C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Officiating charge order of the day in Admn
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

On officiating duty

Chief Architect, Chandigarh Administration

Director-Principal, Govt Medical College and Hospital (GMCH)

Medical Superintendent, GMCH

Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration

Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation.

Principal, Government College, Sector 11.

Principal, Government College, Sector 46.

Principal, Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

Principal, Government Home Science College, Sector 10.

Principal, Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10.

Assistant Director, Malaria.

Chandigarh, November 1
A large section of the Chandigarh Administration is managed by people who are on officiating duty. At least 10 senior and middle-level officials, including those who are heading their respective departments, are ad hoc appointees or have been given temporary charge. In some cases, they are holding additional charge.

In official parlance, an officiating charge is not like a regular promotion.

The reasons for the delay in several cases are the delayed departmental promotion committee (DPC) meetings or various official hurdles. In all cases, the DPC meeting has to be held in consultation with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

In the past, the UT Administrator had sought more powers to appoint officers.

Had the Union Ministry of Home Affairs agreed, this problem would have been solved. But this was turned down.

For those who are not promoted on a regular basis, it is like the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads as they can be reverted.

Interestingly, the worst hit is the education front. At least five principals of leading colleges of the city are holding temporary charge. Some like Mrs Usha Dhawal of Government Home Science College, Sector 10, and Mr S.C. Nijhawan, Government College, Sector 46, retired in the past few months while holding temporary charge of their respective colleges. They have been replaced by Ms Varsha Narula and Ms Geeta Mohan, respectively. Both are officiating as principals.

Two leading colleges — the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Government College, Sector 11 — are headed by principals who are not regularised, namely Mrs Usha Wahi Khetarpal and Mr Balvinder Singh, respectively.

For promoting principals, the Administration had approached the Government of India for notification of rules. The government says it is waiting a report from its committee which is examining the rules.

Now the Administration is looking at the possibility of carrying out promotions on the basis of old Punjab service rules which may be beneficial for teachers who are to be promoted as principals.

In another case, the Medical Superintendent of the GMCH, Prof Raj Bahadur, who is an orthropaedician, has been holding additional charge for the past three years. The Administration has found a full-time replacement now. The Director-Principal of the GMCH, Dr H.M. Swami, is officiating since Prof S.B.S. Mann was repatriated to the PGI on August 27. Sources said certain rules were being amended before a DPC meeting could be held for Dr Swami. So far, GMCH has had deputationists as heads. Now the Medical Council of India wants a doctor who is recruited directly to head the GMCH.

The Chief Engineers of the Administration and the Municipal Corporation have been officiating on their posts for the past month only. In the case of the Chief Engineer, MC, a panel of names has already come. For the post of Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration, the UPSC is yet to give a date.

The same is true for regular appointment of the Chief Architect. At present, Ms Renu Saighal is continuing for one year. The rules says the Chief Architect can be selected from anywhere in India. However, the Administration is bound by the Reorganisation of State Act, 1966, under which the choice can be limited to Punjab or Haryana. 


Mishaps in city claim 4 lives
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
Four-persons, including a two and-a-half-year-old girl, lost their lives in separate road accidents in the city during the past 24 hours. A college-going boy, a sweeper on duty and a 17-year-old resident of Mauli Jagraon were the victims.

Varinder Singh (18) died after the motor cycle he was pillion riding was hit by a truck on the dividing road of Sectors 46 and 47 this morning. Varinder died on the spot, said police.

A resident of Mauli village, near SAS Nagar, he was a BA I student at Government College, Sector 46. His classmate Jagmohan Singh (19) who was driving the motor cycle also sustained serious injuries and has been admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Jagmohan started for his residence at Bakarpur village, when Varinder asked him to be dropped home. He is survived by his parents and two younger brothers. His father is a security guard in an SAS Nagar-based company.

The truck driver had been arrested and the vehicle impounded.

In another accident, 25-year-old Sanjay died after he was hit by a tractor-trailer allegedly being driven by Mangal Singh at Raipur Khurd village this morning. Sanjay was sweeping a road in the village when the accident took place. The police said he died on the way to the GMCH, Sector 32. He was residing in the village along with his wife. Mangal Singh has been arrested.

In another mishap, Sunny, 17, of Mauli Jagraon village was killed when the three-wheeler he was travelling overturned after being hit by an unidentified car opposite The Tribune office this evening. Sunny's father is also a three-wheeler driver and he is survived by his parents, a sister and a brother.

In another incident two-and-a-half year old Kusum, daughter of Colony No. 4 resident Markesh Yadav, was crushed to death by a truck in the Industrial Area, Phase I here yesterday. 


Bureaucrat, retired Colonel lock horns over land
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, November 1
Tension prevails in Nabha village, near here, over a land dispute involving a senior Punjab bureaucrat and a retired Army Colonel. The dispute is over a piece of prime land located on the Chandigarh-Patiala national highway.

The retired Colonel, along with his family members, has been camping with a licensed gun and ammunition at the land round the clock while the bureaucrat is also not leaving any stone unturned to stake his claim to the land.

The conflict intensified when Mr Puneet Bhardwaj, son of Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman of the Punjab Planning Board, along with his close relatives and friends performed ‘bhoomi poojan’ at the disputed land on October 23. This was objected to by Col B.S. Guraya (retd), Chairman of Titan Motors Pvt Ltd, a service station of Telco Company at the site.

Both parties have even approached top Punjab police officials, besides Punjab Chief Minister and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The land (six bighas and nine biswa i.e. 6,450 sq yards approximately) was jointly purchased by Colonel Guraya and his brother-in-law, Surinder Singh Maan, in 1995. After the death of Surinder Singh Maan, his share of the land (about 3,550 sq yards) was divided in two parts and later transferred in the name of Jaswinder Kaur, widow of Surinder Singh. While the remaining share was owned by Titan Motors Pvt Ltd, owned by Colonel Guraya and his brother-in-law, Mr B.S. Bedi, the MD of the company.

Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 34 D, Chandigarh, sold her share of the land to Puneet Bhardwaj, which ignited the dispute.

In a complaint to the Director-General of the Punjab police on October 24, Mr Bedi had alleged that Puneet Bhardwaj, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula, visited the service station and threatened him and his employees with dire consequences. Puneet was accompanied by a police personnel from the Zirakpur police post and some other men when he came to the station on October 22, alleged Mr Bedi.

Bhardwaj pointed a pistol at Mr Bedi, directing him to wind up the service station since he had purchased that property, the complainant alleged.

Talking to The Tribune Colonel Guraya alleged that being a top bureaucrat who was close to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr R.R. Bhardwaj was enjoying political patronage and is being given favour by the police. The Colonel said the bureaucrat’s son, Puneet Bhardwaj, was trying to grab the land.

Colonel Guraya claimed that he had made a representation to the authorities concerned about the issue and had also ordered his men to shoot if anybody tried to trespass on the land.

Puneet Bhardwaj claimed that he had purchased the land belonging to Jaswinder Kaur after going through proper revenue records. He said Jaswinder Kaur, sister of Colonel Guraya, has given him possession of the land belonging to her.

He also alleged that Colonel Guraya, with the intention of grabbing the land, had been threatening him and camping at the site with guns and other arms.

Meanwhile, Jaswinder Kaur admitted that she had sold her share of the land, facing the highway, to Puneet Bhardwaj.


Armenia looks for investment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Calling for greater economic cooperation between India and Armenia, the President of Armenia, Mr Robert Kocharian, during his brief visit to the city today said his government had adopted a liberal approach towards foreign investment, which offered tremendous scope for Indian businessmen.

Stating that his four-day visit to India was focussed on fostering economic ties between the two countries, the visiting President said his government considered investment as one of the key aspects of economic development and had created a number of incentives to attract and facilitate foreign business to Armenia.

He was addressing industrialists, agriculturists and government officials during an interaction session organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here.

Mr Kocharian was accompanied by his wife, Ms Bella, and a high-level delegation, including Foreign Affairs Minister Vartan Oskanian, Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Chshmartian, Agriculture Minister David Lokian, Education and Science Minister Sergo Yeritsian, and Armenian Ambassador to India Armen Baibourtian.

Pointing out that Indo-Armenian trade at present amounted to just US $4.6 million, he listed hi-tech electronic items, electrical power systems, computer software engineering, agriculture and food processing, mining and metallurgy, chemical production and tourism among areas with potential for bilateral trade. The bulk of Armenian imports at present are from Canada, Europe, Russia and the USA.

Mr Kocharian also listed measures adopted by his government to stimulate economic development and attract investment, including doing away with currency controls and allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership. He said Armenia's growth rate this year was pegged at 15 per cent.

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Armenia could import sugar, grains and agro-machinery from Punjab. Stating that that Armenia can benefit from Punjab's agriculture experience and expertise, the Chief Minister said India and Armenia should forge a long-term understanding.

The Chief Minister assured the delegation that Punjab would always be ready to assist in the field of agriculture and agro-industry. He also offered to send a delegation comprising agriculturists and industrialists from Punjab to Armenia in May next to study areas of mutual interest.

A number of industrialists and agriculturists from Punjab were also present to interact with the visiting President.

Earlier, Mr Kocharian inaugurated the Centre for Caucasian Study, being set up at CRRID with assistance from the Ministry of External Affairs. The centre would undertake multi-disciplinary research in the field of cultural, economic and scientific development and also focus on the study of international relations.

A slice of elegance from Armenia
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Thanks to the activity at the end of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Chandigarh is being flooded with quality presentations from culturally rich lands across the world. After vibrant presentations made by troupes from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, it is now the turn of dancers from Armenia to charm the city audience with their elegance, style and handsomeness.

Arriving in Chandigarh today, the 21-member troupe comprising 10 female and 11 male dancers headed straight for Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Auditorium in Sector 30-A where they practised folk dance all day. The presentation is scheduled for tomorrow at 6.30 pm. While the dancers practised on stage, one did not feel the urge to communicate to understand what the dance conveyed. It was only when the rehearsal ended that the need for communication arose.

Because the dancers could not comprehend English, the conversation happened through an interpreter, Ms Anahit Sharbatyan, a senior specialist of International Relations Department under the Armenian Ministry of Culture, who is accompanying the dancers to India.

Already sold out to Indian food, the dancers talked about how Armenian food tasted almost similar to Indian food. They were also particularly struck by the friendly Indians, as they said, “Our troupe is called Barekamutyun, which means friendship in Armenian. We are happy to be here in India, which values friendship and bonds”.

Established in 1987 to support and promote Armenian dance tradition, the group is distinguished from others through its individual appeal and professional style and presentation. Excited about the cultural exchange that is now happening between Armenia and India, the dancers talked of how they loved the quintessential Indian disco dancer, Mithun Chakraborty.

Informed Anahit, “All our dancers watch Indian cinema with great interest. The film, “Disco Dancer”, is a great hit there. Also we keep having annual exchange of dance traditions. Recently we had Odissi performers from India”.

For its part, the Armenian national dance group will make several presentations tomorrow, including a dance in the honour of the Armenian capital Yerevan, another dance showcasing the resurrection of Armenia, yet another showing the beauty of its dames, besides a sequence reflecting nuances of Armenian folk traditions.

The troupe, as Ms Anahit informed, comprises 40 dancers back home, all of them alumni from the famous State Choreographical School of Armenia. Interestingly, Armenian dancers have not limited their area of excellence. They can dance Russian, Bulgarian and Arabian forms with equal ease and elegance. Respected for their unique idiom, the dancers credit their success to their director Norair Mehrabyan, who has the title of Honoured Professional in Arts, the highest cultural award in Armenia.Back


PU revamping thesis evaluation
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
To lend more credibility to the doctorate degree and ensure quality research work, Panjab University is revamping the entire process of evaluation.

There is no denying the fact that a sizeable number of research works for doctorate are "routine presentations". As a university professor puts it, "Research often means picking two or three theses on a topic similar to yours and choosing the relevant parts. This becomes obvious from the fact that not more than a fraction of the total research work in the university finds mention anywhere significant."

Prof R.D.Anand, a Fellow of the university senate, while evaluating a doctoral work from one Indian university, received a performa for evaluation that impressed him.

He forwarded a proposal for a change in the existing evaluation system to Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, who constituted a committee to go through the details of the process and make suggestions for improvement.

Professor Anand pointed out certain flaws in the existing format for examiners and made suggestions for a new format. It has been pointed out that a thesis should be evaluated on a scale of 0-5 on quality, content and presentation.

It is felt that under the existing system the evaluation does not adequately handle individual aspects of quality, content and presentation.

Salient features of quality will now include introduction to the work, review of literature, scope of work, technical soundness, problem statement, originality, timeliness and conclusions.

On the aspect of content and presentation, the examiners will take into account adequacy of data, organisation of the thesis, practical applicability and adequacy of references, style of presentation and the "soul" of the thesis.

The examiner is also expected to give a detailed report on the strengths and weaknesses of the thesis. It has also been suggested that the examiner be asked to send a list of questions to be put to the candidate. The research scholar should be asked to submit a research colloquium, in which faculty and research scholars can suggest improvement.

A meeting of all the deans of various faculties was held recently, which decided to constitute a committee for further suggestions to incorporate changes in the existing evaluation system.

The committee members include Prof Jitender Mohan, Prof Indu Banga and Prof Swaranjit Mehta.


Widow loses money from bank, HC tells police to act
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Struggles never end. If you do not believe in the maxim, just listen to the woeful tale of an 85-year-old widow of a Captain of the Azad Hind Force.

A suspect reportedly took out Rs 65,000 from her account fraudulently. Soon after the incident, another cheque for Rs 7.8 lakh was presented despite the fact that a cheque book was never issued.

Seeking the registration of a case against the suspect and investigation into the matter, the widow, Ms Harbans Kaur of SAS Nagar, has now moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

She has alleged inaction on part of the police despite the fact that a complaint was lodged with the Station House Office (SHO) of the police station concerned by the bank, along with her complaints.

Taking up the case, Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the high court has directed the SHO of SAS Nagar's Phase I police station to consider the complaint, along with that of the bank.

"If any cognizable offence is made out from the complaint, then proceedings against the respondents may be initiated," the Judge concluded in his detailed order, while disposing of the petition.

Giving details, the petitioner had earlier contended that she came to know about the withdrawal on March 13, only after seeing the entries in the passbook. Interestingly, she had never been issued a cheque book. Someone had simply managed to get the book issued from the bank on her behalf for committing the offence.

A representation, she added, was immediately made to the bank's branch manager. Soon after, a complaint was made to the Banking Ombudsman. But on May 17, the petitioner was informed by the bank that another cheque for over Rs 7 lakh had been presented.

Acting swiftly, the petitioner asked the bank to stop the payment and sought an inquiry into the incident. After the needle of suspicion pointed towards a Sector 55, Chandigarh, resident, the bank lodged a complaint with the police on July 11.

Despite a number of complaints, action had not been initiated by the police against the suspect till date, the petitioner alleged. Arguing before the court, counsel for the petitioner added that the petitioner had suffered irreparable loss due to the fraud committed by the suspect.


DC allays fears about milk colony
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The work on the new Milk Colony, to be developed on about 100 acres of land near Maloya, Khuda Ali Sher and Mauli Jagran villages has started with great enthusiasm After the near failure of the Milk Colony project at Dhanas village, the Administration is taking no chances to make it successful.

A dream project of Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner and Director, Panchayats, it has raised a lot of hue and cry among the public about the possible misuse of land, to be acquired for the project. The critics are arguing that by rehabilitating the milk producers, who were keeping milch animals in the city against the building bylaws, the Administration is encouraging their violation. Further, because of the scarcity of land, the proposed land could be used for better purpose like IT parks, or some big projects in near future.

They add the project may flop like other rehabilitation schemes of the Administration launched from time to time. But Mr Arun Kumar says with determination,” We are taking all precautions. There will be no permanent allotment of land to the milk producers. The village panchayat land will be given on rent to the allottee by the panchayats on rent for a specific period of time. In case of violation of the deed, the contract between panchayat and allottee could be cancelled”.

He said: “As per the recent survey, there were about 6,000 milch animals in the city kept by at least 600 owners. We will allot plots of 150 and 250 square yard on rent to them at a rate of Rs 2 per square yard. On an average a milk producer will have to pay Rs 300 to Rs 500 per month as rent, and he will be able to keep 10 to 20 animals at that place. The Maloya Village Panchayat and others will earn about Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh per annum that could be used for the benefit of these villages.”

A visit to the project site revealed that the work is in full swing. A road is being constructed from Maloya village bus stand to these plots. Ms Surjit Kaur, Sarpanch of the Maloya village, admitted that a section of the villagers, who had encroached upon the land, are still opposing the project. Some of them have also threatened to approach the court.

She said: “We are determined to implement the project since apart from the annual revenue, the village milk producers will also get land at half the rent.”Mr Arun Kumar, disclosed that out of 500 applications received so far, at least 350 applications have been processed. Others were from Punjab residents. The land would be probably allotted by next week and the milk producers can construct their temporary sheds to keep their animals. After the construction of the road, there is plan to install a tubwell for water supply as well.

Allaying the fears of critics, he said,” The presence of milch animals in the city is a reality, and we have to find a way out to settle them on the outskirts of the city. It will be ensured that the land is not misutilised.” Appreciating the scheme, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Senior Deputy Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, claimed that the proper implementation of the scheme will help the Administration keep city clean. 


Residents up in arms against unauthorised slums
Chitleen K. Sethi

SAS Nagar, November 1
Residents here are up in arms against the unchecked unauthorised slum areas on the Chandigarh-SAS Nagar border. While these slums do not affect people living in Chandigarh directly, a large number of local residents living in Phases XI, X, IX, 3A and I are finding themselves as neighbours of slum dwellers across the Chandigarh border.

While most of these slum colonies on the borders are at least a decade old, the problem has intensified after slum colonies within Chandigarh and SAS Nagar were demolished by the Chandigarh Administration and PUDA. These slums ended up swelling in number and spilling over to the areas bordering Chandigarh within a few feet of residential sectors of SAS Nagar.

The most affected are residents of Phase X, where a large number of houses are now sharing their back walls and gates with Guru Nanak colony spread across Sector 49 in Chandigarh and Phase X here. ‘‘We have been struggling for over eight years to get it removed. But we have failed. The colony has simply grown in population. Neither the Chandigarh Administration nor PUDA seem to be genuinely interested in helping us to get rid of the filth that we have to live with each day,’’said Mr T.S.Teer, president of the Residents Welfare Association, Phase IX.

A similar situation was found in Phase XI where newly constructed cooperative housing buildings are overlooking the Sector 48 C slum. ‘‘These slums are now well-established colonies. They are listed as voters both in Chandigarh and in SAS Nagar. ‘‘Since the Chandigarh Administration has virtually holed them up with a high wall, they have their entry points in SAS Nagar and if we raise a wall from our side it will be like putting them in a case," said Mr Trilochan Singh, a resident of Phase XI.

Residents of Phase 3-A have the Nehru Colony dwellers as their neighbours. Settled in a narrow corridor between the Leisure Valley choe and the Chandigarh border a part of the colony was demolished recently by the Chandigarh Administration, leading to the shifting of the colony towards SAS Nagar. ‘‘There is a wall separating the colony from Phase 3-A but it is breached at a number of places. Now the colony dwellers have built a temple-cum-gate at the entrance of the colony on the SAS Nagar side. Despite the efforts of PUDA the gate could not be demolished," explains Mr Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Phase 3-A.

The proliferation of yet another unauthorised colony has recently taken place opposite Phase I. The Pir colony here is spread between Palsora village and the Chandigarh border. ‘‘But what is happening now is that the colony dwellers are establishing small khokhas on the Chandigarh side and have virtually come to our doorsteps. Did we buy property here to live next to a slum? ’’questions a Phase I resident.

‘‘It is not just the quality of life alone which has suffered due to the presence of slums nearby but there has been a substantial increase in petty thefts, eve-teasing and rowdy behavior, even fire incidents that are making these colonies more than just a nuisance,’’ remarked Col. H.S. Sangha (retd), president of the Residents Welfare Association here.


Prayer service in honour of Mother Teresa
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
“We receive in giving — that was her motto”, said Rt Rev De Gerald John Mathias, Bishop of the Shimla-Chandigarh Diocese, at the thanksgiving prayer service held in honour of Mother Teresa. The service was organised at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Catholic Church, Sector 19, this afternoon.

The Bishop was present in Rome at the beatification of Mother Teresa. Addressing a gathering, the Bishop said, “She gave dignity to life by looking after the poorest of the poor”.

The chief guest, UT Home Secretary R.S. Gujral, said, “Mother Teresa was full of love and compassion for others. All human beings should imbibe the same spirit”.

Also present on the occasion was Chandigarh’s former Deputy Commissioner M.G. Deva Sahayam. Praising her efforts, he said, “Mother Teresa professed global compassion and love for others”.

The former DC said he came across the poor and the downtrodden living in the slums, along with physically and mentally children, during his tenure in 1975. He stated that moved by their plight, he invited Mother Teresa to the city.

She was taken aback by the poverty existing in the so-called affluent city. During her brief visit, she decided to set up a charity house. That is how the Home in Sector 23 came into being after her visit in 1975.

He revealed that about 200 abandoned physically and mentally challenged people were being served at the Home. Appreciating the efforts of the city residents, the former DC said they were giving full support.

Later, Father Thomas Anchanikal of the Catholic Church in Sector 19 read out a passage from the Bible, “When I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was in prison and sick, you came to see me”. These lines, he asserted, were “very dear” to Mother Teresa and she quoted them everywhere.

The programme started with a prayer song. The welcome address was delivered by Bishop Gerald John Mathias followed by a hymn tribute to Mother Teresa. The service ended with the National Anthem.

An inter-faith prayer service was earlier held at Shantidan in Sector 23 to mark the beginning of the celebrations. Clad in white saris with blue borders, the nuns at the Home were elated during the ceremony. Priests from all religious sects offered prayers. Together they expressed gratitude to God for the gift of Mother Teresa to humanity. On the occasion, a portrait gifted to the nuns was unveiled. Flowers were also offered.


Framing of construction bylaws sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Municipal councillors have demanded early framing of bylaws governing the construction of buildings in four villages falling under the jurisdiction of the corporation. They claim that the corporation could not issue no-objection certificate (NOC) to villagers for getting civic amenities like water, electricity and storm water connection.

A three-member delegation of councillors, comprising Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Balraj Singh and Mr S.L. Vaid, recently called upon the UT Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A Singh, demanding early framing of the bylaws keeping in mind the problems of villagers. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Surinder Singh, a councillor from Mani Majra, said since 1998, the NOC for seeking basic amenities, transfer of property and allotment of house number had been banned by the Administration.

The four villages — Burail, Baterla, Badheri and Mani Majra — were transferred to the corporation in 1994, two years before elections to the civic body took place. Since gram panchayats in the villages did not have any guidelines to govern the haphazard construction, no penalty was imposed on the violators.

He said the Administration objected to the cantilevers extended by villagers but there was no law to check the construction. In January 2002, the Congress-dominated General House of the corporation passed a resolution to issue NOCs for civic amenities. It also decided to examine the building violations regarding cantilevers. But the resolutions of the corporation were rejected by the Chandigarh Administration.

The General House passed a resolution stating that it did not violate any executive powers. On repeated persuasion by the corporation, the Administration then decided to frame guidelines regarding cantilevers and other related issues. But another order of the Administration, passed in 1998, not allowing height of buildings beyond 34 feet, is being openly violated.

Certain structures in Sarangpur, Badheri and other villages have crossed the 34-feet guideline.

Mrs Lalit Joshi and Mr Surinder Singh demanded that the bylaws should be framed keeping in mind the needs of the villagers The councillors are meeting the Finance Secretary again on the issue.


Army Aviation Corps celebrates raising day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Bonhomie, camaraderie and esprit de corps marked the 17th raising day celebrations of the Army Aviation Corps, the youngest arm of the Army, at Chandimandir military station, near here, today.

A press note issued here today said a social get-together was organised at the Shivalik Officers Institute, Chandimandir, to mark the occasion, which was graced by Lieut-Gen P.K. Grover, Chief of Staff, Western Command.

Although the Army Aviation Corps has been in existence since Independence as the erstwhile Air Observation Post, it became an independent arm on November 1, 1986, when Air Observation Post helicopters were transferred to the Army from the Air Force. This elite arm has participated in all wars and operations undertaken by the Army since Independence.

It boasts of one of the highest number of gallantry awards among all fighting arms of the Army. From being the lifeline of soldiers in the icy battlefield of Siachen to undertaking counter-insurgency operations in the northern and eastern sectors, from early days of flying ‘unarmed into battle’ to flying ‘armed and attack’ missions, the Army Aviation Corps has made rapid strides in establishing itself as the principle manoeuvre arm in future combat.

The corps is manned by selecting the very best among the officer cadre from armoured, artillery, air defence artillery, infantry and mechanised Infantry.

Meanwhile, in another function at Chandimandir today, the Intelligence Corps of the Army celebrated its 61st anniversary. The occasion was marked by hosting a high tea, which was attended by General Grover.

Brig V.K. Bhutani, Brigadier-General Staff (intelligence) at Western Command Headquarters, extending his greetings to all officers, JCOs, other ranks and families of the corps, exhorted the men to continue to work with dedication, zeal and alacrity. The Army Chief, Gen N.C. Vij, GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S.S. Mehta and the Director-General, Military Intelligence, Lieut-Gen Richard Khare, have extended their good wishes to the corps, which was raised on November 1, 1942, during World War II in Karachi. 


IGP opens refresher courses
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
The valedictory function of refresher courses for ORS (Head constables and constables) and Home Guard volunteers was held here today.

The chief guest at the function, Mr Rajesh Kumar, IGP, inaugurated the next batch of refresher courses of ORS and Home Guard volunteers. On the occasion Om Prakash and Ashwani Kumar, both constables, and Bhupinder Kaur, Balwinder Singh, both Home Guard volunteers, were given commendation certificates for standing first in indoor and outdoor activities respectively.

The IGP also distributed special Commendation Certificates, along with rewards worth Rs 12,400 among 42 constables of the second batch, who recently passed out.

Lady constable Eram Rizvi (586/CP), who has been declared overall best police recruit in their basic training course, is the first qualified lady drill Instructor of Chandigarh. She is also imparting training to lady recruit constables at the recruit training centre.

Among others who were present at the function included SSP Gaurav Yadav and SP Amitabh Dhillon. 


State of apni mandis
MC losing revenue from apni mandis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
As the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has decided to allow local vendors at apni mandis, a long-pending proposal to empower the corporation to manage the mandis in the city has once again started gaining support. By allowing the Punjab Mandi Board to hold apni mandis in the city the Corporation is losing revenue.

An officer of the corporation said it had been decided that vendors would be allowed to do business at the mandis organised in different sectors. A committee under the chairmanship of Mrs Shyama Negi has been set up in this regard.

Sources in the corporation said last year the Chandigarh Market Committee had proposed to organise apni mandis and issue licences to farmers from neighbouring areas to sell their produce in the city. Instead of getting the land rent of Rs 500 per mandi the Corporation would have earned much more, said a councillor. But the proposal was shot down by officers on deputation from Punjab.

The Chairman of the Chandigarh Market Committee, Mr Kuldeep Singh, who is also the Senior Deputy Mayor of the corporation, said he favoured the market committee managing apni mandis. If the vendors could be allowed to sell their items after paying a certain amount of fee, the corporation could also decide on running the mandis — an issue which had inter-state implications, he added.

Mr Chander Mukhi, a councillor, said he welcomed the idea of the market committee running the apni mandis. However, the Punjab Mandi Board could object to it. It could prevent farmers from selling their produce in other states or impose certain amount of fee on taking vegetables outside the state, opined an officer of the corporation.

To check corruption, parking problem, complaints of under-weighing and poor quality of vegetables and other eatables, the mandi should be managed by a single body, Mr Kuldeep Singh said. He added that the corporation should allow the holding of apni mandis by farmers and vendors on alternate days.

Mr Chander Mukhi said since the ownership of the land or the permission to use the land vested with the local authorities, the problems could be tackled by the local authorities in the interest of the farmers, vendors and buyers.


Science exhibition concludes
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 1
The three-day science exhibition concluded at Paragon School, Sector 71, here yesterday. The overall championship was won by teams from SAS Academy, Ropar, whereas teams from Lawrence Public School were declared runners-up. Teams from Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3-B1 and Paragon School, Sector 71, were adjudged second runners-up.

The Deputy Speaker, Punjab, Vidhan Sabha, and MLA, Kharar, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, was the chief guest at the function and gave away prizes to winning teams. The SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, presided over the function while Mr Ujagar Singh Malhi, District Education Officer, Ropar, welcomed the chief guest. The school administrator, Mr Balraj Singh Shergill, proposed a vote of thanks.

Meanwhile, three teachers from Jian Myong School in Mospo, South Korea, are on a week-long visit to Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, here. These teachers are visiting the school following the visit of a team from the school to China and South Korea last month. Stating that the teachers are here to observe the functioning of school here, Mr Balraj Singh Shergill, school Administrator, said a memorandum of understanding for a full-fledged exchange programme would be signed between the two schools.

Child festival from November 6

A four day national child festival will be organised here from November 6. According to a press note issued by Dr Gurdev Singh, retired Deputy Director Colleges, Punjab, children from over 20 states will participate in the festival. The festival will be held at Shivalik Public School here where children will interact with each other under one roof.

AITUC protest

The local branch of the All-India Trade Union Council (AITUC) today observed the establishment day of AITUC which was set up in 1920 here today. According to a press note issued by the Trade Union Council’s general secretary; Mr Ramji Dass, employees of various industrial units here today staged a protest outside Punjab Recorders Limited here and condemned the Punjab Government and the management for adopting disinvestement and selling public units to private hands. It was reiterated that the employees of Punjab Recorders Limited had not received their wages for over 10 months and the management was not doing anything about it.

Camp to check female foeticide

An awareness camp to check female foeticide was organised by the local unit of the Ranbaxy Community Health Care Society at Chunni Kalan, village Fatehgarh Sahib district yesterday. More than 120 women panches and sarpanches of three villages participated. Mr R. Srinivasan, Chairperson, of the society, was the chief guest at the camp. Addressing the participants, Mr Srinivasan said woman need to keep their minds open and practise what they preach. Dr P.L. Goel, Civil Surgeon, Fatehgarh Sahib district said people should help the authorities to take action against those involved in female foeticide.

Concern over vulgarity

A meeting of the local Cultural Coordination Committee was held here yesterday. Presiding over the meeting, Mr Ajit Sailani expressed grave concern over the vulgarity being shown on TV. The general secretary, Mr Sanjivan Singh, suggested that a convention on the increased show of vulgarity on TV should be held where some solutions to the problem can be reached at.


Devotees hold rath yatra
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
The Sri Shanda Shasti celebrations today concluded with a rath yatra from Sri Ayyappa Temple in Sector 47. The procession culminated at Sri Karthikeya Swamy Temple in Sector 31-D.

The celebrations had started on October 26. According to organisers, these seven days were celebrated every year to mark the Lord Murugan’s victory. Those wishing to have a child, good education, marriage, peace of mind, good health or wealth, keep fast on all six days. On the seventh day, they perform puja of Lord Murugan. Annadhanam (langar) was organised daily during the festival.


Brahma Kumaris hold exhibition
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
For providing an insight to residents regarding the use of spiritual power inherent in everyone and for leading a meaningful, happy and stress-free life, a two-day exhibition by Brahma Kumaris Rajyoga Meditation Centre in Sector 21 was inaugurated today.

The topics of the exhibition included natural peace, love and happiness in life, besides power to perform good karmas. Mind management was highlighted, along with art of enjoying stress-free life.

The exhibition was inaugurated by MP Pawan Bansal at Central park in Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra.


Yoga camp
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 1
The Divine Life Society's local branch will organise a yoga sadhna and meditation camp at plot number 2 in Sector 29 from November 2 to 8.

The camp will be conducted daily from 6 am to 7. 30 am and 6 pm to 7.30 pm by Swami Dharmanishthananda, senior Yoga Acharya from Society's Shivananda Ashram in Rishikesh.


5 held for girls’ trafficking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The local police has busted a racket involving the trafficking of 35 city girls for pubs in Bangalore through a Sector 19-based musical group and a Daddu Majra based group. They allegedly lured them into this with a promise to give them a chance to work in music albums.

The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police is investigating into a possible trafficking of around 1,000 dancing girls, mostly from the city, Punjab and Haryana.

The kingpin of the racket, Murlidharan, arrested last night by the Chandigarh Police from Hotel Mountview along with Rakesh Batalvi of Musical Group and Kuldeep Singh and Baljit of Daddu Majra told the police that the girls here were preferred to those from Mumbai as they were considered beautiful.

Muralidharan had come to the city to recruit 14 more girls for his pubs Topaz and Waves as he said a few of them had come back to the city during Divali.

The police is procuring a list of all 35 girls sent to Bangalore.

The trafficking of city girls started four months back when the manager of the Juhu-based Night Lovers Pub in Mumbai, Manjunath, reportedly informed Murlidharan that he was getting girls for his pub from here.

The racket was busted on the complaint of a Mauli Jagra complex girl’s mother, Ms Anoop Kaur, who said her daughter had not contacted them for the past few days after she was sent through local agents. Simar’s cousin Rajni had also gone to Bangalore and both of them had earlier complained to Simar’s mother against Muralidharan.

They had also told Simar’s mother that Muralidharan was not allowing them to even buy train tickets to return home, crime branch in charge K.I.P. Singh told reporters today.

Mr K.I.P. Singh said he was told that 14 girls from Chandigarh recruited by these two music companies were still working at two pubs in Bangalore.

The police is still looking for a Daddu Majra resident, Ms Komal, and her mother Asha in connection with the racket.

The accused told the police Muralidharan promised each girl Rs 15,000 per month while the commission of agents was Rs 5,000 per month.

The police first last night picked up Kuldeep and Baljeet and made them talk to Muralidharan, who informed them that he was on way to Chandigarh to recruit 14 more girls.

After getting this information the police laid a trap, but failed to arrest Muralidharan. He was arrested when he came out to buy a charger for his mobile phone from the Sector 10 market.

Muralidharan told the police that he was recruiting his dancers through Batalvi, Kuleep and Baljeet, who were arrested immediately from Sector 19 and Daddu Majra.

One of their accomplice Kapil of Sector 30 was arrested today.

Meanwhile, the police today procured 10 days’ remand for the five.

Mr K.I.P. Singh said his team seized Rs 1.5 lakh, a gold watch, a gold bangle and a chain from Muralidharan.

The accused told the police that Simar had allegedly fled their pub and Rajni was still with them. The police also picked up a friend of Muralidharan but let him off after it was found out that he was visiting the city as a tourist.

A police party is likely to go to Bangalore tomorrow along with the accused in this connection.Back


One killed in highway mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, November 1
A driver was killed and another sustained injuries after their vehicles collided head-on on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here this morning.

The body of the deceased remain lying on the roadside for over eight hours since it could not be identified till in the evening.

Eyewitnesses said a tempo heading towards Chandigarh and a truck approaching from the opposite direction collided head-on in which the tempo driver died on the spot while the driver of the truck sustained injuries.

The accident caused a traffic jam on the road.

After impounding the vehicles, the police registered a case of negligent driving and causing hurt under Sections 279 and 304-A of the Indian Penal code against the truck driver who reportedly fled from the scene.


4 caught printing ISI marks on plywood
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 1
After conducting a raid on a godown located at Bhabhat village, the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat nabbed four employees of a company, dealing with plywood, printing the brand names of four companies and ISI marks on the plywood sheets, here yesterday.

Besides, nabbing the employees, the civic body has also seized some stencils and stickers (having brand names of companies) from the godown. The civic body smelt a rat after its octroi-collection team reached the godown enquiring if the company was paying octroi on the imported goods. Headed by Mr Sudarshan Singh, octroi inspector, the team found that the company men were printing brand names of some companies with ISI mark on ply-wood sheets.

Subsequently, the police was informed. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Gurjeet Singh, in charge Lohgarh police post, said that Sandeep Gupta and Sanjay Gupta, proprietors of the company — Gupta Ply-Wood — along with Rajan Gupta and Neeraj Gupta, have been nabbed for printing fake names on the plywood sheets. He, however, said a case would be registered against them after investigating the matter properly.

Meanwhile, some relatives of the company proprietors alleged that some men of the octroi contractor demanded huge money from them and implicated them in a false case after they turned down their demand.


BSNL offers unique scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Starting a unique scheme, the local office of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today said people in the city can have a landline phone just for incoming calls by paying a rent of Rs 160 per month. For SAS Nagar, Panchkula and Kharar, the charge will be Rs 120 per month.

Incoming calls will be allowed on this phone. In case a person wants outgoing call facility on the same phone a flat call charge of Rs 1.20 per pulse for local calls shall prevail. And there will no free calls, a spokesperson explained. A subscriber can avail only incoming facility and also has the option of having both incoming and outgoing facility.

Sources in the telecom sector said this scheme of having lower monthly rental for incoming phones can be useful for the elderly who have to make fewer calls but receive calls from children or relatives living elsewhere. The lowered rentals can be useful. The same will be beneficial for businessmen wanting to put up phones for their staff.

Also the BSNL has extended the student plan for its cellular services. The plan will be available for one more month. Under this plan a student who is studying in class VIII or above can get a cell connection at a rental of Rs 99 per month.


Khadi fare beckons with impressive discounts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) today put up another show of khadi products. This exhibition comes close on the heels of the earlier khadi show held in Chandigarh in August. However, it stands distinguished from the earlier one by vast participation of artisans from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

On display during the show that was inaugurated this afternoon by Mr Banwari Lal Gaur, Expert Member and Chairman, Certification Committee, KVIC, are a host of khadi items, all hand woven, hand spun and hand made. The usual khadi fare includes a host of mattresses, cushion covers, pillows and pillow covers, rugs, blankets and quilts. Another special feature of the exhibition is an exquisite range of Kashmiri “namdanas”, which are rich with their embroidery and intricacy. All products in the exhibition, which is being held opposite to the Sector 34 gurdwara, are available on a 25 per cent discount.

New entrants into the khadi exhibition this time are samples of organic food like organic basmati rice, pulses and spices, besides a range of vermi products like vermicompost, vermiwash and liquid vermi sprays for plants.

The exhibition will be open till November 29 between 10 am and 8 pm.

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