Thursday, September 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT Admn’s free hand to PU on students’ poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Panjab University today remained undecided over the fate of elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council.

Due to various administrative reasons, no decision could be arrived at a special meeting convened by the university today following a communication in this regard from the UT Administration.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor.

According to sources various inter-related issues concerning the university academics and the student politics led to a long debate. More discussions are likely to be held tomorrow. The likely to be conducted house examination, supplementary examination and student leaders of Panjab University Student Union and the Students Orgnisation of Panjab University, in jail are the main issues under deliberation.

Reliable sources said the university is likely to call over Principals of local colleges before taking a final decision in this regard. Earlier, during the day Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob, Governor of Punjab, in a meeting with Prof Pathak and Mr R.S. Gujral, the Home Secretary, reviewed the arrangements for students elections in the university.

It was decided in the meeting that the university authorities were free to take any decision regarding holding of and mode of elections- whether direct or indirect.

The UT Administration has assured the university to make all necessary law and order arrangements for the conduct of elections, an official press note issued by the Administration said.

Sources said no tentative date for elections had been given to the colleges though elections to the colleges are likely to be held a day before they close for the autumn break, in October.

Earlier, at a meeting of principals of city colleges chaired by Mr Gujral, the proposal of holding elections in colleges had few takers. They opposed the holding of elections in colleges which were entitled to students’ associations instead of a students’ council on grounds that elections were not being held in colleges of Punjab.

However, they recommended that if elections were to be held in city colleges, the same yardstick ougth to be applied to colleges of Punjab. They expressed reservations on holding of direct elections in colleges and suggested that the elections be indirect, through class representatives.

Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has “warned” the university authorities against holding indirect elections. The Secretary, Saurabh Joshi, said the students would launch an agitation to counter any such move by the authorities. 



Day 2: kayak remains untraced
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 18
The mystery regarding the disappearance of ace kayak Ravi Ankit has deepened, as even after two days of search by divers in the Sukhna Lake, the CRPF cop could not be traced. Even the oar, which the kayak was supposed to be using, remains missing.

Mr Balbir Singh, father of Ravi, said he could not believe that his son, who was a ‘first-rated’ swimmer, could drown in the lake. He is camping at the lake and was seen asking the divers time and again “if Ravi has drowned when will the body come to the surface on its own”. When asked if he suspected any foul play, Mr Balbir replied in negative and said “Ravi had no enemies”.

Six army divers began their search for the body for the second day this morning, which was called off in the evening. According to the divers, they had checked the lake bed in the area where Ravi is suspected to have drowned. They further added that if the body was in water, it would surface by late evening or by early morning tomorrow. They also informed that there were pits in the lake bed but not slush.

The divers were facing problem in their search operations as other persons who were practising along with Ravi could not exactly pinpoint area in the lake, where they had seen Ravi or his boat last.

It may be recalled that Ravi Ankit went missing under mysterious circumstances while practising in the muddy waters of the lake at 6 am yesterday. The authorities here used the services of local divers and Army commandos of the Nahan-based First Para Commando battalion to trace the 19-year-old kayak.



IAF objects to motor market
Tribune News Service

Fact File

  • In the past one year a motor market and four liquor shops have come up right under the landing funnel of airport.
  • The Ludhiana rail link passes right under the same area.
  • The number of birds has gone up due to eatables left behind at the vends.
  • A bird hit for an aircraft can be fatal.
  • Gas welding by mechanics causes glares for pilots.

Chandigarh, September 18
Is the landing and take off from the Indian Air Force base a safe proposition? No, if one goes by the changes which have occurred around the air base in the past one year or so.

A motor market in Sector 48-C located just adjacent to the air base can cause danger to aircraft and in turn several hundred residents living in Sectors 48, 49, Phase X and XI of SAS Nagar.

The market is located right under the landing funnel of aircraft used by jet fighters, commercial airliners and also the transport planes of the Indian Air Force. The funnel is the demarcated air space used by aircraft to land at an airport and it needs to be clear of any obstructions.

Motor mechanics have been using gas-welding sets which is resulting into a glare for pilots coming in for landings from the Phase IX and Phase X side. The Chandigarh Administration says the market is more than 900 metres away from the fence of the air base and is thus within rules.

For the IAF, the market is a cause of worry. Along with the market about four liquor vends have mushroomed which are in the area of Chandigarh as well as Punjab. The vends keep on their lights on late at night thus causing confusion in the minds of pilots. Why the vends were permitted is mystery? Actually the border is not demarcated in Punjab and allowed two vends and two have been allowed by the UT within a radius of no more 100 feet. All four vends are right below the funnel.

Tipplers leave the place littered with eatables and leftovers and this includes half eaten portions of non vegetarian food. This is an invitation for birds and is serious as a bird hit at the time of landing or take off can be of serious consequences.

Besides this, the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link passes right under the funnel. Once this is complete it will also have electrification and poles. This being top development work of the region it cannot be stopped, however, what stops the Administration or the Punjab Government from removing liquor vends , their light and eateries. And why cannot the gas welding sets be done away with.



No cut in exchange programmes: Harrison
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
“There has been no cut in exchange programmes for Indian professionals going to the USA” says Dr Marjorie R. Harrison, Exchange Officer of the US Embassy in India, maintaining that the number has “rather gone up”.

“A team of 15 journalists from vernacular media were specially sent to the USA for the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorists attack in the USA. The team which includes Assamese, Orriya, Hindi, Malyalee, Marathi and Telugu journalists, is expected back on September 22.”

“Besides New York, they would also visit Oklahoma city which witnessed terrorist bombing some years ago. The purpose of their visit was to see how the incidents of terrorist violence are handled in the USA,” said Dr Harrison.

“Not only that, we also sent a special team of seven agriculturists and agro-economists to the USA this year,” she said, admitting that following the escalation of tension on the Indo-Pak border, the US Government had pulled out its staff from the embassy in New Delhi. “But we all came back by the end of July,” she added.

It was during this brief period that visits of US experts to India were somewhat curtailed. At no stage visits of Indians to the USA under the exchange programme were affected, she added.

Every year, the embassy sends between 100 and 110 professionals from various streams to the USA for three to six weeks exchange programme.

“We take journalists, academicians, politicians and even technocrats. The biggestr chunk, about 50 per cent, is journalists.” “The beneficiaries from our exchange programme worldwide include 161 Heads of State, including Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Mr Tony Blair, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Mr Willy Brandt, Mr Omar Abdullah and Mr Parkash Singh Badal,” said Dr Harrison.

The people sent under the exchange programme are “selected” by the embassy on the basis of the recommendations made by the staff by visiting and interacting with “upcoming professionals aspiring to rise higher.” The shortlisting is done by the exchange programme staff by voting before the recommendations go to the USA for approval.

“Since the Government of India does not clear all-India civil service officers, they are not included in the exchange programme. They have other programmes through which they can go to the USA for higher studies. The basic criteria for choosing people is that they should be below 45 and should not have visited the US before,” Dr Harrison said.

Though she has been in India for almost two years now, it was her first visit to the city. “Chandigarh is a beautiful and planned city. There is an orderliness in this planned city,” she said commending its wide open roads and green spaces. She was all praise for Rock Garden.

Before coming to Chandigarh, she, accompanied by two of her colleagues — Mr J.P. Das and Ms Ranjana Bhatnagar — was in Amritsar where GND University impressed her much. She interacted with faculty members and students of the university.

In Chandigarh, she spent the first half of the day with students of Panjab University.

During lunch she interacted with some Fullbright and Humphry alumni, including Dr Sharda Kaushik, Ms Kusumjit Sidhu, Ms Vini Mahajan, Mr Dinkar Gupta and Mr Ranjan Lakhanpal, besides Mr R.S. Gujral, Home Secretary of Chandigarh.



No surprise in BJP appointment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The appointment of Mr Yash Pal Mahajan as the President of the Chandigarh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party a couple of days ago has not come as a surprise to either the party cadres or observers of the political scene in the Union Territory.

Mr Mahajan had been working as the convener of the 16-member ad hoc committee of the local unit of the BJP ever since it suffered a humiliating defeat in the election to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in December last year. Everyone expected the BJP high command to hand over to him the reins of the party after a certain cooling off period.

A devoted and dedicated party leader of long standing, Mr Mahajan does not belong to any of the various groups which infest the local unit. As a matter of fact, he has a following of his own and commands the respect and loyalty of the average party worker.

Incidentally, Mr Mahajan himself does not harbour any political ambitions. He has already declared that he is not a candidate for the party ticket for either the Lok Sabha seat on the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

PGI charges: The PGI authorities have proposed a substantial hike in the hospital charges for various tests performed in the institute. The proposals will come up for discussion at the meeting of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC), which is scheduled to meet on September, 28.

Though, the PGI authorities have claimed that the proposed charges would still remain patient friendly, but a majority of the people coming from the entire northern region can barely afford treatment.

It is the five-member Hospital Charges Committee, headed by the Director, Dr S.K. Sharma, which had on June 15 this year recommended the increase in charges for tests in the Departments of Radiodiagnosis, Gastroenterology and Neurology.

It was way back on October 10, 1995, that the existing hospital charges had come into effect.

Research: All research being carried out by various research institutes in the region will benefit from a move of the Chandigarh Administration.

The administration aims to bring about synergy in the research of these institutes so that a coherent approach could be adopted by the Administration to facilitate new bio-technology units in Chandigarh which would be able to utilise the research of these institutes.

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (retd) today held an interaction with the members of the facilitation and technology committees constituted recently by the Chandigarh Administration to finalise the basic concept of the bio-technology policy.



IT Dept, senior citizens join hands to raise taxes
Tribune News Service

PAN in Chandigarh

In a move aimed at bringing relief to tax payers in the city, the Permanent Account Numbers (PAN) would now be issued by the Chandigarh Income Tax Office itself. Till now these were issued from Patiala.

While the office of the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Range- II has already started issuing PAN from Chandigarh in respect of assessees falling within its jurisdiction. Range I and III would start issuing PAN by next week. 

Chandigarh, September 18
The Department of Income Tax here has decided to experiment a noble exercise to create awareness among the potential assessees about the voluntary tax compliance of filing correct income tax returns. According to the plan, the Income Tax Department and the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association ( CSCA) would hold awareness programmes in the schools and colleges to create consciousness among them about the tax laws.

As part of that programme, said Mr Ashwani Luthra, Income Tax Commissioner- I, an inter-college debate on ‘Income Tax must for Welfare State’ would be held at DAV College, Sector 10, on September 27, in which about ten teams from colleges would participate. He was addressing a press conference at DAV College today.

He disclosed that the income tax collections had increased from about Rs 9,900 crore in 1990 to over Rs 66,000 crore by 2002. The government was collecting about the same amount of income tax as that of Central excise, the major source of Centre’s revenue. The change had become possible due to simplification of tax laws and increasing awareness among the public to pay taxes.

He said. ‘‘It was a matter of pride for all of us that the Chandigarh has the highest percentage of income tax assessees, about 22 per cent of the total population, in the country. It is our duty to create awareness among the youth about the role of income tax and its importance in the welfare of country.’’

Appreciating the efforts of the IT Department, Brigadier Kesav Chandra (retd), president of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, said, ‘‘Unlike other associations of retired persons, our association has decided to create awareness among youth about their responsibility towards country. A running trophy, named Principal Triloki Nath Running Trophy, is being introduced in collaboration with the DAV College, that would be given to the winner of the inter-college debate, to be held every year on the Senior Citizen’s day, October 1.’’

Major General M.S. Kandal (retd), Chairman of the senior Citizens’ Day Organising Committee, hailed the decision of DPI, Schools, to celebrate the Senior Citizens’ Day every year. He claimed that their organisation was also holding medical camps for slum dwellers from time to time. Mr Luthra appreciated the efforts of the association to create awareness among youth. 



Application format blues for job applicant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Procedures of the government can be irritating and stifling. A resident of SAS Nagar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, is at the receiving end due to official red tape.

His application for a job hangs in balance as the certificate declaring him to be belonging to backward class is not on the format as prescribed by the prospective employer, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The certificate was to be issued by the Tehsildar of SAS Nagar.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh was told by the CPWD to get the certificate made on the prescribed format. The CPWD wanted the application in single-style format. Candidates from places like Jagraon, Gurdaspur and even nearby Kharar have been issued certificates of the OBC or BC by their respective Tehsildars on the format desired by the CPWD.

The office at SAS Nagar refuses to accept the demands of the CPWD and the format will be the one laid down by the Punjab Government, says an agitated Mr Surinder Pal Singh. To be fair, the Tehsildar at SAS Nagar has issued a certificate on the format of the Punjab Government.

The CPWD wants the Tehsildar to write down the details and date of the notification under which the said caste was declared a backward tribe or OBC. The Punjab Government format says nothing in this regard. Going by this logic, says Mr Singh, when tehsildars of other subdivisions have been given detailed certificates desired by the CPWD, why cannot I get one? The last date to submit the certificate is Friday and the Singh household is tense. They do not know what to do. Mr Singh said attempts to meet the SDM at SAS Nagar have not yielded any results.



Biotechnology research to get boost
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today held an interaction with members of facilitation and technology committees constituted recently by the Chandigarh Administration to finalise the basic concept of biotechnology policy.

General Jacob said presently research institutes are working in isolation, having their separate arrangements. Various institutes located in Chandigarh are doing a great deal of research in different fields of biotechnology and the basic purpose of formulating the biotechnology policy of the Administration was to ensure that gains made by the scientists in the field of research are utilised by manufacturing units.

He said presently the Central Scientific Instrument Organisation (CSIO), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Indian Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Panjab University, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and Government Medical College and Hospital Chandigarh are doing pioneering research in various fields of biotechnology. He said these committees have been constituted to identify the areas where Administration can help these institutes.

General Jacob asked the Secretary, Science and Technology, to have a meeting with various biotechnology units in and around Chandigarh to identify the areas where the Administration could help them.

He said according to a preliminary survey, the Administration could help in constructing a biotechnology incubation centre, including a state-of the art P-3 laboratory, to provide common laboratory for research in biotechnology to various research institutes and biotechnology units on a payment basis. The government of India would be requested to provide financial assistance.

The Administration was in touch with various biotechnology units in the UK and other countries who have evinced interest in setting up their manufacturing base in Chandigarh. He said the basic purpose of this exercise was to have a synergy between R& D and manufacturing process, and to get maximum benefit from it.

The committee would liaise with various departments of the Central Government to arrange funding for research and development facilities. It would also liaise with various private units to arrange funding for research and development on project basis.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting included Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, Finance Secretary, Mr. Karan A. Singh, Prof S.B.S. Mann, Director Government Medical College and Hospital, Dr Lalit Bhardwaj of the CSIO, Professor Ravinder Jolly of IMTECH, Professor Uttam Banerjee of NIPER, Professor Rupinder Tiwari of Panjab University and Dr Khullar of the Biochemistry Department of the PGIMER.



‘I will rejuvenate BJP and make it fighting fit’
Tribune News Service

Yash Pal MahajanChandigarh, September 18
The appointment of Mr Yash Pal Mahajan as the president of the Chandigarh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party a couple of days ago has not come as a surprise to either the party cadres or observers of the political scene in the Union Territory.

Mr Mahajan had been working as the convener of the 16-member ad hoc committee of the local unit of the BJP ever since it suffered a humiliating defeat in the election to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in December last year. Everyone expected the BJP High Command to hand over to him the reins of the party after a certain cooling-off period. A devoted and dedicated party leader of a long standing, Mr Mahajan does not belong to any of the various groups which infest the local unit. As a matter of fact, he has a following of his own and commands the respect and loyalty of the average party worker.

Incidentally, Mr Mahajan himself does not harbour any political ambitions. He has already declared that he is not a candidate for the party ticket for either the Lok Sabha seat of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Internecine political warfare in the party saw the BJP’s strength dwindle from 13 seats in the previous House to just three in the new one. So intense was the groupism in the party that it led to the election of a Congressman as Mayor of Chandigarh towards the fag-end of the five-year term of the previous House. The same political infighting ensured the loss of the local parliamentary seat to the Congress party whose leader, Mr Pawan Bansal, made it to New Delhi relatively easily three years ago.

The defeat has had a sobering effect on the party’s rank and file who feel that it is time to sink their differences and start working. In an interaction with TNS, Mr Mahajan was candid enough to admit that constant infighting had seriously undermined the image of the party and led to the electoral debacle in the last poll. It is his job now to rebuild and rejuvenate the party to ensure that in the next parliamentary poll, the BJP functions like a well-oiled machine and regains control of the seat. Happily, he says, groupism and infighting has receded and all sections are extending him full cooperation.

“My target is to set up 600 polling booths samitis and reconstitute all the 20 ward committees. Of these, nine ward committees have already been reconstituted. I also plan to establish 200 samitis covering all the villages, colonies and 55 sectors of Chandigarh. I am also creating cells in different sections and revamping SC and mahila wings”. A 40-member state executive of the BJP will be announced together with a set of nine office bearers of the party by the end of this month. The party also plans to more aggressive on the political front. It has already launched a jan jagran campaign designed to highlight the failures of the rival Congress party. It is also planned to take a harder stance vis-a-vis the UT Administration.



Brisk walk contest for senior citizens
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 18
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association is organising a brisk walk competition for senior citizens of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula at the Lake car parking on September 24.

No entry fee will be charged from the participants. Attractive prizes for different groups, including ladies in the 60 year age group and above, and gents in the 65 year age group and above would be given. The participants will have to report by 7 a.m. at the venue. The distance for gents for the brisk walk competition will be from 2.5 km to 4 km and for ladies from 2 km to 3.5 km.

The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association has also arranged an interaction with the IG at the Lake Club the same day. Those interested can register their names with proof of date of birth with Col Karam Singh (phone No. 603893). The competition is organised to commemorate Senior Citizens’ Day.



Prices of winter vegetables come down
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, September 18
A random survey of the vegetable vends in the city today revealed that where as prices of some vegetables had come down by two to three rupees while those of some others had witnessed an increase in comparison to the last weeks prices. The prices also varied according to the quality of various vegetables.

While the prices of certain vegetables like peas, cauliflower, carrot and pumpkin have come down, those of other vegetables, including onions varied at different places as these are directly linked to the quality and freshness of the commodities.

Prices of peas has come down to Rs 40-45 per kg from Rs 55 per kilogram last week while capsicum is being sold for Rs 30 per kg against last week’s rate of Rs 25 per kg.

While lady’s finger was available for Rs 20 per kg, bittergourd and gourd were selling for Rs 16 and Rs 30 per kg. Ginger and carrot were priced at Rs 30 to 25 per kg.

Tomatoes were available for Rs 15 as compared to Rs 14 per kg last week. The prices of pumpkin and bottle gaur were Rs 8 and Rs 12 per kg, respectively in Sector 7 Rehri Market. 



Satsang by Asa Ram ji Bapu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Geeta Bhagwat Satsang by his holiness Sant Asa Ram ji Bapu will be held in the Sector 5 ground behind the main bus-stand in Panchkula from September 26 to September 29, 2002, in the morning at 9.30 am and in the evening at 3.30 pm, according to a press note. A special satsang for school going children will be held on September 27 at 9.30 am.

The satsang is being organised by the Yog Vedant Sewa Samiti, Panchkula. The bhoomi poojan will be held in Sector-5, on September 19 at 10 am. A huge shobha yatra will start from the samiti office 493, Sector 10, Panchkula, at 3 pm on September 21 and will terminate at the samiti office.



CSIO declared prohibited area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Acting on the advice of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and also the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Chandigarh Administration has designated the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Sector 30 as a prohibited place. The Indian Official Secrets Act, 1923 shall apply to CSIO.



4 thefts reported in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 18
During the past 24-hours at least four cases of thefts have been registered in local police stations.

Mr Harvinder Kumar, a resident of Manimajra, reported that his Maruti (CH 01 P 7789) was stolen from near the Circus Ground, Sector 17 yesterday. Another Maruti (CH 03 F 8147) was reportedly stolen from Sector 17. Mr B.P. Mohr of SCO 92-93, Sector 17, reported to the police that the car was stolen sometime between 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Sector 29, complained that someone had stolen the shield of his scooter, which was parked at his residence on the night of September 15.

Meanwhile, Ms Gita Devi, residing in the servant quarters of Sector 2, reported that a TV set, a pair of gold earrings and Rs 300 were stolen from her residence last morning.

Cyclist injured: A cyclist was injured after being hit by a car near the Transport Chowk traffic light points on Tuesday evening. He was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Trespass case: Dr Jasvir Singh, a resident of Nehru Colony, alleged that Manku Paswan trespassed into his shop threatened him and broke articles kept in the shop. A case under Sections 452, 506 and 427 of the IPC has been registered.

Case registered: Mohinder Singh of Janata Colony was arrested for allegedly carrying 10 bottles of liquor. He has been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.

1 killed in mishap: One person was killed on the GT Road near Ambala Cantt here on Wednesday. The deceased was identified as Gurmail Singh, a resident of Tharva village.

According to the police Gurmail Singh was going on his bicycle when a truck hit him. The police has registered a case against the truck driver.

Cheating case: The Sadar police has registered a case against Malik Yadav, a resident of Bihar, for taking away Rs 55,000 of a mill-owner.

According to the police report, Subhash Chander, a resident of Ambala City, made a complaint that Malik Yadav has been working in his flour mill for the past several years. Two days back he had sent him to collect the balance payment from a shopkeeper of Kalka.

Mr Chander has further alleged that Yadav collected the payment from the shopkeeper but did not return.

Stolen: A truck was stolen from the Circular Road, Ambala City on Tuesday evening. Later, it was found abandoned near Panjokhra village. The thieves took away all six tyres, gearbox and the jack of the truck worth about Rs 50,000. The police has registered a case.



Stepfather held on murder charge
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 18
The local police has arrested Harvinder Singh, a resident of Mundi Kharar village and stepfather of Rahul (5) on the charge of murdering the child by throwing him in the Bhakra Canal near Morinda.

Ms Preeti Sahni, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today remanded him in police custody till September 20. According to Mr Rupinder Singh, DSP, Kharar, the local police has earlier registered a case under Sections 302 and 201, IPC, against the accused as per the statement of Ms Om Priti, mother of the child.

She has told the police that she had married Harvinder Singh after the death of her husband and he had gone to drop the child in the school on August 29 and the child had been missing ever since. She has alleged that Harvinder Singh had thrown the child in Bhakra Canal and he had allegedly killed the child in order to get the insurance money.



Man cheated of Rs 10,000
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September18
Ram Asare, a resident of Colony 4, was allegedly cheated of Rs 10,000 by a man in Sector 28 here today.

Police sources said, Ram Asare withdrew the amount from the Sector 28 branch of Punjab National Bank. When he came out of the bank, a man in his early forties, approached him and requested him to exchange his Rs 500 currency notes with those of Rs 100.

Ram Asare, who is an employee of Bhushan Factory, Industrial Area, here, agreed. The man asked him to follow him to a house in Sector 28-C. After reaching the house, the man took the amount from Ram Asare and went upstairs to fetch Rs 500 notes. Ram Asare kept waiting for sometime and when the man did not return, he himself went upstairs only to find the room bolted. The man had escaped with Rs 10,000. A case has been registered.



Scooter dealer taken for a ride
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 18
A youth posing as a customer allegedly drove away with a new Bajaj Chetak scooter, which he had taken out of a Sector 22 showroom on the pretext of a test-drive here this afternoon.

As per Mr Ram Prakash Singh, owner of Pratap Autos, the youth in his early twenties came to his showroom at about 2.30 pm and made enquires about two-wheelers put on display. He even took test drives of two motor cyles. ‘‘Later he asked to take a test drive for a scooter and he was given one. However, he never returned’’, informed the owner. Though he admitted that his staff allowed him for the ‘‘test drive’’ alone as against the practice of sending one of the employees along.

The police has been informed and on the information of the staff a sketch of the accused has been made. The scooter is of graphite colour.



Arrest warrants against Principal
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, September 18
The Panchkula police today issued arrest warrants against Mr Bhanu Dutt, Principal of Trimurti Public School, Bartana, for his alleged involvement in the Amita suicide case.

According to the police, Mr Bhanu Dutt, who is at large, was booked in the case on July, 2002. His sister-in-law, Amita, had committed suicide after allegedly being harassed by her husband, Jatinder Kumar, father-in-law Sachidanand and brother-in-law Bhanu Dutt. 



Bajwara Market comes of age
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bajwara Market Sector 22 D, created in 1975 to rehabilitate an uncouth mushrooming of shops across the road, has come of age and boasts of providing certain things like electrical items even cheaper than Bhagirath Palace in Delhi.

Bajwara stood as a blot in the planned city with the area across the present market just looking like a shanty with khokhas dotting about it.

Old shopkeepers remember how their shops were removed withan offer of providing permanent shops just across the road for rehabilitation , which was accepted by most of the khokha operators but 20 per cent of them could still not be rehabilitated in the new market.

Despite the market acquiring importance in terms of doing a large chunk of business of sanitary wares, steel sheets and furniture, its looks do not speak of its status.

The exteriors of shops do not display the aesthetic sense that other markets of this importance may have and parking chaos gives market a bad look but the shopkeepers in the market say they alone can not be blamed for the parking mismanagement. Tiles in the verandahs have worn off and except for few sanitary shops rest of the shops do not care for their exteriors as probably the material they are selling does not present a very neat look.

The small shops of steel furniture selling cots, quilts and steel kitchen paraphernalia are not able to keep their material in the shops. due to a lack of space. The backside of the market where a large number of rehri type shops have come up is absolutely ignored and gives a look of a town market. But the importance of this small rehri market can be gauged from the crowd it attracts for shopping.

With no controlled management of parking and number of offices of Punjab, Haryana and companies falling in this area, the parking is in a shambles. A visitor to the market could recognise it with women coming to ask a customer if he has to get a quilt or cushion filled or they giving you rates of different types of cottons to be filled in quilts and mattresses.

A visitor receives similar inquiries from sellers of steel cots, plastic wares and almirahs and steel kitchen fixtures to keep utensils, whose shops have also got concentrated in the market.

These women fill these quilts in the open area in in front of shops.

It claims to be the next biggest crowd pulling market after an upmarket Sector 17 with shops of all items except medicine and jewellery in it.

The hardware and electrical shops in the market are catering to the needs of the customer of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and also of the city and in few cases even of Delhi.

Those who first set up shops in the market Mittal Trunk House and Malwa Tyres remember how the trunk house first came up and only a few months later the tyre shop was opened.

The Malwa Tyres owner and the President of the Bajwara Market Welfare Association, Mr. Ranjeet Singh, who has now become a big operator in the business, remembers how he started from a khokha.

Mr. Singh said 80 per cent of those working across the road from khokhas got plots in the market and its development started picking up in 1977.

Shops, largely of steel furniture, hardware, sanitary wares, electricals and trunks are being run by 40 per cent of owners and 60 per cent tenants.

Along with these shops, there are small ones just behind the market where things of daily necessary need could be purchased.

Furniture shops have come to the market during the last ten years..

The biggest sanitary shops of the city are mostly functioning from here.

Malwa Tyres, Bansi Lal Pathak Sanitary wares, Aggarwal Electricals, Jain and Company and Classic Furniture are few of the big names in the market. The market has developed a unique identity with shops of quilts and mattresses and tin trunks coming up during the last ten years.

A market with around 1000 visitors a day, claims to have a turn over of Rs. 20 to 30 crore and certain shopkeepers like Bansi Lal Pathak Sanitary Wares contributes Rs. three lakh of sale tax per annum.

The number of shops in the market is around 300 with 53 SCOs and around 250 rehris.

Relations amongst shopkeepers are harmonious with they are regularly organising social functions like annual Jagrata and a bi-monthly meeting in an open place in the market.

The Jagrata is very big with an arrangement of food for around 5000 people every year. The market has exhibited community living by building a dharamshala and a temple with contributions from the people. The Mittal Tin House owner had been managing the development of dharmshala all through these years.




* The market has a big problem of parking with shop keepers saying they themselves do not get space to park their vehicles. They allege the problem has been caused by the Punjab State Consumer Forum where hundreds of lawyers come.

* The market in the monsoon season faces a problem with nearby jhuggi dwellers swarming corridors in the night and creating insanitary conditions. 8 The market roads get water -logged during the rainy season.

* Roads in the markets have not be recarpeted for 27 years as a result they have developed big potholes and cracks.

* Lack of a common drinking water facility in the shape of a tank but in the absence of any provision for this and a possible damage to the road even shop keepers could not provide for the fear of damaging road already in a shambles.

* The ladies toilet in the market has been closed for a long time, though the management of the toilet has been with the people from the market.

* Street lights in the market have not been working for a long time.

* Tiles in the pavement despite being broken have not been changed since they were fitted.

* The Estate Office employees allegedly take away their goods without even issuing a challan slip.

* Shopkeepers demand at least two feet of verandah space should be allowed for the display of their wares.



Honda Dio aims to boost scooter market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
With the increase in sale of motorcycles in the two-wheeler market, the regional and all-India market has witnessed a drastic fall in the growth rate of sale of scooters over the past few years. However, Honda motor cycle and Scooter India, a 100 per cent wholly-owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, Japan, has embarked upon a plan to boost the sale of gearless scooters in the country, said Mr Deepak Mutreja, Area in charge, sales, HMSI, here today.

He was in the city to launch — Honda Dio, a 102-CC sporty scooter with four-stroke engine and automatic transmission, at platinum Honda showroom in Sector 35.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, he said Honda Dio was aimed to revolutionise the market of gearless scooters. While other players were witnessing fall in scooter sales, Honda scooters had registered a growth within the first year of its production. The company plans to sell around 1.55 lakh units in this fiscal year.

Mr Mutreja claimed: “Chandigarh is the fourth largest market of gearless scooters in India, just preceded by Pune, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. The company is selling about 300 scooters in the city per month. The company would continue to produce Honda Activa till any adverse indication from the market.”

He said the company was geared up to launch another scooter model of 150 CC four-stroke engine to compete with geared scooters. By April, 2004, the company also plans to enter the bikes market by launching its own model.



Roadshow in Zirakpur
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 18
To educate residents of the rural areas about their latest communication services, Bharti Mobile Limited today conducted a road- show in the Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru areas of the subdivision.

In addition to this cultural functions were also organised at the satellite towns to attract village folk. During their day-long show, the employees of the company also interacted with the villagers.


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