Thursday, January 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CA booked for IT refund scam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A multi-million rupee scam of fraudulent claim of income tax refunds on the basis of fake TDS certificates has been unearthed in Chandigarh by the north-western region of the Income Tax Department. An FIR regarding this has been registered tonight in the police station of Sector-17. Senior officials of the IT Department say the scam may run into “several crores.”

After preliminary investigations by the IT department, an FIR under Sections 420, 468, 471, 474 and 120B of the IPC has been lodged against Mr N.K. Garg, a practising Chartered Accountant (CA) on charges of claiming IT refunds fraudulently on the basis of TDS certificates from the accounts of employees of as many as 30 companies based at Delhi, Bombay and Chandigarh regions.

Mr Vijay Khanna, Chief Commissioner, IT, North-Western region told TNS that the fraud detected so far amounts to Rs. 50 lakh but might run into several crores. He did not rule out the possibility of similar frauds in other regions also.

He said the main accused in this case Mr N.K. Garg used to forge TDS certificates of employees of existing as well as fake companies to withdraw their IT returns. “We have so far detected only 30 such cases against the main accused but further investigations have been initiated into the IT cases being handled by this CA as well as others also in the region”, he disclosed.

According to the FIR, Mr P.K. Sidhu, Additional Commissioner, IT Department, Range-4, Chandigarh has complained against Mr N.K. Garg, a practising CA from his office in Sector-35 that he had withdrawn millions of rupees from the Income Tax Department as refunds on fake TDS documents.

According to the FIR, during preliminary investigations by the IT Department, it was found that the accused forged documents of Robbin Enterprises, ITO, Ward No. 51, New Delhi, to withdraw money from the accounts of the employees on false TDS certificates. The fraud came to light when it was found that instead of using form No. 26C by the “deductor company”, the returns were filed on form 26J, meant exclusively for rental payment.

In another case of fraud, the accused forged documents of Victory Traders and Merchants, Chandigarh, the firm which does not exist. Sources revealed that there is a possibility of floating a fake firm in the name of his family members and then operating the fake accounts in the names of family members as employees. “No such firm has so far been listed in the IT department”, revealed another senior official of the IT Department.

Investigating Officer, SI Janak Singh revealed that the TDS certificates of employees of various companies were printed on the same computer and using the same fonts. It has been learnt through sources in the IT Department that a section of the employees were long protesting against such frauds with in the department but no one bothered about this as there was a possibility of higher officials of the IT Department being involved in the scam. However, Mr Vijay Khanna, Chief Commissioner ruled out the possibility of involvement of any official of the IT Department in the scam.

Contrary to this, a senior official of the IT Department when contacted revealed that the fraud occurred due to ‘system failure of the IT department’. “It is very difficult to detect forged documents/certificates until unless a proper tip-off is provided”, he said. “Due to computerisation of work it has become very easy to withdraw money from returns on forged documents”, he added.

Meanwhile, the local police has sealed the office of Mr N.K. Garg and a massive hunt has been launched to arrest him. Raids were conducted at his residence and other places of possible hide-outs late in the night but so far he has eluded arrest when the reports last came in.

A message has also been flashed by the UT police to the Delhi and Mumbai police along with addresses of possible hide-outs of N.K. Garg.


MC okays property tax bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Municipal Corporation here today passed bylaws for the imposition of property tax on commercial buildings at the rate of 2 per cent of the annual rent of the rateable value to be calculated on unit area basis paving the way for imposition of the tax from April 1.

The lowest tax rate in the country has been cleared after six years of deliberations.

Three councillors of the BJP — Kamla Sharma, Gian Chand Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and an Akali councillor Harjinder Kaur staged a walk out opposing the imposition of the tax saying the Congress had betrayed the voters by going back on its word of “running the corporation” without taxes.

The passage of the bylaws will require the Chandigarh Administration to withdraw an earlier resolution of 10 per cent property tax on a rateable value tax passed in 1997. A fresh notification of 2 per cent rate will be issued giving one month period for inviting objections from the public.

The passage of the rate of 2 per cent to be calculated on the prescribed rent for categories and zones identified by the corporation including non-constructed area in a house, has finally put at rest the alleged attempts by the Chandigarh Administration to increase the rate. However, the Administration can still direct the corporation to increase the rate indicated by Mayor Subhash Chawla while seeking support from the Opposition to jointly demand the withdrawal of the earlier notification.

Major General A.S. Kahlon (retd), under whose guidance bylaws were framed and the man behind the proposals Accounts Officer Mohan Kapoor, got the appreciation of the House for framing bylaws offering self-assessment scheme on the pattern of income tax, keeping process of assessment simple, transparent and simple.

Showing slides while presenting the bylaws General Kahlon said it would ensure equitable justice, keep the base broad, keep discretion to a minimum, set objective, mathematical and clear cut parametres and formula, minimise leakage of revenue, keep the collection cost low as banks and other agencies will collect the tax, offer speedy assessment, reduce litigation chances and offer assured assessment for three years.

The scheme offers assessment by revenue staff also at 25 per cent higher rates to recover expenditure of the corporation for assessment.

Random cases of 5 per cent will be taken up for scrutiny to check evasion and if any discrepancy is found, an assessee would be charged two times higher tax.

The scheme also covers vacant commercial and government land.

Government buildings would be charged 75 per cent of the rent fixed through taking out average under category B as suggested by MP Pawan Bansal. Earlier, the government buildings were to be covered under category C for less popular commercial places.

A rebate of 10 per cent has been offered if rent is deposited in one installment within the period decided by the Municipal Corporation and if the payment is made in two installments 5 per cent rebate could be claimed.

The minimum tax payable will be Rs 20 per month in cases of booths and rehris. For other categories minimum tax will be Rs 50. Freedom fighters, war widows, business properties in labour colonies have been kept out of the purview for five years and rateable value of industrial installations has been given 30 per cent reduction after a suggestion from Rajesh Gupta and intervention by Mayor Subhash Chawla.

A committee comprising Additional Commissioner, an Engineering Wing officer and two persons nominated by the Mayor will look into the faults in the scheme for future correction. The commercial activities running from domestic areas have not been given any relief as proposed in the draft bylaws.

The rent value of upper floors will be reduced by 10 per cent on each floor and basement will be charged half the rate of the ground floor.

The House witnessed smooth functioning in the first meeting under the chairmanship of Subhash Chawla who contained BJP councillors by allocating time for each councillor for discussion.


— Property tax to be levied on commercial properties.

— Government buildings will be charged 75 per cent of the rent rates prescribed per square feet for every locality.

— Formula: Rent already fixed per square feet multiplied by plinth area already available with authorities multiplied by 12 minus 10 per cent for repair. 2 per cent on this rent. for example: rent fixed is Rs 20 per month multiplied by 100 square feet area available multiplied by 12 is equal to Rs 24,000 rent minus 10 per cent is 2400 is equal to 21,600 and two 2 per cent of it will be Rs 432.

— For basement it will be 50 per cent, first floor 75 per cent and subsequent floors 75 per cent of the first floor.

— Rent for five categories covering the entire business activity and four zones in each sector have been kept as base for determining the per square feet rent for each locality.

— Minimum rent will be Rs 50 but for booths allotted under rehabilitation scheme it will be Rs 20.

— Rateable rent for industrial installations reduced by 30 per cent.

— Business properties in colonies have been spared for five years.

— Penalty for failure to file self assessment will be double the rateable rent per square feet.

— If self assessment option is not taken, assessment will be at 25 per cent higher rates.

—War widows and war heroes exempted from the scheme.



Cops raid Colonel’s house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Hoshiarpur police raided the house of Col Gurdial Singh Cheema (retd.) in Sector 16 here today, in search of black money amounting to Rs 1 crore belonging to an IAS officer, Mr P.P. Singh, Senior Regional Manager of the FCI, presently posted Shimla. No recoveries have been made by the police. However, they are said to have got some vital clues of the black money.

On a tip-off given by a former servant Balbir Singh of Col Gurdial Singh, already arrested by the police, a team of policemen led by the SP (Detective) of Hoshiarpur, Mr Upinderjit Singh Ghumman, raided the house of Col Cheema and continued search operation for more than five hours. They also searched his lockers in Punjab National Bank, Sector 16 but no cash was recovered.

Col Cheema told TNS that about six years ago he rented out the annexe of his house to a woman, Sudha, on the recommendation of Mr P.P. Singh’s wife who lived right in front of them. Sudha, used to run a boutique and enjoyed close relations with the family of the controversial IAS officer. He was then posted as the Regional Manager of the FCI at Chandigarh.

He further said before leaving the city following his transfer to Shimla, last year, Mr P.P. Singh left a box with Sudha in her boutique. “We did not know anything about the box for many months. A couple of months back I came to know that they had left a box with Sudha. When I inquired about it, Sudha said that it contained waste material and few documents of Mr P.P. Singh. Since the box was locked, he did not open it up to have a look”, he disclosed.

On the contrary, as disclosed by the servant during preliminary investigations, the box contained a cash of Rs 1 crore. The servant came to know of the money and he allegedly got a share of Rs 20 lakh from it for not disclosing it to anyone. He left Col Cheema, a month ago and went to his native place at Dasuha. Since then he did not return to Chandigarh.

But the SP (Detective), Mr Ghumman, who conducted the search operation under his supervision told TNS that they did not find anything from the residence of Col Cheema but he did not rule out getting some vital clues. He said the case would be solved soon.

According to sources in the Punjab police the finger of suspicion is now pointed at a son of Col Cheema, who is posted as Lieut-Col in the Western Command’s office here. He is presently at Secundrabad on a official training.

The SP further revealed that Rs 5 lakh, a truck and papers of two plots have been recovered from the possession of Col Cheema’s servant, Balbir. Meanwhile, they had arrested Sudha but unfortunately, the police party taking her to Hoshiarpur for investigations met with an accident on the way last evening. She was badly injured and is presently admitted in the PGI. She got injuries on his face due to which she could not speak anything.

Meanwhile, the controversial IAS officer Mr P.P. Singh had gone on leave from his office at Shimla a couple of days ago. Our correspondent tried to contact his office at Shimla as well as his residences in Shimla and Chandigarh but could not contact him. However, when called up at his residence in Chandigarh, his wife, Madhu, replied that her husband was out of station.

The Hoshiarpur police is said to have sent teams of policemen to Shimla and also at Mr P.P. Singh’s residence in Chandigarh but so far no one has been arrested. The SP (Detective) said they were in search of Madhu, the wife of controversial official to solve the case.


One nurse for 45 patients
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Managing with barely half the number of nursing staff required to meet the nurse patient ratio as per the recommendations of the Nursing Council of India, the request of the Sector 16 General Hospital authorities for an increase in staff strength awaits approval as patient care suffers due to staff shortage.

Last year the hospital authorities had sent in a request for additional nursing staff of 165, including a chief nursing officer, a deputy nursing officer and five assistant nursing sisters.

Being a 500-bedded hospital, the position is so bad that a ward with 45 patients has only one nurse, during the night. “We already have three shifts and there is no way we can improve the nurse patient ration, even if it amounts to inconvenience being caused to patients at times,” nurses say.

Many nurses point out that it was for this very reason that more and more nurses are exploring opportunities to go abroad. Lately some of the countries like USA, have further simplified the terms and conditions and are offering visa for their family with the job offer.

“There are some nurses from our hospital who have either been absent from duty or have proceeded on leave to go abroad, but with the latest offers a sizeable chunk of those still around are seriously considering them,” explained a senior nurse at General Hospital, Sector 16.

“There is no way we can make the 23 bedded maternity ward, under construction operational till more nursing staff is appointed,” a hospital officials pointed out. Seeing the acute shortage of the nursing staff 10 nurses were taken on six months’ contract.

The position at GMCH is even worse where so far services of 17 nurse have been terminated for not reporting on duty, 21 have resigned and another 13 have been absent from duty since March 2000. “Though the number of nurses present on roll is 344, but with 30 proceeding on maternity leave and another being on earned leave, we have to manage,” remarked Dr Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent at GMCH.

The story is no different at the PGI, which handles the rush of patients from the entire northern region. Though the strength of the nursing staff is 1,197, but even then there are some wards where the nurse patient ratio is as high 1:70. In fact, the PGI Nursing Association, too, has time and again demanded that more staff be recruited to take the burden off them.

With increasing number of nurses working in the city hospitals opting for the greener pastures in the USA and the Middle East, the already understaffed General Hospital, PGI, and the GMCH, face the brunt.

With bold advertisements in newspapers like “the USA rolls out red carpet for the Indian nurses”, beckoning them abroad, a large number of those associated with the nursing profession are exploring the possibility of moving out.


BSNL recovers Rs 6 cr
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The defaulters of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) in the city seem to have understood the message — either pay the outstanding amount or face legal action besides disconnection of the line. The campaign against wilful defaulters has paid rich dividends, as the company has recovered over Rs 6 crore from them during September-December period.


* Police and Army personnel are the biggest defaulters of the BSNL.

*Rs 6 crore outstanding amount realised between September-December period.

*1500 connections of defaulters disconnected last month.

*BSNL takes help of the police to recover amount and to embarrass the defaulters.

*Automatic disconnection of lines if bills are not cleared by specified date.

Interestingly, the biggest defaulters are the local police and Army personnel, who owe crores of rupees to the BSNL. Some of the officials have been transferred and are still to clear the payments. The company is pursuing the matter with the authorities, which have agreed to pay the amount. Other defaulters include some corporations and boards of the state governments as well.

Ms Namita Sekhon, General Manager (Finance), says: “Unlike in the past, we are quite serious to get the outstanding amount. Out of about Rs 20 crore outstanding in September last year we have already realised over Rs 6 crore by December-end. It includes over Rs 2 crore outstanding for the past many years. We are sure that by the end of financial year, most of outstanding amount will be realised.”

The BSNL owed over Rs 23 crore at the beginning of the current financial year. To realise that amount, it had started two-pronged strategy. On the one hand, it announced a lucky coupon scheme for the payment of outstanding amount for the defaulters, and on the other, it started taking strict action against the defaulters.

Officials clarify that bills were issued on time by post. Further, before cutting off the connections, the company gives a warning by making the phone line one-way. However, instead of making payments on time, a section of subscribers still complain that bills are not issued to them at the residence. Interestingly, at least 1500 lines were disconnected last month, when payments was not made on time. Later most of them cleared the payment and their connections have been restored.

Ms Sekhon said: “To rule out the chances of missing of bills, we have decided that from onwards, bills to the Postal Department will be provided by sorting out on the basis on pin code numbers of the areas.”


2-min silence at 11 am

Chandigarh, January 29
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s Martyrdom Day and to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for India’s freedom, a 2-minute silence will be observed in the city tomorrow. The commencement and termination of the 2-minute silence will be indicated by sirens at 10.59 a.m., and 11.02 a.m., respectively. The sirens will be sounded for one minute in each case from 10.59 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 11.02 a.m. to 11.03 a.m. The silence will be observed from 11.00 a.m. to 11.02 a.m. TNS


Nod to new colony in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh here today started the process of a new colony in Pocket 6 of Mani Majra on Chandigarh-Kalka highway by clearing Rs 50 lakh for the arrangement of water supply.

The sizes of plots in the area will be of 4, 6, 8 and 10 marlas.

The proposals made by the corporation before the House will have to be given a re-look with Congress councillor Surinder Singh demanding adding plot sizes of 4 and 6 marlas in the scheme.

The House approved the amount with a condition of preparing details for rehabilitating those settled on the land, quotas and compensation to oustees whose land was acquired.

House authorises Mayor to constitute ward committees without seeking preferences of members paving the way for fresh ward committees within a week.

The House allows legally setting up rehri and pharis in apni mandis through a contractor. A committee to work out the details of the scheme is to be formed by the Mayor.

The Mayor will view video recordings of suggestions in couple of days on property tax to include valuable suggestion in bylaws passed by the House.

Mayor authorised to constitute a committee on bringing out comparison on setting up plant or plants for management of solid waste before issuing a letter of intent to M/s Asia Bio Energy (India) Limited.

Former Mayor Harjinder Kaur suggests efforts to tap funds from Central Government under various schemes.

Corporation gets Rs 1 crore from Central Government under Urban Reform Fund for making efforts towards resource generation.

Former Mayor Lalit Joshi alleged that Central Government had put pressure for the issuance of the letter of intent to Asia Bio Energy in a meeting in Delhi.


PSIDC officials lock out PRL workers
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 29
Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) officials, working on an ‘‘order from the top’’ barged in and locked out the 120 workers of Punjab Records Limited (PRL), claiming to have ‘‘taken over’’ the company on account of non-payment of a loan here today. The company, a concern of the Electronics Corporation of Punjab (ECP), was restored back to the ECP after the PSIDC managing director had reportedly reached a compromise with ECP managing director to defuse the situation.

At 1.30 pm, three cars of PSIDC officials and one car from the Financial Corporation of Punjab (FCP) reached the factory premises with security men. They got the gates locked. The employees returning from lunch were not allowed entry into the factory. The PSIDC team headed by Mr Amarjit Singh, allegedly occupied the room of the General Manager, Mr Virender Singh.

According to sources, the PRL owes over Rs 1 crore to the PSIDC and about Rs 55 lakh to the PFC as loan paid to them in the 1990s. The last settlement had fixed the payment of over Rs 33 lakh to the PSIDC and a similar amount to the PFC. Despite constant reminders and a number of meetings, the PSIDC and PFC had not been given any payment by the PRL. ‘‘These people were supposed to pay us 25 per cent of the money in November, 2002 but not a single penny has reached,’’said the official from the PFC. ‘‘Today we have come on the direct orders of our Managing Directors, who under the provisions of the SFC rules, 1951 can order a takeover like this in case of failure of payment.’’ he said.

The PSIDC officials pointed out that a notice had been served on the company about the takeover. The General Manager of the PRL, however, denied that any notice or any prior intimation had been served on them by either the PFC or the PSIDC.

The employees who remained locked out of the factory for over three hours also alleged gross mismanagement on part of the general manager of the company. ‘‘We have not been paid our salaries for the past three months. The company’s ESI contribution and its contribution to the provident fund have also not been made,” said Ramesh Chander, president of the employees union.

At 4.30 pm, the employees were allowed inside the factory and the factory work resumed. Mr Amarjit Singh stated that he was withdrawing his team from the premises because his MD had ordered him to do so.


Memo to Punjab CM on exim forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Mohali Industries Association in a memorandum submitted to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Minister for Excise and Taxation, Punjab, Mr Sardool Singh, today flayed the move of the department to introduce exim forms (ST XXXVI). As per the provisions, it claimed, every material worth more than Rs 10,000 coming to Punjab or going out of the state must be accompanied by exim forms.

Mr B.S. Baidwan, president of the union, said all industrial and trade associations of Punjab would protest against the introduction of these forms. These associations had requested the government not to do so particularly when ICC barriers were already functioning in the state and were recording each and every transaction worth Rs 10,000.

He said, the introduction of this form was ill-timed because from April onwards VAT would be introduced and would require a lot of procedural changes. The introduction of exim forms might cripple the functioning of the trade and industry.


MC office building plan submitted
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, January 29
A preliminary plan of the municipal council office building has been submitted by civic body officials to PUDA for approval here yesterday.

The council is constructing its office building in Sector 68 here.

The concept of “open office” has been kept in mind while preparing the design for the five-storeyed building. Rooms have been proposed only for the council President, the Executive Officer (EO) and the Municipal Engineer (ME).

The ground floor will adjust different branches of the civic body like the despatch, birth and death, complaint centre etc. The reception area will have a sitting capacity of 60 persons.

The office of the President, the Executive Officer and the Municipal Engineer have been planned on the second floor of the building. Only the office of the President will have a retiring room.

The meeting hall, too, has been proposed on the second floor. The room will have a fixed table with mikes fitted on it.

Apart from the main hall, a mini meeting hall has also been planned which will have a sitting capacity of 25 persons. This hall will be used by members or by engineering wing of the council for the opening of tenders.

The central area of the office will be converted into an eco-friendly zone.

Though the outer structure of the building will be completed, the third and the fourth floor will be left unplanned keeping in mind the future expansion.


Kharar samiti poll on Jan 30
Shashi Pal Jain

Kharar, January 29
The elections to the posts of Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the panchayat samiti, which were postponed due to the absence of quorum yesterday, will be held on January 30 at 3 pm in the State Institute of Family Planning and Training Centre.

The local SDM, Mr S.S. Gill, who is also the Returning Officer of the poll process, said all members had been informed about the poll. The panchayat samiti has 26 members, including the local MLA. The post of the Chairman has been reserved for woman. There are nine women members.


Aanchal spreads English
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
As we grow from a small community into a global village, we leave behind many comfort zones. One of the major fallouts of development has been the scarcity of time, a resource which, until about a decade ago, was not so hard to have as it is today.

While the world rushes to attain its goals, the greatest challenge anyone faces today is “how to hold public attention and make a point.” The latest addition to the existing line of “gurus” now handing over the fine art of communication to those who care to learn is interesting. Ace compere Pallab Bose and former Miss India finalist Aanchal Gulati have decided to take some time off and talk to the world in the language it best understands — English.

In city today to promote the concept of workshops in effective communication and positive attitude, Pallab Bose and Aanchal Gulati today made a point when they said: “Making the right kind of noise at the right place counts.” Doing most of the talking was Pallab Bose, whose profession has naturally kept him close to the communication skills. After years of having compered fashion shows and done some anchoring for Doordarshan, Pallab today feels the need to diversify.

“The whole world is diversifying. Right from media to fashion, everything is moving in various directions, taking under fold aspects that are wide and challenging. We have realised that in comparison with the Europeans and Americans, Indians may be more talented, but they invariably lose out on the front of packaging. Today’s world respects the man who can wear the right attitude, exude confidence and make sensible points. In order to have the perfect personality, it is important to start with language, the basic tool for communication.”

Handling the communication part, under his enterprise Facelift, is Pallab himself. He is supported by Aanchal, who is currently holding the charge of “positive attitude and thought.” They are in the city for two days to hold a workshop in effective communication and positive thinking for over 100 faculty members of NIFD. The target group of 18 to 30 years.

The interesting part of the arrangement which Pallab and Aanchal have worked out is that they are not restricting their services on any account. The system is flexible, with the founders of Facelift open to talks by experts in the fields of media, effective communication, time management, positive attitude, et al. Basic aspects — like facing the interview, phonetics, having the right accent — will be covered under the workshop to be held in the city.

Facelift has already conducted such workshops in 10 locations across the country. By virtue of being in showbiz, both Pallab and Aanchal get enough opportunity to interact with top notch professionals in the fields. “We pick up tricks of the trade from everyone we meet and try to implement them. That is how our workshops work,” says Aanchal.


Eating Out
A place to suit all pockets
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
The Sector 10 Hotel KC Crossroad (opposite the bus stand) has put the fast-developing Panchkula town on the map of luxury hotels. This brand-new six-storeyed 4-star establishment promises to cater to the needs of a vast range of clientele — from a corporate honcho, a disco-loving youngster and a party-hopping housewife. While most of the facilities are up for the grabs, a few are likely to get operational in a couple of months.

Ushered in by the liveried gateman, you enter the plush environs of gleaming marble, brass, glass, metal, tiles and bricks. Proudly showing the place around, the General Manager, Mr Ajay Khaneja, claims that their services are on a par with Hotel Mountview, but at cheaper rates. Amenities associated with deluxe hospitality are offered to the guests of the 49 exquisitely furnished rooms.

Be it a convention, a marriage party, a social gathering, a small get-together. Or, if you want to do it more stylishly — a poolside party, a terrace lawn bash, a sound-proof discotheque. You will not be disappointed. They have it all. Either ready or soon-to-be ready.

To top it, their chefs dish up a mouthwatering range of delicacies to make your visit memorable.

K.C. Bukhara is their restaurant and bar. The lantern-lit ethnic decor of the joint goes well with the kebab factory products — an assortment of veg (Rs 250) and non-veg (Rs 325) frontier food.

Their Shezwan Restaurant should attract those who dig Chinese rice and noodles complemented with the sauce-rich veggies and soups. Live cooking of this cuisine with the ingredients of your choice is on the anvil.

The hotel has three banquet halls of capacities varying from 100 to 1,000, besides the well-equipped conference room. In keeping with its star status, they also have place earmarked for a health, club, shopping arcade, pool, lawn and a parking lot.


Truckload for locals

For the local residents of Panchkula and Chandigarh is Hotel KC Express Dhaba Mitran Da. It offers a truckload of fast food, bakery and confectionery delicacies. Thus, you get 4-star treatment at affordable rates.

The service counter, made in the shape of a truck’s front produces Indian, Chinese Continental and South-Indian fare in a jiffy. You can also go in for a casual cup of tea, coffee or cold shakes and drinks along with biscuits, cakes and pastries from 11 am to 11 pm.

You have a choice of burgers and pizzas to snack on. If you prefer a full meal, begin with soup and go on to have butter chicken or dal tadkewali with rotis and rice. Or, have a pick of kathi kebabas, dosas, uthapams and noodles along with salads and end the party with a sweet cake downed with a cuppa that cheers.


Contractor to catch stray cattle
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 29
The Municipal Council here has decided to hand over the job of catching stray cattle and dogs to a private firm on contract. According to sources this decision follows pressure in this regard from the residents on the council.

According to sources, the council here will be following the Panchkula MC pattern. The MC pays Rs 100 to the contractor for catching one stray cattle. In case a stray cattle is found roaming in the MC limits, the contractor is fined a similar amount.

The MC will also give to the contractor an amount per cattle for fodder for a period of four days. In case the cattle still remains unclaimed, the cattle would be abandoned outside the MC limits. Other than the charges that the council will pay to the contractor for catching the cattle, the contractor will also be imposing fines on the owner of the cattle. The amount of fine will vary according to the type of cattle.

However, according to sources, privatising cattle catching activity will not solve the problem in the township as the MC does not have a cattle pound. MC officials state that the contractor will have to arrange for a location to keep the cattle but in case they are able to provide the land it would be given to the contractor.


Wife alleges torture, in-laws misuse of law
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, January 29
The two families of the township involved in a dowry case registered here by the police have now levelled fresh allegations against each other before the police. While the girl Cheroo Aujla has alleged that her in-laws are harassing her and trying to torture her mentally, the boy’s father Mr D.S. Aujla has stated that the girl is misusing the law which favours women.

A case under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC was registered by the police here last year on the complaint of Ms Cheroo Aujla, a resident of Phase X, against her husband Mr Birender Aujla and his parents, residents of Phase II here.

While the girl, who got married in April 2001 alleges that she was deserted by her NRI husband at the USA-Canada border, the boy’s father Mr D.S. Aujla states that the girl was refused visa at the border and had to return to India.

On the other hand, according to Mr Aujla he has no idea why Cheroo’s family had registered a case of dowry against his son as there was nothing wrong happening. The girl’s father Mr Harbhajan Singh, on the other side alleges that his daughter was harassed for dowry by her in-laws when she came to stay with them on her return to India.

Birender Aujla, a Canadian citizen, was working on H-1 visa when he got married and had to leave USA for Canada when his visa expired. ‘‘My husband was financially insecure in USA as he had jumped his contract and was even sued by his employer there. Then when his visa expired he went back to Canada leaving me at the border. In Canada he is still jobless. He did not give me enough money to run the house nor did he allow me to make telephone calls to my parents. All he did was sit on the computer and play games.’’she says.

Mr Aujla, on the other hand, produces a sheaf of telephone records showing the number of calls Cheroo apparently made to her parents while in USA. ‘‘Yes my son is jobless in Canada but he was never financially insecure in USA. There he was earning one and half lakh dollars per year,” he says. ‘‘I really don’t know why Cheroo is behaving like this. She and Birender were happy together,’’says Mr Aujla showing another sheaf of e-mails Cheroo sent to Birendra while she was with her in-laws after returning to India. Cheroo on the other hand has been alleging that her in-laws have been threatening her ever since she left their house and started living with her parents.


TATA Sumo stolen from motor market
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
During the past 24-hours the police has registered at least three cases of theft from different parts of the city and arrested a person in this connection.

Vinod Kumar, a resident of Burail village, was arrested for allegedly stealing brass taps from Shri Krishna temple, Sector-33 yesterday. The stolen items have reportedly been recovered from the accused. The complaint was lodged by Vidhya Dhar Shapurkar, temple priest. Vinod has been booked under Sections 380 and 411 of the IPC.

A TATA Sumo (HR03B 0320) owned by Mr Sumer Singh a resident of Panchkula, was reportedly stolen from Mani Majra motor market in the intervening night of January 27 and 28. Mr Chander Bali of Sector-31 reported that his scooter (CH01C 5176) was stolen from Sector-46 on January 27. Two cases under Section 279 of the IPC has been registered.

Arrested: Ajay Kumar of Sector-29 was arrested on Tuesday under the Excise Act and 82 pouches of liquor were recovered from his possession. One Joginder Singh of Dadu Majra was allegedly arrested for gambling from Sector 38 on Tuesday.


Booked: The police on Wednesday booked five persons, including a woman, under Sections 4 and 5 of the Price Chit and Money Circulation Banking Act.

According to the police the alleged cheaters Daljit Singh, Manjit Kaur and Piara Chand Dogra of Sector-12 Panchkula, and Ved Prakash of Pehava and Surinder Rathi of Tohana have been booked on a complaint of Mr Gopal Chand Gupta, a resident of Sector 9 and Ms Sunita Bhardwaj of Sangrur.

These persons allegedly used to lure the people for investing in chit funds after offering them more rate of interest.

In two separate cases of clash and trespassing the police has booked seven persons in the past 24 hours.

The police said Iqbal Singh, Bant Singh, Harbans Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Sher Singh, Gurdeep Singh, all residents of Nawan Nagar, Pinjore, had been booked under Sections 427, 447, 323, 506, 34 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Lachhman Singh of Pinjore.

In another incident Jaggu Ram of Bir Ghaggar, Chandimandir, was booked for thrashing Ms Purni Devi. In her complaint Ms Purni Devi has alleged that Jaggu Ram trespassed her house and assaulted her.


Youth stabbed: A youth, Sham Lal, was injured seriously in a stabbing incident here this afternoon. He was immediately taken to the local Civil Hospital from where he was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The doctor present at the hospital said the victim had been stabbed in the chest. The police has rounded up some persons but no case has been registered.


Jewellery, wedding material business thriving
Sanjay Sharma

Tribune News Service
It boasts of being only the second to Sector 22 market, the biggest of the city, courtesy a large population living in Sectors 30 to 48 and SAS Nagar.

It is also known as jewellers’ market with this segment alone having a large chunk of 35 jewellery shops in the Sector.

The association has around 130 members from 27 shops and between 90 and 100 booths.

However, in terms of turnover the people of the market said it was not even a patch of Sector 22.

This part of the market has Nikka Mal Babu Ram, Sawan Jewellers, Jaipur Diamonds, Ravoy Gems, Emm Sons, Nikhil Jewellers and Satya Jewellers dealing in the precious metal from the ground and upper floors.

Jewellers here are procuring jewellery from Meerut, Amritsar, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Rajkot.

It is probably the only market other than Sector 22 which is catering to wedding material needs with a big daj and wari shop. The shop provides a complete range of cloths — sarees, lehngas and salwar-kameez — for weddings. The shop boasts of among 6 or 7 in the entire city along with Amar Sons, Shyam Embroidery, Gulati and Roop Sarees.

Shop keepers here claim that though Sector 17 may be drawing more visitors, yet the number of real buyers in the market could be much higher to that of Sector 17.

With the hotel line on the Himalaya Marg just a couple of hundred metres away, they said it was a complete market if Sector 35 was taken as a whole. Specialised shops in sub-sectors are complementing other businesses in the area. Garments business is also supporting the family buyer culture of the market with garment dealers Fashion Shoppe, Sai Garments and Chhabra Garments being present in the market.

The presence of a dispensary and a Bhakra Beas Management Board hospital in this part of the sector has led to mushrooming of 10 to 12 chemist shops in the booths. Sutlej and Bobby Electronics are providing customers a choice to make wedding purchases from amongst a cluster of few shops in this part of the market.

Ashoka and Anand Medical stores are around 20 years old in the market that started picking up only after 1984.

Booths have a large presence of confectionary, provision and other daily utility item shops.

Mr S. L. Khurana of the daj and wari shop remembers he first established a booth in Sector 35 D and then moved to establish the wedding clothing shop which has been attracting people from the entire southern part of the city, SAS Nagar and even NRIs.

He said when he set up his shop in the mid seventies there were only couple of sweet and provision shops and the area was vacant with even houses having not been constructed. Mr Khurana said construction of SCOs and houses came up simultaneously.

He said his shop stood almost in an area covered by agricultural fields. The market whose process of construction started in 1968 with a couple of shops and few houses coming up by 1970, has started realising its business potential for only last 10 to 12 years.

The last 10 to 12 years have witnessed a rapid growth in southern sectors thus brightening up the prospects of the market.

Shopkeepers here say it was the first market developed for the southern sectors and has now established itself in terms of business also. They say the competition the market faces from Sector 22 and 17 has pushed shopkeepers to devise strategies which are innovative. The market has been targeting an entire family as its customer, offering hospitality and family environment. Shopkeepers claim they offer competitive rates.

Even the culture in the association is very cooperative with it taking upon itself to manage parking lot. The association has also spent a substantial amount to mark parking spaces.

Mr Khurana, the president of the association, said the market body was even ready to contribute towards the over all development of the area if the Municipal Corporation came forward to do so.

The association has been successful in resolving the long pending demand of it getting funds from the MP for the construction of a toilet block. A visit to the market gives an impression that it does not have the sheen seen in other performing markets.

Office bearers: Patrons: Raghbir Singh and Piare Lal; President: S. L. Khurana; Vice President: M. M. Khanna; General Secretary: Rakesh Jain; Finance Controllers: Ghansham Bansal and Rajesh Kumar; Executive Controller: Madan L. Chhabra.



  • Most tiles of the market are either broken or bear a ruined look.
  • The market association’s suggestion of reducing the size of the area between the parking lot and verandah for accommodating parking of cycles and two wheelers has not been given any heed.
  • Trimming of trees has been irregular with MC staff coming to cut them sometimes after couple of months and sometimes it takes six months.
  • There are merely 3 or 4 street light poles in the entire market despite the presence of jewellers in the area.
  • Street lights have been irregular in functioning and the height of the poles is so high that they do not light the area intended.
  • The association feels there is a need for strengthening night patrolling in the area due to the presence of large number of jewellers.
  • Recarpeting of road has not been done for at least 4 to 5 years.
  • The fear of eviction by landlords after the rent notification has been haunting shopkeepers.
  • Beautification of market has not been attempted at all.

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