Friday, May 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC removes green areas in housing complex
No notice served in advance, complain residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Residents of Modern Housing Complex were caught unawares this morning when a team of the Municipal Corporation accompanied by a police contingent arrived to demolish the green areas maintained in front of their flats.

Several of the residents were not in their homes when the operation was carried out. When residents pleaded before MC staff that the hedges which they have grown were six feet away from the road and did not disrupt traffic or caused any sort of hazard, the MC staff refused to budge and said they had been told to do this thus they cannot help.

Paramveer, a resident, said they had maintained the green area on his own and the authorities had failed to do so far. Without the effort of the residents the area could have been a hub of congress grass or a garbage dumping spot.

Another resident, Vivek Kumar, said the ground floor residents were not provided with any boundary wall by the Chandigarh Housing Board and the hedges were doing the work of temporary wall only. This helped in keeping stray animals and beggars away.

Surekha, another ground floor flat owner, was of the view that without these hedges the security of the residents would be in danger. She said they had grown tress and flowers along with grass, while the MC staff just removed the hedges and also uprooted the trees. She said there was no green belt in the entire Modern Complex having population of more than 20,000.

Pritpal Singh, another resident, said why no notice in advance was served on them. He said only plea taken was that since road carpeting was to be done, that is why these hedges and other such green plants were removed.

Another resident Kavita said the MC staff also adopted pick-and-choose policy as only a few real encroachments were removed. She said surprisingly only multi-storeyed flats were picked, the duplex type houses (independent) were left.

A ground floor flat resident, Mr Manish Sinha, said why tax paying public was harassed like this for no fault of theirs. Interestingly, the municipal councilor of the area and the Deputy Mayor, Mr Balraj Singh, was not aware of any such removal of hedges.

Meanwhile, in another drive, a team of the Chandigarh Housing Board today demolished 13 houses where illegal constructions had been carried out in Palsora colony, located on the southwestern fringe of Chandigarh.

The team found that in one case the owner of a house had blocked the entry of his neighbour by extending his house onto government land. Demolishing this structure alone took about six hours. Besides this, 12 other constructions were demolished. In some cases owners had purchased adjoining houses and demolished the dividing walls.


Kidnapped boy reaches home
Narrates harrowing experience
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, May 16
Thirteen-year-old Deepak has returned after almost three years, happy to be back home with his family after a nightmare of mutilation and torture.

The younger of the two sons of a gardener, Om Parkash, he was a student of Paragon Senior Secondary School in Phase I here when he was kidnapped while on the way to the institution in September, 1999. A case in this regard was registered with the Chandigarh police.

“My son has returned. But I found it difficult to recognise him because he did not look like this when he was kidnapped on September 7. Look at his right hand. The thumb, the forefinger and the small finger have been chopped off,” said his mother, Kaushalya, sitting in her jhuggi in Adarsh Colony, located in Chandigarh territory, near Bassi cinema house in Phase II. Though she was greatly relieved that Deepak had come home, there was fear in her eyes. “Will they kidnap him again?” She asked adding that her family now was not interested in living in the colony.

Narrating his harrowing experience, Deepak, who was about 10 years old at the time of this alleged kidnapping, said today that he was walking to school and had sat down near a park on the roadside when a white vehicle which “looked like a jeep” stopped near him. A man alighted and put a handkerchief on his face and soon he lost consciousness. “When I woke up, I found myself in Amritsar sitting among beggars,” he said.

After staying for a few days in Amritsar, he was taken to Hardwar, where his head was shaved and he was made to sit on the banks of a river along with other beggars. He remembers that there were three or four men who were taking him from place to place. Two of them, he said, had scars on their faces.

Later, Deepak said, he was taken to some place in Rajasthan where he was ordered to beg for alms. He said he told his kidnappers that he would not do so. They gave him some injection on the thigh and soon he lost consciousness.

Deepak said when he regained consciousness he found himself lying on sand with a bleeding hand. His thumb and two fingers of the right hand, he said, were missing.

He was spotted by a man who was coming back from Ajmer, along with his family, after paying obeisance at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, who took him home. Later he came to know that the good Samaritan was a doctor living in Jaipur. The doctor treated him for about a year and even undertook surgery on his hand. Deepak showed his scarred thigh from which, he said, the doctor had taken skin for grafting on the hand.

Deepak said he did not remember the name of the doctor who was very helpful to him. He said for more than a year he underwent treatment and when he became all right he started looking after the two small kids of the doctor. Now the doctor, said Deepak, had been transferred to Mumbai and wanted to take Deepak along. But when he said that he wanted to go back to his parents in Chandigarh, the doctor arranged for a train ticket till New Delhi, made him sit in the train and also gave him Rs 500 which he might need on the way.

Deepak said on reaching New Delhi he boarded a train to Ambala with the help of a coolie. From Ambala he came to Chandigarh by bus and then boarded a local bus for SAS Nagar. On alighting from the local bus he was not able to locate his colony as a lot of construction had taken place in the area. But finally he was spotted by a man who worked as a barber in the colony. He took Deepak to his home. He had reached here on May 13.

His dazed mother recognised him only when she saw the word Om on his right hand which had been tattooed years ago. She said her son had been very intelligent and had never failed till the time he studied. But now he was physically handicapped and it would be difficult for him to earn a living.


Merger of commercial sites allowed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The Chandigarh Administration while effecting yet another change in building bylaws today allowed the amalgamation of two or more adjoining commercial or industrial sites.

The amalgamation of more adjoining sites have been allowed subject to the condition that the revised building plans are approved by the competent authority. The UT Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd) today approved these amendments to the rules framed under the Capital of Punjab (Development & Regulation) Act,1952. A notification in this regard was also issued today.

With respect to the amalgamation of buildings it has been clarified that a sub-division of a site or building shall be permissible only in accordance with the Chandigarh Apartment Rules 2001.

The above provisions have been made in both the Chandigarh Leasehold of Sites and Buildings Rules, 1973, and the Chandigarh Sale of Sites and Buildings Rules, 1960. The latter being for free hold properties.

In the new rules, the schedule of trades namely New General Trade and New Special Trade has been expanded and clarified. Many modern trades and businesses which didn’t find mention in the schedule have now been specifically mentioned. These trades include banks, financial services, call centres, telephone centres (PCOs), lodging houses, fitness centres, indoor gymnasiums, entertainment centres, video game parlours, computer training centres, academic coaching centres, photocopying, computer services, software services, consulting services, medical laboratories, diagnostic centres etc. The expanded list of new general trade will provide greater clarity and reduce legal disputes as regards the trades that can be carried on in commercial premises in Chandigarh. An exhaustive list of about 107 categories has been formed. The new special trade category will include atta chakki, cotton carding, scooter car repair, tent utensil hire services, meat fish, halwai shops and dhabas, kabari and automobile spare parts.


Air pollution fails to move board
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 16
Even as unpleasant odour from industrial units in the town is playing havoc with lives of people living here, the Punjab Pollution Control Board seems to be sleeping over the matter.

As the wind direction here mostly persists from north to south, the unpleasant odour from the factories located on the north-west rim spreads towards the residential areas. Residents alleged that though some of the units had installed pollution-control measures, these were not put to use many times as their running cost was high — a fact denied by managements of industrial units. Complaints of choking odour from burning of rubber were also being received..

Mr Albel Singh Shyan of the Citizens Welfare Council complained that the pungent smell was more dominant during the night hours. The issue was taken up at the meeting of the representatives of the Citizen Welfare Association, residents of Mohali village and the Executive Engineer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board here. Enquiries revealed that a number of rubber-manufacturing units, a foundary unit and an agro-chemical-manufacturing unit were causing air pollution. After getting pollution-control equipment installed at the Ranbaxy, the Punjab Pollution Control Board was not doing anything on the issue, lamented the residents.

Meanwhile, the Executive Engineer of the Pollution Control Board, Mr R.K. Gupta, said that he had not received any complaint from the residents. He said the air quality monitored last month was found to the within the safe limits.


Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, May 16
A resident of Solan district in Himachal Pradesh committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance after his wife refused to accompany him to her in-laws house today morning.

Sources said Gurwinder Singh had come on Wednesday to his in-laws in Issapur village, about 1 km from here, to take his wife, Ms Harprit Kaur, along to his native place. The couple had got married about two years ago.


HUDA to change water pipes for better supply
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 16
Is water problem in most sectors of the township deliberately created in order to sustain a weak water supply network? Is the water pressure being reduced at the heads of waterworks before being pumped into the water supply network comprising PVC pipes ?

In this sweltering heat, the residents here are allegedly paying for a mistake they did not make. With a weak water supply network, comprising high density poly vinyl chloride (PVC ) water pipes in Sectors 9, 11, 12-A, 15, 16, 17, Industrial Area I and II, and parts of Sectors 6, 7 and 8, the residents here have been dealing with a low water pressure problem during summers for the past several years.

Most of the houses in these sectors have not been receiving water supply on the first and second storeys because of a low water pressure. Though HUDA officials maintain that the supply this year is almost 22 million gallons a day (MGD), most sectors have been facing water shortage. It is learnt that the average requirement of water in the township is 17 MGD, but it increases to almost double during the peak summer months.

Sources inform that the low cost of high density PVC water pipes was the primary consideration for the Public Health Department, which reportedly compromised on quality and recommended these pipes to Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA ) in the late 70s and early 80s. Over the years, this PVC water supply system in most sectors has failed.

Realising the mistake, HUDA has now decided to change these water pipes in a phased manner with the stronger AC pipes. Senior officials agree that the PVC pipes cannot withstand high water pressure and the joints snap or pipes burst with high water pressure. Sources inform that even now pipes bursts in Sector 12-A, where the PVC pipes have not been replaced. Sectors 15, 11 and 9 are quite common.

While the PVC pipes in Sector 14, which is an institutional sector here, and problem of pipe burst because of high water pressure being a regular feature, were replaced two years ago, 1750 metres of PVC pipeline in Sector 12-A was replaced last year.

This year the authorities are replacing the PVC pipeline in Sector 9, another problem area where pipe bursts have become common. Almost 1000 metres of pipeline in Industrial Area Phase I and II are also being replaced this year.

With the water requirement increasing by almost double during the summer months, the officials in the Haryana Urban Development Authority ( HUDA) maintain that the water pressure, even at the head of the water supply system, was low. As a result, water released into the pipeline is at a low pressure, they maintain. However, it is alleged that with the bursting of these PVC water pipes being a rule rather than exception, whenever the water pressure is high, the pressure is sometimes deliberately reduced in order to avoid pipe bursts. The HUDA officials, however, deny this and maintain that with the water table going down, water pressure is low in summers.


Accommodation woes of cops
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 16
Punjab police personnel posted in this town and its peripheral areas are the ‘worst’ sufferers when it comes to seeking government accommodation. In spite of sufficient staff quarters, at least 40 per cent of the local force is without accommodation.

It is learnt that the issue is being taken up by the district police administration. Sources in the police say though there are at least 144 staff quarters for non-gazetted police personnel in the town, a major share of accommodation is with “advantaged” personnel attached with senior police personnel at Chandigarh. Some have been allotted accommodation on compassionate grounds.

On a condition of anonymity, a police personnel admitted that the problem of housing was certainly there. At least four quarters were in possession of gunmen and drivers, attached with three police officials of the rank of Inspector General of Police (IG). A number of employees posted in the Punjab Police headquarters had got quarters allotted in their name. Only 40 quarters had been allotted to the cops posted in Ropar district.

Enquiries reveal that around 120 quarters were constructed on the Phase 8 police station complex in early nineties and a number of these were allotted to non-gazetted police personnel posted at the Punjab Police headquarters and at other offices of the Police Department in Chandigarh.

Investigations reveal that at least 90 of such flats are still in possession of the original allottees. Some PAP personnel posted in other parts of the state are also in possession of flats. At least two quarters have been given to the CID wing of the local police and one flat is in possession of officials of the vigilance wing.

Affected cops say that the house rent allowance (HRA) which they are entitled to is much less than the rent of similar accommodations available in the town. So either they hire cheap accommodations in rural areas adjoining the town or leave their family at their native place, anticipating frequent transfers. Interestingly, of the 24 flats in the housing complex of Phase 1 police station, at least 14 stand allotted to personnel posted at Chandigarh. Only a few quarters have so far been allotted to cops posted in the town and other parts of Ropar district.

Even the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), the Station House Officer (SHOs) of Phase 1 and Phase 8 do not have official accommodation. Officials say the department had fixed a quota of flats for the police personnel posted at Chandigarh due to shortage of residential accommodation there.


Now clocks will guide motorists at traffic lights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Following a private concern offering to install clocks at all traffic light points in the city, the local police has reportedly given the go-ahead for the project. The firm, Wipro, will install the clocks free of cost.

According to police sources, the clocks will tell drivers at the traffic lights on the time remaining for the light to change. For example, as soon as the light turns red, the clock will start a countdown, giving the time (in seconds) remaining for the light to turn green, a police official said. Similarly, when the traffic light is green, the clock will show the time remaining for the light to change to red.

There are a total of 27 traffic light points in the city, with four traffic light poles at each point. Clocks will be installed on each light pole, making it a total of 108 clocks to be installed. The sources say the firm has agreed not to charge anything from the police in return for permission to display sponsorship.

The sources say a large number of drivers stopping at traffic lights seem to be in a hurry and begin inching forward while the light is still red. The clock will give them an idea when the light is about to change so that they stay put in the meantime.

Police officers add that as the clock will indicate the time for the light to change, drivers can switch off the engines if the time frame is more. This way they will also be able to save fuel and reduce emissions at light points.

Similarly, the driver of a vehicle approaching the traffic point while the signal is green will be able to judge from a distance whether he will be able to cross the point before the light turns red. The general tendency among drivers is to speed up while approaching a green light in order to avoid stopping. This practices, police officers say, is detrimental to road safety.


Stress on providing unadulterated food
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
A seminar on “Food Adulteration Act 1954’’ was organised by the Food Craft Institute, Sector 42, in association with HAFED, here on Tuesday.

The presentation was given by My Pankaj Hiraji, a lawyer specialising in food laws. He covered various aspects of the Act, including colours that are prohibited, the packaging, licencing and other legal points.

The UT Director, Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, while delivering his address, clarified doubts raised during the session and stressed upon the need to supply pure and unadulterated food to the people. He emphasised that food sellers must have a responsible attitude towards providing standard food products to the general public.

In his welcome address, the Principal, Mr Alok Shivapuri, emphasised the need for such platforms where important issues Act could be discussed.

The Sales Manager, Mr CL Garg, gave a brief presentation on his organisation and its products.

The owner of Hot Millions, Col A.B. Singh (retd), donated Rs 10,000 to deserving students in the form of scholarships on behalf of the National Restaurant Association of India.


Heatwave claims 17 lives in northern region

Chandigarh, May 16
The current spell of heatwave sweeping the northern region has so far claimed 17 lives in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The heatwave conditions were back at most places after a temporary respite provided by duststorm and showers during the past 48 hours.

A report from Hisar, quoting hospital sources, said that heatwave had claimed the life of a 50-year-old. The body of the beggar, who had not yet been identified, was found in the Char Marla colony of the district yesterday. Doctors at the Civil Hospital confirmed that he had succumbed to a sunstroke.

With this, the present spell of heatwave has so far claimed 13 lives in Punjab, including that at Amritsar, Malkerkotla and Jalandhar. One person succumbed to the heatstroke at Chandigarh and three have fallen prey to it in Haryana. PTI


Youngest Mohan Veena player at 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
He was three when he made his entry into the Limca Book of Records. His accomplishment then was his prowess to identify 40 Indian classical ragas. Just after year, Satvik Bhatt, the little grandson of the legendary Grammy award winner, Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, has again entered the same record book. This time for being the youngest player of Mohan Veena in the world and also for being able to identify 55 ragas and 12 rhythmic circles.

Satvik, who grew under the close guidance of his grandfather, Pt Bhatt, and his father, Salil V. Bhatt, began learning the nuances of music when he was just one-year-and six-month-old. After his mother, Preeti Bhatt, discovered his talent, Satvik’s interest in music was nurtured by his family. Though music comes to him as part of heritage, his achievements remained commendable right from the beginning.

At a tender age, he can recognise the distinction between ragas having almost identical notes like puria dhanashri, basant, poorvi and shree. With many live concerts already to his credit, the little one’s last stage appearance was on January 31 this year when he adorned the stage with his grandfather Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on the occasion of the inauguration of the Urological Society of India conference in Jaipur. Satvik regularly features on prime television channels of the country.


Excise Dept to hold camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The UT Excise and Taxation Department will organise a two-day camp for receiving applications under the Deemed Assessment Scheme for sales tax assesses at the Satsang Bhavan, Grain Market, Sector 26. The camp will begin on May 24.

The camp will be organised with the assistance of the Grain Market Dealers’ Association. In the last camp held on May 10 and May 11 in the Industrial Area, Phase II, Chandigarh, about 350 applications were received and about Rs 20 lakh were collected fee. Out of these, 100 applications were decided on the spot, a spokesperson of the Administration said.


Dirty water, stench trouble residents
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 16
A drain water pipe from Mani Majra town which opens on the road along the Modern Housing Complex (Category IV flats) has become a cause of nuisance for the flat owners. Dirty water flowing from the pipe and the foul smell emanating from it is affecting at least 96 flat owners.

Mr Pawan Kumar, a resident, complained that the pipe opens on the main road and residents of the area have to pass through dirty water everyday. Ms Sarita Garg, another resident said, ‘‘Many a time school uniform of children gets spoiled because of splash of dirty water which flows like a rivulet’’.

Foul smell emanating from sewer water becomes unbearable during night hours. ‘‘The smell enters our rooms when we switch on coolers’’, complained Mr Vishvas Katyal.


Protest by SBP officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
On a call given by officers and employees’ associations of the State Bank of Patiala, the All-India State Bank of Patiala Officers Association held a demonstration in front of the bank’s head office here today.

Mr N.K. Gaur, general secretary of the federation, condemning the policy of computerisation being adopted by the bank said the management was violating industry wise agreement and its decision to computerise 200 more branches would render a large number of employees as jobless.

He also alleged that the management was not paying allowances to the employees who worked till late hours. “The security arrangements and number of peons at many branches are insufficient.” he said.

Union members also alleged that the management was allocating unrealistic budgets to the branches.


MC suffers loss
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 16
The local municipal committee had to suffer a loss of thousands of rupees today as hundreds of streetlights remained on throughout the day. No one turned up to switch off the streetlights because of the strike of employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board.


Mohali resident held for computer thefts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
CIA staff of the local police today arrested a resident of Mohali, Amit Thakur, for his alleged involvement in stealing computers and computer parts. The police has recovered a computer from his possession.

Earlier the Panchkula police arrested a resident of Patiala, Joginder Singh, on May 13 along with two others for stealing computer parts. Goods worth Rs 2 lakh were recovered from their possession. The Chandigarh police has brought Joginder on transit remand here and on the basis of his interrogation, Amit was arrested from Chandigarh. The police is also searching for a resident of Hardwar, Deepak, for his reported involvement. Both Joginder and Deepak are computer mechanics.

One arrested

A resident of Burail, Mohan, was arrested by a liquor shop owner after he tried to rob the shop in Sector 45. According to the police,Mohan stole Rs 300 from the cash box at the shop, but was caught when the shop owner, Balraj Kumar, chased him. The accused was handed over to the police. A case has been registered against him.

Case registered

A resident of Kajheri, Ramesh Shah, has been arrested for trying to outrage the modesty of a resident of the same colony while her husband was away. A case under Sections 354 and 509 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

Rickshaw-puller booked

A resident of Rohru, Rajesh Kumar, was arrested by the police for plying his rickshaw on the wrong side of the road near the Sector 17 ISBT. He has been booked for causing danger and obstructing public way.

Car stolen

Sector 38-West resident O. P. Bhardwaj has reported that his Maruti car (CHK-4000) has been stolen from Sector 34. A case has been registered.

House burgled

Mauli Jagran resident Sandeep Jassal has reported that his house was broken into and a colour TV, ceiling fan and Rs 22 in cash have been stolen. The Police has registered a case.


Liquor seized

The police has arrested Pitambur from Dhaluwal village and seized 30 pouches of liquor from him.

Vehicle Stolen

A truck driver, Balkar Singh, along with a cleaner, are reported to have stolen a truck loaded with wheat from Bataur village in Chandi Mandir area. A case has been registered.


High-calling BSNL subscribers to get sops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Haryana circle, will come out with special offer for its high-calling subscribers on World Telecommunications Day.

The subscribers making more than 5,000 metered calls per month will be given free phone besides facilities of call transfer, abbreviated dialing, caller’s line identification presentation (CLIP) and dynamic lock resetting.

They will also be given free consultancy for telecom solutions. Transfer of telephone ownership to blood relation of such subscribers will be done without any transfer charges.

Apart from this, in case a subscriber books 10 or more additional telephone connections at a time, he will be given ‘Tatkal’ priority for new connections, according to a press note.



CELLULAR SERVICES: Mr Rajan Bharti Mittal, Joint Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises, inaugurated new Airtel Connect for Airtel customers at Mani Majra on Thursday. Airtel Connect is a one-stop shop which will offer entire range of cellular services from registering new customers to after-sales service support. It also offered roaming activation, instant activation of mobile connections, bill payments, STD/ISD activation, instant solution to customer queries and also a wide range of handsets, stated a company release. TNS

FORMALS LAUNCHED: Bay Island cottons, a shirt and trousers brand from Arvind Brands Limited, has launched relaxed formals for young executives. The company has also launched “The Pacific Collection” range of semi-formal shirts priced between Rs 549 and Rs 699. TNS

INSURANCE PLAN: Thomas Cook Insurance Services launched Travel Care, an overseas travel insurance plan on Thursday. Travel Care will be underwritten by the Tata AIG General Insurance Company for which Thomas Cook is the licensed corporate agent. TNS

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |