Thursday, October 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal structures around IAF area may be pulled down
Our correspondent

Zirakpur, October 23
Hundreds of constructions are likely to be demolished following a notification issued by the department Local Government, of Punjab, against the coming up of massive structures within a radious of 900 metres from the outer fencing of the Chandigarh Air Force Station.

Taking a serious view of a complaint by the Indian Air Force authorities, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary, Local Government, through the Vigilance wing of the department issued a notice, prohibiting construction within the 900-metre area radius.

The notice states that the safety of the defence installations cannot be compromised with by allowing construction within this radius. The notice warns that no building plan (for structures to be constructed within the prohibited area) be passed and those passed earlier should be frozen with immediate effect.

A team of the Vigilance wing comprising Mr Anil Kansal, Chief Vigilance Officer, and Mr Rajkishan, Vigilance Officer, went on a surprise visit to the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat office last evening and issued the notice to Mr Jagjit Singh Sahi, Executive Officer (EO), of the civic body.

Sources revealed that the team seized documents pertaining to approved building plans, besides application for approval. Mr Kansal claimed that the visit was conducted on the directions of the Secretary, Local Government. As the matter pertained to National security colonisers, investors and local residents were warned ‘‘not to play” with Indian Air Force installations and the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat was asked to stop approving building plans and construction work within the radius till further orders.

He said the civic body authorities had also been asked to furnish a detailed report relating to the building plans approved from September 10 to October 22.

The Indian Air Force Authorities had issued a notice to the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat in October, 2001, asking it to ban construction in this areas and stop approving building plans. However, the nagar panchayat authorities again started approving building plans in September, 2002, following a legal opinion from a district attorney who held the notification “unspecific and unclear.”

From September 10 to October 22, over 250 building plans were approved by the authorities while over 75 are awaiting approval.

Highly placed sources in the vigilance department disclosed that a majority of the building plans were approved between September 10 and September 23 the tenure of Mr Girish Verma EO, (now posted as EO with the Dera Bassi Municipal Council).

Meanwhile, following the notification, thousands of investors, colonisers and property dealers are in a quandary.

They lament that neither the government nor the Air Force authorities have specified the area that falls within a radius of 900 metres from the defence installations.

Residents said they had invested hard-earned money in purchasing residential plots and had now come under a cloud. “Neither the Air Force Station authorities nor the district administration raised any objection when construction work was going on. Now when the area has been fully developed, they have woken up from deep slumber, they said.


UT forms panels on sexual harassment cases
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Government offices and other workplaces in the Union Territory of Chandigarh are well on their way to becoming a much safer place for women to operate in, thanks to the establishment of committees to deal with complaints of sexual harassment of women in offices.

Committees have been constituted during the past few months in almost all government departments and boards and corporations in the Union Territory. The complaints’ committees consist of five members, including the chairperson who is invariably a woman. Besides, two of the remaining four members of the committee are women.

The UT Administration is the largest employer here and a large part of its work force is women, especially in schools and colleges. It has also circulated among the departments a code of conduct for workplace. It lays down that:

i) It shall be the duty of the employer to prevent or deter the commission of any act of sexual harassment at the workplace.

ii) Sexual harassment will include such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour by any person either individually or in association with other persons or by any person in authority, whether directly or by implication, such as eve-teasing, unsavoury remarks, jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment, innuendos and taunts, gender-based insults or sexual remarks, unwelcome sexual overtone in any manner such as over telephone (obnoxious telephone calls), and other gestures like touching or brushing against any part of the body and the like displaying pornographic or other offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, pamphlets or sayings; forcible physical touch or molestation; physical confinement against one’s will and any other act likely to violate one’s privacy.

The procedure for conducting an enquiry by the complaints’ committees has also been laid down. It provides that any person aggrieved shall prefer a complaint before the complaints’ committee at the earliest point of time and in any case within 15 days from the date of occurrence of the alleged incident.

The complaint shall contain all the material and relevant details concerning the alleged sexual harassment and the complaint should be addressed to the committee. If the complainant feels that she cannot disclose her identify for any particular reason, the complainant shall address the complaint to the head of the organisation and hand over the same in person or in a sealed cover. Upon receipt of such complaint the head of the organisation shall retain the original with himself and send the gist to the committee which shall hold an enquiry and submit its recommendations to the management.


Evening OPD in PGI from Dec 1: Shotgun
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 23
The Union Minister of Family Welfare and Health, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, said here today that the evening OPD in the PGI of Chandigarh would become functional from December 1.

He said this after inaugurating the new building of General Hospital in Sector 6 here. Mr Sinha said the evening OPDs in the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdurjung Hospital of New Delhi would also be made operational by December. A proposal to establish evening OPDs in other hospitals all over the country with heavy patient inflow had been mooted.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said senior citizens of Haryana would, now, get free treatment in all government hospitals of the state and be provided with a pair of spectacles each, free of cost.

Mr Sinha said state governments would review the proposals next month and Haryana would review these after Divali. Proposals for improving healthcare in the state would be given due consideration.

In his typical Shotgun style, Mr Sinha said failing health standards in the country were a matter of concern. He said, India, the biggest democracy, also had the highest number of persons with blindness, polio, leprosy and tuberculosis. TB claimed 5,000 persons each year in the country that had 32 per cent of all polio patients in the world. Of these, 70 per cent were in Uttar Pradesh only.

India had a high percentage of global population with malaria, diabetes and hepatitis. He said, in 1986, India had only one person with AIDS and it, now, had the second largest number of AIDS patients in the world after South Africa. “The Centre’s health budget is limited, but population is ever increasing, so, public and private sector should come together for improving healthcare for masses,” he said.

Mr Chautala said an ambulance service had been launched on the state highways. Paramedics, health centres and policemen were coordinating well for a quick response in cases of accidents and medical emergencies on highways. He urged Mr Sinha to launch this service on National Highways 8, 10 and 2 (crossing Sirsa, Rewari and Palwal) by establishing Trauma Centres equipped with CT Scans here.

He also demanded a hospital for senior citizens in the state and funds for TB hospitals and clinics in 12 districts of the state. The Sector 6 hospital is the first one in the state where a CT scan had been installed (at a cost of Rs 2.13 crore). This 100-bed hospital had cost Rs 8.38 crore to be built and equipped with latest facilities.


LPG distributors threaten stir from Oct 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
The Chandigarh LPG Distributors’ Federation has threatened to go on an indefinite strike from October 28. This was announced by the president of the federation, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, at a press conference here today.

He said the Chandigarh Administration had given a warning for demolishing LPG godowns from the next week without providing land to distributors, thus creating a situation where supplies could not be ensured. Mr Sharma said the Administration was charging unreasonable rent for the godowns and had served notices of demolition to those operating from private land.

The fight between the Administration and oil companies on the rate of rent was going to affect the distributors’ ability to supply LPG, he said.

Flanked by office-bearers of the north-west unit of the federation, Mr Sharma said the strike could be announced as soon as the godowns were demolished.

Mr Sharma said members of the unit were called to spread the strike to Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh if the “oppressive” policy of the Administration was not withdrawn.

The federation served a notice to the Administration, announcing its intent of going on the strike if “monopolistic” rents were not brought to the level of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and issues of allotment and demolition were not delinked.

Mr Sharma told mediapersons that the bone of contention was allotment of the sites and fixation of land rent, which had to be borne by distributors.

He said the distributors had been pleading with the Administration to fix the rent considering viability of business. Mr Sharma said while the DDA was charging Rs 1000 per month for an LPG godown, the Chandigarh Administration was charging Rs 15,000.

The Administration was indulging in monopolistic practices by not allowing the distributors to run their business on private land, which are cheaper, he alleged.

Mr Sharma said that the Administration had conveyed to the distributors that the issue of demolition of the LPG godowns in Sectors 44, 35, 32, 27 and 20 was separate from the issue of allotment of the godown sites and both issues would not be linked.

He said the sites proposed to be allotted were not without encumbrance, leaving the Administration unable to allot the sites. There was not even basic infrastructure in the areas where these allotments were to be made, he said.


Exhibition on rural enterprises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Northern Region, would organise five-day summit on rural enterprises from October 26 to 30. Over 100 exhibitors from all over India would showcase their products including handicrafts, pottery, jute items and leather products at the exhibition, to be organised on the occasion, said Mr Gokul Patnaik, Chairman, Food and Agriculture Sub Committee, CII, Northern Region, here yesterday.

Addressing a press conference, he disclosed that the five-day exhibition would be inaugurated by Mr Shanta Kumar, Union Minister of Rural Development. Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Punjab, would inaugurate two-day conference on rural enterprises on October 29, to be organised along with the exhibition.

Referring to the importance of the summit, Mr Patnaik said the non-farming sector was creating about 60 million jobs in the rural sector, out of which 23 per cent were women employees. The sector was providing an export contribution of Rs 68,967.08 crore, about 35 per cent of total exports from the country. The purpose of the summit, he said, was to create awareness about the importance of rural enterprises and to promote technological upgradation in that sector.

The five-day mega event, he said, would provide a platform for interaction amongst the decision makers and senior professionals from the government, industry, financial institutions, technology providers and NGOs from the rural non-farming sector.


Senior officers’ conference held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
A senior officers’ conference was held yesterday under the chairpersonship of the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9. The Adviser asked all Heads of Departments (HoDs) to intimate the status of Plan and non-Plan expenditure and revenue receipts. The HoDs concerned were also urged to settle pending audit paras urgently.

The departments were asked to ensure utilisation of funds in a time-bound manner. The conference also discussed progress reports of various departments regarding providing barrier-free environment to the disabled. The conference also deliberated upon the progress regarding updation of computerised list of all court cases. It also dwelt on the reports of all HoDs regarding contribution of the complaints committee to look into cases of sexual harassment at working places.

The officers who attended the conference included the Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, the Chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr G.K. Marwah, the MC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, CHB, Mr M.P. Singh, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr B.S. Bassi, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, the Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjeet Singh, the Managing Director, CITCO, Mr S.P. Singh, the Joint Secretary, Finance, Mr Dalip Kumar, and the Director-cum-Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital, Dr S.B.S. Mann.


Telecom staff start chain fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Members of the Telecom Engineering Officers Association (India) today started a three-day chain fast in support of their long-pending demands. Ten subdivisional engineers and junior telecom officers observed the fast in front of the BSNL Chief General Manager’s office, Sector 34, Chandigarh.

Among others, Mr Amarjeet Singh and Mr Y.B. Walia, circle secretary and circle president of the association, respectively, addressed the gathering and warned the management to intensify the agitation in case their demands were not accepted.


Woman burnt alive by in-laws
Our Correspondent

Lalru, October 23
A woman was allegedly set on fire by her in-laws in Handesra village while a youth ended his life by committing suicide in Todi village near Handesra village about 10 km from here in last 24 hours.

According to the police Geeta Rani, who was married about one-and-a-half years ago, was allegedly set on fire by her husband, Ranjit Singh, her mother-in-law Sundari Devi, brother-in-law Gurmit Singh, sister-in-law Labho Devi this afternoon.

She was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Ambala, in a critical condition where she died.

Mr Dharam Pal, father of the victim, in his complaint to the police alleged that Geeta’s in-laws were harassing her for the past couple of months and today set her on fire.

A case under Sections 304-B, 148, 49 and 34 of the IPC has been registered with the Lalru police station against the alleged accused. Ranjit Singh, husband of the deceased, has been arrested by the police while others who were involved in the crime, are still at large.

In another incident Mr Binder (22) a resident of Todi village near here committed suicide by hanging himself on a branch of a tree in nearby fields.

According to the police, Binder was staying with his friend Rakesh Kumar in the village. Both had a quarrel over some issue late last night. Binder thrashed Rakesh brutally. He then got frightened fearing he had killed Rakesh. So he hanged himself with a branch of a tree in nearby fields.


One held on theft charges
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 23
The police has arrested one person on charges of theft and forgery and recovered a car and a fake seal of the Registration Officer, Amritsar, from him.

In a press note released here yesterday Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, said he had been provided a tip-off that Sarabjeet Singh, a resident of Phase I, was indulging in theft of cars which he was selling after preparing fake registration papers. He said that he had been told that the accused was roaming around in the town in a Maruti car (PB-02B-7495).

Mr Bhullar said on getting this information the SHO of the Phase VIII police station, Mr Pritam Singh, laid a naka near the YPS chowk and started checking vehicles. During the operation Sarabjit Singh was also stopped and his vehicle checked. On questioning he disclosed that the real registration number of the car which he was driving was HR-03E-1390 which he had stolen from the market of Sector 35, Chandigarh. He also admitted that he had stolen another car from the market of Sector 9, Chandigarh, which he had abandoned at Patiala after removing the stereo system from it. The stereo system had also been recovered from the accused.

The police has registered a case under Sections 379, 411, 465, 468, 471 and 472 of the IPC in this regard.


Rs 1.20 lakh stolen from car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 23
A resident of Sector 38 West was poorer by Rs 1.20 lakh after the amount was stolen from his car in Sector 17 here today.

As per police sources, Mr Satish Kumar withdrew the amount from a branch of the HDFC bank. He parked his car near Circus Ground and went to make a telephone call, leaving the cash in the car. When he returned back, he found the car’s door lock broken and the amount stolen.

Theft cases
During the past 24-hours, the police has registered five cases of theft from different parts of the city.

A Maruti car (CH03A 2713) of Mr Jasbir Singh Grewal, a resident of Sector 36, was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 22 yesterday morning. Mr Kanwaljit Singh Dhillon, a resident of Sector 27, reported that his scooter (CHQ 1918) was stolen from a parking lot of Punjab Civil Secretariat yesterday.

A Yamaha motorcycle (PB04E 3649) of Mr Vinayak Sharma, a resident of Sector 46, was reportedly stolen from Sector 36 on the night intervening October 21 and 22. Mr Harcharan Singh, a resident of Sector 34, reported with the police that a gold chain, a pair of gold ear rings, a gold ring and some documents were stolen from dicky of his scooter, parked in Sector 34.

Theft of computer parts from Punjab Civil Secretariat here was also reported. The complainant, Mr Kuldeep Rai, Superintendent, Home Branch, reported that the said theft took place between October 19 and 21.

One injured
A resident of Panipat district, Vijay Kumar, was injured after he was allegedly hit by a Haryana Roadways bus near the ISBT, Sector 17, here yesterday. The bus driver, Satbir Singh, was arrested and later released on bail. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Calves stolen
A resident of Kajheri village, Mr Harpal alias Kala, has reported to the police that his two calves have been stolen. The alleged theft took place on October 14.

Two Sector 37-based brothers were allegedly beaten and threatened by a group of six students of a local college near Jagat Cinema parking lot on Monday evening. In his complaint, Mr Balbir Singh, told the police that the youths’ who were on scooter, sped away after beating him and his brother Mr Rajinder Singh. A case under Sections 147, 149, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

Woman beaten up
Mr H.N Srivastva, a resident of Sector 56, reported with the police that his wife was beaten up by Bias Muni and an unidentified woman on Monday. His wife, Sunita, reportedly developed fracture in her left leg. A case under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Burglar(s) reportedly broke into the Sector 33 house of Mr Kashmir Chand and decamped with gold and silver jewellery and clothes sometime between October 12 and 20. The house was unoccupied at the time of the burglary. A case has been registered.

The police has registered a case under Section 3 of the Prevention of the Defacement of Property Act against Tagore Dancing School, Tagore Model School, H.No. 14, Sector 15. This was stated in a press release of the police department.


House burgled
A sum of Rs 12,000 was stolen from a house in Sector 12- A on Monday, while the house owners were away.

Mr S.P. Sabharwal , owner of the house where the incident took place, said he was away for a walk and when he returned he found that somebody had tried to break into his house. Upon checking, he could not find anything wrong in his house, but decided to check his paying guest, Mr Baldev Raj’s accommodation on first floor.

The door of the said portion was open and the place had been ransacked. Yesterday morning, Mr Baldev came back and reported that a sum of Rs 12,000 had been stolen. A case under Sections 380 and 454, IPC, has been registered.

One assaulted
Surinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 14 here, has accused unknown driver of car ( HR-26-0702) and his four accomplices of having assaulted him on the Sector 11 and 15 roundabout on Sunday. A case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.


Gang of scooter thieves busted; 3 held
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 23
The police has busted a gang of scooter thieves operating in SAS Nagar and Chandigarh and arrested three persons, along with eight stolen scooter here today.

Giving this information, the SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, said that the three men were caught while they, along with two of their accomplices, were planning another robbery using a secluded closed factory premises in Industrial Area Phase 8 as meeting place.

While Baljit Singh, alias Sunny, and his brother Ajit Singh, alias Honey, both residents of Phase IV, here, along with Jasveer Singh resident of Rurka village, Ludhiana, were arrested while Ramesh, alias Mota and Kamaljit Singh, alias Kamal escaped.

Based on the information provided by them, the police has impounded eight scooters and found a mobile a .3 bore pistol and cartridges iron rods with these persons.

These men have also reportedly confessed to have stolen jewellery at gun point and the mobile phone from a house in Kurali. The accused are being interrogated further and the police is expecting to locate more vehicles based on the information.


Higher charges affect growth of credit card market in city
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Despite exponential growth in trade and banking activities in the city, the trading and banking community has failed to realise the unlimited potential of credit cards. The experts in the market term the higher interest rates and hidden costs, besides shopkeepers reluctance to accept these cards due to sales and income tax implications, as the biggest hurdles in the growth of plastic money.

Senior officials in different banks lament that banks had made heavy investments to introduce this technological product on the pattern of developed countries, but due to exorbitant interest rates, typical behaviour of the Indian customer and unfair trade practices, they failed to a larger extent. The initial purpose was to facilitate personal and business transactions and provide limited period credit to customers.

Mr Amrik Singh Ahi, Manager (Personal Banking) State Bank of Patiala, admitted that due to higher charges few customers were using the facility. Further, the increasing facility of ATM and debit cards had badly affected their growth. Mr A.C. Dhawan, Chief Manager, Sector 22 branch of the State Bank of India (SBI), said though the SBI Visa Card had made inroads in this sector, and a large number of credit card holders were using them, but customers were using them only in emergency to get cash and for shopping purposes on limited outlets.

Mr R.K. Kumaria, Head of the SBI Credit Card Division, claimed that the SBI had issued more than 25,000 credit cards in the city alone since 1999 and the customers were using them frequently. He said, “The credit card is a privilege offered to limited customers with secure income and credit worthiness. The bank charges annually in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 1500 for providing this facility. The customers are also offered personal insurance policy of Rs 3 lakh to cover death and disability risk with marginal premium.”

He felt that since customers were not aware about their benefits so they took or used these cards sparingly. The banks would not charge anything if these were used for making payments at the specified outlets.

Other bank officials, however, disclosed if the annual charges, renewal and other charges were taken into account besides up to 36 per cent interest rate on withdrawing cash, the actual charges would turn up to 60 - 80 per cent. Further, the shopkeepers would quote different price of products for making cash payments or through credit cards.

Defending the trading community, Mr Anil Talwar of Talwar Sons, blamed a section of community for this scenario. He said, “Unlike developed countries, the use of credit cards would remain limited here in the near future. Reason: The customers are not ready to make purchases by paying proper sales tax.”


City markets roll red carpet for ‘king consumer’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
The preparations are on. As the festival of lights is approaching, showrooms and shops spread throughout the length and breadth of the city have been illuminated with colourful blinking lights. This is not all. Shopkeepers are offering massive discounts also. As much as 50 per cent in some of the cases.

If you do not believe it, go to any of the shopping arcades in the city and see it for yourself. Banners loosely tied across electricity poles in front of shops, announcing lucrative offers, will attract you.

The venue of prime shopping once again is the Sector 22-D market. The entire market has been decked up like never before. Enter the market and you have a feeling that you are in a wonderland with blooming flowers all around you.

Each shop has a canopy made of green leaves giving you the special feeling of being ‘back-to-nature’. As you walk down the spick and span corridors, soothing music calms you down. The pillars, too, have been decorated, even the trees in the parking lot have not been spared. As the sun disappears behind the buildings in the evenings, blinking lights illuminate them, along with the entire market.

But appreciation of decoration should not be the only reason for you to go to the market. The owners are giving special offers, besides stocking their showrooms with the ‘latest stuff’.

There is more to it. You can win cars, refrigerators and so many other appliances and gadgets on making purchases here. “All you have to do is to buy stuff worth Rs 500, pick up a coupon, put it in a box and wait for the lucky draw,” says a shopkeeper. “Chances are that you will drive home in a brand new car,” he adds.

“A similar lucky draw was also held during navratras and everyone was pretty happy with it. A car was won, so were other gifts. Now during the Divali festival, we plan a bigger ‘dhamaka’. That is the reason why the number of prizes have been increased substantially,” he adds.

Well, Sector 22-D shopping complex is not the only place you can pick up the stuff of your choice, along with grand prizes. Other shopping centers, too, have come up with lucrative offers, including Sector 17.

Go to the market and you will see announcements outside shops selling gift items, greeting cards, garments, even shoes and sandals. The maximum rush, however, is in shops selling carpets.

“Divali is the best season to buy carpets,” says Manohar Lal Verma, branch executive with a pharmaceutical firm. “You can buy nice designer carpets by taking out half the money out of your pocket than you would have been forced to otherwise. That is why I have purchased two. One for the bedroom, other for the living room,” he says.

Tanya is also excited. She has been able to pick up silver jewellery at half the price. “I wanted to buy silver earings since long, but mom was just not giving me the money. When I showed her the banner announcing 50 per cent discount, she readily agreed,” she says.

The shopping complex in Sector 19 has also been decked up for the occasion. Though the MC staff is maintaining a constant vigil against encroachments, some of the shopkeepers have started taking risks. “That is why you see so many sellers offering earings and hair clips on folding beds,” says a regular visitor to the market, Mr Anuj Sharma.


A market living on love and hate relations with visitors
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Sector 22 A Market, which has come to be known for clinics, has a very special relationship with visitors drawing crowds as large as 10,000 on a particular day especially when there is a rally or dharna at the Matka Chowk.

The market probably has the most popular ahata, nearest the Chowk, drawing ralliests to the market crowding the market.

But visitors to exhibitions at the Parade Ground bring both business and trouble to the market.

The market which probably has the most comfortable parking space is dotted about by vehicles coming to these exhibitions.

But on the positive side, outside visitors to exhibitions come to the market and find a wholesale cloth market attractive to make some purchases from it giving it some business.

It has seen a many fold jump in the business developing from a wholesale cloth market to a retail-cum-wholesale market since early eighties.

Leading this trend is Sharan Pal Singh of the Amar Sons who claims to sell cloths at wholesale prices to both wholesellers and retailers.

Mr Singh is related to the Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari and shifted to the city 15 years back.

Mr Singh, now the president of the market association, in his enthusiasm to improve the condition of the market landed into virtual trouble with the municipal corporation.

Pained at the condition of tiles on the pavement in front of shops, he started cementing them to invite intervention from the corporation officials.

The market feels relieved at the recent changes in the by-laws saying now cloth shops were working on all floors. Cloth shops numbered around 50 in the small market, he said.

The market boasts of turning over between Rs 50 to 60 crore.

One of the oldest occupants in the market Jyoti Prasad of Pyare Lal and Sons, who came to the city in 1956, remembered the auction of plots started in the market in 1977 and shops had been built in the same year.

Mr Prasad said his firm had been sourcing the material directly from mills of Mumbai and elsewhere providing them a competitive edge in the market.

The market has popular hotels like Pankaj, Amar, Alankar and Kwality for providing it night life.

A large number of visitors have been coming to the market due to the presence of a large number of clinics and diagnostic centres.

The presence of diagnostic centres has given a boost to chemist shops.

Booths in the market have largely been occupied by chemists.

The market has acquired a speciality with a large number of cloth shops being in the basement.

Dr. Walia's diagnostic centre, Dr. Poonamjit's clinic and Mirchia's Eye Hospital are few of the names known to the people.

The petrol pump in the market has been contributing to the strength of the market providing it a sense of completeness.

With an open and neat parking lot, underground shops and a relaxed atmosphere, the market provides a soothing effect to a visitor.

The light and tiles of the market provide the visitor a mixed feeling with the pavement being broken from somewhere to the ones built by certain traders.

The Raymond Shop exclusively for men is amongst prestigious shops in the market.

The market has a cluster of handloom shops. It probably has the lowest number of offices and a number of courier operators are working from the first and second floors of the market. Certain good chartered accounting firms are also operator from here.



  • Despite having good space, the market, like others, is again facing parking problem due to its mismanagement.
  • The market association feels there is a need of a separate parking lot for two wheelers and Mr Sharan Singh said it could even take up the charge of manning this parking lot.
  • The street lighting is unreliable.
  • There have been cycle thefts from the market.
  • The market has been running on generators since October 17 with electricity being non-existent for many days.
  • Sweepers are allegedly gathering garbage in front of the market and also behind shops.
  • The parking space is flooded by vehicles during exhibitions and rallies in the Parade Ground.
  • Taxi operators have been operating from here.
  • Juice rehris sometimes become nuisance as people have been getting liquor mixed in juice in the open.
  • The backlane could be utilised for parking purposes and also to ensure cleanliness and thefts could be curtailed.
  • Traders are not being allowed to improve the condition of pavements under the supervision and standards of the municipal corporation.
  • Enforcement wing has not regularly been asking traders not to display their material outside resulting in shopkeepers coming out in the verandah.
Office bearers and members of the association: Sardar Partap Singh, chairman, Yogesh, chief advisor, Sharan Pal Singh, president, Pavitar Singh, senior vice president, Amarjit Singh, vice president, J. P. Singh, general secretary, Sanjay Dhall, joint secretary, Ajay Joshi, press secretary and Brij Gulati, finance secretary.

Executive members: Inder Mohan, Rakesh Gulati, R. P. Singh, Vijay Jain, D. D. Thakur, J. C Kansal, Sardar Gurcharan Singh.


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