Tuesday, August 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Drained MC set to hike water charges 
BJP to oppose hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Congress and nominated members-controlled Water and Sewerage Committee of the Municipal Corporation today paved the way for a hike in water charges, reducing shallow tubewell charges almost five times.

The committee deferred the cess on sewerage. The step, however, has failed to cover the Rs 15 crore deficit on water supply head but will bring down the gap to Rs 7 crore.

The Congress half-hearted hike comes in contrast with the former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha’s assertion in the present Budget that the ‘’user has to pay.’’ The refusal to increase sewerage cess will burden the Municipal Corporation with Rs 2 crore.

The hike would be 35 paise per kilolitre for a domestic consumer using less then 15 kilolitre water while industrial and semi-industrial users will have to pay Rs 11 per kilolitre against Rs 5 paid earlier.

The drastic reduction in tubewells on shallow and deep well comes in the wake of the Central Ground Water Board’s warning of southern sectors facing water logging problem due to shallow water and the Municipal Corporation withdrawing itself from providing infrastructure for deep tubewells to save the corporation expenditure in future.

The raise is going to be put up before the Finance and Contract Committee tomorrow and in House on August 23 before the Chandigarh Administration issues a public notice for inviting objections from the people in this regard.

The raise is likely to boost revenue between 25 to 30 per cent collecting around Rs 6.5 crore through the hike and around Rs 1.5 crore as 25 per cent matching grant from the Chandigarh Administration.

The rest of the gap would be filled through transfer of savings of Rs 5 crore on streetlighting and tightening the belt on the non-plan side of expenditure, the leader of Congress in the Municipal Corporation and a Water and Sewerage Committee member Mr Subhash Chawla said.

The BJP has decided to oppose the hike terming it as “betrayal of the people’s trust who were lured by the Congress into voting by promising a no-tax regime.’’

BJP Councillor Gian Chand Gupta said the gap between the revenue and the expenditure could have been curtailed only by putting a check on theft like the BJP did in 1997-1998 by finding out 2500 illegal connections in Mani Majra.

This measure taken by the BJP helped the Corporation increase its revenue on water head from Rs 8.5 to Rs 14 crore.

Mr Chawla also indicated making a serious effort to check theft and internal saving by offering to create a special vigilance cell for the Public Health Department to bring down the losses to a minimum.

Mr Gupta said the increase was third test in eight months saying the BJP increased rates after a gap of nine years in the year 2000. The BJP’s increase was almost the double across the board while the Congress regime had devised methods to discourage the high use of water in the wake of expert reports that the deep ground water for drinking purposes was fast depleting in the city. BJP President Yashpal Mahajan also expressed similar sentiments.

The lone BJP member in the Water and Sewerage Committee, Ms Kamla Sharma, was conspicuous by her absence giving a virtual free hand to the Congress to increase the rates.

The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, expressed “dissatisfaction’’ over the increase considering an ever increasing annual loss and refusal to levy the sewerage cess.

Despite a steep hike for heavy water users, industry, institutions and government and semi-government organisations, the Congress has sought to keep its constituency of the poor and colony residents almost untouched by not effecting any or little hike for them.

The committee also proposed to offer water supply by tankers free of cost for important religious functions,

Those with two metres in lawns will also have to see a steep hike in the rate from Rs 2.5 per kilolitre to Rs 7 per kilolitre. The proposed rates are likely to be passed by the House as the Congress members and a number of nominated members are supporting the measure with only the four-member BJP-SAD group opposing it.

Mr Gupta also said rates for tubewells would benefit big operators. He lashed out against the Congress for ‘’financial mismanagement’’ saying the people were being made to pay for the theft of one section of society.

Mr Gupta said a big due stood against tubewell operators and they would be straight beneficiaries of the measure.



Notices issued to plants polluting Ghaggar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 19
The state Pollution Control Board has issued notices to various screening plants in Burj Kotian village for discharging untreated water in the river Ghaggar. This was taking its toll on the fisherine life in the of Ghaggar stream.

Officials in the Haryana State Pollution Control Board informed that they had issued notices to at least three screening plants for releasing untreated water after washing the sand in the Ghaggar. It may be noted that a report was published in the columns of this newspaper on August 10, regarding excessive pollution levels in upper stream of the Ghaggar taking its toll on the fisherine life and declining fish production .

With pollutants from the crusher zone in Burj Kotian village here and industrial effluents from the paper and sugar mills in Dera Bassi, Lalru, Patiala and Pataran being discharged callously into the river, the aquatic life — both flora and fauna — have been adversely affected. A number of residents staying in villages along the river had complained that the water coming down after village Burj Kotian was so full of mud that it was unfit even for consumption by animals.

Sources in the Fisheries department inform that there has been a rapid decline in fish production here because of pollutants from stone crushers and silt deposition in the river. Statistics show that there has been around 50 per cent decline in the fish production between Burj Kotian in Chandi Mandir and Railley village in Panchkula district.

The river upstream was once rich in Indian Major Carps , Catala, Rohu, Mrigul, Calbasu etc. Other varieties of fish like Cat Fishes, Murrels and Common Carps (an exotic fish that survives in polluted water) were also found in the river.













* Figures given are for the river stream between Burj Kotian village and Railley.



2 boys drowned in Ghaggar
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 19
In a tragic incident, two shoeshine boys drowned in the Ghaggar at Bhankharpur village this afternoon. The bodies were found stuck in the marshes under the bridge on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

Intzar (14) and Ramesh (15) were living in a slum along with their families at Saidpura village on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road. The victims went to the river bed for swimming but were caught in the marshes.

Trapped in muddy waters, the boys raised an alarm, following which some truckers tried to rescue them but failed. The boys were fished out and rushed to the Civil Hospital in Dera Bassi, where doctors declared them dead.



Senior journalist commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Abhinav NayyarChandigarh, August 19
Senior journalist and well-known photographer, Abhinav Nayyar, committed suicide by hanging himself in his home in Sector 40-A here. Abhinav had been working for a newspaper — Newstime — published from Hyderabad.

His body was found hanging from a ceiling fan this afternoon by his younger brother, Mr Gaurav Nayyar, who had gone to his house as Abhinav did not go to his mother’s place as usual in the morning. The journalist’s mother lives in Sector 39-B and it was his routine to go their for meals. As per Abhinav’s suicide note he probably committed suicide around midnight.

Last night Abhinav had dinner at his elder brother, Panjab University teacher, Dr Rana Nayyar’s house in Sector 70, SAS Nagar. He had started from there around 10.30 p.m. and was very normal, said family members. That was his last contact with his family. Dr Nayyar, who is at present on a fellowship with the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, had come home on the weekend and returned to Shimla this morning.

Abhinav, 38, had married a US-based doctor in April this year and was scheduled to leave the country shortly.

This afternoon when Mr Gaurav Nayyar reached the Sector 40-A residence of his brother along with a friend, he found the house locked from inside and no one was answering the phone. Gaurav jumped in from the neighbour’s house and broke open the door to find the body of his brother hanging from a ceiling fan. He called in the police. The police found a suicide note written in Abhinav’s handwriting on his letter pad.

Going by the note it seemed that Abhinav had planned his suicide well. He wrote a detailed suicide note in which he has not blamed either his wife or his three brothers. At the end of it he had put down the date as August 18 and the time as 12 midnight. He had been feeling low over the deteriorating conditions of the country. He was very sensitive and was easily hurt, said family members.

Abhinav had started his career as a reporter with the Indian Express and had worked in Amritsar during the peak of militancy. In the past decade he had been delivering lectures to young journalists at the PU’s Mass Communication Department.

As a photographer his work was being appreciated. In June this year he had held an exhibition at the famous Jehangir Hall, Mumbai. His several exhibitions in the city were also well-appreciated by critics.

The body has been sent for post-mortem to the General Hospital, Sector 16.



PGI nurse caught stealing paintings
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, August 19
A nurse posted in the de-addiction centre of the PGI was today allegedly caught red handed while stealing paintings from the Cardio Thoracic Unit of the centre here this morning. On being noticed by her colleagues, the nurse, Aruna Kesar, locked herself in a bathroom and started behaving in a strange manner.

In a complaint lodged by the nursing faculty of the deaddiction centre with the Sector 11 police station, it was said the nurse was caught stealing the paintings at 5 am when she was off duty. A senior PGI official said though the nurse has been under mental stress for the past some time , the fact that she was caught stealing could not be ignored. According to the information available the nurse on being caught started breaking glass panes of the bathroom and got injured in the process.

A case under Sections 380, 427 and 186 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 11 police station and she has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by the UT Judicial Magistrate ( First Class), Ms Saneeta Rai Sachdeva.

The arrest of the nurse while stealing the paintings was not an isolated case, hundreds of patients, who come here for treatment from all over the region, invariably end up losing their money as well as belongings.



Jain was involved in corruption case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
As the plot behind the alleged rape of a girl in her 20s — who was abandoned near the Sector 33 petrol pump on August 15 last — deepens, investigations by the Chandigarh Police have revealed that the CBI had raided the Sector 8 house of M.K. Jain two years ago in connection with a case of corruption registered then against a Haryana bureaucrat.

Though on record, investigations by the police were being centred on the statement given by the victim. “Since there was no second eye witness in the case, we have to rely on the statement given by the girl”, said a police official. Sources in the police said two years ago, the CBI sleuths had raided the Sector 8 house of M.K. Jain, said to be a friend of a Haryana bureaucrat, who was then Home Secretary of Chandigarh.

A private company had then met the Adviser to the UT Administrator alleging that it was being forced to part with a small percentage cut of the smart-card operation to a company called Madonna International run by M.K. Jain, the owner of Kodak Computers, who has been named by the victim in her statement before the Ilaka Magistrate. The CBI during the course of investigations had found that Jain had then travelled to London and Kathmandu along with the bureaucrat. Sources in the CBI said a raid at the Sector 8 residence of Jain, had been conducted in connection with the case of corruption registered against the bureaucrat and there was nothing against the former.

Refusing to comment on the likelihood of any connection between the case of rape and the relations between the suspect and the bureaucrat, a police official said the entire case would become clear after the arrest of the suspect. The family members of the owner of the computer centre have been repeatedly stating that he had returned home after playing golf and he had used a Zen car. If the record of entries at the Golf Club is to be believed, the suspect had gone there around the time when the crime had been committed.

Meanwhile, the police was conducting raids to arrest the suspect. However, no arrest had been made till the filing of this report. Sources in the police said the wife of the suspect had met the senior officials of Chandigarh Police and efforts were being made to facilitate his surrender.

Mr Surinder Sharma, a resident of Sector 45, who had called up the Police Control Room had said he had seen the victim being thrown out of the car and he had chased the vehicle for some distance.The police suspects that the victim had been raped somewhere in Chandigarh. The police had already verified the antecedents of the victim from the Himachal Pradesh Police. The family members of the victim reached the Sector 16 General Hospital today.



Stagnant water threatens ecosystem
Tribune News Service


  • In the southern sectors, a trough of water has been created just a few feet below the ground level.
  • This excess water is adversely affecting greening efforts in the sectors.
  • The answer is to drill deep holes in the soil which may allow seepage of water.

Chandigarh, August 19
A layer of soil, called impervious layer which does not allow water to seep down, is playing havoc with the ecosystem in southern sectors. The situation is so bad that water collected during the rains last week refuses to percolate down thus creating huge ponds two to three feet deep.

The rains stopped six days ago. This is the first time that water is not percolating down.

The condition is alarming in Sectors 47, 48, 49, 46, 45, 44, 43 and 42. In certain areas, it is a tragedy waiting to happen as a child can easily drown into these pools. These have also become a favourite place for buffaloes and other animals to wallow in.

The stagnating water is destroying plantations and threatening roads. It can also cause underground sewerage and water drainage system to collapse with sheer weight and volume of water. Water, if it does not seep in, has only one way to spread that is horizontally. This, in the long run, can have an adverse impact on the buildings in the area.

The Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mr Ishwar Singh, says this is not water-logging but a situation in which a layer of soil does not permit percolation.

An artificial trough of water just a few feet below the ground is causing the problem which can lead to a long-term ecological disaster. Dying trees were a mystery till the experts cracked the problem and linked it to excess water problem.

Now the Administration will be trying out certain varieties of trees which require more water and may grow under the circumstances. Sources, say records indicate that plantations have failed several times.

The solution is to drill holes in the impervious layer at specific points to allow the trough of water to seep down and join the real water table which is much lower than the artificial water level. This has been tried with good results in the Najafgarh and Nangloi areas of Delhi, adds Mr Ishwar Singh.

In the greening action plan for the city, it has been suggested that water acquifiers need to be planned. At present, whatever rain is received in Chandigarh, goes down into the storm water drains.



Unfair business thrives at ISBT
Ishwar C. Dhyani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Barely 150 metres from the Municipal Corporation office, shopkeepers at the ISBT, Sector 17, here are overcharging passengers for all kinds of branded beverages. Whether it is a bottle of mineral water Bisleri or popular cold drinks Pepsi or Coke, passengers have to pay more than the maximum retail price.

This correspondent was charged Rs 12 for a bottle of Pepsi.

Asked about the excess charging, the owner of a confectionary shop, adjacent to Rakesh News Agency, says this is being done as a matter of routine and does not require sanction from the administration. Another shopkeeper justifies the practice by saying that they have to pay a hefty rent of Rs 45,000. Meanwhile, the same brands of beverages are being sold at normal prices at a CITCO shop and CITCO canteen .

For women commuters who use the public toilet facility here have to shell out Rs 2 every time, despite the fact that the rate painted on the toilet walls is Re 1. On being questioned by Rajesh Devi of Maloh to explain the excessive charging, the keeper of the toilet tells her with disdain: “Go where Re 1 is being charged.”

Another traveller, Hem Lata Jain of Dehra Dun, on questioning the keeper of the toilet near the office of Mr Jashmer Singh, Station In charge, CTU, about the practice, too, gets a rude reply. The peon of Mr Jashmer Singh on the other hand advises this correspondent to write to the General Manager, CTU, or meet Bale Ram, contractor for the upkeep of these toilets.

Munna, who works for Bale Ram, says the excess rate is being charged on instructions of the contractor. Asked about charging Rs 2, Bale Ram gives a stern look and says: “We are not overcharging, instead women pay more on their own.”

Mr Surinder Dahiya, GM, CTU, declines to comment on the issue, saying that the matter pertains to the jurisdiction of the Director Transport, Dr Amarpal Singh.

However, Dr Amarpal Singh says he has received complaints from commuters and has fined the toilet contractors up to Rs 500 on a few occasions. Even shopkeepers have been fined up to Rs 800. He says the Transport Department conducts surprise raids to check the malpractice. The Weights and Measurements Department also conducts raids, he adds.



Are soldiers not human beings?

MANY eyebrows have been raised over the claim of a few Army personnel that they and their families are also human beings. Some of them have approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to report their cases.

To take only one such example, Capt Ram Niwas Sharma, whose daughter was killed in a terrorist-triggered blast while travelling from Srinagar to Jammu in an Army bus, has claimed parity with innocent victims of Gujarat violence. Incidentally, in their case, the Prime Minister had announced Rs 2 lakh each as compensation. Captain Sharma had pleaded that his daughter was targeted for the reason that she belonged to an Army family.

Former Additional Solicitor General K.T.S. Tulsi says that defence personnel cannot be denied human rights. “Merely because they are in uniform does not mean that they cease to be human”, he further quips.

In India, the general feeling is that the soldier is an expendable commodity, that is meant to be consumed in war or counter-insurgency operations. His family is also treated the same way. If this was not so, then why were the Army personnel and their families denied human rights. Many senior officers are peeved over the callous attitude of the power-that-be towards the soldiers.

Air Force wives’ health camp

All three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force have their wives welfare associations (WWAs) which look after the welfare of families and children as well as the widows. Healthcare has assumed much greater importance today than ever before, thanks to the strides made by the medical science.

While the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) headed by Mrs Madhu Mehta organised a health camp at Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, in the third week of July, Mrs A. Joseph, president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA), Chandigarh, inaugurated a month-long health camp at the Air Force Family Welfare Centre in Sector 47 on August 1.

The Air Force women are being checked at the camp for diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disorders, cancer of breast and cervix, biochemical abnormalities and dental diseases.

Besides having their own organisations, the three services WWAs also hold joint discussions on certain common problems. A few weeks ago, a tri-services WWA seminar was held at New Delhi under the aegis of Mrs Roopa Padmanabhan, Mrs Harleen Krishnaswami and Mrs Kaumudi Kumari, wives of the three service chiefs.

USI seminar

The United Service Institute (USI) of India, New Delhi, is holding a seminar on “Security challenges of India in the regional context with special reference to terrorism prognosis and responses” at Chandi Mandir on September 4, 2002. All USI members residing in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Chandi Mandir, SAS Nagar and the surrounding areas, numbering over 225, have been invited to attend the seminar.

The USI has designated a former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, Lieut-Gen Vijay Oberoi, who resides at Panchkula, as its coordinator in Chandigarh. The Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and Lieut-Gen S.S. Mehta, GOC-in-C, Western Command, have been invited to deliver inaugural and valedictory addresses, respectively, at the seminar.

The USI, established in 1870, publishes a quarterly magazine called “USI Journal”, which is India’s oldest journal on defence affairs. The USI organises a number of lectures, talks and seminars every month at New Delhi. Besides, it also runs correspondence courses for defence officers who appear in the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) entrance examination and in various promotion examinations of the Army.

Stooping beyond limit

A recent news item that a Superindendent of Police (SP) in uniform touched the feet of a former Chief Minister of Punjab in full public view at Bathinda, reminded this writer of a similar incident involving an Army officer.

This officer, a Battalion Commander, touched the feet of a Brigade Commander’s wife when she visited the unit with her husband. The only difference was that this “fauji” was donning civvies. But this does not in any way absolve him of his impropriety. Interestingly, when this officer was asked as to why he had done so, his reply was that women are “devis” and should be worshipped.

Today, a majority of us can stoop to any level to degrade ourselves, provided it gives us some personal or pecuniary benefit. Self-respect, decorum and integrity have become casualties since Independence. Though we do not get tired of blaming the British for all our ills, we fail to realise that we have thrown all the virtues, the British passed on to us, to the winds. How sad!

Pritam Bhullar



Helping aged live with dignity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
It’s a fact that the Indian society is greying. With 7.70 crore elderly people in the country already, by the year 2050 we shall have more citizens above the age of 60 than those below 30.

It is with the motto that the grey segment is a force to reckon with, that the HelpAge India is launching its “Join Hands Campaign” in Punjab and Chandigarh. The focus will be to project ageing as a positive phenomenon and assist the older people lead a life of dignity.

“This is a unique initiative that seeks to highlight various concerns attached to ageing with the help of willing servers, who want to channelise their time and energy towards a cause,” remarked Mr Joygopal Podder, Assistant Director-General, HelpAge India. He added that with over 32 crore elderly people in the country by 2050, there is urgent need to prevent the relegation of older people to the fringes of society.

It is by the end of the month that we will launch the campaign in Punjab and Chandigarh, where an amount of Rs 7 crore is being spent on the ongoing 166 projects of the HelpAge India. “We hope to enroll about 2000 volunteers under this programme from the region, which will include lawyers, CA, councillors and resource persons to help the elderly people tide over their problems,” said Mr Podder.

Mr Poddar said that another important objective behind launching this campaign was to form a pressure group to lobby for framing of important policies for the cause of the elderly people. The Join Hands Campaign is being launched all over the country, apart from setting up of help lines in all metropolitan cities and state capitals. The HelpAge India runs 51 mobile medical units in the country for providing free medical care for the elderly people living in villages and slums.

The HelpAge India, through its countrywide education programme, is not only inspiring the resurgence of old values of love and respect for the elderly but also building financial support for the projects. No doubt that the shifting trend from joint family system to nuclear family system has added to woes of the elderly people, but it is because of their economic dependence on their children that they are treated as a burden.

Statistics reveal that while old people in rural areas have been left to fend for themselves due to migration of their children to urban areas, the upper middle-class faces loneliness, as nobody has the time to talk to them. The plight of those living in villages is no better as apart from facing economic problems, they have no access to medical facilities and are not in a position to take long journeys for treatment.

The campaign which was to be launched by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), at the Lake Club today had to be postponed as he had to rush to Delhi.



Delhi police questions sentry at Sharma’s residence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 19
A team of the Delhi Crime Branch today again converged on the Sector 6 house of IG Ravi Kant Sharma, main suspect in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case.

The Delhi police team arrived at the Sharma residence in a black Tata Sumo around 10. 30 am. The team was accompanied by policemen from the Sector 6 police post. None of the family members were home at the time of the incident. The cops questioned the sentry posted outside the house and asked him if Ravi Kant was in the house.

The police was there for about 15 minutes and left after questioning the sentry regarding the whereabouts of Ravi Kant. 



Expedition participants call on Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today appreciated the efforts of Team Ocha — Ve’ Motorcycle Club for successfully completing Motorcycle Expedition-2002 that crossed world’s highest motorable passes Khardung-la (18,380 ft) Tanglang-la (17,582 ft) and Chang-la (17,350 ft).

Mr Surinder Singh, leader of the team, informed the Governor that the team left Chandigarh on July 15 and returned back on July 26 after successfully completing the expedition. One hundred and two participants from all over the country, including 16 ladies, enjoyed every bit of this expedition. He said it was a serious expedition of exploration, learning adventure and fun, crossing the Pir Panjal, Greater Himalaya, Zanskar and Ladakh ranges, visiting, amongst others en route, the high-altitude lake of Pangong Tso, which shares the international border between India and China, places along a considerable length of the Indus Valley, and, of course, reaching the top of Khardung-la, the highest motorable pass in the world.

General Jacob shared his memories of his stay in Ladakh and asked the participants to show more interest in flora and fauna of the areas they visited. The participants remained with the Governor for 25 minutes.



Museum Advisory Committee recast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
As per a recent notification of the UT Administration, the Museum Advisory Committee for advising the Chandigarh Administration in the working and development of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, has been reconstituted. The term of the committee will be one year, beginning on August 1, 2002.

The new committee, headed by Adviser to UT Administrator Neeru Nanda, will consist of 12 members, with the Director of the museum as its member secretary and Ms Poonam Khanna, assistant curator, the technical member.

The other members of the committee are Home Secretary, R.S. Gujral, Finance Secretary, Karan A. Singh, Chief Architect S.S Sandhu, the Director-General of National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi, art historian Dr B.N. Goswamy, the museologist and former professor, MS University of Baroda, Dr V.H. Bedekar, the Director General, Indian Council of Conservation Institute, Lucknow, Dr O.P. Agarwal, a former professor, Department of Fine Arts, Panjab University, Dr. D.C. Bhattacharya, a Professor, Department of Geology, Dr A.K. Sahni, a former Professor, Department of Anthropology, PU, Dr J.C. Sharma and the Chairman, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy, Mr Shiv Singh.



Police inaction alleged
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 19
A resident of Kansal village, Mr Kaula Singh, whose brother Jeet Singh was crushed to death by an unidentified tractor-trailer on the Raipur Rani-Sahzadpur road in Golapur village on August 4, alleged inaction by the Panchkula police.

Mr Kaula Singh said even after a week of the incident, the police had failed to arrest the accused, though the police personnel knew about the driver of the tractor-trailer and his address. He alleged that the police was shielding the accused.

The eyewitness, Mr Rajeev Kumar, who had informed the police about the accused too, turned hostile under the pressure of the police, alleged Mr Kaula Singh.



Panel approves 5 boosters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The Water and Sewerage Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today approved five boosters to Palsora, Kajheri and Ram Darbar for improving pressure that led to the spread of cholera.

Amongst these areas, Kajheri Colony in Sector 52 had been affected by cholera cases. One booster was approved for Palsora, two for Kajheri Colony and two for Ram Darbar. Three tubewells were approved for waterworks of Sector 26 and 32.



Clash in village, 10 arrested
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 19
The police has arrested 10 persons in connection with a clash between two groups of Kumbra village over the raising of a wall. A member of one of the groups allegedly resorted to firing in the air. The injured, Mr Surjit Singh, was admitted to the Civil Hospital here.

According to members of Mr Surjit Singh’s family, there was a 10-foot-long lane in front of their house, which the members of the other group wanted to grab. They said a case was going on in a court in this regard.

They alleged that last night Mr Gurmukh Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh came along with a large number of people to take possession of the lane. When Mr Surjit Singh tried to show them the copy of the stay orders, he was attacked.

However, members of the other group claimed that they were the owners of that stretch of lane and as such had come to raise a wall in the area. They alleged that they were attacked by Mr Surjit Singh and his son. 



Jewellery, cash worth 80,000 stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Burglars broke in to a house in Sector 22 here and decamped with jewellery and Rs 3,000 cash. The total loss has been reported at around Rs 80,000. According to the information available, the occupants of the house were away when the burglary took place. The items were kept in a room on the first floor of the house No 3808. A police party from the Sector 22 police post visited the spot. A case has been registered and the matter is being investigated.

Porno films seized: The CIA branch of the Chandigarh police today arrested owners of two cyber cafes, in Sector 15 — Kamaldeep of Cyberworld and Alok of Wahocyber — for showing porno movies to their clients.

Two injured: During the last 24 hours, two road accidents were reported from different parts of the city.

A unidentified cyclist was hit by an auto-rickshaw near Government High School, Mauli Jagran, yesterday. The auto-driver, Rajinder Singh, a resident of Ram Darbar, was arrested. The cyclist was admitted to the PGI.

In the second road accident, an ice-cream vendor, Brijesh Kumar, received minor injuries after he was reportedly hit by a Tata Sumo car yesterday near the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16. The Sumo driver sped away from the spot. A case has been registered.

Theft in shop: A shop in Sector 29 was burgled on the night of August 17. On complaint of Mr Sanjiv Kumar Paul, a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC has been registered.

Liquor seized: The police arrested Channa Ram, a resident of Dadumajra Colony, and seized 22 pouches of liquor here on Sunday. He was booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

Cheating cases: The economic offence wing of the Chandigarh police registered two cases of cheating involving an amount of over Rs 9 lakh on Monday.

According to the information, a case of cheating has been registered against Yash Pal Goyal, owner of two firms — New Durga Spun Pipes and Swaraj Concrete Udhyog — for forging documents of bank guarantee amounting to Rs 1.1 lakh. The case has been registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by Director, Supplies and Disposal, Haryana. The suspect forged two bank guarantees of Rs 55,000 each of a New Delhi-based bank, United Bank of India. Investigation by the police revealed that the bank did not exist.

In another case, the police has registered a case of cheating against a resident of Sector 19 for taking Rs 2 lakh each from four persons, Sunil Mahajan, Anurag Kaushal, Nishant Rao and Dharamvir Saggu, on the pretext of sending them to France.

PO arrested:
The SP, Mr Manoj Yadava, said here on Monday that in 1989 Sing Ram, a resident of Zaffarpur in Mullana, had absconded after being granted bail. He said on June 21, 1989, Raj Kumar, a shopkeeper, had complained that a robbery had taken place. The accused, Sing Ram, was nabbed on August 15, 1989. He said Sing Ram had not returned after being granted bail. He was arrested on August 15.

Two held for theft:
Thieves broke into a house in Harmilap Nagar colony, Bartana on Monday.

According to information, the thieves entered the house of Mr Vijay Kumar Pahwa at about 1 pm. They were noticed by Mr Pahwa and his neighbours, who overpowered Ramesh Kuma and Lucky, both residents of Sector 16 in Panchkula. They were later handed over to the police.

The police has also recovered the camera and Rs 1,000 stolen by the duo from the house. However, no case has been registered against them.

Man arrested:
The police has arrested Yashpal, a resident of Mani Majra, from the Sector 7 market on charges of speculating in lottery draws. A sum of Rs 20,255, two mobile phones, one calculator and a pager were recovered from his possession. A case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the IPC has been registered.

Case registered: Om Prakash, a resident of Batwal village, was arrested on charges of smuggling liquor in drums meant for carrying milk. He has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

The police had received secret information that Om Prakash was bringing liquor in a vehicle. However, the accused, on seeing the police ran away. Later, Om Prakash was arrested near Naggal village, while the driver fled away.

Constable injured: Constable Rulda Ram of the ITBP, Madanpur, has accused the driver of a canter (HR-58-8114) of hitting him by rash and negligent driving. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.



Suicide bid in lock-up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
A 33-year-old former employee of the Punjab Roadways, Naresh Kumar, alias Chipkali, who was arrested by the Chandigarh Police on July 20 for stealing motor cycles from different parts of the city, allegedly tried to commit suicide by banging his head against iron bars in the judicial lock-up in the District Courts here this evening.

The victim was to be produced in a court of the Judicial Magistrate (First Class) when he banged his head against the iron bars. According to information available, he was brought from the Burail Jail for further judicial remand. A case under Section 309 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 Police Station in this connection.

His modus operandi was to open locks of motor cycles with the help of a master key and remove the parts with the help of special tools before abandoning the vehicles.



SBI gears up to face competition on
 technology front
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
The State Bank of India (SBI), has planned to enter the regional banking sector in an aggressive manner to tap the untapped potential of consumer loans. Besides slashing the interest rates up to 9.50 per cent on housing loans, the bank is aiming to compete with private players on technological and customer service front as well.

This was disclosed by Mr R.K. Sinha, Chief General Manager, Chandigarh Circle, SBI, here today. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Sinha said that the bank had entered into an agreement with the Master Cards to convert all ATM cards into debit cards. The service was likely to be provided to the customers by the end of September. It would enable them to make payments in the market through ATM cards like any other credit card without paying any additional charges. They would be able to spend the amount according to their balance in bank account.

Regarding the technological upgradation, he said, ‘‘The SBI has already started tele-banking in Chandigarh. The customers will be provided ID numbers through which they can get any information about the bank accounts, besides making drafts on phone anytime. The branches have been asked to dedicate at least one telephone line for this purpose.’’ The bank has also set up 16 ATMs in the city that are linked with 110 towns in the country. Consequently, he said, the card holders would be able to withdraw their amount at any of these centres.

The bank had also launched, he said, internet banking, which provided facility of online transactions to the customers. The steps system had been introduced to facilitate the customers to transfer their money to other cities within minutes. Further, the bank was introducing ‘single window’ concept in selected branches, where customers would be able to get all facilities at a single counter. The cash modules were being computerised, he added, to speed up the transactions.

To increase the banking advances, said Mr Sinha, the SBI was focussing on personal loans. As part of that strategy, the bank was giving loans on rent from commercial property, against pensions. The personal loans were available to all employees of PSUs, reputed profit-making companies and self-employed professionals, without any security. The bank was also promoting special products services like cash management product to provide fiancial consultancy, he added.



French cheese hits market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Renowned French cheese giant Fromageries Bel has now begun to conquer the taste buds of people in Chandigarh. The easy-to-open triangular portions of The Laughing Cow is rich in calcium and vitamins and tastes delicious with toast, paranthas, rolls or mixed with salads and pastas. Or just unwrap and relish it anytime, anywhere. Pick up your favourite cheese now from any of the leading outlets in Chandigarh.

Fromageries Bel officially entered India last year by simultaneously launching its most popular brand. The Laughing Cow in Delhi and Mumbai. After an enthusiastic response from these two metros, the company ventured to other parts of North India. Recently Fromageries Bel made its foray in the South by launching The Laughing Cow in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. The product is being distributed in India through India’s leading food products distributor Rai and Sons Pvt Ltd.

Speaking on the future marketing strategy for The Laughing Cow in Chandigarh, Mr Somesh Dayal, Country Representative Fromag-aries Bel India remarked, “Of late Chandigarh has emerged as an important market with all leading international brands launching their products in the city. People here are extremely savvy, widely travelled and exposed to international brands. We, therefore, introduced The Laughing Cow in Chandigarh some time back and the enthusiastic consumer response has encouraged us to make further inroads in the city. At present The Laughing Cow is available in select A and B class outlets in Chandigarh. We will soon make the product available in more outlets in the city.


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