Friday, October 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HUDA removes Rana’s shed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 17
The enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) today removed the temporary shed outside the Sector 4 residence of Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, Political Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister.

Thirteen staff members of HUDA, led by Estate Officer, Ms Monica Mallik, along with the Assistant Estate Officer, Mr Vijay Bhardwaj, and Tehsildar Mr Bachchan Singh, converged on the residence of the Congress MLA around 1 pm.

Armed with a truck, a tipper and a JCB machine, they got to work without warning, even as Mr Sodhi’s staff began making frantic calls to stop the demolition. However, the enforcement staff got to work immediately amidst mild protest by Mr Sodhi’s security.

The operation lasted for about 20 minutes. It was only after a verbal assurance by Mr Sodhi himself, who is reportedly in Delhi, that the structure would be removed by his men by today evening that the HUDA staff left the spot. A visit to the place in the evening revealed that fibre glass sheets on the “garage” had been removed but the torn frame was still standing.

It may be recalled that Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, Political Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Member Legislative Assembly from Guru Har Sarai in Ferozepore district, had encroached upon an entire road in the township. This was highlighted in the columns of this newspaper on October 12.

Right across the Municipal Council office in Sector 4 here, the “right hand man” of Punjab Chief Minister had encroached upon almost 100 sq yards of dead-end road outside his house and turned it into a private shed-cum-sitting/retiring place for his subordinates. On the opposite side is the Sector 4 Community Centre, housing the office of the Municipal Council. A fibre glass shed had been erected on the road between the two buildings, ensuring that the road remained reserved for private and escort vehicles of the MLA and for scooters of his security personnel.

A lawn has also been created and ornamental plants sown at the place. A few chairs have also been placed on the road for the benefit of security personnel and other staff. Two tents have also been erected on the embankment of the nullah that passes at rigth angle to the road and two cubicles have been made for the convenience of the Congressman’s staff.

Meanwhile, talking to TNS over telephone today, Mr Sodhi said he had erected the shed not to encroach upon government land but for the convenience of his staff.

“I had got the shed erected to provide shade for my staff and the 100 -odd visitors who come to meet me here each morning,” he said.



Six more dengue cases reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 17
Four patients were admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital and two to the Manimajra Civil Hospital with suspected dengue today. A list of two patients, one from Ram Darbar and other from Ludhiana, was also furnished by PGI officials to the health authorities.

Till date, 47 patients have been admitted to the General Hospital, while the number of patients seeking treatment at the Civil Hospital has gone up to 26. As many as 135 patients were examined at the Civil Hospital on Thursday, sources in the Health Department claimed. According to doctors on duty, the condition of all the patients was stable and under control.

A high-level committee of experts, set up to suggest measures for improving health services in the states of Punjab and Haryana, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh, also visited hospitals, claimed the sources.

Meanwhile, Health Department officials, in an attempt to prevent further spread of the malady, visited over 1215 houses in Indira Colony. Insecticides were sprayed in over 850 houses. Members of over 25 teams belonging to the malaria wing requested the residents to ensure the drainage of stagnant water from coolers and other containers. A mobile unit also visited the colony for providing “quick remedial measures”.

Stress was also laid on informing the residents about preventive measures. Students studying in schools situated in Manimajra, Indira Colony, Subhash Nagar and Bapu Dham Colony were also asked to ensure the maintenance of hygienic conditions.

The Director Health Services (DHS) has asked the city residents to cooperate with the Health Department officials by getting their residences sprayed with insecticides.

In an appeal, the DHS has also requested the residents to ensure that the food items are kept covered while the insecticide is being sprayed. He has also urged the residents to participate in the campaign for checking the spread of dengue by keeping their coolers dry and clean. They have also been asked to ensure the drainage of stagnant water.



ST on diamond, gold cut
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Keeping in line with the festive season, the prices of bullion, gold and silver articles and jewellery, and precious stones have been reduced. The most significant reduction has been in the case of diamonds and precious stones. A set of gold jewellery costing Rs 20,000 will now be less by Rs 200 and a diamond, ruby or an emerald, which earlier cost Rs 20,000, will be less by Rs 1,600.

The Chandigarh Administration today offered a bonanza and reduced the sales tax rates to 1 per cent by bringing these items in Category-I of schedule ‘A’ of the Punjab General Sales Tax Act 1948, as amended by the Punjab General Sales Tax (Second Amendment and Validation) Act, 2000 as extended to the UT, Chandigarh, which is consistent with the agreed floor rates.

The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), said existing circumstances rendered it necessary to take action and dispense with the conditions of previous sales tax regime.

Mr Anil Talwar, general secretary of the Chandigarh Jewellers Association, while welcoming the move said it had been their outstanding demand and would boost up sales. In the past, the trade had been suffering as sales tax on jewellery and precious stones had been reduced to 1 per cent in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. This was the need of the hour, Mr Talwar added.

New sales tax rates (including surcharge)

                                                    Old rates   New rates


2.2 %

1.1 %


2.2 %

1.1 %

Precious stones like diamond


1.1 %



Spread education in rural areas: Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The two-day founder’s day celebrations of St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, concluded today with a variety programme presented by students of senior classes.

Beginning with the school prayer, anthem and march past, the parents were transported to the vibrant world of spirited dances, man, machine and fusion dance.

The rhythmic stretching, flexing and acrobatic feats of the aerobics, yoga and gymnastic performers enthralled the audience. The parents watched the tug-of-war, the balancing, sack and relay race. The grand finale came in the form of a colourful, energetic bhangra item.

Earlier, the school orchestra played `swagatam’ while the chief guest, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Governor of Punjab, was welcomed and escorted by the pilot team of school NCC cadets Harinder Singh Dhaliwal and Harbir Singh Rehill.

Speaking at the function, he stressed the need for giving importance to sports and extra co-curricular activities in our education system. He added that keeping in view the poor standards of teams in international competitions, schools should take urgent steps to encourage games as they build character, discipline and team spirit.

Emphasising the need for spreading the education in the rural areas, General Jacob said there was a great deal of talent that lies latent in the rural areas be it sportsmen or academics. “It is incumbent for us to cater for this large segment of our people by giving an opportunity of education”.

Exhorting the students to excel in this competitive world, the Governor said that emerging generations of students had to be taught and trained to adapt themselves to a fast changing educational environment. Keeping in view explosion of knowledge students had to be prepared for the new cyber and biotech age.



Rs 2.5 crore sanctioned for V-6 roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Municipal Corporation today cleared an allocation of Rs 2.5 crore for the recarpeting of V-6 roads and parking lots in eight sectors of central and southern parts of the city in the post monsoon phase.

This was decided at a meeting called to re-prioritise the recarpeting of roads. The meeting was attended by Mayor Lalit Joshi, Road Committee Chairman Pardeep Chhabra, Municipal Commissioner M. P. Singh, Chief Engineer V. K. Bharadwaj, Superintendenting Engineer I. S. Sokhy, Executive Engineers S. K. Chadha and Mukesh Anand.

The entire parking stretch from Piccadily Hotel to Southend in Sector 35 would be re-carpeted, the Municipal Corporation sources said.

The major beneficiaries of the new allocation seem to be Mr Chabra’s area of Sector 22 and that of the Congress Leader in the Municipal Corporation Subhash Chawla.

The complete list of roads to be recarpeted, however, had not been issued.

With this allocation, the corporation was likely to increase the budget allocation from Rs 5.5 crore to Rs 6 crore with the addition of Rs 1 crore of the paid parking head, Rs 40 lakh from the Manimajra fund and Rs 25 lakh from the colonies fund. The impression was given after the meeting that the roads head would get an additional 1 to 1.5 crore to improve the condition of roads.

The roads cleared today included those in the areas having houses for economically weaker sections.

The V-6 roads had been top on the priority, with the BJP also claiming to have recarpeted maximum of these during its regime.

The recarpeting of these roads and parking areas would have to be completed by early December due to technical reasons. The corporation had already spent around Rs 3 crore on recarpeting of roads before monsoon. 



Civic nominee’s promise
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 17
Sqn Ldr S.P. Bains (retd) one of the two contestants from municipal Ward 14 where by-election is scheduled to be held on October 20, said today that if elected he would ensure all-round development of the area.

Squadron Leader Bains, who retired from the IAF after about 30 years of service and is contesting as an Independent, told at a press conference that the ward was now in a state of neglect as it was not represented in the Municipal Council. The by-election was ordered following the death of the councillor, Mr Gurmohan Ram, from the ward about a year ago.

Squadron Leader Bains said roads and sewerage were in bad shape in Sector 71. Parks, too, were not maintained properly. Many streetlights were not functional and the supply of water was inadequate.

Squadron Leader Bains is contesting against Mr Yog Raj, who is supported by the Municipal Council president, Mr Kulwant Singh.

The former IAF officer, who lives in Sector 71, also said there was no dispensary or hospital in the ward and no arrangements for entertainment and sports. Besides, he said, there was no sub-office of the District Solider Board to solve the problems of a large number of ex-servicemen settled in the ward.

Asked how he would ensure the all-round development of the ward without supporting the ruling group in the council, he claimed that if elected he would bring all councillors on one platform for the benefit of the town.

Squadron Leader Bains said “Jhota Kutt” colony in the ward had become a source of nuisance to residents of Sector 71. He favoured the construction of a wall around the colony as long as it was not shifted from there.



Officials honoured for promoting Hindi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Town Official Language Implementation Committee (TOLIC), Chandigarh, organised its annual prize distribution and cultural function at Technical Teachers Training Institute (TTTI), Chandigarh.

Mrs Hardeep Kaur, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and Chairperson TOLIC, presided over the function. As many as 415 head of departments/officers of various Central Government offices, corporations and undertakings participated in the function. Mr Surinder Chopra, Principal, TTTI, welcomed the chief guest and other guests. Mr Surinder Sharma, secretary of TOLIC, spoke on the programmes and competitions organised by the TOLIC.

He said the Government of India had awarded the second prize to the committee for propagating the use of Hindi in the various Central Government offices.

Cultural items were presented by the employees of different offices and their children. In her address, Mrs Hardeep Kaur said every nation had its own official language. One should be proud of his national language and should use it in his day to day work, she added. She congratulated the winners of various competitions and those head of departments who had won prizes for the use of Hindi in their offices.

The following head of departments were awarded prizes in the order of merit: Productions/training/research institutes: Mr U.C. Saxena, General Manager Ordinance Cable Factory; Mr T.N. Banerjee, Manager, Text Books Press; and Dr V.S. Sethi, Director TBRL.

Small government offices: Mr V.P. Nautiyal, Station Manager Indian Airlines; Mr Yash Pal Bhagat, Director Regional Evaluation Office; and Mr Lal Chand, Joint Director Field Publicity Office.

Board, undertakings and corporations: Mr Arun W. Khadgi, Regional Director ESI; Mr I.C. Sharma, Special Secretary BBMB; and Mr S.S. Anand, General Manager, IFFCO.

Big central government offices: Mr Y.C. Satyavadi, Principal Accountant General, Accountant General (A&E), Punjab; Mr Nand Lal, Accountant General, Accountant General, (Audit), Punjab; Mr Balram, Director General Labour Bureau.



Sector 8 house burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 17
Burglar(s) broke into the Sector 8 residence of Dr Amarjit Kaur and decamped with gold and silver jewellery, ancient coins and Rs 1 lakh in cash sometime between 11 am and 1 pm yesterday.

Dr Amarjit Kaur told Chandigarh Tribune that her entire house was ransacked by the burglars. The cash and jewellery were stolen from a cupboard.

In another incident of house-break, some brass items, a wash basin and other items were stolen from the Sector 37 residence of Mr Harpal Singh on the night intervening October 15 and 16. Two cases under Sections 380 and 454 of the IPC have been registered.

In the meanwhile, Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Sector 70, SAS Nagar, reported to the Sector 17 police that his scooter (CH01U 4204) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 22 on October 14. A case has been registered.

Mr Dalwinder Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar reportedly, fractured his right arm after he was allegedly assaulted by Karnail Singh, Amrik Singh, Balwant Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Didar Singh and others in Sector 52 last evening. He also alleged that the group also issued threats to him. A case under Sections 323, 341, 147, 148, 149, 427 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

Another SAS Nagar resident, Mr Gurjit Singh, was also allegedly assaulted and threatened by Kamal, Rajbir and others in Sector 35 in the late hours yesterday. A case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 322, 325 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

The police has registered a case under Section 3 of the Defacement of Property Act against Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club of Ropar district. The club posters were reportedly found pasted on the walls of a bus stop in Sector 11.

Two persons, Pardeep Kumar Gupta (Colony No. 5) and Patasi (Palsora Colony) were arrested from different parts of the city under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act and 154 pouches of liquor were seized from their possession. The police also arrested Charan Singh (Bhankarpur village, Patiala) for allegedly consuming liquor at a public place.

Goods recovered:
The police has recovered stolen goods worth Rs 10 lakh during the “Operation Agni” launched all over the state.

The Superintendent of Police, Ms Charu Bali, today said the police arrested various criminals involved in different offences in the district. The police arrested 28 persons accused under the Excise Act, two under the NDPS Act and six under the Arms Act. More than 130 bottles and 628 pouches of illicit liquor, 140 gram smack, one gun, two pistols, four knives, eight live cartridges and Rs 25,342 (from gamblers) had been seized.

She said the police busted three gangs involved in snatching, burglary and theft incidents here. Goods worth over Rs 10 lakh were recovered from these gangs.

One held: Dinesh Kumar was arrested from Khetparali village and seven bottles of country-made liquor were seized from him yesterday.

Girl assaulted: A resident of Sector 12, Ms Bindiya, was reportedly assaulted by her neighbour Vikas Sharma alias Vicky and another youth last morning. The victim was going on her scooter when she was forced to stop by the accused near Sector 17 and assaulted. A case under Sections 323, 342, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr Harjit Singh, a resident of Sector 70, has complained that his white Maruti car (Ch-03-D-9013) was stolen from the Punjab School Education Board here today. A case has been registered by the police.


Widow booked for cheating another
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Ms Nirmaljit Kaur Natt, widow of former Sergeant, has lodged a complaint against Ms Rajinder Kaur Aujla, widow of former Major, for allegedly cheating her on the pretext of making her a partner in an LPG agency. The police has registered a case under Section 420, IPC,against Ms Rajinder Kaur Aujla. Both of them belong to SAS Nagar.

Accoring to the FIR, Ms Nirmaljit Kaur Natt said after her husband died in a road accident, Ms Aujla started visiting her to express her sympathy.

In January last year, Ms Aujla told her that she had been allotted an LPG distributorship at Amritsar but said she was not sure whether she would be able to accept the distributorship as she did not have the requisite funds. She also sought the willingness of Ms Natt if she was interested in joining her so that they could run the agency together.

Ms Natt said she agreed after Ms Aujla promised to induct her as a partner and get the dealership order amended from the company on the plea that her partner too was a widow of an ex-serviceman.

Ms Natt alleged that she initially invested more than Rs 4 lakh in the project and got the distributorship functional by February this year. Instead of getting the dealership order amended, Ms Aujla allegedly asked her to go her way.



Three held for attacking cops
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 17
Three persons were arrested here this evening for allegedly attacking two cops with stones. The cops posted at the PCR vehicle in Maloya were injured when a group of 10-12 youths reportedly started pelting stones on them. The cops had to fire rounds to save themselves.

According to police sources, Rishi Pal, alias Rinku, Sandeep Sharma and Deepak, alias Deepa are all residents of Maloya village. Constable Amrik Singh (35) and Mohan Singh (36) were injured in the incident, and admitted to the General Hospital in Sector 16. The three were booked under Sections 147, 149, 308, 332 and 353 of the IPC.



Man chops off wife’s nose
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 17
In a bizarre incident, a husband allegedly chopped off his wife’s nose over a minor altercation late last evening. The victim has been admitted to the PGI.

According to police sources, Amrit Lal, a resident of Mauli Jagran Complex here, irritated after an altercation with his wife, Ms Pushpa, kidnapped her, nailed her down and severed her nose. Ms Pushpa was taken to the PGI in a serious condition. The husband and wife reportedly had an altercation over money. The police has registered a case and Amrit Lal is said to be at large.



Woman’s bid to commit suicide

Chandigarh, October 17
Geeta (31) allegedly tried to end her life by dousing herself with kerosene oil and then setting herself ablaze this afternoon. She is admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32 with 90 per cent burn injuries and is stated to be serious.

Police sources said the incident occurred around 12 noon when her husband, Mr Girdhari Lal, employed as a security guard with a private company was away. Though the police is yet to establish the motive of the alleged suicide, it is believed that the husband-wife duo were not getting along well.



Spice best operator in Punjab, says UK study
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Spice Telecom has been rated as the best cellphone operator in the Punjab circle in an independent survey, entitled Cell Track-3 (2002) conducted by a UK-based organisation, National Family Opinion (NFO), on Indian cellular users.

The report which was released here today said that Spice Telecom came on top in the Punjab circle as regards measuring, monitoring and managing (Tri M) index of the cellphone service was concerned in the eyes of the users. The report compares the performance of Spice in the Punjab circle with that of 30 other operators in 14 cellular circles in India.

The parameters identified for the survey included overall experience of the user, intention to continue relationship and willingness to recommend to others.

Fascel in Gujarat with a rating of 90 was adjudged as the best performer in the Indian post-paid market. In the Punjab circle, Spice came on top with a rating of 80 while Bharti which operates Airtel in Punjab had an index rating of just 33. The industry average in the country was pegged at 71 points.



‘Proper water pricing only way to promote
 water conservation’ 
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Shaju PeterChandigarh, October17
Since the cost of water is almost negligible for residents and industrialists of Chandigarh and the surrounding towns, they use it indiscriminately without realising the fact that the region is going to face a severe problem of clean and drinking water, says Mr Shaju Peter, Managing Director, Daftech Engineers Pvt. Limited.

A pioneer in Reverse Osmosis technology to treat water in the region, he is providing services to the industry to recycle waste water. His clients include paper, edible oil, fibre recovery and pharmaceutical units. A graduate in mechanical engineering, Mr Shaju Peter has worked for about two decades with Krofta Engineering Ltd.

At present, he is directing the operations of a newly formed Derabasi based company. The company is specialising, he says, in dissolved air floatation technology for fibre recovery in paper mills and industrial wastewater treatment. It has also been appointed as technical licencees in India of Canadian Crystaline Waters (India), a Shivsu group company based in Chennai.

Asked about the economic viability of the reverse osmosis technology, Mr Shaju Peter, claims that it is a water treatment system, used to produce clean drinking water from high brackish or salt water. The final product would be free from pathogens and bacteria. The product range starts from 250 litres per hour for commercial, residential and industrial purposes. In comparison to Rs 0.06/litre cost of treating water through demineralisation technology, he says, the new technology provides clean water at a cost of just Rs 0.02/litre.

Mr Shaju Peter (54) has to his credit various papers including ‘Dissolved Air Flotation for Wastewater Treatment’ and ‘Flotation — A Viable Alternative to Sedimentation’ which were published in international journals. A rotarian since 1986, he has served the club in various capacities, besides working on several humanitarian projects in Chandigarh and adjoining areas. He has also attended club meetings in Manchester, Massachusetts, Munich, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Helsinki, Toronto, Tulsa, Zurich and Singapore.

He claims that though the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is trying to provide clean drinking water, but due to the limited capacity of its infrastructure and outdated technology to treat water, the quality of water is continuously deteriorating over the past few years. In Europe and the Gulf countries, where the cities are even using sea water after proper treatment, the quality of water is relativity much better than in India.

He says, “We are trying to popularise use of ozone for the treatment of water, which is a powerful commercial oxidant and is primarily used as a disinfectant for drinking water. It could be either produced for oxygen or directly from air. Its also destroys bacteria, inhibits algae growth and reduces scaling in problem areas.”

His one and a half year old company has achieved a turnover of Rs 55 lakh and the target for the current year is Rs 1.5 crore. However, he laments that since the water is almost free in the region, and the State Pollution Control Boards have failed to check the water or air pollution created by industries, people are unable to appriciate its environmental costs. The over chlorinisation of water is already resulting in side-effects for the residents, and the use of water purifiers is on rise.


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