Friday, June 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Panchkula MC gets tough with violators
Illegal construction of high-rise buildings
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
The Municipal Council here has decided to take tough measures regarding the construction of high-rise buildings in most of the 13 villages falling within the council limits.

Over 100 notices have been issued by the council to residents of at least seven villages —Bhainsa Tibba, Abheypur, Railley and Railla, Haripur and Chotta Haripur, Budanpur, Maheshpur and Bana Madanpur — where the skyline is dotted with high-rise buildings. These buildings have been constructed in violation of Sections 208 and 209 of the Haryana Municipal Act.

The Act says that no building in rural areas can be raised more than 11 feet in height.

Officials of the council inform that a survey was carried out in all these villages and the villages of Devi Nagar, Kharag Mangoli, Majri, Fatehpur Kundi, Nadda and Jaisinghpora earlier. “Even though two posts of Building Inspector and one of Assistant Town Planner have not been filled so far, complaints about a number of high-rise buildings coming up in these villages prodded us to take action against violators,” said the MC Executive Officer, Mr O.P. Sihag.

Council officials said they had done a painstaking survey of the violations as these posts were lying vacant. These posts were sanctioned by the state government almost six months back.

During a visit to these villages, The Tribune found that multi- storeyed buildings had come up, especially in the villages of Bhainsa Tibba, Abheypur, Railley and Railla. In some cases, three to four storeys have now been added on houses built several years ago. This has raised doubts that the foundations of these buildings are not fit to carry the load of multiple storeys and are thus unsafe.

With these violators unwilling to get their building plans examined by the council or pay fines for violations, the authorities have decided to take these violators to court so as to realise the fines and seek directions on the course of action to be adopted, especially in case of three storey and four storeyed buildings constructed before the Municipal Council was formed in January, 2001.



1,000 jhuggis razed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Housing Board took control of the 43 acres of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony here by removing the remaining 1,000 jhuggis in the last phase of the three-phase drive today.

The drive was led by anti-encroachment Magistrate Ishwar Singh and SDM East S.P. Arora was present to take care of the law and order situation. Around 1,000 policemen, led by five DSPs, were deputed.

The number of bulldozers deployed today were halved to five today. The drive continued for around five hours.

The Housing Board, which had set up a camp office at the site to monitor the land on which one of the biggest slums of the city was situated, immediately took up the fencing of the area to prevent the reoccupation of the land.

Most of the residents were seen removing their belongings as bulldozers reached their houses. Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration, after scrutinising claims of slum-dwellers of the colony, has finalised a list of 125 persons who are eligible under the rehabilitation policy. A total of 1,496 persons had applied to the Deputy Commissioner, claiming that they were eligible under the rehabilitation scheme.



Panel on need-based house alterations formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today constituted a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner with one representative each of two major political parties, besides the Chief Town Planner and Chief Fire Officer as members. The committee would identify need-based constructions in the backyards of various houses, including those constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board.

The committee has been asked to seek suggestions from various residents’ welfare associations in this regard. It has been asked to submit the plan for each category of houses approved by it at the earliest. More than 30,000 middle-income group houses are to come under the purview of the committee.

Taking up the issue of encroachment of service area by various houses seriously, the Administrator has stated that the Sub-Divisional Magistrates would launch a formal enquiry in their respective areas to fix the accountability of various officials who had allowed these encroachments. After the accountability of various officials is fixed strict action would be taken against them.

The Administrator added that in future the demolition of slums will take place only after slum dwellers, who are eligible for rehabilitation as on the cut off date of December 8, 1996, have been identified.

As per the directions of the Administrator, eligible persons should be offered flats or plots at the time when demolition was taken up, said a spokesperson of the Administration.

Justice Verma also directed the Chandigarh Housing Board to construct sufficient numbers of lower income group (LIG) units so that the general public, including ineligible squatters, could apply for such houses. However, dwelling units, meant for these squatters would be constructed on priority and only surplus dwelling units could be sold in the open market, including those for ineligible squatters.

The committee on need-based alterations in houses in the city will have Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress and Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the BJP, as its members.


Firing in Mohali, case registered
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 19
A group of persons resorted to firing in front of two houses in the town here late last night. The assailants also broke the windowpanes of the houses apart from threatening the occupants.

It is reported that the assailants, who were about nine to 10 in number, came in two cars carrying a revolver and swords. They fired in the air in front of houses in Phase IX and Phase XI.

It is learnt that a case under Section 326 of the IPC was already registered against one of the assailants for causing grievous injury to a resident of Phase XI, Mr Swarnjit Singh’s last year. The fight had taken place in Phase X. Mr Swaranjit Sing’s friend, Mr Amandeep Singh, a resident of Phase IX, was a witness to the crime.

It is reported that one of the assailants, Dhirajpal Singh, had asked Mr Amandeep Singh not to give a statement in the court as a witness to the crime that took place last year. But he latter presented himself before the court and gave a statement against Dhirajpal Singh and his companions.

Last night the assailants went to the houses of Mr Swaranjit Singh and Mr Amandeep Singh and threatened their fathers apart from abusing them. Mr Amandeep Singh alleged that the assailants had made an attempt on his life but the shot that was aimed at him hit the door.

The SP, Mr H.S. Bhullar, said that on the complaint of Mr Amandeep Singh a case under Sections 307, 452, 506, 148 of the IPC had been registered against the guilty. He said the police had raided the houses of Dhirajpal Singh, Satinder Pal Singh, Aman and Gulu, all residents of this town, but they had absconded. 


CT scan at GMCH still a distant dream
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The four-year-long wait of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) for a CT scan machine may prove to be much longer, as the entire process for acquiring the equipment is to be started all over again.

The final decision in this regard would now be taken by the UT Administration. “We are now awaiting the final decision of the Administration that will either grant permission for floating fresh tenders or will provide us Rs 1.50 crore for buying the machine on our own,” said Dr Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent, GMCH.

The decision to start the process afresh follows the refusal of the private party, which was to install the machine, to reduce the price of the individual scan for the patients. “Following the cost revision of the machine after sops were announced by the Finance Minister, we had asked the party to bring down the cost per scan, to which it did not agree,” said Dr Bahadur.

With the process of installation of a CT scan machines at the GMCH and the General Hospital being delayed for more than three years, patients face a lot of inconvenience as they have to rush to either the PGI or some private diagnostic centre in case of an emergency.

Sources said the private party had refused cost revision on the plea that apart from an increase in the value of dollar, the firm which had initially agreed to provide a Rs 20-lakh tube for free had now backed out. As such, despite a cut of about 35 per cent in duty, the private party did not agree to reduce the cost of a head CT scan from Rs 650, as negotiated earlier.

The process of acquiring a CT scan machine for the GMCH was initiated in 1999, when a request was made to Mr L.K. Advani, who was in the city for the inauguration of the E-Block of the GMCH, for granting equipment to the institute.

Ever since, the issue remained embroiled in controversy following the decision to allow private parties to install and run the machine on the hospital premises. “It was after a long wait that a final decision was arrived at regarding the CT scan rates etc., but with the latest Budget announcements the issue is back where it was four years ago,” said a senior doctor.

Following the Budget announcements, the UT Health Department has already decided to float fresh tenders for the installation of a CT scan machine. “At a time when we were almost sure of the installation of the machine, the whole process has been jeopardised and now it will be another long wait for the patients,” lamented a doctor.

With fresh tenders to be floated and negotiations with the parties concerned being a lengthy process, the patients rushing to the GMCH and the General Hospital will have to face disappointment as the facility is still a distant dream.


No end to water woes for now
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, June 19
Fill your buckets and drums. Water supply to different parts of the city will remain affected for another two or three days due to the bursting of the main supply line near Maloya village.

Though the repair work is in the last stage, it will take another about 48 hours for normal supply to be resumed, sources in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh say.

Till then, water pressure, as well as the supply, will remain low in the entire city, sources reveal. Explaining the reason, they assert that the reservoirs are being filled.

The situation, they add, is actually bad as water stored for emergency purposes has been used upto quite some extent to meet the water requirements of the city. The supply has been affected for over 40 hours due to the damage, they reveal. The worse affected are those residing on top floors.

The sources assert that the supply line from the Kajauli waterworks in Sector 39, supplying water to the city, was damaged on Monday. Giving details, authorities of the corporation reveal that the rising main was damaged while the labourers were working on the fourth phase augmentation scheme.

This is the second time in less than a fortnight that water gushed out of the pipeline. In the first week of June, another supply line had developed a crack near the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Sector 12. Sources assert, “It was nothing compared to the damage this time”.

After the first incident, an inquiry was ordered by MC Commissioner M.P. Singh. On-the-spot surveys were conducted by senior MC officials, including the Commissioner, before a report was prepared and repair work initiated.

Confirming the information, Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, said the supply was further affected due to disruption of power supply.

“As a result of power disruption, the tubewells pumping water could not function to their maximum capacity for quite some time, further affecting the supply,” the Chief Engineer elaborated.

Chandigarh, he added, was suffering from water shortage. “At present, the requirement of water in summer is 90 mgd, while the water supply is just 65 mgd”, he said.

The problem, the Chief Engineer asserted, would be resolved to a large extent with the fourth phase of the Kajauli waterworks becoming operational after about two years. “Till then, we are trying improve the supply by cutting down on wastage,” he claimed.

Mr Bhardwaj added: “A ban on watering of lawns and washing of vehicles has been ordered in the morning hours. This is not all. We will also be reducing water wastage by installing new linings and valves. Colonies are also being bypassed”.


4 Architecture Department officials booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Economic Offence Wing of the Chandigarh Police has registered a case of embezzlement of funds against at least four officials of the Department of Architecture, Haryana. The case has been registered after over a month-long investigations on a complaint made by the department regarding embezzlement.

According to information, a test audit conducted in the department in 2001 had revealed embezzlement of around Rs 18 lakh. In the audit report, the finger of suspicion had been pointed at an architect, Mr P.K. Nanda, and other officials. The findings, along with a complaint, were forwarded to the Inspector-General of the Chandigarh Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, who had sent it to the Economic Offence Wing.

A police official said a case under Sections 420, 467 and 468 of the IPC had been registered against four officials on the basis of a complaint of the department.


Zoo may acquire white tigers
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), June 19
In view of the birth of a white cub to a Royal Bengal tigress, the Chhat Bir Zoo authorities have decided to keep a round-the-clock vigil on the new born cubs and other pregnant tigresses.

At the same time the authorities are working on a project for procuring white tigers from other zoos in the country for the pairing of the white big cats so that a pure White Tiger Safari could be established here in the near future.

To tackle the problem of Royal Bengal tigers, the zoo management has decided to stop further breeding so that their number could be kept down to a manageable level.

The zoo authorities told The Tribune that the veterinary doctor employed with the village dispensary had been directed to monitor the activities of the white cub. In addition to this, two more veterinary doctors had been put on duty to examine the “new attraction” thrice a week.

Wildlife Warden Neeraj Gupta said there were plans to procure more white tigers from other zoos for the proper pairing of the white cub. A separate enclosure would be constructed for white tigers only.

To add more white tigers as an attraction, white tigers would be bred with the white population of brown Royal Bengal tigers.

The Tribune team saw four staff members on exclusive duty at the enclosure housing the white cub. A desert cooler had been fitted and keeper Karnail Singh was guarding the house.

The fiercely protective mother, Glory, roared menacingly and pounced upon Tribune lensman Karam Singh. But later it cooled down, and allowed him to click photographs.


Bhardwaj gets judicial remand
Our Correspondent

After a local court remanded Bhardwaj in judicial custody in a corruption case registered against him by the CBI, the UT police today formally arrested him in a case of escaping from the CBI custody. He was later bailed out in the case. As surety bond were not furnished, he was remanded in judicial custody till July 3 in the case. 

Chandigarh, June 19
Acting on an application moved by suspended Judicial Magistrate S. S Bhardwaj’s counsel to initiate contempt proceeding against the CBI for producing Bhardwaj late in the court in violation of the court order, a local court today issued a notice to the CBI to file a reply in the case by July 3.

Meanwhile, following the failure of the CBI to show any fresh ground for seeking Bhardwaj’s further custody, a local court today remanded him in judicial custody till July 3.

Bhardwaj was produced in the court of the UT Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Harbhajan Dass, who, after hearing the arguments of both parties, remanded him in the judicial custody.

As soon as Bhardwaj was produced in the court around 3.40 pm, defence counsel moved a contempt application stating that the CBI had violated the court order by producing him late in the court.

Following defence counsel’s plea, the ACJM asked the DSP (CBI), Mr R. Upasak, why the CBI produced Bhardwaj late in the court. Mr Upasak said the delay occurred as he was busy in solving some tedious points in the case.

Bhardwaj’s counsel said while remanding Bhardwaj in the CBI custody yesterday, the court had stated in the order that he should be produced in the court before 3 pm on June 19. But the CBI produced him late, which was in violation of the court order, therefore, the contempt proceeding should be initiated against the CBI.

Thereafter, senior CBI counsel sought three-day police custody of Bhardwaj on the plea that he was not cooperating with the investigating agency and was changing his statement regularly. He said earlier Bhardwaj had claimed that he had thrown his mobile phone into a nullah at Nada Sahib in Himachal Pradesh, but of last he had changed his statement.

Arguing his case, Bhardwaj stated that he had no mobile phone and the mobile phone used by him had already been given to the CBI.

Meanwhile, after being remanded in the judicial custody, Bhardwaj was lodged in the special security ward in the Model Burail Jail, along with Jalandhar’s suspended District and Sessions Judge R.M. Gupta, former UT Home Secretary N.K. Jain and a BSF officer, this evening.

He was brought to the jail around 6 pm. All four senior officers, including Bhardwaj and Gupta, have been lodged in half portion of the old court room in the jail under special security arrangement. They will be sharing similar facilities. The other portion of the court is meant for the UT Free Legal Aid Cell.

Following the arrival of the VIPs, the jail authorities have fixed different times for their relatives to meet them. R.M. Gupta’s relatives can meet him between 10 am and 11 am, in N.K. Jain’s case the timing will be between 2.30 pm to 3 pm and in case of S.S. Bhardwaj the hearing will be between 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

The Superintendent of the jail, Mr D.S. Rana, said all four officers had been lodged together due to security reasons.


Parking in corridors: police to launch challaning drive
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Challaning of vehicles parked in the corridors of buildings in city commercial centres is on the cards. The Chandigarh Police will be challaning the motorists who “wrongly” park their vehicles in the corridors of commercial buildings.

The tendency among the motorists to wrongly park their vehicles at places near their areas of work would be discouraged, said a senior police official.

Initially, the drive would begin in Sector 17, before being extended to other centres, he said. The problem of wrong parking in the rear corridors of showrooms was also visible in the Sectors 34, 7, 8, 9 and 26. The violators would have to pay a fine of Rs 100 for wrong parking, besides charges for towing away of their vehicles — Rs 100 for a two-wheeler, and Rs 200 for a four-wheeler.

Officials in the traffic police said that the exact date for launching the drive was yet to be finalised. But it was expected to start soon after the current drive to streamline flow of traffic in the paid-parking lot facing the 30 Bays Building was over. Sources in the department said men and machinery had been deployed in front of the said building after it was noticed that vehicles were parked there haphazardly, thus obstructing the flow of traffic.

Earlier, the traffic police had carried out a drive to check wrong parking of vehicles in the paid-parking lots in front of Neelam Cinema and the Chandigarh Medical Centre (CMC). The contractor managing the paid parking in Sector 17 had also been asked to restrict the number of vehicles as per the available parking slots in the parking zone concerned.

To solve the problem of wrong parking, the corporation had been asked to issue unnumbered tokens so that the staff of the contractor had a fair idea of the available parking slots. The traffic police has now segregated the parking space for four-wheelers and two-wheelers.

Traffic messages to be flashed on FM radio: The motorists plying on the city roads will now be able to listen to traffic messages, information them about the special drives and traffic diversions on FM radio. The Chandigarh Traffic Police has tied up with a service provider to air its messages. The service is expected to start soon, according to a senior police official. 


Mystery shrouds death of SDO’s wife
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
Mystery shrouds the death of the wife of Mr Om Prakash, a Subdivisional Officer of the Housing Board, Haryana. The victim, Rani, 42, had died while she was being rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, this afternoon.

Though Rani’s family members maintained that she died of heart attack, the police suspected that it was a case of suicide. When the victim’s family was trying to cremate her, the police intervened and the body was sent for a post-mortem examination.

Earlier, when the victim was declared brought dead, her family immediately brought her body home and began preparing for the last rites. By this time, the police was informed by the hospital authorities about the mysterious death of the woman and it rushed to the victim’s house.

Though the woman’s two children told the police that they found her lying unconscious in a bathroom of their Sector 14 house, the doctors who examined her at the hospital spotted strangulation marks on her throat.

The police said some relatives of the victim had been called and the truth would be ascertained after the post-mortem examination tomorrow. 


No city police officer for Afghan mission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
All six IPS officers serving with the Chandigarh Police have either refused or do not qualify for an offer from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan to serve in the war-ravaged country.

An offer to serve as Police Advisers with the UN peacekeeping mission was forwarded by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The officers have explained their position to their superiors. The same had been communicated to the Chandigarh Administration.

Sources said two of the officers, who fulfilled the conditions, had refused to accept the offer. As part of the restructuring of network in the war-ravaged Afghanistan, there was a request for Police Advisers who could plan and implement the civilian police mandate. Another offer to send women police officers remains unfulfilled as there are no woman IPS officer with the city police. According to information, batches of Afghan police officials had attended training courses at the Central Detective Training School (CDTS) here in July last. The visitors had interacted with Indian police officers.


Temperatures stay below normal

Chandigarh, June 19
After heavy rain lashed the region, maximum temperature today plummeted by up to eight degrees, even as many places in Himachal Pradesh received showers.

The city witnessed a partially cloudy day today and the maximum temperature dropped by six degrees here to settle at 32.6 degrees Celsius.

Ambala was cooler by six degrees at a high of 34 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological Department here.

Patiala was down eight at 32.4 degrees Celsius, Ludhiana at 34 degrees Celsius was down seven while the Amritsar was cooler by three degrees at a high of 37.8 degrees Celsius.

Shimla was the coolest place in the region recording a two degrees below normal high at 21.7 degrees Celsius after receiving light showers during the day while Sundernagar at 32.1 degrees Celsius and Bhuntar at 29.1 degrees Celsius, were among some other cooler towns in Himachal Pradesh.

Rain lashed many towns in Himachal Pradesh with Rampur being lashed by 8.4 mm. Pandoh (0.5 mm), Sunni (1.0 mm), Manali (2 mm), Solangh Nullah (15 mm), Dhundi (5 mm), also received some showers. — PTI


He requires Rs 1.5 lakh for heart surgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
As if eking out a living under the shadow of militancy was not enough of a task, Muhammad Sharif (36) from the Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir, has a new task at hand. Barely able to fend for his family comprising a wife and four children, he requires Rs 1.50 lakh for heart surgery.

Living in the gurdwara at the PGI, for the past two months, doctors have asked Sharif to arrange Rs 1.50 lakh for the heart surgery and valve replacement, which must be performed at the earliest to save his life. “Being a poor farmer from Daran Dullian in Poonch district, it is impossible for him to collect Rs 1.50 lakh. He does not have money even to contact his family back home,” points out the doctors treating Sharif.

It was the Jammu and Kashmir Government which came to the rescue of Sharif, when Rs 50,000 was granted for his ballooning, done at the PGI in 2001. “Prior to this, I underwent heart surgery at a hospital in Delhi in 1996, for which money was contributed by relatives,” he says.

He says with militancy having shattered the Jammu and Kashmir economy, nor his five brothers neither any relatives are in a position to help. “In fact, had it not been for my relatives, who are feeding and taking care of family, they would have died of starvation,” he explains. With ministers and other functionaries of the state government moving around under heavy security, his efforts to seek their help also did not yield any results.

Suffering from breathlessness and chest pain, even at the slightest physical activity, he spends sleepless nights in a corner of a room at the Gurdwara, as he is losing out hope. “Only if some organisation or kind-hearted person comes forward with financial help can my life be saved, on which depends the fate of five of my family members,” he laments.

People in Jammu and Kashmir are looking forward to the return of normalcy following the healing touch by the Mufti government, but for Sharif and his family, these are hard times. All those keen to help Sharif can get in touch with him either personally at the PGI gurdwara or through the Public Relations Officer, PGI, at telephone number 747585-6003.


Use solar energy

WATER flows from the mountains and reaches us to sustain life. We can say that water is life. Humans depend on it for their everyday needs.

However, due to water loss and high temperature it has been estimated that 12,000 persons die of dehydration or by heat stroke. Large parts of northern India are experiencing high temperature and poor monsoons, leading to droughts.

WE invite school students to send in original and innovative ideas on how to conserve water for publication in Chandigarh Tribune. The write-up should not exceed 300 words and should be accompanied by a passport size colour photograph.

We can use technologies like solar-water heating system instead of electric water heaters since solar energy is a renewable resource. While there is a need to increase the supply of safe drinking water and sanitation facility, we need to check the leaking of pipes and wastage of water.

At home we should collect rainwater on roofs and channelise it through pipes to the ground to replenish groundwater. Checking its wastage and using stored water rather than leaving taps running is also important.

Let us take necessary steps to manage the valuable resource and make sure the next generation is provided with adequate and quality water.

Akhil Jain, Class X, GMSSS-32


A lane or rivulet?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The earthwork for the laying of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail line has disrupted access to around 65 industrial units for a couple of days in Phase-II of Chandigarh Industrial Area. Yesterday’s downpour has added to the woes. The entire lane housing around 65 industrial units is submerged, making it impossible for the workers to go to their workplaces, Mr Satish Chopra, a worker, said.

Mr Chopra said the sand and earth from trucks carrying these for the rail line fell and got deposited near manhole covers. Now after the rain these had blocked the drainage, leading to accumulation of water.

He said even the municipal corporation staff could not clear the drainage lines. He further said before calling the municipal staff the people here had engaged a private party, but that too had expressed its inability to clear the lane.

The earthwork for the rail line was taken up around three months ago and the lane had not been used by the contractor for around two months after his contract, was over he added.


Punjab & Sind Bank officers hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Over 200 officers of Punjab and Sind Bank held a meeting here today under the leadership of Mr Nirmal Singh Virk, General Secretary, All India Punjab and Sind Bank Officers Federation (AIPSBOF). About 100 officers, led by Mr P.C. Sood and Mr A.K. Sood, who had resigned from the All India Punjab Sind Bank Officers Union, joined the AIPSBOF.

Mr N.S. Virk, General Secretary, AIPSOF, in a press note issued here today, said the federation welcomed the new members. He lauded the decision of the officers of having reposed faith and confidence in the federation.


Parents’ assurance to Radhima
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 19
Parents of Radhima, who was sent to Nari Niketan yesterday, assured their daughter today that they did not oppose the girl’s decision and were ready to marry her to the boy of her choice, but not right now, as she was a minor. They added that when she would become a major they would marry her to the boy of her choice.

They stated that a case against Rajiv had been registered at the Sector 36 police station and he had been released on bail. They further said the Solan police registered a case of kidnapping against the boy yesterday.


Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

 Mr Tilak Raj Chandigarh, June 19
Mr Tilak Raj (41), a helper in the printing section of The Tribune Trust, died on duty today.

A native of Raja ka Talab in Himachal Pradesh, he had joined The Tribune on November 1, 1988. He is survived by his mother, wife Sanjivna and two children, Vishal (7) and Henna (3).



Clothes worth Rs 10,000 destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Clothes worth around Rs 10,000 were destroyed in a fire in a cloth store in Ekta Market of Burail here tonight.

The fire was caused by an electric spark in Monica Distributors, owned by Mr Suresh Kumar, the Fire Department said.

The department sent two fire engines, which brought the fire under control within 40 minutes.


Change of address in vehicle RCs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Registration and Licensing Authority, Chandigarh, today started the process of changing addresses in the registration certificates (RCs) of vehicles.

In case of change of address in registration certificate, photograph of applicant, registration certificate, residence proof and photo copy of insurance will be required.

Report from the Deputy Commissioner Office will be required to be collected from counter number 8 by filling Form No. 33. A single copy of the from will be required in case of Chandigarh numbers. A duplicate copy of the form will be required in case of HPA Chandigarh numbers. For vehicles registered outside, form will be required in triplicate.


Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
A 55 year-old woman of Khuda Ali Sher committed suicide by consuming an insecticide in her house here today. According to information, the victim Dyal Kaur, was undergoing medical treatment at the PGI and Ropar. A police official said the family members of the deceased said she was under depression for being ill.

She was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital where she died. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

Theft: Avinash Singh, a resident of Sector 22, reported that his car was stolen from the parking of Sector 16 General Hospital. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 police station. In another case, Nagpal, a resident of Sector 23, reported that his purse containing Rs 500, some gold jewellery and driving licence was stolen from Sector 17.

In another case, Mr S.P.S. Virk, a resident of Sector 21, reported that Shiv Parsad was caught red handed while stealing Rs 1000 from his residence.

Accident: Major Sandeep Kaushal, a resident of Sector 23, who was going in a car, was hit by another car driven by Anupam Dhir, a resident of New Delhi, at the Airport Chowk. Major Sandeep said he was travelling along with his wife Ritu Kaushal, son, Uday Kaushal, sister, Monika Sharma and her sons, Nikhil and Kantik. At least 10 occupants in the two vehicles were injured in the accident. The police has registered a case under Section 279 and 337 of the IPC.


Bid to loot bank
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 19
Burglars made an attempt to loot a bank in Bakharpur village, near here, last night.

Even though the burglars managed to make an entry into the Shivalik Khetri Gramin Bank, they failed to take away any cash from there. It is reported that cash totalling about Rs 4 lakh was lying in the safe.

Four locks on the main gate of the bank were broken and thrown away in the fields nearby. The collapsable metal grill of the bank was broken with the help of an iron rod which was reportedly stolen from a shop nearby. An attempt to break open the safe was also made which proved futile.

It is learnt that the bank has two security guards and both of them come on duty during the day. There is no provision of a security guard at night.

A gunman of the bank gave the information about the incident to the branch manager and the police was also informed.

The police has directed the bank officials to make arrangements to post a security guard on night duty as well.

The burglars also broke a lock of a shop in the area and took away some bottles of soft drinks from there. They also struck at a liquor shop and decamped with eight boxes of liquor. A lock of a room on a farmhouse nearby was also broken and cash totalling about Rs 7,500 was stolen.

The cash belonged to some labourers who worked on the farmhouse and were sleeping on the roof top last night.

Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP said the police had registered a case under Sections 457, 380 and 511 of the IPC.


Mayor, lawyer quarrel, complain to police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Mayor Subhash Chawla had a quarrel with a lawyer, Mr Satbir Singh Gurpuria, last night at the Chandigarh Club. Both parties complained to the police, but later reached a compromise, police sources said.

Lawyer Anmol Ratan Sidhu, who helped the two parties reach a compromise, said the Mayor and the lawyer did not come to blows and it was only a heated argument which took political overtones. He, however, did not rule out that those accompanying the two came to blows.

Mr Chawla said Mr Gurpuria, known to him for 20 years, started making fun of him and made certain remarks against the Congress and the position he was holding.

The Mayor said he was accompanied by two councillors, including Vijay Rana and a few friends. Another councillor and Water Supply Committee chairman Pardeep Chhabra also reached the club when he came to know that there had been heated arguments between the Mayor and Mr Gurpuria.

The incident happened in the card room of the club.

“When Mr Gurpuria and I got into a heated argument my PSO intervened to maintain a distance between us but in the process Mr Gurpuria fell,” the Mayor told the Chandigarh Tribune tonight.

When asked why then the complaints were registered, the Mayor said on the spur of the moment both had approached the police but later calmed down to reach a compromise.

Mr Gurpuria said the incident was being blown out of proportion because of political reasons and both of us had been friends for around 20 years.

Mr Gurpuria played down the entire incident, saying that it was a misunderstanding, which was sorted out after a couple of hours.

The incident has, however, sparked off political criticism from his opponents within the party and the Opposition.

Meanwhile, Janata Dal (United) president Surinder Bhardwaj has asked the Mayor to tender resignation for bringing “disrepute to the high office”.

BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta said the Mayor should be immediately dismissed.

Sources in the Congress said the group opposed to the Mayor was preparing to take the matter to the All-India Congress Committee President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for pressurising the Mayor to tender his resignation.


‘Octane’ petrol launched

Chandigarh, June 19
Indian Oil Corporation launched ‘‘91 Octane’’ petrol in the city today. The oil, reinforced with world class multi-functional additives, will be available at five petrol stations — the IOC-run station in Sector 56, Kapoor filling station, Sector 21, the Sukhna filling station, Sector 28, Kaytee service station, Sector 17, and Pathania filling station Sector 34. TNS


‘Kitchen-2003’ begins at CII

Chandigarh, June 19
“Kitchen-2003”, CII’s exclusive show on the new kitchen, which opened here today, has brought to Chandigarh all ingredients for a modern, attractive and user-friendly kitchen. The four-day fair is exhibiting everything connected with kitchens and cooking. A total of 36 companies are participating in the show. TNS

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