Wednesday, December 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Congress routs BJP-SAD alliance in MC elections
Wins 13 seats; Satinder Dhawan, Kala eat humble pie
Tribune News Service

Supporters dance in front of a counting station. 
— Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma and Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 11
The Congress has routed the BJP-Shiromani Aklali Dal (SAD) alliance winning 13 Municipal Corporation seats out of 20 and reducing the alliance to only four (3 BJP, I Akali) to be in a humiliating position of a local party Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) which also got three seats.

The victory of the Congress candidates with huge margins registering a bounce back from one seat in the last election to 13, the number which the BJP had won in the last elections, is being considered a signal to what might happen in the Punjab assembly elections due in February. The MC polls were held on December 8 and counting was done today. Polling was as low as 34.5 per cent.

The MC elections had last time shown the trend of SAD-BJP alliance’s brightening fortunes giving the alliance 15 seats out of 20, which was almost repeated in the Punjab Assembly elections.

Such strong was an under current in favour of the Congress that stalwarts like former Union Minister and CVM supremo Harmohan Dhawan’s wife Satinder Dhawan, Senior Deputy Mayor Gurcharan Dass Kala (independent), BJP leader in the House Desraj Tandon, Akali Deputy Mayor Mohinder Singh’s wife Paramjit Kaur and former BJP Mayor Kewal Krishan Adiwal of the BJP, among others, were rejected by the people.

Former BJP mayors Ms. Kamla Sharma winning by a margin of 154, Mr. Gyan Chand Gupta by a margin of only 50 votes and the present Mayor and SAD candidate Ms. Harjinder Kaur by 650 votes could barely go unscathed in a wave that seemed to have rejected a squabbling BJP-SAD alliance. The margin of the other BJP candidates Rajesh Gupta was merely 654 compared to huge margins of the Congress candidates.

The election seemed to have gone on three local parties returning none of the candidates of national and regional parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Samata Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Lok Jan Shakti Party and Shiv Sena.

Janata Dal-U, Samata Party, Shiv Sena and Lok Jan Shakti Party — all National Democratic Alliance partners of the BJP — did not even figure in the first three candidates. They were not contesting in alliance with the BJP in the local body election.

Samajwadi Party, NCP and Bahujan Samaj Party also did not figure in the first three.

The BJP rebels who numbered around 7 could also not make much impact but sufficient to damage the BJP in certain cases.

The Panthic Morcha which wanted to test waters ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections on an anti-Parkash Singh Badal agenda also could not make much of an impact.

The Congress has wrested all three seats — ward number 1, ward number 19 and 20 earlier won by Mr Dhawan’s outfit which has now been able to shift its base to ward number 17, 13 and 10 with victory its candidates Jitender Bhatia, senior party leader Devinder Singh Babla’s wife Ms Harpreet Kaur and Vijay Singh Rana.

The CVM has wrested all these seats from from the SAD-BJP alliance with the satisfaction that the local MP Pawan Bansal whose strategy has won approval of the people, has not been able to score over Mr Dhawan’s candidate from a locality where Mr Bansal lives.

BJP stalwart and former MP Satyapal Jain also had to bite dust failing to help the party win from ward number 2, which had always been giving the party lead even during those Lok Sabha elections that BJP lost. Mr Jain who was recently given the charge of the party and has a say in the ticket distribution suffered a setback with his leadership coming a cropper as against that of his rival group led by former party presidents Dharam Pal Gupta and Gyan Chand Gupta.

The election will have a reflection on Mr Jain’s prospects for Lok Sabha candidature. The victory of the Congress had strengthened Mr Bansal within the party groups returning only one Mr Kuldeep Singh from ward number 1 out of four camp followers of former Union Minister Venod Sharma. The major defeat from the group was that of Mr Sunil Parti from ward number 12.

However, former Indian Youth Congress President Munish Tiwari’s follower Chander Mukhi salvaged his position by winning for a whisker margin of 271 votes despite allegation of sabotage from Bansal followers.

The traditional rivals Congress and SAD-BJP alliance were in direct contest at nine places in ward number 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,12, 15. The Congress had to fight with the manch in ward number 10, 14, 16, 18, 19 where the BJP was not even in the reckoning.

Three independents were in direct contest with the Congress in ward number 3 where Madan Lal Gupta gave a direct fight to Congress general secretary Subhash Chawla. In Ward number 5 Congress INTUC Mahilia Wing chief Syama Negi won against Poonam Sharma, an Independent. The BJP and CVM candidates Ms Santosh and Ms Sumitra lost their deposits in the ward.

Senior Deputy Mayor Gurcharan Dass, who was contesting as an independent was the main contender of the Congress in ward number 20 where the BJP-SAD alliance candidate Swarn Singh Dhiman with 478 votes and seventh position lost his deposit. Rest of political parties also lost deposit in the ward.

The sitting BJP Councillor Kanhailal Sharma also lost his deposit getting only 910 votes and had to be satisfied with third position. In ward number 10 the BJP candidate Lalit Sangar had to contend with four position and loss of deposit against CVM candidate Vijay Singh.

In ward number 12, CVM supported Akali (Riar-faction) candidates lost his deposit with only 850 votes. The SAD could only do well in Mayor Harjinder Kaur’s ward number 9 and ward number 13 where Paramjit Kaur got second maximum votes.

The Riar faction Akali Darshan Singh only got 121 votes in ward number 9 and Suresh Verma 1026 votes. The sitting BJP councillor Rajinder Kumar lost his deposit from ward number 14 by getting merely 653 votes and fourth position. Official SAD-BJP candidate Ms Amarjit Kaur Bhullar lost deposit getting only 944 votes. In ward number 18, BJP stood fifth and lost deposit. The BJP stalwart and former Mayor Adiwal was pushed to third spot and lost deposit. 


It is not a political list
Nominations to the MC
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Nominations of nine persons made by the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to the Municipal Corporation this morning is carefully aimed at bringing about a sobering effect on the proceedings of the House which has been run in shoddy manner during the past 18 months.

The sheer weight of the achievements and experience of those nominated speaks for itself and so far none of them has any political links. No political lists or recommendations have been “ taken care of’’ or kept in mind by the Administrator, whose list was released at 10 a.m, much before the results of the polling were be declared. This was to avoid any kind of allegations like nominations had been made from amongst the losing party.

During the last tenure of the MC allegations were made that some of the nominees were hardcore party activists and had gained a backdoor entry to the MC through this route. During the past two years of the MC, nominated councillors voted for Mayoral candidates having just three other elected councillors with them. At times it was like parallel body.

This time serious homework has been done on the nominees and their backgrounds. Some of the nominated members had never lobbied for a nomination and were amazed when correspondents and photographers started approaching them this morning.

All those who had been nominated in the last term have not been given a chance. General Jacob has maintained the ratio of defence personnel, educationists, engineers, doctors and retired bureaucrats. The only deletion is from among the category of journalists. Last time it was veteran journalist Harish Bhanot this time no scribe is in the list.

Topping the list of those nominated is Brig Sant Singh. He is the highest decorated surviving soldier in the country. With two Mahavir Chakras under his belt for his bravery in 1965 and 1971 wars, respectively, he was naturally the first to be picked by the Governor. Incidentally, the Governor was GOC-in-C, Eastern Command when the Brigadier physically captured Pakistani General A.A.K. Niazi in the famous surrender at Dhaka in 1971.

The other Fauji in the list is Major Gen A.S. Kahlon. A man from the Signals he has seen action in 1971 and 1965 wars and also the Goa operations in 1961. The two defence persons last time had been Major Gen Rajinder Nath and Major Gen Gurdial Singh.

If during the last term two educationists Ms Parsann Kaur and Dr (Ms) Saudamini Bambah were there, this time it is only one: Mrs K. Atma Ram, a former Principal of the prestigious Government College for Girls, Sector 11. She is very vocal on local issues and is an old time Chandigarhian. The other woman on the list is Mrs Amar Kulwant Singh. Official circles remember her as the wife of former Haryana Chief Secretary Kulwant Singh, however, she is also a highly dedicated and a genuine social worker with various causes being very close to her heart.

And the minority community had not just got token representation. Dr Dildar Khan, lives in Sector 42 and is Director of S.A.S. Nagar branch of the Institute of Development Communication. He is a social scientist with specialisation in community work.

On the engineering side General Jacob has nominated Mr P.C. Sanghi, a retired Chief Engineer of the Haryana Housing Board. Mr Sanghi was originally employed with the Chandigarh Administration between 1969 and 1973 before moving out to Haryana . In this field the last nominee was Mr R.K. Aggarwal.

While nominating a doctor, Prof I.C. Pathak, the last time nominee, has been replaced with a former Director Health Services (DHS) Chandigarh, Dr B.R. Verma. In this field any one would ask why big names like Prof V.K. Kak, Prof B.N.S. Walia or Prof Harminder Singh were not included. The counter point to this can easily be the fact that it depends if the person has the inclination to deal with daily nitty gritty of the MC and contribute with ideas.

Also on the list is retired Punjab cadre bureaucrat Dr K.S. Raju, who had championed the rights of backward classes, he is very vocal on issue and he replaces Ms Surya Pandit, who was also a bureaucrat. An addition to the list this time is from among cops. Mr C.K. Sawhney, a retired DGP of Punjab. He is a 1955 batch officer of the IPS and had retired in 1990, has also been nominated.


Celebration time for winners’ supporters
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, December 11
The deafening din of dhol, mingled with the ruckus of bursting crackers, echoed against the blank walls of the neighbourhood houses, as supporters of candidates, emerging victorious in the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, took to the streets this evening.

The houses of the elected candidates were the venue of prime celebrations. Since morning, the anxious neighbours and party workers had started gathering. As the news came in, there was nothing that could stop the crowd from expressing their joy.

Tearing excitement broke loose in front of the main gates as the supporters and party workers wildly swayed to the rhythmic beats of the dhol. As the feeling of exhilaration sunk in, more and more revellers joined in, shouting slogans, some offering laddoos to the neighbours. Within minutes, they hopped on the jaunty semi-limousines and open jeeps with fluttering party flags tied to the front and the rear bumpers.

In markets and green spaces, the excited candidates, surrounded by even not-so-friendly acquaintances, stopped to address the gatherings. As their “dear ones” answered the continuously ringing cell phones, they thanked the electors for voting them to power. Some went straight to pay obeisance at temples and gurdwaras.

For the supporters and the candidates, the day started early. Anxious to know the results, they lined up in front of the counting centres. Tension was writ large on their faces as the counting started at about 8 am under strict vigil. The results started pouring at about 11.30 am. Since then, there was no stopping the crowd.

At the Sector 15 residence of Anu Chathrath, well-wishers started gushing in as soon as they came to know of the result. Soon they joined the rally taken out through the university and other sectors of the ward to thank the voters. They then went to the Congress Bhavan in Sector 35.

Supporters went beserk with excitement at the Sector 19 residence of Rajesh Gupta. It was nothing less than a fair as the slogan-shouting crowd danced to the tune of bhangra music.

Party workers surrounded the residence of Chander Mukhi Sharma in Sector 10. Excited screams filled the air as they rushed forward to garland the victorious candidate. Some applied tilak on his forehead. Later they went from door to door thanking the voters.

Harjinder Kaur’s house was converted in venue of celebration even before the result was declared. “They were so sure of my victory that they started congrulating me even before the result was declared,” she claimed.

Gian Chand Gupta, covered under a bundle of garlands, kept on thanking his supporters with folded hands. “I will soon thank them personally,” he asserted, while supporters helped themselves to laddoos. Real celebrations would follow once the formalities were completed, they asserted.


The nominated councillors

Brig. Sant Singh, MVC (retd.)
1545, Sector 36-D, Chandigarh.

Born on July 12, 1921, he is the highest gallantry award winner in UT Chandigarh. He fought against nine times superior force of enemy in Naushera Sector in 1949. He has been awarded the Mahavir Chakra twice, once each for the 1965 and 1971 wars, respectively.

Ms Amar Kulwant Singh,
3229, Sector 15-D, Chandigarh.

Born on August 17, 1940 she represented India at International Conference in England, France, Iran, Kenya, USA and Singapore. She has been a member of Blood Bank Society, PGI, since 1973. She has remained Chairman, Project Implementation Committee, Karnal 1966-67 and Secretary Bal Niketan, Chandigarh, since 1994, Chairman, Bhartiya Gramin Mahila Sangh, Haryana 1988-1994, member of Chandigarh Administration Advisory Council in 1991 and member of State Level implementation for eradication of child prostitution since 1994-1996.

Mrs. K. Atmaram,
44, Sector 4, Chandigarh.

Ms K. Atma Ram officiated as Principal, Government College for Women, Patiala in 1956-57, she was head of the Department of English in Government College for Girls, Sector 11, for 20 years and had longest tenure as Principal from 1966-75. She was promoted as DPI (Colleges), Punjab, in 1980.

Dr. K.S. Raju, IAS (retd)
315, Sector 35-A, Chandigarh.

Dr K.S. Raju, joined the PCS in 1955 and served service for 31 years. He is an eminent historian and wrote 14 history books and distributed free of cost amounting to Rs 4.53 lakh. He was awarded with Punjab State Award of Rs. 21000 and Dr Ambedkar National Award and Guru Ravidas International Award.

Mr P.C. Sanghi, Chief Engineer (retd)
2142, Sector 21, Chandigarh.

Mr P.C. Sanghi is a retired Chief Engineer was born on June 10, 1936. He remained Assistant Engineer in Agriculture, Ludhiana from 1964-1966 and Assistant Engineer in National Industrial Development Corporation, Delhi, from 1966-1968 and Chief Engineer in Housing Board Haryana, Chandigarh from 1992-1994.

Maj. Gen. A.S. Kahlon, AVSM (retd)
287, Sector 10, Chandigarh.

Maj. Gen. A.S. Kahlon (retd) passed out of Indian Military Academy in December 1953 with a gold medal. He graduated from National Defence University, Washington, USA, in National Security Management. He was Chief Signals Officer (Brig) at Corps at HQ in Punjab. As Major General, he held the assignment of Additional Director General (Tele communications) at Army HQ. He is a rotarian and has been involved in a number of humanitarian projects particularly the pulse polio immunisation in the city.

Dr. B.R. Verma,
1276, Sector 19-B, Chandigarh.

Dr B.R. Verma did his graduation in 1945 from KEM Medical College, Lahore, and did his MD in 1953 and worked a teacher in Medical College, Lahore from 1946 to August 1947 and from August 1947 to 1952 at Amritsar. He was promoted as Medical Superintendent of General Hospital in May 1965 till March 1979, Additional Director Health Service, UT, Chandigarh in October 1975, promoted as Director Health Service, Haryana in May 1978. He was selected as fellow of the Indian Medical Association Academy of Medical Specialties in Medicine in December 26, 1982 and was selected as fellowship of the Association of College of Chest Physician India in May 1984.

Mr C.K. Sawhney, IPS (retd)
571, Sector 18, Chandigarh

Mr C.K. Sawhney, IPS (retd) was born on November 28, 1930 and took his education in M.Sc Physics. He remained SP at Mahindergarh, Sangrur, Bhatinda and Ferozepore during 1960-1966. He remained SP, CBI from 1966 to 1971 and Director Vigilance and DIG Police 1971 to 1974 and also remained DIG 1974 to 1980 at Ferozepore, Patiala Range and IG/BSF at Jalandhar during 1980-1982. He was DG, Punjab during 1982-1984 and remained as Chairman PEPSU Road Transport Corporation 1984-1990.

Dr Dildar Khan, Director IDC
1243, Sector 42, Chandigarh.

Mr Dildar Khan was born on July 15, 1950 and is the Director of Jana Shikshan Sansthan under the aegis of Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh affiliated to the Ministry of HRD Department of Elementary Education and Literary. He did his MA and M.Phil from Aligarh Muslim University.

He remained a member of Majlis-e-Shoora, New Delhi Muslim Welfare Society, Saharanpur, Science Congress Association Calcutta, the Institute for Development Studies Aligarh and the Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh.



For the residents of Chandigarh, it was a routine day, but not for those who had contested the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections, the results of which were to be announced this evening after counting of votes.They rose much before the day broke, got ready and descended on counting centres, with suspense writ large on their faces, anxiously waiting for the election results.


Security personnel were deployed in strength at the Sector 26 Polytechnic, MCM DAV College in Sector 36, the Sector 11 Government College for Boys and the Government College of Education, where the counting of votes took place. They searched the entire area much before the enumerators were asked to undertake the counting.

Lathi-wielding cops manned the main gates of these buildings. They did not allow any one to sneak into the buildings. Those who were on media duty or authorised agents of candidates were asked to show their passes issued to them by the Election Commission.


The sky, which was overcast this morning, cleared by 10 am, much to the relief of cops. They basked in the sun and happily performed their duty. Groups of cops sat on the lawns of the Sector 36 MCM DAV College for Women, Some of them sang songs. One cop was heard singing ‘Yaaro bahuti soni kuri vi ajib hundi hai’. This song caused laughter among all those present.


As the clock struck 11.15 am, Mr N.S. Brar, Returning Officer at MCM DAV College, announced the first result. Ms Kamla Sharma of the BJP was declared elected. There was a glow on the faces of BJP activists. Some BJP workers sporting saffron patkas were seen dancing to express their happiness over her victory. They left the place dancing and singing. Ms Sharma won the election by a margin of 154 votes. The total voting in this ward was less than 25 per cent.


For some time, there was despondency on the faces of Congress leaders. As more results were announced and the party won more seats, their gloom turned into jubilation. Congressmen were then seen dancing and hugging each other.


At the Sector 11 Government College for Men, Mr D.S. Saroya, Returning Officer, appeared to be tough with the counting staff. He told them that they should be particular in counting each vote. “You know the polling percentage was low. Even a margin of a few votes may turn the tables in favour of any party. Therefore you should be very fair in counting the votes,” he said.


From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the IQ of illiterate voters was the same, bemoaned Mr Saroya. He said some voters had stamped ballot papers at the back, while others had affixed the stamp at two or three places. This created difficulties for Returning Officers to decide the validity of votes. Others had signed ballot papers with full signatures.


There were large crowds of Congressmen at the Government College for Men as all results declared at the centre went in favour of the Congress.


There was tintinabulation every few minutes at the residences of those candidates whose fate had not been declared. At times candidates had to tell their friends and well-wishers that they did not know how long it would take before the results were declared.


No cop was seen at roundabouts or traffic light points in the city. Fortunately, the traffic flow remained smooth. No traffic rush was seen at any place in the city. Many wondered why traffic congestion was seen when cops were on duty. Similarly, the strength of constabulary was thin in police stations.


As the sun set, victorious Congress candidates were seen taking out processions, expressing their thanks to voters.


There was gloom in SAD circles. They felt that the defeat was due to their internal fighting. Both candidates fielded by Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar were defeated. Ms Harjinder Kaur, who had opposed him, was victorious. Her supporters demanded the resignation of Mr Riar from the party.


Decentralise education: Dave
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 11
There should be a coordinated decentralisation of the education system to allow functional autonomy to educational institutions in the country. But accountability should be the over-riding factor, said Dr R.H. Dave, Chief Adviser of the Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE). He was speaking at the annual three-day conference of the COBSE, which began at the Punjab School Education Board headquarters here today.

The chairman’s and representatives from 34 different state school boards, educationists and academicians are participating in the annual conference during which focus would be on strengthening the boards of school education and vocationalisation of education. It was unanimously felt that the policy makers had to get rid of politicisation, over bureaucratisation and decommercialisation of the education system.

Dr Dave, in his keynote address during the morning session of the conference said there had been expansion of secondary education but the quality of education had gone down with the increase in the number of teachers and students. “Along with recommending decentralisation of education system, updating the curriculum in the front line area of learning is being stressed by COBSE”, said Dr Dave. He said subjects like basics of bio technology, technology of transportation, space technology and cultural development were being introduced at the middle, matric and the senior secondary level in a phased manner. We also recommend introduction of Ayurveda and arts subjects in schools as the stress and neuro-related ailments were on the rise, added COBSE’s Chief Adviser.

The Editor of the The Tribune, Mr Hari Jaisingh, in his presidential address during the afternoon session, said even after 54 years of Independence, enforcement of primary education was still a distant dream. In the process of development, we have neglected education which would have made a qualitative difference in democracy. Indicating towards the recent controversy about the deletions from history books by NCERT, he said it was a matter of debate for educationists and historians. But added that a section the fourth estate was ill informed.

He opined that teachers should be better paid, more than the bureaucrats as they created the future of the nation. Stressing on education for girls, he said the poor condition of schools in rural and tribal areas gave a true picture about the state of education at the grassroots.

Prof J.S. Rajput, Director of NCERT, in his key-note address during the afternoon session of the conference, said the process of learning should be according to the age of the learner. He felt that the system of examination and curriculum needed to be revamped. “We have to understand the perception about education from the mind of a student. The subjects should be related to society, culture, environment and other aspects”.

He said NCERT had in its suggestive paper recommended education about religion, culture, environment and other issues which lead to overall development of the surroundings. A child must be able to understand the practical aspect of every walk of life. He said the system of education should check the high dropout rate and retention among the students.

The state Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, said the Punjab School Education Board had tackled its weaknesses and cheating had been effectively checked. He said other state boards were following them in adopting the system of setting five set of examination papers. Dr Kehar Singh and Dr Gurdev Singh, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the host board, Prof D.C. Baroowa, COBSE Chairman, Dr D.V. Sharma, COBSE Secretary also spoke on the occasion.

During the day, a discussion on the issues of the conference was initiated by Dr H.K. Manmohan Singh, a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University.


Chemists flouting rules to boost sales
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
This satellite township is showing signs of turning into a major nodal point for sale of prescription drugs to addicts.

According to information gathered by TNS, both wholesellers and retail chemists in the township are flouting all rules in the book by selling drugs, especially narcotic analgesics and anti-depressants, without asking for a doctors prescription.

It is learnt that there are about 140 retail chemists and 93 wholesellers in Panchkula district. Sources in the Health Department conceded that many of them were selling prescription drugs to addicts, in spite of the best efforts to the contrary by the district health authorities.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr B.S. Chaudhary, when contacted, said they had been taking action against chemists selling drugs without a doctor’s prescription. “During the last month itself, we had inspected 10 chemists and necessary action would be taken against those who are found violating the rules. We now plan to launch a major offensive against unscrupulous chemists,” he said.

He conceded that the practice of sub-letting the chemist licence was also rampant and a number of such chemists, who were operating without a valid licence, were involved in selling prescription drugs to addicts.

Thus with the overt and covert support of certain chemists here , more and more people are increasingly using this affordable and easily available way of getting a “24- hour- feeling of euphoria”. It could either be avil, alprex, diazepam or fortwin\ phenargin — or a combination of these. These prescription drugs are the new fad with those wanting a “high” in a legalised manner.

With the police now keeping a strict vigil on drug-peddlers, these drugs are being considered a safe alternative to opium and heroin. Also, with the Chandigarh health authorities ensuring that chemists are kept under a close watch, a large number of these addicts from Chandigarh are turning to the township for their daily “dosage”.

A chemist in Sector 11 here, when contacted by TNS, revealed that the majority of prescription drug addicts were within the age group of 25 to 40. He, however, expressed concern over the increasing drug abuse among schoolchildren and teenagers.

He also revealed that a group of students of a Sector 10 school would bunk their class every day and collect phensidryl after supplying a doctor’s prescription. He said when he later verified the address of the doctor, as mentioned on the prescription, he found the address fake. Later, the students, too, stopped coming to his shop. 


PUDA ‘gifted’ prime plots to ex-servicemen?
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 11
A “controversial” draw of lots for allotment of prime plots to certain ex-servicemen, possessing the R-numbers held by the local estate office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has raised many an eyebrow.

Going by the policy of PUDA to sell the plots located at prime locations, an auction of the plots could have earned a revenue of over one crore. At least six of the plots are said to be corner plots, which are normally auctioned at a high premium as per the PUDA policy. Three of the plots (No 2, 6 and 14) in Sector 69 are located along the Chandigarh-Sohana road. A property consultant said the plots commanded a price of around Rs 30 lakh in the real estate market.

Though the allotments were cancelled when the “ irregularity” came to the notice of senior PUDA officials, the haste in which the draw was held for allotment of plots to 17 petitioners in a court case created a ruckus. Investigations reveal that most of the successful R-numbers in yesterday’s draw had been sold to property dealers on GPA. It was the section of property dealer who influenced the draw of lots, said the sources.

Sources in PUDA said what created ruckus was that earlier PUDA had asked the holders of R-number to apply for plots in five new sectors ( sectors 76 to 80) whereas the R-number holders who were successful in the draw were given plot in developed Sectors 68 and 69. This had been done to extend financial benefit to persons holding the R-numbers. A committee headed by the Estate Officer was constituted to hold the draw of lots.

Interestingly, at the time of the draw none of the holders of R-numbers were present. The Estate Office is learnt to have sought information about the pending cases of R-number from the authorities concerned but the draw was held for only 17 persons, against seven petitioners.

The Chief Administrator of PUDA, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu said the allotments had been cancelled. A fresh notice about the draw would be inserted in newspapers so as to give time to the petitioners. Due to short notice none of the petitioners was present at the time of the draw.


Mohali deserves district status

Till sometime ago, Mohali (SAS Nagar) was believed to be a poor cousin of Chandigarh. But now Mohali is a modern town. In fact, it is the fastest developing town in Punjab. Its population is growing at a fast pace. The Punjab Chief Minister and the Minister for Urban Development are taking personal interest in the all-round development of Mohali.

As Mohali’s current population would be over two lakh, it is larger than many other district towns in Punjab. The headquarters of many corporations and boards are located here. It has got a number of colleges. World class medical facilities are available at Fortis and Shri Guru Harikrishna Eye Hospital (Sohana). By road, it is well connected with all towns in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The large markets in Phases III and IV are busy commercial centres. Another large market is coming up in Sector 71. Mohali is also dotted with many important industrial units.

By all accounts, Mohali is eminently suitable for district status. The Haryana government has been wise in making Panchkula, a sibling of Mohali, a district. The status of district headquarters has contributed to the faster growth of Panchkula and its adjoining areas. Mohali and its adjoining areas would also reap a similar benefit if the Punjab government declares Mohali a district before the code of conduct in connection with the Assembly elections comes into force.


In a terrible mess

The office of the Registrar, Births and Deaths, in Sector 17 C, Chandigarh, is in a terrible mess. In the absence of an enquiry counter, the people are forced to go round and round to get birth or death certificates. A poor applicant has neither the time, energy nor resources to visit the office time and again for weeks together and face official harassment.

Even in the normal course, one has to visit this office at least a dozen times to get a certificate. In addition, the issuance time of the certificates is restricted between 4 pm and 5 pm which falls short as against its demand. Is there no accountability on the part of the officials to expedite the issuance of certificates without causing avoidable inconvenience to the people?

Since this office falls under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation, Union Territory of Chandigarh, the Municipal Corporation should direct the Registrar of Births and Deaths, UT, Chandigarh, to open an inquiry counter in this office. The time limit for the issuance of these certificates should also be extended to two hours or at least 90 minutes so that the employees do not force ordinary people to visit the office day after day to get their work done.

DALBIR SINGH, Chandigarh


Learning lessons from ’71 war
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
“Medical services during the 1971 Indo-Pak war were not adequate to provide absolute medical cover to troops on the frontline. After the war, a team of officers studied shortcomings in the parachute medical units and additional medical equipment, which was sturdy yet capable of being para-dropped, was inducted.”

Stating this while recalling his experiences during the war, Maj-Gen Partap Dayal, the only Regimental Medical Officer (RMO) to have been para-dropped into battle during war, said that consequent to this experience a lot of improvements were made in 60 Para Field Ambulance.

General Dayal, then a Captain, was the RMO of 2 Para Battalion Group, which took part in the famous para drop over Tangel during the liberation of Bangladesh. Besides support elements, the group also included an Advance Dressing Station (ADS) which had a surgeon, Major H. Mukherji, and an anesthesiologist, Capt Y.G. Tambay. The two have now retired, General Dayal is serving as Commandant, Command Hospital, Chandimandir.

“On December 11 — my wedding anniversary — we were launched into battle. Our drop zone (DZ) was about 4 km from the Pungli Bridge and we touched down at about 1800 hours, by which time it was fairly dark,” he recalled.

“Our initial apprehension was that we could encounter enemy action at the DZ. That was the time when our medical services would have been in the most fluid state,” General Dayal said.

During the drop, the ADS jeep landed in a shallow pond. Fortunately, there was no damage to its cargo of medical supplies and surgical equipment. The jeep was pulled out by the troops with the assistance from the local villagers.

The first contact with the enemy came during the march towards Pungli Bridge, when the paratroopers encountered a convey of six vehicles making its way towards Dacca. A truck was blown up with a rocket launcher, while the occupants of the remaining vehicles fled, abandoning their equipment. “We learnt that even a single event which can demoralise your opponent proves to be of much value,” General Dayal commented.

The group was in action from December 11 to 16, the day Pakistan surrendered. During the period, there were seven encounters of which five were fierce. The 650-strong group suffered about 40 dead and another 45 were wounded. The medical team established itself under the bridge to safeguard against attacks.

“The biggest challenge in treating the wounded was that most were suffering from bullet injuries leading to heavy loss of blood. It was not possible to administer adequate replacement of fluids as a result some of them succumbed to their injuries. Nor were there adequate means of evacuation,” he said.

Everyday was a challenging experience. While the fleeing Pakistani soldiers left their food stocks and medical supplies behind, the Indians were able to treat local civilian casualties, which otherwise would not have been possible. On the second day, while moving towards Tangel, the paratroopers came across an abandoned lorry, which they repaired and commandeered for transporting their wounded. The other option would have been to leave them at local hospitals.

Then on December 16 came the big news. “Although there were happy that it was over, they were unsure of the implications of the ceasefire as sporadic firing was still going on,” General Dayal said. In fact, a paratrooper mistakenly fired on one of our own jeep after the white flag it was flying blew away in the wind, injuring an officer.

“Soon after the surrender, we had to take care of about 35 Pakistani prisoners of war, some of whom were injured. They were kept in seclusion with appropriate security measures,” he said.


Adopt diversification of crops’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
An information centre for the farmers will be opened here on December 16 in order to solve their day-to-day problems.

This was stated by the City Magistrate, Mr Rajesh Jogpal, while addressing the meeting of Kisan Club here today. He said farmers could directly approach the officers posted at the block level for communicating their complaints. He also advised that a complete technology might be deliberated on bio-fertiliser and bio-pesticides in the club meetings.

The farmers were also cautioned against the indiscriminate use of pesticides in order to save the environment from pollution. The City Magistrate called upon the farmers for diversification from the wheat- rice pattern of cultivation to pulses and oilseeds. 


3 held on trespass charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Three persons have been arrested by the police for allegedly trespassing on a Sector 27 house and smashing window panes and damaging a car parked on the roadside. Political rivalry during the recent MC to be the cause of the fracas.

The accused have been identified as Baljinder Singh, a resident of Sector 27, Amarbir Singh and Ravinder Singh, both residents of Kurali. According to reports, nearly eight persons were involved in the fracas, but the others managed to get away. The three had been apprehended by residents before being handed over to the police.

The police has registered a case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 508, 427 and 452 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Devinder Singh, whose house was damaged.Back


Two youths die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, December 11
Two youths of Malikpur village were crushed to death by a vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here late last night.

According to the police, the victims have been identified as Malkiat Singh (24) and Sham Singh (26).

They were on their way back home from Ambala to Lalru on a scooter when they met with the accident.

The bodies have been sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examination and a case has been registered at the Lalru police station.

SAS Nagar

1 Killed: A resident of Tangrali in Morinda district died on the spot after his head hit a roadroller in Phase 6 here today. The victim, Ranjeet, alias Jeeta, was pushed towards the road roller by another person, who ran away from the spot after the mishap.

3 Rounded up: The local police rounded up at least three youths, including the ward of a woman Deputy Superintendent of Police, in connection with a hoax bomb call made to Gyan Jyoti Public school from an STD PCO of Sector 70.

Sources in the police said the three youths — Kanwar, Balwinder and Harnoop were rounded up by the police. But after the owner of the STD PCO could not identify the youths.

Mishap: Another mishap took place at the PCL traffic lights early this morning when a Tata Qualis collided with a van. The occupants of both of the vehicles escaped with minor injuries. A police official said the traffic light at the PCL intersection was not operational after yesterday’s mishap between a school bus and a car.

Stolen: A car and a scooter were stolen from different locations in the town yesterday. The police has registered an FIR and was investigating the matter.


Road mishaps: Two unidentified persons were killed in two separate accident in Ambala. According to information one unidentified person was killed on the rail track near Ambala city. One other unidentified person killed in road accident near Mulana on Ambala Jagadhri Road last evening. The police has registered a case in this regard.


Two injured: A motor cycle being driven by Attawa resident Sant Ram was hit by an Indica car near the Sector 43 bus stand, injuring the pillion rider, Sanjay Kumar. While Sanjay was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, the car driver, who had also sustained injuries, was admitted to the PGI. A case has been registered.

In another incident, a Sector 14 resident Shanti Devi was injured after she was hit by a scooter while she was crossing the road near the Housing Board traffic lightpoint. She has been admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has registered a case.

Assault alleged: Sector 27 resident Surinder Pal has reported that he was assaulted by Arvind Kumar, a resident of Sector 7, near his residence. The complainant received minor injuries. A case has been registered.

Showrooms burgled: Two showrooms in Sector 19 were reportedly burgled last night. An amount of Rs 15,000 was reportedly stolen from SCF 7, while Rs 32,000 were stolen from SCF 13. A case has been registered.

Motor cycle stolen: Faridabad resident Yogesh has reported that his Suzuki motor cycle has been stolen from Doctor’s Hostel in the PGI. The police has registered a case.

Theft in house: Sector 11 resident Satinder Singh has reported that the house of his tenant has been burgled. The exact loss is yet to be estimated as the tenant is out of town. A case has been registered.

Mobile phones stolen: Sector 23 resident Rohit Kapoor has reported that 12 sets of mobile phones have been stolen from the premises of Countrywide Telecom in Sector 17. The police has registered a case.


Crushed to death: A cyclist was crushed to death by a truck (HR5-29A-5581) here last night.

According to information, the accident took place on the road separating Sectors 3 and 21. The truck driver fled away from the spot. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered.

In yet another case, a truck driver, Suraj Bhan, was killed when his truck (HR- 39- 9342) was hit by another truck (HR-14 GR- 0139) near Jalauli village on Monday. A cyclist was also injured in this accident. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304- A of the IPC.

Two injured: A rickshaw-puller and his pillion rider were injured when the rickshaw was hit by an Ambassador car near Suraj Theatre on Monday. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Four booked: The police has booked Gurdass, Ramesh, Tara Chand and Chuhar Ram on charges of assaulting Gurdial Singh.


Three injured: Three persons were injured, one seriously, in two separate accidents on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in the past 24 hours here today.

Two scooterists sustained injuries, when a truck hit the scooter which they were riding on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway at trafficlight point today afternoon.

According to sources, a Chandigarh-bound truck (PB-13D-0482) rammed into a scooter (PUI-7508) from behind at a traffic light point on the Zirakpur-Patiala road. The pillion rider sustained severe injuries and was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. However, the driver of the scooter sustained minor injuries. The vehicles involved in the accident have been impounded.

In another accident, a canter carrying milk drums collided head on with a stationary multi-axle vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Bhabhat village today.

According to the Sohana police, the driver of the canter which was on its way towards Ambala lost control over the vehicle which resulted in accident.

Both the vehicle were damaged and the driver of the canter was injured. The vehicles have been impounded by the Bhabhat police.


Pizza in 6 new fiery flavours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Pizza Hut launched fiery masala magic festival across all its outlets today. Pizzas in six new flavours, three vegetarian and three non-vegetarian were introduced. In addition, two new appetisers — spicy garlic mushroom and savory potato wedges — were also launched. 

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