Saturday, September 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal structures around city pulled down
Market of second-hand books is no more

Tribune News Service

A policeman removes books set ablaze during an anti-encroachment drive at Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Friday.
A policeman removes books set ablaze during an anti-encroachment drive at Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 19
The four-decade-old roadside market of second-hand books in Sector 15 was today removed by the enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh amidst protests from the book sellers.

While the enforcement staff was in action, some of second-hand books were set on fire. The book sellers alleged that the corporation staff burnt the books — a fact denied by the corporation staff. At least 35 roadside vendors had to close shop after their entire stocks were taken away by the enforcement staff.

Corporation staff said the vendors had been illegally conducting their business from the public land, opposite the entrance to the Panjab University from the Sector 15 side. They claimed the roadside vendors had been warned twice to windup their business.

When the enforcement staff descended on the spot at 4 pm, the busy road dividing Sector 15 and Panjab University was blocked by the agitating vendors. The blockade continued for over an hour. It was lifted after the Station House Officer (SHO) from Sector 11 Police Station intervened.



Mansa Devi residents lathicharged
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
Violence marked a demolition drive by the Enforcement Wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board complex, this morning. The police had to resort to a mild lathi charge, when one of the evicted persons, Mr Anil Joshi, tried to immolate himself in protest against the demolition.

Mr Joshi reportedly poured kerosene over himself and tried to immolate himself in protest against the demolition of his three kiosks, near the main entry of the temple. He was protesting on the pretext that a final decision on his appeal before the Commissioner, Ambala division, was still pending.

However, officers of the administration said the case against Mr Joshi for the misuse of public premises had been decided against him. Shrine board officials showed him the orders passed by the Commissioner, and continued razing his illegal structures. In protest, Mr Joshi picked up a can of kerosene and poured it over himself. By this time, a huge crowd, consisting of other shopkeepers operating from kiosks near the entrance of the shrine, gathered there.

As the crowd began raising its voice against the demolition and instigated Mr Joshi “to teach the administration a lesson”, the police immediately pushed its way through the crowd and reached him before he could immolate himself. The police had to resort to a mild lathi charge in order to drive away the protesting shopkeepers. Mr Joshi was then whisked away by the police and later booked on charges of attempt to suicide.

Other than three kiosks of Mr Joshi, three kiosks belonging to Mr Brij Lal Sodhi were also demolished. Speaking to TNS, Mr Sodhi and his lawyer, Mr S.K. Sood, said the Commissioner had kept the judgement reserve for announcement and they were not informed when it was announced.

Mr Sodhi said both he and Mr Joshi were old tenants of the board and had won a civil suit against their eviction earlier. It was then that the board had proceeded against them under the Public Premises Act.

The demolition drive began around 11 am, and the Estate Officer, Mr Ashwani Sharma, the District Revenue Officer, Mr Sihag, the officers of the shrine board, a posse of cops led by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Ms Bharti Arora, and the DSP Kalka, Mr Rajesh Duggal, reached the spot. Two earth movers were used to raze the illegal structures and about 100 cops, having riot control gear, were deployed.



Residents pelt MC staff with stones
Our Correspondent

Piara Singh Avtar Kalsia
Municipal Corporation employees Piara Singh (left) and Avtar Kalsia show their injuries sustained in a mob attack during a demolition drive near Phase VI, SAS Nagar, on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

SAS Nagar, September 19
As many as six municipal council employees were injured when a mob started pelting stones at some employees who had gone to remove unauthorised khokhas near Phase VI here today.

Three of the employees were taken to the Civil Hospital, while the remaining three were given first aid.

The persons who were taken to the Civil Hospital are Mr Avtar Singh Kalsia, who was heading the anti-encroachment team, Mr Amrit Singh, JCB driver, and Mr Piara Singh.

The anti-encroachment drive started around 12 noon and lasted for about 45 minutes. At least 30 khokhas were removed without any opposition but when the work was about to be completed hundreds of people, comprising the affected persons and residents of a nearby jhuggi colony, gathered and started pelting stones at the council staff. Even the JCB machine was damaged during the attack.

When asked why the staff had carried out the drive without police help, Mr Kalsia said the council had sent a request to the police in this regard yesterday but no police personnel was arranged for the drive as some of them had gone on a VIP duty.

The council has now requested the police to register a case against the persons who had attacked the council staff and injured them.

The anti-encroachment team had gone to remove khokhas which had come up on the roadside and most of them were selling meat. Residents of Phase VI had been complaining to the civic body that meat sellers, who had been evicted from Phase I, had come and settled near VI. Residents had been demanding that these khokhas should be removed as they were creating unhygenic condition in the area.

Mr Rajinder Sharma, municipal councillor of the area said khokhas owners selling meat had been earlier asked to vacate the area many times but to no avail. He said none of the meat sellers went to the slaughter house of the council but dressed chicken on the roadside much to the annoyance of the residents of the area.



No decision over PU student senators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Panjab University syndicate today referred back to the committee which had sought representation to students in the university senate, the premier decision making body on academic and administrative affairs.

The syndicate was deliberating on making two student representatives the members of the university senate. The proposal came up for discussion on a resolution of Principal Tarsem Bahia. Prof Charanjit Chawla and Mr Ashok Goyal. Mr G.K. Chatrath and Principal P.S. Sangha, however, differed on the draft of the resolution.

The university decided to give five per cent weightage in the annual examination of undergraduate classes for classroom attendance. The syndicate also decided to give 15 per cent weightage to the marks scored in the two house examinations in an academic session. The original proposal said the university should give 10 per cent weightage each to the classroom attendance and house examination separately.

Students attending lectures between 75 per cent and 80 per cent will get 2 per cent; those attending 85 per cent 3 per cent; those attending above 86 per cent four; and those attending above 91 five.

The records will be maintained separately by the teachers, principals and the university. The item faced certain opposition saying “lectures were often purchased by students”. Mr Ashok Goyal and Mr S.S. Hundal spoke against the item.

The university syndicate gave a clean chit to three examination officials who were accused of involvement in unfair means cases in the university examination in 2002. These officials were on duty at Guru Nanak College, Moga, in the examination of 2002.

The university has decided to confer honoris causa doctorate degrees on three prominent personalities. These include Mr Krishna Swamy Kasturirangan, a former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Prof G.C. Pande, chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, and Lt Gen J.R.F. Jacob, a former Governor of Punjab.

The university also decided to give Professor Emeritus status to Prof Harkrishan Singh, Prof T.N. Kapoor, Prof S.V. Kessar and Prof B.N. Goswamy.

The university syndicate rejected a couple of appointments, including one in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science. The university cleared appointment of inspection committees of 30 affiliated colleges. Dr Dinesh Talwar pointed out flaws in the administration of SMS Karamjot College for Women, Miani. Here teachers share in Provident Fund is deposited by the employees themselves and are also paid lesser salaries.

The university teaching departments will remain closed from December 15 onwards till January 8, 2004, in connection with the Indian Science Congress functions.



National policy on police training on the cards
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A national policy on police training is on the cards. With the new challenges posed by the high-tech crimes and terrorism, the national policy being drafted by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR and D), a central research organisation on policing, will address the need for enhanced investigating skills by imparting quality training.

To make the policy acceptable, suggestions from the state police forces and paramilitary forces have already been incorporated in the policy, awaiting approval from the Centre.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr MK Tewari, Deputy Director (Training), BPR and D, who was in the city today, said that it had been noticed that the quality of training being imparted at the police academies in the states was not up to the mark. A set of broad guidelines in the policy would address the parameters of imparting training, type of course, selection of the trainers and incentives offered to them. It has also been pointed out that should the trainers be selected on merit Infrastuctural requirement for the training would also form part of the policy, said Mr Tewari.

The revised curriculum for improving the quality of training has already been adopted by the Central Detective Training School (CDTS).

The Deputy Director said before a new course was introduced, the training need analysis (TNA) factor was necessary. The new policy would spell out the training need analysis factor.

An analysis of the poor investigation skills of the police forces by the BPR and D revealed that the load on the state police training academies and the academies run by the central police forces was on the higher side. With around 200 training academies in the country, it was impossible to regularly train a 2.1 million strong police force. Around 60,000 new recruits were trained every year. Around 9,000 trainers were being trained in a year, said Mr Tewari

To overcome this problem, the BPR and D was formulating a programme under which regular training of the cadre would be done at the range and district levels. The new training policy proposes that a policeman should be trained once in every five years. To put off the rush, training at the range and districts levels was being considered.

Mr Tewari said the curriculum of the training course at the Central Detective Training School (CDTS) had already been revised. Apart from the traditional method of lectures, a better quality of training through an advanced methodology had been devised. He said the quality of trainers was being improved through training of trainees programme. Under a three-year programme, the Centre had sent 76 police officers to the IODA, a police training academy of retired British police officers in Britain.



PGI to get trauma centre soon
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Construction of the Rs 22.37-crore advanced trauma centre at the PGI will begin soon as the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) today returned Rs 5.15 crore given to it for the task almost two years back.

Bursting at the seams due to patient load from the entire northern region, the construction of the trauma centre will be very helpful, especially in handling accident cases. “It was after a lot of pursuance that the CPWD has returned the money we had given to it for the construction for the trauma centre. So within a few days, the construction work will begin,” said Dr R.J. Dash, Head of Endocrinology and acting Superintendent Hospital Engineers (SHE).

The trauma centre will have six operation theatres and a bed strength of almost 200 in the observation ward, ICU, private and general ward. Apart from a basement, there will be three storeys, covering a total area of 13,370 square metres. The trauma centre, which will take a lot of burden off the PGI Emergency, will have an OPD with all diagnostic laboratories, MRI, CT-scan, X-Ray, blood bank and a disaster area.

With the advanced trauma centre project being part of the Ninth Plan, the PGI had transferred a sum of Rs 5.33 crore to the CPWD, in March, 2000, so as to avoid the lapse of the money during that financial year. In fact, last year’s audit report had adversely commented on the manner in which the money was transferred to the CPWD in a haste, whereas construction work was delayed for two years ever since.

The PGI engineering wing took up the matter with the CPWD so that it could begin work on the trauma centre. “It was while reviewing the progress of the new projects at the PGI in September, 2001, that the Secretary, Finance, and the Joint Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, observed that the institute had not taken the right decision to hand over the construction work to the CPWD and ordered that the task be undertaken by its own engineering wing,”stated Dr Dash.

Due to paucity of funds being faced by the PGI, the authorities had sought permission from the Union Health ministry to undertake construction of an operation theatre complex on two floors of the trauma centre complex, but the request was turned down, informed officials. “The amount of Rs 5.33 crore for the trauma centre had been lying with the CPWD for the past over two years, but it is only recently that the matter was taken up seriously and things expedited,” informed an official.

Seeing the patient load at the PGI from parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan, the need for a trauma centre was being felt, but with paucity of funds the project could not come through. Work is in full swing at the PGI on the construction of an advanced eye care centre and advanced cardiac care centre.



Tehelka weekly by November
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Tehelka, which made its claim to fame by uncovering sleaze in defence deals and sought to be “browbeaten” by the government, will bring out a weekly newspaper funded by subscribers by mid-November to continue its “sting operations and stand for public cause.”

This was announced here today by Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun J. Tejpal at a press conference during a subscriber enlisting campaign in the city, sixth in the country.

Mr Tejpal, who worked in the city as a journalist after studying in the DAV College, said, “The newspaper will stand for the spirit of dissent, transparency, championing the public cause to emerge a moral centre.” Tehelka has been able to make 103 founder subscribers including three from Chandigarh. The founder subscribers have paid Rs 1 lakh each.

The Tehelka Editor, who alleged that the portal that revealed corruption in defence deals was coming under fire from government agencies, said that he did not expect the ongoing inquiries to bring out anything.

Mr Tejpal said he had refused to join the second inquiry as Tehelka had already provided all information and documents it had at its command and there was nothing more to say.

He said Mark Tully, Anna Hazare, V. S. Naipaul, Mahashewta Devi, Kuldip Nayar, Ram Jethmalani, Swami Agnivesh, Khuswant Singh, Alique Padamsee, Mallika Sarabhai, Kapil Sibbal, Mahesh Bhatt, Shyam Benegal and Julio Ribeiro were on the advisory board .



Death count on tracks
Bipin Bhardwaj

             Suicide          Accidents 

Youth       5                     13 

Elderly     1                      —

Women    2                       1 

Total         8                       14

Chandigarh, September 19
On May 13 three persons were crushed to death by a train on the Zirakpur-Lalru section of the Kalka-Ambala line. Sujit Kumar and Manoj Yadav were mowed down by a train heading towards Ambala while Raj Kumar was crushed to death on the railway track near Dera Bassi.

Sujit Kumar and Manoj Yadav were taking a short cut across a railway bridge over a seasonal rivulet near Lalru. The bridge has no space for any person to stand when a train passes by. Hailing from Bihar, Sujit and Manoj were employees of a nearby factory.

On July 7 two more youths lost their lives in a similar manner. Bikram Singh of Lalru village and Lakhwinder Singh of Dehar village were crushed under a train while crossing the same railway bridge.

On September 15 Jasbir Singh, a 30-year-old resident of Dera Bassi, committed suicide by jumping in front of a train on the Kalka-Ambala line about half a kilometre away from his house soon after stabbing his wife, Gurmeet Kaur to death.

This section of the Kalka-Ambala line has claimed 23 lives since the beginning of the year. All deaths have occurred within a distance of 20 km between Dhakauli and Jharmari villages.

At one time the area was sparsely populated. However, now it is more like an urban extension and an industrial hub. There are very few underpasses for pedestrians and two wheelers. The track, does not have any railings. Moreover, there is only one over-bridge on the line.



Irregularities come under scanner at F&CC meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 19
Even as the meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was adjourned yesterday, a serious view was taken of the irregularities that attracted audit objections.

The meeting, which began around 3 pm, was adjourned as all agenda items could not be discussed. Of the total audit objections tabled at the meeting, a few audit objections for the financial year 1997-98 were discussed.

According to information, the issue of delayed payments of pending surcharges, amounting to lakhs of rupees, which had to be paid to the Chandigarh Administration came up for discussion. Taking a serious view of the irregularity, the officers concerned were asked to fix the responsibility.

On the issue of pending recovery of the house tax during the period of the earlier NAC Mani Majra, the committee members were informed that around Rs 14.50 lakh had been recovered and another Rs 28 lakh was pending. An audit objection regarding income tax deduction on the security amount of contractors, amounting to Rs 56,000, also came up for discussion. The Mayor, Mr Subash Chawla, said the next date of meeting would be announced later.

During the meeting, the inability of a former Chief Accounts Officer (CAO), Mr Jai Narian, to maintain details of the Rs 5.8-crore deposit in different banks till 1999 also came up for discussion. A member of the ruling group in the house said the audit objections pertained to the period when the BJP was in majority and the then mayors did not bother to clear the objections. The issue could be used against the BJP councillors in the coming general elections.

Sources in the corporation said a number of objections were regarding the failure to adjust temporary advances and made provisional payments, involving crores of rupees. Non-adjustment of the advances and payments were in violation of the rules.



CPWD employee dies in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A CPWD employee, Bant Singh, was killed when his scooter collided head on with a truck at the Sector 45-46 traffic light point today.

Bant Singh, 35, a resident of a government flat in Sector 46, was going towards SAS Nagar when the mishap occurred.

The truck has been impounded. Truck driver Padam, hailing from Solan, was arrested while trying to flee.

Meanwhile, in separate cases, the police found three bodies at Mataur Chowk in Kajheri, near the SAS Nagar furniture market and the Burail market.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC as none of the bodies bore any marks. While the bodies found at Mataur Chowk and the furniture market have not yet been identified, the body found near Sai Sweets in Burail has been identified as that of Shiv Pal, a Colony No. 4 resident and a rickshaw-puller. The police said Shiv Pal was an alcoholic. His wife, Shushila, said he had been missing since last evening.



Puppies for adoption

Chandigarh, September 19
The People for Animals (PFA), a non-government organisation working for animal welfare and environment awareness has offered following animals for adoption free of cost.

All that they need is a loving and caring family: Two male kittens, six weeks old, one black colour with golden eyes, 1 tabby colour; three female pups, mixed breed, white with little black spots and one is golden in colour; two-year-old female mixed GSD and labrador, fully vaccinated, very healthy and adorable and six mixed breed puppies, one month old, black and white, very healthy. For details contact phone 749080 and 749211 between 11 am and 1 pm. TNS



Crime Branch raids Online Job
Tribune Reporters

SAS Nagar/ Chandigarh, September 19
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police today seized seven computers and documents of the SAS Nagar-based office of Online (P) Ltd. in a raid.

The “easy money circulation company” is alleged to have violated RBI guidelines. The violation is estimated to involve an amount between Rs 10 crore and Rs 12 crore.

It is learnt that the DSP, Mr V.P. Singh, came to the premises of Online Job (P) Ltd. to seize documents relating to an ongoing case against the company.

The team, which had arrived at 11.30 a.m. after informing the local police, was scrutinising the records at about 4 p.m. when the correspondent visited the company office in Phase VIII, Industrial Area, here.

A case had been registered against the company on November 27, last year, on a complaint of the Deputy General Manager of the Reserve Bank of India, Mr S.P. Negi. Under the Prize Chit Fund Money Circulation Scheme Banning Act.

It is learnt that the CMD of the company, Mr J.D.S. Bains, his brother Amandeep Bains and a partner, Jaspal Singh, have applied for anticipatory bail in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this connection. The hearing has been fixed for September 22.

It is learnt that the company had enrolled about 7,500 members and each of whom had paid Rs 16,500 against membership fee. The company, which was launched in July, last year, had an office earlier in Sector 26, Chandigarh, but later shifted to Sector 9, Chandigarh. The company moved to its present office here about two months ago.

Online Private Limited, whose premises were raided by the Chandigarh Police today in SAS Nagar, contested the police charge, saying that the RBI, the complainant, had disassociated itself from the case, leaving the investigating agency with no jurisdiction to independently decide over the matter.

The company's vice-president (operations), Mr Deepak Chaudhary, said the Union Finance Minister had also said that no case was made out.

He said the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had issued instructions that in view of the Supreme Court judgement, the Prize Chit and Money Circulation Banning Act was not applicable to multi-level marketing companies.



Highway robbery case registered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
The Pinjore police tonight registered a case of attempt of robbery against unknown persons in connection with the highway robbery case on the Pinjore-Nalagarh road.

The case under Sections 392 and 511 of IPC has been registered on the complaint of Kehar Singh, who owns a hotel near Gareeda village, near where the incident took place in the wee hours of the morning yesterday.

At least nine vehicles on the Pinjore-Nalagarh National Highway were robbed by a group of six armed youths. Later they had fled from the scene, when passengers of a Himachal Roadways bus had rushed to the rescue of the victims — mostly truck and canter drivers.

In another incident, a 13-year-old boy, Ravi, died after having some snacks at his Rajiv Colony house this evening. The boy had vomitted after consuming the food . He was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, where he later died.



Safety award for Ranbaxy’s Mohali plant

Chandigarh, September 19
Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd has been awarded the National Safety Awards for the year 2001 and 2002. The company’s active pharmaceutical ingredients facilities at Mohali and Toansa ( Punjab) were honoured with awards at a function held in New Delhi recently.

Dr Naresh Kumar, Vice-President, Chemical Manufacturing, Ranbaxy, received the award on behalf of the company. The company has been declared winner under various categories, including the longest accident-free period (Mohali A-8 Plant) for year 2001 and 2002.

Dr Sahib Singh Verma, Union Minister of Labour, also conferred cash awards of Rs 25,000 each on four company employees. These included Mr Satparkash Khanna (Production Manager), Mr Gunwant Singh (EHS Officer), Mr Duryodhan Singh (Senior Plant Operator) and Mr Jagdish Singh ( Plant Operator) under the individual category of the Vishva Karma Rashtriya Puraskar Award.

Mr D.R. Swarup, Additional Secretary to the Government of India (Budget), Ministry of Finance (DEA), has been elected as President of World Savings Bank Institute ( Asia Pacific Chapter) at the regional group meeting held at Seoul, Korea, recently. TNS


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