Friday, March 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Unhygienic’ meat seized from 5 stores
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Municipal Corporation today seized around 3.5 quintal of, what it suspects to be "unhygienic", meat from Bhatia International Store, JDs, Peshawaris, MG Super Market, Sector 9, and Punjab Meat Sector 37.

In a separate operation, the Municipal Corporation also booked leading food joints and hotels in Sector 34 for creating insanitary conditions and started a process for discontinuing their water supply.

Ovenfresh, Jasmine, Hotel Heritage, Himani, Southend, Sundaram and Commando Catering were booked for allegedly creating insanitary conditions.

Mayor Subhash Chawla has asked the Medical Officer, Dr G.C. Bansal, to examine cancellation of licences of shops from where "uncertified" meat was seized. The Mayor during his visit yesterday had found insanitary conditions being created by the hotels in the back lane.

In the biggest ever raid on major stores stretching for around five and half hours was led by Dr Bansal started early in the morning today. The Mayor gave the order for the raids after he found out that only 55 animals had been slaughtered in the slaughter house today. This is a demand for 1500 kg of meat in the city per day.

There are 70 licensed shops.

The Mayor has asked Dr. Bansal to continue the campaign till rainy season to ensure the closure of those illegal shops which are believed to in villages and colonies.

Dr Bansal was assisted by the Slaughter House Superintendent, Dr M.S. Kamboj, and his team. He said as per the meat by-laws certification of quality, type, date, jhatka and halal from the slaughter house was essential before selling the meat. He said the meat seized had no stamp of the slaughter house.

The meat is suspected to have been brought from outside the city against the by-laws.

The proprietor of the Bhatia International Store, Mr Sanjeev Bhatia, contested the claim of the Municipal Corporation saying that the quality meat had to be bought from sources other than the slaughter house which had many a time failed to provide quality meat. Mr Bhatia said one of the Sector 34 shops was not raided. He said that shop and his store were getting supplies from the same source.

Addressing a press conference after the raid late in the evening, Mr Chawla said the campaign had been launched to maintain supply of international quality of meat and prevent the people from diseases as was witnessed by the city last year when cholera acquired an epidemic proportion.


Chicken prices may come down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Lovers of non-vegetarian food will be able to enjoy chicken at reduced rates soon. The poultry farmers of the city have joined hands to form an association with an objective to make raw chicken available to consumers at reasonable rates by reducing the gap between the farm price and the sale price.

The association said, at present consumers were paying a higher price for chicken. The body aimed to provide hygienically dressed chicken to the consumers and also provide for a support price to the producer, a statement said today. Mr Charanpal Singh was elected president while Mr Rajinder Singh was elected general secretary.


Farmers to block traffic today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Six farmers’ unions of Punjab have announced that they will block traffic around the Sector 17 bus stand tomorrow to press the state government to accept their demands. The farmers have been holding an indefinite dharna at Matka Chowk since March 10.

Their demands include payment of pending Rs 30 per quintal bonus on paddy, arrears of sugar cane, withdrawal of cases registered against agitating farmers and a judicial inquiry into police firing on farmers in Tarn Taran.

Addressing a press conference at Kisan Bhavan here today, the farmer leaders urged the state government to release the payment of bonus and arrears, as promised. Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur, president, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta), said: “The ruling party should continue free electricity and irrigation water supply to the farming sector, as promised in the election manifesto. Compensation should be paid to those farmers whose about 40,000 acres have been used by the Army to lay mines.”

Mr Gurmeet Singh Dittupur, another farmer leader, called upon the state and Central governments to start crop insurance policy for farmers. He said some farmers had been forced to commit suicide due to humiliation at the hands of bank officials, who were getting cases registered against them under Section 67 A.

Mr Maghar Singh Kulrian, president, Khetibari and Kisan Vikas Front, said: “According to the latest Economic Survey, the GDP economic growth has come down due to negative growth rate of agriculture. How can the government attain 8 per cent growth rate if it ignores the agricultural sector?” he asked.

Questioning the proposal of the PSEB to raise power tariff, Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, president, Kirti Kisan Union, said, “Farmers cannot be held responsible for the mismanagement, power pilferage and higher expenses. If the European and the USA can pay huge subsidies to the farming sector, why can’t our government provide subsidy to farmers?”

The farmer leaders announced their support to the ongoing farmers’ agitation in Haryana and other parts of Punjab. They appealed to other farmers’ unions to fight a “decisive battle” against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the Central and state governments.

Later, farmers staged a dharna, in front of the office of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, in protest against the high interest rates charged from farmers and the higher cost of fertilisers.


Property tax rate may stay at 10 pc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The property tax may still remain at the rate of 10 per cent as notified by the Chandigarh Administration, which has shown reluctance to replace the old order with a fresh resolution of the Municipal Corporation House at 2 per cent of the annual rateable rent.

The Municipal Corporation has been awaiting the approval of the unit area-based property tax scheme, passed at the January, 2003, meeting at 2 per cent of the annual rateable rent on commercial property and government buildings. The 2 per cent rate had been passed almost a year ago along with the 2002-2003 Budget of the corporation.

The disagreement between politicians, especially of the Congress, which dominates the House, and the Chandigarh Administration on the rate of property tax might force the latter to issue a direction on the rate, sources told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

The corporation is believed to have been unofficially communicated by the administration that the old notification might not be withdrawn if there is no increase in the 2 per cent rate.

The administration is not convinced that the corporation will be able to realise revenue in excess of Rs 7 crore at the 2 per cent rate. The administration believes that there cannot be more than Rs 3.5 crore realisation at the rate of 2 per cent.

Sources said indications of 5 per cent rate being acceptable to the administration were emerging but politicians led by Mayor Subhash Chawla were refusing to budge on the rate.

Mr Chawla said if the administration wanted a higher rate, the House would not oblige them and a higher rate would be opposed.

This has left the Chandigarh Administration with the option of giving a direction to the corporation under Section 406 of the Municipal Corporation Act to force the municipal body to accept a rate decided by the administration.


Plots may be resumed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 13
Owners of the multi-storeyed building that collapsed in the Phase V market here on February 11, face resumption of both the plots from the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). Other than this, PUDA is also likely to also cancel the licenses of the architect and the contractor of the building.

These actions had been recommended by the SDO (Building), PUDA, Mr Ranjit Kumar, in his inspection report of the collapse submitted to the Estate Officer, PUDA. The SDO had further recommended that police cases be registered against the allottee, the architect and the contractor by the relevant authority.

The building, according to the report, had been constructed without getting sanction for any revised plan and in complete violation of all building norms laid down for the purpose. The report stated that none of the two showrooms had a regular sewer connection and the present owners of the building did not bother to inform either the Estate Officer or the Junior Engineer of the area about this construction. ‘‘In no case, a joint plan could be passed for both the sites..... these are grave building violations with total ignorance about the sanctioned plans and structural implications. The structure is actually unsafe as steel girders had only been provided below the RCC slabs after removing the internal wall and providing abasement later on,’’ stated the report.

Giving names of the architect and the contractor, the report recommended that both be debarred from carrying out any construction work in SAS Nagar.

Meanwhile, the MLA, Kharar, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today visited the site where the demolition work of the building was in progress.


Cops out to curb road rage
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, March 13
Residents beware! Next time you reverse your car out of the parking lot, make sure to depress the brake lever well in time. “Driving backward more than necessary for turning” can actually leave your wallet lighter. The men-in-white, peeping from behind the bushes, will take no time to issue you a challan.

You can be issued a chit for abruptly stopping the vehicle. You can also be fined for zig-zag driving. Also for leaving the engine of your car running.

It may sound incredible, but as per the “challan receipt” now issued by the Chandigarh Police, giving details of 94 offences, you can be in trouble for all the violations.

This is not all. Disallowing the restless driver, right behind you, to overtake your vehicle can earn you a receipt. In fact, the driver can himself be issued a chit if he is honking needlessly and continuously. Can also be proceeded against for blowing the pressure or multi-toned horn.

Another thing. The next time you zip up and down the geri route, remember to turn down the volume of your car stereo. Bhangra music’s rhythmic beat may rev you up, but the cops can challan you for playing the music at high pitch. Go ahead, learn to enjoy Jazzy-B’s songs without waking up the entire neighbourhood.

You can also be in trouble for riding your bike with the silencer removed. It is not permissible. So all you guys, high on the Holi spirit, don’t even think of cutting along the sharp curves, on bikes without silencers.

Bikers, also remember to fasten the straps of your helmet even if it means spoiling your hairstyle in the process. Failure to do so too can make you pull out dad’s hard-earned money from your wallet.

The headgear should also be “of BIS standards”. Wearing sub-standard helmets, including the plastic ones, are against the provisions of law. Even the ones donned by the cricketers are not permissible.

The story does not end here. If you are one of those generous gentlemen who just cannot watch panting and puffing cyclist pushing the paddle hard on the highway of life, stop having pity. The cops can hand over the challan receipt to you for towing cyclists. Improper towing of “disabled vehicles” can also prove expensive.

Last thing. Do not try to escape if the cops ask you to pull over. Disobeying the police order is also an offence mentioned in the receipt. “All these offences are mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988,” a senior officer of the Chandigarh Police asserts. “We have only mentioned these in the receipt to make the job easier for the official on duty.”

It is a problem some of the cops just cannot handle. The new receipt issued by the Chandigarh Police mentions 94 offences. Nothing wrong with it, except the fact that some of the officials are finding it difficult to understand.


Mohali Connect Nos. to be changed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
In the light of new guidelines from Department of Telecom, SAS Nagar will now be a part of the Kharar Small Distance Charge Area (SDCA). The new STD code for both SAS Nagar and Kharar will be 0160.

Telephone numbers of all Connect subscribers in SAS Nagar and Kharar will also be changed with effect from midnight on March 15. Connect subscribers in SAS Nagar will now have to replace the first digit of their existing telephone numbers with 50. The area code will be changed from the current 0172 to 0160. For example, the old number 0172-391234 will now be 0160-5091234.

Connect subscribers in Kharar will now have to replace the first digit of their existing telephone numbers with 50. The area code will be changed from 01888 to 0160. For example, the old number 01888-300049 will now be 0160-5000049.

“We have ensured that all Connect subscribers in SAS Nagar are able to dial any telephone number in Chandigarh at local call charges by prefixing 95-172 to telephone numbers in Chandigarh,” said Mr Jayant Keswani, general manager, Connect.

He added that Connect subscribers in Kharar and SAS Nagar would continue to be able to access towns like Shimla, Solan and Ambala through the local 95 dialling, with revised charges, as applicable from Kharar. Information regarding changed numbers can be obtained from 1951.


PU restrained from filling post

Chandigarh, March 13
Admitting a petition filed by Panjab University lecturer Dr G. K. Malik challenging the re-advertisement of a post with amended qualification, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court restrained the University from filling the post.

In his petition, Dr Malik had earlier submitted that he had joined the University 17 years ago on ad hoc basis as teaching assistant, but his services were not regularised despite his representations. It was added that the University, in an illegal manner, had re-advertised the post to prevent the petitioner from continuing. The action, he had added, was unjust and unfair. TNS


Infant-bashing case to be probed
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 13
The local child protection unit will investigate the case of the beating up of a one-year-old during a scuffle between a landlord and his tenants in Sector 70 here.

According to a complaint lodged with the unit yesterday, Mr Jaswinder Singh of Sector 70 alleged that his one-year-old child was beaten up along with his wife by their landlord, a resident of Phase 3B1, in October last and the police had not taken any action. He demanded action against the guilty.

This was the first complaint received by the unit since its inauguration by the Chief Minister on February 17. The in charge of the unit, Mr Gautam Singal, DSP with the Punjab Human Rights Commission, said the case had been investigated and filed by the SAS Nagar police. He added that since a child was involved and the matter had been brought to the notice of the unit by the father of the child, the matter would be investigated thoroughly.

Mr Jaswinder Singh also stated in his complaint, a copy of which was given to the Chandigarh Tribune, that his landlord demanded electricity bill payment on a holiday and when he showed his inability, the landlord started bashing him, his wife and their child, who suffered injuries in the scuffle. The complainant also gave a copy of a doctor’s medico-legal report on the child to the unit.

The tenant was not available for comment. Sources said more than a case of child beating, it seemed to be a case of the child getting hurt during a fight between adults. Though a complete investigation would be carried out, prima facie, it seemed that the child had been hit inadvertently, said a police source. According to the police, it had completed its investigations after a mutual agreement had been reached at between the two parties in December.

The complainant has been asked to narrate the incident to officials of the unit on March 18, after which investigations will be started. This is the first child protection unit in Punjab and caters to the population of SAS Nagar, Kharar and Ropar.


Rape case: girl goes missing
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 13
After having registered a case of rape against five persons on charges of having illicit relations with a minor girl, the police here has so far not been able to trace the girl who after having delivered a child in PGI on March 1, had claimed to be a minor and given a statement to the UT police about her various relations.

The SP, SAS Nagar, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, stated today that no action could be taken against the five men named in the FIR till the girl’s statement was recorded again by the SAS Nagar police. ‘‘The case has been registered on the basis of the statement she gave to the UT police,’’ he said.

Police personnel also said that they had been visiting the residence of the girl each day but no one was found there. ‘‘Once she is located we will ascertain if she is a minor or not after which all other investigations will follow,’’ said Mr Bhullar.

The case was referred to the SAS Nagar police by the PGI police post through Naya Gaon, after the latter was informed of the age of the girl by the hospital authorities. The local police had registered a case under Section 376 and 34 of the IPC based on the statement of the girl which was given to the PGI Police post personnel.

According to the FIR, the girl told the UT police that she had had physical relationships with at least five persons and the father of the child may be a resident of Naya Gaon. The girl had also named four other persons in her statement, two of them are residents of Karoran village.


5 women get together and agree
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
As the debate on the power of women vis-a-vis men rages, one fact gets better underlined — that even in their criticism of women as equal partners in life, men only exhibit their helplessness in discounting the worth which women command. Why else would they bother to contest them? Debates surface only where issues demand balance, otherwise they never surface at all....

This and much more was the subject of consideration at the special occasion dedicated to the women of worth. Arranged by Kapsons Exclusive and Talwarsons Jewellers, the informal exchange centred on bitter-sweet real-life experiences of the five women who were in command today.

These were Ms Pushpinder Cheema, Principal, St John’s Boys School, Dr Mangala Dogra, gynaecologist, Ms Niti Sarin, social worker, Ms Neena Singh, banker and Ms Neelu Grewal, beautician. Sharing the dais, they made a pretty picture of grace. What was more — even as they talked of their respective struggles, a line of consensus emerged.

Ms Cheema talked dignity, the ideal she reflects in plenty. She put together bits of her life to narrate her journey from the “unknown” wife of a known bureaucrat to the principal of a premiere institution. In every word she uttered, Ms Cheema wove concern for the students and their future.

Dr Mangala Dogra’s observations on the need of sex education in schools and response to inquisitive children’s queries went well with the listeners.

Interaction with Ms Sarin’s hinged entirely on her work in the Blood Bank Society, of which she talked today. Reaching out to the women at CII’s conference hall, she appealed to them for blood donation so that precious lives could be saved. Reference was also made to the new Blood Centre which is coming up in Sector 37 and to the need of collecting funds for the same.

Ms Neena Singh confirmed to the women that banking was not more difficult than running a house. You pay a price in terms of family time if you want to succeed, but that is it. “I don’t think womanhood is a limitation to progress, nor did I ever feel inhibited in my journey thinking that I was travelling along with men,” she said. Neelu Grewal’s small speech was soft, as was expected to be.


Body confuses cops
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Notwithstanding the medical opinion of forensic experts that the unidentified body brought to the GMCH, Sector 32 on March 2, was that of a male, police confusion over its sex is giving anxious moments to the hospital authorities as the body is still lying in a badly decomposed form in its mortuary.

Baffled by the letter sent to them by Sector 34 police station officials, the GMCH authorities did not know how and why the police had (mis)taken it to be the body of a woman, when it had been established that it was of a male. In fact, the police information performa signed by a police official when the body was brought to the GMCH at 7. 45 p.m on March 2, clearly stated that it was a male body brought dead.

In fact the Forensic Medicine Department had also raised this question about the confusion over the sex of the body in a letter written to the MS today. The office of the Medical Superintendent, GMCH, had been sending repeated reminders to the Sector 34 police station to take a decision in this regard at the earliest.

In a letter dated March 12 and signed by ASI Ramesh Singh, the GMCH authorities had been asked to keep the body for a few more days as Constable Narender Kumar had been sent to the native village of the woman in Bihar, falling under Sitki Police Station to get in touch with the family of the woman.

It was from the documents found on the body that the hospital staff had got to know these details about the deceased’s identity. The same letter was learnt to have been forwarded to the police, yet the confusion remained about mistaken identity and gender of the body.

The MS, Dr Raj Bahadur, could not be contacted as he was away to Delhi.


Greater the loss, greater the producer
Jaspal Bhatti’s

THE Hindi film industry has suffered a massive loss of 290 crores for the year 2002. The beginning of 2003 doesn’t look too promising either. The question is who is to be blamed? An intelligent producer can either blame ‘‘time’’ (“time bahut kharab chal raha hai”) or blame the audience (“audience ka taste hi kharab hai”). They should never admit that the basic proposal was itself a blunder. They should never reveal that they were shooting for the film without a basic script.

Out of the 132 films released last year, most of them were disasters. The biggest losers have been the distributors and exhibitors. If you ask the distributor of the film “Dum” he will say, “Is film ne mera dum nikaal diya”. Exhibitors of “Khushi” are heard saying, “Mere ghar ki khushian chali gayin”. The distributors of “Badhai ho Badhai” were crying “Duhai ho duhai”. Those doing business of Ram Gopal Verma’s “Road” were virtually on the road (“Business fail hone ki vajeh se, road par aa gaye”). When Hrithik Roshan asks any producer, distributor “Mujse Dosti Karoge?”, he folds his hands, “Nahin, bahut ho gayee”.

Last year suddenly the patriotic fervour erupted in the film industry and they churned out five films on the life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. In the process several producers, distributors and exhibitors were martyred. Bankruptcy of ideas is the last thing our producers will admit as a reason for their failure.

Today the producer who can suffer a great loss is considered great. A 13-crore loss-bearer has more respect than the one who has suffered a loss of only 3 crores. I sympathised with one such producer, “Sir, I am sorry to hear you suffered a loss of 4 crores in your last film”. He thundered at me, “Don’t underestimate me.... I have incurred a loss of more than 8 crores, my dear!”


Cops trained to manage stress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A discussion on “Police station management and stress management” was organised at Central Detective Training School in Sector 36 here today.

Mr V.K. Kapoor, a former ADGP of Haryana, who was the main speaker, said since police personnel had to undergo a lot of stress due to prolonged duty hours, managing stress was required. The participants, which included police personnel from police departments of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, were given training on methods to keep stress under control.

Mr B.N.S. Negi, Director of Central Training Detective School, spoke on management of police stations. A lecture on media-police relations was also organised on the occasion.


HUDA extends last date

Panchkula, March 13
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has extended the last date for receiving applications for allotment of general category plots in Panchkula from March 14 to April 17. A total of 100 plots (four marla, six marla, 10 marla, 14 marla, two kanal and one kanal) have been offered in Sectors 12-A, 19 and Mansa Devi Complex Sector 4. TNS


Priest commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A 23-year-old priest at a Sector 22 temple, Subash Chander Panoli, committed suicide by hanging himself in a rented room in the sector. His body was found lying on the floor by his neighbours this morning.

A neighbour of the priest, Gagandeep, who first noticed the body, said it appeared that the rope with which the priest hanged himself gave way after he was suffocated to death. The body was found with the rope around its neck.

The priest left three handwritten notes, including the suicide note. While two of the notes are addressed to his family, the third is written to the police wherein he has mentioned that he was undergoing depression due to an incurable ailment and ending his life as he could not afford the expenses of the treatment. In his note addressed to his family, he said they should not mourn his death and wished that he would take birth in the same family again.

Hailing from Tehri Garwhal, the priest is survived by his mother, wife and two children — a boy aged three years and a girl aged five months. He had gone to his native village to leave his wife and children. The neighbours said after the priest came from his village a few days ago, he was under stress after being told about a serious ailment. He had shifted to the Sector 22 house three years ago.

Another neighbour of the victim said Subash was under a lot of mental stress as he was worried about the fate of his mother and family after him. The autopsy of the deceased was done at the Sector 16 General Hospital.

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