Friday, January 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cong men defy Bhajan Lal’s orders, submit resignations
Prefer seat of a councillor than an office-bearer
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2
Defying the directives of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president (HPCC), Mr Bhajan Lal, asking local party office-bearers to abstain from contesting in the municipal council elections, a number of office-bearers have jumped in the fray, risking their positions in the party.

At least 17 local office-bearers of the Congress are contesting the first ever poll to the civic body. All of them have now submitted their resignations, preferring the seat of a councillor to that of an office-bearer. This is likely to have widespread repercussions, with elections of these rebels likely to prop up future challenges to the Kalka MLA and son of state party chief, Mr Chander Mohan.

This has reportedly pushed the state party chief, Mr Bhajan Lal, to the wall, who now feels alienated after losing some of his most trusted lieutenants here.

A section of party workers are already complaining that this disobedience is a sign of his inability to enforce discipline within the party. Sources with in the party say that Bhajan Lal's bete noire would now demand expulsion of these people, to further alienate Bhajan Lal's followers from him.

Political observers feel that contesting these elections would have been the litmus test for the Congress popularity in this citadel of Bhajan Lal family. Immediately after his taking over as the HPCC president, the civic elections were a golden chance to test the party's as well as Mr Bhajan Lal's popularity.

Supporters of Mr Bhajan Lal, however, feel the decision of not contesting these elections was a smart move to avoid any dissent against his heir apparent in the Kalka Assembly seat. The sources said there were too many aspirants within the party and it would have been an unwise political game plan to pick and choose contestants, while annoying two to three workers in each of the 31 wards.

In fact, inform the sources, the party had prepared a panel of contestants to be fielded in various wards. Except for select wards ( Ward 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27 and 31) , where either a single candidate was enlisted or where it was decided not to field a candidate, two to three candidates were listed against all other wards. It was decided at the last minute not to contest the poll so as not to divide the vote bank of the Kalka Assembly seat, Mr Chander Mohan's vote bank.

This has, however, led to another precarious situation with Congressmen contesting as Independents, pitted against each other, thus dividing the party vote bank. In 17 out of a total of 31wards here, two to three Congressmen are contesting against each other. In Ward 11 as many as five party workers are pitted against each other. While the original panel made by the party had two names, Mr Umesh Sood and Mr Phool Chand Saini, atleast three other Congressmen, Mr R.K. Kakkar, Mr Munshi Ram Arora and Mr Pawan Joshi, have also jumped in the fray. 


Outstanding issues likely to be resolved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Residents of city villages, colonies and those living within the ambit of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh are likely to get “major” concessions from the Chandigarh Administration in the near future.

This emerged from the meeting between Mayor Subhash Chawla, local MP Pawan Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor Kuleep Singh and Deputy Mayor Geeta Rani and Union Territory Administrator Lieut- Gen J. F. R. Jacob (retd) during a courtesy call here today, sources told Chandigarh Tribune.

Mr Bansal and his team led by Mr Chawla today made a courtesy call to General Jacob.

Issues of stopping demolition of houses in Kishangarh for the development of the IT park, denial of NOCs for cantilevers in various colonies, denotification of “firnis” in villages and the auction of Sector 39 Grain Market shops and Chandigarh Administration’s help for improving the financial position of the Municipal Corporation are believed to have been discussed during the more than one-hour-long meeting.

While refusing to reveal what transpired at the meeting, Mr Chawla said the courtesy meeting turned out be more than that with indications from the Administrator raising hopes on lot of pending issues of villages, colonies and municipal corporation.

He termed the meeting as “very positive” due to “open heartedness of the Administrator.”

Sources, however, added that the Administrator had asked the Deputy Commissioner to arrange for the auction of shops for the Sector 39 market by February.

There might be a positive decision on the issuance of NOCs despite cantilevers in the old buildings.

A notification on allowing construction on “firnis” in villages might be issued after examination of the issues. 


Mayor, others honoured
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 2
A function to honour the newly-elected Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Kuldeep and the Deputy Mayor, Ms Geeta Choudhary, was organised by members of the Maharishi Valmiki Bhavan Committee, Chandigarh. It was held in collaboration with the SC/ST Welfare Federation of Punjab, Haryana and UT, along with other organisations at Valmiki Bhavan in Sector 24.

The president, Maharishi Valmiki Bhavan Committee, Dr K.S. Raju, read out the welcome address and urged the newly elected team to work for the betterment of the city as well as for the people of the city.

While speaking on the occasion, Mr Amar Nath Sarhadi, president, SC/ST Welfare Federation, congratulated Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Kuldip Singh and Ms Geeta Choudhary on their being elected. Mr Sarhadi hoped that this team would work for the welfare of people.

Other speakers included president of Government House Welfare Association, Mr Tarsem Sidhu, general secretary, Cheap House Welfare Committee, Mr Prem Shami, general secretary, Maharishi Valmiki Sabha, Mr Shanti Dass.Back


Virender Singh is new UT Adviser
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Mr Virender Singh, a 1969-batch IAS officer of the UT cadre, has been appointed Adviser to the UT Administrator. His orders were received here today. With this, the nearly two-year term of Ms Neeru Nanda comes to an end.

From the 1970 batch, Ms Nanda had joined as Adviser on January 12, 2001. She was earlier posted as Chairperson of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). Her services have been placed at the disposal of the Delhi Government for further posting.

Interestingly, Mr Virender Singh has been under suspension for more than two years and this is his first posting after being reinstated. On May 13, 2000, the CBI had registered a case of corruption against him for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and for abusing his official position as public servant for accumulation of huge immoveable and moveable assets.

He was then posted as a Principal Secretary Training and Technical Education, Government of National Capital Region, New Delhi. Another IPS official, who was then booked by the CBI, was reinstated a few months ago and in bureaucratic circles it was being speculated that Mr Virender Singh would also be reinstated.

The CBI in its report had then said that expensive cars and property in and around Delhi running into several lakhs of rupees were recovered. Besides, jewellery and NSCs amounting to lakhs of rupees were recovered. Going by the then case of the CBI, his assets were running into several crores of rupees. The gradation list of the UT cadre officers for June, 2000 says he was suspended.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs added that the move to appoint the Adviser was taken without consulting any one in Chandigarh. The post of Adviser here is sensitive and Mr Virender Singh will deal with more than 27,000 employees, deciding on cases of properties, appointing employees and deciding upon major issues.


Controversy’ refuses to vacate MC chief’s house
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, January 2
The official residence of the Municipal Council Head here has always been controversial that whoever occupies it is reluctant to vacate it.

The house, constructed in a plot measuring about 2 kanals, is in the council residential complex in Phase V. It has never been occupied by an elected head of the civic body. Most of those who have occupied the big house have to be pressurised in various ways to vacate it.

The first occupant of the house was the ADC-cum-administrator of the then Notified Area Committee. Later, the nominated President of the civic body, Mr Sukhjit Singh Sukhi, occupied the residence but did not care to vacate the accommodation when his term ended on January 20, 1995.

Several notices were issued to him but to no avail. The Municipal Council then wrote demi-official letters to the Secretary, Local Government, and the minister concerned in this regard. The government later gave a show-cause notice but the house was still not vacated.

Warnings were issued to the occupant that market rent as assessed by the PWD (Rs 26,990 per month) would be levied. The occupant was then informed that he owed about Rs 1.98 lakh to the council for the period he overstayed in the house. It is reported that Mr Sukhi paid a part of the amount. The house was finally vacated.

The house was turned into an office during the tenure of Mr Harinder Pal Singh Billa, the first elected President of the Municipal Council, as he had declined to shift to the house. The office was then wound up in view of ‘coordination’ problems with the main council office in Phase VII.

Thereafter, the house was occupied by the then Executive Officer (EO), of the council, Mr K.S. Brar. The house actually meant for the EO has been in the possession of another government official for years.

On being transferred to another town Mr Brar did not vacate the accommodation.

The vacation process had to be started all over again. Notices were issued and the authorities again adviced the council to charge market rent. Even the general House of the council passed a resolution of charging market rent.

Orders were issued to impose a penalty which was to be recovered from the salary of Mr Brar.

He finally vacated the house after overstaying for about 10 months.

The house has now again become controversial with the successor of Mr Brar, Mr Har Bhagwan Garg, not vacating it after his transfer to another place. The present EO, Mr Krishan Sharma, who had taken charge on July 11 last year, is facing difficulty and has to commute from Rajpura every day.

The council has issued two notices to Mr Garg to vacate the house.

Mr Kulwant Singh, council President, who is actually entitled to the house, said jokingly that he did not want to shift to it as the house was so beautiful that he might find it difficult to vacate it whenever his term ended.


Petrol stations witness long queues
Petrol, diesel prices hiked by Re 1 from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Despite continuing cold wave in the region, the petrol stations in the city and surrounding towns today witnessed an unprecedented rush of scooters, cars, trucks and other vehicles and people were found standing in long queues to buy petrol and diesel, expecting a hike in oil prices. Later the Union Petroleum Ministry, announced a hike of about Re 1 per litre in petrol and diesel prices, with effect from today’s midnight.

Some of the petrol pump owners here were already witnessing an increase in sale, as the hovering war clouds over Iraq during the past few days have caused a panic among the bulk buyers. Oil prices in the international market have already crossed $33 per barrel. Mr Harbhajan Singh at the BP petrol pump in Sector 21 said the sales of petrol and diesel increased by over 15 per cent today.

Mr Seth Ram Singla, President, Panchkula Petrol Dealers Association, said,‘‘ Most of the dealers and customers try to save some money every time the companies announce hike. This is happening this time as well, though due to limited capacity of the tanks and security risk in storage, the people will not be able to make much money.’’

Some of the petrol stations in the city were also found trying to evade the bulk sales, expecting an increase in prices.

Some of the farmers and truck owners also complained that petrol station owners did not sell them diesel more than 50 litres.

Mr Ram Partap Singh, a truck driver, admitted that truck operators would be hit hard due to hike in diesel price, which was further expected to increase in the coming days.

However, they could purchase limited quantity of diesel due to financial and storage constraints. Market experts disclosed that oil prices have firmed up due to strike in Venezuela, the fifth largest producer of oil and a major member of the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC). 


PU-ISRO tie-up on space research
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has approached Panjab University (PU) for a tie-up on research in astrophysics. Under this venture, the first astrophysics research centre to be established north of New Delhi, will come up at the university campus here.

The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof K.N. Pathak told TNS here today that the university’s Department of Physics had been tasked to prepare a project report in this regard, to be submitted to ISRO shortly.

The idea of setting up a centre for astrophysics was mooted by Dr K. Kasturirangan, Chairman of the Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space, during discussions with Professor Pathak earlier. Astrophysics is a branch of astronomy dealing with the physics and chemistry of planets, stars and other extra-terrestrial bodies.

Once the project report is forwarded to ISRO, a presentation would also be made by PU at the ISRO headquarters, outlining the charter of activities of the centre, the manpower and equipment requirements for setting it up and the funding required.

Professor Pathak said while raw data would be supplied by ISRO, the centre would study and analyse it to generate useful information. “Three basic tasks of the centre will be data interpretation and analysis, imparting education and training to students in the subject, and research,” he said.

To begin with, the centre will function from the Department of Physics. Stating that the immediate requirements for the centre were space, manpower and a computer laboratory, the Vice-Chancellor added that major laboratory instrumentation would come later on, for which the centre might require new premises.

Initial financial requirements are being pegged at Rs 1 crore, which would be made available by the Department of Space or ISRO.

While the department has one faculty member associated with the subject of astrophysics, additional experts in the subject will also be brought in. The financial costs for hiring additional staff will be borne by ISRO. “We are also looking towards strengthening our own department in this field,” Professor Pathak said. The Physics Department is already undertaking a research project for ISRO.


On mission to woo Indian students
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
“I am neither an agent nor part of any Canadian university. If I am here to persuade boys and girls from good and affluent families to come and study in Canada, it is just because of love for my own people,” says Mr Ron Mundi, a successful hotelier from Kamloops, currently touring India.

Mr Mundi, who moved to Canada in 1994, says that hard work in his initial struggling years in Canada has taken him to the present position where he owns four hotels in partnership.

“I have many international students living on our properties. I was stunned when I came to know that 150 students from China against five from India have been admitted to the University College of the Cariboo, the institution for which I have come here to get young, talented Indian students admitted.

“When I go back, I am going to talk to the Canadian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship as to why the rejection rate was so high in India.”

The Executive Director of the University College of the Cariboo, Ms Cindi McLeod, who was in India a couple of years ago, unfortunately did not carry a good impression of this place. She agreed to visit India again and will arrive here on January 7.

“On January 9, we will visit the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi and will have interaction with Counsellors dealing with the students’ visas. We want to know and understand what exactly are the requirements so that the students shortlisted by the University College of the Cariboo purely on their academic and financial merit do not get rejected after their admissions are through.”

“We want to involve top schools and other institutions in our selection process. It is why we are planning a series of seminars in the region between January 12 and 17. One of our presentation-cum-seminars will be at the Punjab Armed Police Campus at Jalandhar on January 15 at 12.30 p.m.,” said Mr Mundi, who otherwise comes from a village in Ludhiana district.

At present, the University College of the Cariboo is offering admission to students in advanced courses in computers and information technology, travel, tourism and hotel industry, English as second language and also MBA.

Though the universities in British Columbia may be slightly expensive than those in Ontario or elsewhere, they promise quality education.

The University College of the Cariboo, which is a full fledged university, is not opening many other departments and faculties to foreign students. So far Chinese students dominate the international students community on the sprawling university campus .

Mr Santokh Singh Mander, who is a part of the visiting Cariboo team, maintains that the university college would follow a strict admission criteria. “We hope that once we have approved the admission of a student, he or she will face no problem in getting the student visa from the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi.”Back


PUDA demolishes structures
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 2
In a day-long operation, a team of the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) demolished freshly constructed illegal structures in Kambali village and Jagatpura village here today.

Both these villages fall within the Punjab Periphery Controlled Area and the Locally Planned Area of SAS Nagar. In Kambali village, which is next to the Air Force Station, Chandigarh, a fresh set of rooms had been built next to an old mosque which were demolished by the team in the morning. The same team then went to Jagatpura village where a boundary wall, being illegally built and still under construction, was demolished. The team, which included three Junior Engineers from PUDA and some labourers, carried out the complete operation manually.

When contacted the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, confirmed that PUDA had carried out a demolition campaign in the two villages today. “No fresh cases of illegal construction in the periphery-controlled area or the planned area would be tolerated. These will be removed with immediate effect. The same treatment will be meted out to those unauthorised constructions which are being done by people under the garb of constructing religious places or extending the existing ones”, he said.

Less than a fortnight back a PUDA team had carried out a demolition campaign in Kansal village where all semi-constructed unauthorised houses were demolished and written warnings issued to those who were residing in illegal structures.


Jaspal Bhatti’s Friday humour
2003 — year of news channels

The year 2003 will be a landmark year for television news. Aaj Tak people are coming up with their new English news channel. NDTV is preparing to launch a separate Hindi and an English channel in 2003. Star TV will also relaunch its Star News channel. That means that the year 2003 will be a ‘newsy’ year.

Soon in every gali mohalla there will either be a transmitter on a studio and reporters will be covering events like birthday parties, mundan ceremony, natural deaths and small accidents like children falling from tricycles.

Even if there is no news these channels will generate news. Sometime back reporters with camera teams were seen roaming in the streets of Delhi at night taking sound bites of the people, showing the scars made by the ‘invisible’ monkey man. In the end it was found it was nothing but a rumour. These channels went on supporting these rumours for days to run their channels.

With mushrooming of news channels and newspapers in every city, in the coming times every third person will be a newsperson. For calling a press conference, a minister will have to make arrangements in an open air stadium. No wonder you may find the first 19 out of 20 rows in a hall reserved for the media.

Many a times on TV, whenever there is an accident, these TV newspersons are overstepping each other in interviewing the injured and asking, “aap ko accident ke baad kaisa lag raha hai?” With doubling of these newspersons, chances are that a victim will survive an accident but probably die in a press stampede.

In an overcrowded hall, a ‘mantriji’ got annoyed when not a single person applauded after he had finished his speech. When he asked his speech writer what the reason could be, the speech writer said, “Sir, half the crowd here is your security and the rest are media persons!”



Stalls selling spices in Apni Mandi removed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 2
The SDM, SAS Nagar, and SDM, Kharar, in a joint operation conducted here today got removed the illegal stalls selling spices and condiments in the Apni Mandi in Phase IIIB2 here.

The operation was conducted within hours of Chandigarh Tribune having reported that spices were being sold in the Apni Mandis controlled by the Market Committee, Kharar, which also regulates the Apni Mandis in SAS Nagar.

The SDM of SAS Nagar, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, stated that he was contacted by the SDM, Kharar, in the morning and joint surprise visit was planned with a team from the municipal council here. A market of vendors in the Phase VIII ground was also removed. The MC took possession of the goods being sold and the SDM has ordered that persons selling spices etc be dealt with strictly and any person other than farmer will not be allowed to sell their product in the Apni Mandis.

A mandi supervisor, Manjeet Singh, was also suspended by the SDM, Kharar, Mr S.S. Gill, who was also the chairman of the Kharar Market Committee. Stating that only farmers were allowed to sell their produce in the Apni Mandis, Mr Gill warned that action will be taken against all those who were selling any other product.


Dense fog hits air, rail traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The city remained cut off from the air traffic for the second consecutive day and trains and buses got delayed due to a dense fog enveloping the area.

The Meteorological Department said the foggy conditions were likely to continue till tomorrow when rain was likely.

The cloudy conditions have been caused due to Western disturbances in Pakistan and more snow is likely in Himachal in the next two days.

Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flights have not landed in the city for the last two days.

Sadbhavna Express which was to reach here at 11.30 am reached the city around 3.10 pm. Pashchim Express, which was to reach the city at 3.25 pm reached the city at 4.50 pm.

The minimum temperature in the city, however, saw a rise of 1°C.

Ludhiana was the coldest in the region with the minimum temperature going down to 5.1°C, one degree below the normal.

Ambala saw a minimum temperature of 7.3°C and Patiala had a temperature of 6.4°C.

Vehicle drivers had a harrowing time in the night with almost negligible visibility on the roads. Back


Drive on low beam through fog
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The secret of safe driving through dense fog is to move with the low beam on, says Dr M.M. Gupta, a Professor in the Department of Physics in PU. The light should spread on the road, he says. “That is the reason why you should always drive the vehicle with the low beam on”.

This is not all. The parking lights should always be switched on. “The light falls on the road, but that is not the only reason,” Professor Gupta insists. “The vehicle coming from the opposite direction is also able to spot your car”.

Fog lights do help, no doubt about it, but they should be installed parallel to the parking lights. “Gluing a yellow paper on the head light helps, but not so much. The height of the lights is one factor,” he says. “There is more to it. The paper simply changes the colour of the beam, while fog lights are monochromatic in nature and are able to pierce the fog”.

You can buy a pair for two wheelers by pulling out a minimum of Rs 250 from your wallet. For cars, you have to pay a little more. “Good” Italian lights are costing about Rs 4,000. Just make sure that the lights are monochromatic.

Another thing. Blinkers should not be switched on, strictly. “They sent wrong signals,” auto dealer Ravi Sharma claims. “Okay, the vehicles coming from the opposite direction are able to detect your car, but blinkers indicate distress. They should be avoided”.

Also remember not to drive fast. “Fog decreases visibility, it is an obvious fact,” Sharma says. “That is why you should not drive fast. Press the throttle only if you are able to see everything vividly at least 400 metres ahead”.

Last advice from Professor Gupta: “Do not leave your residence until or unless it is absolutely essential. Driving through fog is just not safe — keep the fact in mind. Avoid it if you can”.


Chill marks kids’ return to schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Fog and chill greeted school-children in the New Year as they returned to schools after they opened after winter vacations ended. While government schools opened on January 1, private schools had their own different dates for re-opening.

Though three private schools opened today, a few will be re-opening from tomorrow, with the remaining starting classes next week. The DAV schools, in Sectors 7 and 15 and Shivalik Public School were the ones which opened today.

The mood among students of course was varied — from excitement at meeting old friends to unhappiness over having to forsake a warm bed and move out in the bitter cold.

While some drove up to schools in the warmth of their fathers’ cars or the relative comfort of a school bus, others had to brave chilly winds on two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws and even bicycles.

Caps, scarfs, mufflers and gloves of various hues and colours formed an integral part of the students’ attire in an effort to keep out the biting cold. Some had even worn an extra jacket or wind-cheater over their uniforms, which was meant to be removed on reaching school.

There were some who had failed to anticipate the chill and felt rather underdressed without the protective accessories or an extra layer of thermals. Even the afternoon failed to bring in any relief as a chilly breeze continued.

While some did not mind the cold or were adequately equipped to keep warm, there were others wishing that they be near a room heater or a hot air blower. Not all classrooms were warm and cosy.

Morning assemblies or recess periods saw a relatively lower level of activity, with students hurdled together, rubbing hands to keep warm. Hot tea and bread pakoras in school canteens, of course, were the order of the day.Back


Auto-rickshaw owners’ strike enters second day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Most of the auto-rickshaws in the city remained off roads today, as the strike call given by the Chandigarh Scooter Rickshaw Union entered its second day. The union is protesting against the State Transport Authority’s (STA) decision to impound the auto-rickshaws, which have completed 15 years on road. It has urged the administration to provide additional time till March, to buy new vehicles and also exemption from sales tax on new vehicles.

Earlier, a delegation of the Chandigarh Scooter Rickshaw Union, led by Mr Harcharan Singh Sahani, met the Secretary of the STA and urged him to consider their demands. However, the Secretary reportedly told them that due to instructions of the Supreme Court, the STA was unable to do anything in this regard.

Mr Sahani told the reporters that the strike would continue till their demands were accepted. The union had decided, he said, to meet the Administrator, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob, (retd), tomorrow to apprise him of the situation. The traffic police challaned only one auto-rickshaw in the city today as most of drivers had decided to participate in the strike.

Mr Sahani said, “The Administration has already banned the registration of new auto-rickshaws in the city. The registration numbers are being issued, only to replace the old ones. However, now the STA is not issuing the RCs even to the owners of old vehicles. We should be given some time to purchase new auto-rickshaws at least by March end.”

He again said, “We are not against the Administration’s decision to ban the over-aged vehicles, but we just want that the decision should be postponed till March end, to provide us with some time to arrange for new vehicles. Like the Delhi Government, the Administration should also provide subsidy on the loans and exemption from ST to purchase new vehicles.”


Jhote Kut colony irks Sec 71 residents
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 2
Right in the middle of the township’s information technology hub, Sector 71, is a colony, a home to about 2,000 people, known as Jhote Kut, that sticks out like a sore thumb that no one wants to own.

While according to PUDA authorities they have done all that is within their means to get possession of the land, occupied illegally by the Jhote Kut residents, residents of Sector 71 are now up in arms against them, allegedly for spreading filth and dirt and causing a potential health hazard.

Residents of Jhote Kut, however, state that they have been living here for more than two decades, while Sector 71 came into existence just a few years back and hence they will not move nor give up their means of subsistence which mainly includes rearing cattle and pigs.

Sector 71 residents have also complained to the various civic authorities about the potential health and cleanliness problems being faced by the residents. “We have paid lakhs of rupees for a particular lifestyle. But what do we get here? Every morning we witness colony residents defecating in the open, then pigs and cattle move about freely all through the sector roads and pigs roll in the slush, says a resident of Sector 71.

The Jhote Kut residents on the other hand simply state that since they live here they also earn their livelihood from whatever they do. “Is there any place in SAS Nagar where we can take our cattle and go? We have our shops. So why should we move?” questioned a shopkeeper of the colony.

Other than the constant official and unofficial bickerings that have been going on between the residents, the residents of Sector 71 have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for relief.

According to Lieut-Col S.S. Sohi (retd), general secretary of the Ex-Servicemen’s Grievances Cell, here, the PUDA authorities have in fact numbered and marked the total number of houses and shops in the colony. “But nothing has been done to remove these illegal shops, the authorities are hand in glove with these people,” he alleges.


Drink moderately, remain healthy, live longer’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Reducing ‘oxygen toxicity’ and managing alcohol intake are now being taken as twin mantras for ensuring longevity and reducing the risk of diseases like cancer and heart attacks.

This was stated by Prof Aruni Bhatnagar, professor of medicine, biochemistry and pharmacology, at University of Louisville, Kentucky, while speaking at the Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, here today.

He said North Indians, especially those belonging to the affluent sections of society, have greater propensity for heart disease and cancer because of their rich diet and unregulated drinking habits. The two kill antioxidants in the body.

Professor Bhatnagar said there is sufficient and irrefutable data available that shows that moderate drinking was actually beneficial to human body. He said over the last 40 years hundreds of studies across the world have shown that moderate alcohol intake may be advisable in order to protect human body from serious disease.

Professor Bhatnagar is a member of the apex USA review panel on alcohol and toxicity at the National Institute of Health, Washington, and has been investigating the relationship between alcohol and morbidity for nearly a decade.

Professor Bhatnagar said the good effects of alcohol were discovered more than three decades back but the findings were suppressed as it was feared that they may promote drinking habits. He however, said that effects of unregulated consumption of alcohol were self evident. Accidents to domestic violence and increased risks of serious diseases are all a result of unregulated alcohol consumption.

Professor Bhatnagar said an intelligent and informed individual may actually benefit in terms of better health.


Drunk cop slaps complainant
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 2
A constable of the Chandigarh police, posted at Sector 34 police station, slapped a complainant in Sector 32 here this evening. An eyewitness alleged that the constable was drunk. Till the report last came in, the constable had been taken to a hospital for medical examination. The report was awaited.

According to information, Sunny (11), a local resident, had gone to purchase some sweets from a nearby shop. He allegedly picked up some toffees from the shop and refused to pay for the same. The shopkeeper, Ravinder Kumar, reportedly slapped the boy following which the boy’s father Hari Ram reached the shop. He, thereafter, called the police.

According to the eyewitness, the constable Salwinder Singh who reached the spot was drunk and allegedly slapped Hari Ram. A large crowd gathered on the spot. Sensing trouble, the constable ran from the spot and locked himself in a nearby room. A senior official of the police reached the spot and he persuaded the constable to open the door. He was later taken for a medical examination. The SHO could not be contacted.Back


Residents threaten to move court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Chandigarh Parents Association today issued a notice to the Chandigarh Administration, saying it would move the court in case demolition proceedings being carried out in the city in an arbitrary and pick-and-choose manner were not stopped.

The association said ordinary residents were being targeted, leaving the VIPs, IAS officers, judicial officers and other high ranking dignitaries living in the city.

The adamant attitude of the Estate Office continued and it was functioning in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner with the residents of Chandigarh to the extent that it was issuing notices to the residents of southern sectors for having made the extra rooms or installation of a gate but nothing had been done to remove the encroachments in the northern sectors, the association alleged.

Some of the houses had been given notices while others houses in the same row or in the adjoining area had been left out for the reasons best known to the officials of the Estate Office.

The Estate Office had closed its eyes for the reason that many of the high ranking officers, who included IAS or IPS officers and Judicial officers, had made numerous changes in the buildings without any permission but the Administration always took action against poor residents, the association for the alleged.

Officers of the Administration who, were employed with the Estate Office, a majority of them had carried out these various constructions in their own houses allotted to them. But they acted in a different manner with other residents.

The pick-and-choose method adopted by the Administration was totally wrong.

25-yr-old farmhand murdered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2
A 25-year-old farmhand was reportedly shot by another employee at a farm in Mogi Nand village, near Sector 25 here, late tonight.

According to information, the incident took place while the victim, Brij Mohan, and the suspect, Jarnail Singh were in their quarters. The suspect was a Punjab Police cop who had been provided as a security guard to the owner of the farmhouse. The suspect has been missing.

According to police sources, no other employee at the farm was present at the time of the incident. Brij Mohan was allegedly hit by a bullet fired from the carbine of Jarnail Singh in the abdomen. It was after hearing the gunshot that other employees — cook Michael, driver Surinder and sweeper Pradeep — rushed to the spot and found the victim bleeding profusely.

They immediately rushed the victim to the General Hospital, Sector 6 here, where he was declared brought dead.Back


No move to replace Kataria

There is no move to remove Mr Rattan Lal Kataria as president of the Haryana BJP, said the BJP vice-president, Dr Harshvardhan, while addressing a meeting of party workers here here on Thursday. He said that the rumours regarding Mr Kataria's ouster were frivolous and meant to harm the party's position, especially in wake of the civic elections in the state. He directed the party leaders to ensure the party's smooth sailing in these civic elections. TNS


National seminar in CSIO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
A two-day national seminar on “technological development on aeronautics and its impact on maintenance” is being organised at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Sector 30, from tomorrow.

The seminar will be held jointly by the Aeronautical Society of India, 3 BRD Depot, Air Force, and the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA). About 150 delegates are participating in the seminar, said Mr R.P. Gupta, Regional Director, RCMA.Back

Roshan Lal Mittal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Punjab State Electricity Board today posted Mr Roshan Lal Mittal as the Chief Engineer, Civil, Hydel Construction and Design, Chandigarh. He is working as the Deputy Chief Engineer in the same section.


Raids on VCD shops, three arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 2
The police has arrested at least 40 persons from different parks of the city during the past 24 hours.

The police raided various shops dealing in video compact disks and video cassettes and arrested three persons with pirated and pornographic VCDs. Sources said that a Sector 22-based shop, Music Point, was raided and Jaswinder Singh (resident of Sector 37) was arrested as the police claimed to seize 87 fake VCDs. Two pornographic VCDs were allegedly recovered from Eye Electronics in Sector 22 and Om Prakash was arrested in the connection. The police has also arrested Dhanas resident Sanjya Dogra allegedly for possessing a X-rated VCD.

Two residents of Colony 5, Om Shrivastva and Chalin, were arrested allegedly for passing indecent comments against a woman of the colony. They were booked under Section 294 of the IPC.

Excise cases

As many as 25 cases under the Excise Act were registered and 28 persons were arrested for allegedly consuming liquor at public place. The cases were registered in police stations of Sectors 3, 11, 17, 34, 36, 39 and the Industrial Area.


Four persons, Surinder Kumar of Sector 26, Kali Charan of Mani Majra, Geeta Ram of Mauli Jagran and Ravinder Kumar of Dadu Majra Colony, were arrested allegedly for gambling at public places. They were booked under various sections of the Gambling Act.

Three arrested

Three rickshawpullers, Bishnu, Sukh Lal and Mantoo, were arrested from different parts of the city allegedly for plying their rickshaw on wrong side of road. They have been booked for causing danger and obstruction in public way.


Held for drinking

The police has arrested seven persons, Gurcharan Singh, Kartar Singh, Suraj Pal, Pal Singh, Sunder, Srikant Saxena and Prem Chand, on the charge of drinking liquor at public place.

Liquor seized

The police has arrested six persons, Satpal, Sher Singh, Labh Singh, Sukhbir, Gurmukh Singh and Binder in separate incidents and seized 46 bottles and 25 pouches of liquor from them.


Recovery notices to 53 defaulters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Punjab National Bank, Chandigarh region, has issued notices to 53 defaulters for the recovery of Rs 14.42 crore under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002.

The bank had identified 70 defaulting accounts whose dues amounted to Rs 20.72 crore in Chandigarh, Ambala, Panchkula and Yamunanagar, Senior Regional Manager V.J. Mattoo said here today.

So far, 23 parties have already approached the bank for a compromise with either offers of a one-time settlement of accounts or seeking the rescheduling of the repayment. The bank has already recovered Rs 34 lakh from five defaulting account holders.

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