Thursday, November 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HC stays Naya Gaon notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In less than a fortnight after a notification was issued by the Secretary to the Punjab Government declaring Karoran, Nada and Kansal villages to be “transitional area for the purpose of constituting Nagar Panchayat at Naya Gaon”, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed its operation.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court on a petition filed by a city resident, Dr B. Singh, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, also issued notice to the Union of India and other respondents for December 12.

In his petition, Dr B. Singh had earlier alleged that the states of Punjab and Haryana had evolved an indirect method of violating the Periphery Control Act of 1952 by creating local authorities and empowering them to urbanise the periphery area in the form of Notified Area Committees at Zirakpur, Pinjore and Nayagaon.

Seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents for enforcing the provisions of the Periphery Control Act, the petitioner had also sought directions against the issuance of any notification or order violating the provisions of the periphery control area of Chandigarh. He added that the notifications should also be quashed.

Giving details, he had stated that in 1970s the governments of Punjab and Haryana, in violation of the provisions of the Periphery Control Area Plan of Chandigarh and the Periphery Control Act, had established the townships of Mohali and Panchkula. Subsequently, the two governments acquired land to establish New Chandigarh and Mansa Devi complexes. The Prime Minister, however, decided that the areas to be covered under the scheme should be left green to preserve the basic character of Chandigarh.

The Punjab Government again acquired 4,000 acres of land, the petitioner claimed. The high court, however, quashed acquisition notifications issued by the Punjab Government for acquiring 4,000 acres to develop Anandgarh township in violation of the Act, he had asserted.

It may be recalled that acting on another application filed by Dr B. Singh, the Bench had earlier stayed the operation of a notice issued by Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority for the regularisation of existing construction in Chandigarh’s periphery. The notice was issued in pursuance of a decision taken by the Punjab Government to regularise the construction existing up to November 3. The Judges had also directed that “no construction shall be carried out or will continue in the area covered by the notice”.

The Judges had further directed: “The Government of Haryana and its functionaries are also restrained from regularising the existing construction in the periphery area falling within its jurisdiction which have been erected in violation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952”.


Language blues in GMCH-32
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Consider this: Mr Avtar Singh, an 82-year-old from Faidan village reaches the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, early in the morning to reach in time for the Eye OPD, but ends up wasting a good 20 minutes trying to locate the counter where the OPD registration is done, another 15 minutes trying to find where the Eye OPD is and how to get there and another half an hour locating the chemist shop.

The reason: Mr Avtar Singh can read Hindi, read and write in Punjabi but cannot read English.

Mr Avtar Singh is one of the many who have had similar experience at the GMCH. It is ironical GMCH-32, a hospital which caters to the poor and mostly those who cannot read English, does not have a singlesign board inside or outside the hospital premises in languages other than English. This means that the hospital is not just violating standing instructions for the use of three languages on signboards in public places but is also causing considerable amount of inconvenience to majority of the people visiting the hospital.

The hospital has two separate multi-storeyed blocks, one for the various OPDs and the other for emergency. Somewhere in between are the chemist shops. Most of the patients who arrive here, even when accompanied by a large number of other people, fail to understand easily where they are supposed to go. There are numerous prominently placed signboards across the two blocks on each floor, in fact at many points on each floor but all this is of no use for those who can’t read English.

The hospital staff, doctors, nurses, housekeeping, security staff, lift operators, all of whom move around with their I cards displayed, end up helping these ‘lost souls’. Give directions, show way and at times even escort patients and their attendants to the place. “I give directions to at least 50 persons each day. But thats all right, at least I am helping someone,” says a security guard at one of the entrances to the hospital.

Then there are also a large number of people who can read English but many a time are not able to make out whether they are at the place where they should be. Many patients do not understand words like gastroenterology, psychiatry, ENT, medicine, ophthalmology etc. Although the person who calls for the patient from the card directs the patient where he or she has to go, mostly these people lose their way trying to find lifts, then their respective OPDs. Incidentally, the lifts too are categorised into the ones to be used by the staff, the doctors and the patients, all this information is once again written only in English.

Other than the inconvenience which use of just English language on signborads causes, is the fact that the GMCH is flouting standing instructions of that Government of India that all public places should have signboards written in English, Hindi and if required, the regional language.

The GMCH also does not publicise at any place on its premises the instructions of the Central Vigilance Commissioner’s office which state that in case any person employed in the building asks for a bribe, the authorities should be informed immediately. Posters containing the complete address and phone number of the Vigilance Officer of that particular institution have to be put up at prominent places in the institute in accordance to the CVC’s instructions.


Impressive nagar kirtan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
An impressive nagar kirtan was taken out on the eve of the 532nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev here today.

The procession, which started from Sector 19, passed through Sectors 27, 28, 29, 30, 20, 21 and 22, reaching the gurdwara in Sector 23. Then the procession went through Sectors 36 and 37 and culminated at the Sector 37 gurdwara.

Thousands participated in the nagar kirtan and payed obeisance to the Guru. Several organisations and persons put up colourful flags and buntings en route . Devotees were served prasad.

The procession started to the beating of ‘nagaras’ and blowing of trumpets placed atop camels. Camels were followed by schoolchildren playing ‘gatka’ and hundreds of students from various schools of the city. The student contingents were followed by the ‘Panj Piaras’ and a flower bedecked vehicle carrying Guru Granth Sahib.

Several teams of ‘Ragis’ also recited hymns. Several bands also moved along with the procession playing religious tunes .

The police made elaborate arrangements and no untoward incident was reported. Several cops could be seen directing the commuters to take alternative roads to avoid inconvenience. As the procession passed through different sectors, more persons could be witnessed joining the procession.


Hobson’s choice for farmers as animals wreak havoc
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, November 28
For animal activists, it may be a matter of conviction, but for thousands of farmers belonging to villages located in the peripheral areas of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar, it is either the animals or their livelihood.

Herds of wild animals, including sambhars, neelgais and boars are playing havoc with crops in villages located in the peripheral areas of Chandigarh and its satellite towns, for the past couple of years, forcing villagers to spend sleepless nights in their fields.

Farmers allege that the animals descend from the lower Shivalik Hills and nearby forest areas during the crop season and attack their fields during the night, destroying acre upon acre of crops. The creatures have been doing so for the past many years and often destroy standing crop of maize, wheat, sugarcane as well as seasonal cash crops.

Moreover, many of the animals lose their lives when they stray into inhabitated areas and often meet with accidents or are hunted down by the villagers for their flesh. They also fall prey to poachers, who kill the animals for their horns, skins bones and meat.

Farmers of more than 500 villages falling in the peripheral areas of Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar, besides the nearby villages of Morni, Pinjore, Raipur Rani, Barwala, Kansal, Mullanpur Garibdas, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru, Chhat Bir and Jagatpura have been the worst affected.

They have made machans from where they guard their crops through the night. To keep away the animals, they often set off fire crackers or beat drums.

It is learnt that apart from shooting animals, farmers even set up traps to catch the animals.

Villagers complain that the number of animals in descending herds has recently increased manifold, making it easier for them to destroy a huge field within a matter of minutes.

An adult male sambhar, that strayed into Bhabhat village near Zirakpur, was chased to death by some unidentified residents on the morning of November 18. The carcass was later buried after a postmortem examination conducted at the Veterinary Hospital in Ropar the next day.

A neelgai had met with an accident on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in Dappar village on Monday around midnight and had broken its legs. The animal was taken by Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, DSP, to his office in Mubarikpur village near Dera Bassi and was later handed over to a Chandigarh based non government organisation, People For Animals, after the Chhat Bir Zoo authorities denied medical help to the injured animal.

In another case, an adult female sambhar was killed in a road accident on the Panchkula-Kalka highway near Chandimandir on morning of November 1. The animal had descended from the lower Shivaliks and strayed in the areas.

It may be recalled that on November 18 last year, Ajmer Singh, a resident of Thadyon village was accidentally killed and his friend, Ram Swaroop of Bharauli village sustained serious bullet injuries when poachers accidentally fired upon them on Bhoor river bed mistaking them for boars in the night.

‘‘Earlier, the number of animals was very less and damages were low. But within a span of three to four years, farmers have had to bear heavy losses’’, claimed, Mr Puran Chand, a farmer of Paliwala village, about 5 km from Raipur Rani.

The farmers are worried about the neelgais, sambhars and boars and feel that if the forest department fails to control the descending of the animals to the area, they would suffer major losses, which would force them to leave their fields uncultivated and go in for another jobs to earn their livelihood.

Faquir Chand, another farmer of Taprion village, lamented that the wild animals start grazing in their fields at dusk. ‘‘We are helpless as the animals are causing massive destruction. If we kill the animals we face harassment by the Wildlife Department, if not, then the crops will be destroyed,’’ he added woefully.


Massive fall in PU Business School ratings
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Ratings of Panjab University Business School have witnessed a massive fall in a report released by Business India, a leading magazine of the business world, recently.

The Business School, rated 56th last time, has been placed way down in category B, which has come in as a surprise to the faculty and naturally the students as well. Category B is third on the list of institution ranking led by categories A(plus) and A. The data has been compiled under the second AIMA — Business India Survey, 2001, by choosing the best in the class benchmarks”.

The department, however, dismisses the rating “as based on faulty procedure for calculating the merit of an institution proved by the admission rush witnessed by the university from different regions, and the good quality of job placements”.

The merit of the institutions has been placed under different categories, including category A (plus), category A, category B (plus), category B, category C and others. The PU Business School has been placed in the B (plus) category. The top ten institutes include: IIM (Lucknow), IIM (Bangalore), IIM (Calcutta), MDI (Gurgaon), XLRI (Jamshedpur), NITIE (Mumbai), SP Jain Institute (Mumbai), IIT Department of Management (Delhi), XIMB (Bhubaneshwar) and NMIMS (Mumbai).

Prof K.K. Mangla, chairman of the UBS, said: “everyone is free to work out the parameters of a project study to calculate ratings. However, I do not agree with the Business India ratings. Despite the ratings last year, the department got good results in job placements and was hopeful of better results this year.” The nature of questions asked from the institutes was different this time and results were based on the replies which were often not truthfully given by several institutes, he added.

Prof P.P. Arya said: “Even last time when the university was placed 56th on the ratings card, at least 300 marks on certain account were not taken into account as the university could not give the details. Otherwise, the institute would have stood 11th. Professor Arya said that the Business School at one time was Prof P.P. Arya said: “Even last time when the university was placed 56th on the ratings card, at least 300 marks on certain account were not taken into account as the university could not give the details. Otherwise, the institute would have stood 11th. Professor Arya said that the Business School at one time was ranked 12th. It rated 10th on the list of placements. This time, however, the calculating criteria did not give due credit to the fees structure, number of Ph.Ds among faculty members and also infrastructure. PU had all teachers with Ph.Ds except one.

Professor Arya said even with the ranking given to the department which was on the lower side, the department showed class in the conduct of the courses and placements.

Professor Mangla said there were certain handicaps, particularly in matters relating to their infrastructure and finances. Yet, the school had a high standing, particularly in the region.

The AIMA survey report says that “Indian Business Schools, like those elsewhere, have been caught off-guard. Today it seems that the B-school magic has lost some of its potency. The MBA bubble has finally burst”. It says: “This year’s listing threw up some surprises. A large number of relatively low profile schools made it to the A category”.

The survey has given weightage to intellectual capital (34 per cent), infrastructure (26 per cent), interface with industry (16 per cent), growth and innovation (12 per cent) and admissions and placements (12 per cent). The survey received 292 responses out of which 20 had to be dumped, as these institutes were set up after 1999. As many as 58 schools were placed in category A, as many as 77 in category B and the remaining institutes were placed in Category C.

The survey also points out that several many older and well-established colleges were placed in lower categories because they suffered on account of expansion, infrastructure and faculty members.


City lad chosen for role model award
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
There is something remarkable about 26-year-old Ajit Pal Singh. Perhaps it is his indomitable spirit that strikes one while talking to him.

Ajit Pal, who cannot speak or hear, has been chosen for the National Award for Role Model being conferred by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi on December 3. He was chosen from amongst hundreds of other applicants for his commendable contribution in desilting of Sukhna Lake for the past six years.

The love for City Beautiful has always been quintessential for Ajit Pal. It was thus that he was so deeply troubled by the accumulation of silt in the lake.

“Being an avid rowing fan, like his father, he had gone to Sukhna Lake to witness the Asiad Rowing championship in 1995, when it struck him that if the lake was cleared of the silt, it would be a perfect venue for holding world rowing championships. It was then that he, alongwith his friend Jagjit Singh decided to contribute his bit for desilting operations in the lake, “ informed his mother, Ms. Nirmal Kaur.

In fact, so dedicated has his devotion been for the shramdan operations during these six years that even the vagaries of weather have failed to deter him. Lt. Col. K.P.S. Mohli, father of Ajit Pal, remembers a day during shramdan when Ajit’s scooter got stuck in the rain water on the road leading to Sukhna lake in Kishangarh.

“He was undettered by the breakdown of his scooter and dragged it to the lake . There he did the desilting work for a few hours and got the scooter repaired and then came back home,” he informed.

Ajit is presently assisting his father run a gas agency near Dhillon Complex. His younger brother, Manmeet Pal Singh, who also cannot speak or hear, is a renowned painter in the region, informs Ms. Nirmal Kaur, “ Though both my children are born with special needs, they have been brought up in a way that they learn to appreciate life with all its hues — good or bad. And they have always made more efforts than normal children in order to excel in whatever they do.”


Mohali to have luxury hotel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has formulated a comprehensive policy for allotment of land for world-class super deluxe luxury hotel in the “City Centre” (Sector 62) of SAS Nagar (Mohali). A formal decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of the Finance and Accounts Committee chaired by the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister today.

Giving details the Chief Administrator, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, stated that a total area of 10 acres was being earmarked for this purpose. The land would be made available in two phases of five acres each. The first phase envisaged the development of the luxury hotel proper, whereas another contiguous area of five acres would be kept reserved in the second phase for a world-class convention centre, future expansion of the hotel and for other uses incidental and allied to hospitality sector.

This reservation shall be for a period of three years from the date of allotment.

Mr Sidhu said in order to make the mode of allotment transparent and competitive, the land shall be allotted on free-hold basis, after inviting sealed, competitive bids, through an open advertisement. The allotment shall be made to the highest bidder. With a view to encourage some of the leading hotel chains within the country and abroad to bid for this project, which is seen as the nodal point in the development of the SAS Nagar town, the reserved price had been pegged at an exceedingly reasonable rate of Rs 37,500 per sq yd. This was approximately the rate at which one kanal residential plots are being allotted by PUDA. The terms of payment have been made very liberal and attractive. The successful bidder shall be required to deposit only 10 per cent of the bid amount within 30 days of the issue of the letter of intimation of allotment. After this initial deposit, a detailed allotment letter shall be issued and another 15 per cent of the total bid amount shall be required to be paid within 60 days.

The Additional Chief Administrator, Mr J.S. Sekhon, said the balance 75 per cent will be paid in six equated yearly instalments along with simple interest at the rate of nine per cent per annum on a reducing balance basis. However, with a view to conserve the cash outflow of the entrepreneur, PUDA has provided an attractive feature that the first instalment shall fall due only after a period of three years from the issue of the allotment letter. During the three-year moratorium period, the interest will neither accrue nor be paid.

In order to ensure that only serious players with an established track record enter the fray, a stringent pre-qualification criteria has been approved. Apart from the earnest money of Rs 10 lakh, it has been provided that the bidding company: i) should be a known company in the hotel industry or a hotel chain with minimum ten years experience; ii) should be owning hotel properties and be successfully managing and operating a minimum 200 rooms in the five/four-star or five/four star deluxe category in the Indian metro cities; iii) Non-Resident Indian owning and managing similar facilities in any part of the world subject to Reserve Bank of India regulations.

The Senior Manager (Project), Mr Rajdeep Thind, said the policy envisages that the allottee shall construct the hotel and commission a minimum of 125 fully functional standard luxury guest rooms within three years from the date of issue of the allotment letter. Apart from providing the standard facilities of a luxury hotel it will be incumbent upon the operator to provide: Banquet hall, conferencing hall, restaurants — two multi-cuisine restaurant and one speciality restaurant, coffee shop, bar, swimming pool, business centre, health club and beauty parlour and shopping arcade.

An advertisement in this regard is likely to be published in leading newspapers shortly.


No trend on voter preferences
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, November 28
With about 10 days to go for the city’s civic body elections, no clear trend has emerged on voters’ preferences.

A cross-section of city residents has given contradictory views on factors that will determine who will occupy the Mayor’s chair this time.

The party, the candidate’s charisma, the issues or a combination of these may be decisive.

While some residents feel that the party is more important than individuals, others believe that the candidate’s personal rapport with the masses will go a long way in influencing the decision this time. Another section of residents insist that promises to tackle neglected issues will decide who will win the election.

Mr Amit Chaudhary, a senior sales officer with an office automation organisation, asserts that his vote will go to a candidate strongly recommended by a friend. “No one has done anything for the common man’s welfare during the past five years, neither party ticket holders nor independent candidates. At least the candidate without any party’s support can be caught and abused,” he quips.

Mr Arun Shori, a retired government employee, argues that Independents will suffer a major setback in the forthcoming elections. The party which does something for the city and its residents deserves the people’s mandate,” he says.

Mr Munish Kaushal, a deputy manager with a multinational organisation, states that while a concrete party base is essential, votes will eventually go to the candidate with a known social service background. “An unheard of candidate, even if he belongs to a known party, does not deserve to be elected,” he adds. He believes that anyone who has not rubbed shoulders with the common man can never understand his problem.

Ms Neelam Gupta, a housewife, emphasises that only a party candidate should be elected. She is of the opinion that an Independent may be aspiring for power only to accomplish vested interests. “A contestant without political backing will have little say as he will only be small fish among the political sharks,” she adds.

Ms Kamlesh Kapoor, a Khuda Lahora resident, is determined to vote for the person who will rectify the local problems. According to her, the promises of a clean and well-organised city are not enough. “The electricity and water supply are erratic and poor bus service has thrown life out of gear,” she opines. She adds that the candidate who assures them of resolving these issues will get the vote.

Mr Iqbal Singh, a senior citizen, is of the view that the party’s image, the individual’s reputation and the issues raised will work in tandem to decide the successful candidate. “Party comprises of individuals. What they think and how they propose to tackle the problems will decide who will be elected,” he elaborates.

Mr Nikhilesh, a management student, insists that no candidate deserves the mandate. According to him, while some political parties have proved corrupt, others are not allowed to form the government.” It is useless to elect anyone as it is a proven fact that power corrupts”, he states.


SC certificate: clarification sought from EC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Chandigarh Administration’s refusal to issue Scheduled Caste certificates here today had a Returning Officer for the December 8 panchayat poll in confusion about the nomination of a candidate of Scheduled Caste.

The Returning Officer today asked the Election Commission whether the certificate of a panch candidate from Khuda Raipur was acceptable as he did not have any document from the UT Administ-ration to support his claim of caste.

The EC authorities after vetting documents verbally said if his caste was also notified in the UT as a Scheduled Caste, he was eligible to contest from the ward.

The Returning Officer, however, was not convinced and wanted the EC to give it in writing that the candidate was of the caste claimed by him and being supported by a document from the place of migration.

The clarification has come as a surprise as the EC had ruled in the all-party meeting on the first day of nomination on November 13 that if a candidate did not have caste certificate from the UT his certificate from the state of his migration will be valid.

The EC gave this ruling after representatives of political parties raised the issue before the Election Commissioner, Mr S. Malaichamy, that candidates of Scheduled Castes might face difficulty in contesting election as the Administration was allegedly not issuing such certificates for a long time.

The EC had said such a situation would lead to denial of constitutional right of a candidate from a reserved constituency to contest the election.

The issue of Scheduled Caste status had been raised several times by most of the political parties with the Union Minister, Mr Ramvilas Paswan, the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo, Mr Kanshi Ram, having already promised to take up the issue with the Central Government in their recent public meetings.

The EC today satisfied itself with the fact that ‘chamars’ are notified as SCs in the UT and their certificates from their place of migration were sufficient to support their claim of the caste.


BJP to intensify campaign
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
Campaigning by candidates of various parties for the coming Municipal Corporation elections picked up today with most of them going door-to-door for canvassing

The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to intensify its election campaign for the coming Municipal Corporation elections from tomorrow. Keeping in view the ban on use of mike for campaigning, the party has decided to lay stress on ‘pad yatras’ and door-to-door campaigning. All 16 candidates of the party had already opened their offices in their respective wards.

Ms Kamla Sharma, party candidate from Ward No 6 listened to the problems of the residents. Mr Gian Chand Gupta, party candidate from Ward No 11 held meetings in Sectors 20-C, 33-A and 33-C.

The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, today held a meeting at the BJP office and discussed strategies for the elections.

With over 100 workers of the District National Congress Party led by Mr Dhir Singh joining the Congress, the party claimed a major boost to its election prospects. This was stated by Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, official spokesman of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee. Meanwhile, Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the unit, today opened election offices of the party candidates in Ward Nos. 1, 9, and 12. He also canvassed for the candidates.

Mr Ram Pal Sharma, president of INTUC, campaigned for the Congress candidate in Mauli Jagran, Bapu Dham and Janta Colony. He also held several meetings.

The Chandigarh District Council Communist Party of India in its meeting today decided to support Ms Bimla Sidhu, president of the Chandigarh Istri Sabha, who is contesting the coming elections as an independent candidate. The party has also extended its support to Mr Vikram Singh, an independent candidate from Ward No 10.

Mr Prabhjit Singh Lamba, who is contesting from Ward No 9 on Samata Party ticket, has promise its voter to fight against Minimum Electricity Bill introduced by the Electricity Department. He has also promised public conveniences in the markets of Sectors 34, 35 and 44.


Private vehicles not to ply on Dec 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Election Commission here today banned movement of private vehicles on the polling day on December 8.

Vehicles allowed to ply on that date will be those of the police, sector-wise officers working with the Election Commission, candidates and their election agents and observers, EC sources said. The measure has been taken to stop candidates ferry voters as, well as ensure against of rigging. The Commission has decided to deploy 3,500 policemen for election duty and make elaborate security arrangements.

Each booth will have three security personnel. A constable and a Home Guard personnel will form part of the three-member team. On sensitive booths, the Home Guard personnel will be replaced by a constable.

The election security arrangements not be putting a sub-inspector on those places where more than one booths is to be housed in one building. On sensitive booths an Inspector will supervise the security arrangements on such similar buildings. There are 578 booths for Municipal Corporation polls and 67 for panchayat elections.The EC has made 69 armed mobile patrolling police parties with a responsibility of 20 to 22 wards each, to enforce polling day security and to prevent attempts at booth capturing and rigging.

These parties will be headed by a sub-inspector and in case of a sensitive area, an inspector. The EC has deployed 69 sector-wise Officers with magisterial powers to ensure free and fair polls.


72 file nomination papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
As many as 72 candidates have filed their nominations for 15 panchayat samiti member seats and 14 for six of panch seats for the December 8 election till today on the closing day of nominations.

Ms Surinder Kaur is the lone candidate from ward number 5 (Kaimbwala) and if her papers are found to be proper tomorrow on the scruitiny day, she will be elected unopposed.

The highest number of candidates to have filed nomination are from ward number 14 (Hallomajra) from where 10 persons have filed their nominations.

Ward number 1 (Raipur Khurd) has 3 candidates, ward number 2 (Mauli Jagran) 5, ward number 3 (Daria) 6, ward number 4 (Kishangarh) 4, ward number 6 (Khuda Ali Sher) 8, ward number 7 (Khuda Jassu and Khuda Lohara) 6, ward number 8 (Sarangpur) 4, ward number 9 (Dhanas) 2, ward number 10 (Dadu Majra) 4, ward number 11 (Maloya) 5, ward number 12 (Palsora) 3, ward number 13 (Kajheri) 6 and ward number 15 (Behlana) 5.

The scrutiny tomorrow withdrawals will begin day after tomorrow and will be allowed till December 1.

Election for 15 panchayat samitis are being held afresh as the election process for these could not be completed due to technical reasons in the last election.

The byelection of panches was necessitated after the resignation of a member and death of other candidates.


Parishad to support Independent candidate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Hind Sangram Parishad today decided to support Mr Manoj Kumar, an Independent candidate, in the forthcoming Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections.

Mr Manoj Kumar is contesting election from Ward No 14.

According to a press note issued by Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, president, Hind Sangram Parishad, this decision was taken at a meeting of the parishad.


DA for daily wagers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In a decision that may be seen as a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct by the Central Government for the December 8 Municipal Corporation and panchayat elections here, the BJP has claimed that the Central Government has accepted DA for daily wagers and other employees.

A press note issued today said a delegation of employees met a former BJP MP, Mr Satyapal Jain, and thanked him for getting their long-pending demand of DA accepted from the Union Home Ministry.


‘Fix responsibility for telefax disconnection’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Election Commission of Chandigarh and Delhi has directed the Principal General Manager, Telecom, Chandigarh District, BSNL, to fix responsibility of the person who ordered disconnection of its telefax despite payment made 10 days earlier.

The provocation came after the telephone-cum-fax of the commission remained cut off for more than 36 hours, EC and Municipal Corporation sources said here today.

The Commission is awaiting reply of the PGMT and if responsibility is not fixed, the Commission will ask the Minister for Telecommunications to do so.

The Commission’s communication and transfer of data from Returning Officers, police and Administration and the Commissioner, Mr S. Malaichamy, who sits in Delhi, remained cut off for these hours, hampering its election management.

The fax of the Commission is important as it has to take election related complaints in writing and pass orders of urgent nature and fax them.

If the matter is of very serious nature, it may have to transfer the data on fax to the Election Commissioner sitting in Delhi and get his orders immediately.

The Commission authorities had to fax data from private operators in Sector 17.

The corporation sources said the bill of the fax and telephone was paid well in time before the due date and their phone was cut off due to non-payment.

The fax-cum-telephone of the EC was restored after 36 hours following the EC authorities talking to the BSNL authorities and threatening that the matter could be referred to the Minister for Telecommuni-cations.

The PGMT, Mr R.C. Vaish, talking to Chandigarh Tribune said that he did not know of any such letter on disconnection.


Beant Singh memorial to be completed soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The governing body of the Beant Singh Memorial Committee, today decided to complete the existing building and auditorium and put both these buildings to optimum use at the earliest.

The governing body which met under the Chairmanship of the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, PVSM (Retd), at UT Secretariat, Chandigarh, in which the Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr N.K. Arora, the Principal Secretary, Finance, Mr P.K. Verma, the Secretary to Governor, Mr S.C. Aggrawal, Secretary, Public Relations, Mr D.S. Guru, Director Public Relations, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia and Mr Tej Parkash Singh, MLA and son of late Beant Singh were present on the occasion. From the UT side, Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the Administrator, Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, Joint Finance Secretary, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Chief Architect, Mr Sarabjit Singh Sandhu, Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjeet Singh, also participated in the meeting.

Lieut-General Jacob said against the commitment of Rs 2 crore, the UT Administration had already spent more than Rs 7 crore on the existing building and granite memorial. The Punjab Government against the commitment of Rs 10 crore had only contributed Rs 2 crore on the project. He said Rs 7.15 crore approximately were required to complete the existing building and auditorium.

To project the vision of Beant Singh as a statesman having futuristic vision, it was decided in the meeting to use the upcoming building as convention centre and give a portion of this building for setting up a small library, which will have books on the life of the assassinated leader.

Lieut-General Jacob said the convention centre would project the vision of Sardar Beant Singh in proper perspective. He said the purpose of this meeting was to operationalise these buildings at the earliest and put them to a fruitful use so that people can pay visits to this memorial.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh agreed to the proposal of the Governor and also appreciated the efforts of UT Administration for contributing more than its commitment to keep the construction work going on. He requested the Punjab Government to contribute its share at the earliest for the completion of the project.

Ms Neeru Nanda said they would be making provisions for the completion of this building in the next year’s budget so that Sardar Beant Singh Convention Centre becomes operational at the earliest.


Landlord in the soup while tenant makes merry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Chandigarh Electricity Department after allowing a tenant to consume electricity for 17 months without payment or disconnection, is now making the landlord pay the dues.

The landlord, wants the CBI to investigate the matter, apprehending large scale of bungling. The landlord Lieut Col (retd) Satish Kapoor, resident of 430, Sector-37-A, has been running from pillar to post to get the actual consumer and his tenant, Mr Onkar Singh, to pay the bill. Colonel Kapoor and the District Consumer Forum had been giving representations to the authorities, who have asked him to file an affidavit for getting the bill account transferred to the actual user.

He filed the affidavits, but the authorities concerned did not inform him for 10 months about the progress on the issue. He had rented out the house between 1995 and February 1999.

He had found to his surprise as soon as the tenant left the house that his electricity had been disconnected, which the department had not done for 17 months. He said they disconnected one connection and forced him to deposit Rs 25,250 to avoid a second disconnection.

Now the department has added Rs 26,671 as sundry charges in his current bill of October 8, 2001. These charges are presumed to be an unpaid amount of connection disconnected 10 months back. These bills, amounting to Rs 40,000 plus interest, had been forced on him to cover up the lapses, he alleged.


Include Balongi, Ballomajra in SAS Nagar MC
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 28
The Punjab Government has written to the SAS Nagar civic body to include Balongi and Ballomajra in the limits of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council.

Sources in the government said that acting on a demand by panchayats of the two villages to bring these two villages under the civic body, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had directed the Local Government to take steps in this regard. The Local Government Department had further written to the local civic body. The issue would be taken up in the general house meeting of the civic body on November 29.

The sources said earlier a proposal for constituting an NAC in Balongi, comprising of nine gram panchayats — Balongi, Balongi colony, Badmajra, Badmajra colony, Raipur, Jhujjhar Nagar, Daun and Balolpur — with an area of around 4,000 acre, had been strongly objected to by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority.

There are 14 items on the agenda for the meeting.


Special counters for IT assessees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Income Tax Department has made special arrangements to facilitate filing of 2-C returns by residents of Chandigarh and the urban areas newly notified under the 1/6 scheme.

These areas are SAS Nagar, Burail, Attawa, Ropar, Nangal, Morinda, Kharar and Anandpur Sahib. The last date for filing the form 2-C is November 30.

Mr Baljit Bains, Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh II, informed in a press note today that for the convenience of all 2-C filers, special receipt counters have been set up as under: Sectors 26 to 35 of Chandigarh (Range IV) — first floor, SCO 40-41, Sector 17-A, Chandigarh Bassi Building (near Canadian High Commission) .

Sectors 36 onwards of UT, Burail and Attawa, Phase 1 to 7 and Sectors 70 and 71 of SAS Nagar, Industrial Area, Phase 1 to 8 and Phase 10 and 11 Mohali, Madanpura, Shashi Majra and Mataur (Range V) — ground floor, SCO 40-41, Sector 17-A, Chandigarh Bassi Building.

Phase 8 onwards of Mohali, Industrial Area Phase 9, Mohali (Range VI) — SCO 101-103, Sector 17-D, Batra Building. Revenue tehsil of Kharar, Ropar, Morinda, Kurali and Anandpur Sahib — ITO office, Ropar.

Nangal, Naya Nangal — ITO office, Nangal.


Stress on spirituality at samagam
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
‘’The modern man has no time to think of God, but with all his plans and grand schemes for development, there is at the bottom an emptiness and yearning for peace,’’ stated, Mr Khem Raj Chadha, secretary, Sant Nirankari Mandal, Delhi, while addressing a mammoth open samagam in Sector 22 here today.

Referring to the present-day scenario, Mr Chadha pointed out that the world seemed like a vast seething cauldron and it was high time to ponder where the human race was heading to. Quoting from scriptures, he distinguished the human being from all other creatures and brought out that it was incumbent on him to be one with the Creator and deal with the entire humanity as his family. It was through this relationship that an element of spirituality could be imparted to human thought and action, he added.

The absence of spiritual enlightenment marked darkness in life, which provided perpetuity to prejudices and eternity to errors, creating chaos all around. Human family stood shattered by artificial divisions, conflicting ideologies and efforts had failed to reverse the wheel of human degradation, Mr Chadha added.

Crystalising his point, Mr Chadha stated that light and darkness never coexisted. Prophets down the ages had always awakened mankind to an enlightened life full of peace and happiness. He repeated the message of Baba Hardev Singh, ‘Know God, Know Peace.’ The zonal in charge of the mandal, Mr Kesho Ram, shared his life experiences with the public.


Club office-bearers installed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
The joint charternite-cum-installation ceremony of the Lions Club Rose, Chandigarh and Mani Majra Model Town was held at Lions Bhawan Sector 18 yesterday. The District Governor 321-F, Mr Dinesh Sood was the chief guest. He installed Ms Kailash Seth and Mr Parveen Aggarwal as presidents of the two clubs and their Boards of Directors.

While speaking on the occasion, Mr Sood laid stress on spreading the light of selfless service for the needy. He said everyone should try and reach out to those in need. He also emphasised the need to increase the membership of clubs and said the members of each club should motivate more persons to become a part of the organisation for the benefit of society.

The Multiple Council Chairman, Dr N.K. Grover, appreciated the projects and efforts of both the clubs. The former District Governor, Mr K.S. Sandhu, while speaking on the occasion stressed on retention of membership. He said personal differences should not come in the way of selfless service.

The newly installed president, Ms Kailash Seth while briefing the projects already undertaken, by the club took the pledge that the club would continue to implement the spirit of lionism in better and in spirit.


She has 96-mm tongue
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
Seventeen-year-old Ridhima Kalsi has the longest tongue in the world, beating her nearest competitor by 16 mm.

Her tongue, as certified by a dentist in the town, measures 96 mm. The earlier world record claimant Dr Rabinder Sharma from Una in Himachal Pradesh, has a tongue measuring 80 mm.

Her tongue is 26 mm longer than Ms Anika Irmlar, a German , whose name features in the Guiness Book of World Records , for having the longest tongue.

Ridhima, a student of Class XII, can touch her chin as well as the tip of her nose with her long tongue.


RPO issues Machine Written Passports
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh, has started issuing Machine Written Passports (MRPs) with effect from yesterday.

This new system of issuing MRPs would eliminate the chances of any mistake, usually noticed with the handwritten passports, according to an official press note issued here today.

The Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, has provided three hi-tech machines to the Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh, for the purpose.


One dies in accident
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 28
One person died on the spot, while three others sustained serious injuries in two separate accidents involving a scooter, two trucks and a private bus on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here late last night.

According to police, a scooterist died on the spot and another sustained severe, injuries when their scooter (CH-01E-4524) rammed into a truck from behind on the highway near the petrol pump in Bhabhat village last night.

Residents of Burail village in Chandigarh, Sita Ram died while Dineshwar Kumar, who was riding pillion sustained injuries. Dineshwar Kumar was taken to the Government Medical Collage and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh, and was later referred to the PGI.

The body of the deceased has been sent to Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a postmortem examination. A case has been registered with the Bhabhat police post of Sohana police station.

The truck driver is said to have fled from the scene after the accident.

Two persons were injured in a head-on collision between a truck and a tourist bus near an information collection centre set up by the Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab on the highway last night.

Police said that the driver and the conductor of the truck (HP-20-1148) sustained injuries while there were no casualties among the bus (DL-1PA-5729) passengers.

The bus was on its way from Delhi to Chandigarh when it collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction.

The flow of traffic was also affected for some hours long as the damaged vehicles were removed after over 12 hours.

Both the vehicles involved in the accident have been impounded by the police and a case has been registered with the Lohgarh police post.


Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
A man was electrocuted in Barwala when he climbed an electric pole for carrying out repair work. The contractor, responsible for maintaining the poles, had allegedly not closed the main switch for power before the victim climbed the pole.

According to information available, Surinder Kumar was made to climb the pole by the contractor, Naresh Kumar. The employee died on the spot. The police has booked the contractor on charges of negligence, leading to death.


Former Mayor’s car involved in accident
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
The car of former Mayor and BJP candidate from ward no 11 for the coming Municipal Corporation election, met with an accident with a motor cycle driven by a resident of Panchkula, near traffic light point in Mani Majra, this morning.

The youth, Varun Kumar, a student of DAV School, Sector 8, reportedly sustained injuries and was taken to the PGI. However, no case has been registered. Mr Gupta, who escaped unhurt, could not be contacted for comments.


Helpline for women, kids
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
The Women Helpline Child Helpline telephone number 705011 has started functioning at the Crime Against Women Cell from today. The helpline has also been allotted a toll-free four-digit number 1091.

The helpline will be monitored by Mr H.G.S Dhaliwal, Superintendent of Police. The unit will work in coordination with women NGOs dealing in women and child relief.


Speeding driver reverses Jeep, hits policeman
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 28
A jeep is signalled to stop by cops but the driver speeds away. Another cop on a motorcycle starts chasing the ‘‘fleeing’’ vehicle. The driver of the Jeep suddenly shifts gears and reverses the vehicle. The chasing cop is hit and injured. The driver is later arrested.

This is not a scene from a Bollywood movie. The drama was actually enacted on city roads yesterday. As per police sources, Sanjay, a resident of Rohtak district, was asked to stop Mahindra Jeep by traffic cops on the roads dividing sectors 16 and 17, but he did not yield to the signal. Another cop on a motorcycle started chasing him but was injured when the jeep-driver allegedly started reversing the Jeep. The cop was later admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16. The accused was arrested under Sections 279, 337, 332, 353, 427 and 440 of the Indian Penal Code and the Jeep (HR - 12 - P - 0102) was impounded.

Bag snatched

A Sector 40 resident, Mr Parvinder Singh Bakhshi, reported to the police that two clean-shaven youths on a Yamaha motorcycle, snatched his bag containing Rs 21,000, near his residence last evening. The two youths, who were wearing helmets are said to be in their middle twenties. A case under Sections 379, 356 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft case

Thieves broke into booth numbers 47 amd 50 in the Sector 29 market last night and reportedly took away Rs 7,000 and 2,5000, respectively. A case has been registered.


Mr Madan, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, reported to the police that he was assaulted by Sham Lal, his wife, Mohindra and his two sons, Joginder and Guda, last night. The complainant reportedly sustained injuries. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen

Hero Honda motorcycle (CH - 03 - C - 0367) of Mr Ajay Chopra, a Sector 28 resident was stolen from a house in Sector 37 yesterday. Another motorcycle (HR - 05 - F - 0327) of a Sector 41 resident, Mr Mahesh Chaudhary, was stolen from his residence on Monday night. Mr Deepak Kumar, a resident of Sector 3, reported to the police that his scooter (CH - 01 - M - 2536) was stolen from thr parking place of MLA flats in the same sector on November 24. Cases of theft have been registered.



MDA scheme to aid gem exporters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In an endeavor to encourage jewellery exports, the Ministry of Commerce has implemented a scheme, Market Development Assistance (MDA), under which exporters or members of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council can avail themselves of financial assistance, said Mr J.S. Tiwana, Director, Ministry of Commerce, while addressing a seminar on MDA organised by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council here today.

Emphasising that the traders should avail themselves of the benefit of various finance schemes , he said these would help increasing export earnings of the country. Explaining the MDA schemes, he said the exporters could avail financial assistance for sales-cum-study tours, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions and publicity through printed materials.

“MDA is not only beneficial to exporters, but also to non-exporters, who are into retailing and want to explore new markets for exports”, said he. Explaining about the activities of the Council, Mr George Punnose, Regional Officer of the Council, said the council has 7,000 members across the country and it promotes export of diamonds, coloured gemstones, processed and polished pearls, precious metal jewellery, fashion and costume jewellery, silver jewellery and cut and polished synthetic stones. “The council also promotes sale of these to tourists visiting the country”, said he.

He said the Council, apart from promoting trade in foreign markets, provides guidance and information to its members, assistance to foreign buyers, training and Research and Development support for development of the trade. Mr Lalit Chitalia, Convenor, Administration and Finance Committee of the Council was also present. The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council will also organise a seminar in Shimla tomorrow.



CAMP: Castrol India Limited, Northern region, organised a free medical check-up camp at their Rajpura nodal warehouse under their health, safety, security and environment programme for drivers and cleaners. According to Mr D.S. Arora, P and L manager for North, the company organised a defensive-driving training programme at Rajpura some time ago.

LAUNCHED: Nike has introduced its new product, Nike Phylon, the shoes with an ultra-light mid-sole cushioning. Available in the categories of running and cross training, the Phylon range uses a full-length Phylon mid-sole for superior comfort and lightweight cushioning.

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