Saturday, November 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Tension near place of worship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Tension prevailed throughout the day in Sector 46 after some local residents objected to the raising of a temporary structure adjoining a place of worship by members of a particular community near the Sector 46-47 crossing for offering prayers.

While they maintained that had been granted permission by the administration to offer prayers at the said site as allocation of the site was still pending, local residents, including members of another community, market and rehri market committees of the sector objected to it on the grounds that it was near a college hostel and a place of worship.

Several residents present at the site were of the opinion that the situation was politically motivated in view of the forthcoming local Municipal Corporation elections.

A large number of residents gathered near the sector market following reports that construction material had been offloaded at the site. They blocked the road and raised anti-administration slogans. Several local political leaders were also present.

A police party reached there to control the situation. There were several incidents of scuffles between residents and the police. Police personnel had to even resort to a mild lathi charge, in which a few persons sustained injuries. Police also prevented the offering of prayers at the disputed site to avoid tensions.

It also reportedly took about 15 persons, including a prominent local politician into custody. There were also instances of the agitating residents trying to break the police cordon to clash with the opposing faction.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S Ramsekhar and SSP, Mr Parag Jain, visited the spot in the evening and pacified the agitators. Later it was agreed that members of a would particular community offer prayers at an alternate site near Ram Darbar, opposite Sector 31, where there was a place of worship earlier till a permanent site was allocated to them.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mr Ramsekhar said while the members of the community were allowed to offer players on a request, no permission was granted to raise any structure. He added that the Town Planning Department had identified the site for a place of worship and the process for allocation was still under way.


Two dacoities in Sohana
Goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh stolen, 3 hurt
Tribune News Service

A police official examines the blood-soaked quilt; and (right) scattered belongings at a house in Akal Ashram Colony at Sohana, near SAS Nagar, where dacoits struck on Friday. — Tribune photos Pankaj Sharma

Sohana (SAS Nagar), November 16
There was yet another addition to the spate of dacoities in the Dera Bassi-Banur-Zirakpur-Kharar belt as dacoits struck in the wee hours at two places in Sohana — on the outskirts of the town. The dacoits, armed with rods and sickles, injured at least three persons before escaping with cash and jewellery worth over Rs 1.50 lakh.

While fleeing, the dacoits made an unsuccessful attempt to rob the occupants of a neighbouring house. Incidentally, the dacoits struck at the house of a businessman in the Akal Ashram Colony, located adjacent to the Sohana Eye Hospital where securityguards remain on duty round-the-clock.

At around 2.30 am, the dacoits broke open the main door of H. No. 25 with a wooden log. Mr Karam Singh ( 63) and his son, Mr Ranjit Singh ( 25), were sleeping in the house at that time.

“We had little time to react and the dacoits hit my father and brother in the head making them unconscious. They threatened to kill us if we did not cover our heads with quilts”, said Balwinder Singh, who escaped unhurt. Before striking at the house, the dacoits had entered the ‘dera’ of Khera Sant Lakhi Nath, located nearby and robbed Rs 1,200 and some valuables from there. The sant and his follower were tied and put in a room before the dacoits ransacked the ‘dera’.

Mrs Mandeep Kaur, wife of Mr Karam Singh, said, the dacoits were speaking in Hindi and Punjabi. “An aged person among the dacoits was repeatedly asking the dacoits not to harm women. They huddled us in a room. Before fleeing, they threatened to retaliate if we informed the police. They said they knew that ladies remained alone at home during the day”, said Ms Ranjit Kaur, wife of Mr Balwinder Singh. The family had shifted to the house two months ago as their own house was under construction in the same colony. The injured were admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Mr Surinder Singh Sohal, at whose house the dacoits had made an unsuccessful attempt, said: “They tried to break open the front door and kept shouting that they were policemen.” He and his two sons, Mr Manjeet and Mr Ravinder, maintained their cool and shouted for help. Telephone calls were made to their neighbour, Mr Harminder Singh Kalra, and to Sohana police station.

The Station House Officer, Mr G.P. Singh, said the police reached the spot within 15 minutes. “Police parties had been sent in different directions and searches were carried out in Zirakpur and neighbouring places. A dog squad was called but dogs could fellow the scent only up to the Sohana-Landhran road. Computer generated sketches of the dacoits, as described by the victims, were being prepared, said Mr Singh. A case under Sections 380 and 459 of the IPC has been registered.Back


Minorities panel asks UT Admn to rehabilitate villagers
Special status for Punjabi language mooted
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
In a significant development the National Commission of Minorities has asked the Chandigarh Administration to totally rehabilitate residents of villages which were uprooted to house sectors 31 to 47, Industrial Area phase II and also expansion of Chandigarh. Besides this, special status to Punjabi language has also been mooted by the commission.

The Chairman of the Minorities Commission, Justice Mohammed Shamim, has written a letter to the Administration addressed directly to the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). The commission, after listening to the Pind Bachao Committee — a body of villagers who were uprooted to make way for Chandigarh — and the Chandigarh Administration, has come to the conclusion that the original residents of 11 villages need to be given some special dispensation on humanitarian grounds for their rehabliatation, as they are the persons who suffered to provide space for the new city of Chandigarh, says the letter. All villagers are original residents of the area and are Punjabis.

Despite the fact that some of these persons have been allotted dwelling units under a scheme, special dispensation shall be needed. This has come about after the president of the committee, Mr Angrez Singh Badheri, petitioned the commission saying the Chandigarh Administration was uprooting Punjabis to rehabliatate slum dwellers squatting on government lands, thus reducing Punjabis to a minority status in the villages falling within the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The commission heard the committee and also the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, last month. The commission asked General Jacob to issue suitable directions to the Chandigarh Administration to ensure total rehabliatation of the 5,000 families who were uprooted within a specified time limit both under the 1979 scheme and other schemes of the Chandigarh Housing Board.

The other significant development is that the commission has said that Punjabi language needs to be given special status. This may call for special efforts to provide Punjabi teachers in the institutions , where Punjabi is taught, putting boards in Punjabi outside offices and also writing of names of roads and streets in Punjabi within the UT limits.

Sources said the Administration is in the process of finalising a policy to rehabilitate these families in a fully developed plan in one of the villages in the Union Territory.

As land in the sectoral grid has finished, there was no option other than allotting built-up flats to the oustees in the villages. Land is being identified in the villages for the purpose. As and when the enclave comes up, it will be on the lines of the Sector 38-west scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board, which has almost gelled within the city.

The flats for the oustees would, of course, come at a price. However, a subsidy component would be inbuilt in some manner, said top sources in the Administration. A policy was being worked out and all modalities would be looked into. villagers say allotments should not be made the way rehabilitation colonies for slum dwellers were made.

In the past three decades the Chandigarh Administration has rehabilitated several thousand migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. However, it’s for the first time that villagers with a Punjabi background who had been evicted for the development of city were being rehabiliatated under some policy.


Mismanagement causes traffic chaos
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 16
Traffic chaos prevailed on the busy Zirakpur-Patiala highway for more than 4 hours as local authorities mismanaged the arrival of the National Games torch this afternoon. Thousands remained stranded for hours.

The torch, which left Patiala at about 10 am, reached Ziarkpur at about 1:30 pm. The police had closed all vehicular traffic between Zirakpur and Patiala. All traffic from Chandigarh, Panchkula and Himachal Pradesh heading towards Patiala was diverted via Ambala, a detour of about 40 kilometres.

Traffic heading for Chandigarh from Patiala and Rajpura was directed to the Patiala-Ambala-Zirakpur route to reach Chandigarh. Motorists coming from Patiala complained that the district authorities failed to make sufficient traffic arrangements.

There were long queues on all sides of the traffic lights at Ziarkpur. Irate motorists were also seen arguing with the police personnel deployed at the Zirakpur traffic light point.

Road users complained that the the authorities did not divert traffic via Sirhind-Fatehgarh-Sohana road to reach Chandigarh, Panchkula and Himachal Pradesh. Road users, particularly children, the aged and patients, had a tough time. Local residents familiar with various link roads opted for short-cuts to reach their destinations.

Mr Ashwani Kumar, who was on his way to Chandigarh from Barnala, held the district administration responsible for the mismanagement in traffic diversions and said traffic chaos from Patiala to Zirakpur delayed him for over 3 hours.

A local advocate, Mr Rajan Khetarpal, who was on his way back from Chhat Bir zoo, opined that the government should have announced the road diversions at least a week in advance so that commuters could manage accordingly.

Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, the DSP, expressed his satisfaction over the traffic management in Zirakpur area till Chhat village. He said some hurried motorists often created problems and violated norms, which further aggravated the problem.


Constructions threaten air safety
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, November 16
Political exigencies often take precedence over the larger security concerns of the country as is evident from the inclusion of Bhabhat village in the reconstituted Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, about 7 km from here, despite objections raised by the Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities.

Highly placed sources said that the issue of security and flight safety of the IAF and other aircraft has been given a ‘‘quiet burial’’ with this announcement.

The IAF has been pursuing this case with the Punjab Government since 1998 in compliance with the Union Defence Ministry circular dated July 4, 1966. The circular says construction within 900 metres of any Air Force installation is strictly prohibited.

The state governments of Haryana and Punjab have ‘‘knowingly’’ flouted the orders while constructing the satellite towns of Panchkula and SAS Nagar, sources said.

Under another order issued in 1994, construction of buildings along the approach and take off paths from the runway (RW) have to be demolished with the intervention of the respective Deputy Commissioners.

All these circulars were issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the interest of aircraft safety as well as crew and passengers on board these aircraft, including VIPs.

The Department of Local Government, Punjab, was made aware of these standing orders through the Chief Secretary, Punjab, on May 2, 2001. It was brought to his notice that inclusion of this area in the panchayat would pose an inherent danger since many buildings were just adjacent to the Air Force Station, especially in the approach funnel for RW 29 and take-off path for RW 11.

It may be recalled that an AN 32 aircraft crashed over Papan Kalan Colony while approaching to land at Palam airport. This mishap had raised quite a hue and cry all over the country at the lackluster attitude towards security.

Sources revealed that the authorities of the Chandigarh Air Force Station have repeatedly been writing to the state government at the mushroom growth of structures within the prohibited area of 900 metres (in circumference) from the outer fencing of the station.

According to a notification issued on April 28, 1994, by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, the Central Government made some rules for the demolition of buildings and cutting of trees around aerodromes in the country.

The notification says: ‘‘The Director-General of Civil Aviation shall pass an order in the matter directing the owner of the building and tree to demolish or cut them within the specified time limit. In case of reduction in the height of building or tree, as the case may be, the permissible height shall also be specified in the order’’.

‘‘In case the owner fails to comply with the orders, the Deputy Commissioner shall carry out forthwith the demolition of the building or the cutting of the tree or reduction in the height of the building and cutting of the tree.’’

The rules were amended in January, 1998, for safety and security purposes. The new notifications state that no building or structure should be constructed or erected and no tree should be planted within the limits specified by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The notification also states that any building, structure or tree on such land shall be demolished, by the owner or by the defence authorities.

In a recent letter to the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities, the Chandigarh Air Force Station has raised objections at the growth of trees outside the fencing up to a distance of 100 metres. The IAF authorities have also directed the civic body that there should be no construction around the airfield area upto 900 metres from the fencing.

Besides this a red light should be fixed atop overhead water tanks at Bhabhat village and there should be no dumping of carcasses and garbage in the area.

A visit to the area revealed that massive construction work was going on just adjacent to the outer fencing of the airfield.

Residents on the other hand expressed their pleasure at the inclusion of Bhabhat village in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and were ignorant about breaking any laws regarding constructions within 900 metres of defence installation.


Nod to trolley bus extension project
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 16
The Punjab Government has conveyed its approval to the Chandigarh Administration regarding extension of the electric trolley buses project to SAS Nagar.

An official communication in this regard has been sent by the Principal Secretary to Government Punjab, Department of Housing and Urban Development, to the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda.

The approval has been routed through the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) which is the nodal agency for the development of SAS Nagar. An official spokesperson of PUDA stated that experts from PUDA and the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department had interacted with the town planners of Chandigarh and proposed that one of the routes of the proposed electric trolley busses — which is currently slated to end at Sector 43 bus stand — may be extended to Sector 62 of SAS Nagar. This Sector is being developed as a city centre for not only SAS Nagar township, but also for the whole region.

The Punjab Government proposal envisages an optimum utilisation of resources since the additional distance to be covered by the electric trolley was only about 2 km. Moreover sufficient road width was available on this stretch to make the proposed extension technically feasible.

While communicating its approval, the Punjab Government has requested the UT Administration to get the financial implication of this extension studied by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, which is executing the project, so that the exact liability of the Punjab Government can be determined.


Two cops held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Central Bureau of Investigation today nabbed two personnel of the Chandigarh police, including an officer, while accepting a bribe from a local resident for doing away with an accident case pending against him.

According to information available, CBI sleuths had laid a trap for the accused, Sub-Inspector Om Prakash and Head Constable Devinder Kumar, posted in police station Sector 31. The CBI officials had reportedly been approached by an NRI, Mr Harish Kumar, who had been asked to pay the bribe. The duo were nabbed by CBI sleuths near Air Force officers’ houses with the bribe of Rs 2500.

Harish Kumar was driving his scooter (CH-03D-4151) on November 12, when reportedly he hit a person near Air Force officers’ houses. The latter sustained minor injuries, but the two cops arrived and threatened Harish Kumar that he would be booked. His scooter was also taken into possession.

On November 13, Harish Kumar visited the police station with his cousin Ravi. They reportedly demanded a bribe of Rs 4000 for closing the case. While the duo paid Rs 1500 on the spot, it was agreed that he would pay the remaining amount within a few days. Because of Divali holidays, the case lingered on and the cops were caught by officials of the CBI today.Back


Sikh Core Group flays POTO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Sikh Core Group here today urged the community’s leadership to urge the Union Government to withdraw the “draconian and unconstitutional” Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) for its alleged attempt to perpetuate majority terrorism.

In a meeting of the Group attended by Dr Kharak Singh, Brigadier (retd) Gurdip Singh, Dr Gurmit Singh, Sardar Gurdev Singh, Dr Kirpal Singh, Sardar Mohinder Singh, Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalkat, Dr Gurbakhsh Singh from the USA and Sardar Satinder Singh from the UK, the demand for immediate withdrawal of POTO, was made.

The members said the provision was violative of the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution and UN Charter and would impinge upon the autonomy of the states as law and order was their subject and attempted to paint only minorities as having terrorists’ organisations.

The Group said that the definition of terrorist had been kept vague and non-specific, leaving misuse of ordinance as intrinsic.

Its clauses relating to culpability of those possessing information and providing information and assistance to loosely-defined organisations were dangerous tools in the hands of the “unscrupulous” police which allegedly subjected Sikhs in Punjab to unconstitutional and inhuman punishment through a less-stringent TADA.


Days of free voter lists are over
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Election Commission of Union Territory, Delhi and Chandigarh, has stopped free lunches for national political parties and brought them at a par with independents for supplying them with voter lists for the December 8 Municipal Corporation elections.

The political parties and Independents will now have to cough up Rs 13,140 for getting voter lists of all 20 wards. Voter lists of individual wards ranged between Rs 370 and 1120, EC sources told Chandigarh Tribune.

Among national parties, only the BJP had bought voter lists for all wards. Four Independent candidates had bought voter lists of individual wards.

The number of voter hits sold indicated that there were not many Independent candidates, till now, for contesting the election. The price of voter lists had been fixed as per the number of voters in a particular ward.

The voter list of ward number 17 was the cheapest at Rs 370, while that of ward number 7 was being sold for Rs 1120. The voter list of ward number 1 was priced at Rs 640, that of ward number 2 at Rs 530 and those of wards 3 and 4 at Rs 540 each.

The list of ward number 5 was available for Rs 980, 6 at Rs 730, 7 at Rs 1120, 8 at Rs 1020, 9 at Rs 700, 10 at Rs 750, 11 at Rs 390, 12 at Rs 630, 13 at Rs 450, 14 at Rs 500, 15 at Rs 630, 16 at Rs 710, 17 at Rs 370, 18 at Rs 630, 19 at Rs 550 and 20 at Rs 730. The EC had earlier been selling voter lists at a flat rate.

While national political parties used to be given these lists free, Independents and parties not recognised by the EC used to be charged for voter lists. The pricing of different voter lists had been modelled on the market price, saving the EC money.

Political parties require voter lists to distribute voter slips and to help these formulate their micro-level poll strategy. The distribution of voter lists saves the voter time to be allowed to cast his or her vote.


Help EC in deleting names of illegal voters’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Mr Angrez Singh Badheri, president of the Pind Bachao Committee, has asked residents living within Lal Dora of Chandigarh’s 22 villages to cooperate with officials of the Election Commission in getting deleted the names of illegal voters.

Names of these voters have been recently added to the voter list at the behest of some political parties. Votes of illegal migrants who have encroached upon government land may be cancelled before the forthcoming Municipal and Panchayat Samiti elections in Chandigarh.

Those who shield these illegal voters, can be penalised under the Representation of People’s Act, 1950, with six-month imprisonment and fine. Besides, they can be made ineligible to contest the forthcoming elections.

Those who are registered owners and are living around these villages, but are out of the village hadbast must be given the voting right on production of their residence proof before the forthcoming elections.

According to him, illegal migrants, squatting on government lands, should be asked to produce no objection certificates from their respective states. Mr Badheri has also requested the Chief Election Commissioner of India to computerise vote enlisting system.


Creation of Naya Gaon, Kansal NAC hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Mr Rajinder Singh Rana, convener of the Residents Welfare Association of Naya Gaon and Kansal, has thanked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and local Govenment Minister, Balramji Dass Tandon for notifying the creation of an NAC for Naya Gaon and Kansal, thus meeting a long-standing demand of residents of the area.

Mr Rana also expressed gratitude to Jathedar Ujjagar Singh Badali who was instrumental in getting the demand conceded by the Chief Minister.

SAS Nagar

The Joint Action Committee of residential and commercial premises has welcomed the notification of the Naya Gaon Notified Area Committee by the Punjab Government.

Mr Manjeet Singh Kamboj, president of the committee, said the government should expedite the process of issuing electricity connections to residents of the area. 


Anti-encroachment drive restarted
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 16
After a week’s gap, the drive to remove unauthorised structures on public land by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) was restarted from Phase 7 here. However, the corner houses were left out in the light of an order of the Punjab and Haryana Housing Board.

In today’s drive, structures in front of at least 50 houses were removed against 850 houses which were surveyed by the anti-encroachment staff. The encroachments at the rear of the commercial premises in the Phase 7 would be removed tomorrow before moving on to Phase 9. An official of PUDA said since the interim stay was on corner plots, the structures in front of houses other than the corner plots were removed.

In certain cases, earth filling done by the plot holders, raising the level of the road berms, was also removed.


HUDA to auction sites on Nov 27
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
The Haryana Urban Development Authority will now hold auction for commercial sites in various sectors of the township on November 27. The auction of these sites was cancelled on November 9, the day the auction was to be held, after a Rewari court attached HUDA property the previous evening.

According to information available, the date of the auction was decided a few days back after the Gurgaon zonal office of HUDA deposited its dues in the court on November 9 and the property was released .

HUDA authorities had earlier advertised the auction of commercial sites in Sectors 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12-A, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 and 25, Sector 5 of Mansa Devi Complex and Industrial Area-II on November 4.

The court of the Additional District Judge had attached HUDA property to be auctioned at Panchkula following a case of delay in payment after land was acquired by HUDA in Rewari. Rewari falls under the Gurgaon zone of HUDA, while Panchkula is a different zone.

A number of persons, including some from places as far off as Chennai, various districts of Haryana and neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, who had come here for the auction scheduled for November 9, were left high and dry after the authorities unceremoniously announced at 12: 30 pm that the auction had been cancelled. These people had been waiting since 10 a m for the auction of commercial sites like booths, D.S. shop, shop-cum-flats, shop-cum-offices, hotel sites, showroom sites, dhaba sites and bank bays.

Inquiries revealed that around 70 bidders had deposited a minimum of Rs 50,000 per site that they wanted to bid for. A number of these bidders had lamented that they had to go in for premature encashment of fixed deposits to arrange for the bid money. They said HUDA charged a compound penalty of 18 per cent in case there was delay in payment, but now the authorities were not ready to compensate them.Back


Three more file nominations for MC poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Nominations for the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) elections picked up on the third day today with the Election Commission (EC) of UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, getting papers from three independent candidates, including a woman candidate.

With today’s three nominations the total number of nominations has gone up to four. The first nomination was filed on the first day of filing nominations on November 13.

Mr Arvind Kumar has filed his papers as an independent candidate from Ward Number 10; Ms Anita from Ward Number 15 and Mr Kanwarpal Gehlot from Ward Number 18.

Mr Arvind Kumar is from the Shahid Bhagat Singh Colony in Sector-49, Ms Anita from Sector 29-A and Mr Gehlot from Ram Darbar.

The nominations from political parties are likely to pick up by next week.

Candidates of major political parties are likely to file their nominations on the last day for tactical reasons.


Did Mayor violate model code?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, allegedly took her official car today to a nagar kirtan jatha, which may be interpreted as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct for the December 8 Municipal Corporation election which has been in force since November 13.

The police said though Ms Harjinder Kaur was walking with the jatha from Sector-37 to Sector-23, her official car was following.

The Model Code of Conduct requires ministers and those in power not to use their official facilities for political purposes during the election period.

A spokesman of Election Commission of UT, Delhi and Chandigarh said the use of Mayor’s car in religious function cannot strictly be considered as political but the political part may be read into it by the people.

Ms Harjinder Kaur’s party colleague and the general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr N.S. Minhas, said the Mayor’s joining a scio-religious function was not political and moreover she has not even become a candidate in the elections.

The Congress president, Mr B.B. Bahal, said prima facie it did not look that the vehicle was used for political purpose but those in responsible positions should avoid actions that could be interpreted otherwise by the people.


MC poll: EC extends date for parties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
State-level political parties recognised by the Election Commission of India for reservation of symbols got a breather today, with the EC of UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, extending the last date for informing it on how many seats they would contest and from which wards in the December 8 Municipal Corporation elections.

The last date, which expired yesterday, was extended to November 20, an EC spokesman said today. No political party informed the EC till yesterday as to how many candidates they were going to sponsor from which wards.

The EC had also sought options of symbols from candidates from state-level parties. National parties and Independents were not required to do so.

In a letter to all presidents of state parties, the EC of UT said, “State parties are requested again to intimate the EC about sponsoring their candidates for the MC elections till the time set afresh.”

The letter was forwarded to all Returning Officers for necessary action.


National Press Day observed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
The Zila Patrakar Parishad, Parishad, Panchkula celebrated the National Press Day here today by organising an interactive session with members of Administration.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora was the chief guest while the Superintendent of Police, Mr Manoj Yadav was the special guest. Mr Naresh Kaushal, Assistant Editor, Dainik Tribune was the main speaker on the occasion.

The programme began with members of the media expressing their views on the Right to Information and freedom of Press. They requested the officials for more cooperation in providing them information.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Naresh Kaushal, said the present government headed by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee had earlier promised to introduce the Right to Information Bill. “However, they have now introduced the rather draconian Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) . This Act will question the very concepts of journalism, when the media will be under scrutiny of the authorities”, he said.

Mr Manoj Yadav, Superintendent of Police, assured all cooperation to the mediapersons. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, said the media should also play a more pro-active role in society.


The local Press Club celebrated the fourth National Press day here on Friday. A discussion was held on the occasion about the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO). The Press Club under the presidentship of M.L. Sarhali also joined the celebration organised by the Zila Patrakar Parishad at Panchkula where Ms Jyoti Arora, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, was the chief guest and Mr Manoj Yadav, the Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, was the guest of honour. 


Desi mithai made with desi ghee
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Mani Majra
The Housing Board Chowk ( now, traffic lights) is synonymous with Shirdi Sweets and Restaurant. This corner showroom was taken by Mr Atam Prakash Miglani when it was under construction and the sweets shop has been functioning since 1994 and the restaurant came into being the next year.

The eatery soon established a name for such delicious snacks as chana-samosa, aloo tikki, chaat and amarti. In fact, amartis are made only in the evening (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and are sold out in no time.

Their mithai, prepared in desi ghee, is also quite famous. Particularly popular are kaju barfi, moong ki dal ka halwa and gajar ka halwa in winter. They even fry puris in desi ghee. Of course, it is your choice, whether you want to complement the chanas with puris or bhaturas or kulchas. As Mr R.M. Malik from Jind, who savoured puris at the restaurant along with a friend said: “ It is my first visit to the place and I have quite liked the stuff.” Another customer, Rajnish, however, says that the decor needed to be overhauled.

The restaurant is multi-cuisine, offering a range of dishes of the North and South Indian, Chinese and Continental varieties, besides snacks, soups, beverages, drinks, desserts and ice-creams. But remember, it is a vegetarian eatery. Chef and Manager Parmanand’s specialty is Navrattan curry, a heady cocktail of mixed vegetables, fruits and dry fruits, cooked in cream and butter and laced with spices and herbs. Residents of Mani Majra and Panchkula can also order food for home delivery, (call 7333171, 898556).

A disciple of Shirdi and Guru Nanak, Mr Miglani offers a unique Divali gift to his customers every year: Around 120 persons from among Divali shoppers, selected by a draw of lots, form the sangat of the pilgrimage undertaken to Shirdi and Nanded in Maharashtra. The pilgrims are given a free trip, with their board, lodging, meals and travel taken care of by Shirdi Sweets. So check out if you are among the lucky ones.

A fiercely religious man himself, Mr Miglani has had a chequered career. He started life as an employee of the Haryana Government in Hisar. He was forced to quit in 1980 when he found that the climate of Hisar did not suit him. He did odd jobs in Chandigarh till Shirdi Sweets happened in 1994. There was a time when he plied a vegetable rehri. Then he also had contracts for a book stall and cycle stand and a cold drinks stall at the Sector 17 bus stand in Chandigarh. Finally, with loans from friends, he set up this shop and his career was put on an even keel. But all through the rough and tumble of life, he did not lose faith.

Today, claims Mr Miglani, his business is ably looked after by his faithful employees and his work is confined to supervision.


Punjab Government flouting rules’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The All-India Blind Employees’ Association yesterday alleged that the Punjab Government was not following the rules which stipulate that five persons should be nominated by the government to represent the non-governmental organisations concerned with disabilities.

A press note by the association said only two persons were nominated.

The press note said the Secretary, Social Welfare Department, today assured the association that necessary improvements, as desired by visually challenged, would be made.

The press note further claimed that the rules provided for allotting them land at concessional rates for building houses, setting up business, starting schools, setting up research centres and factories.

The press note said in the houses allotted to the blind in Sector 51, the government had not extended any concession.

The Secretary assured the association that 54 shops and nearly 60 houses would be allotted to them on concessional rates, said the statement.


SAD panel meets BJP leaders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A five-member election panel of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) faction led by Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar here today held a meeting with the local BJP leadership to reiterate their commitment to sail together in the December 8 Municipal Corporation elections.

The SAD panel sans Mr Riar held a meeting with the BJP ad-hoc committee convener, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, and a member, Mr Neeraj Tayal.

The meeting did not come to any conclusion as two of the BJP’s election panel members Mr Desraj Tandon and Mr Dharampal Gupta had left the office after hearing about problem in offering namaz in a Sector-45 mosque.

Mr Riar could not accompany his panel as he was busy in the Nagar Kirtan Jatha.Back


Meeting on Beant Memorial put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A high level meeting between officials of the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab Government to sort out the issue of constructing the Beant Singh Memorial in Sector 42 has been postponed till November 28.

Punjab had sought the postponement of the meeting which was scheduled to he held yesterday. UT and Punjab had joined hands to build a memorial to the Punjab Chief Minister who was killed in August, 1995. However, Punjab backed out of the project. UT has asked Punjab to pay or it will do a rethink on the project.

UT is planning to go ahead with the project with its own funds and have a modern exhibition centre in the open area adjoining the memorial building.Back


Nigerian delegation visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A 14-member Nigerian delegation today visited Chandigarh and the surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana to study the impact of Green Revolution on the region.

Earlier the delegation had visited Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, where the Mayor, Mr Sanjiv Naik, welcomed the visitors. The delegation also visited Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi and parts of Rajasthan.

Talking to newsmen, Mr ALH Bello R. Makau, Minister for Agriculture of the Nigerian state of Zamfara, said the delegation felt impressed by the success story of India in general and that of Punjab and Haryana in particular in the field of agriculture. They were keen on replicating it in their country. Although Nigeria was an oil-rich country, as much as 70 per cent of its population depended on agriculture. It was an importer of foodgrain. Therefore, Nigeria was keen on becoming self-sufficient on the food front by following the example of India.

The delegation is being conducted round the country by Mr Satish Sharma, Managing Director, Agro Allied, Human Resources Development, West Africa Enterprises, Dr K.B.S. Dhillon, Mr Prem Bedi and Dr D.R.Vij.

The delegation is keen on importing tractors and other farming implements from India.Back


Residents’ body dissociates from chief’s decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Chandigarh Housing Board Residents’ Federation has dissociated itself from the decision of its president, Mr Jitender Bhatia, to join the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, saying Mr Bhatia had decided it in his individual capacity.

A statement signed by the federation chairman, Mr Nirmal Datt, and its general secretary, Mr B.S. Chadha, said the federation would not field or sponsor any candidate in the December 8 MC election. They said the federation was non-political and had been supported by activists of all political parties.Back


Goverdhan Puja performed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
Annkoot Goverdhan Puja was performed at Sri Sanatan Dharma Radha Vrindavan Chand Mandir here today. The day began with devotees holding prabhat pheri in the early hours of the morning. 

This was followed by a discourse by Swami Aseem Deb. A pooja of the part of the Goverdhan Parbat that is lying in the temple was also performed after abhishek nandan.

A langar for the devotees was also organised.Back


Goverdhan puja at ISKCON
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The local unit of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), celebrated Goverdhan puja festival with great enthusiasm at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here today. Thousands of devotees thronged the temple on the occasion, according to Akinchan Priya Dasa Prabhu, a spokesman of the temple.

The festival started with Kirtan procession from the temple hall to the gaushaala at 11 a.m. followed by gau (cow) puja, aarti and feeding, Raj bhog aarti, discourse on past time of Sri Giridhari and Goverdhan Mahima, offering of annkut bhog, mahaaarti and distribution of prasadam among those present.Back


JD(U) leader joins Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Mr Sanjay Bhajni, president of the Janata Dal(U) (ward no 20), Mani Majra, today resigned from his party and joined the Congress along with hundreds of supporters, according to a press note issued by Mr Surinder Singh and Mr Satish Kumar, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Block Congress Committee. They said the step would strengthen the Congress.Back


Former Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Mr Mohan Lal, 61, former Accounts Manager with The Tribune, died today following a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. His funeral in the afternoon was largely attended.


Body found from Sukhna Lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The police recovered an unidentified body from the Sukhna Lake today. The deceased was around 22 years old and was wearing a grey shirt with black jeans and sports shoes. He was also wearing a chain bearing an icon of Lord Krishna round his neck.

The body, which was found towards the Kishangarh side of the lake, was sent to the Sector 16 General Hospital for post-mortem examination. The exact cause of death would be known only after the autopsy report.Back


2 held on molestation charge
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
The local police has arrested two Nepali residents —Shankar and Vishal Yadav — on charges of outraging the modesty of a woman, trespass and criminal intimidation. It is learnt that the accused barged in the Sector 10 house of Mr Vinod Kumar and misbehaved with his wife. They later tried to run away, but were arrested by policemen from the Sector 5 police station.

Four booked: The Pinjore police has booked four persons on charges of assaulting Mr Gurmej Singh and damaging his car (HR-22C-0035). It is alleged that the accused were on a scooter (HR-49-1802) and a motor cycle ( CH-37- 0007) .


Cops house burgled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The house of a Chandigarh police constable, Vinod Kumar, was reportedly burgled while he was on duty on Divali.

Vinod Kumar reported that a colour TV, a gas stove and a regulator, a fan, a soda maker, a scooter stepney, a wall clock and some woollen garments were stolen from his house in the Section 26 police colony.


DSP’s son held, remanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The police today arrested a Sector 22 resident, Sanjeev Kumar, on the charge of breaking into a Sector 22 house along with three accomplices in an inebriated condition and abusing and threatening a 70-year-old woman, Ms Jasbir Kaur. The complainant also alleged that the windowpane of her house was broken by the accused, reported to be the son of a Punjab police DSP. He was remanded in police custody for a day by a local court.

Four arrested
The police arrested four persons from Mani Majra on the charge of gambling at a public place. The accused were identified as Sunder Singh, resident of Mani Majra, Gaudin, Sabha Jit and Daya Ram, all residents of Banda in Uttar Pradesh. An amount of Rs 4,500 was recovered from their possession. A case under the Gambling Act was registered.

Liquor seized
Two residents of Dadu Majra Colony were arrested in separate incidents for posessing liquor. Liquor pouches were recovered from Prahlad, alias Bittu, while 32 pouches and two bottles were recovered from Mohinder Pal. Separate cases under the Excise Act were registered.

The police also arrested Khushi Pal, a resident of Mani Majra, from near his residence and recovered 50 pouches of liquor from his possession. A case under the Excise Act was registered against him.

Thefts reported
A Sector 21 resident, Mr Labh Singh, reported that his house had been broken into and gold jewellery worth about Rs 1.70 lakh, along with Rs 30,000 had been stolen. The police registered a case.

A Sector 10 resident, Mr Gurjit Singh Dhillon, reported that his house had been broken into and a camera, a mobile phone, a pocket recorder, three silver bowls and Rs 1,000 had been stolen. The police registered a case.

A Sector 29 resident, Mr Sitar Ahmed, reported that his Maruti car (CH-03-E-1925) had been stolen from his house. The police registered a case.

A Sector 40 resident, Ms Surinder Kaur reported that an electricity meter had been stolen from her house. The police registered a case.

A Sector 40 resident, Ms Monica Gulati, reported that the battery of her scooter had been stolen from her house. The police registered a case.

A Sector 16 resident, Mr Sanjay Vig, reported that his pocket was picked in the Grain Market, Sector 26, and Rs 12,000 was stolen. The police registered a case.

The theft of several gold and silver jewellery items, 12 sarees and Rs 800 was reported by Mr Shadi Lal, a resident of Kumhar Colony in Sector 25. The police registered a case.


Tata Infotech holds workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Tata Infotech Limited today organised a one-day workshop on Japanese techniques to manage workplaces, basically the concepts of Kaizen and 5s.

It was the first time such a seminar was organised by Tata Infotech Limited in this region.

The seminar was attended by various corporates of the region.

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