Wednesday, February 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City’s good work may not be rewarded
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service


  2002-2003  2003-04
Plan Budget (for development)  Rs 166 cr Rs 168 cr
Net non plan budget Rs 624 cr 696 cr
Receipts from all sources Rs 716 cr Rs 748 cr
Please note: All figures are rounded off. 

Chandigarh, February 25
Despite performing well in collection of revenue, the Union Finance Ministry has not appreciated the efforts of the Chandigarh Administration as it may allow only a marginal increase in the plan budget for the next financial year commencing April 1. The budget is to be formally announced on February 28 in New Delhi by the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh.

Sources said the hike was marginal, almost non-existent. The plan budget, which is directed at development in the city is likely to be hiked by just about Rs 2 crore and this includes the money sanctioned under the Prime Minister Gram Yojana. Last year the original budget was Rs 160 crore and another Rs 5.80 crore was sanctioned under the PMGY. The administration, while projecting its good work, had sought about Rs 210 crore for the next financial year.

On the non-plan side, however, the hike seems to be substaintial. This is aimed at salaries and pensions that are rising to the tune of 8 per cent per year. Another Rs 15 crore will go towards purchase of power from the non-plan head.

The demand for more funds was based on revenue collections. In the year 2001-2002, revenue from all sources like sales tax, transport, registration of vehicles, registration of property, sale of power, among others was Rs 669 crore. For the present financial year, the revenue will touch Rs 716 crore. And the target for revenue is Rs 748 crore for the next financial year.

Revenue generation will be over Rs 716 crore target fixed by the government. It is expected that the target will be exceeded by about Rs 25 crore till the financial year ends on March, 31, 2003. Since Chandigarh is the only state that meets the targets, if should get a reward, it was thought.

This sum does not include the Rs 500 crore that is collected from city residents by way of income tax. Thus in a way the city is contributing about Rs 1250 crore to the national kitty.

Sources said the rewards for tax collection are not being given. Chandigarh's budget is a part of the Union Home Ministry's (MHA's) budget and it is approved by Parliament. This means all recoveries are deposited in the consolidated fund of India.

Already the Government of India has given instructions to prune down expenses and the axe seems to have fallen on Chandigarh.


Temple ransacked, one held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Three youths desecrated the idol of a goddess and ransacked a temple in Dhanas village and set a car on fire in the wee hours today. A relation between the two incidents was established by the police in the evening when the police inquired into the statement given by the driver of the car.

The three youths have been booked for hurting religious sentiments, theft and destruction of temple. Interestingly, the three youths were found in an inebriated condition near the Sector 25 cremation ground in August last year. Their vehicle, a Tata Safari was also impounded at that time.

According to the information available, Varinder, a resident of 41, complained to the police in the morning that while he was coming from the Sukhna Lake, his vehicle caught fire near cremation ground. Some burnt wooden logs, burnt clothes, and a packet of Verka ghee, a crown of a goddess were found in the car. The interior of the car was found completely burnt. A fire tender had to be called to extinguish the fire.

When the police investigated the matter, the statement of Varinder was found to be doubtful. The police was also investigating the matter of the idol being desecrated at the Kali Mata Mandir and the theft of the crown of the Goddess. The DSP, Central, Mr S.S. Randhawa, said investigations had revealed that the three youths, Varinder, alias Monu, Rakesh Kumar alias Rikku and Ravinder, alias Romi, were involved in the act at the temple.

While Varinder had been arrested, raids were being conducted to arrest the other two. The police was also trying to ascertain whether the car had been set on fire intentionally or whether it was an accidental fire.

A case under Sections 295, 380 and 436 of the IPC has been registered by the police. 


Mufti hopes dialogue will solve J&K problem
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, said today that the appointment of Mr N. N. Vohra as interlocutor by the Centre presented a golden opportunity to all concerned to find a peaceful solution to the Kashmir problem.

In an interview with TNS, the Mufti said dialogue was the essence of democracy. It was only the chaos and noise of democracy which was keeping India going. War and conflict had never solved any problem. Instead, they only further complicated an already complex issue. Therefore, it was in the interest of everybody to come forward to take part in the talks to be initiated by Mr Vohra.

He said his government had been pressing the Centre to hold unconditional talks with all those interested in a bid to find a solution to the Kashmir problem. He was, therefore, very happy that the Centre had taken this important initiative and appointed a person of the eminence of Mr Vohra for this task. He said that he and leader of the Opposition, Mr Sonia Gandhi, had held consultations with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, before the Centre announced the initiative.

In reply to a question, he said, it was not for him to advise the All-Party Hurriyat Conference on having talks with Mr Vohra. But he would certainly like to remind the Hurriyat leaders that they had earlier spurned a dialogue with another central emissary, Mr K. C. Pant, because they wanted the talks to be unconditional. This time, the Centre had not imposed any conditions. Therefore, the Hurriyat leaders did not have even this excuse to avoid talking to Mr Vohra.

The Chief Minister said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had undergone a sea change following the transparent manner in which the elections to the state assembly had been held. People were yearning for peace and stability. Gone were the days when people would not stir out of their houses even when innocent people were being shot by the militants. Now people had begun to openly oppose and protest against such acts by the militants. The recent murder of an MLA had brought thousands of people on the streets, demanding immediate action against his killers. Such a reaction from the people was unthinkable till a few months ago. People had begun to realise that violence would not solve any problem. The cycle of militancy had been on since 1989 and what had it achieved so far? Nothing.

The only way, according to him, to solve the Kashmir problem was to change the mindset of the people. The BJP too had the problem of its own mindset. His government had tried to create a proper atmosphere in the state. He had told the security forces that the people they were dealing with were our own people. Therefore, human values must be respected.

Earlier, speaking at an interaction organised the by Confederation of the Indian Industry, he invited the people of the region, especially Punjabis, to come to Jammu and Kashmir with their families for a holiday during the summer vacation. “Things are now absolutely fine there. We will take you to Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Militants are no longer indulging in random killings. They now go for specific targets. Therefore, ordinary people are safe. Still, if you want, we can provide you security right from Srinagar airport to Pahalgam or whatever place your want”.

He emphasised that the fight for Jammu and Kashmir was the whole nation’s battle in which not only the Centre but all the states of the Indian Union had to participate. “For us, every hour, every day counts. Every visit by outsiders to Kashmir will be a step towards normalisation.”

The Mufti also asked the industry to come and invest in the hill state. A detailed presentation on all the incentives available to industry in Jammu and Kashmir was also made.


Alert watchman averts train mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
A train accident was averted due to an alert watchman at the level crossing near Mauli Jagran village, 1 km from the local Railway Station, this morning.

The incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. when the Jana Shatabadi started from the Chandigarh Railway Station towards Delhi. In the middle of the track at Mauli Jagran level crossing stood a CTU bus ( CH-01-G-5180) caught in a traffic jam. The watchman, Mr Gaje Singh, asked the bus driver to get all passengers out of the bus and rushed towards the approaching train, waving a red flag and exploding crackers to alert the train driver.

In the Railways safety procedures, crackers are exploded to inform the train driver of danger. Eye-witnesses said hundreds of passers-by looked on with bated breath as the train stopped just a few metres away from the bus. By that time, the bus passengers had vacated the bus.

The level crossing at Mauli Jagran is narrow and in case a bus is passing by, a vehicle has to back off. This problem led to today’s situation.

The CTU bus was coming from Mauli Jagran and going towards Chandigarh. The gates at the railway crossing were closed as a loose engine was shunting. Once the gate opened, the bus driver started to cross the level crossing. From the opposite direction came a Maruti car, which also tried to cross the track. The Maruti driver was adamant that the CTU bus should back off. Others who were caught in the traffic jam tried to convince Maruti driver that he was the only one headed in the opposite direction and he should back off. The car driver did not yield and in the mean time, the Jana Shatabadi came into picture. The watchman then started his action to avert the situation.

Once the train had stopped, the watchman called in Railway Police personnel, who made the Maruti car driver back off and got the blockade cleared. 


Mohali MC to present Rs 23.26 cr budget
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, February 25
An over Rs 23.26 crore budget for 2003-2004 is proposed to be presented at the general house meeting of the local Municipal Council scheduled to be held on February 28.

The budget proposals show an income of over Rs 20.06 crore while loans from banks total Rs 2.50 crore.

The balance carried forward from the previous fiscal is Rs 70 lakh.

The proposed expenses come to Rs 22.54 crore, of which expenditure on the staff accounts for over Rs 5.59 crore, which comes to about 28 per cent of the proposed income.

A sum of Rs 15.90 crore has been proposed for developmental works, which amounts to 70 per cent of the proposed income, and Rs 1.05 crore comes under the head of contingency expenditure.

The civic body has proposed an increase of about Rs 2.60 crore in income as compared to last year. The proposed income last year was Rs 17.46 crore.

Though the amount proposed as loans from banks was the same as last year (Rs 2.50 crore), there has been a fall in the balance carried forward from the previous fiscal.

Last year the amount carried forward was Rs 90 lakh while this year the figure has come down to Rs 70 lakh.

The council expects to earn Rs 16.59 crore from octroi, the main source of income. The civic body’s other sources of income include octroi on power (Rs 1.10 crore); excise duty (Rs 1 crore); water supply and sewerage (Rs 70 lakh); and rent and tehbazari (Rs 25 lakh).

The council has proposed to spend Rs 1.30 crore more on developmental work this year as compared to last year.

Even the amount proposed for expenses on staff has gone up by about Rs 50 lakh, though the funds reserved for contingency expenditure are the same as last year.

The council proposes to spend Rs 4.30 crore on the construction of office building and for paying the instalment of the land purchased for the building in Sector 68 here.

A sum of Rs 2.50 crore has been proposed to be spent on water supply, maintenance of sewerage system and payment of related power bills.

Another Rs 1.50 crore have been proposed for streetlights and related power bills.

A sum of Rs 1.90 crore has en proposed to be spent on the restrengthening of existing roads.

The proposed amount to be spent on disposing solid waste is Rs 80 lakh.

The proposed expenditure on sanitation and works branches is more than Rs 1.65 crore and over Rs 1.35 crore respectively.


12 baratis injured
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, February 25
Over a dozen baratis including four children, sustained injuries, when a tractor-trailer by which they were travelling overturned on the Chandigarh-Kalka Highway near Major Sandeep Sankla Chowk here this afternoon.

The tractor-trailer was heading to Surajpur from Mauli Jagran colony in Chandigarh.

According to sources the tractor-trailer carrying over 50 baratis overturned while negotiating a turn at the chowk where driving lanes were being marked.

Soon after the accident of passers-by and police personnel gathered at the spot and helped the injured to rush them to the General Hospital in Sector 6. Seriously injured Narain Singh was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The driver of the tractor is said to have fled.


Miss India Nikita for NIFD function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The National Institute of Fashion Design will honour Nikita Anand, Miss India Universe, during the annual convocation for which she is specially coming from Mumbai to hand over diplomas to NIFD's “Class of 2002” students who have successfully completed their course in the streams of Fashion, Textile and Interior Design.

At the convocation ceremony the toppers of all streams from various NIFD centres across the country will be specially honoured. It will be a moment of glory for the students who have worked hard throughout the year to accomplish this feat.

Ms Nikita Anand is yet another Punjabi kudi who has achieved new height of success by winning this prestigious title. While Indian beauties like Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Neha Dhupia and Diya Mirza have done the country proud at various international pageants, now Ms Nikita Anand will represent India at the Miss Universe 2003 Contest where she hopes to carry the torch of success and do the country proud.


One more ISI agent arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The police today arrested, Abdul Wahid, a resident of Delhi, the third associate of the two spies, including a Pakistan national, who were produced before mediapersons yesterday. Aabid Mohammed, who was living under an assumed Hindu name, had been arrested while exchanging money for classified defence documents from Mohammed Arif, who was dealing in hawala transactions.

Abdul Wahid was involved in an illegal business of exporting intraocular lenses from India to Pakistan through Dubai and Kabul, with the connivance of the ISI. He was entrusted with the work of handing over the money to Aabid Mohammed through Mohammed Arif, who was arrested yesterday. A maternal uncle of Arif, Taslim, a resident of Lahore works for the ISI. Another Lahore-based businessman, Tariq Bhai, who also deals in intraocular lenses, is said to be the main channel of the hawala transaction.

Tariq, a Pakistan national, is said have frequented India and stayed in the Pahar Ganj area.

Though the police officials were tight-lipped about the information disclosed by the spies, sources in the intelligence agencies said the ISI was using the channels of hawala transactions in a big way to achieve its motive. Aabid Mohammed, who was arrested yesterday, also used to get his money through the hawala channels.

Using neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, to push in spies has also been highlighted following the expose of the espionage network. Aabid had also landed in the country through the Dhaka. A air ticket worth Rs 26,000, recovered from Aabid, has indicated that the ISI facilitated his immigration clearance at the Dhaka airport before pushing him in to India.

Following the arrest of Aabid Mohammed, a Pakistan national who was living under an assumed Hindu name in Burail, the Chandigarh Police will launch a tenant verification drive in the slums and villages in the city.

A police official said though all documents, including a fake voters I-card issued by the Election Commission of India in 2000 from Kairana (Muzzafarnagar), which were seized from Aabid, asserted his assumed identity, the verification drive would make some impact.


UT property owners discuss Rent Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The executive body of Property Owners Welfare Association met today to discuss the Rent Act, presently in force in Haryana and Punjab, in the wake of a demand raised by the Punjab House Owners Association.

The Punjab body had sought either the implementation of modified rent Act (already approved by the Beant Singh Government way back in 1995 — accorded assent by the President — waiting to be notified) or repealing of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, on the lines of the order issued by the Chandigarh Administration.

The meeting was presided over by Brig Sant Singh, president, POWA, and was attended by Mr Ajay Gupta, Mr N.P. Singh, Mr R.K. Gupta, Mr R.K. Bhasin, Mr Gaurav Bansal, Brig N.S. Sandhu, Mr Anupal Singh Bawa, Mr Rakesh Wadhawan, Mr Kartar Singh Dhillon and Mr R.P. Malhotra, general secretary, POWA.

Members resolved to extend support to the above demand raised by Mr Shivdev Singh, president, Punjab House Owners Association. The POWA executive also resolved to urge the Government of Haryana to come up with the notification of modified rent Act, draft of which has recently been approved by the state cabinet.

Reformed rent laws, apart from giving a level playing field to both landlords and tenants are vital for the overall development of the country in term of employment generation and for infrastructural development. The Union government is ready to provide incentives to those states and union territories coming up with such reforms, POWA opined.

The POWA executive also resolved to urge various house owners welfare bodies of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal to unite for the cause. It also offered to host a joint convention to discuss the issue.


Privatisation issue on agenda
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, February 25
Privatisation of water supply and maintenance of sewerage in the town is on the agenda of the general house meeting of the Municipal Council scheduled for February 28.

At present both the works are being carried out by the Department of Public Health, Punjab, on payment from the civic body.

The council now claims that if both the works are privatised, the civic body will be able to save Rs 1.37 crore.

MC officials say that a sum of about Rs 3.55 crore was being spent by the Department of Public Health for running the water supply system and more than Rs 52 lakh on the maintenance of the sewerage.

Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the council, said he had sent officials from the civic body to Ludhiana where both the works were being run by privatise parties. On the basis of the data provided by these officials it was calculated that the Council would be saving a lot of money if both the works were privatised.

Moreover, said Mr Kulwant Singh, the officials of the Department of Public Health were keeping no record of the expenses or income. Even though the council was making payments for running both the works, it had not control on the officials of the Department of Public Health, he added.

The Director, Local Government, Punjab, had issued directions to the Municipal Council in a letter dated 29.2.2000 to privatise both the works. Though the civic body, too, was interested in taking over the water supply and sewerage from the Department of Public Health, the latter was not interested in handing over the works.


Emotionally strong workers ‘better’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
In today's world of cut- throat competition, organisations need self-motivated people who are not only proficient in their work, but are also able to manage their emotions while handling assignments. In fact, 20 per cent of one's success comes through Intelligence Quotient (IQ) while a staggering 80 per cent comes through the Emotional Quotient (EQ).

Taking these ‘hard truths’ into account, the CII Punjab State Council organised a one-day attitudinal seminar on ‘‘Emotional Intelligence” at CII Northern Region Headquarters today.

The Seminar attempted to touch upon some areas like self awareness and acceptance, emotional awareness, self control, adaptability, accepting unacceptable, openness to experience, perseverance, optimism, communication perfection, conflict management, leadership, collaboration and cooperation, and EQ test for participants.

Over 65 enthusiastic participants from city, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh attended the seminar. 


Project on SoE report launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
A project to prepare a Status of Environment (SoE) report pertaining to Punjab and Chandigarh was launched here today. A one-day awareness workshop in this regard was also organised at the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) here today.

The project is being undertaken under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the 10th Five Year Plan. While TERI, a New Delhi-based organisation, has been identified as the “national host institute”, the PSCST has been appointed as the “state host institute” for the project.

In his inaugural address, Mr N.S. Tiwana, the Executive Director of the PSCST, stressed upon the need for SoE reporting to keep track of the progress as well as sustainable development. He said that a regular and effective system of collecting and collating data on environment would help to analyse the effectiveness of government policies and programmes as well as identifying gaps in their implementation.

Highlighting the environmental issues relating to the city, Mr Ishwar Singh and Mr P.J.S. Dadhwal from the UT Department of Environment listed vehicular pollution, solid-waste management, water-resources management, urban-rural interface, slum areas and Sukhna wetlands as critical issues which needed to be addressed on priority.

Presenting an overview of the project, Mr P.V. Sridharan from TERI highlighted various frameworks used for SoE reporting in India and abroad.

The workshop was attended by officials from Punjab and Chandigarh, pollution control boards, Forest and Wildlife, Transport, Agriculture, Industries, Engineering and Public Health Departments. Group exercises were also conducted to identify critical areas concerning environment.


SSC declares list of provisional candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Staff Selection Commission (North-Western region) has declared the list of provisional candidates who have qualified in the examination for Sub-Inspectors in the Central Police Organisations (CPOs) held on January 12.

The list has been displayed on the notice board of the commission's office.

The commission will now conduct a physical efficiency test (PET) for the candidates who have qualified in the exam.

The office of the commission will separately issue call letters in this regard.

The commission has also asked all qualified candidates to check for discrepancies, if any, and report the same to the office latest by March 5.


Shiv Sena organises chetna rally
Tribune News Service

Shiv Sena activists march towards the Punjab Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum of their demands to the Governor
Shiv Sena activists march towards the Punjab Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum of their demands to the Governor on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 25
The Punjab and Chandigarh unit of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) organised a 'chetna rally' here, today, against the anti-social policies of the Congress-led Punjab Government. Leaders of the Shiv Sena demanded that Sikh fundamentalist leaders like Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and Mr Jagjit Singh Chaohan should be booked under POTA for their alleged anti-national activities.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Pawan Gupta, president of the state unit of the Shiv Sena said Captain Amarinder Singh was ignoring the interests of all sections of the society.

He urged Congress and Akali leaders not to seek 'mercy' for Devinder Singh Bhullar, one of the main accused in Delhi blast, who had recently been sentenced to death by a Delhi court.

Later, Shiv Sena workers marched towards the Punjab Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum of their demands but were stopped near the Matka Chowk by the local police.

However, a deputation of senior leaders of the Shiv Sena was allowed to go to the Raj Bhavan. and submit the memorandum to the Governor. Earlier, the leaders of Shiv Sena from Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal also addressed the gathering.


Police not booking brick-kiln owner: NGO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Volunteers for Social Justice, a Chandigarh-based NGO, which had got ‘released’ over a 100 labourers with the help of Labour Commission, Punjab, yesterday, has alleged that the police was not registering case against the brick-kiln owner.

Ms Prabhjot Kaur, head of organisation, in a press conference held here today, alleged that these labourers were working in bondage at a brick-kiln in Lakhnaur village in the SAS Nagar subdivision, but the SDM, SAS Nagar, had refused to note down the statements of these labourers yesterday and was not ready to accept that they were bonded labourers at all. She alleged that these labourers were wanting to leave their workplace but were allegedly not allowed to do so by another group of workers employed at the same place.

The labourers, according to members of the NGO, had been ‘‘brought from Jammu by the head of a group of labourers allured for more money but had not been paid by the brick-kiln owners for months. And when the labourers came under debt, they were stopped from leaving the premises.

She said the Sub District Magistrate, SAS Nagar, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, along with the members of the NGOs and a legal adviser visited the brick-kiln and after talking to the labourers and ordered that they be allowed to leave without any attendant encumbrances. But he declined, she said, to get an FIR registered against the brick-kiln owner.


PGI Springfest starts today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Spring is in the air and it is time for a celebration at the PGI. The Association of Resident Doctors is holding the annual cultural extravaganza, springfest. This time it is going to be a five-day event, from February 26 to March 2. The festivities will include a NIFD-designed fashion show where national level models will participate and pop singer Anamika will perform.

It will be time for music, dance, food and joy as doctors of the Institute, nursing staff, physiotherapists take a break from their hectic schedules. About 5000 people are expected to participate and enjoy.

The inauguration of the festival will be by the Director of PGI, Prof S.K. Sharma. The festival will have competitions in dances, antakshri and literary events and all night dance parties.

In addition, there are a number of impromptu events like rangoli, face painting, extempore speaking to add variety to the festival.


‘Unauthorised’ quarrying
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur-Garibdass, February 25
Unauthorised quarrying is going on the land which the Punjab government is considering to transfer to the Puri Development Trust, Mullanpur, for setting up an institute of engineering and technology here.

According to villagers, quarrying had stopped following the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar. The quarrying restarted couple of weeks ago. Tractor-trailers could be seen in the late hours picking soil from the land.

The villagers also alleged that the quarrying was going on in connivance with officials of the district administration.

‘‘The quarrying has resulted in several large pits in the village,” complained Mr D.D. Puri, Chairman of the Trust and added, ‘‘we have brought the matter to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain”.

The government is considering to transfer the land, which falls under Provincial Government (of the Capital Project) to the Trust for setting up of the college on a lease of 99 years on nominal rates

A UK-based NRI, Mr Nathu Ram Puri, had announced to construct the college in presence of Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh while the latter was in the village to inaugurate a school building constructed by the NRI.


Aggar Yatra welcomed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Aggar Chetna Yatra led by Mr Pradeep Aggarwal, national president of Aggarwal Sammelan, and Mr Banarsi Dass Gupta, former CM of Haryana, was accorded a warm welcome at Housing Board Chowk, Mani Majra, this morning, by the Aggarwal Sabha, Chandigarh.

Local MP Pawan Bansal, Mayor Subash Chawla, former Mayor Gian Chand Gupta, and other office bearers of the sabha were present.

The yatra had been flagged off by Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani on February 16 from New Delhi. The yatra would cover the country in two years.

The secretary of the Chandigarh Aggarwal Sabha, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, said the yatra had been planned to highlight the teachings of Maharaj Aggarsen and give a message of peace and brotherhood.


Annual samagam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The annual seven-day samagam at the Sector 28 Gurdwara Nanaksar started here yesterday under the auspices of Sant Sadhu Singh Kaleranwale, Bhai Gurdev Singh of the Sector 28 Nanaksar announced here today.

He said bhog of 24 ‘sampat paaths’, which started yesterday, would be held on March 2. After the bhog, a special kirtan darbar featuring eminent ragi jathas would be held. Community kitchen was being organised throughout the samagam.


Confusing signboards

OF late, while driving across the city’s roads, one finds newly put-up signposts in black and yellow on each of the roundabouts, which is a welcome step by the Administration for the benefit of the commuters. But the signboards are quite confusing and an eyesore. Out of the three signboards put on the poles, two invariably point to one road direction only, as indicated by an arrow-mark each for the left or right of the same road separately, say ‘Sarovar Path’. Best purpose could have been served by putting up a single signboard, instead of two, with only a twin-faced arrow pointing to both left and right of the direction for the same road. It would have proved cost-effective, too. Would someone from the Administration like to comment?

Amarjit Singh, Chandigarh

Panchkula poll a farce

The first ever Municipal Council elections in Panchkula were held in an (un)cultured way. The most (dis)heartening feature was that vehicles from outside the city were not allowed to enter into it and hundreds of people from Baltana, Zirakpur and other adjoining areas were turned back. It was absolutely ridiculous on the part of the administration.

The reports of bogus voting, assaults and manhandling of candidates meant that outsiders were kept away from the smooth conduct of elections. What a joke!

Vinish Garg, Panchkula

Welcome changes

There are some welcome changes in the appearance of Chandigarh Tribune for which please accept my sincere congratulations. Obviously, the persons involved are experienced professionals and know their jobs. However, as a reader please allow me to make the following suggestions:

1. I was wondering whether you can make provision for horizontal/vertical strips/bars for displayed ads on each page. You must have noticed that until recently, the ads were just displayed in the most haphazard manner. Strips/bars will not only standardise the ad sizes but also lend a bit of aesthetics to the paper.

2. Is it possible to have glamour-related articles and interviews with visiting stars etc on the back page?

3. While the news of immediate interest to the readers is on the front page, I thought Jaspal Bhatti’s satire — now in The Tribune on Friday — could be shifted to the front page of CT. The same goes for Amita Mallik’s column that appears on Saturdays on page 2 of The Tribune.

Randeep Wadehra, Panchkula

Promises unfulfilled

The BJP had published a list of priorites towards ward number 12 at the time of the city’s Municipal Corporation elections held on December 8, 2001. This ward comprised Sectors 18, 19 and 21.

The priorities were proper system of lifting garbage and cleanliness of roads, cleanliness of back lanes, maintenance of streetlights and parks, better water and sewerage facilities, timely recarpeting of internal roads, management of community centres by the residential societies of the area, resolving all complaints with the help of employees and corporation at your doorstep, and direct participation of residents in all development activities of the ward.

The BJP had shown its candidate a young, dynamic and obedient soldier of the party and having association with various social and religious organisations.

At the time of election Mr Rajesh Gupta had promised to solve many problems and came for votes with folded hands. Now he is a councillor of ward number 12.

The Municipal Corporation is headed by the Congress. He has done nothing to solve any problem. Most of the ward roads are broken and cleanliness is nowhere to be seen. He has done work for Sector 19-B but the main roads in Sector 19 are not in good condition. The councillor must read his manifesto issued by the BJP. If need be, I will send a copy of the manifesto to him by post.

Harjinder Singh, Chandigarh



Tipsy cops involved in brawl
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, February 25
Two cops, high on spirits, were allegedly involved in a drunken brawl at an aahata in Mani Majra. The trouble started at about 10 pm when the two, not in uniform, allegedly fought with the staff. Soon after, the two — identified as Shamsher posted with the Sector 17 Police Station, and Angrez deployed with Sector 11 Police Station — were taken for medical examination.

Senior officers, when contacted, said they would look into the matter and if the allegations were found to be true, strict action would be initiated against them.


Poppy husk seized: The police arrested Puran Chand of Kakrali village for possessing 1 kg of poppy husk here today. Puran was arrested by a police party headed by ASI Rangat Ram at a check post. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against him at Chandimandir Police Station. The accused was later sent in judicial custody by a local court.

8 arrested: In the 24 hours, the police has arrested eight persons for drinking at public places in the district. Cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them at Pinjore and Sector 5 police stations. Sikandar of Gorakhpu, Uttar Pradesh, was arrested from Rattpur colony. He was carrying seven bottles of liquor. Shyam Sunder of Mauli Jagran, Harikesh of Sector 9, Himmat Singh of Sector 16, Anil of Sector 11, Lalun from Bihar, Ram Lal from Jind and Suresh Dass of Devi Nagar were also arrested.


Fatal mishaps: As many as four persons were killed in road accidents in the district during the past 48 hours. Satpal (50) of Manav Chowk in the city was killed when a truck hit his scooter on the Ambala- Hisar road. The truck driver fled away from the spot.

Two persons, Madan Sahni and Nakshatar Singh, were injured in accidents on the GT Road near the city. They later succumbed to their injuries in the civil hospital. A resident of Manmohan Nagar in the city was killed when he was hit by a car on the GT Road.

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