Tuesday, May 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Administration’s diktat puts allottees to disadvantage
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service


* Admn asks housing societies to give an undertaking in its favour.

* This will bind the societies and the Admn will have no liability to give physical possession of a clear tract land.

* The latest diktat is against the principles of natural justice and contrary to the Admn’s own previous orders.

* While alloting the land the Chandigarh Housing Board had given in writing the land is free from all encumbrances and encroachments. Now for physical possession the CHB wants an undertaking that the societies will remove the slums on their own and not move court in case of any delay.

* About 5,000 families that have paid up Rs 1.25 lakh each have been trapped due to this latest clause imposed by the Admn. The next installment is due in February 2003.

* Admn says it is not responsible if land is not fit for construction or if provision of water supply, roads or electricity does not exist.

Chandigarh, May 13
Pay lakhs to get land allotted where slums and unauthorised shops exist and the Chandigarh Administration says take it or leave it. And if you take it removing the jhuggis will be your own responsibility and despite paying lakhs you cannot file a claim or objection in court for delay.

Well it seems to be fiction but a latest diktat of the Chandigarh Administration exactly binds the hands of the allottees behind their backs. It is also like a silent admission on part of the Administration that it can do nothing to curb or control slums as they are political vote banks. Actually one look at the context of the undertaking and it is evident that it is prejudiced against the Co-operative housing societies and the Administration wants to wash off its hands.

As many as 5,000 middle class salaried people, who paid lakhs of rupees to own flats in housing societies, have been asked by the Administration to submit an undertaking saying that the housing societies will have no objection to take over possession of land alongwith the encumbrances. This means the society will have no objection if jhuggies or unauthorised construction prevail on the lands allotted by the Administration which seems to work either for the very rich or for the illegal slum dwellers.

The undertaking wanted by the Administration says that all such unauthorised people will have to be removed by the society on their own through the department concerned of the Administration. And in case there is a delay in construction due to non-removal of jhuggies or slums the societies will not file any claims against the Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board fundamental right to object or claim damages in court. This after the housing societies are paying about Rs 2,850 per square yard.

Interestingly, the members of the housing societies participated in draw of lots way back in December 2000, however, allotment letters were issued in January this year. Physical possession was never given. Societies were given land in sectors 50 and 51 where stands the city’s biggest slum — Colony Number V. The slum was partially removed but was not enough. An unauthorised marble market also stands here.

Another interesting line in the undertaking is that the society promises to not proceed for claims damages, losses, disputes against any official of the Administration or the CHB with regard to handing over physical possession of land. The unjustified wording does not end here, the Administration says the society cannot not go to court even if civic infrastructure which is to be built by the Administration itself is not provided at the site, or even if water , power or approach roads do not exist.

Mr Sunil Walia , an executive member of the Private Teachers Co-operative Housing Society said their society held a meeting yesterday where it was discussed if such an undertaking is to be given or not. Sources in the CHB said at least four societies have given such an undertaking which will take away their basic rights.

Chairman of HOUSEFED, a conglomerate of cooperative societies, Mr Sunil Parti, says, “We will be convening a meeting of all societies on the issue”. He said the Administration should fix dates for providing basic services and then stick to the deadlines. Asking societies to give such undertakings was unjust and highly undemocratic. 


Goods worth several lakhs gutted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 13
Goods worth several lakhs of rupees were gutted in a devastating fire that broke out in a godown of a tent house here in Industrial Area Phase II tonight. Coir mats and synthetic and cotton tents were destroyed, alongwith a major part of the building.

Though the exact cause of the fire is not known yet, it is suspected that the fire was caused as a result of short circuiting. It is learnt that electricity suddenly went off in the area around 8 p.m. After power supply was restored at around 8.15 p.m., certain passersby saw smoke and flames billowing out of the godown premises of Mahajan Tent House.

Mr Jasbir Singh Jassi, owner of Singh Sons here, who also has a godown in the area and was hosting a meeting of Britannia dealers, said as soon as he was informed of the fire, he called up the Fire Station. Soon two fire tenders rushed to the spot, but were unable to control the fire that broke out in the basement of the godown.

He alleged that the fire tenders soon went back for refilling water, but did not come back for quite some time, they then called up the Manimajra Fire Station. Two fire tenders from Chandigarh were rushed to the spot and it took more than two hours to control the fire. It was later that the fire tenders from the Fire Station here again reached the spot.

The owner of the godown, Mr Prem Mahajan, is away to Amritsar. 


S.P. Kansal granted bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 13
The UT Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr S.P. Kansal, who had been arrested by the CBI on charges of misuse of official position and possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, was today granted bail by a local court. The accused was granted bail as the CBI had failed to file a challan against him within a stipulated period of 60 days.

Mr S.P. Kansal was granted bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25, 000 with two sureties of the same amount. The court has also directed him not to leave the country without the prior permission of the court.

The CBI had alleged in the FIR that the accused had acquired various properties, both in his own name as well as benami, which were beyond his known sources of income. It was further alleged that the accused had been storing lottery tickets and other goods worth several crores of rupees, besides intentionally not recovering sales tax and penalty from a number of firms concerned, and causing huge losses to the government exchequer.


Under-age driving: Onus on parents
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, May 13
It has happened earlier also. In the late 80’s, an under-aged son of a Punjab politician rammed the jeep he was driving into a scooter, killing the pillion rider and injuring the driver.

The incident remains etched in the memory of city residents. Several steps were taken subsequently by the Chandigarh Police to “bring under control the menace created by under-aged drivers”. The school principals were requested to ensure that the students did not reach their institutes on their own vehicles.

They were even asked to compare the age on their driving licence with the one mentioned in the school records to detect “cheating and forgery by the students”. Policemen too were posted outside the school premises to challan the under-aged drivers.

This is not all. Traffic safety camps were held in the schools and the students were taken to the traffic park to make them aware of the “perilous implications of driving without formal training”. The parents too were informed. Messages were painted on the barricades asking them not to allow their under-aged kids to drive on the main road and streets. But all efforts have apparently proved futile.

On Sunday evening, a 12-year-old student, after reportedly taking the car out of his residence without his parents’ knowledge, banged into a 42-year-old Sector 41 resident who had just descended from a scooter in Sector 38. She was rushed to a hospital, but was declared dead.

Reacting sharply to the incident, socio-psychologists believe that efforts made by the police, and school authorities, will continue to prove useless until and unless the parents take a definite stand against such activities.

“The problem lies with the social set up,” asserts psychologist Niti Kathuria. “In today’s world where materialism is the only value still in existence, it is a matter of pride for the neo-rich parents that their little ones can drive cars and motor bikes even before solving maths problems”.

Giving details, she adds: “At the tender age of 14, even before their reflexes develop, the boy is handed over bike keys, allowing him to speed up and down to his school without wearing helmet. Status symbol is the actual reason, but the excuses they give are quite different, “It is not at all healthy for a child to travel by a bus to school and for tuitions, he might fall and hurt himself, rickshaws too are unsafe,” the parents maintain. So they allow their children to learn driving.

Agreeing with her, sociologist Raghu Verma says: “It is the attitude of the parents which is to be blamed for the menace to a large extent. If they do not teach their children to drive, I am sure they will not be able to take out the vehicles on their own and endanger the lives of others. Otherwise also, they should be making their children tough to enable them to face the world, instead of making them dependent on luxuries”.

Explaining the trend, another sociologist Dinesh Kumar submits: “In Chandigarh, in a large number of families both the parents are working. As such they get very few hours to spend with their children. Whatever time they get, goes into pampering them. Saying no in a large number of cases becomes impossible. Little wonder then that if the son wants a bike, he gets it. If the daughter wishes to take the car to the college, she is permitted”.

Another reason for this “unchecked problem” is low rate of conviction. “As far as I can remember, till date not even a single minor, accused of endangering human life by driving rashly and negligently, has been convicted,” says leading criminal lawyer S.P.S. Bhullar. “The reason for this is not very hard to see. If the driver is not caught from the spot, proving guilt becomes difficult. Witnesses, in a large number of cases, are easily influenced, reducing the chances of the prosecution to succeed”.


Cops on lookout for boy’s father
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 13
In less than 24 hours after a 12-year-old student, Prashant, knocked down a woman in Sector 38, the Chandigarh police is reportedly looking for the boy’s father —Mr Sishupal. An apple merchant by profession, Mr Sishupal, who is the registered owner of the vehicle, is being accused of handing over the car to a minor which is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act.

According to sources, the police was carrying out search at his residence till late in the evening. The family, as per acquaintances, moved out to Shimla immediately after the incident. The police proposes to book Mr Sishupal under Sections 279, 304-A of the IPC and Sections 3 and 181 of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Prashant was arrested under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC and later released on bail as the offences were bailable in nature.

It may be recalled that Prashant while driving a car (CH03 F7063) last evening hit a woman Sita Rani leading to her death in Sector 38.

Prashant, who stole the keys of the car from his house, fled after the accident abandoning the car at an isolated place in Sector 38.

The victim, a resident of Sector 41, was declared brought dead when taken to the PGI. The minor driver of the car was later arrested from Sector 38.

According to sources, the car hit Sita Rani at a very high speed. The impact was so great that the victim was thrown at quite a distance.


Income ceiling limits revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
The Government of India has revised the income ceiling limits for financial assistance under various self-employment schemes for Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes, minorities and safai karamcharis and their dependants for giving loans under various categories.

The new limits to demarcate poverty will be Rs 39,308 per annum and Rs 54,494 for urban areas, respectively. The earlier limits were Rs 31,952 and Rs 42,412 in the two categories.

Persons having income lower than the mentioned benchmark will be entitled for loans from the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial and Development Corporation.


HC directs SSP to look into fraud case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Acting on a petition alleging police inaction in a case against a finance company, Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed Chandigarh’s Senior Superintendent of Police to look into the matter and take appropriate action in accordance with law.

Delivering the verdict on a petition filed by Mani Majra-based Investors Welfare Association against Marigold Leasing India Limited, Mr Justice Goel further ordered that the needful should be done within three months. The judge added that the petitioners would be at liberty to appear before the SSP through their counsel for the purpose.

In his detailed order, the judge observed: “The grievance of the petitioners’ association is that the investigation was not proper and even though they had approached the court earlier also and a direction was issued on January 9, 2001 no action had been taken. State counsel submits that investigation was conducted in case of those who approached the investigating agency with the relevant documents and as many as 28 challans were filed. Let the SSP look into the petitioner’s grievance”.

In their petition, the association had earlier claimed that no action was taken by the police on their complaint. Going into the background of the case, the association members had contended that several investors had deposited their money with the firm but the cheques issued to them were not encashed when presented on the due date. They had added that the amount deposited by them had been misappropriated and as such they had been cheated.

Giving details of the previous order, the association had claimed that Mr Justice Amar Dutt of the High Court on January 9, 2001 had ordered that the investigation into the matter should be conducted within three months but the same was not done. 


Education dept to adopt carrot-and-stick policy
Tribune News Service

The new action plan to raise standard of education in government schools includes:

* Carrot-and-stick policy for performers and non-performers
* Surprise annual checks by DPI (S), DEO and Deputy DEO
* Special coaching for weak students
* Better emoluments for contract teachers
* Clubbing of funds at the disposal of the school

Chandigarh, May 13
With two principals suspended, eight charge-sheeted and explanations of over a dozen of teachers and principals sought for poor performance of government schools in the middle school examination, the UT Education Department is all set to raise the standard of education in these schools under a specific action plan.

While the carrot-and-stick policy would be adopted by the Department to award the performers who are making a difference to education. From this year onwards, the department will give prizes for ``Best Headmaster’’, “Best Principal”, “Best School” in the model as well as urban, rural and colonies non-model schools category.

However, the non-performers would be dealt with a heavy hand and the first indication that the department means business has come by way of the chargesheets and explanations of non-performers.

Besides, surprise annual checks will be undertaken by the DPI (S), DEO and Deputy DEO in all schools and thorough inspections will be carried out regarding infrastructure availability, teaching faculty and problems of the institution. A schedule in this regard would be published shortly.

While the department has started free classes in science and commerce streams for students of Class XI, weak students will also be given the benefit of special coaching in school.

Though these students would not be retained after school hours, the morning assembly time would be utilised for the extra classes.

In a bid to attract better stuff, the department would give better emoluments to contract teachers as an incentive.

Also, better utilisation of funds by clubbing them together instead of segregating them under different heads has been approved.

The decision was taken in the interest of the schools which could not use funds for a specific purpose for fear of audit objections.

These decisions were taken at a recent meeting of the Adviser, Home Secretary and DPI (Schools) chaired by the Governor of Punjab and Administrator of UT, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, to evaluate the poor performance of government schools.

Later, at a meeting called by the Education Secretary, Mr RS Gujral, to analyse poor results in government schools.

Two principals of government schools of Halomajra and Sector 47 who were found absent from the meeting without sanctioned leave or intimation, were suspended.

Those charge-sheeted include: principals of GHS-11, GHS-24, GHS-25, GHS-38 B, GMHS-29, GHS-Karsan and , GHS-Colony No. 4, and in charge GMHS-Sarangpur.

In addition, the department has sought explanations from Principal of GMSSS-21, Headmistress of GMMS-12, maths teacher of GHS-37, maths teacher of GMHS-41, Hindi teacher of GHS-22 and maths and social science teachers of GMMS-12. 


College without regular Principal for 14 years
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, May 13
The Government College of Art, a premier arts college of the North, has virtually remained headless for about 14 years, with only a string of officiating principals to guide it. The Chandigarh Administration has not bothered to appoint a full- fledged Principal after the suspension of Mr Jagmohan Chopra in 1989, the then Principal for problems related to mal administration.

“After the suspension of Prof Chopra, the college was put under Mr V.N. Singh, Director of Government Museum and Art Gallery, as an additional charge, says former officiating principal of the college, Prof Prem Singh. An association of teachers also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in protest against a non-teacher being put in charge of the college,” said Prof Singh. After this a trend of appointing officiating principals has been going on for 14 years. Prof Braham Prakash, the current officiating Principal, is the fourth such Principal.

Another interesting fact is that the college that once came under the direct jurisdiction of the Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, has now been placed under Director, Public Relation and Culture, after being put under the Joint Secretary, Chandigarh Administration and Director, Technical Education, for a short while.

“As a pioneering Art College in the region, it certainly deserves a better deal from the government,” says Prof Jodh Singh, an eminent artist and retired Head of the Fine Arts Department of GCG, Sector 11. “When an institution does not have a head with full authority, it is in danger of suffering in terms of quality and standard,” he added.

Prof Prem Singh, who executed a three-year-term as officiating principal of the Art College, says that professional colleges should not be put under officiating principals and it is high time for the authorities to appoint a full-fledged Principal, who comes through the UPSC.

According to some insiders, it is the ego among the equals which has been hindering the smooth functioning of the college. Since the Principal happens to be one of us but with a marginal seniority, there are bound to be ego clashes with the Principal.

The college should be put in the right perspective before it is too late,” said Shiv Singh, an eminent artist of Chandigarh. “Instead of dilly-dallying, the authorities should start the procedure to appoint the Principal through the UPSC,” he added.


Bomb hoax
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 13
A bomb hoax call in the Sector-26 branch of the Punajb and Sind Bank disturbed the functioning of the bank here this afternoon.

According to police sources, at around 12.36 pm the Manager, Mr Surinder Kumar, received an anonymous telephone call saying that a bomb had been planted on the bank premises. The Manager subsequently informed the police but nothing was found.


Was Jalandhar air crash the last straw?

IN America, public opinion is so strong that even if one soldier is killed, the government has to do a lot of explaining. In India, soldiers are being killed in J and K every day, yet no eyebrows are being raised. Mercifully, the Indian public is also gradually coming to realise that their unequivocal opinion on any issue can influence the government decision.

Only the other day, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, reacted strongly to the recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the MiG-21 aircraft should be phased out by saying, “No pilot of mine is flying an non-airworthy combat aircraft in the IAF fleet”. But he has changed his mind after the Jalandhar crash of a MiG-21 Bis, due to which eight civilians had been killed. The IAF grounded MiG-21 aircraft the same day on which the accident occurred i.e. May 3. Why? Because the toll in civilian lives had made the airworthiness of the MiG-21s a public issue.

Now it is being said that the R-25 engine of MiG-21 is not reliable. Of all IAF crashes, MiG-21 accounts for 45 per cent most of which are due to engine defect. Does this mean that the upgrading of 125 MiG-21 aircraft by 2005 will be a waste of effort? Why hadn’t the IAF top brass addressed the engine problem even after losing hundreds of young pilots and aircrafts? Were they waiting for the Jalandhar accident and the resultant public outcry against the reliability of the MiG-21s?

Barki — Sehjra Hall

To motivate and inspire future generations, we need to acquaint them with the heroic deeds of our war heroes who thought nothing of their lives when it came to saving the honour of the country.

The Golden Arrow Division has depicted its enviable history in a unique manner in a building called ‘Barki — Sehjra Hall’ at Ferozepore. The division was raised in 1914 and can boast of acquitting itself honourably in all the wars starting from World War-I. In World War-II, it won four Victoria Crosses (VCs).

The name of the hall is derived from the battle honours won by the division in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars, i.e. Barki and Sehjra respectively. The Barki — Sehjra Hall is split into several sections, each depicting a different aspect of division’s history.

The reception and information section introduces in brief, the history of the division. The photographs of all the General Officers Commanding since 1964 are also displayed here. The hall of fame houses the roll of honour and photographs of gallant war heroes. The pre-partition section unveils the pre-1947 history of valour and victories, including the battle of Admin Box, Akhrool and Kohima. The 1965 and 1971 sections reveal Golden Arrow Division’s achievements during these two wars with special reference to the capture of Barki in 1965 and Sehjra in 1971.

The setting up of such halls goes a long way in preserving the rich history of the Army and keeping the valour of our gallant soldiers alive for the coming generations.

Uphold your ‘izzat’

If you have lost your ‘izzat’ (respect) as a senior officer, you have lost everything. You cannot demand respect as a senior commander from your juniors by enforcing discipline, it should flow from their hearts.

Time was when the junior-most officer unhesitatingly accepted his mistake. Today, even the senior-most would have no qualms to disown his mistake. But after this unofficer-like behaviour, if he thinks that he will be an effective commander and will evoke respect from his subordinates, he is sadly mistaken.

There is a general deterioration in all the three services, but a few recent examples from the Air Force are eye openers. An air marshal, to quench the thirst of his career greed, writes to a politician for a lucrative posting. Another air marshal while piloting an AN-32 and straying into Pakistan and being hit by Pakistani fire, invented some incredible versions to hoodwink the truth-finders. He went to the extent of shifting the blame to his juniors.

But when a court of inquiry (C of I) convened by another air marshal is believed to have blamed him, he tried to hold another C of I by his juniors into his “conduct”, knowing fully well that ‘It is not done’. The Air Chief, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, rightly shot down this inquiry.

If the senior officers continue to behave in this deplorable manner, the armed forces will lose their effectiveness. How to stem this rot? it is time we called for a countrywide debate on it. Pritam Bhullar


Outstanding power bills paid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 13
The current new scheme of recovery of pending electricity bills has received encouraging response from the consumers of domestic, non-domestic and tubewell categories of rural areas and they have settled the bills amounting to more than Rs 87 crore till yesterday with the Haryana Power Utilities (HPU).

Giving details, a spokesman of HPU said here today that more than one lakh consumers had so far availed the benefit of various on-going schemes on clearing pending bills. Of these, 70,000 have deposited the amount of arrears in one go after availing waiver upto 75 per cent of their outstanding dues.

He also said that 40,247 defaulters at the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam settled an amount of Rs 3665.54 lakh in one go and paid Rs 943.80 lakh till yesterday. A sum of Rs 2716.74 lakh had been waived off by the nigam under 75 per cent waiver scheme. Similarly, as many as 28, 377 consumers of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam had opted to clear their outstanding dues in one go. Their bills amounting to Rs 23,75. 59 lakh had been adjusted and Rs 592. 33 lakh had been received in cash from the defaulters. 


Water scarcity in Sector 71
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 13
Resentment prevails among residents of Sector 71 here over the poor water supply in the sector for the past 15 days. Taps have almost gone dry and the water pressure on the ground floor is very low, said Mr Devinderjit Singh, a resident of the sector.

With the mercury rising, the demand for water has increased but the number of tubewells feeding the area has not been supplemented by the public health wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). Three tubewells are feeding the entire sector.

Work to link the sector with the supply of Sector 70 had been going on at a slow pace, said sources in PUDA. Incidentally, a number of officials of PUDA live in Sector 71. Col PP Singh , another resident of the sector, lamented that they were being forced to fetch water from other sectors. Complaints have already been made to the Chief Engineer and the Executive Engineer concerned but to no avail.


Sec 2 devoid of civic amenities
Our Correspondent

Panchkula May 13
Erratic power supply, low water pressure, choking sewers, heaps of garbage, bad shape of parks, absence of street lights, stray animals, irregular house numbers, stench and slush are some of the problems being faced by Sector 2 residents for the past many years.

Courtesy the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) which has been indifferent to the problems of the sector that has been inhabited mostly by retired defence personnel.

The residents complain that HUDA has not been providing regular power supply to them. Some parts of the sector get three-phase regular electricity through separate step-up transformers while residents of the other parts have to face erratic and low power voltage.

The leaking underground pipes have resulted into low water pressure to the sector due to which taps on the first and the second floors of the houses almost go dry during the day. Moreover, water remains accumulated at various points where pipes have broken. Stagnant and muddy water seeps into the pipes at these points which has become a health hazard, complain members of the Residents Welfare and Environment Society of Sector 2.

The authorities have laid underground drainage pipes of less discharge capacity which fail to carry the storm water. This results into accumulation of water on roads and streets. The stagnated water is an open invitation to diseases, says the general secretary of the society.

In a representation to HUDA and other departments, concerned the members have complained about heaps of garbage and debris being dumped on roadsides, fused street lights and growth of weeds and vegetation on corner plots thus making it difficult for motorists to pass through inner road.

Though a park has been created, no attention has been paid towards its maintenance. Swings and benches are in bad shape. Stray cattle and dogs can be seen roaming and littering the garbage all around, says Ms Chandra.

Moreover, houses have been numbered in a haphazard manner which also puts visitors into great confusion.

The members complain that the authorities have given a cold shoulder to their demands despite repeated representations.

Mr Arun Kumar Gupta, Administrator, HUDA, said problems of the residents were being solved on priority. Directions had been given to HUDA to take up the problem, he said.


City to have SOS village soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
The SOS of children’s village of India will set up an SOS Village for orphan children soon at Chandigarh.

The President of SOS of India, Padamshree J.N. Kaul, has agreed to the request of the Punjab Governor, Lieut Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who was the chief guest in the Bal Mitra Utsav function organised at the SOS Village, Rajpura, 30 km from here.

The U.T. Administrator, has agreed to provide a piece of land to SOS India for setting up their village in the periphery area of Chandigarh. Earlier speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said this concept of a village is a model concept unique in the field of childcare. Providing an alternate family and the security of a home to a child left without care is a commitment for the total care for the ‘Child in Need’.

The Governor said he was impressed by the work done by the village authorities for orphan children. 


Accident-prone spots identified in Mohali
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 13
Concerned over the rise in the road accidents in the town, the traffic police has identified at least 30 most accident-prone spots in the town. An effort would be made to position regular cops at the spots to regulate the traffic.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr GPS Bhullar, said to check the accidents the speed limits would be enforced strictly. He said Police Control Room (PCR) vehicles were being positioned along the traffic cops for regulating traffic.

However, the police officials blame a number of accidents due to faulty designs of the major road junctions. It is learnt that the traffic police had written to PUDA officials to provide slip roads and take other measures. Already PUDA has decided to widen the 30 feet-wide roads by another four feet. Apart from the PCA traffic lights, the Phase 7 and 8 traffic lights was another junction on the Chandigarh-Sohana road which had become a headache for the traffic cops. Police officials said that faulty designs and lack of planning of the roads to take on the swelling vehicular traffic had compounded the problem.

The PTL traffic lights, traffic lights of Phase 3 and 5, Franco traffic lights in Phase 2 and Kumbhra traffic lights were quoted as some of the major traffic hazards in the town by the police. A police official said though the speed limits on all the roads had been fixed, the speed radars with the traffic wing were not being used to check the speeding vehicles.


Police to have possession of body
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 13
The police will take possession of the body of a 30-year-old addict who had died at the PGI, after allegedly taking an overdose of a drug. A post-mortem examination would be conducted at the General Hospital in Phase 6 here to ascertain the cause of death.

The victim, Rajesh Kapoor, was living alone in a house in Phase 3B- 1 here after the death of his parents. After the death of the victim, the authorities at PGI had refused to hand over the body to his acquaintances on the plea that the body would be handed over either to the police or the local civic body.

A police official said the victim had been adopted by the couple and after the death of his parents, the victim sold off household items to buy his daily dose of drugs. The parents of the victim had left behind a house, a portion of which had been rented to two shopkeepers. The shopkeepers have been seeking the body to perform the last rites due to their long association with the victim’s family.

Residents of the locality did not rule the victim being given an overdose of the drug in order to grab the property in the name of his parents. The house had been resumed by PUDA due to violation of building bylaws. 


BSNL employees form association
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Engineering officers and officers of DOT/DTS, who are presently working with the BSNL and are likely to be absorbed in the BSNL in the future, have formed an association called the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Executive Association.

The following have been elected office-bearers of the association: president — Mr R.C. Khurana; circle secretary — Mr Yash Bir Walia and treasurer — Mr Pritpal Singh.



Shabad kirtan, ‘path’ organised
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 13
A programme of shabad kirtan and “path” of Shri Sukhmani Sahib was organised by the Mohali Journalist Association in memory of the Gujarat riot victims here yesterday. Bhai Balwinder Singh Rangila recited kirtan. A community kitchen was also organised.


Offer for shramdanis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
To attract more people to participate in the annual shramdan — a voluntary effort to desilt the Sukhna Lake — the Chandigarh Administration will be offering two return tickets to Singapore and back to people who will perform shramdan everyday at the lake. In case the number of shramdanis exceeds the number of tickets, a draw of lots will be conducted. The UT Administrator, will inaugurate it tomorrow.


Cash, goods worth Rs 70,000 stolen
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 13
Cash and goods worth Rs 70,000 were reportedly stolen from the Sector-16 residence of Mr Subhash Chander Chawla. The family members were away at Delhi, when the incident took place.

It is learnt that the house was broken into through the car garage. As many as 10 watches, a VCR, jewellery worth Rs 15,000 and Rs 7500 cash were stolen. This morning, the neighbours saw the locks of the house broken and lights on. They got suspicious and informed the Chawlas. The family on returning here found the house ransacked.

Three arrested: The police has arrested Joginder Singh, Vikram and Manmohan Singh on charges of stealing computers and computer accessories worth over Rs 1.5 lakh. They had stolen a computer and a CPU from a Sector -11 showroom on the night intervening March 20 and 21, 2001. A UPS, monitor, a CD Writer and a key board that had been stolen from a Sector-15 showroom, were also recovered from them.

Held for gambling: The police has arrested Madan Lal and Girdhari Lal in two separate incidents of gambling at a public place and recovered Rs 1050 from them.

Six arrested: Ratan Singh, Jasmer Singh, Balraj Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Amarjit Singh were arrested on charges of consuming alcohol at a public place.

Judicial remand: The two accused in the murder of 84-year-old Sadhu Singh of Bhagpur village near here — Mukesh and his father Ajmer Singh — have been remanded in judicial custody till May 27.


Cop injured: A head constable of the Chandigarh Police posted at a PCR vehicle, Mr Jagdish Chand, was injured after he was allegedly hit by a Maruti Zen car near the Poultry Farm chowk here on Monday. He was taken to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The car driver, Avtar Singh, was arrested and later released on bail.

Theft cases: Mr Ravi Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 34, has reported that his Tata Indica car (CH - 01 - (T) - 1404) was stolen from his residence on May 10. Battery of a bullet motor cycle, belonging to Mr Rachak Kohli, a resident of Sector 18, was reportedly stolen here on Sunday. Two cases of theft have been registered.

Racket stolen: Ms Ashu Singla, a resident of Sector 23, has complained that his two table tennis rackets were stolen from his car parked at a parking lot in Sector 17 here on Sunday. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Assaulted: Mr Jagdeep Singh Bassi, a resident of Sector 21, was injured and admitted to General Hospital, Sector 16, after he was allegedly assaulted by Sanjan Kumar, a resident of the same sector. The complainant also alleged that he was threatened by the accused. A case under Sections 325, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.


Gang busted: The police has busted a gang of burglars involved in a number thefts in the township in the past few months. At least two members of the gang have been arrested and more arrests were expected by Tuesday. Sources in the police said stolen goods, including TV sets worth Rs 2 lakh, has been recovered from them.

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