Sunday, November 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



UT has more money than it can spend
Surplus budget a sign of inefficiency?
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Administration has announced a surplus budget for the Ninth Five-year Plan to the Planning Commission. What this means in layman’s language is that the city had in its kitty more money than it was able to spend. If this is bad news for the economy of a growing city like Chandigarh, then consider this. The Union Government has been over the years actually marginally reducing the annual budget outlay for the city, that is, reducing by about a crore rupees the amount it gives the city to spend.

In the ninth Five-Year Plan (closing March 2002), the city spent Rs 556.91 crore while its total budget outlay was Rs 685 crore. A surplus of Rs 115 crore. The net deficit of city’s budget has been marginal in the past but to record a surplus is a vital pointer to the fact that something is grossly wrong with the city’s administration.

Also, in the past three years there has been no substantial increase in the annual plan outlay of Chandigarh. In fact, against the 1999-2000 outlay of Rs 151.39 crore, the city’s Annual Plan size in the year 2000-01 actually came down to Rs 149.20 crore. Even the current plan size i.e. Budget estimate (2001-02) is of Rs 148 crore.

Although the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), put this unique situation sportingly at the meeting of the Planning Commission’s National Development Council held in September in New Delhi as meaning that the city is not a burden on the Government of India but he also clearly stated, ‘‘Urban problems are getting more and more complex and we need to address them urgently. There should be a substantial increase in the plan outlay of Chandigarh in the 10th Five-Year Plan.’’

One of the reasons why the city in spite of a constantly developing state and increasing population is being given less and less money each year and is unable to spend the given amount, is the limited financial powers the Chandigarh Administrator enjoys.

Addressing the Prime Minister, who is the Chairman of the Planning Commission, the administrator had said in the NDC meeting held on September 1, 2001. ‘‘I would like to draw attention to some of the major financial issues which directly affect the process of plan implementation in Chandigarh. In terms of Rule 21 of DFPR (Delegation of Financial Powers Rules, 1978), the Administrator, UT Chandigarh, has been delegated powers to make purchases and enter contracts up to a monetary limit of Rs. 20 lakh. The administrations of Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been vested with the enhanced powers to the extent of Rs 5 crore. Due to limitation of these powers, various proposals of purchases/contracts, especially concerning the most prestigious projects like Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, cannot be implemented in time as all such cases beyond delegated powers have to be referred to the Ministry concerned for approval. This process is time consuming and it results in time and cost over-runs. The Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, has been given less powers than the administrations of Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands with regards to sanction of schemes/projects as well as to accord expenditure sanction on works under Rule 18 of DFP Rules, 1978.

The administrations of Pondicherry and of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been vested with the powers to sanction schemes/projects up to Rs 10 crore whereas it is Rs 5.00 crore in the case of UT Chandigarh. The processing of schemes submitted to the ministries concerned costing above Rs 5 crore takes a long time. Sometimes, they are not cleared within the same financial year and by the time financial sanctions are received, there is cost escalation.’’


Robbers strike again
Decamp with Rs 25,000, jewellery
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, November 17
Close on the heals of the Gazipur robbery incident in which a vigilant farmhouse owner gunned down an armed robber, a gang of masked robbers struck at a shop in a thickly populated street of the township today morning and robbed a shopkeeper of about Rs 25,000 and some jewellery. They drugged him before fleeing from the scene.

According to sources an armed gang of about five to seven masked robbers came to the house of Mr Govind Lal which is adjacent to the State Bank of Patiala on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at about 3 a.m. One of the robbers, who was not masked, knocked at the door and told him that a fire had broken out at his shop. Mr Lal runs a sweets shop in the township.

According to the police sources, that as the shopkeeper reached near his shop, the masked robbers overpowered him and asked him to hand over the keys of the shop and the locker. Threatening him with dire consequences if he raised alarm, they took the keys from him, opened the safe and took away Rs 25,000 in cash and a gold chain.

They also broke open an almirah and took some money which was lying in a briefcase. Before fleeing, the robbers forcibly drugged Mr Lal and left him unconscious in the shop.

Mr Kishan Lal, a relative of the victim, found him lying unconscious on the floor of the shop and subsequently the police was informed. Mr Lal was taken to the Civil Hospital where he regained his conscious today afternoon.

Police teams have been sent to the native places of some suspected workers employed by the shopkeeper. A case has been registered and the police has detained some persons for investigation.


IAF warns encroachers
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, November 17
The Indian (IAF) Air Force (AF) authorities have put up several signboards warning people not to encroach on the land within the prohibited area near the fencing of the Chandigarh Air Force Station after the issue was highlighted by the Chandigarh Tribune on Saturday.

Signboards have been put up in the villages surrounding the air base parts of which fall within 900 metres (in circumference) of the fencing. Boards have also been put up in parts of the city which come within the prohibited area.

The signboards caution, “Construction of any type of structure within 900 metres from the border of defence installation is prohibited by the order of Government of India as notified at Sl. No. II in the Gazette of India”.

A visit by Chandigarh Tribune team revealed that massive constructions have come up within the prohibited area. Even a major part of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat falls within the prohibited area.

Moreover, a majority of colonies have mushroomed in this particular area and several unaware customers have invested their hard earned money in purchasing land over there.

Apart from this the Punjab Government too has ignored the notification issued by the IAF in compliance with the Government of India, Ministry of Defence Circular (dated July 4, 1966).

Ironically the governments of Punjab and Haryana had also flouted the orders at the time of inception of the satellite towns of Panchkula and SAS Nagar, residents of the area alleged.

Apart from this, a number of colonies and other dwelling units have mushroomed within the prohibited area right under the nose of “aware” authorities. The state government has even created Nagar Panchayat, Zirakpur, by merging Zirakpur, Lohgarh, Bartana, Himmatgarh, Bishanpura, Bishangarh, Dhakauli and Bhabhat villages.

The signboards put up by the Air Force authorities have, however, caused a feeling of unsecurity among the residents of the area.

They alleged that the IAF authorities have given them a stepmotherly treatment as compared to the residents of Chandigarh who have constructed big houses in the parts of city which also fall within 900 metres from the border of the defence establishments.

Following the directions issued by the Air Force authorities to the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, the authorities have stopped giving approval to the plan of a building being constructed in Bhabhat village which has further aggravated their problems.


Harassment forces ailing cop to beg
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Mr Baaj Singh Gill, a head constable with the local police, has been suffering from blood cancer for the past one year. Instead of resting and making efforts at getting himself cured, he has been running from pillar to post for reimbursement for the money spent at Tata Hospital in Mumbai for his bone marrow transplant pre-operation treatment.

Mr Gill, who has been working with the local police since 1980, claims that some of the clerks in the finance department have been harassing him by raising one objection after the other on his papers. These papers have been cleared by other authorities, including the Superintendent, Home, UT.

Mr Gill was diagnosed with blood cancer in August past year, after which he was advised to go in for bone marrow transplant in Mumbai. He left for in September, where he was treated till March this year. He was able to procure some amount from the Administration as advance for his treatment, but since the treatment cost much more, he ended up spending large sums from his pocket, the reimbursement of which was still pending.

“I have to leave for Mumbai for the operation, but I have no money to go there. I have spent all the money saved. Now since it is a matter of my life and death, I have to resort to begging for justice,” says a bitter Mr Baaj Singh. “If this is the attitude of the Administration towards its employee, who is alive, but ill, who will look after my family if something goes wrong”, he asks.


City vulnerable to militancy: Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Chandigarh’s unique geographic and political profile makes it vulnerable to militant activities. This was stated by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), while speaking at the conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi today. He was there in his capacity as the UT Administrator.

The city had witnessed rapid and far-reaching social, political and economic transformation, including the emergence of satellite towns of SAS Nagar and Panchkula. The Chandigarh police was a small force of 4500 officers and men and its growth had not kept pace with the growth of the city and its satellite towns. During the past decade, the population of Chandigarh recorded an increase of about 40 per cent and was now 9 lakh.

A disturbing feature of the 40 per cent growth was the burgeoning increase in population, estimated to be about 3 lakh, in slums and areas lacking civic amenities. A significant increase was due to migration from other states. The possibility of foreign nationals migrating to the city, masquerading as residents of other states, could not be ruled out, the General said.

The Administrator stressed that proposals of the Chandigarh Administration for sanction of additional police force was pending with the Government of India. He sought early clearance to manage the existing and emerging threats. Peace and development were interlinked. Only adequately staffed, trained and equipped police machinery could ensure this vital need for our survival, he added.

The focus of the police was on capacity building of police machinery. Special attention was being paid to police stations as their role was pivotal in not only prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of public order, but also in collection of intelligence. Due emphasis was also being laid on upgrading capabilities of the special branch while the scope of intelligence coverage had been enlarged and internal security and counter intelligence were in its prime focus.

Earlier he spoke in favour of the new anti-terrorism law POTO, saying it strengthened our resolve to fight terrorism within the framework of our Constitution and we supported this landmark step. A central investigation agency, which could suomoto take up investigation of conspiracies or crime related to national security, should be set up early.

He also endorsed the suggestion for putting in place an institutionalised consultation mechanism between the Home Ministry and state governments for regular interaction and monitoring of the internal security situation. The General, while lauding the suggestion of replacing the Police Act, 1861, said the new legislation should give effect to the recommendations of the National Police Commission and the Padmanabahiah Committee on police reforms.

Internal security had become of paramount importance due to the continuing proxy war being waged by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir; the September 11 attacks in the USA; global networks established by terrorists for managing their operations; unleashing of bio-terrorism, confirming fears that terrorists could use weapons of mass destruction; the resilience being displayed by fundamentalist groups like the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammad; and growing linkages between terrorism and organised crime. These brought to focus the immense capabilities of terrorists across the world.


Sanjay Dutt leaves fans thirsting for more
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Like always, turbulence chased him today also. No wonder he looked as restive as ripples in the ocean the moment he was mobbed by a sea of “so-called guests of PFA”, who were promised a dinner with the film star tonight at the sprawling grounds of the Chandigarh Golf Association range.

But like all tasks which normally take a somersault with Sanjay Dutt around, this one turned off too....the People For Animal’s Rendezvous with the star took off well but did not last long enough to deserve the reputation of a rendezvous. Several factors teamed up so strongly that Sanjay Dutt, who had managed to reach the grounds after driving at a break-neck speed from New Delhi, could hardly be among the guests for more than 20 minutes.

He, however, paid whatever little sojourn he could before he was whisked away in friend Rajiv Bali’s private car. This was after he gave away those one liners to the mad crowd which seemed to have forgotten Maneka Gandhi, chairperson of the PFA, who was quite tight-lipped today. Sanjay’s was no speech, as he clearly stated in his inimitable style: “Mein speech bolne ke paise leta hoon, aur speech dene ke liye to Sunil Dutt ko bulana padega.”

News had it that immediately after this brief address to fans, Sanjay rushed to attend a friend’s party in a pub in Sector 17. And while all these events unfurled one after the other, the revelers kept missing the star on the dance floor. But as the evening would have it, Sanjay could not help moving out soon because his presence was causing quite a tempest.

The hard facts of the evening apart, the junior Dutt looked settled in his mind...After the thumping success of Mahesh Manjrekar’s Dutt starrer ‘Vaastav’, the man gives a “mature actor look” and truly so. After braving a tempestuous past, marked by drugs, divorce and TADA, Sanjay Dutt is today a man looking for his piece of earth under the blue sky.

He knows that he is heading towards his goal rather too fast, thanks to the support of “fans, family and friends”. The man seems to talk little, but he seems to reflect heavily. That is perhaps one reason why his performances are improving with every new movie. Now he has strong repertory — a sensitive performance in ‘Vaastav’, hilariously packed sequences in ‘Chal Mere Bhai’ and ‘Haseena Maan Jayegi’ and a serious role in the to be released ‘Pitaah’, where Sanjay is cast opposite Nandita Das.

Twenty years in the industry have brought immense patience to this man, who is now wishing for roles opposite Kareena Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai, and also with Tabu, who has been turning down films with him. She was supposed to be cast in ‘Vaastav’. With two big projects along side Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay’s career is already looking up. He has one film based on Harold Ramis’ ‘Analyze This’. Yet another titled ‘Kaante’, being directde by Sanjay Gupta, is also in full swing.

With the die-hard attitude which Dutt is wearing these days, he may run for the best actor award again. After all the whims and fancies of his past, patience has finally dawned upon him. Quoting the actor-singer-producer (he owns a production house called White Feather): “I learnt the elusive virtue of patience in prison. I used to be so restless.”


Cops to carry additional name tags
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Police personnel have reportedly been directed to carry an additional name tag besides the one they are wearing on their uniforms to ensure full compliance of a recent High Court directive.

The UT IG, Mr B.S. Bassi, has passed orders that all policemen should carry a reserve name tag with them so that the one they are wearing on their uniform can be immediately replaced in case it is lost.

There have been several reported instances recently where policemen on duty were found not wearing name tags. This amounted to violation of a Supreme Court order, which states that every policeman should wear a name tag which clearly and accurately states his name and designation.

When confronted by their seniors on their missing name tags, the standard excuse put forth by erring cops was that the name tag fell off their uniform while they were moving about on duty.

Last month, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notices to the Director Generals of the Punjab and Haryana Police, along with the Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, to show cause why they should not be directed to comply with the observations made by the apex court.


Third Shatabdi may be discontinued from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The third Shatabdi train service between Chandigarh and Delhi is likely to be terminated from tomorrow.

The fact is that the Ambala Railway Division has not received anything in writing either to confirm the discontinuation of the train or its further extension beyond today.

Chandigarh falls under the Ambala Railway Division. Booking of tickets for the train had been stopped a few days ago as there was no clarity on operations of the train, confirmed the Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala, Mr Deepak Krishan.

The third Shatabdi was introduced on the Chandigarh- Delhi sector on August 25, for a period of two months, on trial basis. After October 25, it was further extended till November 17.

The train has actually led to a passenger traffic increase of only 10 per cent. The departure of the third Shatabdi from here in the evenings had suited travellers and the train had about 80 per cent occupancy rate.

However, figures of the Railways showed that the occupancy rate of the Shatabdi which leaves Chandigarh at 12:30 pm had been hit and it was not that the passenger traffic had increased.

Now, the Railways is likely to shift the afternoon Shatabdi to the evening. But it will take atleast three months for the shifting as a large number of tickets have already been booked for the afternoon train and there is reportedly no procedure for informing each and every passenger about such a change in the departure timings.


Confusion over MC poll provisions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Confusion seems to prevail in the Election Commission of the UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, regarding many provisions for the December 8 poll to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

When parties asked the EC about the expenditure register and ledger, they were reportedly told that those would be provided after the withdrawal of nominations on November 24.

But when the commission was asked to clarify on how a candidate who filed his nomination and later withdrew to manage his expenditure the local office of the EC had to contact the Election Commissioner, Mr. S. Malaichamy, and the Joint Election Commissioner, Mr. D. M. Khaneta, in Delhi.

Mr Khaneta reportedly advised the local staff to issue registers to those who had filed the nominations. He said those who withdrew later on must be asked to return their expenditure registers.

Another issue that has led to confusion is the issuance of the voters’ list.

The parties were reportedly informed that the lists could be procured on the payment of Rs 1per page, but when state-level parties sought this they were refused lists.

The EC has now communicated to them that the list will be issued only to national parties and the state- level parties will be able to procure these only after their candidates have filed nominations.

Till today only the BJP and the NCP amongst national parties have taken these lists.

The political are peeved at discrimination saying when rates have been fixed the lists should have been given to all.

The Samajwadi Party local unit chief, Mr C. B. Jaiswal, said discrimination and doubting the integrity of state-level parties was condemnable and might lead to problems during the filing of nominations.

A candidate would now have to run around for getting a certificates that he was a voter in the city and the ward.

There is another confusion about the status of the Madras High Court judgement on the freezing of party symbols and their use by parties for six years after the freezing of the symbol.

The commission was supplied a copy of the judgement by the Janata Party local chief, Mr Ajay Jagga, arguing that he be given preference in allowing the use of his party’s frozen symbol of a farmer carrying a plough.

The symbol was frozen by the commission and six years have not elapsed.

Mr Jaiswal said the EC provisions would lead to sudden crowding of the Returning Officers’ offices on the last two days.


Cong panels to finalise list of MC candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Congress, here today, decided to constitute a panel of two candidates each for the finalisation of candidates’ list for 20 municipal corporation seats tomorrow. This was decided at the election panel meeting of the party held tonight under the observation of the AICC national secretary, Mr Bhubaneshwar Kalitha, also in charge of Chandigarh affairs.

An agreement seems to have been reached among major groups of the CTCC led by local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, former Union Minister Vinod Sharma, former IYC chief Manish Tiwari and CTCC chief B.B. Bahl for sharing seats, party sources said.


NCP announces names of 10 candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here today announced the names of 10 candidates for the December 8 Municipal Corporation elections.

The names of the remaining candidates would be announced on November 19 and those whose names will be cleared will file their nominations on November 19 and the rest on the next day, the party spokesman, Mr Kuljit Singh Minto said here today.

Candidates are; Principal Gurbachan Singh, president, from ward number 10, Mr Tarsem Singh Banga from ward number 11, Mr Gian Chand Dhadwal from ward number 12, Ms Anita Gupta from ward number 16, Ms Paramjit Kaur Dhillon from ward number 20, Mr Jaspal Singh from ward number 19, Ms Gurmel Kaur from ward number 7, Ms Maya Devi from ward number 5, Mr Madan Lal Soni from ward number 1 and Mr Jagan Ram from ward number 18.

NCP manifesto released

The NCP today promised a Vidhan Sabha for the Union Territory of Chandigarh and not to impose fresh taxes, regularisation of changes in housing board houses, ownership rights to tenement house holders, reduction of registry charges from 12 per to 6 per cent in the party manifesto released by the national party observer, Mr Ramesh Gupta, here today.

The party has promised unemployment allowance, raise in age limit to 35 years for employment eligibility, simplification of the process if issuing SC/ST and OBC certificate, check on corruption, improvement in CTU bus service, put a check on the profligacy of the Administration and bringing transparency in the working of the Municipal Corporation.

The party has also committed itself to finding a solution to those houses which are demolished by the authorities for unauthorised construction, simplification of leasehold property, improving the lot of government schools and dispensaries, providing houses for the retired, cheaper houses for freedom fighters and jobs for the family members of those who die in harness.

The party has also promised ideal villages, all facilities in colonies, suitable regularisation and rehabilitation of roadside venders and those sitting in rehri markets, permanent jobs for daily wagers, deputation status for Municipal Corporation employees and an international airport for the city.

Panthak Morcha announces three candidates.

The Panthak Morch announced Mr Inderjit Singh Goga, Mr Meewa Singh and Bibi Charanjit Kaur as candidates from wards number 1, 3 and 7, respectively.

The second list of candidates will be released tomorrow.

Kala files nomination amongst two

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Gurcharan Dass Kala, who was expelled from the Congress, here today filed his nomination from ward number 20 as an Independent.

While Mr Kala filed two sets of papers, another Independent, Ms Neelu Bhattal, filed her nomination from ward number 13. With today’s nominations, the total number has gone up to seven while the number of candidates is six.

AICC(S) to support Independent

The All-India Congress Committee (Socialist) led locally by Netaji Dhuran Shah and extended its support to an Independent, Mr Naryan Kapoor, from ward number 10.

Janata Party to contest three seats

The Janata Party led by Mr Subrahmanian Swamy has decided to contest election from three seats and may have seat adjustments with Janata Dal (United) and Communists in the MC poll.

Poll observers

The Election Commission of UT, Delhi and Chandigarh, is likely to finalise two observers each alongwith five Returning Officers and call an all-party meeting on Monday. Of the two observers one will be for the scrutiny of expenditure and the other for general purposes.

An EC spokesman said Inspector, P. K. Dhawan, had been appointed as nodal officer from the police to liaise with the Election Commission during the MC poll.

BJP concedes four seats to Akalis

The Bharatiya Janata Party today conceded four seats to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The party which contested in alliance in 1996 elections was given the same number of seats last time.

This was decided at a meeting of the election committees of the two parties led by SAD president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, and the BJP ad-hoc committee Convener, Mr. Yashpal Mahajan.

Jitender Bhatia’s action opposed

Housing Board Residents Welfare bodies’ Federation President, Jitender Bhatia’s joining the Chandigarh Vikas Manch has ruffled feathers of a number of office-bearers of the bodies and they have accused him of betraying the interests of the people and federation and appealed to the people not to vote for him.

Office-bearers of welfare associations of Sectors-40 and 41, Sector-38 (west), Sector-29, Sector-45 led by the Chairman Co-ordination Committee of Sector 41 welfare associations, Mr R. K. Mann, have opposed his joining the CVM.

BJP to shortlist candidates today

The adhoc committee of the BJP under the supervision of its national secretary, O. P. Kohli, today discussed 120 names of hopefuls of candidates today.

The list will be finalised by the party high command on November 19 on the basis of the shortlist to be cleared by Mr Kohli after personally interviewing the persons in the party office tomorrow, the committee convener, Mr Yashpal Mahajan told the Chandigarh Tribune.


Old industrial estates to pay more
HUDA to impose additional development charges
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
Haryana Urban Development Authority has decided to impose additional development charges on old industrial estates, deriving benefits of additional floor area ratio (FAR) earlier allowed by HUDA.

According to a fresh notification issued by the Chief Controller of Finance, HUDA, the department has fixed the new development charges to be recovered from industrial estates willing to avail themselves of the benefit of increasing their FAR. The external development charges (EDC) have now been increased manifold. It has also been decided to increase these at the rate of 10 per cent per annum on compoundable interest basis.

Earlier this year, HUDA officials had increased FAR of industrial units from 0.75 to 1.25 (on all floors) and in case of information Technology industry to 2.50 ( on all floors). In case of Panchkula as also in other 13 industrial estates in the state, the Industrial plots are cut in areas of one kanal, two kanal and four kanal. In case of one kanal plots, the Authority had earlier not allowed construction beyond 0.75 FAR.

With increase in FAR in March this year, the Authority had increased development charges in respect of new industrial areas because of increase in area under construction. The new notification states that after the decision to increase charges for new industrial estates by officials, it has been felt that additional development charges are required to be recovered in respect of old industrial estates where entrepreneurs will derive the benefit of additional FAR.

The issue was discussed by the Commissioner, Town and Country Planning. It was decided that HUDA would have to upgrade the services due to increase in FAR, which would have a bearing on EDC. The new development charges fixed per acre are highest in Panchkula, to be followed by Gurgaon.

The difference in EDC would be charged from old industrial estates, wherever the industrialist wanted to avail himself of the benefit of increased floor area. Various industrial associations think that the increase in these charges is unjustified. Mr. S.S. Goel, general secretary of the Panchkula Industrial Association, said the ramifications of additional development charges would be wide.

"The industry in the state is reeling under recession. This will serve as a further blow to the industry," he said.


Tension in village over construction
Nishikant Dwivedi

Mullanpur-Garibdas, November 17
Tension prevailed in the village over the construction of a place of worship by a section of villagers on a portion of shamlat (common) land here today. A section of the villagers led by the village sarpanch were of the opinion that the land had been earmarked for a community centre and no other construction could come up.

The construction work was halted for a few hours and the local police was called in. Work resumed later. Villagers engaged in the construction, claiming support of shareholders in the land and some village panches, informed Mr Jagmohan Kang, a Congress leader and former Punjab minister, who laid the foundation stone and promised a grant of Rs 25,000 for the construction. He could not be contacted.

The village sarpanch, Mr Deewan Singh, lodged a written complaint with the local police against the construction of the place of worship this morning. The other section claimed that the panchyat had no right to stop construction as the land belonged to shamlat malkein, land in which villagers had a common share. In this case, the land was owned by the Choe Anjuman Society.

Mr Muni Lal, president of the society, said, “‘Panchyat has no right to stop the construction. The place of worship will definitely come up”. Another shareholder in the land said, “The temple will come up on a small part of the land, leaving ample space for the centre’’. Mr Balwant Singh, a shareholder supporting the construction, said, “We all stand for development works for the benefit of the village. We will give land and work for the construction of the centre too’’.

Mr Deewan Singh showed copies of the panchyat’s resolution, earmarking the land for the community center to be developed in association with the Puri Development Trust for Mullanpur. In his police complaint, the sarpanch said work on the community centre was scheduled to begin soon, terming the present activity on the land as an obstruction in the work of the trust and the panchyat.

Mr Arvind Puri, another shareholder in the land, said the village needed the place of worship, but it should come up at some other place. The sarpanch claimed that he had promised land at a stone’s throw distance form the site where the construction started.

The two parties were in favour of both buildings, but the dispute was over the location. Some villagers engaged in the construction believed that the community centre should not come up at the present site as the land was adjacent to the cremation ground. The other party said the place of worship should come up at a plot adjacent to the land earmarked for the community centre to avoid any obstruction in its planning. 


Lajpat Rai’s social vision relevant today: Vaishnav
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Mr P.S. Vaishnav, former Punjab Chief Secretary, today said that the social vision of Lala Lajpat Rai gave a fillip to the Indian freedom movement.

He paid rich tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai on his Martyrdom Day at a function organised by the Servants of the People Society. A seminar on “Political elite and their stakes in terrorism” was organised.

Mr Vaishnav believed that Lala Lajpat Rai’s ideas of religious tolerance and acceptance of composite nationalism were the only means to fight terrorism in the present-day world. He lamented the considerable decline in the quality of political elite in both politicians and bureaucrats, which allows grievances to accumulate. Unless the political elite is sensitive enough to provide channels of communication and listen to the grievances of people, terrorism is likely to increase, observed Mr Vaishnav. He flayed political opportunism of politicians who misuse religious sentiments for votes. He wanted that purity of means as suggested by Mahatma Gandhi should be followed so as to create a civil society where grievances were redressed and terrorism became relevant.

Welcoming the chief guest and other panelists at the seminar, Group Captain P.S. Sono, honorary administrator of the Servants of the People Society, highlighted some of the ideas of Lala Lajpat Rai. He dwelt at length on Lala Lajpat Rai’s concept of composite nationalism in which the main emphasis was on the theme of Indianness.

Maj Gen Rajendra Nath(retd) lamented the prevalence of terrorism from the north-east to the north-west in India inspite of the fact that “we are a democratic country”. He decried the tendency of political leaders to use terrorist outfits to come to power. He was opposed to the use of religion to grain political power.

Mr P.C. Dogra, former Punjab Director-General of Police, historically analysed the origin of terrorism in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and condemned the role of the political elite in creating terrorism and then trying to kill it when it tries to damage the creator.

Mr H.S. Mehta, a social activists, decried the role of the USA and other such countries which first propagated and encouraged terrorism. He believed that the war in Afghanistan was the overflow of Arab nationalism and American imperialism

Former Professor S.L. Sharma of the Department of Sociology of Panjab University, condemned terrorism. It was father of the present President Bush of who promoted Bin Laden.


Vocational skills for girls stressed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 17
A one-day workshop on ‘Empowerment of Adolescent Girls’ was organised by the Jan Shikshan Sansthan for the employees of the Department of Social Security, Women and Child Development, here today.

Inaugurating the workshop, Mrs Seema Jain, Director of Social Security Department, Punjab, called upon the participants to work to help the adolescent girls to learn vocational skills. It would enable the girls to become self-sufficient, she added.

Prof Asha Sethi from the Jan Shikshan Sansthan said the objective of the Kishori Shakti Yojna was to improve the nutritional and health status of girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years. The scheme focussed on literacy and numeracy skills through.

Mr Nachhattar Singh, Deputy Director of the Social Security Department, spoke on the methodology to conduct a survey of the target groups and to organise camps for inculcating awareness so that girls are not neglected in the matters of feeding, health care and other spheres of life. Dr Amarjeet Kaur and Mrs Sushil also spoke on the occasion. 


Decision on land allotment resented
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Federation of Small Scale Industries today voiced its resentment against the decision of the Chandigarh Administration to allot land to a religious body in Industrial Area , Phase II.

In a press statement, Mr Rajiv Gupta, general secretary of the Federation, said the Federation respected the religious sentiments of the community and it was not against allotting land for religious institutes.

However, it resented the alleged double standards by the Administration. On the one hand, the administration was against encroachments and was demolishing illegal structures and on the other hand, it was encouraging encroachments by allotting open space, said the statement.

He said the Administration should not take any decision in this regard in haste. The Administration was already troubled with the construction of a double road from Tribune Chowk to Sectors 46 and 47 due to a temple and a gurdwara. He decried the Administration for allotting land to a religious institution at a place which would disturb the master plan of the city.

Mr Gupta pleaded that the Administration should reconsider its decision and allot land to the community at a place which would not disturb the master plan and obstruct the development of the city.


Workshop on journalism at Press Club
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Press Club, in association with the International Institute of Journalism, Berlin - Brandenburg, Germany, will hold a week-long workshop from November 20 to upgrade professional skills of journalists working in various fields of the newspaper industry.

Mr Peter May of the Institute of Journalism will conduct the workshop. Club members interested in the workshop should register themselves with the club manager during the working hours till November 19.

Sarbabjit Pandher, Secretary-General of the club, in a press note said the schedule of the workshop might be altered, depending on the response.


Interaction programme
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
As part of the ongoing Operation Sadbhavna, launched across the state by the police to project a people friendly image of the police, an interaction programme for residents of Sectors 12, 4 and 2 will be held in the main park of Sector 12 tomorrow.

Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, general secretary of the Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 12, said the main purpose of the exercise was to solicit views on making Panchkula a safe place. The police will attempt to create awareness among the residents on matters of safety and vigilance.

During the exercise, the police will also verify the credentials of servants, tenants and those residing in hutments in the area. Earlier, a similar exercise was carried on in Sector 10.


Verification of pension papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
With a view to checking discrepancies in disbursement of pension, the Chandigarh Administration has ordered an on-the-spot review of all persons getting pensions.

The financial position and age of the recipient will be verified, as per instructions of the Administration The Director, Social Welfare, has been asked to verify all persons who are getting old-age and widow pensions. The tehsildar will verify disabled pensions. As proof of age, certificates of Class X or XII, or those issued by the District Magistrate, will be accepted.


Pensioners’ plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Coordination Committee of Central Government Pensioners’ Associations has urged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to withdraw a government order dated May 11 denying pensioners pension even at the minimum of the actual revised scales of the posts held by them at the time of their retirement.


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The President of India has nominated for the third consecutive year the Co-ordination Committee of Central Government Pensioners Association, Chandigarh, as a non-official member of the Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCVA), Mr B.S. Dard, Secretary-General of the body, said here today.

The SCVA is a policy-making body of the Union Government for central government pensioners, which gives a feedback on programme implementation, critically examines policy initiatives and organises voluntary efforts to supplement government action in this regard.

The body is the only organisation representing pensioners from north India.


‘Speed up NAC notification process’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
The Punjab Government should now speed up the process of the Notified Area Committee notification and remove the technical problems in its way, including obtaining clearance from the Union Government regarding change of land use falling under forest area. This was stated by Mr Jagmohan Kang, a Congress leader and a former Punjab Minister.


A tale of 2 brothers
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

‘Tera Mera Saath Rahe’ (Neelam and KC, Panchkula) is a beautiful drama of love between two brothers where one, physically disabled and mentally retarded ‘special child’, (Dushyant Wagh) is totally dependent on the other (Ajay Devgan).

Mahesh Manjrekar in the chair of the director has also written the story of the poignant tale of a dedicated brother who has literally removed himself from the normal world to care for his brother. Dushyant as the crippled brother has done a commendable performance.

Life goes normal in a typical housing society of a Mumbai ‘chawl’, till Sonali Bendre lands in the city. She is running from the cruelties of the world after her marriage has broken off. She falls for Devgan and prefers sticking to him even if he does not marry her in love for his brother.

Devgan however realises that Sonali has made a place in his heart and decides to leave his brother in a home for ‘special children’, which the disabled brother naturally resents. However he leaves him in the care hospital. Devgan is trying to iron out his life to allow Sonali to shift with him, but he realises that he is nothing minus his brother.

The emotional bond is well dramatised. There are certain loose ends in picturising life in the ‘chawl’ but the story is well handled. Namrata Shirodkar, another inhabitant of the ‘chawl’ in love with Devgan has also done justice to her role.

DeewanapanAnand Raj Anand has lent music to the scores by Sameer. Shivaji Satam also has a clean performance.

Vaashu Bhagnani with a series of hit films to his credit is back with ‘Deewanapan’ (Jagat). The film however lacks conviction in screenplay to give artistic unity worth a pat. Arjan Rampal has a good time flexing his muscles and displaying his hands at fights.

Diya Mirza, Vinod Khanna. Om Puri and Smita Jayakar also figure in the cast. The famous ad-film maker Ashu Trikha has tried his hands at a full length feature film for the first time. Adesh Srivastava has lent the music.

A rather average storyline has also been scripted by Ashu.


A rollercoaster of punches & guffaws
Rajiv Kaplish

Another sequel? Means one more recipe for disaster. The rumblings of another fiasco almost force you to approach “ Rush Hour 2” (Kiran) as someone who is going to have a limbo experience. The more you lull yourself into slumber, the more you will enjoy (or, should we say, avoid) it.

Lowering your expectations thus, you kiss your senses goodbye and witness the big city cop, James Carter (Chris Tucker), and his kung fu partner, Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) of the Hong Kong police goof up on the streets while on vacation.

You had seen “Rush Hour” and the clownish antics of Chan and Tucker. So, you do not expect anything worthwhile from a similar mix of quips and bang-bang. After all, franchises are poor cousins of their high-profile originals, you surmise and dismissing the movie as yet another desultory wandering of director Brett Ratner into the action genre, try to have a nap.

But 10 minutes into the movie and a blast later, the hysteria generated by the Friday crowd makes you nearly capsize in your seat. Jolted out of your reverie, you are suddenly put on what now promises to be a rollercoaster ride of punches and guffaws.

As the contours of the action-comedy become clear, you find yourself globetrotting to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Las Vegas with Tucker and Chan, the clumsy duo who do not mind mixing business with a little pleasure.

It is not everyday that cops find themselves surrounded by beautiful girls in massage parlours or rubbing shoulders with the rich and the famous in the world’s largest casino while chasing criminals. That in the process, they always create a mayhem and end up on the wrong side of the law is a small price for a huge adventure.

Fully awake by now, you wonder who impressed you more. Chan with his martial arts wizardry or Tucker with his liberal doses of buffoonery.

The question is as difficult to answer as it is to know what lulled you into sleep in the first place.


One held for carrying pistol
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The local police has arrested Teja Singh of Birtala village of Bhatinda district from the gurdwara in Sector 26 and seized a country made pistol and a live cartridge from his possession. A case under the Arms Act has been registered.

GAMBLING CASE: The police has arrested three persons from Bapu Dham Colony for gambling in a public place. The three have been identified as Bhagwan Singh of Kishangarh village, and Bhoop Singh and Brij Pal, both residents of Madrasi Colony, Sector 26. The police seized Rs 180 from their possession. They have been booked under the Gambling Act.

ASSAULT CASE: A resident of Colony No. 4, Mr Kamlesh Kumar, was reportedly admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital after being assaulted and injured by several persons of the same colony. The police has registered a case.

PURSE SNATCHED: A Sector 37 resident Bimla Bansal has reported that some car-borne miscreants snatched her purse which contained Rs 500. The police has registered a case.

CAR STOLEN: A New Delhi resident, Mr P.S. Chadda has reported that his Maruti car (DL-1-C-2104) has been stolen from the parking lot of GK International Hotel in Sector 35. The police has registered a case.

STEREO STOLEN: Rajat Bedi of Panchkula has reported that the stereo of his car was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 17. The police has registered a case. Meanwhile, a Sector 37 resident, Mr Sandeep Soni, has also reported that the stereo of his Tata-407 truck was stolen, while it was parked near the Sector 36-42 crossing. The police has registered a case.


POLICE CLUELESS: The police is clueless about yesterday’s dacoity at a house in Akal Ashram Colony. Going by circumstantial evidence, the police suspects that the incident is not the handiwork of professional dacoits. The three persons injured in the incident have been discharged from Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh.

LABOUR DEAD: Nandu, a labourer working at a construction site in Sector 70, died today after he allegedly consumed spirit. He was taken to Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh, where he died.


Lawyer’s house burgled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
Cash and valuables worth thousands were stolen from a house in the township last night.

The owner of the house, Mr S.K. Sood, a senior advocate in the Panchkula district courts, was away to the Vaishno Devi shrine with his family at the time of the incident.

The burglary was discovered this morning, when the clerk of the victim, Mr Gurdeep Singh, came to the house. He found that the lock of the main gate had been broken and the house had been ransacked. The boxes, which might have contained cash and jewellery, were lying on the floor.

Details of the goods stolen could not been ascertained and a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC was registered.


Governor opens laboratory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Himachal Pradesh Governor, Dr Suraj Bhan, today inaugurated a digital colour photographic laboratory set up by Satyam Sales in Sector 22 here.

The laboratory, based on the latest LED technology of Kodak, is reportedly the first of its kind in Chandigarh.

People engaged in photography in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Chandigarh will be able to expand business and increase their income with the help of the laboratory.

The Governor inspected laboratory and saw the print out process. Earlier, he was welcomed by Mr M.M. Gandhi, proprietor of the firm, with a bouquet.


Aditi wins trip to Las Vegas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Aditi Singh has reportedly won the Ebony Las Vegas Dhamaka prize- a trip to Las Vegas. Mr P. Khurana, astrologer, gave away the prizes to the winner.

Winners of the weekend draw were also given away the prizes. Jaspreet Lakhuncha won a trip to Goa, and, Guljinder Singh won a trip to Jim Corbett Park and Munnar.

The Las Vegas promotion, which will be on till the first week of December, is on in all seven Ebony stores in New Delhi, Noida, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Chennai.

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