Saturday, September 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HUDA imposes enhancement fee in Sectors 25, 26
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

HUDA Howlers

  • Enhancement fee of Rs 97.70 per square metre in Sector 25 and Rs 142.61 per square metre for over 3000 plot holders in Sectors 25 and 26.
  • Fixing of enhancement fee for third time in two years, likely to have bearing on real estate business here.
  • About 20 per cent of plots in Sectors 27 and 28 have been surrendered in the past couple of months.
  • With market price being less than price fixed by HUDA, investing here is not considered a viable option.
  • Distance from the main town is another important reason for lack of development in these two sectors.

Panchkula, September 27
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has imposed an enhancement fee for a third time in newly-developed Sectors 25 and 26, in Panchkula extension. This comes at a time when this much-publicised scheme of extending the township across Ghaggar river has come a cropper.

An enhancement fee of Rs 97.70 per square metre in Sector 25, and of Rs 142.61 per square metre in Sector 26 has been imposed by HUDA. This cost has been imposed following orders of Panchkula Sessions Court. Now, HUDA has begun issuing notices to plot holders here.

It may be noted that a number of allottees of residential plots in Panchkula extension have reportedly surrendered their plots to HUDA.

Almost 20 per cent of allottees in Sectors 27 and 28 have already surrendered their plots during the past couple of months. Some group housing societies which were allotted land in Panchkula extension, have also surrendered their plots.

Applications for surrender by another almost 50 per cent of allottees in above mentioned sectors, are still pending with Estate Office.

The enhancement fee is being imposed on about 3000 plot holders in these two sectors. The maximum plot holders have 10-marla plots, while six marla, eight marla and three-marla plots are also there. Now, with new enhancement costs being fixed for these two sectors, real estate business is expected to reach an all-time low here. Real estate agents here say even now there are a number of sellers of plots here, but no buyers.

These sectors were developed in 1994-95. It was in November 2000 that an enhancement fee of Rs 315.68 was fixed for Sector 25 and of Rs 459.20 was fixed for Sector 26. In May 2002, another enhancement of Rs 57.50 per square metre in Sector 25 and Rs 84 per square metre in Sector 26 was fixed.

HUDA officials say main reason for failure in developing Panchkula extension is the high reserved price fixed by the authority.

They say market price in these sectors is much less as compared to the reserve price fixed by HUDA, especially for 1 kanal and 14-marla plots. HUDA has fixed the reserve price for all plots between Rs 3000 to Rs 3800 per square yard.

Real estate agents in the township, when contacted by TNS, said that the market rates of the bigger plots in these two sectors were at least 10 to 15 per cent less than the price fixed by HUDA.

Second reason for the failure of development of these sectors across Ghaggar is enhancement cost imposed on plot holders. Also, the fact that recovery of cost of constructing the New Ghaggar bridge (at the cost of Rs 10.52 crore) is being done by increasing the rates of plots in Panchkula extension.

It may be noted that the bridge was constructed primarily to provide effective linkage to the sectors being developed across Ghaggar, which in turn was expected to increase real estate prices across the river. However, the bridge required major repair work over the past five years and spurs have had to be reconstructed because of the turbulent river.

A senior official in HUDA, in condition of anonymity, say that the fact that these sectors are at a considerable distance from the main town has also hampered its development.

Poor law and order situation in Panchkula extension because of sparse police deployment here has added to the woes. Besides the infamous “Nadda cracks” that appeared in January 2001 here, also weaned away allottees from these sectors across Ghaggar.



MC recommends probe into SCO auction
Transfer of presiding officer sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today passed an unprecedented unanimous resolution recommending to the Administrator to order an independent inquiry into the auction of a commercial property, transfer of the presiding auction officer Ashok Vashishth and seizure of records alleging ‘’hanky panky’’ in the auction.

The House also initiated contempt proceedings against the officer for his remarks against a councillor in the House but the proceedings were later withdrawn with Mr Vashishth tendering his apology.

The House recommended that the Administrator was requested to ordered an independent inquiry into the auction of SCO 178-179, transfer the officer and seize of records of the auction. This was the first time in the history of 69 month-old corporation to have passed such a resolution firmly establishing the supremacy of the elected representatives over the heavily bureaucracy dependent functioning of the city.

The House had earlier passed a similar resolution against a Mayor of Congress Rajkumar Goel for alleged sale of soap by his distribution shop to the corporation but nothing had happened on that.

The entire House led by MP Pawan Bansal came to its feet accusing Mr Vashishth of showing contempt against the House when the Additional Commissioner sought to counter allegations of any ‘’hanky panky’’ in the auction by saying ‘’Vashishth ko marne ke liye kisi talwar ki zaroorat nahin hai (there was no sword required to kill Vashishth).

Mr Bansal and a BJP councillor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, immediately stood up followed up by almost every councillor initiating contempt of the House proceedings saying the officer’s comment amounted to casting aspersions on the House and its members.

The ball was set in motion by Mr Gupta as the House assembled to meet asking whether the Finance and Contract Committee was competent to reduce the price of the SCO by 20 per cent and whether the auction was conducted after the approval of the House.

He was, however, told such decisions by the F&CC had been taken earlier also but there was no reply to the approval question.

The House unanimously passed the resolution moved by the BJP councillor, Mr Rajesh Gupta who was the first to seek an inquiry into the auction of the SCO. Mr Gupta was an observer in the January 2002 auction when a bid of Rs 1.85 crore was allegedly rejected by Mr Vashishth saying nothing less than Rs 2 crore would be accepted as a similar site had gone for Rs 2.5 crore.

Mr Gupta was supported by Mr Bansal and Leader of the Congress in the House Subhash Chawla saying facts coming up before the House indicated that the matter should be investigated for the sake of transparency. The House discussed the matter almost for two and half hours before adjourning for tea when the BJP councillors and Mr Bansal were huddled up in the Mayor’s chamber to frame a unanimous resolution which was later moved by Mr Gupta.

Almost all members questioned if the Phulkari Estates had given a bid of Rs 1.85 crore in January why it was not recorded in the bid sheet and where was the bid sheet if it was recorded. The official version was that no bid had been made.

The official version had earlier been that no bid sheets were prepared for unsuccessful ones but Mr Vashishth later clarified a sheet was made for every bid whether it was successful or unsuccessful.

This led to the demand from councillors where the bid sheet was. This version provoked Mr Chawla saying that till yesterday he was told by officials that no bid sheet was made for unsuccessful bids and now there was a different version.

He said that the officials had also misled the Finance and Contract Committee into reducing the price of the site by saying no bid was received by them on that day while this claim was later contradicted by Phulkari Estates and Mr Gupta in a separate F&CC meeting.

Mr Rajesh Gupta once proposed before the House to recommend the lodging of an FIR against Mr Vashishth for auctioning a shop much below the price it could have fetched but Mr Bansal advised against it.

The triumphant BJP councillors, who had earlier gone to the Administrator to seek a CBI inquiry into the affair, later said outside the House that inquiry could not have been stopped even by the Congress as they had even more evidence against the alleged bungling in the auction.



City abuzz with activity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The World Tourism Day celebrations in the city started with ‘surnandan’ , a musical welcome, and ‘saras vani’, an Indian classical recital, by renowned artiste Subhash Ghosh at Sukhna Lake. The recital was an instant hit with public and morning walkers at lake promenade and resulted in demands of more such musical and classical performances at the lake.

Ms Vineeta Rai, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, was the chief guest for an on- the-spot painting competition on ‘eco tourism and mountains ’ for school children at Lake Club. More than 600 students from 28 private and government schools participated in the competition.

The Chandigarh Tourism, CITCO, the Tourism Promotion Society of Chandigarh, along with students of the Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, accorded a warm welcome to travellers with flowers on arrival by Shatabdi Express in the morning at the railway station. Visitors were also welcomed with flowers at the airport.

A special discount, between 10-15 per cent on food and beverages, was extended in private and public sector hotels and restaurants, including Hotel Mountview, Hotel Shivalikview, Hotel Parkview and Chef Lake Cafeteria, managed by CITCO.

Members of the Hotel Association of Chandigarh and the Hotel and Restaurants Association of Chandigarh also extended discount to their guests on food and beverages in their respective hotels and restaurants.

Complimentary sight seeing tours on the hop-on-hop-off coach were arranged for physically challenged and under-privileged children. Students of night schools of the YTTS, the Yuv Satta and Strawberry Fields were given tours of the city on the hop-on-hop-off coach throughout the day. The children were given refreshments at Sukhna Lake.

A picnic tour to the Nepli forest was organised for senior citizens of the Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, and lunch provided at Chef Lake Cafeteria. The Chairman of CITCO, Mr G.K. Marwah, flagged off the coaches.

In the evening, Punjabi pop musical nite by Jagtar Jagga evoked a good response at an event organised by Plaza Carnival in Sector 17.

The following are the results of the on-the-spot painting competition: Category A —Nishchal Jatwani, Class V, Shivalik Public School, Sector 41- Rs 1000; Pawandeep Kaur, Class VIII, Government Model High School, Sector 28-D-Rs 750; Simar Preet Kaur, Class VI, Shivalik Public School, Sector 41- Rs 500 and Vikramjit Singh, Class VI, Government Model High School, Sector 28-Rs 250.

Category B—Khushdeep Kaur, Class IX, Government Model High School, Sector 38- Rs 1000; Navneet Sandhu, Class X, Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22- Rs 750; Vasudhaa, Class IX, Sishu Niketan School, Sector 22- Rs 500 and Gaganjot Kaur, Class IX, St. Kabir Public School - Rs 250.

Meanwhile, Prof P.S.Narula, a tourist analyst from Thailand invited by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends(ITFT) to deliver a talk on ‘emerging trends in tourism, hospitality and airlines industry in the Asian Region’, said India needed a six- pronged strategy for tourism..

Prof Narula said a strategy to revamp and promote tourism in the country had not even taken off judging from the number of foreign tourists visiting India every year.

According to him , the government should have a focused and a clear approach. He said India with its vast cultural rich heritage and varied attractions should be promoted as a tourist destination and concerted efforts made to attract NRIs who were keen to find their roots and maintain a link with their motherland. He said the northern region, constituting a unique socio-geographical unit of India with Chandigarh serving as a hub with its clean environs, infrastructure, easy accessibility and a number of educational and corporate houses, be promoted as a single destination. He said India, with its network of excellence educational facilities and a large English-speaking population, should also be promoted for education to attract visitors.

Yoga and meditation, coupled with Ayurveda based health care, should be vigorously popularised by the government and the private sector. Buddhist attractions need to be highlighted to attract visitors from the east Asian countries, he added.

The grey area of Indian tourism, according to Prof Narula, was the lack of adequate and quality infrastructure and unless accommodation and transport, including railways and airlines facilities, were improved, tourism could not be promoted in the country. Local people should also cultivate courteous and caring attitude for visitors, he said.

Talking about tourism in his country, Prof Narula said its success was mainly due to the hospitable nature of Thai people, besides progressive policies of the government with incentives and tax reliefs to developers and entrepreneurs.

Dr Gulshan Sharma, Director, ITFT, explained the significance of the World Tourism Day and offered two scholarships to best students of the Institute of Hotel Management for the Airlines Management Training programme. More than 500 students from different colleges of Chandigarh attended the talk.

Later, Mr Vivek Attray, Director IT, Chandigarh Administration, inaugurated the Asia Tourism Search Engine, developed by the ITFT-Chandigarh, on its website to link more than 5000 tourism hospitality, aviation and business management sites.

The search engine has been developed by Networld Solutions, a software development company in Chandigarh. Besides this, children of Hallo Majra Colony were taken on an education-cum-joy ride of the city by the Durga Dass Foundation.

Coming from a background where the word tourism figures nowhere in the dictionary of survival, the excursion opened enormous vistas in their minds. Using CITCO's hop-on-hop-off bus, 50 children in the age group of 6 years to 14 years were taken for a ride from the Shivalikview to the Sukhna Lake and back. The children are students of a school run by the foundation as part of its community initiatives. The foundation has adopted three night schools to imparts different literacy programmes. 



Fake visa racket busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A racket involving issuing of fake visas was today busted by the operation cell of the Chandigarh police. A 35-year-old resident of Army Flats in Mata Mansa Devi Complex, Harish Sharma, has been arrested in the case.

According to the information available, the suspect, is believed to be member of a gang running national-level operations of arranging fake visas. Raid parties had been sent to Delhi to arrest other persons involved in the business. Harish was arrested while delivering a passport with a fake visa for European countries to Pawan, a resident of Himachal Pradesh, at Kishangarh village here this afternoon. The suspect had taken Rs 3.50 lakh for arranging the fake visa.

Though questioning of the suspect was yet to be done, a police official said more details about the modus operandi of the gang was yet to be known. The police was trying to ascertain the number of people who had gone abroad on fake visas. Harish Kumar had reportedly been running the business for the past many years.

On the basis of information, raid parties had been sent to Delhi to make more arrests. A case under Sections 420, 468, 471 of the IPC and relevant sections of the Immigration Act had been registered against Harish Kumar at the Mani Majra police station.

Incidentally, a week ago the operation cell had arrested a resident of Delhi, Gurdip Singh, who was involved in arranging fake immigration papers for illegal immigrants. The police has denied any link between the two cases.



Three closed days in banks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
For those who do not carry plastic money like credit or debit cards withdraw money from your banks on Saturday itself. Sunday, Monday and Wednesday are closed days. Tuesday will be working. However, the rush can be imagined.

Sunday is the routine closed day, Monday is bank holiday, which means there will be no public dealing, and Wednesday is closed on account of Gandhi Jayanti. On Monday, however, bank employees will be working as the first six months of the financial year come to a close.

Sources in the banking industry said on Saturday also there will be a heavy rush of people wanting to withdraw cash or deposit cheques or gets cheques encashed. On Tuesday also there is expected to be a heavy rush for the banking industry. With Tuesday falling on October 1, several employees will also want to take their salaries home.

Though several of the private companies as well as boards and corporations have got salary accounts in banks which provide ATM facility.

The majority of the salary accounts are in banks using the same old system of cash withdrawal.

Cheque clearances will be naturally delayed by a few days as these three closed days mean a backlog will build up in the clearing house.

A large part of the banking transactions in the city take place during the first few days of the month due to a majority of the middle class population.



India develops cryogenic engine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
India has developed an indigenous cryogenic engine. The country has also acquired the capability of taking .8-metre resolution pictures through satellites. This was disclosed here today by space scientist and Chairman of Prasar Bharati Prof U.R. Rao.

After acquiring the .8 metre resolution pictures from satellites the country is targeting to take .1 metre resolution within five years, enhancing its spying capabilities apart from non-military applications, Professor Rao said while delivering the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) diamond jubilee lecture on ‘’Space and Human Security’’ at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO).

Professor Rao later talking to mediapersons said the country had already developed a cryogenic engine after almost a decade of work and international sanctions but its use would take a long time because of a long regime of tests required for its use.

He said India’s march into space science would not be hampered due to the availability of only six Russian cryogenic engines.

The CSIO Director, Dr R.P. Bajpai, amidst applaud announced that the organisation had been awarded with the most prestigious CSIR Technology Award for the year for head-up display for the Indian light combat aircraft (LCA). Dr Bajpai talking to TNS said this display developed under a team involving Mr Narsimhan and Mr Sreeniwas would strengthen the Jaguar and Mig fighters for the Indian Air Force.

Prof Rao during his lecture said India had also acquired the capability of Intercontinental ballastic missiles as a spin off of the space programme with the launch of the PSLV.

He said space science had made it possible to predict rainfall well ahead of time to give the farmer an opportunity to change the crop pattern.

He reiterated space science could help in watershed management, checking malaria, finding pure drinking water, increasing quality education apart from early warning of calamity in ensuring human security.



Better training of cops stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Standardisation of procedures, better training of policemen and improvisation of existing facilities are some of the areas which the police organisations in the country have to concentrate on. The areas of concern are low priority to police training and fewer policemen per lakh of population than the prescribed international standards.

These are some of the observations made by Mr L.K. Amarnathan, DGP, the Bureau of Police Research and Records, (BPR). Speaking at the concluding function of a three-day workshop on professional policing at the Sector 26 Institute of Correctional Administration here yesterday, Mr Amarnathan said it was necessary for policemen to stay tuned with the latest developments and investigation procedures.

The focus of the workshop was human rights investigations and interviewing skills and human rights and custodial management. As many as 25 police officers from Delhi. UP, Punjab and Himachal attended the workshop.

At present there were nearly 2.1 million policemen in the country with an annual budget of Rs 23,000 crore. This figure includes both police and paramilitary forces. Of this budget, only 1 per cent goes towards training of policemen. Against the international standards of 500 policemen for every one lakh of population, the number in India was as low as 131. Interestingly, the number of prisoners per lakh of population in India was 30 against 700 in the USA and 120 in Canada.

Mr Amarnathan said the government was spending Rs 1,000 cr a year on modernisation of police. In some states, including Tamil Nadu, each police station has been provided with a video camera.

The Bureau of Police Research has been trying to standardise procedures. The integrated interrogation report, for example, is a document which has been circulated to all police organisations which requires that after arrest, next of kin of the arrested man are informed about the case and charges.

Similarly, now with provision of video cameras with ability to record date and time of recording of a confessional statement, confessions made before a police officer could be produced before a court. “Now it is for courts to decide whether to accept or not the confessions so made before a video and audio device,” said Mr Amarnathan.

At present 1,058 prisons in the country had nearly 2.11 million inmates, a majority of them undertrials. The Union Government, had now decided to spend Rs 180 crore on construction of new prisons with better basic amenities.

If the policemen followed the rules, there would be automatically no violation of human rights. At present, nearly 50 lakh cases were registered of which nearly half ended up in arrests or police custody.

Mr A. Chakravorty and Mr J. Monga (Himachal) were two other speakers who addressed the participants.

Dr Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institute of Correctional Administration, talked about prison management, common human rights violations and the problems of Indian prisons and asked the participants to be more vigilant while dealing with those in custody.

The Home Secretary of Chandigarh, Mr R.S. Gujral, presided over the concluding function.



Traffic jam on Chd-Ambala highway 
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, September 27
Traffic on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway was disrupted for over an three hours as a tractor-trailer carrying bricks blocked the bridge over the Ghaggar river in Bhankharpur village near here this afternoon. Two tyres of the tractor-trailer had burst due to excess weight. A chaos was created at the bridge as a heavy volume of traffic coming from Chandigarh as well as Ambala side converged on the bridge leading to a major jam. Traffic police personnel had a tough time in diverting traffic to alternate routes.

Besides drivers of vehicles with red light atop, VIIPs and VIPs and other prominent and political personalties were seen arguing with the cops demanding priority to get out of the jam, which further aggravated the problem. Two tyres of the tractor-trailer, carrying bricks, had burst leaving the vehicle stranded in the centre of the bridge at about 10 a.m. leaving a narrow space for other vehicles to cross the bridge. The harried motorists created a chaos leading to long queues on the either sides of the bridge.

Traffic headed towards Panchkula was diverted from Dera Bassi to take the Dera Bassi-Mubarikpur-Ramgarh road to reach Panchkula, while vehicles headed towards Ambala from Chandigarh were directed to take Zirakpur-Rajpura-Ambala route to rejoin the highway near Ambala.

The locals and the daily commuters opted for the link roads to reach their respective destinations in time.

Mr Tajinder Singh, SHO, Dera Bassi, reached the spot to take charge of the situation. Motorists and commuters were put to a great hardship and remained stranded in the jam for over an hour. Vehicles were lined up for half a kilometer over a 2-km stretch of the highway which further put the passengers of long route buses heading towards Chandigarh, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir to a great inconvenience.



Farmers create chaos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Agitating farmers from different parts of Punjab, who have been camping on Jan Marg for the past one week, today brought vehicular traffic in the hub of the city to a standstill for more than five hours.

Beginning from the matka chowk, the protesters wearing just undergarments, took out a procession through Sectors 17 and 22 which culminated at the headquarter of Markfed in Sector 35. There was chaos on roads leading to the Sector 17 bus stand and the Sector 22 market. The highway traffic, especially the long-route buses coming from Delhi, had to be diverted.

The protesters, seeking the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and assistance to tide over financial ill health, raised slogans against the state government. The Chandigarh police, led by DSP S.S. Randhawa and DSP Asa Nand, had a tough time in dealing with the protesting farmers.

Road sealed

For the past one week, a section of Jan Marg, the dual carriageway dividing Sectors 16 and 17, has virtually turned in a camp office for agitating farmers from different parts of Punjab.

The only time the road remains closed is during the three-day annual rose festival.

A police official lamented that discipline was suffering as everyday a posse of cops had to be posted at the site and motorists had to take a long detour to reach their destinations. 



Saini cultural society splits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
While the ruling faction of the Northern India Sainis Cultural Society has decided to hold the election of the President of the Society on September 29 as scheduled, the other faction has convened a general house meeting of the society on the same day and at the same venue.

“The other group had gone to get an interim injunction against holding of elections on September 29. But Mr K.K. Goyal, Civil Judge, has turned down their plea for interim injunction on the plea that ‘it will be unreasonable to halt the elections at such a belated stage’, Mr Charanjit Singh, outgoing president and a candidate for the next term, said at a press conference here this evening.

Accompanied by Mr Piara Singh Saini, who he said, was appointed Returning Officer for conducting the elections, Mr Charanjit Singh held that the other group instead of participating in the democratic election process was out to create problems by summoning a general house meeting at the same venue.

On the other hand, the rival faction led by Mr Jaswant Singh maintained that since a civil court had by its order of July 26 refused to grant interim injunction against holding the election of the society on the original date of July 29, the president was elected and the new executive committee constituted. The group maintained that Mr Jaswant Singh was elected President.

Mr Piara Singh Saini said it was at the behest of Mr Jaswant Singh Saini and his supporters that issue of proxy voters was taken up with the Executive. Since the Constitution of the Society was silent on the issue, the executive decided to make suitable amendments to make the proxy voting “safe and fool proof”.

Mr Charanjit Singh maintained that as per the Constitution, the normal term of the President was four years which could be extended by a maximum of one year. But in this case, everything was going on smoothly till the rival group raised the issue of “proxy voting”. When Mr Jaswant Singh claimed his election, Mr Piara Singh as Returning Officer issued a rejoinder that no election has been held.

The latest court order of September 26, claims Mr Charanjit Singh, frustrated the last minute attempt of the rival faction to stall the election. “In case they claim they enjoy majority, let them compete and participate in the elections,” he added.

Mr Jaswant Singh and his group, however, maintain that after the court order of July 26, the present team had no locus standi to postpone the election. “Our election was held and I was elected President. Once election has already been held, there is no question of holding the election again. We have called a general house meeting on September 29 at Saini Bhavan and we have the permission from the Subdivisional Magistrate,” he added.



Traders against hike in parking fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), the Traders Association, Sector 17 and the Samadhan yesterday opposed the reported proposals of parking contractors charging Rs 1000 for all parking lots in Sectors 17, 8 and 9.

These organisations expressed dissatisfaction with the existing parking arrangements and condemned the Municipal Corporation and contractors for looking for opportunities to ‘’fleece the people.”

Samadhan president R.P. Malhotra said the rates offered were almost two-times higher than the present rate of Rs 50 per four wheeler per parking lot whose total number is only 10.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president Jagdish Arora said the hike proposed was 20 times more despite no convenience was provided to people.

CBM members Arun Talwar, Neeraj Bajaj and Kamaljit Panchhi, along with Mr Arora, reminded the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation to levy a certain percentage of charge on all vehicles registered for the parking arrangements as well as impose an entry fee on commercial vehicles instead of burdening visitors to the market.

The Sector 17 Traders’ Association also supported the CBM proposal in a joint statement issued by Mr Jagdish Pal Singh Kalra, Mr Arun Talwar, Mr Neeraj Bajaj, Mr Rajinder Minocha, Mr J. S. Sodhi and Mr Vinod Dewan.



Plea for thekri pehra
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 27
The local police has asked residents to organise thekri pehra in their sectors from 12 midnight to 4 am to check burglaries.

This idea was mooted by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Ms Bharti Arora at a meeting with representatives of various resident welfare associations here today.

She said an increase in burglaries over the past couple of weeks in the township was alarming. “Though PCR vehicles and patrolling staff were doing their duty, residents should also come to their aid,” she said, while proposing thekri pehra.

However, the idea was not accepted by the residents. The residents urged upon her that jhuggis be removed from various sectors as a majority of burglaries were committed by these jhuggi-dwellers. They said the servant verification drive came a cropper when these slums were mushrooming in various sectors.



Lion cub dies of snake bite
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, September 27
A lion cub of about two years of age died of snake bite in the lions safari of the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park here late last night. The cub was noticed lying dead by zoo men after they came and opened the gate this morning. The zoo men also found a cobra in the house of the dead cub.

Sources said that the carcass of the cub burnt after a post-mortem examination this afternoon.



Jewellery worth 1.5 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Burglars broke into a locked house in Shivalik Enclave in Mani Majra here and decamped with Rs 20,000 and jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh. The theft was noticed when Mr Rohit, a nephew of the landlady, Mrs Mohni Ahuja, came to the house. According to information available, Mrs Ahuja was living in the house along with her daughter after the death of her husband. Mrs Ahuja had gone to Delhi for get medical treatment for a heart ailment. The burglars had broken the front door and ransacked the entire house.

Mr Rohit said that Mrs Ahuja, when informed about the theft, told him about the cash and jewellery which was lying in the house. She is expected to return tomorrow.

Theft: A Tata Indica car was stolen from Kajehri village on the night of September 25. A case has been registered at Sector 36 police station.

Gamblers held: The police has arrested two persons, Baldev Singh and Subhash, in separate incidents of gambling at a public place. While the former was arrested from Model Town, Pinjore, the latter was arrested at Bir Ghaggar village. A sum of Rs 1,020 was recovered from them.

Burglary: A computer, a colour television set, paint, electric rod and sanitary ware were stolen from the premises of the Swami Devi Dayal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Golpura.


Student found dead in rented room
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
A 22-year-old student of Khalsa College died under mysterious circumstances in his rented accommodation in Sector 15 here this morning. The victim, Mebam Priparta Singh, hailing from Manipur, was a BA student in the Sector 26 Khalsa College.

According to information available, the victim was an addict. This morning his roommate left for the Sector 15 market for some work and when he returned after an hour, the victim was lying unconscious on a bed. The landlord of the house on being informed told the victim's roommates to take him to the PGI. He was declared brought dead in the hospital.

A police official said there were no injury marks on the victim's body.

The body had turned blue. It is being suspected that the victim had died due to an overdose of a drug or due to reaction of expired drug. However, no bottle of drug or injection was found in the room.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC and is waiting for the autopsy before any further action. The parents of the victim, who have been informed, are expected to reach by Monday.



Body of youth found
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, September 27
A maggot-infested body of a youth with long hair was found from a secluded area along a nullah separating Bhabhat and Bartana villages near Zirakpur this afternoon.

Mr Bant Singh, a resident of Bartana village, noticed the body while grazing his cattle there and informed the police.

Mr Gurjit Singh, Lohgarh police post in charge, along with some cops reached the spot and found some syringes lying near the body. The police suspect that the person had taken drugs.


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