solitary confinement in Rangoon Central Jail in Burma for one year. He was released in May, 1946, at Delhi.



B’day celebrations turn sour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 22
Birthday celebrations turned sour, when the birthday boy, allegedly in an inebriated state, “accidently” fell off from the balcony of a hostel room. The incident took place past midnight in hostel No. 4 on the Panjab University campus. The victim is struggling in the PGI for his life.

According to the, information available, Gurinder Singh, a resident of Muktsar and a student of certificate course in the Department of Russian, PU, sustained internal head injuries after he fell from the balcony. He reportedly had gone to the balcony at about 1.30 a.m. for washing a glass when the incident took place. He was immediately rushed to the PGI and his parents were informed.


Mahasamadhi Divas observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Mahasamadhi Divas was observed here by the Shirdi Sai Sharnam Sangathan in Sector 21-B. Hundreds of devotees from different parts of the country, including Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Shirdi (Maharashtra), participated in the function which lasted six hours.

Noted artistes like the Saxena Bandhus of AIR and TV fame, Pratibha, Sunita, Sunil Dhiani, Sanjay Gupta and Inderjit Bansal sang bhajans.

A langar was also served to the devotees.



Decision on liquor cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
On a representation made by a large number of ex-servicemen that they find it expensive and difficult to go to the SSO in Sector 28 for renewal of liquor cards, Brig Sant Singh, Bar President, IESL (UT), Chandigarh, took up the matter with the Major-General , Administration, HQ, Western Command.

According to a press note issued by the Indian Ex-Services League, UT, it has now been decided that renewal of liquor cards as before will be undertaken by the officer in charge, CSD(I) Canteen , Sector 21, Chandigarh, while the initial issue and replacement in case of loss of card will continue to rest with the SSO, Sector 28.



UT employees’ demand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The UT Administration will send the demand of its employees seeking bonus to the Centre.

The employees have been insisting on the same for the past four years.



“India’s Most Wanted” criminal nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
Dinesh Giri, a notorious criminal who had threatened to kill Mr Manoj Raghuvanshi, television journalist and producer of the crime serial “India’s Most Wanted”, was arrested by the UP Police in Ghaziabad yesterday with the help of information provided by a viewer of the programme, a press release issued by the producer of the serial stated today.

The arrested criminal was wanted for a number of heinious offences including murder, attempt to murder, loot and dacoity.

Giri had threatened to kill Mr Raghuvanshi after he was featured in one of the episodes of IMW.

The release said that with the arrest of Giri, the “success tally” of IMW went up to 43 arrests and encounters out of 70 episodes telecast so far. In UP alone, 20 notorious criminals were either arrested or shot in encounters following tip-offs given by the viewers of IMW, added the release.



Arrested for raping minor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The police has arrested Sanjay, a resident of Sector 25 Janata Colony, on charges of raping a 14-year-old girl of the same colony. He has been remanded to one-day police custody. The girl’s father had lodged a complaint with the police that two persons had raped his daughter on September 19 at the Sector 25 cremation ground. Two others were also present at the place of the crime.

Dead: A 14-year old boy, Sunil, of Khuda Lahora village died after a swing on which he was swinging broke and fell on him. He was seriously injured and rushed to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries.

1 arrested: The police has arrested Davinder Pal, a resident of Narao village in Uttar Pradesh, after the truck he was driving crushed a cyclist last night. The cyclist, Rameshwar Das, was employed with the CTU as bus conductor. The truck driver has been booked for rash and negligent driving.

Injured: Two scooterists were injured after they collided with each other near the Sector 31-32 crossing. While the complainant, Gurdev Singh, a resident of Darwa village has been admitted to the GMCH-32 other person has been admitted to the PGI. The police has registered a case.

Scooterist injured: A scooterist was injured after he was hit by a Maruti car bearing a Punjab registration number near the Sector 19 gurdwara. A case has been registered.

Stolen: A Sector 11 resident, Rajbir Singh, has reported that his Bullet motorcycle (PB-04-H-0425) has been stolen from his residence. A case has been registered.

Theft: A SAS Nagar resident, Sukhwinder Singh, has reported that cash amounting to Rs 2,000 and some articles worth Rs 12,400 were stolen from his shop in Industrial Area Phase I. A case has been registered.


Cyclist dead: A 23-year-old labourer from Bhego Sarai in Bihar died on the spot when the cycle he was riding was hit by a speeding canter near Industrial Area, Phase IX, here last night. The victim has been identified as Muna. The autopsy was done today at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital here. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the driver of the canter, who was absconding.

Injured: A driver of a Maruti Esteem, Shiv Nandan was seriously injured when the car he was driving rammed into a stationary canter near the Lakhnour sales tax barrier near here last night. Son of the driver also suffered some injuries in the mishap.

Theft: A theft of around Rs 30,000 in cash and some electronic gadgets were reported from the ICI paint factory in Industrial Area, Phase 8, here today. According to the information available, the theft was reported in the morning and senior police officials visited the spot. Earlier, a similar incident of theft of cash was reported from the factory. The police was questioning the private security guards entrusted with the security of the factory premises. The Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ms Kalpana D. Nayak, said the matter was being thoroughly investigated.



Home Store outlet opens in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 22
The Home Store, a premier store for home products and accessories, has launched its first outlet in the city. The store will provide an exclusive range of unique home products.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony on Sunday, Mr Arif Sheikh, president, Home Store, said, “The Home Store will bring a complete shopping experience to the people of the city who are known for their sense of aesthetics and creativity. The opening up of this outlet is a step towards providing people with innovative and utilitarian products.”

He emphasised that the company’s future strategy would be to enhance its presence in India by launching 30 outlets in key cities like Jalandhar, Bathinda, Mumbai, Kanpur, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Calcutta over the next three months. “Our intrinsic strength lies in a professional and competent team and in-house developed products and accessories,” Mr Arif added.

The Home Store product range includes a large cross section of items and utilities ranging from the most exquisite to the most functional. Every product at the store adds a touch of class and style and each piece is crafted keeping in mind the discerning customers tastes and preferences. The store offers perfectly coordinated products to suit all kinds of homes. Some of the key product lines at the store are kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, dining and living. The store dazzles and enchants customers with an exhaustive range of gift items, designer and scented candles, dry and artificial flowers, paintings and picture frames, artistic lamps and design shades for decorating homes.


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