Wednesday, July 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HUDA to allot 4,000 plots in Panchkula
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 29
Its raining plots in Panchkula. Over the next six months almost, 4000 residential plots in various sectors will be offered for allotment.
Officials in the Department of Town and Country Planning say the price for 4,469 residential plots in eight sectors here is being fixed. The plots proposed are of varying sizes between six marla to 1 kanal .

These plots on offer are in Sectors 12, 12-A, 17, 21 Part III, 23, 24, 27 and 28. While the residential plots in Sector 12 and 12-A have been carved after reclaiming land along the seasonal Singh nullah choe, a number of plots have been carved out in Sectors 23, 24, 27 and 28 on the surrendered plots of group housing societies.

It is learnt that a total of 10,000 square metres of area along the rivulet in Sector 12 and 12- A was retrieved for carving out 53 and 48 residential plots, respectively. Other than this, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) hopes to recover 5,000 square metres of area in Sector 2 and 15,000 square metres area in Sector 4 along the Singh Nullah. However, only 30 to 40 per cent of the area can be utilised for carving out residential/institutional plots.

The near total failure of group housing societies in Panchkula Extension here forced HUDA to develop the land allotted to the societies here as residential plots. The change in land use of these plots was affected last year after most allottees of the societies surrendered the plots, thus stalling the development of Panchkula Extension. Of the 139 such plots allotted in these mentioned sectors, 129 have been surrendered.

While as many as 479 residential plots have been carved out in Sector 23, which was earlier meant to have only group housing societies, 1008 new residential plots have been earmarked in Sector 27 Part I and II ( earlier 337 residential plots were marked in this sector) 1966 plots have been created in Sector 28 Part I, II and III from the land surrendered by group housing societies.

This new blueprint for Panchkula Extension has only nine group housing societies for Sector 23, 15 in Sector 24 and no society in Sector 28 Part II as compared to the earlier housing society sites totalling 24 in Sector 23, 24 in Sector 24, and 33 in Sector 28.

Other than this, almost eight acres of land in Sector 17, adjacent to the biggest slum colonies here, is being developed in order to carve out 208 residential plots and commercial sites, including three for nursing homes, five for clinic, one each for schools, a police post and dispensary.

This land has been developed as a residential and commercial area by extending the road dividing Sector 16 and 17 here so as to separate Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony from Sector 17.

This road will provide an alternate link to Chandigarh by merging with Madhya Marg at the Railway Light Point via Hallo Majra. An estimate of Rs 80. 30 lakh has been approved for the construction of this road. 



CTU first to go disabled-friendly
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
With the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) going passenger-friendly, travelling on city roads will not be a sore experience anymore. Heeding to the long-standing demand of the disabled and the aged, the CTU today added the first-ever low-floor bus to its existing fleet.

With this addition, it has become the first state transport service in North India to arm its fleet with a transport vehicle designed for the disabled and the elderly. The first semi-low floor bus, as it is called, was flagged off on the Manimajra-PGI-Manimajra route this afternoon. The bus has been procured at the cost of Rs 13.50 lakh. Four other low-floor buses will be added soon. The buses will cost the CTU about Rs 80 lakh.

The Director, Transport, Mr Amarpal, said: “We had long been concerned about making our local transport vehicles accessible and user-friendly. Our special concern is for the disabled and senior citizens who often face trouble climbing the buses that have high floors. The present vehicle is 1 foot lower than the others.

At the very outset today, the bus generated enthusiasm among the senior citizens and the disabled, who had gathered to take a test ride. Spacious than the other buses, the new bus has well-cushioned seats. It has specific entry and exit points.

To begin with, the bus will ply on the PGI route which is invariably the most frequented. For each special bus that is introduced on the city roads, an old bus will be replaced. Mr Amarpal said: “All the new buses will ply on the PGI route. The idea is to maintain the flow of vehicle on the same route so that the route is completely covered. This bus is meant mainly for the handicapped. In the new buses, we have special stairs which will further ease movement.”

The idea of replacing CTU buses with special low-floor buses was mooted about a year ago. One bus was procured on a trial basis and was run on the city roads for three months. As it generated good response, the CTU decided to procure it. While the CTU generally purchases chassis from reputed transport companies and then gets its own buses fabricated, the new vehicles have been procured directly from Tata.

The choice of route has been made keeping in mind its use. Even electric trolley buses, whenever they are introduced in the city, will first ply on this route.



VIPs’ speeding vehicles threat to common man
Nishikant Dwivedi

Mr S. Chattopadhyaya, DIG, Ludhiana, today denied that his car had rammed into an Army truck.

The DIG was driving his official car when it collided with an Army truck yesterday, leaving 23 schoolchildren in the truck injured. “Reports stating that my car rammed into the Army truck are false. Actually, the truck rammed into my car,” he alleged.

He said he was driving the Ambassador car at a slow speed while approaching the traffic inter-section to permit a public carrier to overtake a scooter.

The truck, at that time, was at quite a distance on the right side and was moving at about 60 to 70 km per hour. “I was driving the car barely at a speed of 20 to 30 km per hour at that time,” he explained.

He said the Gypsy accompanying the car was an escort vehicle and not a pilot Gypsy speeding ahead as reported by a section of the press.

“Since my security personnel took me to the PGI in an unconscious state, there was no possibility of trying to run away,” the DIG said.

He said the army personnel were using the truck as a school bus in violation of the orders of the Supreme Court.

Chandigarh, July 29
The collision between the car of a senior Punjab police officer and an Army vehicle on the road dividing Sectors 27 and 28 has raised the question if speeding vehicles carrying VIPs is not a threat to the common man.

Although it is common knowledge that traffic cops often spare vehicles of VIPs violating traffic rules, the Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Chandigarh, claims that the police strictly adheres to rules laid down under the Motor Vehicle Act.

We do not spare anybody found violating the rules, claims the SP, adding: “we have challaned a large number of vehicles of VIPs.”

A cross-section of people interviewed in the city reveals that most people perceive a risk to their lives from speeding vehicles of VIPs.

The Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla says: often vehicles carrying VIPs with Z Plus security are allowed to speed it away but this should be reviewed in view of the threat it poses to the security of the common man”.

Wing Commander D.P. Sabharwal (retd) says there should be norms for VIPs more so for senior police officers, as they should set an example for others. If they have to make laws and enforce these, they should not break these.

“High speed for security vehicle should not be allowed to pose a threat to the people,” says Ms Ninu Malhotra, a PU research scholar.

Mr B.K. Sood, and exserviceman from Panchkula favours speed norms for VIPs’ vehicles.

Prof Charanjit Chawla of S.G.S Khalsa College, Sector 26, says that law is same for everybody. “Cops on traffic duty, instead of challaning vehicles of VIPs in traffic violations, salute them”.

A former Joint Secretary, Panjab University Campus Students Council, Nishu Dubey, alleges that police issues challans to youth for overspeeding, but the same does not stand good for cars of ministers.

BJP demands action: The local unit of Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded an inquiry against the DIG whose car was involved in an accident with an Army truck on the traffic light points of Sectors 27 and 28 yesterday.

The BJP has demanded arrest and strict action against the DIG. In a statement to the press, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, president of the unit, also demanded compensation from the Punjab Government for students injured in the accident.

He said if no action was taken against the errant officer, the legal cell of the BJP would take the matter in court. 



New rules make honours degree tougher 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Aimed at enhancing the academic importance of the degree of honours at the undergraduate level, Panjab University has decided that a candidate should have scored at least 50 per cent in the aggregate of all three years to qualify for the degree.

Earlier, there was no such condition. There were instances when graduates passing in third division procured the honours degree. Prof R.D. Anand, a fellow, had sought changes in the university rules to “incorporate serious conditions for lending more grace to the degree”.

A recommendation in this regard has been made by a committee comprising Prof R.J. Hans Gill, the Dean, University Instructions, Prof Ramesh Kapoor, Dean, College Development Council, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Professor Anand, Prof S.M.Handa, Prof Deepak Manmohan and Mr A.R.Bhandari, Joint Controller of Examination.

It will be submitted to the senate for final approval.

In addition, the candidates will now be required to secured at least 40 per cent marks in each paper. Interestingly, honours students have been granted a compartment chance, but only in case of one paper in the annual examination.

Following a resolution moved by Prof Charanjit Chawla, it was decided earlier this year that “students who could not pass honours in the 2002 annual examination but had secured at least 50 per cent marks in the relevant general course be given one consecutive special chance to be availed in the next April-May annual examination after passing BA III”.

The university calendar had to be amended for the purpose.

Prof R.D. Anand had at a meeting sought that separate qualifying marks in the second and third year of honours school be fixed. He had also sought data concerning the total candidates who had appeared in the honours school of arts, science and commerce stream in April-May 2002.

Out of 1,322 candidates who appeared in the arts and science streams in the final year, as many as 136 were found having failed. 



Army loses lakhs in rent recovery
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Headquarters Western Command has incurred a loss aggregating to about Rs 30 lakh on account of its failure to recover rent for land and premises leased to private parties for undertaking commercial activities in two military stations.

Official reports state that a building covering an area of approximately 900 square metres was leased for commercial activity in Chandimandir, near here, under the authority of the Defence Estates Officer (DEO), Chandigarh.

The authorities concerned, however, failed to realise rent for the past five years. Audit records reveal that the commercial rent recoverable from the leasee in terms of extant instructions worked out to Rs 15.83 lakh.

In the second case, 1,344 square metres of land in Jalandhar, under the jurisdiction of the DEO, Jalandhar, was allotted to several private parties. While the commercial rent aggregating to Rs 24.29 lakh was leviable, only Rs 10.16 lakh was recovered by the authorities, thereby resulting in a revenue loss of Rs 14.13 lakh.

The reports, however, do not give the reasons for non-recovery of the stipulated rent.

According to instructions issued by the Defence Ministry, the money realised from the lease of shopping complexes constructed on defence land out of public fund or defence land leased to private organisations for commercial use is to be credited to government accounts.

The Cantonment Land Administration Rules (CLAR) require, among other things, that lease shall be subject to annual rent which shall be fixed as per provisions stipulated in the CLAR and shall be liable for revision.

Audit scrutiny or records have repeatedly pointed out instances of non-execution of lease agreements, non-renewal of leases and non-levy of appropriate rent for commercial use of defence land and buildings. Gross misuse of defence land for unauthorised purposes and non-recovery of rent damages have also been revealed.



She uses art for social uplift
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Only a few disciples begin their introduction with that of their gurus. Sharon Lowen is one among them. The elegant USA born, who stayed back in India to discover the purpose of life in the Indian classical dance traditions, credits her success to the celebrated tutelage, especially that of the doyen of Odissi classical dance Pt Kelucharan Mahapatra, who made her see the richness of the north eastern dance tradition.

Engaged in the promotion of Manipuri, Odissi and Chhau, Sharon is among the few artists who have used art for social uplift. Her commitment is reflected in the benefit concerts she holds for disabled kids. She has worked for Deepalaya, an NGO helping slum children in Delhi and for Akshaypratisthan, an institute for the handicapped. She now plans to establish a Centre for Art without Frontiers and also visit Kuwait in September for another benefit concert for Deepalaya.

In the city to conduct a five-day workshop in Odissi and Chhau, Sharon talked to The Tribune about the joy of sharing art. “Some of my best works have been with these disabled kids. There is no joy comparable to the joy of sharing art with them.” A Fulbright and Smithsonian scholar, with an MA in Dance from the University of Michigan, Sharon arrived in India in 1973 to learn Manipuri. Odissi and Chhau followed thereafter.

Fortunate to have Pt Kelucharan Mahapatra, the reigning master of the classical Odissi dance tradition over the past half-century, as her guru, Sharon found herself imbued with the richness of Indian tradition, which she never felt like leaving. She admits, “I have been fortunate to have gurus like Thangjam Chaoba Singh for Manipuri, Krishna Chandra Naik for Mayurbhanj Chhau and Kedarnath Sahoo for Seraikella Chhau. When I switched over, it was not because I was deficient in a certain form but because I was ready to learn another.”

Looking every inch an Indian and talking Indian, Sharon expressed fondness for the traditions that bind Indian dances.

Drawn by lyricism, Sharon was led into Odissi and Chhau. As she grew from one tradition to another, learning to connect, she found herself compatible to interpret dance texts. She says, “Manipuri, Odissi and Chhau share lyricism in movement. Having learnt the arts, I could interpret text, its general and poetic meaning. It’s not always important to know the language. Understanding of the structure is enough.” Sharon’s most striking dance pieces have been “The five heroines of Kalidas, produced in Sanskrit for Doordarshan and “Sindhu Ke Swar”, the dance of three rivers for Sindhu Darshan Ladakh Festival in 2002.

Recalls Sharon: “Odissi, Bharata Natyam and mohiniattam were performed by myself, Shobana and Deepti Bhalla, respectively. We danced in the backdrop of Sindhu. The aesthetics was enhanced by the 210-foot painting of mountains created by Naresh Kapuria.” Sharon has also created some fine pieces with Meera bhajans.

“I love playing Meera when she is full of joy. Some of her bhajas amaze me with their strength. She is never pining for love. She is always in command.” There have, however, been occasions when Sharon could not create what she wanted. “I wanted to use the erotic mysticism of Bengal for my works, but I was suggested that it could get controversial. The project was shelved,” said the scholar.



Chandigarh IT Club is born
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
What is billed as the first Information Technology Club for professionals in this part of the country, has become operational in Chandigarh.
Set up under the aegis of the Society for the Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC), a subsidiary of the Department of Information Technology, UT Administration, the Chandigarh IT Club is patterned on bodies like “Coffee Drinkers Association of IT Professionals” operating in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.

“Our main objective is to spread the IT culture in this part of the country,” said Mr Vivek Atray, Chief Executive Officer of SPIC and Director, IT, Chandigarh, in an interview with TNS. “IT may not be as popular here as it is in cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad but slowly and surely a change is coming about. Therefore, time has come to erase the impression that the only culture people of the region know is agriculture.”

The establishment of an IT park in Chandigarh is beginning to give a new image to the City Beautiful. “It is going to be a world-class facility in which IT giants like Infosys and GE Capital have already evinced interest. It is, therefore, only a matter of time before Chandigarh comes on the world IT map. Already, there are signs that Chandigarh is evoking a countrywide interest from IT professionals. Earlier, it was seldom, if ever, would an IT professional like to travel from the South to Chandigarh to take up a job here. Now the city has already acquired a few.”

At a recent meeting of the Chandigarh IT Club, a south Indian IT professional regaled the audience, composed mostly of north Indians, with his experiences of operating in what he described as a “strange” north Indian city like Chandigarh. IT scene the world over is changing very rapidly. Therefore, the rate of obsolescence is also very fast. If an IT professional does not keep himself abreast of the latest developments in the field, he is likely to be left behind. The club, says Mr Atray, provides an ideal forum to IT professionals to meet periodically and exchange ideas and update on the latest developments in the field of IT. “Our emphasis is more on professional activities rather than the social activities which take a backseat.”

The club at present has about 80 members, mostly IT professionals from Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula. “But we are now going to expand our membership by inviting applications from IT professionals in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The club also has a website which can be accessed at for more information,” says Mr Atray. 



Does UT police know Bhullar’s whereabouts?

Chandigarh, July 29
The UT Police appears to be ignorant about the whereabouts of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar, who was awarded the death penalty by a Delhi court and has since been in the news extensively. While it is now public knowledge that he is currently lodged in Tihar Jail, the Chandigarh police continues to provide his old address in Punjab to the court for issue of summons in a bomb blast case that took place in 1991.

The address of Bhullar provided by the UT police while filing a challan in a local court on April 30 reads as — Davinder Singh Bhullar, resident of Dayal Pura, District Bathinda. Police records further state that he has not been arrested in the case yet.

Six persons, including Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar who was sentenced to death for his involvement to kill Mr M.S. Bitta, a former President of the All India Youth Congress have been facing trial in a local court for their alleged involvement in carrying out a blast in the city to eliminate former UT SSP Sumedh Singh Saini in 1991.

As per the prosecution, the accused had hatched a conspiracy to kill Mr Saini. Mr Saini barely escaped the attempt on his life, when his vehicle was blown up by a car bomb in Sector-17 at about 2.35 pm. It was alleged that Davinder Singh Bhullar along with others had hatched the conspiracy in Sector 18.

The UT police had filed a challan against six persons levelling charges of murder and attempt to murder. The case will be coming for hearing tomorrow in a local court.



Fill quota seats from other states, UT urges Centre
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Trying to find a way around a legal matter which is preventing the Chandigarh Administration from filling vacancies under the reserved quota, the Administration has sought permission from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to fill vacant posts with a rider that the “appointment is subject to a final decision of the Supreme Court”.

This means if the ministry gives permission, the Administration will be able to fill posts from among candidates who may belong to other states also. A controversy has been holding back the entire process for the past two years. Questions are being raised if it is mandatory for the Administration to fill the reserved quota from among the Chandigarh domicile candidates or it can consider people from other states. The matter is pending before the Supreme Court since 2002. A high-level meeting between the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, and the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma was held recently and a positive, response is expected soon, well-placed sources said.

Inducting faculty for Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has also been hanging fire. The other institutions that have been suffering on accounts of this are Punjab Engineering College and colleges of Chandigarh.

A letter of the Administration says, “This has already created a problem thus adversely affecting the functioning of the institutions. The candidates concerned are also undergoing tension and hardship”. It further states that under these circumstances, it may be appropriate if such reserved category candidates selected by the UPSC are allowed to be issued appointment letters, with the stipulation that the appointment is subject to a final decision of the Supreme Court with regard to a special leave petition (SLP).

The SLP was filed on the directions of the MHA against a judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had upheld a decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), saying that the reserved category candidates from other states were also eligible to seek appointments against the reserved category vacancies in Chandigarh. Since then not a single hearing has been held in the Supreme Court.

The Chandigarh Administration is facing a serious problem with regard to the filling of vacancies of Class I and Class II officers by candidates recommended by the UPSC. In the past two years, the Administration has appointed all reserved category candidates recommended by the UPSC irrespective of their state of origin. However, for the first time the problem arose in a case pertaining to the recruitment of ASIs in the Chandigarh police.

The ministry, after several rounds of discussions and correspondence, conveyed to the Administration that even in respect of UPSC recommendations, the candidates belonging to other states should not be appointed until the matter was decided by the apex court.



Contractor fails to check stray animal menace
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 29
The problem of stray animals here persists even after the work to free the town from the menace had been given on contract by the Municipal Council about three months ago.

One still comes across a large number of stray animals on the main roads as well as on the inner roads which not only leads to traffic hazards, but also results in accidents.

The contractor was to free the town from the stray animals by transporting these out of the area. The work was allotted to a private party by the civic body on May 8.

The civic body is not satisfied with the performance of the contractor and four notices had been issued to him in this regard by the council in the past 15 days. In the notices it had been pointed out that a large number of stray animals were still found in different areas of the town and the contractors was violating condition numbers 6 and 7 of the agreement.

Out of the four notices issued by the council, the first was issued on July 14. It was pointed out in the notice that the contractor was not doing his work properly and 237 heads of stray cattle were found roaming in different parts of the town. The second notice was issued on July 18 in which it was again pointed out that during checking 93 heads of stray cattle were found in the town.

Seeing no improvement in the situation, the council again issued a notice to the contractor on July 21 saying that 20 stray animals were found in Phase X. Another notice was issued on July 25. It pointed out that 107 stray animals were found in different parts of the town during checking.

The contractor has been replying to the notices taking one plea or the other. Replying to the notice issued on July 25, he said the work had been allotted to him for one year and he could not show a marked improvement in a short span. His staff was catching stray animals and transporting these out of the town. He was not violating any condition of the agreement, he had claimed.

Mr Sarbajit Singh, Additional Executive Officer of the civic body, said the contractor had not been able to provide relief from stray animals to the extent expected by the council. He said the work was being done half-heartedly. About 20 days ago, the council staff had caught 60 stray animals from Sectors 70 and 71, he said.

The council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, admitted that the work of the contractor was not satisfactory, but, he said, efforts were on to free the town from the menace of stray animals. He said if the contractor failed to improve his services, the council would be compelled to cancel the contract.

To tackle the problem of stray animals in the town the council had decided in July last year to purchase a cattle-catcher van at a cost of about 7 lakh.

Though the proposal had been cleared by the House, an objection had been raised in this regard by the Director, Local Government, Punjab. The council wanted to buy the van as loading of animals caught by the council staff proved to be a difficult job. Employees and animals used to get injured while carrying out the work of loading and unloading.



Rs 25,000 reward for clue to Simran’s killer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
After having failed to solve the Simran murder case, the Chandigarh police has now offered a Rs 25,000 reward to any one giving information that leads to the arrest of the accused. The Inspector General of Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, approved the reward in orders issued here today.

The official press note from the police, however, says that the reward has been approved “as part of the ongoing efforts to trace the murderer”.

Simran, 23, a brilliant student, had been murdered in her Sector 22 house on July 17, a day after her result had been declared.

The meagre clues had led the police to zero in on a few youths who had known Simran, but the investigation failed to proceed any further. Meanwhile, a senior police official said a large number of persons had been questioned and the police was working on several theories.

The police was examining the possibility of the involvement of Simran’s friend Atul in the murder, but Atul had left for New Zealand a couple of days before the murder. The police is looking for the youths in a white Tata Sumo who had been asking for directions to Simran’s house on July 16. The maid servant of the house had come to work early on July 17, the day of the murder, but disappeared after that. She lived in Kumhar Colony, Sector 25.



Rallis moving assets, say retrenched workers
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, July 29
The retrenched employees of the agrochemical division of Rallis India Limited, a Mumbai-based company, today organised a ‘Rosh Rally’ and submitted a memorandum to the Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) to explain their demands.

The agitators carrying placards and yellow flags organised a protest march in the township and raised slogans against the factory management.

In the memorandum to the SDM, the protesters alleged that the management had illegally sacked 101 employees between July 24 and 26. Moreover, the management had not given them any notice prior to their sack.

In a joint statement, Mr Sohan Singh, general secretary of the Workers Union, Rallis India, and Mr Amarjit Singh, general secretary, Rallis India Karamchari Union, alleged that the management had started winding up the unit and shifting machinery to its other units.

They said they apprehend that the management would sell off the machinery ignoring the rights of the agitating workers. The agitators also demanded directives to the Tehsildar for not granting permission to the management to sell its immovable assets. They also demanded that the SHO, Dera Bassi, be directed to restrict the shifting of goods and machine from the factory.

Besides, the management, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Rajpura, and the agitating workers be called to solve the issue peacefully through dialogue so that work may resume at the factory.



Paonta Sahib cops come looking for MC staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
A Himachal Pradesh police team today swooped down on the office on the Municipal Corporation to look for officials suspected of having caused the death of 24 cows in the Kalesar forest of Paonta Sahib district on July 25.

The Paonta Sahib Station House Officer, Mr Khazan Singh, who is leading this team of four, told reporters that a case under Section 429 of the IPC and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act had been registered at Paonta Sahib on July 26.

Mr Khazan Singh said the police had the registration numbers of vehicles in which the MC employees had taken the cows to the forest. He, however, refused to give the names of these officials saying that the investigation was at a preliminary stage.

The team is looking for Sub Inspector, Enforcement Wing, Om Prakash, and Slaughter House Superintendent, Dr M.S. Kamboj, to know about the transportation of the carcasses. Dr Kamboj, who was on a leave today, had stated in newspapers that the cattle was being shunted out to the Kalesar forest, according to Mr Khazan Singh.

The SHO said a Haryana Forest Department official, Mr Randhir Singh, had named these individuals after they had clashed with Mr Randhir Singh and his staff while unloading the cattle in a protected forest area.

The team from Paonta Sahib alleged that the Municipal Corporation was not cooperating in the investigation that was being monitored at the “highest level” in Himachal Pradesh. He said a similar incident involving 36 cows had also happened in Kotkhai in Shimla district.

The team would find out from the transport registration authority about the owners of the vehicles that had been seen that in the Kalesar forest. The vehicles included a Maruti Gypsy.

It appeared that the cattle had died because it had been unloaded on the edge of a gorge.

The team met the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, who told it that he had already sought an inquiry into the matter. The team, then, met the Additional Commissioner, Mr Arun Shekhri, who to holding the charge of Commissioner in the absence of Mr M.P. Singh, to gather more information. The Medical Officer Health, Dr G.C. Bansal, is believed to have told the team that he was trying to find out the details, as at the time of the incident, he had been attending a training camp in Hyderabad.



Cong councillors at sea over cow row
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Death of cows in Paonta Sahib had become cause of worry for the Congress councillors ahead of the municipal corporation meeting scheduled for July 31. The councillors had asked the Mayor, at a meeting called by the party president, Mr B.B. Bahl, how they would face the matter at the House meeting.

The Mayor informed the party councillors and the party president that Shankaracharyas Jayendra Saraswati and Peethadheeshwar Swamiji Madhavanand have asked him about the incident.

The Mayor said he had offered the Shankaracharyas to take care of cows of the city at a piece of land to be leased out by the municipal corporation under certain conditions.

The Mayor sought the permission of the party president filing a defamation suit against the BJP leaders who had been hurling allegations against him after the Chandigarh Club episode.



Residents seek more seats in Paschim Express
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Railway passengers from the city and its peripheral areas have sought an increase in the reservation quota of seats in the Paschim Express, running between Kalka and Mumbai. The increase in quota has been sought from Chandigarh and Kalka.

Highlighting the demand, a former member of the Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, Northern Railways, Mr Joginder Singh Bhogal, said, “Five coaches from Kalka, join the Amritsar - Mumbai train ( no 2926 ) at Ambala, for onward journey to Mumbai. There is a similar arrangement for the reverse journey.

Of the total five coaches starting from Kalka, booking of the 140 berths, spread across two coaches, was still being done at Delhi, he said.

“The reservation of 54 berths in an air-conditioned three-tier coach and 70 berths in a second class three-tier sleeper is being done for passengers booking tickets at Kalka and Chandigarh. A second class coach is unreserved. This means that the booking of two second class three-tier sleeper is not done from Chandigarh and Kalka and the quota has been kept for passengers booking tickets from Delhi,” sources said.



Sewerage cess deferred to next year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The Water and Sewerage Disposal Committee of the municipal corporation today deferred the hike in sewerage cess to the next financial year after keeping it in limbo for almost a year. The meeting passed estimates of Rs 20,55,750 of road gullies and pipe lines to improve drainage and water supply in the city.

The committee referred to the Finance and Contract Committee the estimates of Rs 18 lakh for laying pipelines to Sectors 26 and 32 water works and Rs 7.43 lakh for a mobile 800 kv power generating set.

The committee also asked for estimates for road gullies in Sector 40, improving water supply in Mauli Jagran, Indira Colony and Mani Majra, among others.

Estimates for setting up boosters in the Industrial Area, Ram Darbar, Sector 47 C and Maloya Colony had also been sought.

Estimates for sinking a shallow tubewell in Sector 21 and a toilet block in Sector 47, were also sought.



Rangoli contest for slum girls 
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, July 29
The local branch of the Family Planning Association of India, in collaboration with the Inner Wheel Club, Chandigarh Mid-Town, organised rangoli and mehndi competitions to mark the foundation day of the association here today.

“More than 32 girls from rural and slum areas of the district participated in the competitions,” said Mr Amit Gupta, branch manager of the association.

In her address, Ms Pushpa Khanna, president of the local branch of the association, told participants that being creative and skilled would help them achieve economic empowerment. The girls were also advised to avail themselves of counselling services on adolescent health and related issues at telephone 563885.

The winners were given cash prizes. In the Rangoli contest, Nirmala was adjudged first, Santosh second and Versha third, while Mambika, Manju and Meena were given consolation prizes.

Rinki, Neeru and Pooja were adjudged first, second and third, respectively, while Meenakashi was given the consolation prize in the mehndi contest.



Portable kit to test potable water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology has developed a portable water testing kit named Jalkit. The kit comprises the equipment and reagents needed for field and laboratory testing to assess the quality of drinking water.

Mr N.S. Tiwana, the Executive Director of council, said the kit was meant to create awareness about water quality among students, NGOs and people at large through simple and low-cost methods. The kit contains a portable box, a beaker, a conical flask, a test tube, ph strips, five parameter strips, a thermometer, a measuring cylinder, prepared reagents, bottles, a manual and a colour chart. Prepared reagents can be replenished.

The kit will provide the information whether the parameters are above or below the permissible limit set by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The selection of the parameters has been done by taking into account the most common parameters. 



Cops denied food, smash rehri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 29
Two cops posted at the Sector 6 police post here tried to embroil a rehriwalah into a case of liquor smuggling here last night. The cops were allegedly in an inebriated condition.

The cops reportedly went to the rehriwalah, who sells eggs, and demanded some food. By this time, their unsuspecting victim had wound up his wares and pleaded that he could not oblige them. This infuriated the cops, who allegedly smashed his rehri and took him to the police post.

As soon as members of the Sector 6 Market Welfare Association learnt of the incident, they went to the poor man’s rescue led by the association president Mr Sant Ram. It was only when they threatened to take up the matter with higher police officials the man was let off. 



PU hosteller dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 29
A Panjab University boarder, Kulwant Singh (22), who was rushed to the PGI after he complained of breathlessness, died at around 6 am. He was a student of LLB (first semester), and had joined the department only a week ago.

The police suspects that Kulwant died either of food poisoning or heart attack. It is being said that he along with some friends had consumed chicken at a shop in Sector 15 the previous night. His roommate (Hostel No 4, room no. 39) Japinder Singh reportedly noticed him struggling for breath in the morning. Kulwant was rushed to the PGI where he died.

Family members of the victim took the body to their home town at Zira in Ferozepore after the police accepted their request not to get a postmortem examination conducted. Inquest proceedings under Section 174 of CrPC have been initiated. 



Traders’ bandh on August 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The Commercial Tenants Association, which has been protesting against the amendment to the rent Act, at a meeting today announced that city traders would observe a bandh on August 8 when former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani visits the city.

The association said traders along with their families and employees would gather at Jan Marg at 9 a.m. and then proceed towards the railway station at 10.30 a.m to receive Mr Jethmalani, who is to reach Chandigarh by Shatabadi Express from Delhi. Mr Jethmalani would advocate their case, said the president of the association, Mr Arvind Jain. He also demanded that tenants be given land on discount.



Sarpanch among 5 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, July 29
Five residents, including the sarpanch of Bhagwasi village, were booked by the police for assaulting and causing severe injuries to a resident of the village here today.
Sarpanch Sukhdev Singh, Kaka Singh, Sewak Singh, Sher Singh and Darshan Singh were booked for assaulting Dilbagh Singh two days ago. The victim was seriously injured in the brawl and was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Ambala.

On the complaint of Mr Dilbagh Singh, the five persons were booked under Sections 341, 323, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC. Meanwhile, Mr Sukhdev Singh has said they had been falsely implicated in the case.



Apparel industry bound to boom, says NIIFT chief
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, July 29
The apparel industry is bound to grow and there are tremendous opportunities despite the challenges thrown open by the world of competition.
These were the views expressed by Ms Vijay Sharma, Director, Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT), while welcoming students of the new batches of FD, GMT and KDT at the institute here today.

She said the industry had to produce quality goods at competitive prices for which professionals would be required. Students could also help industry to improve technology and industrial practices.

She said a number of students who had passed out from the NIIFT were holding important posts and had even made the institute famous by their contributions.

NIIFT has organised one-week orientation programme for freshers and experts from different fields have been invited to address the new comers at the institute. Some of the former students, who are holding high posts, have also been invited to talk to freshers.

Ms Ramnita, a faculty member, apprised the students of the career prospects in fashion and garment industry.

During latter half of the day Ms Ratinder Kohli, a psychoanalyst, talked to the students.


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