Friday, December 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT integrated investment policy by mid-Jan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The Chandigarh Administration will announce a comprehensive integrated investment policy by the middle of January to attract investments in the sectors of information technology, biotechnology, business parks, higher education, financial services, tourism and other non-polluting industries.

This was announced by the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), at a function organised to give away the Software Exports Awards to IT entrepreneurs. Speaking on the occasion, General Jacob said various departments like industry, information technology and tourism were working in isolation to attract investments in particular sectors on their own. By this integrated investment policy, the Chandigarh Administration would be endeavouring to have a coordinated approach to attract business and investments in the city in various sectors including tourism.

General Jacob said for promoting the technology industry in Chandigarh, the Administration had taken a number of steps. The Chandigarh Technology Park provides the ideal setting for large, medium and small technology companies. Software development, business process outsourcing, call centres and hardware assembly companies are all slated to be part of the park. The Administration has received response from all such companies to make the park the only multi-faceted one of its kind.

“We are also setting up an Entrepreneur Development Centre at the park, in collaboration with the STPI. This centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities to companies which wish to start their operations at a smaller level and would later occupy space or land in the main portion of the park. The STPI has been helping us in promoting exports from the city and would also provide the connectivity and expertise for the technology park”, he added.

General Jacob said the Chandigarh Administration was in the process of formulating a policy for IT-enabled services so that the BPO and call centre companies could operate from Chandigarh with maximum efficiency. A recent survey by Gartner has ranked Chandigarh very highly among cities in India for BPO companies. The Chandigarh Administration is also promoting biotechnology with the help of Institutes of Excellence like IMTECH, CSIO, PGIMER, NIPER and the GMCH.

He said the Chandigarh Administration had also set up a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence on the Punjab Engineering College campus in collaboration with Microsoft to impart high-end training to the youth of the city.

The Administration is stressing the need for urgent upgradation of Punjab Engineering College and is also conscious of the requirement of the IT industry for qualified manpower, he said. It would continue to emphasise the need for continued upgradation of skills of our youth so that they can come up to the needs of the technology industry. The Chandigarh IT Department has also taken steps to provide adequate bandwidth for the IT industry, wiring up the city with optic fibre cable with the help of companies.

Earlier, General Jacob released the newsletter of the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC). The Administrator also inaugurated the website of SPIC by clicking the mouse.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Karan A. Singh, Secretary, IT, enumerated various facets of the IT policy of Chandigarh. Mr Vivek Attray, Director, IT, gave a presentation on the IT park.



Software Exports Awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The first prize of the first Annual Software Exports Awards was conferred on Mr Pratap Aggarwal and Mr Satish Bagrodia of IDS Infotech Limited for Rs 11.96 crore exports of software during 2000-01. Mr Rajendra Gupta of Trident, with exports of Rs 2.55 crore, and Mr Ajay Tewari and Mr Rajan Vasudevan of Smart Data with exports of Rs 1.19 crore during the same period, got second and third prizes, respectively.

Congratulating the winners, General Jacob said by giving the awards, the Administration was recognising their contribution and that of other IT companies of Chandigarh which were playing an integral role in the growth of Chandigarh as the technology hub of the region. The software exports figures from Chandigarh are expected to touch Rs 125 crore in the current year.

The three companies which got the awards today — IDS Infotech, Trident and Smart Data — are all Chandigarh-based companies which have grown with the city. “The Administration recognises the need for encouraging the growth of these companies, even as we welcome the big multinational and major Indian companies like Infosys here”, General Jacob said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that IDS Infotech, established in 1989, has emerged as a leading IT solutions and IT-enabled service provider, catering to the needs of the global market. The leadership position has been affirmed by its recognition by the Government of India as the largest software exporter in the state. Established in the early 1960s, the Winsome group has treaded a long and prosperous path. Today, with a countrywide network and a strength of about 8,000 employees, its annual turnover exceeds $ 100 million. 



Mohali police claims solving 17 burglary cases
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 26
The SAS Nagar police has claimed to have solved 17 cases of burglary and 3 cases of theft in SAS Nagar with the arrest of 10 thieves during a joint operation by the Chandigarh and SAS Nagar police yesterday night.

Other than Sital Department Store in 3B2 market, the police here stated that 19 minor cases have also been solved that includes the reported burglary at Sant Shoe Store in Phase VII market. Although the owner of the store had claimed that his shop had been entered into by the thieves and cash from his two cash registers stolen, police sources stated that the thieves had admitted to have tried their hands at some shops in Phase VII that night but were unable to get into any of the shops. The thieves had broken the glass door of the shop when they had struck the shutter with an iron rod but, according to the police, no one managed to enter the shop.

The 12 policemen, who, according to the police, were instrumental in busting the gang of burglars yesterday, were also honoured by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, here today. Congratulating his team for their good work, the SSP stated that they should keep up the good work and strive hard in the future.

Earlier, while addressing a press conference, he expressed hope that in the coming days the rest of the gang members will be caught and as the investigation proceeds further more facts about how the thieves were operating will come to light. ‘‘The gang comprising 10 to 12 persons had been operating in the city and township for the past 10 months and was responsible for over 35 cases of thefts. The thieves were working as waiters in marriages and roamed about looking for locked houses through the day on cycles, striking at night. They were residing in the bordering slum colonies between the city and the township,’’ he said.

According to him, five thieves were caught last night when they were coming from Colony Number 5 after having planned another burglary and were carrying weapons. ‘‘The five burglars were armed with a country-made pistol along with four live cartridges besides iron rods and shutter breaking tools. But these thieves are not just shop looters. They are also involved in thefts and burglaries that have taken place in residential areas in the township,’’ he said.

Mr Gurpreet Bhullar also stated that a change of strategy by the SAS Nagar police in having added foot and bicycle patrolling had been instrumental in nabbing the thieves. The SSP also gave commendation certificates to all those who had helped in nabbing these burglars. Among those who got the certificates were Mr Pritam Singh Bedi, Mr J.S. Sohal, Mr Bhagwant Singh, Mr Rajpal, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Des Raj, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Swaran Singh, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Pal Singh, Mr Roshan Lal, Mr Satish Kumar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, Mr Sushil Kumar and Mr Gurmit Singh.



Slums proving to be breeding ground for criminals
Tribune News Service

Burglars in guise of waiters, painters waiters, painters

The kingpin of the gang of burglars busted on Wednesday used to make “newcomers” work as waiters or painters to disguise their identity. Before striking, all gang members were asked to wear black clothes and cover their faces with monkey caps. The survey of the shops to be targeted was done by leaders of the gang on rickshaw.

Chandigarh, December 26
Slums in the city are turning into breeding ground for criminals. The conspiracy of the recent serial burglaries in southern sectors and adjoining areas of SAS Nagar was hatched in Colony No.5 — one of the densely populated slums dotting the outer fringes of the city.

After the burglaries, the entire machinery of the police force of Chandigarh and its counterparts in Punjab was focussed on late-night patrolling, especially on the border.

Knowing little that deep in the heart of the colony, the dwelling unit of a gang leader was being used as the base camp to chalk out plan for yet another major burglary in the city, the police kept on looking for the suspects somewhere else.

Once arrested following a tip-off by the SAS Nagar police and sustained joint raids by the Chandigarh Police, some interesting facts about how greed for good life style and swanky clothes were turning small-time thieves — living in the slums around the city — into hardened criminals. All burglars arrested are in the age group of 17 to 25 and all are school-dropouts.

The life of one of the “gurus” of the novice burglars, Rambo, fits into the story of the “stealing for good life”. Rambo (18) left Government Model Senior School in Phase 3B-1, in class XI and joined the gang headed by Rambo, Michael and Parmod. The police claims that all youths were active for the past eight months.

His modus operandi was to work as a waiter in late-night parties and strike after that. Ramboo claims that he had burgled a house in Phase 7 at the start of his “career”. The strategy of the gang was to strike without any clash. Where required, a knife was used to threat on night chowkidars.

The booty was shared among the members and the beginners were given some money as an incentive.

The story of Rinku, another member of the gang, is not different. He left school in class VIII and began working at the shop of a property dealer. Murari, Vikram and Vicky, who are also in the custody of the Chandigarh Police, claimed that after their first attempt, they were forced to join the gang on the threat that there names would be given to the police.

Meanwhile, all five suspects arrested by the police were remanded to police custody for four days by a local court.



Admn advised against holding lavish functions
Jacob for austerity measures
Tribune News Service

The new directions...

  • Arrangements for tea/coffee at functions should be spartan.
  • No lavish pastries, “pakoras” and sandwiches.
  • No expensive mementos for dignitaries or colleagues.
  • No bouquets to be presented on the arrival of the chief guest.

Chandigarh, December 26
Pained at the waste of money in organising lavish public functions by various departments of the Chandigarh Administration, the UT Administrator, Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), has advised senior functionaries of the administration not to waste public money on such arrangements.

Well-placed official sources told Chandigarh Tribune that General Jacob had advised the officials to observe austerity measures while organising functions of the administration like laying of foundation stones or inauguration of development projects. Since the Chandigarh Administration was passing through a tight financial position, it had been advised to spend least money on organising administration’s functions.

In the list of advice, the General said least money should be spent on setting up of tents and other allied arrangements. In the past it has been noticed that functions of the administration have had expensive cane furniture, plush carpets and highly decorated tents. The most glaring example was when three new road connections to SAS Nagar and green belt in Sector 48 were opened. Elaborate tents were set up at all the places with arrangements for tea and snacks. All the functions lasted for just one hour. Recently, the General refused an offer from the Engineering Wing to inaugurate cycling tracks for slow moving traffic along main roads of the city.

In his advice, the Administrator says, tea, if necessary to be served, should be spartan. Though the catering at most places is organised by the semi-government Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO), the menu is elaborate with sandwiches, “pakoras” and pastries. At times catering is also carried out by private parties. In most cases, the menu is elaborate be it an early morning function or a late evening function.

Also, the practice of presenting expensive bouquets to the dignitaries will have to be done away with. At times up to five to six bouquets are presented and each costs anything between Rs 300 and Rs 500.

The habit of presenting expensive mementos by officials to the dignitaries and their own colleagues will also have to be checked.

This is waste of public money, says the General. At most of the functions, all officials of the administration and even those who have been remotely connected with the project or the work receive mementos.

Each costs anything between Rs 100 and Rs 300. And more often than not 15 to 20 mementos are presented to people for ‘‘rendering service’’.



Experts to deliberate on fringe area development
National Town and Country Planning Congress from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Around 500 experts drawn from across the country will deliberate on the fringe area development of Chandigarh during the three-day 51st National Town and Country Planning Congress beginning here tomorrow.

The Congress will be inaugurated by Punjab Governor Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.), and the State Housing and Urban Development Minister Raghunath Sahai Puri will be the guest of honour.

With cities bursting at seams and population influx posing a great challenge to planners, a minute and exhaustive study on the fringe area of Chandigarh would show the country a path, Meshram, the president of the Institute of Town Planners, India, (ITPI), said at a press conference here today. The ITPI will organise the Congress, which is being sponsored by the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Chandigarh Administration, Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the National Capital Region Planning Board are the co-sponsors of the Congress.

With globalisation and economic liberalisation taking off, there was a need for reforms in urban and regional planning, Mr Ram said. He said “Urban and Regional Planning Reforms” would be the theme of the Congress, where discussions on sub-themes of planning approach and practices, planning education, research and training apart from the Chandigarh fringe area development will also be discussed in separate workshops.

The ITPI president said around 60 papers were expected to be presented during the Congress.

He said with the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments empowering municipal bodies and panchayats to plan towns and countryside, the Congress will also discuss the implementation of the Constitutional amendments.

During the Congress, an exhibition on the theme “Planning Reforms” is also being organised, which will provide an opportunity to various government departments, NGOs, academic institutions, public sector agencies, development authorities, urban local bodies and private sector agencies for displaying successful and innovating projects and schemes for a new vision in the city planning.

Experts drawn from different fields like S. Banerjee, Prof. A.K. Maitra, Prof Amitabh Kundu, A.R. Patharkar, Ranjan Chattopadhaya, Dr. K.R. Thooyavan, A.K. Jain, V.M. Kinhikar, B.C. Dutta, Dr. Mohmmed Jamil, N.N. Som, Prof Sarup Singh, Praveen Jain, Prof. Subir Shah, Prof Kavas Kapadia, Dr V.D. Lall, Prof Aditya Bandopadhyay, B.K. Sengupta, H.B. Singh, Ashok Kumar, S.K. Acharya and Prof R. Acharya will present their papers during the Congress.

Other key speakers will be H.S. Bhogal, Prof. B.R. Batra, S.B. Verma, Dr Gopal Krishna, J.K. Gupta, Raghuram Prasad and Arvind Mehtani.



2002 saw Panchkula in the limelight
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

The year that was


  • Ravi Kant Sharma and family show brought the township to national limelight.
  • Plans for major development and beautification of Mansa Devi shrine started.
  • Integrated watershed project for Rs. 48. 348 crore being launched.
  • Web Enabled Electoral Rolls or Inline Electoral Rolls launched.
  • Three main alternate routes from Panchkula- Chandigarh mooted.
  • 100- bedded General Hospital launched.
  • Year end saw the initiation of election process to Municipal Council .


  • Subsequent failures to auction residential/institutional sites brought gloom
  • Panchkula Extension dream turned sour with allottees surrendering plots.
  • Proposal to construct lake mooted.
  • HUDA transferred maintenance of street lights and sanitation to Municipal Council in October.

Panchkula, December 26
Panchkula was caught in the national limelight this year, courtesy suspended Inspector General of Haryana Police, Mr Ravi Kant Sharma, who has been accused of conspiring to eliminate a Delhi-based scribe-Shivani Bhatnagar.

For over one month, the country was caught in the crossfire between the family members of Mr Sharma here and Union Communication Minister, Mr Parmod Mahajan, even as Mr Ravi Kant managed to remain elusive for over one month. Even as the Ravi Kant and family show kept millions across the country glued to their television sets and grabbed space in the print , the township also got notoriety for the past sins of other senior IPS officers of Haryana cadre involved in other cases of crimes against women.

But the year, 2002, did not bring notoriety alone to this otherwise quiet district. Earlier, during this year, the state government embarked upon an ambitious plan to metamorphose the glory of Mansa Devi temple here on the lines of Tirupati temple and Vaishno Devi shrine. The government agreed in principle to set up a cultural centre in form of a theme museum on Mother Goddess\Shakti cult and a light and sound show here. The concept of the museum will be to embody within itself all intellectual, religious and philosophical traditions and ideas relating to Mother Goddess.

The project cost has been estimated at over Rs. 3.5 crore. There is around 10 acres of land around the shrine that is lying unused. About two acres of this land has already been identified for developing the theme museum. Other than this, for the first time in the history of the 175-year-old temple constructed by Raja Gopal Dass, the Archaeological Survey of India was roped in for restoration work of the murals in the sanctum sanctorum and on the Singh Dwar .

One of the other main development schemes to be launched in the district was the Integrated Watershed Project. Under this scheme, the administration plans to construct water harvesting structures such as low cost check dams or masonary cement structures, dry stone masonary structures for breaking the speed of water flowing down the Shivaliks ; sub surface dams and water harvesting dams.

While 38 check dams are proposed to be constructed in different parts of Pinjore, 25 dry stone masonary structures, 17 silt detention dams, eight water harvesting structures and about one lakh running feet of channels will be constructed in this programme. This ambitious project has been launched by the district administration for Kiratpur-Sirsa, Ram Nagar, Nanakpur Nadies and Surajpur Choe at the cost of Rs. 483. 48 lakh for integrated development of 8058 hectares land , spread across 49 villages of Pinjore block.

Other than this, Web Enabled Electoral Rolls ( WEER) or Online Electoral Rolls were introduced in the township. The significance of this software application is that it had been introduced for the first time in the country and would be followed in the rest of the state. Meanwhile, 3.5 acres of land had been identified for creating a Software Technology Park and number of call centres for providing internet connections .

Another major achievement was the sanctioning of atleast three alternate routes to Chandigarh- one from Raipur Khurd joining to road dividing Sector 16 and 17 here; the other route from Sector 16 and 17 dividing road to Hallo Majra in Chandigarh, joining at Railway Light Point; and, the third route from Sector 26 in Chandigarh to village Kishangarh and then joining at Railway Light point.

The new building of the 100-bed General Hospital was also inaugurated by Union Health Minister, Shatrughan Sinha . Though the hospital was formally inaugurated in November, the additional staff is still awaited here. The dilapidated condition of this new building is still a bone of contention between the Health authorities and PWD department . Another new building, Sinchai Bhawan was inaugurated while foundation stone of two other buildings were laid.

In Haryana Urban Development Authority, the subsequent failures of auctions of commercial/institutional / residential sites had brought gloom to the department initially. But the latter trimester of the year brought cheer, especially the auction held in December which netted in Rs. 28. 49 crore, with a multiplex site being auctioned for an astounding Rs. 2 crore more than the reserve price. The auction of nursing home sites and school sites over the year, failed to revoke any positive response.

A large number of state government offices also shifted here during this year, with a number of other departments buying sites for constructing their buildings here. While the Irrigation department shifted its offices here, Lotteries Department, Education Department etc. had applied for land here.

Panchkula Extension became a dream turned sour for HUDA. With extensive enhancements awarded during this year. A large number of allotees surrendered their plots , which caused serious concern among authorities.

Though the plan for constructing a lake here on the pattern of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, was mooted earlier this year, the modalities are still being finalised and the feasibility studies being undertaken by HUDA and Irrigation Department. 



‘N-power generation best option’
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
With the commissioning of eight new nuclear reactors plants in the coming years, power generation in the country is poised for a significant leap. Already, the output of existing nuclear plants has registered an increase over the preceding years.

Stating this while talking to TNS here today, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Prof R. Chidambaram, said while nuclear power generation accounted for only 3 per cent of the total electricity generation in the country, we hope to increase the figure to 7-10 per cent in a few years.

“The capacity factor of existing nuclear reactors has also gone up from 85 per cent last year to 88 per cent this year,” he added. Presently, nuclear power plants generated 4,000 MW of electricity and the target was to increase it to 20,000 MW by 2020.

“Nuclear power generation is the ultimate answer to meet future power demands. We should not talk about the next 10 -20 years, but think about 50 years from now,” he remarked.

The ongoing project to construct eight nuclear reactors, he pointed out, was the largest project of its kind in the world, and nowhere else were such a large number of reactors being built simultaneously.

Pointing out that the world’s fossil fuel reserves would last only for a limited period, he remarked that nuclear power generation was the only viable option to meet future power needs. Stating that hydrel projects were the best but they displaced a lot of people, he said though we have good coal reserves, the logistic costs of transporting coal and heavy pollution by thermal plants also had to be taken into account.

On the issue of limited reserves of nuclear fuel, he advocated the use of a “closed reaction cycle” in reactors, where spent fuel was recycled instead of being disposed of. For this, fast-breeder reactors, fuelled by thorium were required. These were under construction.

Substantial work was also being done in the field of thermo-nuclear reaction, referred to as “nuclear fusion”, which generated more energy than “nuclear fission” reactions, presently used in nuclear reactors the world over.

Touching upon the issue of scientific education and research, Professor Chidambaram said the brightest students made their way to the Indian Institutes of Technology and for this purpose steps must be taken to attract good students towards basic sciences and encourage them to take up teaching as a career and ensure a proper package for them.

Stressing that basic research was important and a “cultural necessity”, he said “Any civilised country must allow this in higher education and research.”



MC poll candidate ‘detects’ fake votes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
Even as campaigning for the Municipal Council elections is in full swing, allegations of fake votes in various wards are cropping up. A second complaint of fake votes was made to the State Election Commissioner and the District Election Officer today.

Mr Gian Chand Goel, an independent candidate from Ward No 13, said he had detected a number of fake votes during his door-to-door campaigning in the ward (parts of Sectors 14 and 15). He has said that in a number of houses, the number of voters enlisted was much more than those staying there.

He alleged that the number of voters listed in house Nos 1604, 1606, 1609, 1631, 1634/1, 1644/1, 1649, 1650, 1653, 1658/1, 1660, 1660/1, 1662/ 1, 1663/ 1, 1664, 1665, 1665/1, 1666, 1667 and 1668 was alarmingly high. The house owners said a number of voters listed in these houses had never lived here.

Mr Goel said the names of a number of voters, who were residing here, had been deleted. Saying that the voter list for this ward was not properly prepared, Mr Goel expressed his apprehensions about the fair conduct of polls and asked the authorities to correct the voter list before the elections.

Mr Hemant Kinger, an Independent candidate from Ward No 26, who had earlier alleged that about 900 fake votes had been detected in this ward (parts of Sectors 2, 4 and Majri village), said today that votes had been made for vacant plots.

He said the names of more than 500 voters of this ward, who had been staying here for the past several years, had also been deleted. 



Noisy bashes not their cup of tea
Tribune News Service

Nek ChandChandigarh, December 26
Home alone with family at his Sector 8 residence — that’s how Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta, plans to usher in the New Year.
“I do not believe in going out,” he asserts. “Probably that’s the way the society expects judges to act. During my stay in Kerala ever since my transfer from the Punjab and Haryana High Court two months back, I have moved out of my place just thrice. On December 31also, I wish to stay at home”.

Repose on the sofa and enjoy programmes on the television? “No way,” Mr Justice Gupta insists, “There is plenty of noise around even without the television. Cricket was always my favourite, but then the way our team has been playing, even matches do not appear interesting”.

He adds, “I am basically paid to sit quietly and listen patiently. However, sometimes in life even the High Court judges are entitled to the silence of their homes. That is why I will be spending all my time with the family on the New Year’s eve.”

Giving details, he says, “My daughter, son, his wife and grandchildren are here in Chandigarh. I will be bidding adieu to 2002 and welcoming 2003 with them”.

Creator of a dream christened Rock Garden, Nek Chand plans to celebrate New Year’s eve the way he has always done — by staying back home with his family and praying for humanity.

“I do not like attending New Year eve parties either though I am invited to a lot of them, no doubt about it,” he asserts. “That’s the reason why I always make it a point to stay back home in Sector 27 on the last surviving day of the dying year, for bidding good bye to the old, and to welcome the new”.

The artist asserts: “I too hate participating in noisy celebrations — be it Divali, Christmas or New Year’s eve. On December 25 also, I did not go to any party. I simply walked up to a church and spent good two hours lighting candles and wishing the best for the mankind. I will be doing the same a week later — on December 31”.



Coordination Sect to be set up in city
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
A Coordination Secretariat is being set up in Chandigarh for exchange of information on crimes and criminals in the region.
A decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of senior police officers of Chandigarh, Ropar, Patiala, Shimla, Solan, Saharanpur and Ambala range here today. Discussions to work out details for setting up the centre were held at the meeting called by the Inspector General of Police, Ambala Range, Mr Alok Joshi.

Senior police officers from Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Kaithal and Kurukshetra also attended the meeting, wherein discussions were held on a more effective joint policing strategy bring down the crime rate. It was agreed to have better coordination on sharing of information on crime and criminals in each of the districts bordering Ambala Range.

It was decided to have a secretariat for the purpose and the IG Chandigarh, Mr Rajesh Kumar, offered that such a secretariat be set up in Chandigarh — the UT being a central place in the region. It was thus decided to set up the nodal agency, where information mainly on specialised crimes, would be exchanged among different districts.

Sources said decision on having joint operations in case of a crime occurring in a particular district was also taken. The success of joint operations by Chandigarh and SAS Nagar police in nabbing 10 members of a gang involved in serial burglaries was appreciated as a perfect step to nab criminals, who often escape to nearby areas.

The police officers from Chandigarh and Ropar — Mr Gaurav Yadav and Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar — elaborated on how they had changed the night patrolling pattern by introducing foot and cycle patrolling, which had helped them nab serial burglars. The SP Panchkula, Mr Ranbir Singh Sharma, also elaborated on setting up pickets at all entry/exit points to prevent the criminals from escaping in case of a crime in a particular district. 



Authorities ignore STC’s orders
No silence zones in SAS Nagar
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, December 26
Even after one and a half years of the issue of a notification by the State Transport Commissioner (STC), Punjab, relating to noise pollution control, the local authorities have not yet bothered to implement the orders.

A copy of the STC’s orders, issued on April 30, 2001, was received by the SDM’s office here in May last year. The STC had directed that the notifications dated February 14, 2000, and November 22, 2000, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests relating to noise pollution must be “implemented in letter and in spirit”.

The local authorities have not cared to categorise areas into industrial, commercial and residential for the purpose of implementing noise standards. Besides, silence zones/ areas have also not been demarcated by the competent authority. A silence zone, according to Central Government’s rules, is an area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts. Little has been done to strictly enforce the rules on the use of loudspeakers/public address systems. In fact, action is hardly ever taken by the authorities concerned against those using loudspeakers at a high volume early in the morning or late at night in violation of the provisions of the law.

Residents say the unchecked noise pollution is putting large sections to inconvenience and that it is high time the authorities woke up to implement the rules.

Dr M.S. Bains, SMO in charge of the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here, says patients are often disturbed by vehicle owners using pressure horns and driving at a high speed near the hospital premises. A highway leading to other cities in Punjab passes near the hospital. Besides, a temple and a gurdwara are located across the highway where loudspeakers are used at a volume which causes inconvenience to patients, particularly the indoor ones. Dr Bains says a silence zone must be demarcated in the hospital area and speed limits be strictly enforce.

Mr J.S. Bedi, chairman of the Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology in Phase II, says there is noise around his institution, and if the rules are implemented properly, it will be beneficial to students.

Mr D.S. Sandhu, SDM, was not aware what steps had been taken to implement the STC’s orders and said he would look into the matter.



A lot in store for food lovers
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: Mr Burger, in Sector 17 here has big plans for its guests. As part of its first anniversary celebrations, this Gourmet Mall has lined up fortnight-long festivities of fun ’n' frolic.

All who visit the eatery between December 23, 2002, to January 5, 2003, stand a chance to fly to Singapore besides taking home gifts. So, don’t forget to fill in the coupons for the January 6 mega draw after filling your tummy. The other prizes include a refrigerator, TV set, microwave oven and a music system.

Besides the burgers and pizzas, free toys should hold an added attraction for kids. And the elders need not be surprised if they receive return gifts.

Gourmet Mall has also thrown open its bakery, The Baker’s Hut, and its ice-cream parlour, The Italica, to commercial enterprise. The New Year also marks the launch of an added varieties of soups, salads, pastas, patties and pizzas and burgers. Responding to feedback of Chandigarhians, they have toned down the spices of Mexican enchiladas and present the Continental fare in a new look.

Seafood festival

Maya Palace, Sector 35, has laid a trap for fish lovers. The fishing nets and colourful rubber tubes forming the decor at the entrance and in the restaurant are but an outward manifestation of the seafood theme.

The real bait is the live display of raw fish, crabs, prawns, trouts, shrimps and lobsters during dinner time. Take your pick of the fish and have it made to suit your taste. And be assured of getting value for money as hotel Director Bikram Jeet Singh promises, ‘‘you name it and we provide’’. The seafood fest is on till December 31.

The menu boasts of a collection of delicacies from the world over. Besides our own Amritsar pompfret and Goan fish curry, you have a choice of Thai, Indonesian, French, Mexican, Italian and Portuguese delights.

The fish Iranian kebab is enriched with yogurt and cashew paste. Those who’ve visited the Eiffel Tower will agree that French cuisine is impossible without Bouilabaisse, a saffron-flavoured seafood soup.

Chef Bharat Bhalla says that the dishes rustled up by his staff can match any test. So, whether it’s fish masala — Indian king fish steak cooked in Mexican hot avocado sauce and served with burritos — or the Portuguese shrimps paste sauce forming the base for slices of seer fish.

Ditto for Jinga Afghani served with keema naan in the traditional Afghan style, it is a plate of roasted jumbo prawns marinated in a blend of poppy seeds.



Bansi Lal Chhibber passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Bansi Lal Chhibber (88), a well known authority on the exposition of Sri Ram Charitmanas passed away today. He was a disciple of Guru Shri Vishnu Digambhar Pulashkar and was closely associated with Swami Shivanand Saraswati of Rishikesh and Swami Satyanand ji of Rama Sharnam movement.

He was well versed in the classical music and the spiritual rendering of Ramayana in the musical form. All his expositions were a unique blend of spirituality and music. 



Jaspal Bhatti’s Friday humour
No time for marriage

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee says that he never married because he “did not get time”. I’m personally not convinced with this reason. Generally the reason for one not getting married is that he did not get the match of his choice. The other reason could have been failure in love. The third reason is biological which I’m not competent enough to discuss.

I have also learnt that when Atalji was studying in college, his father was also studying and they shared the same room in a hostel. If research is made available, it can easily be concluded that since his father kept an eagle eye on young Atal, he couldn’t possibly have got a chance to chase girls.

But whatever happens, happens for the better. If Atalji had somehow managed to get time for his “saat pheras”, he certainly would not have found time for “suhag raat” or honeymoon. Chances are that even if Atalji had married, there would have been no children because of the shortage of time. Of course, Atalji’s “bechari biwi” could adopt a couple of children from Laloo Prasad Yadav’s family.

For Mr Vajpayee’s 78th birthday, Minister of State in the PMO Vijay Goel had compiled unknown facets of his personality. He revealed that Mr Vajpayee after becoming the PM missed “a life without responsibility (fakkadpan)”. I think that’s why most of his colleagues from the BJP and Sangh Parivar from time to time make irresponsible statements to create an atmosphere of irresponsibility for him.



Youths snatch bag
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 26
Two scooter-borne youths snatched a bag containing Rs 5,000, some clothes and other items from Ms Manjeet Kaur on dividing road of Sectors 34 and 44 around 9 pm tonight. The victim, a resident of Sector-44, was crossing the road on foot and could not identify the snatchers or the scooter’s registration number. A case has been registered.

Snatched: Three unidentified persons riding an LML Vespa scooter allegedly snatched purse of Ms Isha Vidya, a resident of Sector 34 near traffic light point of Sectors 21 and 22 here yesterday. In her complaint Ms Vidya has stated that the purse contained a mobile phone, an ATM card, two credit cards, Rs 1,000 besides other items. A case has been registered.

Thefts: A Sector 23 resident, Mr Ishwar Dass Sharma, reported with the police that gold karas, rings and cash worth Rs 600 were stolen from his house on the night intervening December 24 and 25.

Ms Urvasi of CSIO campus, Sector 30, reported that her scooter (CH01U 1711) was stolen from near the traffic light point of Sectors 19 and 27 here yesterday. Three cases have been registered in different police stations.

Burnt: A daily wager, Pintoo (18) was admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, with 90 per cent burn injuries here today. His condition was stated to be critical. As per the police, the kerosene stove on which he was cooking food at his Hallomajra village residence burst resulting in burn injuries.



Man killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
A 58- year-old resident of Sector 4 here was killed when he was hit by an unknown vehicle on the Panchkula- Zirakpur highway this morning. The victim, Mr S.P. Singh, an Assistant Manager with the FCI at Banur, was reportedly going on his scooter (HR-03D- 7674), when he was hit by the vehicle. A few passers-by saw him lying injured on the road and rushed him to the General Hospital here, where he was declared dead.



PSIEC may resume plot 
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 26
A weaving company, reportedly floated by Tota Singh, a former Education Minister, Punjab, faces eviction from a plot in Industrial area here. As a result, garment company Amartex, to which a part of the industrial plot was rented out, is shifting to a market in the township the next week.

The one-acre plot in Phase VII, Industrial Area, allotted to the former minister’s company more than five years ago, has been sought to be resumed by the Punjab State Industrial and Export Corporation (PSIEC), which has filed eviction proceedings against the company for allegedly having misused the industrial plot.

The land, according to sources in the PSIEC was allotted for industrial use, more specifically for a weaving unit, but was given out on rent by the company to a cloth manufacturing and trading company, Amartex, which in turn started using the plot as a retail outlet for its produce.

The PSIEC, in March this year, took notice of the practice and issued show-cause notices to the allottees who, according to sources, did not even bother to reply. In June, the corporation decided to cancel the allotment of the land to the company and resume the land. A notice to this effect was issued to the company but again no action was taken. The PSIEC has now filed for eviction proceedings in the SDM ‘s office here. The company has been issued summons, informed a source in the SDM’s office.

Confirming that they would be shifting next week to the Phase V market, sources in Amartex stated that they did not want to be involved in the controversy. “We were informed about the pending eviction by the former minister a week ago on the telephone, following which we started looking for an alternative location,” said a senior employee of Amartex who did not want to be named. Sources in Amartex, also informed that the rent to the former minister was not more than Rs 15,000 per month as “when we had shifted into a part of this plot, it was a jungle and absolutely useless.”

Amartex also refuses to concede that the plot was being misused in any way by them. “We are selling what we produce. We manufacture clothes here and we sell them. This is what is called the factory outlet and it is allowed. Moreover, we have just a part of the plot to us, the rest still belongs to the company.” sources said.

On the other hand, the PSIEC is clear that the land was given out for a specific project, but instead it was let out to a company, which started using it for commercial purposes. Sources also stated that the former minister’s company did get some machinery installed to show that production was taking place but “it was just an eyewash,” said a source in the PSIEC.

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