Wednesday, August 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kidnappers of schoolboy held
Our Correspondents

SAS Nagar, August 26
The police has arrested a father and son duo for kidnapping a schoolboy yesterday for a ransom of Rs 10 lakh. The boy was rescued by the police from the clutches of the kidnappers last night.

Eight-year-old Harkaran Singh was kidnapped while he was returning from St Xavier’s School in Sector 71 by two suspects travelling in a metallic white Maruti car.

The police presented the kidnappers before mediapersons today, identifying them as Amritpal Singh (23), alias Diamond, his father, Avtar Singh, both residents of HM House No. 109, Phase IV, here.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ropar, said Avtar Singh got out of the Maruti car and approached Harkaran who was coming back from school in a rickshaw. He told the boy that his father had been involved in an accident and drove him away in the car.

Mr Bhullar said that after the kidnapping, the culprits contacted the boy’s father, Rana Gurdayal Singh Virk, on the phone and demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh. They threatened to kill the boy if the father approached the police or the press.

The SSP said the police questioned the boy’s family and the needle of suspicion pointed towards Amritpal Singh, alias Diamond, a former employee of the kidnapped boy’s father. He had been dismissed on the charge of indiscipline a few months ago.

The SSP said Amritpal Singh and Avtar Singh took the boy to Maloya village in Chandigarh where they had taken a room on rent some days ago. When a police team reached the village, it was told that the two had left on a scooter along with a child.

The local SSP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, sent a police team headed by SHO Ramandeep Singh to HM House of the kidnappers in Phase IV. The boy was found sitting blindfolded and the kidnappers beside him. The culprits tried to flee on seeing the police, but were nabbed and the boy rescued.

On interrogation by the SSP, it was found that Amritpal Singh had worked at the textile outlet of Mr Virk in the industrial area here. Amritpal Singh’s father, Avtar Singh, was a taxi driver. They planned to kidnap a child to get money to set up business. Earlier, they had planned to kidnap a cousin of Amritpal Singh, Anmol Preet Kaur, who was studying in Class III at Shivalik Public School. However, they changed their plan and decided to kidnap Harkaran Singh.

In pursuance of the plan, they borrowed a Maruti car from a friend of Amritpal Singh living in the HM Colony in Phase IV, Mr Anurag Arora, on the pretext that they wanted to take a family member to hospital. They pasted a fake registration number on the numberplate of the vehicle which was removed as they neared Maloya. They left the boy in the rented room in Maloya. Avtar Singh then returned the car to Mr Arora and went back on a scooter.

The car has been impounded.

The boy’s father, Mr Virk, who was present at the SP’s office today, said his son was in a state of shock. He said he approached the police after he got to know about the kidnapping on the phone. He requested the police to keep the matter a secret for the safety of the child.

Mr Virk and one of his relatives, Mr A.S. Cheema, were all praise for the police.

Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SP, said he had convened a meeting of principals of schools here tomorrow to discuss the safety of students.

Police remand

Kharar: Mrs Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, Judicial Magistrate, on Tuesday remanded Avtar Singh and his son Amritpal Singh in police remand till August 29 in connection with a case registered against them on the charge of kidnapping an eight-year-old Harkaran Singh in Sector 71, SAS Nagar, yesterday.

Mr Jatinderjit Singh Punn, Public Prosecutor, and Mr Kulwant Singh, ASI, appeared in the court and pleaded for a 14-day police remand of the accused.

The accused refuted the charges and said a fake case had been registered against them.


CBI to step up probe against Adviser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Even as bureaucratic circles in Chandigarh are abuzz with speculation whether or not the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Virendra Singh, will continue to hold the post, the Central Bureau of Investigation has said it will probe further into the assets of the Adviser. The CBI had registered a case of owning assets disproportionate to known sources of income against him in May, 2000. He had joined the Chandigarh Administration in January, 2003.

Confirming the latest move of the CBI, its Delhi-based spokesperson, Deputy Principal Information Officer, Mr G. Mohanty, said the investigations into the assets acquired by Mr Virendra Singh has been intensified. But the CBI has not sought permission to prosecute him yet, he added.

The same was confirmed by sources in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) saying no investigative agency has sought sanction to prosecute Mr Virendra Singh. A permission is required from the MHA as he is a UT cadre IAS official which is under the control of the MHA. Sources in the CBI said permission to prosecute could be sought only when investigations were complete.

Mr Virendra Singh, a 1969-batch IAS officer of the UT cadre, has been appointed Adviser to the UT Administrator after being under suspension for more than two years and this was his first posting after being reinstated. On May 13, 2000, the CBI had registered a case of corruption against him and for abusing his official position as public servant for accumulation of huge immovable and moveable assets. 


2 on motor cycle crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, August 26
Two motorcyclists were crushed to death in a head-on collision between a Swaraj Mazda and a motor cycle on the Dera Bassi-Mubarikpur-Ramgarh road in Mubarikpur village, about 2 km from here today.

Suresh Kumar, alias Sanju and Prithvi Ram were on their way to the Dera Bassi Truck Operators Union Office from Mubarikpur when a Swaraj Mazda (PB-08M-9739), loaded with whiskey cases, approaching from the opposite direction collided head-on with the motor cycle (HR-01M-5018) at about 1.45 pm.

According to the police, Swaraj Mazda ran over the motorcyclists leaving their mutilated bodies on the spot. The collision was so forceful that the wind screen of the four-wheeler broke into pieces and the motor cycle was badly mowed down.

The bodies were sandwiched between the vehicles and extricated by the police with the help of passersby and local residents who assembled at the spot soon after the accident.

The vehicle was carrying liquor cases from NB Distillery, located on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road in Bhagwasi village, to Ropar when it met with the accident.

A shocked Mr Laik Ram, father of Sanju, said the victims were on way back to the truck union office after having their lunch at home. The driver of the vehicle fled from the scene after the incident.

After registering a case under Sections 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC, the police has sent the bodies to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examination. 


Ram Darbar murder accused surrenders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Baljit Singh alias Soni, one of the accused in the murder of Jagdish alias, Rinku yesterday in Ram Darbar, today surrendered before the police and “confessed” to have been allegedly involved in the crime while another accused Sukhjinder, alias, Chhotu is on the run.

With the arrest of one of the accused, the chances of nabbing the other one have brightened, DSP (South) S. S. Randhawa told mediapersons at a press conference while presenting the accused.

Mr Randhawa said the murder in Ram Darbar had followed an altercation between the deceased and the suspects few hours before the incident during the day.

The alleged murderers were enraged when Jagdish intervened during the tussle between them and another man in Ram Darbar.

The police said the accused confessed that they had threatened Jagdish with dire consequences.

Mr Randhawa said during the interrogation Baljit Singh revealed that the arrested accused had caught the deceased and Sukhjinder Singh stabbed Jagdish several times which led to his death.

The incident happened when Jagdish was going along with his brother Vijay on a scooter.

The police said immediately after the incident, the two fled from the scene.

Mr Randhawa said the surrender followed pressure from the police during the investigation.

The police however, has not been able to recover the weapon used in crime and suspect that it was with Sukhjinder alias Chhotu who was on the run.

The police denied that a man, Randhir Singh had also been detained in this connection and was hopeful that Chhotu would be nabbed soon.

Mr Randhawa said the accused had been named in the FIR registered yesterday in the Sector 31 police station.

This was the third murder after the Sector 44 and Sector 38 murders in which minor tiffs had resulted in the murder of one of the parties involved in a confrontation.

Police said during the investigation the alleged murder revealed that there had not been any clashes between the deceased and the two murder accused except that they had fought during the day on the day of murder.


HMT chief told to take action for losses
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
The Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has directed the Chairman of HMT Limited to take action against nine marketing officers in the Tractor division of HMT, Pinjore, accused of causing losses worth over Rs 160 crore.

In a letter to the Chairman and Managing Director of HMT Limited, Bangalore, written on August 21, the Department of Heavy Industries has asked that HMT should proceed immediately with disciplinary action against “delinquent officers and staff members.” It is alleged that these marketing officers of the Pinjore division of HMT Limited had colluded with certain dealers, and this led to this once most profitable division registering losses worth Rs 163 crore.

The ministry has asked the HMT Management to complete the inquiry against eight area sales managers of HMT, Pinjore, and an officer of the rank of a general manager within 45 days. The HMT management has also been directed that disciplinary proceedings, including award of punishment ( if necessary) may be completed within 90 days, and an Action Taken Report (ATR) to ensure implementation of corrective steps to avoid any occurrence of such events in future, be sent to the Department of Heavy Industries.

This nexus had come to light during an internal vigilance inquiry conducted by the management of HMT Limited. The report says that the marketing officers of the Pinjore division made no efforts to recover dues worth Rs 163 crore from its dealers in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan over the past three years. These dealers have now closed shop and changed their line of business, without paying the dues to HMT.

HMT Tractors has around 450 dealers spread all over the country. Tractors were supplied to dealers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, who further sold them off to farmers. Sources in HMT Limited inform that dealers in the above mentioned four states failed to pass the money back to HMT, but no action was taken against these dealers by the area sales managers of the company and other senior officials in the marketing department.

Well placed sources inform that while inquiry against the dealers and marketing officers nexus in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan had been completed, a similar internal inquiry in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat is yet to be conducted.

It may be noted that the inquiry was first conducted by Chief Vigilance officer, HMT Pinjore. This report was then sent to the Chief Vigilance Officer, HMT Group, at Bangalore, who after indicting nine officers of the company, had recommended exemplary action against them.

It is because of these dues not being recovered from the dealers that the unit has incurred huge losses. The annual turnover has dropped by more than 50 per cent, and production has dropped from 60 tractors on an average daily to anything between five and 15 tractors now in the Tractor Business Group. The Pinjore unit registered losses worth over Rs. 40 crore in the last financial year (2002-2003). The unit has to pay over Rs 80 crore to its ancillary units in Panchkula, SAS Nagar, Dera Bassi, Baddi, Parwanoo and Barotiwala. Over the past three years, almost 50 odd ancillary units have closed down after they failed to get their payments from HMT.

Owners of various ancillary units of HMT, Pinjore, when contacted by TNS, on condition of anonymity, demanded that an external inquiry should be conducted against the indicted officers. They pointed out that market conditions were favourable for the tractor industry-good monsoon, easy availability of finance for tractors etc., but HMT, Pinjore, was unable to cash in on this because of the huge losses. 


Nod for ground-penetrating radars awaited
Vijay Mohan
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The discovery of the remains of soldiers killed in the AN-12 air crash 35 years ago as well as the wreckage of the aircraft is stated to be “a matter of chance” by IAF officials associated with the search operations.

“The search parties are continuing with the task but they are not getting anything,” an IAF officer contacted in Delhi remarked.

A joint IAF and Army team is conducting search at Dakka Glacier in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh. A base camp has been set at the foot of the glacier for the purpose.

This is the second search team launched by the IAF and was supposed to be equipped with hi-tech search equipment like ground-penetrating radars (GPRs) to help locate the aircraft’s wreckage in the extensive snow cover. It is led by Sqn Ldr S.M. Sharma from the Central Air Command.

“The Air Force is seeking permission to use GPRs” an IAF source told TNS from Delhi. “The file concerned has been lying with the Ministry of Defence,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr H.S. Sahni, elder brother of Flt Lt Harkewal Singh, the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft, told TNS here today that it had been Harkewal’s second sortie for the day. He had been asked to fly in place of another pilot. He had already completed a circuit to Leh in the morning.

“Harkewal had appraised the authorities of the poor weather conditions and had advised against carrying passengers in such a situation but he was overruled,” Mr Sahni said.

Harkewal was decorated with the Vayu Sena Medal. A letter received by Harkewal from the then IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh, a few days before the crash stated that he was being decorated for courage, professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty while engaged in transport operations in Jammu and Kashmir and NEFA. Of the 3441 flying hours logged by him, 2,255 were in the forward areas.


Experts called to solve dams’ riddle
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Alarmed at a phenomenon that its dams — the Bhakra and the Pong — are not expected to fill to the brim for the fifth year in succession, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has sought help from experts to solve this nature’s riddle.

This year is still better than the previous two years but it still is not enough. The filling season ends on September 20 and the reservoirs are way below the mark. Even as it seemed to be raining heavily in Himachal Pradesh, the catchment area of the two dams, the inflow of water had not been much to fill the reservoirs. The Chairman of the BBMB, Mr Rakesh Nath, admits this year also the dams will not fill to the brim.

Starting from the winter of 1998-1999 the cycle of snow and then rains during the monsoon has not been perfect. Either it has rained less than expected or the snows have been insufficient. If the snow melt has been good the rains have failed. The two dams are fed through glacial snow melts and rains during the summers and monsoons, respectively.

The developments in the past five years have forced the authorities to take note. The BBMB has now sought help from the Indian Meteorological Department and also the Hyderabad based Remote Sensing facility which enables satellite imagery to study snow and rain trends. The BBMB has sought area specific forecasts of rain in its catchment areas and also mapping of snow fall.

“The situation is unique and requires serious thinking,’’ said Mr Rakesh Nath while predicting that the Bhakra may fill up to 1670 elevation feet (top level is 1680 elevation feet) while the Pong may fill up to 1360 elevation feet ( top is 1390). But Mr Nath is keeping his fingers crossed expecting a bountiful rainfall in the next 20 days or so. At Bhakra it is not just a question of the reservoir falling short from the brim by 10 feet. The 140 sq km reservoir is V-shaped and filling of the upper portion takes a longer time. This 10 feet near the brim can translate into a huge amount of water. It can meet water requirements for about 45 days.

Five years may be too short a period to predict any kind of major change in rain or snow melt patterns but the change is visible, admits Mr Nath. Records indicate that this year the situation is a bit better than the past two years, however, Mr Nath said he could not comment for sure if increased construction activity in the catchment areas was leading to a sharp drop in rainfall or snowfall. The reasons can be known only when the experts are here to first study the patterns.

In September, 1998, it was the last time that the massive reservoirs meeting the irrigation requirements of large parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan filled up totally. Such a long successive period when the dams have not filled up was unknown since the Bhakra came up 40 years ago and since the Beas was stopped by a dam at Pong almost 30 years ago. Records indicate that the Pong had been very reliable in the years before 1998.

The water used to reach the very brim at 1390 elevation feet every year. In the Bhakra it was cyclical as the brim at 1680 elevation feet was reached every alternate year.

Armed with this data experts have been called to study what is behind the phenomenon. Does it mean the water resources will deplete further?


Student’s body lies outside Emergency for hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The body of a 17-year-old student of the B.R. Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management in Sector 42, Shyamolima, kept lying for over two hours outside the Emergency ward of the PGI late in the evening today.

According to fellow students, Shyamolima from Jorhat, Assam, was rushed to PGI because of diarrhoea and vomiting late in the evening. She was declared brought dead by doctors on duty. Students allege that the body kept lying outside the emergency as there was no one to claim it. The students reportedly met the SMO who accompanied them to the mortuary where the body was finally accepted.

Hospital records show that Shyamolima died at 7.40 pm. The body was sent to the mortuary at 10.15 pm. Students further claimed that her parents had been informed about the tragedy and were expected to reach Chandigarh tomorrow. 


Hello!!! Is this enquiry?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Chandigarh may pride itself as among the best cities in the country. But are the emergency services being offered to the citizens equally good? Not all those who interacted with TNS agreed. The reaction varied from an indifferent “they are okay...” to an outraged response “they are hopeless....”

We decided to find out for ourselves. And the results were revealing. Read on for details....

The city’s railway enquiry provided by numbers 131 and 653131 must be counted among the country’s worst. We tried these numbers several times between 7:30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. yesterday, and between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. today but could not get through even once. Long rings on the phone failed to wake up whosoever was on the other end. “Everyone else has had the same experience”, complaints Dr Ranjitt Pal Singh, a resident of Sector 43. “Nobody bothers to attend the phone, leave aside answering the queries of the common man. Either the bell will keep on ringing or you will get the engaged tone every time you try to get through”.

However, the ambulance service being provided by the General Hospital, Sector 16, on telephone number 102 was prompt. TNS made a call this afternoon. The phone call was answered after three rings. The person who picked up the phone was told that an ambulance was required at a house in Sector 23 for a person who had lost his consciousness. The person asked some questions like, name of the patient, his problem and residence telephone number, which were supplied. An ambulance was at the given address in six minutes flat along with an oxygen cylinder, stretcher and first aid box. Enquiry phone number 704005 at Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) is easily available most of the times. A call made by TNS to this number at 4 p.m. today was answered after three rings. The official who responded also gave the required information quickly. However, Rimpy, a student of S.D.G.S. College, complained that “some times, this number remains engaged mysteriously for hours together...”

The inter-state bus enquiry helplines provided by various state-run players like Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Roadways were also fairly prompt in responding to queries.

City fire brigade service available on number 101 is quick. A call made on this number at 3 p.m. today was answered after two rings and the official who picked up the phone asked for particulars of the fire incident immediately. “ Fire brigade is very prompt in its action and most importantly, their number is always easily accessible round the clock,” commented Mr. Prem Kumar, a shopkeeper in Manimajra rehri market. He also recalled that the recent fire incident at Mani Majra could have been much worse if fire brigade had not responded quickly.

The police control room is also easily accessible round the clock at 100. The call made to the number at 4.20 p.m. was answered in two rings. “The PCR vans reach the spot within ten minutes of any incident and they even have first aid box to provide immediate help to the victim” says Mr Sunil Mahajan, a shopkeeper of Sector 32.

However, calling telephone enquiry at 197 is a very tricky affair. Getting through to this service requires a lot of patience. “Even if someone picks up you might end up getting rude replies, with no information” complains Ms Jyoti, a local college student. TNS tried to make a call at this service yesterday at 8 p.m. After a few rings, an electronic machine voice welcomed the caller but no attendant came on-line to answer. This happened on three occasions. In the fourth try, the call was answered but the manner in which the queries were dealt with left the caller dissatisfied


Need to adopt new technologies stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
There was a need to develop new technologies to tackle the problems of health, housing and employment and it could not be done without the help of industry and educational institutions, said Mr Sudhir Kumar, Joint Secretary (Administration), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), here today.

He was in the city to attend a Hindi seminar on ‘Encouraging science and technology in India — integrated efforts of government, industry and educational institutions needed’. the seminar was held at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Sector 39.

He said there was a need to adopt new techniques in imparting education. He said the CSIR was trying to bring government, industry and educational institutions closer with an aim to achieve the desired goals.

Dr A.K. Ganguli, Director-General, ICMR, highlighted the role of national language in the development of science and technology.

Earlier, Dr Amit Gosh, Director, IMTECH, talked about various scientific and research and development activities being undertaken at the institute.


Railways to change colour of diesel engines
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Traditional reddish-brown colour of the diesel locomotives of the Railways is all set to change. As part of the ongoing research and development in the maintenance of the workhorses of the Railways, Northern Railway has begun the job of changing the colour pattern of the locomotives.

The new light-colour pattern will enable the engineers to detect the reasons behind the engine failure at an early stage. A tested ‘quick air drying’ technology will be used to paint the locomotives in the new colour patterns.

On a trial basis, a diesel locomotive — christened as ‘ Prabal’ — at the Lucknow diesel locomotive shed of Northern Railway has been given a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint. The brainchild behind the move, Mr Mahesh Kumar, Senior Divisional Mechnical Engineer ( Diesel), Lucknow, told the TNS that all the 500 diesel locomotives at the Ludhiana, Tughlakabad (New Delhi) and Lucknow diesel sheds of Northern Railway would be repainted afresh.

“During the repair of the locomotives it was found that due to dark body colours, failures like turbo leakages and high pressure leakages could not be detected at the right time. 


Inculcate reading habit, says Gen Mehta
Tribune News Service

S.A.S. Nagar, August 26
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S.S. Mehta, today said that to develop legal skills, budding lawyers had to understand human nature and behaviour.

Addressing students of the Army Institute of Law here today, General Mehta emphasised that students should inculcate the habit of reading for the overall development of their personalities.

He also said the legal profession provides more avenues to students than any other profession. General Mehta, who is also the patron of the institute, stressed that women should participate in all walks of life.

Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Lieut-Gen P.K. Grover, Chief of Staff, Western Command, Maj-Gen K.S. Rao, in charge of administration, Western Command, Maj-Gen R.S. Gill, GOC 1 Armoured Division, Mr M.L. Sarin and Dr Balram Gupta, both senior advocates.


Panchkula Roundup
Tax lawyers strike work
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
Members of the District Taxation Bar Association today went on strike in protest against ‘misbehaviour’ by a clerk of the Sales Tax Department.

Mr Munish Khullar and Mr Mahesh Goyal, president and vice-president, respectively, of the association, alleged that the clerk abused a senior advocate, Mr K.L. Gandhi.

They said in spite of the matter being brought to the notice of the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner (DETC), no action had been taken against him.

The advocates also complained against the ‘dictatorial’ behaviour and verbal instructions being issued by the DETC. They also alleged that because of the implementation of Value-Added Tax, there was harassment of dealers as the staff in the office was not aware of its legislation.

Beautification plan

The district administration has taken a number of decisions for the beautification of the town, which include setting up of entry gates on the entry points from Zirakpur to Panchkula and Himachal Pradesh to Kalka on the Kalka-Ambala national highway.

A meeting in this regard was held here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahalawat. She directed the District Town Planner to prepare designs regarding the entry gates. She also asked the HUDA and the Municipal Council to prepare the tentative cost of the project.

It was also decided that traffic islands of Sectors 7, 17, 18 and 8; Sectors 16, 17, 9 and 8; Sectors 16, 15, 10 and 11; Sectors 11, 12, 12-A and 14 and Sectors 5, 7, 11 and 2 would be beautified. The Deputy Commissioner directed the HUDA to prepare a draft plan within 10 days.

Training programme

A training programme on “Integrated pests management” was organised for agricultural development and horticulture development officers of the Kandi project.

Scientists from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Panchkula, conducted the programme.

Painting contest

The District Council for Child Welfare organised ‘Sit and Draw’ national painting competition at Bal Bhawan, Sector 15, here on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the council said 293 children of different age groups from 28 schools of the city participated.

The competition was sponsored by Syndicate Bank, Sector 11, Panchkula, and the State Bank of Hyderabad, Sector 4. Mr Inder Singh, SDM, Panchkula, was the chief guest and gave away prizes.


Tubewells to improve water supply
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 26
For improving the water supply position in the town, the municipal council will sink three deep-bore tubewells, the sanction for which has been given by the Department of Local Government, Punjab. The issue of inviting separate tenders for the work of boring, installation of machinery and related civil work will be discussed by the council’s General House at a meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

The tubewells are to sunk in Phases I (estimated cost Rs 14,72,490), II (Rs 15,07,199) and IV (Rs14,22,608) as these areas face a shortage of water.

A proposal for sinking two more tubewells in Phase XI and Shahi Majra village will also be put before the house for discussion.

The estimated cost of the tubewell to be sunk in Phase XI, which comes to Rs 15.85 lakh, has been prepared by the civic body. After clearance from the House, the estimate will be sent to the Director, Local Government, for technical and administrative approval.

Among the other items on the agenda of council meeting is one relating to a proposal on the beautification of three chowks — the Diplast chowk (Phases I, II and IV), the YPS chowk and the Dara studio chowk — by private parties. According to the proposal, private companies will be responsible for the maintenance of the chowks in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Council.

The House will also consider the issue of increasing the water and sewerage charges in the town.

A decision on the matter was kept pending at the previous meeting of the council.

The Executive Engineers concerned of the Public Health and Sewerage Departments are also scheduled to present their views on the matter.


Seminar on Uniform Civil Code
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) yesterday organised a seminar on “Uniform Civil Code” at Panjab University here.

The main speakers were Mr Virinder Kumar, a former chairman of the Department of Laws, Mr Sunil Kumar, All-India General Secretary of the BJYM, Mr Haritirath Singh, member of the National Executive of the BJYM, and Mr Davesh Moudgil. The speakers supported the concept of Uniform Civil Code.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, in his presidential address, said it was wrong to suggest that the code was against the Muslims.


Demolition of shop opposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
One person was roughed up by the police as a team of the Estate Office went about demolishing a newly opened shop in Sector 19. The person, Mr Rajeev Trehan, was a customer in the shop.

Shopkeepers in Sector 19 opposed the Estate Office move. They approached the Deputy Commissioner who gave them some time to submit the details drawings of the construction with the promise that if the building was not regularised the shopkeeper would demolish the building the illegal construction on his own.


Bairagi mandal flays VHP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The President of the Bairagi Mahan Mandal Punjab, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, today said the Congress did not require certificate of the Vishav Hindu Parishad to prove its credentials.

Referring to the statement of Dr Parveen Togadia, International General Secretary of the VHP, Mr Bawa said the VHP leader was laying the foundation of a society based on hatred.

He said the role played by the VHP in the Gujarat riots had caused embarrassment for the nation. The VHP was playing the card of Ayodhya Mandir to capture the vote bank and was defaming the Congress leadership under Mrs Sonia Gandhi.


Land allotted to charitable trust
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
A land earmarked for a temple has been alloted to a private education trust in Sector 25 here.

According to information available, a 900 square meters of plot in Sector 25, reserved for religious purpose, was allotted to the Sri Atma Nand Jain Charitable Trust and Management Society on August 13.

The Mandir Sabha, Sector 25, had also presented its case for allotment and even as this case was pending before a local court, and status quo was ordered, HUDA issued an allotment letter to the education trust from Ambala. 


Cops honoured

Chandigarh, August 26
Police Control Room constables Dilawar Singh and Sukhdev Singh, who arrested two persons along and seized 1000 pouches of illicit liquor on Sunday in Daria village, have been awarded commendation certificates Class-I by Inspector General of Police Rajesh Kumar.

They have also been given Rs 500 each for their effort in nabbing illicit liquor dealers.


Rs 50,000 stolen from car
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, August 26
Thieves decamped with Rs 50,000 from a car parked in front of a bank in Phase VII here today.

The local SP, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, said Dr B. R. Banga, a resident of Phase VII, had withdrawn the money from a branch of ICICI Bank in the phase. He kept the money in the car and went to a photostat shop.

Some persons then broke into the vehicle and took away the cash kept in a packet. The thieves were reportedly three in number and fled in a car.

Mr Aditya Vasudev, manager of the bank branch, said the incident happened outside the bank premises. He, however, did not confirm that the money had been withdrawn from his branch.

The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.


4 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Lalru, August 26
Four residents of Dappar village were booked by the police on the charge of rioting, thrashing and intimidating a resident of the same village today.

According to the police, Hardeep Singh, Baljit Singh, Soni and Prakash Singh have been booked under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Niab Singh.

In his complaint, Mr Niab Singh alleged that the four assaulted him after trespassing his house on Sunday. They also threatened him with dire consequences. No arrest has been made so far.


Set up metropolitan board, says chamber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has urged the Chandigarh administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (Retd.) to set up a Chandigarh Metropolitan Board as unplanned development in neighbouring towns of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was affecting the fragile eco-system and planned character of the city.

Mr P.K. Jain, National President of the PHDCCI, who met the Administrator today, claimed that city was facing a severe threat from the influx of population from other states. The city had already become a mini-metro and it was right time to take stock of situation and work out plans to foster higher economic growth.

He said the chamber was of the view that Chandigarh’s brand equity could be build up to present the city as a centre of commercial activities, tourism, education with international world class airport, entertainment hub, film production centre and shopping malls with flourishing fashion industry. The city beautiful — though the best city in the country, lacked world class outlook.

The Administration should make efforts at least to maintain the current economic growth of the city and to transform it into an ‘engine’ of all round growth.

The Chamber felt that the city had all the potential to emerge as an IT destination. Since it was the gateway to tourist centres of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, efforts should be made to tap its infrastructure potential. 

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