Sunday, December 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two Deputy Mayors elected unopposed
Tribune News Service


  • Mr Subhash Chawla and Mr Rajesh Gupta are in the fray for poll on January 1.
  • The Congress has 14 party votes in the 30-member House.
  • The BJP-SAD on Saturday claimed the support of the Harmohan Dhawan-led Chandigarh Vikas Manch..
  • The BJP-SAD have four councillors while the CVM effectively has one.
  • Two councillors — Ms Harpreet Kaur and Mr Vijay Rana — have said they will support candidates on merit.
  • The other nine are nominated councillors and they usually vote on independent lines.

Chandigarh, December 28
Mr Kuldeep Singh Kajheri and Ms Geeta Rani of the Congress have been elected unopposed for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively, while Mr Subhash Chawla of the Congress and Mr Rajesh Gupta will be locked in a straight contest for the post of Mayor. The annual elections for the post of Mayor are scheduled to be held on January 1. This is the first time in the eight-year history of the Municipal Corporation that two posts have been won without a poll.

The Congress with 13 elected councillors in the 30-member house has 14 party votes as local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal also has a vote. Meanwhile, in political circles the chances of Mr Chawla are seen as bright, as there is little or no chance of any cross-voting within the party. Already Ms Harpreet Kaur Babla and Mr Vijay Rana have said that they will give support on the basis of the candidate and not on party lines. Their support is likely to go to the Congress. Under the circumstances it will not be difficult for Mr Chawla to reach the figure of 16 votes.

This afternoon, the president of the local unit of the BJP, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, accompanied by Mr Dharampal Gupta, Mr Gian Chand Gupta and the candidate for the post of Mayor, Mr Rajesh Gupta, arrived at the municipal office at around 1 p.m to file their nomination papers. Since the secretary of the MC, Mr Sunil Bhatia, was on leave, the papers were received by Mr H.S. Sood, Chief Accounts Officer. The name of Mr Gupta was proposed by Mr Gian Chand Gupta and seconded by Mrs Kamla Sharma. The SAD, led by Mr N.S. Minhas, also joined in. Mr Mahajan claimed he had the support of the CVM, and a CVM councillor, Mr Jatinder Bhatia, also joined in at the time of filing the nominations.

Within minutes, the Congress contingent led by its president, Mr B.B. Bahl, and Mr Pawan Bansal, sniffing victory, arrived in strength, with almost all workers of the Venod Sharma group also joining in to support Mr Chawla. Mr Chawla’s papers were proposed by the sitting Mayor, Mrs Lalit Joshi, and seconded by Mr Balraj Singh. His second set of papers has been proposed by Mr Surinder Singh and seconded by Ms Anu Chatrath. In case of Mr Kuldeep Singh, his name for Senior Deputy Mayor was proposed by Ms Kamlesh and seconded by Mrs Pushpa Sharma. In the second set of papers, his name was proposed by Mr Pradeep Chabbra and seconded by Mr Sohan Lal Vaid. The name of Ms Geeta Rani for the post of Deputy Mayor was proposed by Mr Chandermukhi Sharma and seconded by Mr Surinder Singh. In the second set, his name was proposed by Mrs Lalit Joshi and seconded by Ms Anu Chatrath.

Minutes after this, Mr Pawan Bansal while talking to mediapersons said that the BJP was sadly mistaken that the CVM was going to support it. We are fighting on our own strength. He added that he expected the nominated councillors to vote for the Congress, as this will be respecting the verdict of the people. After the election, the issue of more funds for the MC will be taken up with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Already the Delhi Finance Commission (DFC), in its report, has said that 17 per cent of the revenue of the Chandigarh Administration must go to the MC. The Administration would be requested to bear the expenses of Rs 5 crore for street-lighting.



Candidates put Panchayat Samiti poll on hold
Withdraw names in protest against land acquisition
Tribune News Service

What villagers say...

  • We are not against IT park.
  • Leave our houses and take land.
  • Why not demolish a slum colony instead of houses?
  • Close to 95 per cent are lower middle-class people who have built homes with hard-earned money.
  • The panchyat will resign if matters get worse. 

Chandigarh, December 28
In a novel way to protest against the acquisition of land for the proposed Chandigarh IT park, all eight candidates contesting the Panchayat Samiti elections in Kishangarh and Mauli Jagran today withdrew their nominations and put the election on hold. The IT park is proposed to come up at Kishangarh village for which villagers have already been served notices and their houses are to be demolished.

Hundreds of villagers today gathered outside the office of the Returning Officer, Mr S.P. Arora, as eight candidates contesting the poll walked in and withdrew their names from the fray. Agitated villagers shouted slogans against the Chandigarh Administration in protest against the acquisition.

The Joint Election Commission, Mr D.M. Khaneta, said: “We will have to re-notify the election and there is no other way.”

More than 700 fully built houses are coming in the way of the hi-tech IT park at Kishangarh village. Another 800 houses are blocking the way of the proposed Phase III of Industrial Area, Mauli Jagran. A total of around 20,000 people live in these houses. In the past few days, they have been served notices for demolition. Villagers say they also want the IT park to come up, however, the houses or the “abadi” area should be left out. “The policies of the administration are strange as it is hell-bent on demolishing the houses of those who have spent the earnings of their lives on building these”, said Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti.

Mr Balbir Singh, treasurer of the Gram Vikas Sangarsh Samiti, said the policy of the Chandigarh Administration was in favour of illegal migrants from UP and Bihar.

Whereas middle class people are being harassed. We are not demanding any special facility from the administration. It is just that we want to live on our ancestral lands.

People are facing immense stress as the Land Acquisition Officer has served notices, he added. The sarpanches of villages Kishangarh and Mauli Jagran, Mrs Bhupinder Kaur and Thakur Kartar Singh, respectively, said the panchyats would also resign if the scenario did nor change.



Criminals regrouping: cops
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Information exchanged by police officials of Chandigarh, Ropar, Patiala, Shimla, Solan, Ambala and western Uttar Pradesh has revealed that organised gangs of criminals are “continuously” regrouping themselves.

It has been pointed out by certain police officials, that gangs speacialising in highway robberies robbing of banks, dacoities and white collar crime, were repeatedly striking in the region after lying low for a short period.

The issue was discussed at a recent coordination committee meeting of senior police officials from Chandigarh, Himachal, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

The setting up of the coordination secretariat at Chandigarh is said to be part of a strategy to share information on specialised crimes and criminals in the region. The exchange of information would improve detection of crime, said the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr GPS Bhullar.

Data shared by participating officials revealed that a gang, suspected to be holed in Hoshiarpur (Punjab), had repeatedly struck at banks in rural areas of Una, Nangal and Pinjore. Members of the gang, who used a red-coloured Maruti car, were striking at banks in urban areas. At least three menbers of the gang conducted a reccee of the target. The gang often dealing in small transactions.

In one specific incident in Surewal village Nagal, when the gang did not find money in the bank, they asked the employees to empty their pockets.

Another gang targeted those on their way to deposit or withdrew money from banks in urban areas. Two incidents of snatching were reported from outside a bank in SAS Nagar and Panchkula. In both cases, Rs 10 lakh each were snatched from the victims. None of the members of the gang, suspected to be possessing arms, have been nabbed so far. Such incidents were reported from Zirakpur and Dera Bassi.

Several cases of money being removed from globe boxes of two wheelers, have been reported. A police officials from Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), said gang members living in Azad Nagar, Muradabad, specialised in the crime.

Information was shared about two gangs indulging in highway robberies. The modus operandi of one of the gangs was to stop a truck with the help of a four-wheeler and remove the tyres and then abandon the truck. Such an incident was reported from Panchkula.

Another gang, which had struck in Jalandhar and Amritsar in Punjab, waylaid a loaded truck and killed the occupants. In one specific incident, Rs 80 lakh were looted and the case was cracked by the Jalandhar police in 1998. The gang which was busted in 1995, regrouped itself later.

Another gang specialising in white collar crime was busted by the Panchkula police. Its modus operandi was to show financed vehicles as stolen, take the insurance claim and sell off the vehicle in another state on fake sale letters.

Officials from Ambala said a gang threw chilli powder in to the eyes of its target and snatched the belongings. The gang members had snatched around 5 kg of gold ornaments from persons in Ambala. Such incidents had been reported from Jalandhar and parts of Haryana too.



PU dons need wake-up call
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Panjab University needs to overhaul the entire academic infrastructure, at least its academic bodies, to promote deliberations on upgrading existing courses and pick intelligently from among the range of new introductions.

The content of discussion at the premier decision-making bodies, including the Board of Studies, the Senate and the Syndicate reflect ‘poorly’ on the very ‘peripheral-level’ debate on the academic inputs needed in classrooms. Seldom is there a comment on the satisfaction level of the existing courses, need for a new course and actual utility of a new course.

A meeting of faculties where elections to the posts of Deanwere held witnessed unruly scenes with a majority of members leaving the floor soon after the elections. At the elections held recently was seen that when the academic agenda was to be taken up, there was negligent presence.

It is also worth mentioning that The Academic Council, the topmost body to discuss classroom matters, is supposed to meet at least twice a year. The university since the past many years has not been able to organise more than a single meeting and in most cases time is spent on long discussions over a handful of issues. The ‘voluminous” bunch of papers accompanying each member are rarely referred to during the debate.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, accepts the drawbacks in the existing set-up and underlined the need to chalk out a clear line of action in drafting, adding or deleting course contents. He says he has often had to depend on a select faculty members for decisions on vital issues. The exercise would be less tedious for a Vice-Chancellor and more fruitful academically in case the faculties could interact more frequently.

The faculties should chalk out as action programme for discussion and clearance of any issue before regularly informing the higher office, Professor Pathak opines.

Take the case of introduction of Bachelor of Business Administration by offiliated colleges. As many as three colleges have already had the course disaffiliated and another one from Ludhiana sought disaffiliation at the last Senate meeting. The course contents are said not to have been thoroughly discussed before passing the same which also failed to produce the desired results in the employment sector.

The M.Sc (Information Technology) course started by a number of colleges is also facing bad times. Mr K.C. Shenmar, a fellow, during the last Senate meeting had pointed out that the Senate agenda had very little on academic issues or new projects.

Another fellow said if the departments and faculties interacted more, chances of innovations and improvement would be manifold. The Senate can, however, play a major role in sending the signals to the faculties and teaching departments to make a conscious and a more visible effort towards academic excellence.



Town planners bemoan haphazard growth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Lack of political will and institutional framework have resulted in haphazard growth of most of the cities in the region. Despite elaborate master plans, prepared by the town planning departments, cities like Ludhiana, Delhi and even Chandigarh are fast emerging as centres of unplanned growth, surrounded by slums and land mafias. The government will have to act tough and fast to save the environment and ensure sustainable growth of these emerging economic centres.

These views were expressed by experts on urban and regional planning gathered here at CII today to participate in the 51st National Town and Country Planners’ Congress organised by the Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI) and sponsored by Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation. The theme of the congress was ‘Urban and Regional Planning Reforms.’

Referring to the experience of Delhi, Mr S. Banerjee, visiting Fellow, National Institute of Urban Affairs, said: ‘‘Development plans should be implemented with the coordinated efforts of various agencies. Lack of coordination among Municipal Corporation, Cantonment Board, Delhi Development Authority and neighboring states have resulted in the present scenario.’’

Raising the issue of resource constraints and affordability, Prof Amitabh Kundu, JNU, asserted that the development plans should also cater to the requirements of weaker sections. The transfer of resources to local bodies by the government would play an important role in this direction. Mr A.R. Patharkar, former president, ITPI, felt that development of small and medium towns would not be sufficient to check migration to larger cities. The government would have to intervene to regulate the development of residential and commercial centres, he added.

Highlighting the problem of slums, Prof A.K. Maitra, Director, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, said planning for the sustainable development had to be affordable and practicable simultaneously. The provision of expressways, he said, might invite more migration in the larger cities, since economic and social conditions in the interiors of the country were depressing.

Earlier, in his presidential address, Mr D.S. Meshram, said there was need to incorporate the needs of different sections of society, in the urban planning document. Apart from making it mandatory, to develop the urban centres as per the master plan, there should be a provision to change the plan document, from time to time.

Participating in the session ‘Chandigarh fringe area development’ Mr H.S. Bhogal, a former Chief Town Planner, lamented that there was no coordination among Punjab and Haryana governments and Chandigarh administration to implement the Chandigarh Periphery Act, resulting in unauthorised colonies on the outskirts of the city. There was a need to save the fragile forest cover in the Shivalik belt, on the periphery of the city. The Chandigarh Master Plan should be strictly implemented with the coordination of these states, he added.



Need for integrated development plan’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
At the prevalent population growth rate, the population of Chandigarh will reach 62.16 lakh by 2021 and it would not be able to absorb the population within its limited area of just 114 sqkm. Instead of talking about the obsolete Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952 and its now version, the Chandigarh Administration should coordinate with Punjab and Haryana governments, to develop the Chandigarh capital region incorporating SAS Nagar and Panchkula, says Sanjai B. Verma, Chief Town Planner, HUDA.

Referring to the Periphery Act, he admits that as per the Act, the SAS Nagar, Panchkula and cantonment areas might have been considered as the violations of the Act but the Act has itself become redundant. The city was planned for a population of just 5 lakh, has already surpassed nine lakh. So instead of wailing over developing unauthorised colonies in the periphery, the government should accept the reality and prepare itself for the changing nature of the city.

Talking on the sidelines of the 51st National Town and Country Planners’ Congress, organised by the Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI) here today, Mr Verma, said, the city was fast emerging as a generator of economic momentum (GEM) centre in the region.

The economic profile of the city was shifting towards service sector and hi-tech areas. He asserted: ‘‘The decision makers should prepare an integrated development plan to encash the comparative advantages of the surrounding towns. Since HUDA is developing Panchkula as the residential area for premium and middle class income groups, Chandigarh could be developed as a hi-tech city of North India keeping in view of its strength in the area of skilled man-power and infrastructure. SAS Nagar could be developed as an industrial centre for the labour intensive technologies.’’

Allaying the fears of undue pressure on city infrastructure, Mr Verma said, instead of grumbling about the growth of its neighbouring towns, the city policy makers should coordinate with them. He felt the stubborn attitude of the city bureaucracy had only resulted in a in “lose-lose” situation for the city and the population of its periphery, which was now being devoid of basic amenities. The situation could be easily converted into a “win-win” situation by building relation with the fringe areas of the city.

He agreed that both Punjab and Haryana governments had benefitted from the infrastructure of the UT and had developed their towns just in the neighbourhood. However, instead of investing resources in these towns, the state government was shifting to other districts in respective states. The need of the hour was to develop the whole area as a single entity.



3 more octroi points on border with UT
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 28
The Municipal Council here will establish three more permanent octroi collection points on the borders of the township. These points were demarcated by the Executive Officer, MC, during a joint visit with his other officers to various border roads being used to enter SAS Nagar.

While two of these points have been freshly demarcated, another point that already exists has been decided to be made into a permanent post. With these new collection posts coming up, the total number of collection points will now be 14. The last collection point established is functioning from a tent on one of the Chandigarh-SAS Nagar roads and will be made into a permanent post.

The Municipal Council was reportedly losing a substantial amount of octroi due to these missing collection points. According to the MC President, Mr Kulwant Singh, the collection points are required on new roads that have been built joining the city with the township.

“Right now traffic on these roads is rather low, but it is likely to increase substantially, specially when people come to know that the octroi posts are missing. But we want to get these posts in action before we start losing out on the octroi,” he said.

Sources said the MC is now going ahead with the establishment of more octroi posts as collection of octroi has been privatised and it will be the contractors’ duty to get these posts built, get these manned and collect money from transporters.

Confirming that the posts will be built by the contractor, the MC Additional Executive Officer, Mr Sarbjit Singh said these posts would, however, be manned by some staff of the council too.

These octroi posts will be on roads that join Chandigarh with SAS Nagar. These include the one on the old Kharar road, another dividing Phases 10 and 11 and another on the road that reaches SAS Nagar from the city and opens into Phase 3A.

The post on this from Chandigarh will now have a permanent octroi post. Here the MC office staff has been operating from a tent.

The MC will be tabling the results of the auction of octroi collection as an agenda item on December 30, the date for the next monthly meeting of the council. The issue regarding missing posts is likely to come up.



Sampat accuses Cong of double-speak
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 28
Has the Congress any right to oppose the state government’s proposal to set up casinos in the state to fetch tourists when its own government in Goa has started casinos even in motels and boats, Mr Sampat Singh, Finance Minister, Haryana here today.

Speaking to mediapersons at the mini secretariate, he said the Opposition was opposing the economic policies of the state government only to derive political mileage. He accused the Congress of double speak on the issue.

Regarding the criticism of casinos in the state, Mr Sampat Singh said: ‘‘The Haryana Vikas Party has no interest in the development of the state. To strengthen state’s economy, the state government has chalked out a plan to develop the state as a major destination for domestic and international tourists. The launching of casinos is part of our strategy.’’

He claimed that Sun City Company of South Africa had expressed its desire to invest in the tourism sector. The company representatives had recently visited Panchkula and Faridabad to explore the possibility of setting up multi-purpose tourist centres.

He said the state government had released Rs 41.80 crore relief to farmers at the rate of Rs 20 per quintal on the procurement of paddy, though the state had not so far received any compensation from the Centre in this regard.

He said despite a severe drought in the state, foodgrain production had not declined substantially, as the state government had ensured adequate supply of power and irrigation water to farmers.

Mr Sampat Singh claimed that the interests of the farming community was the top priority with the government. It had sanctioned a package of Rs 236.16 crore to provide relief to the drought-affected farmers.



Cheemas plan private bash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Impressive club parties on the New Year’s eve are a big “no, no” for Principal of St John High School Pushpinder Cheema and her family. They plan to organise their “own private little party” for enjoying the evening with “faces they so well know”.

The reason behind their decision to throw a bash, instead of attending one, is not hard to see. “We are of the opinion that there is no better way to ring in the New Year than to be with friends and family,” she asserts.

For her, it’s all decided. “Heavy music mingled with light snacks — that’s what we have in mind for December 31,” she reveals. “You see, even principals can have fun. So we will be shaking and twirling all around the make-shift dance floor to the thumping beats of reverberating music on the New Year’s eve”.

The last surviving day of the dying year will, however, be a little different for her this year. “Son is away to Mumbai for training, I will be missing him. But then my brother and his family are here from Switzerland, besides my husband’s sister and her family from Canada. So it will be a family reunion with a little difference this time”.

There will, however, be no family reunion for Connect Vice-President Vijay Kaul. His family is abroad. But this does not mean that he will not be celebrating the occasion at all.

“My family is away, it’s true.”

“But then I will be dancing my way into the New Year with my friends”. Here, in Chandigarh? “No, they are in Dehra Dun. That’s the reason why I am planning to leave the city for a couple of days and reach Dehra Dun before December 31”.

“It’s going to be a get-together of sorts with old and trusted friends. After all these hectic weeks of rushing to the office and back, I will be spending some time at peace with myself”, he adds.



Help set up night shelters, says Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd.) today underlined the need for adopting a coordinated approach by various non-government organisations in evolving schemes to alleviate the suffering of the under-privileged.

Inaugurating the zonal conference of the Bharat Vikas Parishad here today, in which over 1000 delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J and K are participating, General Jacob said all NGOs should work in tandem to chalk out such programmes.

Appreciating the efforts of various projects launched by the parishad to help the needy, General Jacob said the Bharat Vikas Parishad should also help the Chandigarh Administration in setting up night shelters for the poor who have to per force sleep in the open in chilly winter nights. He said the project Sahyog to help poor students should be expanded to night schools.

General Jacob, appreciating the programmes of the Parishad to provide free artificial limbs to the disabled, said the Punjab branch of the parishad should help farmers who have lost their arms while working on threshers. General Jacob hoped that the Parishad would continue to work to provide health services to the poorest section of society, especially in rural areas and slums.

He appreciated the efforts of the parishad for organising a dental care camp in slums. Earlier, the Governor inaugurated the camp with the lighting of lamp. General Jacob paid tributes to ‘Bharat Mata’. Mr K.L. Passi welcomed the Governor and Mr Tirloki Nath Goel, chairman of the reception committee, spoke about the conference. Dr S.C. Gupta spoke about the activities of the Bharat Vikas Parishad. The Governor released a colourful Souvenir on this occasion. The theme of the conference is ‘‘Country gives us all that we need; let us learn to repay’’.

During the ‘swadeshi’ session, Dr V.C. Nanda from Panjab University, the main speaker, said “We should be swadeshi and should utilise home products”, which will improve our economy.



Seminar on life of MS Randhawa
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 28
“An Academic Chair be floated at Panjab University, Chandigarh, in the name of Mr M.S. Randhawa to commemorate the role he played for the development of Punjab,” proposed Mr Ajit Sailani during a seminar held at Sant Isher Singh Senior Secondary Public School here today.

Organised by the Punjabi Cultural and Welfare Society, the seminar was on the life of Mr M.S. Randhawa and the role he played for “Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat”. The seminar was specially organised on the eve of the 11th M.S. Randhawa Memorial Cultural Mela that will be held in SAS Nagar tomorrow.

The chief guest, Mr Gulzar Singh Sandhu, recalled his experiences with Mr Randhwa and the time when he worked with him. Stating that Mr Randhawa was a visionary who worked relentlessly for the state, Mr Gulzar Singh said Punjab today needed another person of his vision and intellect to improve its condition.

Others who spoke on the occasion include Mr M.S. Daon, associate of Mr Randhawa, and famous writer Mr Mohan Bhandari.



Panel for privatisation of street-lighting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The Electricity Committee of the Municipal Corporation here has recommended the privatisation of street-lighting in the city.

At a meeting held under the chairmanship of Jitender Bhatia, the committee forwarded the recommendation to the Finance and Contract Committee and the House for its approval. The committee also finalised terms and conditions of private contract for street-lighting.

It passed improving lighting in Sector 21-C and D market, 28-C and D market, street-lighting along district courts, Sector 35-C, Sector 20-C market, streetlighting with sodium lamps on V-4 road in Sector 46-D, and increasing lighting on the dividing road of Sector 46 and 47.

The lighting in Sector 38-D booth market, on the rear side of Sector 47 market, in the central park of Sector 61 and in the market of Sector 31-D, installation of green lights in the Modern Housing Complex, extra lights in Sector 33-D and Mauli Jagran markets were also approved.



NBFCs have failed to return public money

THIS has reference to report “Raids on three marketing companies” (Chandigarh Tribune, November 28). The Economic Offences Wing of the UT Police had raided three multi-level marketing companies following a complaint. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given its telephone number to the public for making complaints about such companies. The RBI in Chandigarh has been flooded with such complaints.

The Amway India has more than two lakh members in the country. Of this, over 55,000 are from North India alone. Everyone has paid more than Rs 4000 for membership. Recently, the UT

Administration and the RBI had warned the public from investing in private Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) which are not authorised to collect money from the public. The Amway India and Japan Life India have been operating their business for several years .Even weekly meetings are arranged to grow their activites. Be a member of the company and make two another members.

The RBI, Chandigarh, had intimated and published a list of about 189 NBFCs of A,B and C categories relating to Chandigarh. A few years ago, such financial and plantation companies had defrauded with the public and run away at the time of maturity.

The matter was brought to the notice of the RBI, the Department of Company Affairs, Government of India, the Security Exchange Board of India and the Registrar of Companies Affairs by the investors but nothing happened for the safe return of the money

M.L.Garg, Chandigarh

Telephones out of order

Telephones of Industrial Area, Phase II, Panchkula, have been out of order from December 12, 2002. We have complained repeatedly to the Telephone Department, but the authorities concerned have not taken action. We are suffering heavy losses due to the attitude of the Telephone Department.

SANDEEP GUPTA & three others, Panchkula

Noise pollution

The City Beautiful is a victim of uncontrolled use of the loudspeaker and horn. Be it a social function, or religious discourse, we do not seem to feel satisfied, unless we have loudly announced the fact of celebration to the whole world. All the religious institutions are perpetually in competition to loudly announce their existence, as if their respective Gods are deaf.

All the mechanical transport owners take resort to use of the horn at the slightest pretext. The larger the vehicle, the more powerful is the horn. And the driver takes delight in blowing it as if to show all others that that he has a better vehicle and a more powerful horn.

The Chandigarh Police, the organisation vested with the power of enforcing anti-noise pollution laws, is not only deaf, but also reluctant to initiate any prosecution of the continuous and unabated violation of the said laws. This reflects a state of anarchy at its best. Will the citizens wake up and assert their right to peaceful existence and make this city truly beautiful?


This is harassment

What is the fault of those who have constructed houses after getting the map approved by the Zirakpur Nagar Panchyat? Over 70 per cent of the residents have either raised loans from banks or used from hard-earned savings to build houses and shops. At a time when Zirakpur is going to emerge as an ideal and model town, the IAF authorities have raised objections. The government should immediately lift the ban.

MEENA RANI, Zirakpur



Burglars break into shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Goods worth lakhs were stolen from an SCO in Sector 22 last night. According to information, the burglars sneaked into the showroom after breaking open a ventilator window. The owner of the shop, in his complaint to the police, said stitched suits, blankets, some documents and Rs 1700 in cash were stolen from the shop. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

Theft: Satwant Kaur, a resident of Sector 29, complained to the police that a gold necklace, a gold ring and a pair of ear rings were stolen from her residence. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Industrial Area police station.

In another case, a Sector 20 resident, Mr Rajiv Nayar, was poorer by Rs 1,300 after his pocket was allegedly picked at Maa Kali temple, Patiala. He had gone to the temple along with his family to offer prayers. The temple management could not be contacted.

Car recovered:
The police claimed to recover Maruti car (HR03B 1101) reported to be stolen on November 18 from three residents of Patiala who were arrested on Tuesday. The police had arrested Rakesh, Dharminder Singh and Mandeep.

The police also claimed to recover engine and tyres of a car which the three had allegedly stolen from SAS Nagar. Besides, three power generator sets were recovered from their possession.



Book exhibition fails to attract visitors
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 28
The book exhibition which started with a bang at Lajpat Rai Bhawan on December 24, with the release of K. Natwar Singh’s book “Heart to Heart” by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh amid much fanfare and media hype, turned out to be a disappointment for organisers who could not attract much visitors after the inaugural day.

This six-day exhibition is being organised by Rupa and Co, a Delhi-based publication house.

Though the organisers waited for two long years to make a comeback to the city, all calculations seems to have gone awry this time.

“When school holidays coincided with our exhibition timing, we were hopeful that the visitor turnover would be more this year, but we were proved wrong,” said Mr Vijay Kumar, sales executive of Rupa and Co.

“We were expecting a sales figure of Rs 70,000 to 80,000 per day, but we have not reached that figure with all sales combined together for the past five days,” he said.

While some organisers blame it on the cold weather and festive mood, others blame it on the last-week-of-the-month syndrome.

The exhibition has 15000 books and 10000 titles mostly from the Indian authors. The vast collection includes classics, current affairs, health, beauty, lifestyle, history fiction. It also has a long list of books on philosophy, humour and sports.

The price range starts from Rs 20 to Rs 8,000 with a 10 per cent discount on each copy.

The exhibition concludes on December 29



Winter Trade Fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The ongoing 10-day Winter Trade Fair and Kids Carnival being organised by Exhibition Movers and Future Plus at Parade Ground in Sector 17 here will conclude tomorrow.

Punjabi pop stars Kamaljit Neeru, Jasdeep Grewal and Gunjan will regale the audience on the final day of the fair. Children will also hold a performance. Rajesh Ahuja and Kamal Jeet Kamal will anchor the show, while Tarsem Walia will be the music director.


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