Tuesday, February 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New hotel-sites auction policy likely
Plan to promote budget tourism 
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Budget tourism is in and the Chandigarh Administration is also planning to use the opportunity. A change in its policy of auctioning hotel sites, with sops for attracting big players of the Indian hotel industry, is on the anvil.

A significant change will be a more liberalised payment-of-land-cost plan, with a focus on budget hotels. This will require resizing of hotel plots, as, so far, hotel sites are auctioned within set parameters of shop-cum-office sites.

At present, bidders at hotel-site auctions have to pay the land cost within three years from the date of auction. The change will mean this schedule extended to between 15 and 20 years. Several leading hotel groups have shown interest in setting up hotels here, but back off everytime they are asked to pay the cost of land within three years of auction.

Industry pundits have told the Administration that it took upto six years for a new hotel venture to break even, so, the payment should be staggered. The first two years are spent just in construction, which means no recovery.

The Administration, by extending the payment schedule, will end up getting more from increased number of bids and interest spread over more time. The idea of revenue sharing between the Administration and a chosen hotel chain has been dropped, as a similar system has not worked well in New Delhi, with major hotel groups defaulting on payment.

A hotel site was auctioned for a premium a couple of years ago, but the project ran into trouble when the party paid about Rs 9 crore as part of the cost upfront and, then, realised the steep expenditure. The buyer now wants to surrender the site and get his money back.

In view of the plan, the Administration has identified 10 sites here, that are bigger than usual hotel sites. It will soon decide whether or not to implement the staggered payment plan for these sites. At present, hotel sites are like SCO sites.

The hotel industry wants to go in for budget tourism, for which, the want fresh sites and not disputed property. A 5-acre site in Sector 34 may be resized and included in the staggered payment plan.


Eye on parties

THE Administration is also keen on having more banquets halls here, in view of the growing market of organising parties or marriages that has been cornered by owners of periphery farm houses. These halls will have huge parking lots and an ample open space. Hotels have to have elegant designs and attractive buildings, which is, so far, impossible here under the present building bylaws.


BSNL move to woo high-end users
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
High-end users and corporates can now avail themselves of discounts on their telephone bills. Under its recently launched scheme, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is providing discount and several special facilities in case the monthly gross bill of a user exceeds Rs one lakh. About 16 account holders have already opted for the scheme.

“The scheme has been launched to retain high-end users. Private operators are focusing more on high-end users than BSNL which has all categories of users. These users can not be ignored as they fetch high revenues. This scheme is a kind of reward for them”, said Mr Deenadayalan, GM Finance, BSNL, Chandigarh.

“As per the scheme, apart from a discount of five per cent on the gross monthly bill between Rs one lakh and Rs two lakh and 10 per cent on bill of more than Rs two lakh, the customers who opt for this scheme can also avail facilities like freevoice mail, free electronic exchange facility, free directory on CD, free features phone, free consultancy for complete telecom solutions. These customers will be given priority in case of repairs. The subscribers, under this scheme can also get telephones of blood relations transferred without any additional charges. 'Tatkal' priority will be given if a subscriber books 10 or more telephone connections at a time,” he said.

"The department is also offering this facility in case of leased circuits,” Mr Deenadayalan added.

The discount could be availed of by corporates, business groups, individuals who were high-end callers, public sector undertakings, ministries of the government etc on their combined monthly gross bills, he said.

“When a customer goes in for this scheme, an account is opened in his name, that is in the name of business group, public sector undertakings, corporate body or individual, depending upon the case. The subscriber may indicate details of all telephone numbers owned by him in the prescribed proforma,” he said.

“Even the names of employees of a corporate body can be included in the bills provided they are billed on corporate body, government or the company account. In case of holding company, the telephone numbers of subsidiary companies may also be added with the holding company for arriving at the qualified amount. Production of the receipt, which one gets on taking a new connection, will not be insisted upon at the time of surrender of the telephone connection. BSNL would send the amount by account-payee cheque when the account is settled,” he informed.

A combined bill for all telephones would be sent at the corporate address for payment. The bills to all the individual telephone holders covered under the scheme would go with remark ‘not for payment’.

The scheme was announced in August last, but BSNL could implement it only recently. “Apart from advertising in the newspapers, we have also sent letters to high-end users informing them about this scheme”, said Mr Deenadayalan.


Bills for water they ‘did not’ consume
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, February 11
About a year ago, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh had issued a notification, asking consumers to purchase their own water meters, following which, a public interest litigation was filed. The matter was settled, but now, some residents have found another reason to complain — No one is visiting the houses for taking down meter reading.

The result of this “negligence” is that the residents are getting inflated bills, forcing them to pay for the water they have never consumed. A Sector 18 resident has to say: “We were better off with faulty water meters.”

He says, “In good old days of faulty water meters, we used to get the bill on the basis of average consumption according to previous bill. Officials these days are putting down the readings on the bills at their own sweet will, without even visiting our residence.”

He says, “The units printed on the bill issued about a week ago are much more then we have consumed. Just because the staff did not turn up for taking down the reading, I have been asked to deposit at least Rs 800 more than what I should be paying. Why should I be made to suffer because of the negligence on part of others.”

Denying the allegations of negligence on part of officials, a senior MC functionary says: “Every time the meter reading has to be taken, members of our staff visit every house. If the meter is not functioning or the house is locked, the bill is calculated on the basis of average consumption. They do not jot down the reading without the visits. However, if there is any complaint in this regard, we will look into it.”


Ravi Inder booked for forgery, criminal conspiracy
Tribune News service

Panchkula, February 11
The police has booked former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker and MLA from Morinda Assembly constituency, Ravi Inder Singh on charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy. A case under Sections 406, 418, 420, 467 , 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against him.

This follows the directions of a local court , which acting on a complaint by Ms Baljit Kaur, had directed the Pinjore police to register a case and investigate the matter on February 6.

In her complaint before the Judicial Magistrate Mr P.K. Yadav, Ms Baljit Kaur had asked that a case should be registered against Ravi Inder Singh, Ms Rajmohinder Kaur and Mr Gurdev Singh. She had further sought directions to the police to investigate the matter of alleged mortagaging of six bighas of prime property in Abdullapur village near Pinjore owned by a charitable trust with the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation for getting a loan for Ravi Inder Singh's own factory.

Claiming to be a trustees of Sardar Baldev Singh Charity Trust, along with the other accused, including managing trustee Ravi Inder Singh, Ms Baljit Kaur had alleged that the three accused had misappropriated Trust property and embezzled vast sums of funds for the MLA's personal gain.

She claimed that Mr Ravi Inder Singh had floated a company, Brahma Styer Tractors Limited at SAS Nagar, and in order to raise loans for this company, trustees mortagaged the property with the PSIDC for Rs 75 lakhs in 1998, without taking Ms Baljit Kaur, also a trustee, into confidence. At this time, this property was valued at Rs 1.75 crore, she added.

Later, Mr Ravi Inder Singh allegedly got a resolution passed in the trust that the said property be sold off. Again, Ms Baljit Kaur was not taken into confidence and the property was sold off to two Panchkula residents — Mr Mangat Rai Baboota and Ms Rekha Sharma for a sum of Rs 15 lakhs, it was alleged.

This money, realised from the sale of the property was invested by Mr Ravi Inder in the BSTL by purchasing its shares, she stated. The complainant then submitted a report to the Pinjore police on October 27, 2001, which was later marked to Economic Offences Wing. However, the police failed to take any action in this regard following which a complaint was filed in the court, her counsel concluded on her behalf.


Endless traffic chaos, courtesy Congress
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, February 11
It was an endless traffic chaos for more than one-and-a-half hours on the busy Zirakpur-Patiala highway as thousands of Congress supporters joined a massive rally organised during the election campaign of Ms Sheelam Sohi, a candidate from the Banur Assembly constituency here today.

Vehicles headed towards Banur, Rajpura and Patiala and in reverse direction moved at a snail’s pace as the Congress workers and supporters parked their vehicles on the roadside, putting the motorists to great hardship.

Thousands of people remained stranded for hours and were delayed to reach their destinations.

Congestion on the highway also led to long queues on all sides of the traffic lights at Ziarkpur, which further disrupted the heavy volume of traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and the Zirakpur-Panchkula road.

Irate motorists were also seen arguing with the police personnel deployed at the Zirakpur traffic light point who had a tough time in controlling the traffic on this intersection of the two highways.

Besides that of the Congress a number of supporters of other political parties — the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party — who were canvassing for their candidates on scooters, motorcycles, tractors, cars, jeeps and even cycles, fitted with party flags, also added to the woes of the passengers.

Youths who came from far-flung areas to join the rally on their motorbikes, were seen taking repeated “geris” and raising slogans in favour of their party candidates. It was a feast time for the farmers, who were seen having liquor in various dhabas and other places throughout the day.



Rain creates trouble for residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
A long spell of rain in the city and its surrounding areas today, measuring 14 mm, affected residents, five of whom were injured in accidents due to rain.

The injured have been admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital here.

Ambala and Patiala recorded 13 mm and 27 mm rainfall, respectively. The maximum temperature dropped 5°C due to rain. The rainfall measurement for Chandigarh is till 8.30 pm today and Ambala and Patila till 5.30 pm today.

Tomorrow, there is a possibility of rain spells as the sky is expected to be partly cloudy.

The rain has been caused due to westerly disturbances over east Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining Himachal Pradesh. Induced upper-air circulation persists over north-west Rajasthan and neighbourhood.

The rain caught city residents unawares and a number of persons could not leave offices till late evening. Children also had a tough time while returning from schools.



Parking contractor refuses to budge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Parking contractor here today seemed in a defiant mood choosing not to reply to a show-cause notice issued by the MCC as the last date to file reply ended today. The corporation is likely to hold a meeting of officials tomorrow to decide future course of action.

Meanwhile, the municipal corporation today remained indecisive on what to do on the legal notice slapped by the contractor for allegedly unilaterally changing terms and conditions of the contract reached between him and the MCC.

However, independent observers said breach of contract was not possible and changes can only be made after mutual agreement for changing original terms of contract.

Legal experts, however, said the MCC need not be in a hurry to reply to contractor’s seven-day legal notice as the Criminal Procedure Code and Municipal Corporation Act stipulate 60 days as notice period in this case.

The municipal corporation’s unilateral direction not to charge on the entry point of parking still remained unimplemented.


Complaints against Returning Officer
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, February 11
The Panthic Morcha candidate for the Kharar seat, Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, today complained to the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab against the Returning Officer and the Deputy Superintendent of Police for allegedly siding with the SAD candidate, Mr Kiran Bir Singh Kang. In a letter to the commission, Mr Padiala said the SAD candidate with the help of the Returning Officer and the DSP was arranging bogus voters from outside the state.

Mr Padiala demanded deployment of paramilitary forces in the constituency. Earlier the Congress candidate, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, had complained against the Returning Officer and the DSP. Mr Bir Devinder Singh, said the Election Commission had been requested to deploy the CRPF in the SAS Nagar as there was possibility of trouble by supporters of the SAD candidate.

He alleged that a number of bogus voters from Haryana had been arranged by Mr Kang with the help of Mr Abhey Chautala, son of the Haryana Chief Minister. He warned the police officers not to side with the SAD candidate. “We will not allow bogus voting as we have deployed our workers at the polling booths. If any clash takes place, the local administration would be responsible for the consequences”, he added.

The Congress candidate said that he had complained to the Returning Officer about the tri-colour posters being used by an Independent candidate, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, and tearing of his banners and posters by supporters of the SAD candidate. But no action had been taken by the administration.

There were reports that the candidate of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Mr Bhupinder Singh Laddi, had complained against the Station House Officer of Phase 1 and another candidate, Mr Dharam Singh Saini, had complained against the Station House Officer of Sohana police station for favouring the SAD candidate.

Earlier, Mr Kang, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, two Independents, Mr H.S. Gharuan and Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, addressed rallies on the last day of the campaigning in the constituency.


Preserving Corbusier a challenge in concrete
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Works of French architect, Le Corbusier, built in concrete in 1950s at the inception of Chandigarh, will be conserved in a joint effort by the Chandigarh Administration and the Le Corbusier Foundation.

This was decided at three-day joint seminar of the two parties here today. The seminar was aimed at exploring ways to conserve the famous works.

At the inauguration of the seminar, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), said the seminar gave a new dimension to the collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation. “The experience of the foundation in restoring concrete buildings will be of use. While the Archaeological Survey of India is considered competent for conserving monuments and traditional buildings, but its experience in the conservation of raw and exposed concrete structures, like the ones designed by Le Corbusier, is not enough,” he said.

“Chandigarh is the custodian of significant works of Le Corbusier. The interaction will refresh and revitalise its 50-year-old link with Le Corbusier.”

On the occasion, Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, said, “The Capitol Complex has three buildings designed by Le Corbusier that house the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana Assembly and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Built between 1955 and 1960, these buildings are multistorey reinforced concrete framed structures. These have exposed concrete surface (pattern) without any surface coating. Reinforced concrete was earlier considered a unique building material. While concrete took care of compression, steel took care of tension. Fresh concrete could be molded into any shape.”

Time has deteriorated these structures. There is cracking, splitting, spalling, delamination and corrosion all over these buildings. Many such structures require extensive repair.

The delegation from France included Mr Christian Pattyn, president of the foundation, Mr Robert Cope, Mr Laurent Fontaine, Mr Robert Rebutato, Mr Remi Papillaut and Mr Bernard Bauchet.


Governor’s palace

THE Le Corbusier Foundation of France said here today that it would raise money for completing the Governor’s Palace conceptualised by the famous architect in 1950s. However, it lacked funds. When the palace is built, the Capitol Complex comprising at present the High Court, the Secretariat and the Vidhan Sabha will be complete.

The Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), said the present Raj Bhavan was comfortable and he did not need a palace, as it had no place in modern democracy.

“The French team can still go ahead with the project, while incorporating suitable modifications in the structure, so that, it can be converted into a convention centre for everyone,” the Governor said.



Neha: reaching out to the stars
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Her ivory-white skin glows better from her black drapery. Seated in the middle of a happening stage, she makes a pretty picture of India’s grace and vitality. Writ large over her face are streaks of self consciousness, which thicken every time someone from among the crowd shouts to re-state the fact: “She is Neha Dhupia, Miss India Universe for the year 2002.” The graceful woman nods in acknowledgement. For her, the truth is too sweet to be forgotten. In fact, she would not mind even if it was repeated for the rest of her life....

....Just as her predecessors Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta and Celina Jaitley would not mind. But as the clock of time runs another year, public attention must shift focus from the one that was to the one that is. In line with tradition, the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD), Sector 8, had Miss India Universe Neha Dhupia to preside over its annual convocation function held at Tagore Theatre today. The day was about elements of pride, beauty and hope, as embodied by the freshly-crowned beauty queen, who visited Chandigarh for the first time after clinching the coveted title.

Awaiting a rigorous training schedule which will arm her to take on the contestants in the May 4 Miss Universe pageant (in South America), Neha looked composed today. The calm of her being sure has something to do with her naval background. As she admits, “I come from a class of society where discipline is a way of life. Being a naval officer, my father imbibed elements of bravery, benevolence and determination in me. It always felt great to be a daughter of the man who was ready to sacrifice his life to save national prestige.” Some of her courage also flows from the fact that she belongs to Punjab (her parents are from Amritsar). She was herself born in Cochin.

Luckily for Neha, she always had the right to make her own choices in life. So when she preferred to give priority to modelling over her IAS exams, her family supported her. An alumni of Army Public School and then Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, Neha still wants to take her IAS exam with history as her forte.

She said, “I have always had my space in life. That is why it has been easier to tread the path one wanted to.” Neha has also done theatre, which brought her fame. Informed the beauty queen, “I was picked up by a photographer while I was doing Graffiti, a play with Roshan Abbas and Shiamak Davar. Prior to that I had been modelling. I had never really thought of contesting for the Miss India title.”

With her experience on the ramp as also in an Indo-Japanese film project, Neha had an edge over others. She has also acted in Rajdhani, a serial on Star Plus, which taught her more about the power of expression. But finally, it was the moment which turned the tide in her favour. As she said today, “All the contestants were promising. I think it is the final moment which decides victory. It is also luck to a certain extent.”

For Neha, however, the days prior to the Miss India contest, were more full of life. After being trained in personality development by leading experts like Sabira Merchant, Lubna Adams and Jamna Pai, she is a more evolved person now.

With the crown in hand, she is a changed person. And in her new-found role, she wants to make a difference. “I now have an opiniated voice which people would want to listen to. I would like to spread AIDS awareness. Also, I would like to spread the message of liberation, besides the feminist context. There has to be a balance between home and work. It is upto the woman to locate her comfort zone.”

Coming from a young girl, the thought sounded good. It reflected the voice of other women of her age. Neha agrees, “To be a Miss India is to be more than just a woman. Though I had my share of fame earlier, now I am only being looked upon as a public figure. So I have to be in control and also I have to be responsible for all that I say.” The girl has taken some lessons in self dependence from the books she read. The Alchemist has inspired her greatly.



Students’ designs practical: Miss India
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
For the 6,000 students passing out of various centres of the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD), it was a moment of pride when Miss India Universe Neha Dhupia awarded them diplomas at their annual convocation in Tagore Theatre here today. Present there were centre heads of various NIFD branches in India and abroad, besides students and their guardians.

Soon, it was time for giving away awards of excellence. While the Kolkata NIFD bagged the overall ‘best centre’ award, the ‘best overseas centre’ award went to the Dhaka centre. In the big-centres category, the following centres received awards: New Delhi (best centre), Jaipur (most enterprising centre), Ahmedabad (most result-oriented centre), Ludhiana (best academic performance), Indore (best garments fashion show).

In the small-centres category, the following centres received the awards: Gandhinagar (best centre), Raipur (most enterprising centre), Ambala (most result-oriented centre), Nagpur (best academic performance), Beawar (best new centre). Toppers of the institute were honoured by the IGP Chandigarh, Mr B.S. Bassi.

On the occasion, the NIFD Director, Ritu Kochar, said the institute had opened centres in Dhaka, Nepal, UAE and Philippines. Aditi Srivastava, GM Corporate, read out the NIFD corporate report.

The best moment for students, however, was when Miss India Neha Dhupia addressed them. She said, “While earlier, the fashion technology training was confined to big cities, it has, now, reached small towns also. Where today, Ritu Kumar and Hemant Trivedi design costumes for Miss India, tomorrow it can be you.” This drew a tremendous applause. She said her father was of Punjabi lineage and an officer in the Navy.

“I have been into big-time modelling for quite some time now, but designs by students excite me the most because students have a practical approach to fashion and creative new ideas.”

She said no one was a born designer and had to go through his or her share of struggles to make it big. Neha also talked about her preparations for the Miss Universe pageant.


‘By degrading Generals, you demoralise Army’
Pritam Bhullar

NO matter how careful you are in fabricating an excuse, no one will lap it up, least of all the knowledgeable people, if it is totally devoid of credibility. Did anyone from the Army (serving or retired) believe that a strike corps GOC had “gone on leave on personal grounds” when his corps was ready to go to war? No one in the Army had any doubt that the Corps Commander was removed from the command and sent on leave by the powers that be.

Lt-Gen Kapil Vij has proceeded on a posting which was decided for him several months ago. He has filled the post which was vacated by the General who relieved Gen Vij as GOC of the corps. Two stark facts stand out like a sore thumb in this melodrama. First, if General Vij was to be sent on a planned posting to an appointment which had already been vacated by his relief, then what was the sense in sending him on a “forced leave”? Secondly, it is time someone educated our government that a General is never shifted from his command when it is deployed and is ready to be launched into war.

General Vij, who is Colonel of the 70 Armoured Regiment, was wounded in the 1971 war in the Fazilka sector, when he was a Captain. In this action, his Commandant, Lt-Col R.K. Dewan was killed.

Incidentally 70 Armoured Regiment was raised in February, 1968, and this writer being at Army Headquarters (as General Staff Officer Grade I) at that time was closely associated with its organisation and raising.

Don’t tire troops

After having been fully mobilised, our Army was ready to go to war in the first week of January, which really seemed to be coming in a few hours. Shortly after that, the US influence made us change our stance. Notwithstanding the resentment against this influence in certain circles, it was a blessing in disguise, for in a war we would have lost thousands of precious lives, ruined our economy and yet no problem would have been solved.

By the middle of January, the chances of a war started receding. Not only did Pakistan come to know about it but even our troops began to feel that the war clouds were disappearing from the horizon. And a few days later, the public also stopped talking about the war.

Our government’s resolve to keep the Army deployed in its battle locations till such time as Pakistan calls a halt to cross-border terrorism and returns 20 terrorists to India, may be politically sound but its military implication is unfortunate. Not even a naive will have any doubt that cross-border terrorism will take time to come to an end. The question of the return of 20 terrorists also borders on uncertainty.

The Army, which started deploying about two months ago, has already roughed it out in the bone-chilling winter. If the war had started and continued for any length of time, the Army would have been doing what it is supposed to do. Without fighting a war if it is kept in full readiness in battle locations, the boredom starts setting in among the troops and their efficiency drips. This situation should be avoided as far as possible because if war really comes after a few months, the tired troops will not be able to give off their best.

Insult to uniform

Nothing can be more demoralising for an Army than to see its uniform being disgraced by its own countrymen. A wrong practice started by the managements of big hotels and restaurants a few years ago was to make its doormen wear the military uniform. This disease has spread to almost all the cities, so much so that even departmental stores and shops selling goods like cloth and shoes have men masquerading as soldiers to man their doors.

A soldier earns his uniform after going though a special selection, hard training and gruelling tests. And that too when he pledges to sacrifice his life to uphold the integrity of the country. The uniform is a soldier’s prize possession which he wears with great pride.

Would the civil administration and the police, whose job it is to stop this undesirable practice, like to hurt the feelings of their Army which ensures the safety of the country and due to which all of them are enjoying a peaceful living? If not, then the civil administration should step in to eradicate this malady.

Let Chandigarh, which is headed by Lieut-Gen Jacob, a soldier, who has emerged larger than life, set an example for the country in uprooting this shoddy practice.



Spreading message of environment protection
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, February 11
To achieve his mission ‘‘Environmental protection and national integration,’’ Mr Vijay Shankar Mishra, hailing from Uttarkashi in Dehra Dun, has started his ‘padyatra’ from Siliguri in West Bengal to complete it at Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat.

A 25-year-old and graduate from Sampurana Nand Vishwa Vidyalaya in Allahabad, Mr Mishra was in Chandigarh during his yatra. He started his yatra on May 25, 1997, and is likely to be completed at Porbandar in 2006.

Inspired by his mother Uma Devi Mishra, Mr Mishra has already covered 3,020 km on foot from Lucknow to Kanyakumari in 91 days — from October 10, 1995 to January 17, 1996 — and got his name registered in Limca book of records. He also covered 5,050 km starting from Porbandar on June 15, 1996, that ended after 187 days at Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh on March 7, 1997.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Mishra said during his trips to various parts of the country he interacted with masses to spread the message of environment protection and national integration.

In Punjab, he delivered lecturers in different schools and colleges to educate students regarding environment protection. He also interacted with villagers and discussed consequences of use of polythene in their daily life.

He said he along with his four friends — Akhilesh Kumar Singh of Maharashtra, Jatindra and Arif Ahamad both from Gujarat and Dyal Singh from Nasik — were associated with Nehru Yuva Kendra, Gujarat, and pledged to educate the people about protection of environment and they started padyatras under the banner of ‘‘Yuva jagriti pad yatra’’ to different directions in the country.



Stand-off on cable tariff resolved
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
The stand-off between residents and the cable operators was resolved with both parties agreeing on a bimonthly package of Rs 360 or a trimonthly package of Rs 500 per connection.

A meeting of the Panchkula Residents Welfare Forum and the Panchkula Cable TV Association was held here today to find a wayout for fixing the monthly tariff. It was agreed that the residents could either make a bimonthly or a trimonthly payment.

Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of the Panchkula Joint Welfare Forum, informed that it had also been decided that a draft agreement to be signed would be prepared soon. The operators would have to sign the agreement with all subscribers and this would ensure consumer protection to the operators.

A 13-member committee was also selected at the meeting with seven members from among the residents and six from the operators in order to settle any further dispute between the residents and the operators.


Meeting on cable fee tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has decided to call a meeting on February 13 to start recovery of fee from cable operators levied in December, 1999.

The decision of the House had remained unimplemented causing the corporation loss worth crores of rupees.

However, the corporation’s decision had become ambivalent in the post-House decision period with a couple of cable operators going to court and representing before the corporation against the justifiability of the decision.

The then Mayor Shanta Hit Abhilashi had constituted a committee to examine complaints of cable operators.

The committee, though constituted without the approval of the House, could not come out with any concrete suggestions.


MC Commissioner to attend seminar on property tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) M.P. Singh will have an opportunity to understand developments taking place in the field of property tax in the country.

The Commissioner has been invited for a national seminar on the issue to be held at Bangalore on February 14 and February 15.

The MCC Commissioner will be amongst those officials who do not have experience of the whole gamut of property tax as the city stands alone in the category of places where property tax has not been imposed.

The seminar to be organised by Kanataka Urban Affairs Secretary A Rabindran for the National Urban Planning Institute will witness developments and implications of property tax at various places.

The Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the Birbhumi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioners will be amongst speakers in the seminar. The self-assessment property tax system of Bangalore will be discussed..


House demolished over area dispute
Tribune News service

Panchkula, February 11
A group of over 15 men are alleged to have demolished a house building being erected in Sector 19 following a dispute over the area of the plot with a neighbour.

According to information available, a group of armed men trespassed into the property owned by Mr Ved Gupta near Government School, Sector 19, last night and demolished the partially constructed house. Mr Gupta has alleged that the men had been sent by Mr Radhey Shyam and Mr Darityal Singh.

It is learnt that the dispute between the two parties is long standing and was even taken up with the Estate Office, HUDA. A few days ago, the Estate Officer, Ms. Geeta Bharti, had reportedly decided the boundary dispute of the two plots in favour of Mr Gupta.

The Estate Officer visited the site today along with the Assistant Estate Officer . A complaint has also been made to the police.



Masonic Temple dedicated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
MW Bro D.D. Udeshi, grandmaster, grand lodge of India, visited Chandigarh along with a galaxy of Freemasons from all over India to dedicate the new Masonic Temple to Yadvindra lodge 141 at Freemasons hall, Sector 18, last night.

W. Bro Ashwini Gupta was installed the worshipful master for 2002-2003 along with W. Bro Malwinder Singh, VW Bro C.P.S. Sahni and W. Bro S.s. Kanwal.

Freemasons is a charitable institution which serves the world with the service of downtrodden members of society in Chandigarh. A polyclinic is also run by the society in which free clinical tests, x-ray, ECG and medical aid are being provided along with free medicines in Sector 18, Chandigarh.



City gets another restaurant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The city today got a new restaurant, Diner Seventeen. Situated in Sector 17 (between Ghazal and Mehfil), it became the first among the proposed chain of franchised restaurants/cafes promoted by ‘‘Biscotti’’.

The concept of the Diner is to provide an eatery between a restaurant and a hot shop that promises the informality of a cafe and comfort of a restaurant.

The compact but beautifully done up place provides the ambience for both dating and discussing business. Spanning a range of confectionery, bakery, Indian, Continental, South Indian cuisines, the Diner has something for everybody’s taste.

The prices are niched in the medium segment, said hotelier couple Anjum Mohan Singh and Richa Butail. 


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Mr Sunil Shastri, general secretary and spokesman of the BJP, will address a meet-the-press programme at Chandigarh Press Club on February 12 at 11.15 a.m. Only regular and candidate members of the club are allowed to attend the programme.


A clarification

THE chief guest on the occasion of World Cancer Survivor Day celebrations held at DAV College, Sector 10, on February 9, was Prof B.N.S. Walia and not Prof S.B.S. Mann as has been wrongly printed. The mistake is deeply regretted.

Prof Walia is a former Director, PGI, and is closely related with the working of various NGOs in the city. 


One held for stabbing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
A resident of Mauli Jagran, Raghubir Singh, has been arrested for stabbing Bahadur Singh, a resident of the same colony. The injured has been admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital. The police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC.

Two arrested: Two rickshaw-pullers have been arrested by the police for plying their rickshaws on the wrong side of the road near the Sector 17 ISBT. They have been identified as Roz Ali, a resident of Nepal, and Girdhari Lal, a resident of Uttar Pradesh. They have been booked for endangering human life and obstructing public way.

1 dead: A resident of Maloya, Kartar Singh, died after consuming excessive liquor today. According to the police, the deceased, an employee of the Punjab PWD department, had left home for office this morning. He was in an inebriated condition and fell down in Sector 36. He was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where he died. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the IPC.

1 held: A resident of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Dev Tiwari, was arrested from the Sector 17 ISBT for reportedly consuming liquor at a public place. A quart of wine was recovered from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Stolen: The owner of a computer parts firm in Sector 22, Narender Thukral, has reported that his shop was broken into and computer parts worth about 20,000 have been stolen. A Sector 29 resident, Elam Ram, has reported that Rs 10,000 has been stolen from his house during the day. The police has registered cases.

Car stereo stolen: A resident of the PGI Campus, Dr Vipin Kumar, has reported that his car stereo along with 15 cassettes, registration certificate, driving licence and insurance papers has been stolen from his car parked at his residence. A case has been registered.

Batteries stolen: An inmate of the Government College hostel, Sector 11, Ramat Chug has reported that three motor cycle batteries have been stolen from the hostel premises. A Sector 22 resident, Narotam Sharma, has reported that the battery of his Kinetic Honda scooter, parked at his residence, has been stolen. The police has registered cases.

5 injured: Five persons have been injured in two different road accidents. Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar, and Sameer, a resident of Panchkula, were injured in Sector 31, while three persons, Abdul Ahmed, Rattan and Harish, all residents of Baltana, were injured in an accident on the Sector 29-30 crossing. They have been admitted to the Sector 32 Government Hospital.


One arrested: The police has arrested Sushil Kumar in a case of accident. His gypsy ( PB-02N-0257) reportedly hit Mr Bhola Singh’s car on the Sector 2/4 roundabout.

Six arrested: The police arrested Aman Singh, Pawan Kumar, Harbans Singh , Rattan Singh , Chandan Singh and Swaroop Singh for causing disruption to public peace. They have been booked under sections 107 , 151 of the Cr. P. C.

One awarded life sentence: The court of Additional District Judge, Panchkula, has awarded life imprisonment the Jai Chand Ram, who had killed Om Khatri on May 5, 1998.

It is learnt that the accused had killed Om Khatri and then thrown his body in Sector 17. A case under section 302 of IPC had been registered. After the body was identified, it came to light that he used to play lottery with Sunder Singh, Hans Raj, Prem, Rajkumar, Jaichand and Vikram. After a disagreement over the parting of earnings, Om Khatri parted ways with Jaichand and Vikram.


Dowry death case: Members of a family of Phase 4 here have been booked by the police in an alleged case of dowry death. The victim, Harveen Kaur (21), died after she allegedly consumed some poisonous substance.

According to the information available, the victim, hailing from Kota in Rajasthan, was married to Amarjeet, alias Dimpy, in December, 1998. The brother of the deceased, Prabhjot Singh, in a statement given to the police said that ever since her marriage, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law used to harass her to bring dowry.

The family of the victim protested against the alleged involvement of the family of her in-laws. The police has registered an FIR against the husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the victim under Section 304-B of the IPC. The autopsy was done at the PGI.

Booked: The police has booked the Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, and the Congress candidate, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, for defacing public property in Phase 7 with their posters and banners.

The pasting of banners and posters at public places was in violation of the election code of conduct.

Theft: Burglars broke into a tyre shop in Phase 1 here and decamped with goods worth Rs 18,000 last night. According to information available, the burglars, numbering around eight, broke the shutter of the shop.


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