Sunday, February 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Official muddle ‘aids’ illegal construction in Landran
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Landran, February 9
Taking advantage of the lack of coordination between the Revenue Department and the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department, certain property dealers are raising unauthorised structures on a piece of prime land along the Chandigarh — Fatehgarh Sahib road, here.

Work is going on at full-scale at the site for the past few weeks. Investigations reveal that the site was outside “lal dora” of Landran village. The land owners had reportedly got a letter issued from the office of the Ropar Deputy Commissioner stating that around 27 khasra number were within the “phirni” of the village.

The facts of the case, however, speak othervise. “Phirni” of any village is clearly demarcated in the revenue records after the land consolidation of the respective village. “ In the case of Landran village, the exercise of land consolidation has not been undertaken. As a matter of practice we are taking the thoroughfare around the village as the phirni”, said an official of the Revenue Department. The construction was in violation of the Periphery Act and in the notified planning area of the SAS Nagar town.

However, the persons supervising construction at the site denied that the construction was unauthorised. Talking to the TNS, Mr Amarjeet Singh Gill, owner of the land, said the land was within the “phirni” and he had the permission of the office of the Deputy Commissioner. Mr Gill said as per a letter of the Local Government, the land within a phirni could be used for construction. What has led to raising of eyebrows is that while clarifying the revenue officials did not consult the officials of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority and the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department, said an official of the PUDA. A letter from the Deputy Commissioner’s office was also addressed to the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA.

As per the rules, the land owner has to take permission for change of land use from the Chief Town Planner. Around 16,000 hectares around SAS Nagar had been notified in 1998 as planning area for future planning of the town. Under Section 56 of the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Act, 1995, the planning area is freezed for further development of the town.

Sources in the PUDA said the Regulatory (Periphery) wing of the PUDA had issued a show-cause notice to the violators under the Periphery Act. After the land owner replied claiming that the land was within the village “phirni”, no further action had been taken by PUDA.

Enquiries reveal that even if the land was within the extended “phirni”, under the consolidation of holding operations, construction of residential houses was allowed provided the distance was 300 metres from the main road.



Check quality of drinking water: HC
Steps to check discharge of effluents in Ghaggar not satisfactory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Expressing dissatisfaction over steps taken by the Haryana Government for stopping the discharge of effluents in Ghaggar river, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Chairman of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board to arrange for the collection of water samples from all cities, towns and villages in the state, and to get these analysed in their laboratories before submitting a status report on the quality of drinking water being supplied to the residents.

Delivering the verdict in the open court, the Bench comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Ms Justice Bakhshish Kaur, also asked Haryana’s Deputy Advocate General to “make a statement as to why the state government had not sanctioned the prosecution of authorities of the Municipal Councils and committees guilty of polluting Ghaggar river”.

The Bench also directed the Chief Engineer of the Public Health Department to “issue written instructions to all officers concerned for extending full corporation to the officers of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board in collecting samples from the water supply schemes and tube-wells operating in the cities, towns and villages”. The Bench further directed the filing of an affidavit on the functioning of the sewage treatment plant “said to have been made operational in Panchkula”.

In their detailed order, the judges observed: “We have gone through the status report filed by Haryana’s Deputy Advocate General and are not at all satisfied with the steps taken by the Haryana government to stop the discharge of effluents in Ghaggar river. However, before passing an order for stopping the discharge of effluents in the river by private individuals, bodies, organisations and public authorities, we deem it proper to call upon the Haryana State Pollution Control Board to undertake a survey of water supply schemes which are in operation in the various cities, towns and villages situated alongside the river in the state of Haryana.”

The judges added: “The Board Chairman should immediately instruct environmental engineers concerned to contact their counterparts of the Public Health Department and take samples from water supply schemes and tubewells in all the cities, towns and villages, and to get the samples analysed in board laboratories and submit a status report about the quality of drinking water being supplied in the cities, towns and villages.”


PGI Governing Body meeting postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The meeting of the Governing Body and the Institute Body of the PGI which were scheduled to be held at the PGI on February 14 have been postponed indefinitely.

Sources in the PGI have said no new date of the two meetings has been fixed as yet. The reason of postponement of these meetings is being attributed to the inability of the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr C.P. Thakur, to arrive in the city.

Other than presiding over these meetings, Dr Thakur was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Advanced Cardiac Centre at the PGI which also stands postponed now.



Cops ‘deck up’ to receive tourists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Tourist Support Initiative (TSI) conceptualised by the Chandigarh police was launched by the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), at Sukhna Lake here today, with a select group of policemen adopting a new uniform.

The TSI office at the recently renovated Sukhna police post, that now has carpets, chairs, wall paintings, tourist-information notice-board, brochures and a visitors’ book.

In his address on the occasion, the Administrator said tourism had become a big industry world over, but Chandigarh had not received its due share in this sector. “The TSI is one steps by the Administration to promote tourism here.”

The UT Inspector General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, said, initially one inspector and five constables of regular police, besides one head constable and two constables of the traffic Police have been deployed for this purpose. If the TSI proved successful here, the initiative would be extended to the other places of tourist interest in the city, he said.

The TSI personnel would assist tourists and provide them with information about the places of tourist interest, accommodation, transport, food and other essential services.

The overhaul

The TSI policemen will wear a “service tunic” which is similar to the ceremonial dress of senior IPS officers. It is like a coat, with two breast pockets and two large lower front pockets, fastened with four chrome-plated buttons carrying the National Emblem down front. The coat is worn over a simple ‘khaki’ shirt with black tie. White nametags will be worn over the right breast pocket. Khaki peak caps will replace the navy blue beret. Red shoulder titles have ‘Chandigarh Police’ written on these and a red and navy blue lanyard is worn over the left shoulder. A shoulder patch for them, bearing the Chandigarh police emblem on a red and blue background, worn on the upper left arm, has also been introduced. Sleek black batons will replace bamboo canes.



Truck hits cyclist, rams into power transformer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
A resident of Hallo Majra village was seriously injured after his bicycle was knocked down by a truck near the road leading to the village. He was taken to the Sector 32 Government Hospital.

According to eye-witnesses, the cyclist, whose identity is yet to be ascertained, was turning towards the village when the truck knocked him down.

The driver of the truck lost control on the vehicle, thereby jumping over the median. It rammed into an electricity transformer on the other side. As a result, the transformer bust and the cables snapped plunging the area into darkness.

The driver fled the scene, leaving his vehicle (HR-37-2563), which has been impounded by the police.



New remote-sensing instruments
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
To augment avalanche forecast capabilities to fulfil the armed forces’ requirements regarding high- altitude operations along the Himalayan frontier, a range of airborne sensors and remote-sensing instruments are being developed. These sensors and “intelligent” gadgets, based on microwave and electro-optical techniques, will be mounted on aircraft and satellites.

Under a project taken up by the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) for the Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE), a laboratory under the Defence Research and Development Organisation engaged in the study of the snow pattern and avalanches along major road axes in the mountains, a number of other sensors are also being developed. The project is being funded by the DRDO.

According to Dr M.A. Shamshi, head of the CSIO’s Geo Scientific Instruments Division, some of the instruments developed here have undergone successful user trials in snow-bound areas.

These include a snow depth measuring probe using the ultrasonic technique, a snow surface temperature measuring probe based on infrared sensors, an intelligent snow data logger and a multi-point snow temperature profiler.

Dr Shamshi said that the CSIO and the SASE were also collaborating to develop other advanced sensors and instruments for detecting roads buried under a thick snow cover, besides meeting other needs in the future.

Seven such units have already been delivered to the SASE, with nine more to be provided in due course. The sensors along with the associated electronics have been developed by using microprocessors and are controlled by laptop computers.

The sensors will help in compiling accurate and comprehensive data about snow and avalanche patterns, resulting in avalanche forecasting and warning being more area-specific and timely.

The project was initiated about three years ago and Dr Shamshi termed the national requirement for such instruments to be “large”. While only a few instruments have been supplied for military use only, these may also find their way to the Department of Glaciology besides other agencies engaged in snow studies and allied activities.

Such sensors, besides proving invaluable in areas like Kargil and Siachen, which are prone to avalanches and where troop movements are high throughout the year, could also be used by Indian expeditions in Antarctica for research work.



NIFD students’ date with Miss India
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Students of the National Institute of Fashion Design will receive their diplomas from Ms Neha Dhupia, the new Femina Miss India Universe 2002, who will be visiting the city after winning the coveted title at the recently held pageant.

The Annual Convocation of NIFD to be held at Chandigarh on February 11, will have Mr B.S. Bassi, IG Police, Chandigarh, as chief guest and Mr Vinod Banga, Vice-President, Jagatjit Industries, as the guest of honour.

Neha Dhupia the gorgeous beauty with the outstanding achievement of featuring in an Indo-Japanese film is also a leading model with prestigious modeling assignments Palio, Fa, Reebok, Airtel, Maruti.

Neha Dhupia has been integrally associated with NIFD. She has displayed the designer creation of NIFD students in various NIFD Fashion Shows, including the recently held annual passing out Fashion Show of NIFD Chandigarh Centre and the ones at Jaipur, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and other cities, which were choreographed by Priyanka Singh.

NIFD Corporate, which has a network of 120 centres in India and abroad, will present ‘Awards of Excellence’ to centre heads from all across the country will be specially coming to the city to receive this prestigious honour. The following centres has been awarded in different categories.

Overall Beat NIFD Centre (in India and abroad): Kolkata

Best Overseas Centre: Dhaka (Bangladesh)

Bigger Centre Category: Best Centre — Hauz Khas, New Delhi; Most Enterprising Centre — Jaipur; Most Result Oriented Centre — Ahmedabad; Best Academic Performance — Ludhiana and Best Garments Fashion Show — Indore.

Smaller Centre Category: Best Centre — Gandhinagar; Most Enterprising Centre — Raipur; Most Result Oriented Centre — Ambala; Best Academic Performance — Nagpur and Best Newly Launched Centre — Beawar.

Keeping in tandem with tradition, NIFD has decided to honour Neha Dhupia during their annual convocation for which she is specially coming from Mumbai to hand over Diplomas to NIFD’s Class of 2001.



Panic withdrawals decrease
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Rush of depositors wanting to take out their money from the Bank of Punjab (BoP) had more or less cooled off by this evening. The day started for BoP with several people queuing up outside ATM machines of the bank or its branches in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. This was the third consecutive day of mass withdrawals from bank.

News reports in all newspapers with the RBI saying the bank was safe were displayed outside all branches and depositors went through them carefully and could be seen discussing with each other. The BoP management had even ordered for a public address system for its managers to answer questions from depositors. By the evening (about 9.30 p.m.) there was not single person outside the ATM machines. The branches of the banks also remained open beyond closure time to pacify depositors.

Panicky city residents could be seen holding animated discussions with managers and staff who took pain to repeat each time that not a single encashment of FDR or cheque had been refused by the bank to anyone and this meant the bank had enough cash.



Workshop on efficient disaster management
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 9
No one in the country is fully equipped to handle disaster as first responders. The requisite systems does not exist in any state and if it is developed many lives can be saved. Stating this here, the Deputy Fire Adviser to the Government of India, Mr D.K. Shami, said people were now conscious of their safety and favoured an appropriate management system.

Mr Shami, who was here to attend a three-day workshop on “developing course material on search and rescue for first responders”, which ended today said SAS Nagar, had been chosen as a venue for the workshop as it fell in an earthquake-prone zone. It was, therefore, necessary to create awareness about disaster management in the town.

Mr Shami said some of the necessary rescue equipment was available with the local fire station. Experts also wanted to interact with Mr Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, local Fire Station Officer, who had achieved the distinction of joining an elite group of international disaster management experts by attending important courses organised by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, Thailand.

Mr Shami said a model course had been conducted earlier in Karnataka. Based on the difficulties and experiences gained from that course the “beta version” of the relevant course material was now being developed. More than 500 copies of the material would be circulated among the Chief Secretaries, DGPs of the state police and paramilitary forces and the heads of fire services besides other senior officers.

There were 15 courses for first respondents like police personnel, the fire services, civil defence personnel and personnel of the paramilitary and military forces. The present workshop was associated with the first course of its kind.

Among those who took part in the workshop were Mr G.N. Khan, Assistant Director, National Fire Service College, Nagpur, Mr Rajesh Choudhary, Assistant Director, National Civil Defence College, Nagpur, Mr Suresh Kumar, Station Officer, Delhi Fire Service.



Dalai Lama in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
His holiness, the Dalai Lama , spiritual leader of the Tibetans , was in the city en route to Dharamsala, today. He was coming back from Mumbai. He was expected to leave tomorrow morning. He met Tibetan students and residents of city who had gathered to know about his well being.

The Dalai Lama was recently hospitalised in Mumbai and prayers were held across the country for his well being.



Show that will ‘hound’ you
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Pekingese, bulldog, greyhound, St Bernard, poodle miniature, Welsh corgi, Napolian mastiff — will all will be sashaying — well, not down the ramp, but on the lawns of the Sector 10 Leisure Valley tomorrow at a dog show of the Chandigarh Kennel Club.

If you are interested, just reach the valley anytime after 9.45 am. You will not only see “man’s growling best friend”, but also be able to buy dog food, bowls, utensils and the other items for your “furry and not-so-furry ones”.

According to organisers, more than 300 entries have been received for the show and about 35 dog breeds will be participating in the competitions. This is not all. Over 30 dogs from foreign lands and 40 champion dogs are expected to participate.



Explore Sufi ideology’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
‘‘There is an urgent need to explore Sufi ideology today due to its universal appeal’’. Expressing these views today at the two-day multi-lingual national seminar on ‘Sant and Sufi Poets’ at the ICSSR complex, Panjab University, Dr Namwar Singh, a renowned scholar who delivered the keynote address, said a proper analysis was required to grasp its true meaning. The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof K.N Pathak, who was among the speakers at the seminar organised by the Sheikh Baba Farid Chair of Panjab University in collaboration with Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, said different chairs had been set up for specialised research.



Protest rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Members of the Rajiv Gandhi Rehri Market, Sector 46, today held a protest rally, rosh dharna, cricticising the anti-poor attitude of the Chandigarh Administration.

The rehri market was gutted in a fire and pucca booths were promised on payment. A survey was conducted in which 128 persons were identified as fire victims. All were given temporary sites compensation of Rs 3,000 each.



Death in pursuit of life
Rajiv Kaplish

When was the last time you saw death in hot pursuit of life? When your existence hung on a tenuous thread? Or, the instinct for survival was uppermost in your mind?

Chances are you didn’t. How could you when there was no such movie as “Behind Enemy Lines” (Kiran) to make you experience such moments?

Coming as it does in the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan and in the midst of the standoff on the Indo-Pak border, the movie is a grim reminder of the horrors of war. How it is like to live in bellicose times. Landmines strewn all over the killing fields. Mutilated corpses of innocent civilians bearing testimony to atrocities of rampaging troops. Burnt houses. Snowy graveyards.

It is a chilling audience-experience with the viewers having a rollercoaster ride of shocking discoveries. They see with bated breaths a plane on a routine reconnaissance mission photographing the brutalities of ground troops in Bosnia. The plane being shot down by missiles and one of the pilots being captured and executed by hostile soldiers. The fight against odds of the surviving co-pilot who is being hunted down like an animal by the uniformed predators. And the grit and determination of his boss to bring him back from hostile territory.

Forget its hip-hip-hooray tone. Lower its hyped-up patriotic volume. What you get are outstanding performances from the lead actors, including Gene Hackman, who, as the Admiral, eggs on the pilot to fight till the end and eventually defies all orders and pressures to embark on a rescue mission.

Owen Wilson has come a long way from his brush with horror in “The Haunting”. His portrayal of the surviving co-pilot of the downed plane is stunningly realistic and is devoid of any dash of bravado.

The mind-boggling array of special effects may be taken as a war on nerves by some. But then which other movie will have pyrotechnics in abundance than a war film?



Man held for cheating brother
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Economic Offences Wing of the city police has arrested a resident of Sohana, Darshan Singh, for allegedly defrauding his brother. According to the police, Darshan’s brother Avtar Singh had gone to Canada a few years back, entrusting Darshan with the responsibility of cultivating his land.

However, on his return Avtar Singh discovered that Darshan had got a fake general power of attorney made, under which the said land was given on a 99-year lease to Darshan’s son. Avtar Singh then moved court, which directed the UT police to register a case and investigate the matter. The documents were also sent for handwriting analysis.

The manager of a factory in Industrial Area Phase II, Mr Hardev Singh, has reported that the factory premises were broken into and 20 kg of copper pipes, valued at about Rs 9,000 had been stolen. The police has registered a case in this regard.

Rupinder Singh, a Sector 7 resident has reported that cash worth Rs 8,000 has been stolen from his shop in Sector 46. A case has been registered.

Mr Narain Das, a resident of Mani Majra, has reported that his jeep (CH-03-D-6087) has been stolen from his residence. The police has registered a case.

Booked for abduction
The police has booked a resident of Indira Colony, Mani Majra, for allegedly abducting two girls from the same colony. Prabhu Morya has reported that his 17-year-old sister and 18-year-old cousin have been kidnapped by the accused from the colony on February 4. The police has registered a case.

Cheating case
The police has booked a resident of Naya Gaon on the complaint of a resident of Khuda Lahora that the accused had taken Rs 2.50 lakh from him for sending him abroad and had neither sent him abroad nor returned the money. A case has been registered for cheating and breach of trust.

A resident of Kumhar Colony reportedly running a lottery business has been booked after a resident of the same colony, Mukesh Kumar reported that the accused had refused to hand over a scooter won by him in the lucky draw and has also not returned his money. The complainant had been paying the accused Rs 200 monthly and had won the scooter on the eighth draw. The police has registered a case.


16-yr-old raped
A sixteen-year-old was raped by a fellow villager when she had gone to answer the call of nature in the fields of February 6.

According to information the incident took place in Aasrewali village in the Chandimandir area. It is learnt that the victim had gone to relieve herself, when a fellow villager, Taj Mohammad, followed her there.

He reportedly threatened to kill her with an axe and then molested her. He also threatened to kill her if she reported the matter to anyone. The Chandimandir police has registered a case under Section 376 of IPC.

A motorcycle (HR-03C-5205) was reportedly stolen from Swastik Vihar, Mansa Devi Complex during the night intervening February 7 and 8. A case under Section 379 of IPC has been registered.

Minor raped
A 13-year-old was allegedly raped by her neighbour in Kurari Mohalla, Kalka, on January 21. The police has registered an FIR under Sections 376, 363 and 366 of IPC Thursday.

It is learnt that the girl was staying here with her paternal uncle. She had gone for karsewa to the Gurdwara on the fateful day when the accused, Ravinder, went up to her and brought her to his residence on the pretext that his sister, had some urgent matter to discuss with the victim. The girl went with the accused to his house, where the accused raped her. He also threatened her against reporting the matter to anyone. The police has now registered a case on the complaint of the girl’s uncle.



PNB to enter insurance sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) will be entering the insurance sector soon. Stating this while addressing a customers meet here today, the bank’s General Manager, Mr U.S. Bhargava, said that necessary talks in this regard were being held with the organisations concerned.

The bank is also implementing a “centralised banking solution”, under which about 1500 branches will be inter-connected to facilitate anytime-anywhere banking. As a pilot project, four branches in Delhi and three in Mumbai are being inter-connected this month to assess the effectiveness of the system.

The number of automated teller machines (ATMs) is expected to be increased from the present 130 to 300 by March. Already the bank has computerised over 2221 branches,, capturing over 70 per cent of its business through computerisation. PNB has taken the lead in introducing fresh delivery channels like ATMs, credit cards, tele-banking and inter-net based banking, Mr Bhargava claimed.

Another initiative taken by the bank is setting up “signature branches” with a standardised layout and improved ambience to bring them at par with international banks. The bank has adopted the ISO 9002 Quality Management System standards, with 365 offices, three head office division and one subsidiary bank having obtained ISO 9002 certification.


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