Tuesday, November 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

 

 

Illegal construction on PUDA land
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 19
Land acquired by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for further expansion of the town is under threat from “land-mafia”. Construction activity is going on in full swing at certain places along the Sohana-Lakhnour road.

At a particular site near the Akal Ashram Colony in Sohana, labourers were working overtime to complete two separate structures. Enquiries revealed that after PUDA decided to regularise the Akal Ashram Colony, persons having land on the periphery of the colony started raising structures on their plots. The land has been acquired and possession of the same has been taken over by the Land Acquisition Office (LAO).

The construction activity has failed to catch the attention of the local estate office of PUDA which had already taken possession of the land a few months back. Sources in the authority said the illegal construction activity had come to the notice of the officials of the engineering wing of PUDA when they went to the area for demarcation of Sector 76. Five sectors have been carved out from the land acquired in the area. It is learnt that the Estate Office had been informed about the illegal construction.

Mr Devinder Singh, a resident of Sohana, said by regularising the Akal Ashram colony, a wrong precedent was being set up among the land holders and real estate agents in the area. “They were now undertaking construction hoping for some relief from the government with general election in sight.” Enquiries reveal that the government has regularised the existing structures in the Akal Ashram Colony and the new structures had to satisfy the building rules and regulations of the authority.

Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator of PUDA, said the plot holders were raising the structures at their own risk. He said , “The new structures in the Akal Ashram Colony will be strictly governed by PUDA building bylaws.”

Regarding the unauthorised construction activity in the periphery area, he said fresh public notice announcing that no illegal construction after December 1998 would be regularised in the light of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was being given in newspapers. Those violating the December 1998 deadline would be doing so at their own risk, he added.
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36 encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 19
Continuing with the drive, the enforcement staff of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) removed around 36 enroachments in Phase X here today. Of the total 2,500 houses in the phase, 475 houses were surveyed by the PUDA demolition squad. The drive went on peacefully, barring certain complaints against the demolition squad.

Mr Karam Singh, a resident of house No 549, complained that despite no encroachment in front of his house, the JCB with the demolition squad removed earth creating a depression there.Back

 

 

PUDA ‘violates’ stay order
Demarcates land for Sec 76
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 19
Confusion prevailed among certain land owners of Sohana village, who had got a stay from the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding dispossession of their land, when officials of the engineering wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) went there to demarcate the land for the proposed Sector 76.

A land holder, who own pockets of land in the proposed five sectors, alleged that the PUDA officials had come to demarcate land for Radha Soami Satsang which had been allotted around 200 acres of land in the proposed sector. Brig Harcharan Singh Baidwan, who owns five kilas of land, said the followers of the religious sect, accompanying the PUDA officials, cut down three trees and some bushes on his land.

He showed a demarcation point left behind by the PUDA staff. He and other land holders apprehended that PUDA was reallotting land to the religious sect around their pockets.

No official of the Radha Soami Satsang could be contacted for comments. However, a senior PUDA official said the officials had just gone to demarcate the land for the planning of proposed Sector 76. A survey of the area was being conducted.Back

 

Rules say police force adequate in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
While the UT Administrator, Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd), is seeking additional manpower for the Chandigarh Police, an analysis of the stipulated police-to-population ratio reveals that the local police force is large enough to deal with the law and order situation in the city.

Chapter II of the Punjab Police Rules, which is followed by the Chandigarh Police, states that the police-to-population ratio should ordinarily not exceed one constable per 450 inhabitants in towns with a population above 30,000 inhabitants.

As per the latest census report, the city has a population of nine lakh individuals. The UT police, on the other hand, has a posted strength of 2627 constables. This makes the police-to-population ratio in the city to be one constable per 343 inhabitants, which is significantly higher than the stipulated bench mark.

General Jacob, while speaking at the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security in New Delhi on Saturday, had reportedly sought sanction for additional manpower by the Central government for the Chandigarh Police.

While the General’s stress during the conference on “adequately trained and equipped police force” is endorsed across the board, not many, specially foot soldiers at various levels in the field, agree with his view to further expand the force.

In addition to the constabulary, the local police also has about 1,000 Home Guard volunteers to assist it in maintaining law and order as well as performing security duties. Besides, hi-profile security duties in the city are being performed by the Special Security Bureau or the CSIF, while establishments of the Punjab and Haryana governments are being manned by their own police personnel. According to available figures, the current strength of the force, despite some shortages, is sufficient to police a population close to 12 lakh, if the police rules are considered as the guiding factor.

Though the rules state that the local environment, including the crime rate, industrial set-up and the demographic profile should be considered while manpower planning, a number of police officers spoken to felt that the city does not has a high crime rate. Nor is communalism a problem in the city. The earlier high threat perceptions emerging from terrorist activities in Punjab are long over and the internal security situation in and around Chandigarh is assessed to be by and large under control.
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Auction of paid parking slots held back
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The auction of paid parking slots in parking zones in Sectors 17, 8 and 9 was held back today on account of insufficient bid money. The Municipal Corporation will now invite sealed bids, the last date for which has been fixed November 28.

The auction which was to be held on the Municipal Corporation premises started after the 34 intending contractors had deposited the earnest money. The proceedings, however, could not result in final allotment, as the contractors did not give any bid, seemingly on account of pooling amongst them.

However, to ensure that paid parking system is introduced as per orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and according to the rates of fee, originally decided by the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, it has now been decided to invite sealed bids from all contractors.

The MC today said that an invitation to participate in the sealed bidding for parking zones is being sent to all those who had expressed their interest in today’s auction by depositing the earnest money through separate letters. Other intending bidders will be allowed following a public notice in newspapers.

The intending bidders can take a copy of terms and conditions from Executive Engineer S.K. Chadha during office hours from the Municipal Corporation, Sector 17, Chandigarh. The last date for receiving offers in sealed cover in the office of Municipal Corporation has been fixed 28.11.2001 by 3.30 p.m. Afterwards these will be opened in the presence of officials as well as any intending bidder present at that time to finalise the bids, the MC said.
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UT’s permission to pvt luxury buses
Tribune News Service

Highlights

  • Private AC buses between Chandigarh and cities in Punjab allowed .
  • Clandestine operations will be legalised.
  • The Administration will countersign route permits issued in Punjab.
  • All major towns will be served.
  • State Transport Authority will decide in consultation with Punjab on the number of route permits.
  • Private buses will be allowed to operate from the ISBT, Sector 43, on payment of a fee.

Chandigarh, November 19
Meeting a long-standing demand of members of the public, the Chandigarh Administration today amended a scheme, thus allowing private luxury buses to operate legally from Chandigarh.

Permits will be issued for selected destinations in Punjab on a reciprocal basis with the neighbouring state. At present luxury buses ply illegally to places like Amritsar, Jammu, Bathinda and Delhi. If Haryana wants it can apply and suitable amendments will be made in the scheme, said the UT Home Secretary cum Transport Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral.

The Administration today notified an amendment in the Chandigarh Stage Carriage Permit Scheme, 1998, so as to enable grant of permits to private operators for plying luxury buses from Chandigarh to district headquarters and important towns in Punjab. With this amendment it is envisaged that illegal operation of private buses will be curbed and the Administration will be able to get additional revenue, a spokesperson of the Administration said today.

The transport authorities in Punjab have been pressing for such a scheme for about two years. At the moment all luxury buses terminate at S.A.S. Nagar from where passengers are ferried in jeeps or other such vehicles to destinations in Chandigarh or Panchkula. This not only results in evasion of passenger tax but also adds to needless problems for travellers, who have to shift with bag and baggage from one vehicle into another. The other mode is to run the buses in a clandestine manner in the late night or early morning hours.

The legal framework, which is to be devised now, will include an insurance cover for passengers, proper seat numbers, fixed arrival and departure timing for destinations. Even the fare structure will be controlled partially, sources said.

It may be recollected that the issue of private luxury buses in Chandigarh had resulted in a major row between the Administration and bus operators. The Administration ordered the impounding of private buses operating from the city. This trigged off a reaction from the Punjab authorities who impounded Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses. Punjab has issued route permits for operations till Chandigarh which was rightly contested by the Administration, saying that Punjab had no right to issue permits for operation in Chandigarh.

While explaining the need for such a scheme, officials said that the demand for such luxury buses is growing everyday as people are getting used to the comforts of Shatabdi trains and luxury cars. And in any case it makes no sense for the government to invest heavily in such routes. Thus private operators will be allowed in a controlled manner.
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Property prices crash in Zirakpur,
residents resent IAF move
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 19
The absence of concerted efforts by the Punjab Government to create awareness about encroachments in the vicinity of defence installations has resulted in resentment and a feeling of insecurity among the residents of Zirakpur and surrounding areas.

Prices of property have crashed in the vicinity of Zirakpur which falls in the prohibited area while land rates have gone up in Dera Bassi and its surroundings since Saturday.

It may be recalled that a piquant situation had arisen after the Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities had put up signboards warning encroachers about the illegality of construction within 900 metres from the outer fencing of the air field.

Following this, thousands of families are mad at the authorities for not informing them of the actual ground position before they bought plots from ‘‘unscrupulous’’ property dealers for building residential premises.

A local resident, Mr Bishan Singh, alleged that all this was done in connivance with local government officials who knew that many dealers were selling plots in contravention of rules, which have been actively circulated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the Punjab Government for the past 35 years.

The affected residents questioned, ‘‘Why is it that action is initiated only after an encroachments had taken place ? Why did the authorities not place signboards or hoardings on such land which falls within the prohibited limit ? And, why no check is maintained on property dealers who conveniently gloss over the actual position and had misled people quoting that if these provisions were to be really enforced than hoses of thousands of families already living in this sectors bordering the Air field would be demolished ?’’ they fumed.

Residents who had purchased plots in IAF-prohibited limits in Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat were worried about their legal status if the IAF authorities decided to get the notifications enforced which made it mandatory for the respective District Commissioners to get such encroachments demolished, since it was ‘‘a matter concerning national security’’.

Ironically PUDA permitted some of the colonisers to establish colonies in this area who were making a fast buck and charging exorbitantly from the customers.

It may also be recalled that the IAF authorities, after years of pursuing the matter with the UT Administration, had got Karsan Colony in Sector 31 vacated. Such instances taking place in near future in the present context could not be ruled out, sources said.

Sources added that influential and some politically well-connected persons had purchased land in these areas on low rates and were now selling plots at skyrocketing prices, making the most of the situation.

Moreover, some of the bureaucrats had also purchased land in Bhabhat village soon after its merger with the civic body and were selling plots in unapproved colonies by PUDA, here, sources disclosed.

Soon after putting up of the ‘warning signboards’ by the IAF authorities within 900 metres from the border of the Chandigarh Air Base, prices of the property witnessed a sharp decline in and around the Zirakpur area.

Efforts to contact the Air Force authorities proved futile.

While Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Chief Administrator of PUDA, said that the Town Planing (TP) authorities must have taken up the matter with the department concerned, different parameters, including height and other norms fixed by the IAF authorities around the 900 metres from the Air Base, must have looked in before permitting such colonisers to establish colonies.

The matter would further be checked with officials concerned, he added.

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Children’s date with Jacob at Raj Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The grounds of Punjab Raj Bhavan resounded with the sound of joyous children who flocked the venue from various districts of Punjab to celebrate “Children’s Day’’, here today.

The ‘privileged guests’ of the Governor, Lt. Gen JFR Jacob (retd), attired in colourful dresses celebrated “their’’ day with enthusiasm as they danced and sang through the entire morning at the function organised by the Punjab Child Welfare Council.

The function of Children’s Day was postponed on the specific instructions of General Jacob. He wanted that as Children’s day was falling on Divali, they should be allowed to celebrate Divali with their families and Children’s Day should be celebrated only after the holiday break.

The children attired in colourful fancy dresses from all the districts of Punjab started pouring in at the Raj Bhavan since morning. The inter-district competition for group song, group dance and paper reading competition of various categories marked the beginning of the celebrations. Children enjoyed their day out, dancing to the beats of drum at the Raj Bhavan.

Earlier, General Jacob inaugurated the function and paid floral tributes to the portrait of Jawahar Lal Nehru. The Governor also released a souvenir of the child welfare Council and gave away prizes to the winners of the various competitions held at the Raj Bhavan grounds.

Appreciating the performance of the children, General Jacob said the children were the future of the country. Their proper growth and development was the responsibility of parents, the community and the government. He stated that a nationwide movement to highlight the importance of taking care of child’s health, nutrition and education needed to be launched. He stressed that there was need to provide conditions in which children could develop their natural talents.

In the group song competition Shinning Star Sr. Sec. School, Jalandhar, won first prize, Government Sr. Sec. School, Amritsar, Little Angles Co-education School, Kapurthala, were bracketed for second place, whereas R. S. Model Sr. Sec. School won the third prize. The team from Patiala won the consolation prize.

In paper reading contest, Little Angles School, Kapurthala, Government Sr. Sec. School, Sangrur, Innocent Heart School, Jalandhar, were placed first, second and third respectively.

In the group dance competition, the bhangra team of district Ludhiana won the 1st prize, whereas Malvai Giddha enacted by tiny tots by Baba Farid Public School, Bathinda, bagged the 2nd prize. The giddha by Mansa district team won the 3rd prize.

Later, the children availed themselves of the opportunity to get themselves photographed with the Governor. The function concluded with a prize distribution ceremony for the winners of the various contests.
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RUN-UP TO MC POLL
BJP denies ticket to 2 ex-Mayors, 8 councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The BJP today denied ticket to two former Mayors, Ms Shanta Abhilashi and Mr Gian Chand Gupta, leader of the anti-Satyapal Jain group, and 8 councillors, including five of Mr Jain’s faction and three of Mr Gupta supporters, in the list of 14 candidates released today.

The party has withheld names of two candidates to allow its alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which has been allotted four seats, to decide its candidates.

The seat allocation has come as a blow to the former party president duo Mr Gian Chand Gupta-Mr Dharampal Gupta as its group leader, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, has been asked to sit out of the electoral arena along with another vocal leader of the group, Ms Ranjana Shahi.

This is like adding salt to injury for the Gupta group as earlier Mr Dharampal Gupta had been removed from the party presidentship ahead of elections.

Two Jain supporter Mayors, Mr. Kewal Krishan Adiwal (SC) and Ms Kamla Sharma, are amongst five councillors who have been retained. Another of Jain supporter councillor, Mr Kanhaiya Lal Sharma, has been retained by the party.

The leader of the BJP in the Municipal Corporation, Mr Desraj Tandon, and an SC councillor, Mr Rajinder Kumar, from the Gupta group have been retained.

The party’s strategy is being seen as checking a possible anti-incumbency factor and strengthening Mr Jain’s group by denying a prominent leader of his anti-group ticket along with the group spokesperson Ms Shahi.

Ms Shahi, however, said she was asked by the party high command whether she would like to contest from ward number 17, her present ward.

She communicated to the leadership to keep her free for the whole city, sources close to Ms Shahi said.

Ms Shahi had been in the hit-list of the Jain group for her aggressive postures and recently the party sources had communicated to the Akali Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, that she would be denied ticket for opposing her publically.

Ms Harjinder Kaur is thought to be close to the Jain group which has got an upper-hand in the ticket distribution.

The Gupta group had been clamouring for denial of tickets to Jain supporters who had left the party to support a rebel Mayor candidate and were accused of getting official candidate Ms Ranjana Shahi defeated in the last Mayoral election.

Ward number 9 is held by Akali Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, while ward number13 is held by the Akali Deputy Mayor, Mr Mohinder Singh.

The two other seats, which Akalis contested last time, have been kept vacant apart from two others to accommodate them in case they change the present seats.

23 candidates file nomination on the penultimate day: As many as 23 candidates, including six of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), two of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) and one each of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), here today filed nominations on the penultimate day of close of nominations for the December 8 Municipal Corporation polls.

The CVM candidates have filed their nominations as independents.

The name of the party of Mr Prabhjit Singh from ward number 9 is not clear though he has filed it as a member of the party requiring only one proposer.

Major political parties are likely to file their nominations tomorrow on the last day of nominations.

Bansal gets lion’s share: The Congress today handed over the oarsman ship of the December 8 Municipal Corporation elections to the local Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, with his group claiming a lion’s share of the party tickets.

The candidates to 19 seats of the corporation were declared today leaving out ward number 17 as pending where nominees of the Bansal group are in the race.

While the group of former Indian Youth Congress chief Manish Tiwari was able to get two seats for the former Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress Committee president, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma from ward number 1 and Mr Pradeep Chhabra from ward number 3, the former Union Minister, Mr Venod Sharma’s, group got tickets for five seats.

Out of the six names proposed by the former Union Minister, Mr Sharma, five, including those of Ms Manjit Kaur, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Sunil Parti, Mr Naveen Gupta and Mr Sohan Lal Vaid had been accommodated amongst the nominees. The sixth Sharma nominee lost race to Mr Kamaljit Panchhi of Bansal group.

The party fielded three general secretaries loyal to each of the three groups apart from the Chandigarh Territorial Mahila Congress Committee president, Ms Lalit Joshi.

Among the three general secretaries, Ms Parti is considered to be close to Mr Venod Sharma, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma close to Mr Tiwari and Mr Subhash Chawla close to Mr Bansal.

The rest of the tickets were cornered by the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president, Mr. B. B. Bahl and Bansal duo.

The announcement of the list almost finalised day before yesterday when all party groups had indicated their preference of party nominees after a formula was thrashed out in that meeting held under the observation of the party national Secretary and Chandigarh in charge, Mr Bhubaneshwar Kalitha.

All Congress groups initially agreed on number of candidates of their quota along with the names of the candidates.

Scales tilted in favour of Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma whose contender for the seat was the Present CTYC president, Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, as he had recently been replaced by Mr Lucky.

The lone party councillor, Ms Kamlesh, has been retained from her present ward.

The distribution of ticket has largely been accepted by all major group leaders.

RRD promises transparent administration: The Rashtriya Raksha Dal (RRD), which has put up two candidates from ward numbers 9 and 13, has promised to bring transparency and high standards and make these wards as model ones.

In its ‘achievable’ manifesto, the party said that the wards would be made model places in terms of hygiene, sanitation, civic amenities, traffic discipline, security, education including physical fitness and shopping management.

It promised that children, disabled and the aged would be given special attention and the people would be involved in general administration.

Ms Neelu Bhattal was the party candidate from ward number 13 and Lt Col (retd.) Jagdish Singh Bath, from ward number 9. Both of them have filed their nominations.
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SAD not to contest MC poll on BJP symbol
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The BJP today got a setback with its alliance partner, the SAD, deciding not to contest the December 8 municipal corporation elections on its symbol.

The SAD general secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, said this in a statement here today that the party had decided not to contest the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) elections on the party symbol.

Withholding the symbol is being seen as failure of the two SAD groups to decide on candidates after a year-long factional fight. The SAD feels the results of the MCC elections may have a bearing on the Assembly elections due February next year.

The other faction led by the local Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, however, has proposed two candidates from the Akali quota of four to a favourable local BJP dispensation led by a former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain.

The SAD local unit general secretary, Mr N.S. Minhas, who is with Ms Harjinder Kaur, said here today that among the four seats offered by the BJP, they had been asked to propose two candidates by the SAD secretary-general and Union Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.

Mr Dhindsa was quoted to have told both groups to suggest two candidates each out of a quota of four.

The local BJP leadership is keen to adjust the Mayor and has reportedly left two seats of their own to accommodate the Harjinder Kaur-led group in case Mr Riar refuses to give her party nomination.

The Mayor’s group claims that the denial of symbol was meant to clip the wings of Mr Riar who could have denied the Mayor ticket and was not ready to “obey” to the high command.

Understanding the gravity of the situation, Mr Jain is told to be frantically calling up the two groups to reach an agreement so that the high command might issue them party symbols.

The Mayor-led group is trying to patch up with the Riar faction, to reach an agreement locally and jointly request the SAD high command to reconsider its decision.

Mr Riar’s stand seems linked to the denial of ticket to the anti-Satya Pal group leader, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, to whom the Riar faction has been loyal.
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Problem out of way, work on link road to start soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Work on a crucial road link across Sector 47-B, just outside the main entrance to the air force base here, will restart soon as the Engineering Department has sorted out a problem which had led to stoppage in work.

As the work was nearing completion, engineers were faced with a unique problem of how to cross the three-decade-old sewerage, water supply and storm water lines, respectively, while constructing the road.

Senior engineers in the engineering wing had been giving suggestions and till then work on the project had been held up. A breakthrough was later achieved, said sources, while adding that a RCC duct would be build under the road to carry the pipes downstream.

Interestingly the daunting task of how to cross the pipes had led to the abandonment of the project 16 years ago in 1985. Then the engineers had faced a similar problem of crossing the pipes. Old timers in the department recalled that the contractor doing the work had died suddenly and the work was held up.

Sources said already the alignment of the road had been changed, Originally, the plan was to join the upcoming road link with the road dividing Sector 31 and the Industrial Area Phase II, vertically on the same pattern as all other road links in the city joined each other. Now the alignment had been changed and it would be T-junction. A decision to either install traffic lights or to build a rotary would be taken later, said officials.

As part of the long term planning the engineering wing wanted to double lane the existing road between Sector 31 and Industrial area phase II. Permission for the same had been sought from Government of India. This would enable enable traffic coming in from Ambala—Delhi side and headed for Punjab or Himachal Pradesh to be diverted left from the Tribune Chowk to join the outer Dakshin Marg dividing Sector 47 and 48. If this would be permitted than the new road in sector 47-B would be widened and also the road which connects up to road dividing Sectors 47 and 48.

The UT was also keen that Punjab constructed the missing link between Sector 48-C and Phase XI. This would enable smooth flow of traffic towards the upcoming railway station in SAS Nagar. The station was located just east of Phase XI.

Shopkeepers and traders in Sector 47 in Chandigarh and Phase XI in SAS Nagar had been demanding these linkages as people had to take a detour to reach their homes.
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City to have ESI Hospital soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The city will soon have its first ESI hospital. With 50 beds, the hospital, located at Ram Darbar Phase II, will be catering to the industrial labour of the city who come under the Employees State Insurance Scheme.

The construction of the building, which started on June 15, 1995, is now almost complete. But sources state that it might still take a few months before the hospital starts providing even basic medical facilities to its patients.

The hospital has been constructed for the ESI Corporation (ESIC) by the Punjab Small Scale Industrial and Export Corporation at a cost of Rs 3.84 crore. Although the hospital is still awaiting its basic equipment, a demand of such equipment worth Rs 60 lakh has been sent.

Built on 3.28 acre of land owned by the UT Administration, the hospital was initially to be staffed and run by the Administration. But in December 2000, the Administration reportedly wrote to the ESIC stating that due to lack of funds it could not run the hospital.

Sources, however, stated that the administration had in fact clarified to the ESIC that the running of the hospital was not possible within the funds being made available to them by the corporation.

The ESIC then decided to run the hospital on its own and now when the building is complete, the ESIC appointed Dr Ramesh Chander from New Delhi as its first Medical Superintendent.

The hospital would be made functional in two phases, informed Dr Ramesh Chander. In the first phase, which was likely to start by January 2001, when the basic medical facilities like OPD and consultancy would be started. The operation theatres would start after another few months.

The hospital was also likely to manage staff requirement of doctors by employing city government doctors on a part time basis who would be offering their consultancy services as and when required.

There was already an ESI dispensary running at Sector 29 in the city catering to more than 2,000 ESI card holders. A multi-speciality ESI hospital in the city was a long pending demand of the city industrialists and their employee unions.

When fully functional, the hospital would have all facilities as were available in any general hospital. Multi-speciality and even super-speciality OPD and surgery would be available to the patients along with clinical testing.

The double-storeyed hospital would have three operation theatres(OTs), one for gynaecology and obstetrics, an emergency operation theatre and a main OT. The OPD would be run on the first floor while the second floor would house the wards and operation theatres. 
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Colony sans basic facilities
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, November 19
The approach road has been reduced to street of cobbled stones with massive potholes, the drains overflow, and above all there is scarcity of water.

No, this is not a description of problems faced by dwellers in some remote village, but by the residents of Electricity colony in Sector 52.

The residents lament that they have been staying in the colony for the past six years, but measures for improving the area have not been taken. In the absence of a proper approach road to the colony, accidents take place frequently.

Giving details of other problems being faced by the residents, the general secretary of the colony, Mr M.R. Bali, says, “As a result of stagnant water, a large number of mosquitoes breed in the colony. The menace, if not curbed in time, will definitely lead to an outbreak of some epidemic”.

Another resident Sudesh Rani adds: “Poor pressure and acute water shortage is causing us a lot of inconvenience. Residents staying on the first, and the second floors, most of the times find the taps hissing. Water supply begins at 8 am, but it is suspended in less than an hour forcing the residents to carry buckets of water up the stairs”.

This is not all. The residents complain that their houses are unsafe due to the presence of slums on the adjoining open space. “Law and order problem is not the only thing forcing us to scratch our heads. The slum-dwellers are not using public toilets provided to them, but are defecating in open fields,” asserts resident Mr Prem Sharma.

For children too, there are no facilities. “There are no good schools in the neighbourhood,” reveals another resident on the condition of anonymity. “We can admit them to far off schools, but rickshaw-pullers refuse to enter the locality due to the poor condition of roads. Sending them to school on cycles, too, is unsafe”.

Even in the evenings, there is no place for them to play. “There are no playgrounds, no parks, nothing. They cannot even go to the market to shop around for there is no market nearby,” adds another resident.
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Industrialists oppose land allotment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Federation of Small-Scale Industrialists has opposed the UT Administration’s decision to allot land to a religious body in the Industrial Area (Phase II) after a dispute arose in Sector 46.

“We are against the double standards of the Administration which, on the one hand, is against encroachements and is demolishing illegal structures, but, on the other, it is encouraging encroachments by allotting open spaces,” stated Mr Rajiv Gupta, secretary, in a press release.

He said the Administration should reconsider its decision and allot space which would not disturb the Master Plan of the city.
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Cooperatives to be elective subject
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Cooperatives will be one of the elective subjects for all students up to plus two in schools all over the country, Mr Rikhi Ram Kaundal, Himachal Pradesh Minister for Cooperation, said here today.

Talking to TNS after the 48th all-India Cooperative Day function held at the Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, the Minister said a Bill to this effect would be introduced in Parliament in the winter session.

The Minister appeared to be quite optimistic that the Bill would be adopted by both Houses and would become an Act to enable the introduction of cooperatives as an elective subject from the academic session beginning from April next year.

He told a gathering of cooperative department officials from Punjab. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, apart from the Union Territory of Chandigarh, who had come to undergo training at the institute, that the introduction of this subject would give a fillip to the cooperative movement.

Thakur Devender Singh, Chairman of the Management Committee of the institute, dwelt at length on the need for dedicated and efficient leadership in cooperatives.

The Chairman underlined the importance of womens participation in the cooperative movement in the country. He urged the Minister to frame rules so that cooperative banks were not compelled to advance loans to unproductive sectors.

Dr N. Pasricha, Regional Director of the institute, highlighted the need for professional work culture in cooperatives.
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Man with longest tongue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Dr Rabinder Kumar Sharma, a resident of Naheria village in Una district of Himachal Pradesh probably has the longest tongue in the world.

His tongue, which measures 80 mm, is, according to Dr Rabinder Sharma’s claim, at least 10 mm longer than the current holder of the longest tongue in the world, a German resident, Anika Irmlar.

Anika’s name was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records recently for having the longest tongue in the world.

The 48-year-old Sharma practices as a doctor and has a wife and a nine-year-old daughter. Has his daughter inherited this gift? ‘‘No’’, he says, ‘‘she has a tongue which is of normal length, but my sister has a long tongue but its not as long as mine.’’

Dr Sharma has also contacted the Limca Book of World Records to see if he can figure in it. 
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Firemen selection process begins
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, November 19
At last the process for selecting municipal council firemen has begun here to fill 33 posts which had been lying vacant since 1996.

The fire brigade faces a shortage of trained staff. Twenty raw hands were employed sometime ago on three months’ contract.

The physical tests for selecting candidates for the interview started on November 12 and today was the second day after the Divali holidays.

It is reported that on the first day of the physical test 108 persons had been called but about 70 of them had reached. For today’s test 190 persons had been called but about 100 were present.
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Communal harmony week
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
In order to awaken the feeling of national integration amongst children, government schools in the district began celebrations of a communal harmony week. 

An official press release said that November 20 will be celebrated as Minority Welfare Day, November 22 as Day for Weaker Sections and November 24 as Women’s Day, while November 25 will be celebrated as National Security Day. 
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Executive Officer takes charge
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 19
Mr K.S. Brar today took over as Executive Officer of the local civic body. He replaces Mr Harbhagwan Dass Garg, who has been transferred to Giderbaha civic body. Mr Garg, led by the ruling group in the civic body, has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking stay on the transfer order.Back

 

3 arrested in drug trafficking case
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 19
A Panchkula-based woman, John Molly, was arrested late last night for being allegedly involved in drug trafficking. Another woman, Jessica Willaim, and a Nigerian national, Henry Micheal, have also been arrested for being involved in the illegal activity.

The ASP, Ms Kalpana Nayak D, said Molly used to bring large consignments of smack and disburse the drug in small packets to her conduits, Jessica, hailing from Kolkatta and the Nigerian. On a tip-off, a Tata Indica car (CH-03-C-6084) was signalled to stop near the Micro Tower in Phase 3 A 1 here. The three persons were possessing 80 gm of smack.

The ASP said the Nigerian High Commission had been informed about the arrest. The main suspect, Molly, was living in Sector 21 and used to give small packets of smack to her conduits. A case under the NDPA Act had been registered against the suspects. The suspects were today remanded in police custody .Back

 

Two cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Two Chandigarh police personnel who were caught red-handed by the CBI while accepting bribe a few days ago, have been suspended.

As per the orders issued by the SSP, Mr Parag Jain, today, the suspension of SI Om Parkash and constable Devinder Singh, posted at the Sector 31 police station, will be with effect from November 16, the day they were arrested.
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Shop broken into; tyres, tubes stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Sector 32 resident Jatinder Jote has reported that his shop in Motor Market, Mani Majra, was broken into and 24 truck tyres, 24 tubes, 24 flaps and three clamps were stolen.

The police has registered a case.

Injured: A resident of Janata Colony, Jai Singh, was injured when his cycle was knocked down by a Maruti car near the Sectors 14-5-24-25 roundabout. He was admitted to the PGI, while the car driver sped away. The police has registered a case.

Purse stolen: Sector 15 resident Sahib Seathya has reported that his purse containing Rs 1,800, driving licence and other documents were stolen from the Sector 17 bus stand. The police has registered a case.

Scooter theft: Sector 56 resident Jaswant Singh has reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01-H-0371) was stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.

Cycle stolen: Sector 29 resident Amit Rawat has reported that his Hero cycle was stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.

Panchkula

Arrested: The police today arrested Bhagat Singh from the nursery chowk and recovered a bicycle he had stolen from a house in Sector 15 last night.

Police sources said that they hoped to recover more stolen goods from him and a two-day police remand has been obtained from a local court.

Fraud case: The police has booked Pawan Kumar, Rajbir and Raju on the charges of giving a bogus cheque to Gurjeet Singh on November 18. A case of cheating and fraud has been registered in Chandi mandir police station.

Dera Bassi

Liquor smuggler held: The police arrested a liquor smuggler and seized 12 bottle of whisky from his possession at a naka on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here last night.

Sources in the police said that the accused, Surjit Singh, a resident of Lohgarh village, was arrested while he was carrying the bottles of liquor in a jute bag.

The police claimed that the accused used to smuggle liquor from Chandigarh and sell in Dera Bassi and surrounding areas. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.
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UBS reunion on Nov 24, 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The University Business School (UBS) will be holding its annual alumni reunion on November 24 and 25. This was stated by Mr Satish Kapoor, a professor in the department and coordinator of the reunion, at a press conference held at the university here today.

As many as 200 alumni of the department are expected at this annual affair and specifically the batch of 1975 will be facilitated.

The organisers informed that other than the routine party and reliving of memories for which the reunion is being held, there will be a interactive session between students of the department and its alumni. This is being done to promote mobilisation of resources for the department and placement opportunities for the students.

A paper-reading competition will be held on the second day of the reunion when the best paper chosen on the theme, Vision-2010, will be presented, followed by a discussion on the paper.
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BIZ BRIEFS

Sailing package: Star Cruises in Chandigarh has come up with a “special family package” comprising a complimentary sailing for the third or fourth passenger in the cabin.

According to Mr Majoo, manager, Star Cruises the offer is valid on SuperStar Virgo, which has sailings from Singapore to Phuket, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur. The offer is valid on sailings up to November 28, on all Sunday sailings for 6 nights 5 days, 4 days 3 nights and Wednesday sailings for 3 days 2 nights. Superstar Virgo also claims to have the first Indian restaurant “The Taj” onboard any cruise ship in the world in addition to Japanese, Chinese and Italian la carte restaurants. TNS

Winners announced: LG Electronics has announced the winners of its LG 5000 Achievement Bash. The winners were awarded products ranging from CTVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, microwave ovens and vacuum cleaners from LG Electronics.

The company had started a month-long campaign to celebrate its achievements of attaining a cumulative turnover of Rs 5,000 crore in the country since its inception.

During the campaign, every customer who purchased LG products got entitled to win a surprise gift and also participated in the final lucky draw.

As many as 345 winners have been announced in the first two draws have been announced in the region. TNSBack

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