Thursday, January 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Butrela resident shot at, injured
Dejected lover suspected behind the crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
A resident of Butrela village was shot at early this morning. He sustained splinter injuries and was admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16, here. While no arrest has been made in the case, the police suspects that the assailant was a ‘‘dejected lover’’ of the man’s daughter-in-law.

Mohammad Asgar (55) was shot at with a pistol, possibly country-made, at about 7.45 am soon after he opened his grocery shop in the village by an unidentified middle-aged person wearing black clothes. The assailant fled the site in the thick fog.

The injured was rushed to the General Hospital, with splinter injuries in the chest, neck and shoulder. Doctors said he was out of danger.

A police team from the Sector 39 police station reached the site and recovered a live cartridge. But, the bullet cartridge used in the shooting incident does not match with the recovered live cartridge. Police sources say the assailant might have intentionally dropped another cartridge to confuse investigations.

The investigating officer, Sub Inspector Pratap Singh, told TNS that the police had raided possible hideouts of the suspect, Suleman (32). The SI said Suleman wanted to marry Israt, daughter-in-law of Mohammad Asgar. She was married to Asgar’s second son, Mohammad Shaheed, a carpenter.

“Having failed to marry Israt, Suleman might have targeted her father-in-law Mohammad Asgar, who arranged his son’s marriage with her”, explained another police official.

Mohammad Asgar has four sons Mohammad Shakeer, a painter by profession is working in Dubai.

His other three sons Mohammad Shaheed (carpenter), Zulfukaar (auto mechanic) and Zahul Haq (carpenter) are working in the city and are staying with him.

Asma, a daughter-in-law of Asgar, told TNS that her father-in-law had recently returned back from Saudi Arabia after 15 years.

The police has registered an FIR under Section 307 of the IPC and under Section 25 of the Arms Act on charges of attempt to murder.

This is the second shoot-out incident in the past nine weeks. Earlier, Harjinder Singh, Manager of Kiran cinema, was shot dead by unidentified persons on November 20 last year.



Another illegal colony at Zirakpur
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, January 22
Flouting rules and norms, a senior functionary in the Department of Local Government of Punjab is allegedly patronising certain builders who are developing a colony in Bartana village within the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits.

Without approval either from the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) or the Town Planing Department, the colony is being developed over eight acres by channelising the natural course of the Sukhna choe. The coloniser has reportedly felled a couple of trees and constructed a bridge over the choe.

As per revenue records, the colony is being developed by Phool Singh Saini after purchasing the land from two residents of Bartana village. The coloniser is selling plots after attaining power of attorney.

Ironically, over 24 investors who have purchased plots in the colony have been issued no objection certificates (NOC) for their building plans by the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities. Highly placed sources in the department said that the NOC were issued by the civic body on the intervention of a senior functionary of the Department of Local Government.

When contacted, Mr Phool Singh Saini denied involvement of any functionary of the Department of Local Government of Punjab. He, however, said that he had sought permission from the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat for the approval of building plans.

Mr Saini said rival property dealers were trying to affect his business adversely. When contacted for comment, Mr Ashok Kumar Sikka, Administrator of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, pointed out that the constructions that had come up in Zirakpur and surrounding areas were unauthorised and “nothing could be done.”

He, however, said: “To stop unauthorised construction is the job of PUDA, not of the civic authorities. We approve the building plans of the constructions coming up in colonies approved by the TP Department as well as PUDA”.

Meanwhile, Mr Yashbir Mahajan, Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA, said the matter was not in his notice. He, however, clarified that no one could develop any colony or even raise structures without the permission of PUDA within the limits of the civic body.

‘‘If there is any construction going on, strict action would be taken against defaulters. Construction activities are a gross violation of the Punjab Apartment Property Regulatory Act (PAPRA). A team of PUDA staff will be sent to the site and a criminal case be registered against any coloniser case found guilty,” claimed Mr Mahajan.

PUDA had already booked three property dealers of Kharar and surrounding areas for developing colonies in violation of the PAPRA, he added.

Meanwhile, residents and colonisers see the hand of some bureaucrats to benefit their associate colonisers developing colonies within the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits and beyond a distance of 900 metres from the defence installation where construction activity is banned.



UT lacks teeth to check dental labs
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
With the UT health authorities turning a blind eye to illegal dental clinics being run by unqualified people in various villages and slum colonies, these places have become a potential threat for spread of killer diseases like AIDS and hepatitis.

“In the absence of the Doctor sahib, I do filling of cavities and cleaning of the teeth, as I have been working with him for the past one year,” remarked a seventh class student, while assuring that he was quite experienced and would do a good job. It would not be surprising at all if after doing his matriculation, he too opened a ‘dental arts clinic’ or a ‘dental lab’, like the ones in Bhadehri, Dhanas, Colony Number 5 and Bapu Dham Colony.

Majority of the people running these dental shops in the villages and slums had no degree or even basic qualification for taking care of the oral health of the residents of the area. “Our biggest worry is that with unhygienic conditions prevailing at these shops there is a high risk of blood-borne diseases like AIDS and hepatitis being spread,” remarked a doctor. During a visit to some of these clinics it was found that most of them did not have sterilisation facilities and used rusty instruments, which could cause serious infection.

The Director Health Services , UT, Dr C.P. Bansal, while expressing ignorance about such dental shops in the area, assured that since the matter had now been brought to his notice, stringent action would be taken.

While most of the people running these shops had no background in medical field, the smarter ones had displayed the name and degree of qualified dental doctors with a BDS degree, only to have immunity from the police or action by health authorities. The Office of the Registrar, Chandigarh Dental Council, on its part, had issued a public notice, requesting all dental practitioners to either get themselves registered with the council or inform about their respective registrations and their validity so that a record could be maintained about the number of authorised practitioners in the city.

Seeing the gravity of the problem, the Registrar of the council, Dr G.S. Sandhu, had even written a letter to the Mayor, Municipal Corporation, seeking cooperation of the elected representatives in checking such illegal practices. “ Till date we have not even received an acknowledgement of the request we sent to them, leave aside any cooperation in checking this growing menace,” said Dr Sandhu.

In fact, the Dental Council, had conducted raids to check such illegal practices but with little help from the authorities, not much headway could be made. During such raids some of these people had assured that they would produce their degrees after some time as they had yet to receive it from the dental colleges where they studied.

With the health authorities failing to take the matter seriously, these dental shops could prove to be a major threat, especially in view of the potential threat of diseases like AIDS, turning real and India being home to the highest number of people who had contracted it.



S.K. Sharma takes over as DUI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Prof S.K. Sharma, Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, took over as the Dean University Instructions, Panjab University, here today.
A vacancy had arisen because Prof R.J. Hans-Gill, has proceeded on long leave. The post is usually occupied by the seniormost Professor of the university.

The matter had featured at the Syndicate meeting recently. It was pointed out that Prof V.K. Gupta, Department of Economics, Prof Sharma and Prof Bhuvan Chandel, Department of Philosophy, were promoted as Professors on the same date. The university then went on to see who among them was the seniormost Reader.

The new list had Professor Gupta and Professor Sharma’s names as the seniormost. Professor Gupta declined to join the post following which the university appointed Professor Sharma as ‘officiating’ DUI.

Professor Sharma is known for his pioneering work at the Energy Research Centre of the university, particularly in popularisation of using gadgets using solar energy for various purposes.

The university had also to consider whether appoint anyone above 60 as DUI because a letter of the Ministry of Human Resource Development says that the retirement age is 60.

The matter is however, pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 



Poor weather hits air travel business
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Due to cancellation of flights, the airlines had to refund the fair of hundreds of delegates of the LIC who had come here to participate in a two-day national convention from January 18-19.

Chandigarh, January 22
The cancellation of flights on the Chandigarh-Delhi-Mumbai-Goa and Chandigarh-Leh routes for the past over 15 days have caused financial loss worth crores to the air travel business in the region. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways, which operate flights on these routes, and the hotel industry are cursing their luck for the bad weather and failure of Instrumental Landing System (ILS).

Officials in the Indian Airlines and Jet Airways disclosed that despite bad weather in Delhi and other cities, most of the flights were running, though behind schedule, due to proper functioning of the ILS. But the system at the local airport, which is maintained by the Indian Air Force, had developed some fault last month. Till date it is lying defunct. They said: ‘‘The officials concerned are neither ready to commit when would it become operational nor have they made it functional during all these days. Though non-functioning of ILS is partially responsible for the cancellation of flights, hundreds of passengers could have travelled through flights had it been made functional in time.’’

They said the aircraft with the functioning of ILS could land with a visibility of up to 16,00 meters. Otherwise, they would require up to 2.8 km visibility. The flights can land even with lower level visibility if the ILS is upgraded. The met office claim the visibility will improve up to 2 to 3 km during next one-two days, but only in the afternoon.

Mr Inderjit Pathania, airport manager, Jet Airways, says,‘‘Like Indian Airlines, the unprecedented dense fog and non-functioning of ILS have badly affected air travel and caused huge financial loss to the operators. Consequently, we have cancelled flights on the Chandigarh-Delhi route and back till January 26. Even if weather conditions become normal, it would take at least two-three days for the starting of flights.’’

Due to cancellation of flights, the airlines had to refund the fair of hundreds of delegates of the LIC who had come here to participate in a two-day national convention from January 18-19. Officials of Indian Airlines disclosed that against a capacity of 145 seas, it was running its Chandigarh-Delhi flight with 90 passengers at a fare of about Rs 2,000, besides 10-15 tonnes of cargo. Similarly, Jet Airways was running its 62 seater flight with 85-90 per cent utilisation. Both had to suffer revenue loss worth lakhs.

The hoteliers in the Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Amritsar have also complained of loss of business due to cancellation of flights. Number of business men and officials, who had booked rooms in hotels here, have already asked for cancellation.

An official at the local airport said even the Indian Air Force and the Airport Authority of Authority, which charge substantial amount for the maintenance of ILS, parking of aircraft and passenger tax have also suffered losses. He claimed that passengers, hotel industry and airline operators could have saved crores of rupees had the Centre and the authorities concerned taken action in time.



Sabotage suspected behind mine blasts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Sabotage is suspected to be the cause of explosion of several hundred anti-tank mines at the Mahajan firing ranges. The explosion left seven Army men dead and destroyed 10 military trucks. A court of inquiry (COI), ordered into the incident by Headquarters, Western Command, has held three officers, including a Lieutenant-Colonel, and four belonging to other ranks “blameworthy” for dereliction of duty, it is learnt.

The fact that an unidentified body was found at the site of the incident, which, according to police records, was not claimed by local villagers, lends credence to this theory.

The incident took place about seven months ago while unserviceable anti-tank mines were being transported from the mine dump at Bikaner to the Mahajan ranges in Rajasthan for destruction. Four Army personnel were also injured, while a few weapons and other equipment had been destroyed.

The COI, presided over by Col R Suresh with three officers of the rank of Major as members, has also not ruled out the inadvertent presence of a fuse inside a mine, which may have caused the explosion.

According to sources, the COI has opined that the vehicles loaded with mines had been parked outside the gates of the camp at the range and, despite the presence of an escort party, an explosive device could have been placed in the vehicles. It was also found that one of the trucks had “lost” its way while approaching the range and the driver had asked civilians for directions, who guided him to the exact location earmarked for mine disposals. This has led to the opinion that since the location was well-known to the locals, any civilian on the payrolls of the ISI could have planted something on the ground at the site.

The COI has also addressed the possibility of civilians employed at the mine dump as well as those employed by the contractor to collect scrap at the range being in on the payrolls of the ISI, the sources added. Besides, there are a number of villages within the demarcated range area, which, the COI says, enables entry into the range from any direction and makes it possible for a hostile intelligence agency to cultivate any civilian.

The inquiry has also revealed that the boxes containing the mines had not been sealed as required by provision, failing which anyone could have planted a fuse in a mine.

The three officers, meanwhile, have been blamed for not detailing adequate manpower for the task and for their inability to exercise proper command and control in executing the entire operation.



HC orders one lakh for father of electrocuted student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
In less than six months after a class II student was electrocuted in the school premises, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the payment of Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the victim’s father within three months.

In their petition, Lawyers for Human Rights International and the father Mr Vikram of Makhan Majra had earlier sought the issuance of directions to the Chandigarh Administration and other respondents for the payment of compensation.

Directions for constituting a high-level committee for visiting all primary schools in the states of Punjab and Haryana, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh, were also sought “to ensure that all electrical appliances and gadgets were guarded”.

Describing Dharminder as a “victim of official carelessness and sheer negligence”, the petitioners had added that care was not being taken to ensure that all electric gadgets were switched off after school hours. Going into the background of the case, the petitioners had added that Dharminder had gone to the school to fetch cold water on September 1, last year, but was electrocuted.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a Jalandhar resident against Senior Scientific Officer with National Institute of Sports, Dr Ashok Ahuja.



LPG black marketing continues
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, January 22
Even though the supply of LPG cylinders has improved in the city and its surrounding areas, a few delivery boys, taking advantage of the shortage still existing in parts of Punjab and Haryana, are selling the gas on the black market.

Some delivery boys are charging as much as Rs 35 extra for each cylinder. Though the cylinder is costing about Rs 253, the delivery boys are selling it for Rs 290.

The supply of the cylinders improved in the city about two days back. The situation, according to officials, will take another 10 to 15 days before normalising completely.

The shortage was created due to the breakdown of a refinery at Jamnagar. The problem worsened due to dense fog blanketing the region which delayed the arrival of trucks carrying the supplies to Chandigarh and other cities.

Shortage, officials reveal, was also created by some of the LPG dealers, on the pretext of the breakdown. As a result of this “artificially created shortage”, the authorities all over Punjab were requesting the dealers to stop supplying cylinders through agents and ensure delivery through their own vehicles. The officials concerned were also being asked to ensure against the use of domestic LPG cylinders for commercial purposes and for running vehicles.

Though in Chandigarh the authorities deny the involvement of gas agency employees in the black marketing and blame the “lower staff” for over-charging, residents claim that the “process is not so simple”. The phone, they allege, is not picked up by the attendants at some of the agencies, as a result of which they cannot get the booking done.

A senior official, when contacted, said the supply was almost normal in the city as far as Indane was concerned. “Chandigarh, being easily accessible, was receiving supply from at least three different places,” the officer asserted.

Asking the residents not to buy the cylinders on the black market and inform the authorities concerned about the practice as soon as it came to their notice for enabling them to take action, the officer added, “The normal delivery time in Chandigarh is not more than a day, so there is no reason for you to pay more”.



Panel finds fault with auction record
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, January 22
The G.K. Marwah Committee inquiring into the auction of SCO 178-179 in Sector 9 at Rs 49 lakh below the potential price has established receipt of a Rs 1.85 crore as bid money at the January, 2002, auction. This belies earlier claims of officials that no such bid was made. The SCO was sold for Rs 1.34 crore later in an auction in August. The committee has also found faults in the auction record system of the MC.

The finding is contrary to the reported clean chit having been given to the presiding officer of the auction, Mr Ashok Vashishth. The report, however, rules out misappropriation by Mr Vashishth in this regard, reliable sources told Chandigarh Tribune.

The finding of the committee has now been sent to the UT Home Secretary, Mr H.S. Gujral, who is believed to have forwarded it for consideration by the Adviser and the Administrator for action, if any.

The report, for the first time, has established charges by the BJP councillor, Mr Rajesh Gupta, that there was a bid of 1.85 crore for the SCO which was rejected by the presiding officer on the ground that the rate offered was below the one fetched by an adjacent SCO in the Sector. The adjacent SCO had fetched Rs 2.5 crore in the auction.

Inquiry officer G.K. Marwah has recommended the cancellation of the auction of the bid (for Rs 1.34 crore) and asked for a fresh auction. When the matter came to the MC House last year, officials had denied having receipt of any bid of Rs 1.85 crore for the SCO, prompting the House to pass a resolution to demand an inquiry into the matter.

The BJP had then taken up the matter with the Administrator who had assured them of a proper inquiry. Mr Marwah has pointed out a fault in the record-keeping of the MC, saying the bid for Rs 1.85 crore had not been recorded in the auction sheet, which had led to re-auction of the site at a lower price.

The first auction of the site was called in January at a reserve price of Rs 1.61 crore. The second auction was called in June at the same rate, but it did not evoke a response. With the record of Rs 1.85 crore bid not being kept, the MC in August, 2002, bid reduced the reserve price to Rs 1.32 crore and it was sold at Rs 1.34 crore.



Ind Area a picture of neglect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Despite bringing in the highest revenue and also employment, the Industrial Area remains a neglected place. The roads in the Industrial Area, Phase II, have become more of death traps and the matter of re-laying the roads is caught between the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration.

The Administration, in November last year, had agreed to re-carpet the roads as a one time measure. Some work was started and then held back. As of now what ever little re-carpeting had been done is also chipping off as there is no contiguity.

Officially, the Industrial Area is under the Municipal Corporation, however, none of the owners of the 2000 odd units or their 15,000 workforce are registered as voters of the area. This means no one speaks for the Industrial Area and its problems in the MC House. Roads which should have been re-laid years ago await a nod from the Administration. Since these roads are to be transferred, whatever routine repair was going on has also stopped. Same is the case of the width of the main roads in Industrial Area, Phase II.

The width has been the same in the past two decades despite the fact the number of vehicles has gone up manifold. Actually the road should have been widened and re-laid keeping in mind the heavy traffic.

General Secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industries, Mr Rajeev Gupta, says we pay the highest sales tax, central excise and income tax still get the worst facilities in the city. “Why this disparity”? Mr Gupta asks while adding ‘‘we fail to understand why we are being ignored.’’ He suggests that the roads in the Industrial Area need to be cemented and be widened by 6 feet. Since cement will never break it will save long term maintenance costs. Depending upon the area of the plot the owner/tenant will have no problem if the Administration desires that the industrialists partially share the additional burden of making a cemented road.

In the Industrial Area, the roads are so narrow that two trucks coming from opposite direction leave no space even for a two-wheeler to pass. If one enters the Industrial Area, Phase I, from the slip road next to the Tribune Chowk there is virtually no road. There are only potholes to be negotiated.

Try to get water and the story is the same. During summers the supply is reduced to a trickle. The answer is that the entrepreneurs have built their own underground storage tanks. With several of the units having round-the-clock shifts streetlights are required but the Industrial Area lacks in this also. Probably Phase I is better. In phase II certain areas are dangerous at night.

An employee of a unit told The Tribune, “it is sometimes risky as this is an isolated place with no streetlights. It is an open invitation to anti-social elements. All open spaces in the Industrial Area have either thick wild growth or have simply been encroached upon by scrap dealers. These scrap dealers are encroaching on plots which are worth crores of rupees in the open market and have become a nuisance for the neighbours.

On certain roads potholes are so huge that vehicles are getting damaged and these seem like dirt tracks of a challenging rally circuit.



Security beefed up 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
With three days left for Republic Day, the local police has beefed up the security arrangements in the city as per the directions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to prevent any possible militant attack.

Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, had already warned all state police chiefs, early this month about the intentions of militant outfits and asked them to gear up strict vigil on their activities keeping in view of the Republic Day celebrations.

A senior official of the UT police told TNS here today that they had chalked out a plan to intensify night patrolling, keep tabs on suspected persons and outsiders who are putting their stay in Chandigarh hotels and guesthouses.

Hotel and guesthouse owners have been asked to verify the identity of their customers before renting accommodation to them. A 24-hour checking of all vehicles entering into the city from all entry points has been made mandatory by arranging shift duties.

The police has also taken inputs from the Intelligence Bureau and local intelligence to strengthen the security arrangements.

Traffic police has already planned to manage the traffic around parade ground. It has reserved a few roads for emergency to be used as an alternate route. A map has been drafted regarding this showing traffic diversions and alternate routes.



RSS to honour Partition ‘heroes’ on Jan 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
With the RSS perceiving prevailing ‘jehadi’ and ‘demonic’ tendencies among Muslims resembling with those during the Partition, the pro-Hindu organisation has decided to honour around 600 Hindu ‘heroes’ of the Partition in Amritsar on January 29 breaking its long-guarded tradition of not honouring those in the organisation who fight for the nation.

“With jehadi tendencies among Muslims akin to those around the Partition and threat of terrorism looming large with it spreading almost in every state, the tradition has to be broken to instill a sense of patriotism amongst the youth through the memories of ‘heroes’ of the Partition,” RSS Punjab secretary Devinder Gupta, president Brij Bhushan Bedi and North India prachar pramukh Kishore Kant told a press conference here today.

The function to revive memories of hatred between Hindus and Muslims witnessed during the Partition and in Gujarat ahead of elections in several big states and Parliament next year raise apprehensions of the issue being exploited politically.

They informed out of 600 families to be honoured, 120 to 150 of the families were those who survived violence of the Partition. They would be honoured by the RSS Chief, Mr K.C. Sudarshan in Amritsar at a function on January 29. RSS Punjab unit leaders said that the honour due to these persons was long overdue but could not be given due to ‘prevailing conditions’ in Punjab.

The RSS leaders virtually justified Gujarat Chief Minister’s Narendra Modi’s reported comment ‘Every action has a reaction’ when reminded that community-specific atrocities during the Partition were not limited to Muslims’ involvement in the crime. However, they later clarified reaction from Hindus and Sikhs was in defence which was also ‘sad.’

Mr Gupta said the violence in reaction in the Indian part of Punjab was able to contain the mayhem in Pakistan.

He, however, denied linking the issue of honouring those who fought for the safety of Hindus with Gujarat or politics.

Mr Gupta and Mr Bedi said madarsas in border areas were trying to create jehadis as witnessed in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal during the Partition and gave ample indications that Muslims in these states were still of these tendencies.



IG comes to woman’s aid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Coming to the rescue of a woman who had allegedly been thrown out of her house by her in-laws, the Chandigarh Police yesterday intervened in the matter and enabled her to re-enter the one-room accommodation that had been given to her by her in-laws amidst a case of divorce pending before a local court.

Mrs Anu Bawa (30), along with her father Gurdev Singh, appeared before Mr Rajesh Kumar, Inspector-General of the UT police, and narrated her tale of harassment by her in-laws. She complained that her father-in-law, Mr Avinash Bawa, a resident of Sector-18, had locked the door of the one-room accommodation given to her on the ground floor when she was away at her parents place in Mukerian yesterday. She complained that all her belongings — mother’s jewellery, clothing's and Rs 10,000 in cash — were lying inside the locked house

The IG asked the SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, to look into the problem and provide shelter to the woman. He sent a police party with her which requested her in-laws to unlock the door. After minor arguments, Mr Avinash Bawa agreed to open the door and let the daughter-in-law in the house.



Universal brotherhood need of hour: Jacob
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 22
Propagating the message of universal love and brotherhood is the need of the hour, said UT Administrator Lieut-General JFR Jacob at Sarav Dharam Sammelan organised on the 20th death anniversary of Ammi Hazoor at Mohyal Bhawan in Sector 24 today.

He distributed cardigans to children of night schools and blankets to the poor.

He said: “We should walk together for the welfare of destitute women, children, orphans, the disabled and special children. In a secular country, we should carry forward the message of universal love without any religious prejudices”.

Melodious qawwalis filled the air throughout the night at the sammelan. The qawwals had come to attend the function all the way from Delhi, UP and Punjab. A cultural programme was presented on the occasion.

Today’s function was organised under the patronage of Pappu Shahzada of the USA by the Ammi Hazoor (Sufimat) Memorial Bhawan Committee. The president of the Ammi Hazoor Memorial Bhawan Committee, Mr Amar Nath Sarhadi, was also present.

The general secretary of the organisation, Mr Hemant Walia said: “Ammi Hazoor believed in all religions and preached humanity. Her full name was Mata Ram Bai (Ami Hazoor). She started Ibaddat in 1957 at the Industrial Area in Ram Darbar and spent 10 to 12 years in Sector 24. The Ram Darbar Colony was named after her. She installed Pappu Shahzada at her seat, who is preaching Sufimat in America.”

Others present on the occasion were Member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh Subhash Chawla, and Dr K.S. Raju, Chairman, Ratna Memorial Charitable Trust.



‘All due to Waheguru’s grace’
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
“I doubt if anyone else makes such slim and crisp jalebis,” said one colleague.

“Their gol gappas are mouth-watering,” observed another one.

“I must come back with my family,” gushed a third one.

“Please bring the birthday samosas from New Doaba Sweets only,” requested somebody else.

So much praise. A chance visit to the Sector 30 shop on one of the coldest evenings last week had one convinced. The nearly 1°C temperature was no deterrent for fans of sweetmeats and snacks, going by the fully occupied tables and the hum of brisk activity.

In fact, old timers will associate New Doaba Sweets with Sector 21. Yes, the two establishments are sister concerns. While the Sector 21 shop has been providing mithai and dairy products for over 20 years, the Sector 30 branch came up around eight months ago. There is a unit in Sector 38, too. The father-sons team of Mr Lamber Singh, Mr Karnail Singh and Mr Pargan Singh oversees the operations. They also undertake catering service. For between Rs 50 and Rs 75 per head, you can get cooks, waiters and crockery for a party, provided the ingredients are yours.

Being modest about giving a tough time to rivals in Sector 30, the God-fearing Pargan Singh attributes their success to the grace of Waheguru and their emphasis on quality and hygiene.

What is so special about their products? Well, the gulab jamuns stuffed with kishmish and floating in hot sugary syrup go down your throat in a velvety manner in this chilly weather. The other big container of gajar paak topped with nut-embellished khoya is an equally hot-selling item.

Those with a sweet tooth would also be attracted to the freshly prepared jalebis dipped in the burning hot sweetened liquid. Accompanied by the special kadai milk enriched with cream and dry fruits, the jugalbandi is complete.

After so much sacharine, the spicy and sour gol gappas, chaat and aloo tikkis served with ginger julienes, pudina and imli chutneys flavoured with curd should ease your tongue. Or, if you prefer go in for samosas, and pakoras of bread, panir or veggies.

Also available is the normal range of sweetmeats — burfis, rasgullas, milk cake, pethas, pedas, panjiri etc, besides dairy products — panir, makhan and pure ghee and an assortment of namkeens.

If you are looking for something more filling, try their fluffy chana bhaturas and aloo puris and noodles.

For more variety, wait a few months for their restaurant on the first floor in Sector 30 to be ready. They promise a range of Punjabi, South Indian and Chinese selectables at reasonable rates.

Dash of panir

A speciality of this joint is its use of panir in a variety of snacks. The bread pakoras are embellished with a stuffing of spice-filled panir pieces. Their big samosas also stand out for the filling of panir rather than potato. The aloo and chana subzis served with bhaturas and puris also have a dash of panir in them for added attraction. The panir pakoras are made sumptuous with stuffings of pudina chutney.

Ellis and Inderpreet, students of the neighbouring CSIO and regulars at the shop, say that they like “everything” in the shop. However, they would be happier if tea and other beverages are added to the menu.



HP helpline coop function on Jan 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Tribune Employees HP Helpline Co-operative Society, Chandigarh, will hold its second annual function, Parivar Milan Samaroh, at Tagore Theatre here on January 26, according to Mr Kanshi Ram, press secretary of the society. It will start at 10 am.

The main features of the samaroh will include a colourful Himachali cultural programme of folk dances, songs and ‘nati’, which will be followed by a prize distribution function and a traditional Himachali ‘dham’.

Dr K.K. Dhiman, Principal, Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, and Er P.D. Sharma, Executive Director, NHPC, will be awarded with the “Himachal Gaurav Award” by the society for their outstanding contribution in their respective fields.

Raja Vijayendra Singh, a former Health Minister of Himachal Pradesh, will be the chief guest.

Mr Sanjay Suri, Chief Executive (Technical), Morepen, Parwanoo, and Chaudhary Madan Lal, president, nagar panchayat, Baddi, will be the guests of honour.

Noted Himachali folk singer, Sanjeev Dixit “Babloo” and Ritu Sharma will regale the audience with their songs.



LIC staff oppose VRS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
At the time of passing of the IRDA Bill, the Central Government had assured the insurance employees that these companies would be strengthened. Rather, the government seemed to be bent upon the retrenchment of development officers in the name of VRS, said Mr R.P. Manchanda, President, LIC All-India Insurance Employees Association, here today. Addressing a rally of employees and members of the Pensioners Association, Chandigarh division, he said, in the general insurance sector the job conditions of development officers were changed without their consent. The officers, who had been recruited to procure business and to recruit agents, were asked to work on administrative jobs or to opt for VRS. The rally was organised in front of the LIC Division Office in Sector 17 to mark the occasion of the Insurance Nationalisation Day.

He lamented that some of the offices in the hilly areas, where the cost of operations was high, had already been closed.



Osho Nirvan Divas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
A one-day Osho meditation camp was organised at Hotel Sparsh in Pinjore on Sunday, to mark Osho Nirvana Divas.
According to camp organisers, Mr Rajeev Sharma and Mr Dave at least 80 persons from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana experimented with several Buddhist, Tibetan, Sufi and music meditation techniques. A special emphasis was laid on cathartic meditations to help release pent-up feelings and emotional blocks, they said.



3 restaurant owners booked
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 22
In a surprise check, the police has booked three restaurant owners of the township under Section 188 of the IPC for not having verified the whereabouts of their employees.

Those booked run famous eating joints in the township. They are Deepak Kumar of Kaka Chicken Corner, Satwant Singh of Gobind Sweets and Rajinder Singh of Baba Chicken Corner. All shops are located in the Phase VII market.

The police found that the employers had no record whatsoever of these employees. In one case the employer did not even know where some of his employees were putting up.

The police brought the 27 employees working in these shops to the station and after carrying verification let them go. According to sources, the three owners were bailed out late in the evening.

Today’s checks has led to speeding up of the verification campaign launched by the police.

According to some shopkeepers of the township: “In restaurants employees are changed so often that at times it is difficult to keep a record”. The police, has decided to undertake similar checks till all householders and shopkeepers comply with the verification rule. “We are doing this for their own safety. Verification reduces the chances of a person committing crime by 50 per cent. So why not get it done,” asked Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, SAS Nagar.

The police special drive has started after a watchman was murdered in the township last week. On inquiry it was found that the employer of the watchman had not verified his whereabouts. The police had booked the owner of the house in which the watchman was murdered and the contractor who had employed the watchman.



Kashmiri youth held with fake currency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The city police here today arrested a Kashmiri youth in Sector 31 and recovered three fake currency notes from his possession. The currency notes are of Rs 500 denomination each.

Police sources informed that the incident took place in the afternoon when the Sector 31 police party, on receiving information that a youth was suspected to be carrying fake currency, reached the marketplace and began searching him. The police officials informed that out of the total currency in possession of Pervez, three currency notes of Rs 500 denomination each were found to be fake. The police has registered a case.



Two held on murder, theft charges
Tribune News Service

ARRESTED: The police arrested Kaka Singh from the Chandi Mandir railway station on charges of gambling at a public place and found Rs 830 on his person.

HELD: Rajesh Kumar of Mani Majra was arrested in a case of theft. He is accused of breaking into the house of Vijay Chaudhary and decamping with cash and other valuables on May 27 last year.



A sector where night life will flourish one day
Sanjay Sharma

Tribune News Service

A view of Sector 35-C
A view of Sector 35-C. — Photo Manoj Mahajan

The market is a witness to an intense fight between MNC-run restaurants and Indian food. Out of around 45 commercial sites between Hotel Metro and South End, there are 12 restaurants and 11 hotels in the line on Himalaya Marg.

Such a big presence of restaurants, including the round-the-clock Fusion Junction and a number of hotels, is adding hustle and bustle to the market in the night, nowhere seen in the city in an entire market.

The market businessmen have started terming it the night Cannaught Place of the city with the small market of a big turnover having turned a multi-activity one.

They say this market place is going to become a springboard for a cultural transformation in the city with the night life likely to get a new shape through multiplexes, which have been allowed by the Chandigarh Administration. The activity in the market will very well be accommodated in multiplexes likely to come up across the city.

Despite the market having acquired fame for eating out or partying vends, the hotel line has shops of electronics, number of banks, prestigious departmental stores like JDs and Bhatia Stores, a number of two wheeler sellers, a children’s playshop and academic institutions.

It offers the customer a wide range of collection of two-wheelers with almost every big name in the vehicle market being present there.

The presence of two-wheelers’ venders is inconvenient to both other businessman as well as scooter market dealers who feel out of place in the market.

The market does not meet the infrastructural and activity requirement for scooter sellers. With the two-wheeler dealers required to carry out fitting of accessories, mechanics may have to use parking area, verandahs and back lanes to the displeasure of other people operating from the market.

Trucks bringing two-wheelers are not able to enter the grossly mismanaged parking lots. Apart from restaurants and hotels, the market has also become popular for household items and kitchenwares being sold from the basement in the backlane. There are 4 to 5 massive shops of kitchenwares in the back lane.

With hotels providing big banquet halls, marriage parties have been taking place in hotels here, providing the market late night activity.

An estimate suggests 40 per cent of the hotel business of the city is attracted by this market.

The area is a favourite visiting spot for the young crowd and families due to the presence of restaurants giving it a characteristic suited to the youth.

Cellular service providers, NTPC and power grid are the major offices present in the market.

The market is estimated to employ roughly around 3000 people and is said to generate a handsome revenue.

While departmental stores’ providing shop-and-eat option to the visitors during the day or till evening, the potential of night purchasing is not being realised. The concept of night shopping and eating out seems far ahead for the city or in the area which is known for the night activity. But multiplexes will remove this anomaly felt in the market.

Enquires from the market revealed the departmental stores had approached the Chandigarh Administration to extend the shopping timing for them to allow them tap the night shopping market.

Around 500 establishments are working from 45 SCOs in the market and attracting thousands of vehicles. The presence of a large number of vehicles is adding to the parking chaos in the market.

Pizza Hut, Sundaram, Fusion Junction, Baskin Robbins, Barista, Shere Punjab Dhaba, Hot Millions and Coffee Day are amongst the major eateries in the market. Cricket World Cup in South Africa seems to offer a big opportunity for the market to tap with the Fusion Junction, deciding to show all matches throughout the night in the restaurant whose rates fit the pocket of the young crowd.

The public viewing of the cricket World Cup in the night seems to be a good proposition with a viewer preferring to share ups and downs of the matches with others and food accompanying the sentiments. The crowd will be offered an opportunity of this sort in the Fusion Junction.

The market has acquired a prime position only in two decades with SCOs here having been auctioned around early eighties. The growth prospects increased in the late eighties.

A stroll around the market indicates despite it attracting fun lovers in the evening, the concept of beautification of the area tailored to the taste of the crowd has just not reached the area.

The market also has a number of educational institutions offering vocational courses.




  • Mismanaged parking and lack of space for it.
  • Presence of two-wheeler dealers without their infrastructural needs being met.
  • Road re-carpeting has not been done for years.
  • Encroachment in the verandah, parking area and backlane.
  • Poor street lighting.
  • Strict rules on neon sign-boards are causing harm to those doing business from upper floors.
  • Police patrolling in the night would ensure a sense of safety to families visiting the area.
  •  Authorities need to try making parking lots one way to better manage them.



Impact printer service launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Wipro ePeripherals Ltd, a company of the Wipro Group, has launched WeP Print & Save Services. Under the scheme, customers would not have to invest in a printer or its consumables, rather would have to pay only for the number of printed pages, said Mr Ranbir Singh, General Manager, North Zone, WeP Peripherals Ltd, here today.

Addressing mediapersons he said they had already sold one million printers and enjoyed a market share of over 35 per cent in the domestic organised market. Under the new scheme, the company would set up printers on the premises of corporate customers and they would not have to pay anything for it. Rather they would be charged per page, which would vary between Re 1 and Rs 1.25 per page for laser printer and just 10 to 15 paise per page in case of Dot Matrix printer.

He said the company was also planning to launch ‘mobile printing kiosks’ that would offer service to customers to get a print of their material brought in floppies. The company has also launched multi-language printers.

He added: ‘‘Ours is the first Indian company which is providing 30-day moneyback service on any purchase. Apart from printer business, the company has also launched UPS, digital and web cameras, pen drive, WeP Huawei Routers for storage and communication and storage and service solutions.’’



Bank branch opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Mr MS Sandhu (IAS), Secretary, Punjab State Agriculture Marketing Board, today inaugurated a new centrally airconditioned and computerised premises of Union Bank of India’s regional office situated at Bank Square, Sector 17-B, Chandigarh.

Customers of the bank, in addition to staff members of local branches, were present on the occasion. In an informal dialogue with the chief guest and customers, Mr Ravi Malhotra, Assistant General Manager of the bank, informed that the regional office was controlling 54 branches of the bank spread over the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. 


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