Saturday, January 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBI swoops on office, residence of Assistant
Excise Commissioner
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Investigators from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) descended on the office and residential premises of Mr S.P. Kansal, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Chandigarh Administration, here this evening.

The CBI swung into action after the Chandigarh Administration reportedly referred the file of Mr S.P. Kansal for a "thorough probe" recently. The search operations, which started simultaneously at both places, continued till late in the night.

Sources revealed that the AETC was facing various charges, including detaining of goods, and for his involvement in lotteries tickets case in which penalties running into huge amounts were not recovered, thereby causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.

The Administration wants that all charges be properly and fully investigated. There were complaints that the AETC had acquired both residential and commercial property at various places.

The CBI teams, the sources said, conducted thorough searches at the Sector 17 office and the Sector 30-A residence of Mr Kansal, both.

It may be mentioned here that Mr Kansal was reinstated a couple of years ago after a Vigilance inquiry indicted him. He was placed under suspension and his office was locked by the Vigilance Cell.

The sources in the CBI revealed that they had got inputs and information that the AETC had acquired property, especially immovable property, at various places, disproportionate to his known sources of income.

All complaints and inputs provided by the subordinate staff and other sources were being cross-checked and verified. 


Petrol, diesel prices slashed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
There is good news for consumers of petro products in the city and its peripheral areas. The price of petrol and diesel, which used to weigh heavy on the consumers' pocket, have been reduced by Rs 1.39 paise a litre and up to 8 paise a litre.

The cut in the prices of the petro products, effective from midnight tonight, follows an announcement today by the Central Government.

The prices of petrol and diesel in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula are:

Petrol (Rs/Ltr)


New Price

Old Price




SAS Nagar






Diesel (Rs/Ltr)


New Price

Old Price




SAS Nagar






The reduced prices shown in the table are approximate and could vary by a few paise. These have been calculated on the basis of the cut in the per litre price of petrol and diesel. The owners of the petrol filling stations said the exact rates would become clear after calculating the prices on the basis of the tax pattern applicable in respective state.


PU to check delays in exam process
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
In keeping with the improvement in the result declaration process recorded last year, Panjab University this year, too, has planned in advance the schedule for declaration of results of various forthcoming annual examinations.

Delay in the conduct of examinations had become a permanent feature of the university over the past several years. This had led to delay in declaration of results and delay in commencement of the next academic session. This resulted in a big loss to the number of teaching days in an academic session as the admission process dragged on till late September in several cases. The result schedule saw major improvement last year.

This time also the university has planned a time-table announcing the date of declaration of results along with the date-sheet for conduct of examinations.

The proposed dates for declaration of B Com I, II and III results are May 27, May 29 and May 31, respectively. The tentative dates for BA and B Sc I, II and III class examination are June 26, June 28 and June 29, respectively. The B Com (honours) results are expected by June 4.

All BCA results are expected by June 15. The BBA results will be declared by June 19. The university proposes to declare all postgraduation examination results between June 20 and June 29.

Significantly, the university has decided to prepare all major postgraduation results on the computer. Earlier, results of both years were prepared manually. The list of results on the computers include all major examination including papers on English, Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Economics, Education, Geography, Fine Arts, History, Fine Arts, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Administration, Psychology and Sociology.

All major undergraduate results are already being prepared on the computer, Mr Ashok Raj Bhandari, joint Controller of Examination, said.

The postgraduate examination has 16 major subjects which means 32 classes because of the two-year course.

Mr Bhandari accepted the fact that a number of results were withheld due to non-clearance of the fee account by students. The university examination wing would interact with the fee department to update the lists well in time after reminders to the students were sent. 


Defence studies institute for Panchkula 
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 11
A strategic defence studies institute, on the lines of the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, will come up in the township soon.

A decision to this effect was taken recently at a meeting of the Deputy Commissioner with the Chief Administrator of HUDA. With the coming up of this institute, the long-pending demand of residents for a public library will also see the light of the day.

The institute being envisaged will be a seat of learning on issues relating to security and economics. “ This will be an institute of its kind for academic and intellectual pursuits, sports and recreation. With 45 retired Generals of the Indian Army settled in the district, the institute will become an important seat of learning, besides giving a new face to the district,” informed Ms Jyoti Arora, Deputy Commissioner.

It is learnt that the institute will be a joint venture of the Western Command and the Government of Haryana. The land for the construction of the institute is being provided by the Western Command headquarters, while estimated expenditure of Rs 5 to 7 crore for its construction will be borne by the state government.

The institute will have an exclusive membership for defence officials, select civil officials and leading citizens of Panchkula. The Chief Minister of Haryana will be the chief patron. The institute will also have a public library, the membership for which will be open to all.

It may be recalled that the Western Command headquarters had asked the HUDA in 1992 for the allotment of some land so as to build a Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI).

Subsequently, 4.33 acres in Sector 2 were allocated to the Western Command authorities at the rate of Rs. 9.11 lakh per acre. Before the land was finally allotted to the defence authorities, it had been mutually decided that the nullah that was passing through this land would have to be realigned by the army authorities and a tentative outlay of approximately Rs 2 crore would be provided by the Western Command headquarters and the Army headquarters.

The Western Command authorities incurred Rs 1.5 crore for the development of this land, including the diversion of the nullah and filling of the low-lying areas. After this the reclaimed usable area was only 3.06 acres.

It was then that the Western Command authorities decided to scrap the project of the DSOI and asked HUDA to either purchase this land back from them or grant them permission for direct sale of this land. The stand-off continued for quite some time till the General Officer Commanding Chief, Western Command headquarters, proposed in 2000 that a strategic defence studies institute be set up here.

The request has finally been given a go-ahead by the district administration and the state government is considering the detailed plans for the execution of the project.



Bipasha, Dino bare the "Raaz"
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Walking past the security checks at the Chandigarh Airport this afternoon, Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea looked delighted in each other's company. The grace of their presence kept enhancing as they first paused to receive bouquets presented to them by Tips and then boarded a private coach to Jalandhar. They were accompanying producer Mahesh Bhatt for the preview of their latest film "Raaz".

Trying to catch up with the twosome flanked by Mahesh Bhatt, would have posed a challenge, but for the fact that they chose to talk exclusively to the Tribune on their way to Jalandhar. As expected, the interaction proved to be exciting. As the coach progressed, the talk progressed too — from the concept of "Raaz" as developed by director Vikram Bhatt to the casting of Bipasha (in place of Lisa Ray) and Dino Morea.

The film is based on Vikram Bhatt's occult experiences. Speaking about the genesis of "Raaz", Mahesh Bhatt said once while shooting for a film Vikram heard sounds that left him traumatised. "I could not have ignored something like this," said Mahesh Bhatt. The film traces this very feeling through the relationship of Sanjana (Bipasha) and her husband (Dino). Due for release on February 1, the film's music by Nadeem Shravan is doing a roaring business.

Jittery about the film, Bipasha said she had grown as an actress with "Raaz". All praise for director Vikram Bhatt, she said: "Vikram knows exactly how a woman feels. He harnesses the best in you." In the film Bipasha plays a wife caught in a marital discord on a strange account. "The woman senses supernatural things which the man cannot sense. This results in emotional distancing between the two," she says. The film is about how the couple works to re-ignite their dead passion by returning to the place where the unfathomable force had actually originated.

Excited and hopeful, Dino told the Tribune of how proud he was to be selected as the male lead for "Raaz".

"I am absolutely optimistic. The film has a great storyline. The director has invested tremendously. There is no reason for the film to fail."

While Bipasha was happy that she had grown as a director's actress with "Raaz", Dino was happy over having worked with her. "Working with Bipasha was a great experience. I also wish being cast opposite Kajol, Aishwarya and Sushmita," he said, laughing away over the fact that his first film "Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi" had not done well. But now that Dino is concentrating hard on scripts as also on fitness, he sure will go a long way.

Bipasha, however, does not see herself acting for life. She confessed, "I will eventually take a break. Right now I am experiencing the satisfaction which acting begets. Living the characters, especially the kind in "Raaz", has helped me understand the serious aspects of marriage. I have always reposed more faith in the director than in the script. I feel the director can make or mar an actor."

Riding on the crest of "Ajnabee's" success, Bipasha already has a David Dhawan film (Chor Machaye Shor) lined up. From the day in her seventeenth year when she was selected as the Ford Super Star, this commerce graduate has come a long way. She, however, misses ramp modelling and plans to do a fashion show shortly.

As for Dino, life right now is about learning to mature as an actor. He has grown from the days when he used to hanker after racing cars. But one dream he still nurtures is that of running a chain of fast food restaurants.

As of now, it is "raaz" for both Bipasha and Dino. 


Searching new genre
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
There is something about his face which makes one trust him at once. It stands in command like the law of nature, exuding a strange warmth. Streaks of sensitivity float across his eyes serving as memoirs to “Saaransh”, “ Arth”, “Sadak”, “Zakhm” and other outstanding films. And even while one is busy living the depth of films Mahesh Bhatt created, a voice declares: “Saaransh” will never be repeated. My ideas have aged. Now a new idiom is coming. I am not directing films any more. I am only fanning the creativity of others.”

This and much more came from Mahesh Bhatt, who spoke with The Tribune in an exclusive interview today. The interaction took place in a private coach which Mahesh Bhatt, along with Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea, had hired to reach Jalandhar, where the preview of “Raaz” was scheduled for today.

The introductory sentence from the ace film-maker complimented his personality well. With all smiles, he announced: “I have a thirst for life. I can run a marathon just after having run a marathon.” While Mahesh Bhatt is off active film making, he has taken up more concrete projects, the latest in the line being his two films for UNICEF. While one is a film on Nagaland, which is due for release any-time, the other documentary is a project on HIV/AIDS awareness. Informed Mahesh Bhatt: “We brought in Class X and XI students from Kohima, informed them about AIDS and then asked them to make films with the help of skills which we provided to them.”

Apart from this, Mahesh Bhatt is actively producing films through Vishesh Entertainment. The latest film of the production house, “Raaz”, is due for release on February 1. The script of the film has been written by Mahesh Bhatt, who is also writing the script for the next film “Kalyug”. As the conversation progressed it centred on “Raaz”, directed by VIkram Bhatt. Talking about the film as “having an emotional backdrop in a supernatural frame,” Mahesh Bhatt said the film was based on a real life experience of Vikram Bhatt.

The film-maker was apparently disturbed by the denigration of arts, which he said, bring relief and respite to the consumer. “The real purpose of art is no different from what our forefathers had articulated for us. In old days, a doctor used to heal patients by giving them a story to meditate upon. Real art must not just titillate, it must also quench.” He talked of California-based psychiatrist Garry Solomon who recommends his patients to watch films as a mode of healing. “Our music has also lost the ability to pacify the restive These days it only takes us to the height of numbness. Also in the field of acting I don’t see any exceptional talent,” he said.

Adding that he could foresee a very tough time ahead for Hindi cinema, he said: “Only those who have the capacity to reinvent will last. You cannot entertain the audience of tomorrow with the ideas of past”. 


BJP favoured contractors, says Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Congress has accused the BJP of closing all options on revoking, paid parking from Sector 17, 8 and 9 at the same time indicating concessions to employees as the trader-employee agitation continued in Sector 17 today.

Alleging that the BJP neither withdrew the resolution passed by its dominated House in 1998 nor challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court order on paid parking within 90 days, the Congress general secretaries and councillors Subhash Chawla and Chandermukhi Sharma said that the BJP-Akali Dal alliance changed conditions of contracts to suit contractors’ interests at the cost of public interest.

Jointly addressing a press conference, the two general secretaries and the area councillor of the party Pradeep Chhabra said that the original conditions contained that those who park their vehicles for 10 minutes would not be charged anything.

The condition was also meant to keep the access of vehicles, rickshaws and autorickshaws in the prime market of the city free, which is now denied without paying parking charges.

Taking a strident posture aimed at creating an impression that the BJP was responsible for paid parking for ‘’vested’’ interests, they sought an inquiry into the conditions of contract during the mayorship of Harjinder Kaur.

Mr Chawla, while answering a question, said that the Congress manifesto did not promise a tax-free corporation but said that the people would be given minimum burden.

Answering another question, he said that the issue of paid parking reportedly being considered at other places, will only be considered when it comes before the House but did not give any categorical position whether the party is opposed to that or favours that.

They said that the party is seeking legal opinion to find out how relief could be given to people.

The party general secretaries also clarified that after an instruction from the Chandigarh Administration under Section 406 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation, they had no option of either deferring the parking or revoking it..

They informed that Mayor Lalit Joshi again today met Advisor to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, but nothing positive came out of the meeting.

Meanwhile, traders today burnt an effigy of the Chandigarh Administration in Sector 17 as part of their continuing struggle.

The Congress dared the BJP for an open debate on the issue of who has imposed paid parking on city residents and what intentions of the two parties were.

The Congress leaders also alleged that the BJP did not bring the changed conditions before the House and approved these in a hush-hush manner, saying that vested interests were working behind the imposition of paid parking.


Land allottment delayed yet again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Members of the cooperative group housing societies, which were on the verge of being allotted lands in Sectors 48 and 49, are a disappointed lot, as the process of allotment has been delayed once again.

This time the delay has reportedly been caused due to wrong demarcations of sites submitted by the Architecture Department to the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

The CHB, which is the nodal agency for the scheme to allot land, is ready with the allotment letters for 28 societies having about 1400 members. The only hitch left is these incorrect demarcations.

Last week this issue was brought up at a meeting between officials of the CHB and the Architecture Department. The latter was told to correct the demarcations in at least six cases where the societies were earmarked land between 100 sq yards and 300 sq yards less than their eligibility.

In few cases the earmarking was more than the eligibility of the societies. In cases where the marking was more, it was by few yards only.

This could happen as ground realities could vary from the drawing board, said sources, while explaining that chunks of lands had been identified for the cooperative societies from the maps. On the ground things could vary due to underground sewerage, storm water drainage systems and also water supply lines. Overhead power lines also had to be avoided thus variations could occur.

However, the CHB, apprehending that a shortfall of a few hundred yards incase of any society would result in lot of hue and cry, was waiting for corrected demarcations before finally allotting land to the societies.

Members had deposited varying sums to own category A, B and C flats, respectively, as 25 per cent of the amount as cost of land with the CHB.

A draw of lots was first held in December, 2000. The Administration then realised that large portions of Sector 50 were low lying thus 17 societies were shifted to Sectors 48 and 49 when a fresh draw of lots was conducted to re-locate them in December last year.


2-hr bandh at Sector 8 C market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The Sector-8 C market here today observed a 2-hr bandh and students and employees boycotted their classes and offices, respectively, for two hours to register their protest against paid parking.

The Traders’ Association of the sector announced its support to its brethern in Sector 17 to demand the revocation of the paid parking, an association spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Punjab employees in Sector 17 today joined the anti-paid parking agitation and took out a rally and burnt an effigy of the Chandigarh Administration.

The stir was also joined by the Chandigarh Taxi Operators Union, and the Scooter Rickshaw Operators Unions. The Punjab Ministerial Staff has already been in the fore-front of the struggle.

The paid parking contractor in Sector 17 today clarified that the additional Rs 30 charge was an annual collection for supplying monthly laminated passes.


She inherited politics
Tribune News Service

Ms Pushpa Sharma

Chandigarh, January 11
Ms Pushpa Sharma, ward number 16 Congress councillor, has inherited Congress politics from her family and picked up threats to her life after the death of her husband Ramesh Chand Sharma.

Ms Sharma is one of the senior-most Congress woman in the city.

Hailing from Una, Ms Sharma (55) lost her husband in 1978 when he was the general secretary of the Congress.

The then party president Chaudhary Bhupal Singh drew her into politics and made her vice-president of the Mahila Congress in 1979.

She became instrumental in number of court arrests to protest against the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s arrest by the Janata Party government.

She is at present the vice-president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee.

Ms Sharma has been a member of the Jail and Telecom Advisory Committees apart from a member of the Social Welfare Board. She is still a Deputy Warden of the UT Civil Defence Committee.

She fondly remembers her association with Ms Gandhi when at a Congress function the then Prime Minister played dholak for the women workers to dance.

Mr Pradeep Chhabra

Pradeep Chhabra, ward number 3 Congress councillor, has made it into Municipal House having experience as an event manager-cum Youth Congress leader.

The 40-year-old graduate born in Jalalabad West in Ferozepore district of Punjab, began his political carrier as the senior vice-president of the NSUI in 1985.

He became the district president of the Pradesh Youth Congress in 1993 and was then handed over the responsibility of the general secretary of Youth Congress and its joint secretary later in the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee. He has been a secretary of the party since 1996.

Mr Chhabra has been president of the local unit of the All India Anti-terrorist front for two years.

The councillor has been in the Advisory Committees of the Railways and Telecom Departments.

Mr Chhabra organised a camp before the Estate Office in 1993 to help people get driving licenses, ration cards and vehicle registrations.

He defeated the leader of the BJP in the House, Mr Desraj Tandon.


Ex-VC Puri to move High Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
The former Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Mr M.M. Puri, will seek legal opinion against the Chandigarh Housing Board’s cancellation of his allotment of house in the Mani Majra Housing Complex on the plea that he provided wrong information.

‘’I received the judgement of the Chandigarh Housing Board at 5.30 yesterday and have no option but to go to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to avoid being on the streets,’’ Professor Puri said here today.

Mr Puri had appealed against the cancellation before the CHB Chairman which was rejected on the ground that he had concealed information of being a member of the Pushpak Housing Society.


Five held for gambling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
In different incidents, the local police has arrested five persons from various parts of the city for gambling. Three persons were arrested from Colony No.5, who have been identified as Munna Lal, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, and Mukesh Kumar and Nand Lal, both residents of Colony No.5.

Two residents of Mani Majra, Safi Mohammad and Mehboob Ahmed, were arrested from Darshani Bagh in Mani Majra. The police has recovered Rs 250 and Rs 265 from their possession. Separate cases under the Gambling Act have been registered against all five accused.

Ropar resident Ranjit Bhandari has reported that Rs 75,000 in cash has been stolen from the glove compartment of his scooter. He had withdrawn the money from the Sector 9 branch of the ICICI Bank. He learnt of the theft when he opened the glove compartment on reaching Panchkula.

Sector 34 resident A P S Sethi has reported that a colour TV, camera, gold chain, a gold ring, two wristwatches and some items have been stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.

A theft of cash worth Rs 10,000 from his Sector 35 office was reported by Sanghi Ram.


Assault case registered
A woman was reportedly assaulted by one Vijay in Kharak Mangoli village yesterday. Preetima Devi was beaten up with sticks after she demanded Rs 3000 from him. A case has been registered in the Sector 5 police station.

A couple was seriously injured when the rickshaw in which they were travelling was hit by a car ( DNB- 6659) on Thursday. The accident took place near the Sector 11/15 roundabout. A case under section 279 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Ms Munni Devi Sharma.

Jewellery stolen
Silver and gold jewellery worth Rs 20,000 was stolen from a jewellery shop in Pinjore during on the night of January 9. The lock of the shop had reportedly been broken. A case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.


Deadline on ST
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Traders in the city will now have to deposit sales tax and central sales tax. In the government treasury within 30 days of ending of each quarter of the financial year. In case of deposit through cheque or bank draft, the time will be 20 days after the end of each quarter.

This has been done following the amendment of rule 20 of the Punjab General Sales Tax Rules, 1949, a spokesperson said today.


Milkfed offer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Milkfed, Punjab, has announced “Verka Zero Hour — Free Milk Offer” for the families blessed with babies in the first two hours of this year. The families shall receive free supply of Verka pasteurized standard milk daily along with other nutritious milk products for one month. According to Dr B.M. Mahajan, Managing Director, Milkfed, Punjab, the scheme has been launched as part of the company’s consumer awareness programme.

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