C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CHB slashes interest rate
Allottees to pay 10 pc interest on instalments
Tribune News Service


  • Will apply to future allotments
  • People allotted flats in the past will benefit
  • Cut-off date likely to be December 1

Chandigarh, November 27
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today made a change in its policy by bringing down the rate of interest charged on instalments from allottees from 18 per cent to 10 per cent. The decision was taken at a meeting of the board members today.

The new rates of interest would apply only to future instalments and not to all allotments made in the past by the CHB. The reduction in rate of interest would substantially bring down the financial burden on allottees.

At present, the CHB charges 18 per cent interest from allottees. The matter came up at the meeting of the board today, where it was agreed upon to reduce it to 10 per cent. Certain clarifications with regards to spending on the upcoming scheme in Sector 51 were sought. Since the scheme was in the pipeline, the financial liabilities would have to be checked.

Sources said the decision to reduce the rate of interest for all previous allotments was not possible as the board had spent the amount on constructing flats at a previous date. At that time, the return on investments of the CHB was higher and if today the rate of interest was reduced, it would cause a loss to the CHB.

The interest component of the CHB is important as a sizeable portion of the cost of the flat is recovered over a period of 8 to 10 years from the allottee. Sources said if a flat cost Rs 13 lakh, about Rs 4 lakh was recovered in instalments. The reduction for each allottee would be to the tune of a few thousand rupees each year. In case they did not choose to have a reduction in terms of money and continued to pay the same amount, the instalments will be over sooner than planned.

A cut-off date would be fixed for future allotment, which was likely to be December 1. From that date, all future allotments will be at the new rate of interest. The interest rate of 18 per cent had been fixed during the middle of the last decade, when bank interest rates were high. There was no justification now to have such high rates of interest when interest rates were falling in the banking industry, the sources said.

The Estate office of the Chandigarh Administration charges 10 per cent interest on properties it auctions. The same is true for the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the Punjab Urban Development Authority, which charge interest at the rate of 11 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.



Panel to look into changes in CHB flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The committee constituted under the Deputy Commissioner to look into need-based changes in dwelling units in Chandigarh will also look into need-based changes in flats constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board, (CHB).

In a coordination meeting, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today opined that there were several violations in the dwelling units constructed by CHB. The committee would also look into the possibility of allowing some need-based changes in the backyards of these houses. The board Chairman, Mr G.K. Marwaha, had asked the Administration to have the same committee look into the violations in CHB flats.

It was decided at the meeting that in no case would front elevation of any house be allowed to be altered. No encroachment on public land would be allowed or compounded.



Certificate forgery gang busted, 2 held
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
In a major breakthrough, the Mohali police has claimed to have busted a hi-tech forgery gang, arresting two persons from Mohali on charges of forging vital documents, including matriculation and other certificates of the Punjab School Education Board.

The two accused, Manikaran Singh and Ashwini Goswami, belong to Mohali. They had been carrying out the show from rented accommodation here. They were using computers, scanners and colour printers to copy and print matriculation and other certificates of various education boards in the country. The police also seized some fake certificates from them.

The arrests come in wake of the booking of a clerk of the education board last week on charges of issuing fake receipts to people coming to the board to deposit fee for various purposes. Although the police is connecting the two instances, sources said the two persons arrested from Mohali today had 'contacts' in the board, but were not directly involved with the clerk booked.

Sources in the police said separate police teams, including some women, raided different places in and around Mohali and Chandigarh, looking for certain accomplices of the duo including employees of the education board to whom these two were providing the certificates.

This is the first major success for the new SP, Mohali, Mr Vijay Pratap Singh, on whose information the gang was busted. When contacted, he confirmed that a lookout for some other persons connected with the case was on.

The sources said Manikaran Singh was the son of slain extremist Charanjit Singh Channi and lived with his mother on the premises of a government dispensary at Mohali, where she worked as a nurse. The two arrested today have been booked under Sections 420, 474, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.



MC fails to take action against erring officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
It seems that the Municipal Corporation is not keen to take action against officers who concealed facts about two commercial sites, resulting in the loss of lakh of rupees during an auction of the sites in Sector 9 held last year.

The role of the officers in misrepresenting and concealing the facts has already been found in an inquiry conducted by Mr G.K. Marwaha, Chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board. On the basis of the findings of the inquiry report, the Finance and Contract Committee in its meeting held on October 18 had recommended a disciplinary action against officers who concealed the facts and misguided committee members on the facts of the two commercial sites — SCO's Nos 176 to 77 and 178 to 79.

Sources in the corporation said despite the recommendations of the committee, the minutes of the meeting only mentioned the recommendation of the cancellation of the two SCO's and paying of the compensation amount.

The committee had found that these officers had concealed facts about the status of the commercial sites from it.

Though the sites were put up for auction twice, the committee was informed that the sites had been put up for auction eight times.

Another fact that at the time of the third auction, the sites were converted to freehold from leasehold had been concealed by the officers.

The price of the sites was got reduced by 20 per cent knowing well that sites had been converted into freehold and the bid sheets of the sites put up for auction was not prepared, the sources said.

Making the matter worse for the officers responsible, in the September 26 auction of commercial sites in Sector 9, a high price ranging between Rs 5 crore and Rs 2.75 crore, was fetched by the SCO sites located near the two controversial SCO's No 176 to 77 and 178 to 79.

While the reserve price of SCO 178 to 79, which reduced from Rs 1.65 crore to Rs 1.34 crore
was sold at the same price, the SCO 176 to 77 was sold for Rs 1.35 against a reserve price of Rs 1.29 crore. An NRI, Mr Mangat Ram, had
offered Rs 1.85 crore for SCO 179 to 79 in January 2002, but the site was not auctioned then. Then the bidder of SCO 178 to 79, Mr Amit Jain, took the legal recourse and a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High court directed the corporation to decide on the issue within certain time frame. According to the information, a nominated Councillor, Mr P.C. Sanghi, is putting up an agenda in tomorrow’s General House meeting demanding action against the officers. 



Local vendors violate Mandi Board Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A populist decision by the Congress ruled Municipal Corporation to allow local vendors in apni mandis is in contravention of the Punjab Mandi Board Act. The Act which governs the running of apni mandis strictly forbids private market in or near the mandi(s).

The apni mandi Committee of the Municipal Corporation which met today clarified that as per the Act local vendors could not be allowed — meaning the vendors were unauthorisedly running their business for the past several months in the mandi organised in different sectors, along with farmers. The strength of the vendors varied between 50 and 200, depending upon the sector where the mandi was held.

It may be mentioned that the general house of the corporation in order to check corruption by the enforcement staff had decided to allow the vendors along with the farmers. After disallowing the vendors along with the farmers, the committee has suggested to the Mayor to find some other place under some scheme to allow the vendors to run their business.

Inquiries reveal that the corporation earned around Rs 5,000 per week as market fee from the Punjab Mandi Board for allowing apni mandis at 10 different sites in the city.

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

If the vendors could be allowed to sell their items after paying certain amount of fee, the corporation could also decide on running the mandis — an issue which had inter-state implications, said the officer.

Mr Chander Mukhi, an elected councillor, said he welcomed the idea of the market committee running the apni mandis. However, the decision could attract objections from the Punjab Mandi Board. The Punjab Mandi Board could prevent its farmers from selling their produce in other states or impose certain amount of fee on taking vegetable outside the state, opined an officer of the corporation.

To check corruption, solve the parking problem, complaints of under weighing and poor quality of vegetables and other eatables, the mandi should be managed by one body. Since the ownership of the land or the permission to use the land vested with the local authorities, the problems could be best tackled by the local authorities in the interest of the farmers, vendors and the buyers. 



Students return to classrooms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
College campuses sprung back to life today after remaining closed for over a week on account of the agitation against fee hike. Students who kept away from classrooms were back to studies and books, gripped by examination fever.

The familiar crowd around college canteens was back as students enjoyed the sunshine and were with their friends, exchanging notes and chatting, after a long gap. The fear of examinations and syllabi not covered on account of the agitation weighed heavy on their minds.

While most day scholars reported in classes, hostelers, away during the week-long agitation, were yet to return. Classes in all colleges — government and private — got underway though teachers in most colleges remained busy with distribution of examination forms.

The day went by in issuing instructions about filling forms for the Panjab University examinations for April. Some students were busy collecting forms and making queries about the last dates while others submitted their forms on the opening day.

With only 10 days to go for the December tests, students were busy taking down the datesheets and checking up their attendance requirement for the final examination. At Government College for Girls, Sector 11, the crowded parking's and students all over the campus were a welcome sight, especially since the college was the venue for the indefinite strike by girl students from various colleges. At the adjoining college, too, peace returned and, for the first time in one week, police personnel were not keeping vigil outside the campus as boys went in and out of college.

At MCM DAV College, Sector 36, SD College, Sector 32, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26 and Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, students reported in full strength and parkings were full with two-wheelers and four-wheelers. The teachers, too, were relieved as peace and normalcy returned to the campuses.



No holiday in schools, colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
There is no holiday in the offices of the Chandigarh Administration and in educational institutions like schools and colleges on Friday.
Throughout the day confusion prevailed among parents of school and college going children that tomorrow was a holiday. Actually the Administration had never declared holiday on November 28. The confusion was due to the Punjab Government which had declared a holiday on November 28 on account of martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur. This was , however, changed to November 24 to be in line with the Nanakshahi calendar. Thus the holiday on November 28 was changed to November 24 in Punjab. However, Panjab University will remain closed.



Woman gets burns for exposing neighbour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
She will not be able to show her face in the public for a long time now. She got boiling water on her face for exposing immoral conduct of her neighbour.
Ms Baby, a resident of Janta Colony, Naya Gaon, has some consolation since the Punjab State Commission for Women today took serious view of the police apathy towards the case. The commission has directed the SSP, Ropar, to arrest the accused and take action. Handing down these orders, Mrs S.K Grewal, chairperson of the commission, has directed the SSP to report the compliance of its directions within a week.

In her complaint filed before the Commission, Ms Baby has alleged that she and her husband, Ashok Kumar were sitting in the verandah of the house (H. No. 866 in Janta Colony), when her immediate neighbour, Kamlesh along with her husband Rajinder and three other persons barged into her house and threw a pot-full of boiling water on her face. As a result of which, she suffered serious burn injuries, on the left side of the face, she said.

She has alleged Kamalesh’s husband Rajinder, hit her husband with an iron rod and others beat him up with lathis. Baby has also alleged that Kamlesh indulges in immoral activities. She along with her husband and other villagers had tried to expose her misdeeds. Even on a day prior to the incident, Kamlesh was caught by villagers with a customer, the complainant states. After being exposed Kamlesh had threatened Baby.

Baby has stated that her husband, Ashok Kumar, had lodged a complaint with the in charge, police post, Naya Gaon, but no FIR was registered. They are being pressurised by both the police and the accused to drop the case.

Baby, who earns her living as a domestic help cannot even afford treatment of her burns has pleaded before the commission that the SSP, Ropar, should be directed to issue directions to in charge police post, Naya Gaon, to register an FIR, arrest the accused and provide security to the complainant and her family members.



Retired soldiers ail under health scheme
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The delay in issuing smart cards to retired soldiers under the Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) is adding to their problems.
Despite directions being issued by Army Headquarters on the procedures to be adopted till the time cards are issued, there have been numerous instances where ex-servicemen visiting hospitals have ended up paying for their treatment or have been referred elsewhere.

In one instance this month, an ex-serviceman required to undergo dialysis at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, was charged Rs 400 per visit. Another retired JCO, instead of being issued medicines from the hospital’s pharmacy, was asked to purchase the same from the market. It was only after the matter came to the notice of the hospital Commandant, Maj Gen B. Sadananda, that things were sorted out.

Till the ECHS was launched earlier this year, ex-servicemen and their dependents were entitled to free medical treatment at military hospitals. The scheme requires contributions from retired armed forces personnel based on the scale of their pension. Those contributing towards the scheme are entitled free medical treatment at military hospitals and designated civilian medical institutions.

Smart cards were to be issued to subscribers by October, but ex-servicemen, spoken to, said that not a single card had been issued so far. According to sources, the it is unlikely that the cards would be issued before January. Reasons being cited for the delay is that the number of subscribers is far more than expected and that the process of making tamper-proof smart cards and empanelling hospitals is time consuming.

Confirming that ex-servicemen are facing problems due without ECHS cards, Maj S.N. Sadana (Retd) said that the very purpose of the scheme was being defeated. Ex-servicemen were being deprived of their legitimate benefits. “Without the cards they cannot do anything,” he remarked.

Directives on interim procedures received by Station Headquarters, Chandi-mandir from Headquarters, Western Command, a few days ago state that in case of specialist or super-specialist treatment, ECHS members should be referred to service super specialist in the station.

Further, where such specialists were not available in the station, the commanding officer of commandant of the service medical establishment may refer the patient to government or private hospitals recognized by the Central Government Heath Scheme or the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services after seeking approval of the ECHS authorities. In case of an emergency, ex-post-facto sanction should be accorded, but in each case emergency would have to be established.



English judge sans wig
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
You do not expect a Judge from England to wear a turban, even if you know he is a Punjabi. After all, aren’t the Judges supposed to wear a wig there. At least this is what they show on the television. So the sight of a gentleman in an immaculate white turban, sitting on a comfortable sofa-set going through a news magazine, takes you by surprise.

But all doubts are removed as soon as the first turbaned Punjabi Judge in England, Justice Mota Singh, gets up to firmly shake hands. Instantly, you know you are talking to a Judge. The demeanour makes it clear.

“I was the first Judge from any ethnic minority community in England,” says Justice Mota Singh, also the Queen’s Counsel. “In fact, at that time I was the first and the only Judge to wear a white turban, instead of a wig.... “

And how was his experience as a Judge in England? “Oh, I received respect and affection from everyone I came in contact with during my tenure. The Judges were no exception”.

His eyes shine with happiness as he tells you “something” about himself. “I was born and brought up in Kenya before I left for England in 1954 to study law. After that I returned to Kenya and practised for eight years”.

He adds, “I became a Member of Parliament and Secretary of the Law Society of Kenya. I went back to England in 1965 and started practising at Bar. Within 11 years, I became Queen’s Counsel. Subsequently, I was elevated as a part time, then a full time, Judge. Now after retirement, I have settled down in England”.

Explaining the reason behind his visit to India after four long years, Justice Mota Singh asserts, “I am here to attend an international seminar being organised at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. I am also the key note speaker at the conference — ‘Interfaith dialogue and world peace’. The conference is coupled with 400th celebration of Guru Granth Sahib’s installation at Golden Temple”.

Keeping down the magazine he has been holding all along, the Judge affirms, “I am always glad to be in India, especially in Chandigarh at my cousin’s house”.

Regarding his analysis of judiciary in India, he smiles, “It will not be pertinent for me to comment....” When asked about the cases of corruption in subordinate judiciary in England, he says, “It is practically unheard of in England”.

As far as the issue regarding the transfer of local Judges, with relatives practising in the same courts, is concerned, his answer is the same — “It will not be proper for me to comment”.

He, however, questions, “Is there any proof of the kin being favoured by the Judges?” Offering cold drink, he maintains, “Anyway, it is something between the advocates and the Judges.”

But what about the scenario in England? Do relatives practise in the same court. “Yes, they do. But they do not appear before the Judge if he is related”. He adds, “I think one should always have regards for the integrity of the Judges and the lawyers. Otherwise also, independence of judiciary is of paramount importance”.



SAD-BJP alliance exists in MC, says councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Contradicting the claim of the President of the Chandigarh unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, Mr Harjinder Kaur, a councillor, today produced a document claiming that the BJP-SAD existed in the corporation. She said she would show the document to the BJP councillors in the tomorrow’s General House meeting.

Addressing a press conference, she said the alliance had the approval of the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. She alleged that the Congress Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, challenging her in the House was part of a political controversy to weaken the BJP-SAD alliance. “Mr Riar was helping the Congress in weakening the alliance at the behest of the Congress leaders”, she added.

Replying to a query, the former Mayor said the Congress was trying to take advantage of the factionalism within the Chandigarh unit of the SAD. Mr N.S. Minhas, President of the local SAD unit (Minhas faction), said the alliance was a policy decision though the election was not fought on the party symbol. She said it was wrong on the part of the Mayor to challenge her and he should apologise for it.



UT flouting Electricity Act
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The UT administration may soon have to face trouble as it is violating the provisions of the Electricity Act — 2003, under which it has to appoint an Electricity Regulatory Commission to fix power tariff and address the complaints of the industrial, commercial and domestic consumers. Mr Gajendra Haldea, Chief Adviser and Head, Centre for Infrastructure and Regulation, who is the author of the Electricity Act, says, “The UT administration should also set up its own regulatory commission before the expiry of the date. It is mandatory as per the provisions of the Act.”

He claims that along with state governments, the Union Territories are also supposed to implement the Act at the earliest. There is limited unmetered supply to the rural or agricultural sectors in Chandigarh, but still a large number of slum-dwellers and even a section of industrial units and the commercial sector are involved in power theft. Consequently, the domestic consumers have to pay higher charges.

According to the Act, say experts, apart from setting up a regulatory commission, the administration would have to corporatise the Electricity Department by creating separate entities for transmission and distribution. Initially, the Centre had proposed to offer six-month time till December 10 to the states and the UTs to implement the Act. But the last date is likely to be extended by further six months on the pressure of the state governments.

A section of the officials are not even aware about the fact that as per the provisions of the Act the UT will have to constitute its own regulatory commission. The insiders in the Electricity Department claim though the situation of power theft and revenue loss are much better unlike neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, but there are still scope for improvement. Till now they said, “The administration is fixing the rate keeping in view the price of power, transmission and distribution losses and other administrative costs. But after the constitution of commission, the rates would be fixed in a transparent manner. But it is certain that consumers would get a major relief as far as the transparency and accountability of the Electricity Department was concerned.”

The industrial associations of the city have also complained that despite lower transmission and distribution losses, the benefit was not passed on proportionately to the consumers. The commission will hopefully, says an industrialist, take care of all these problems.

He says, the power tariff in the city could have been slashed by now had the UT Administration appointed an Electricity Regulatory Commission as per the provisions of the Electricity Act— 2003. For any cross subsidy, the Administration will have to make a budgetary provision. Now the domestic customers in the city are paying about Rs 3 per unit, commercial customer Rs 3.90 per unit and the industrial customers Rs 3.60 per unit in the city.



PSEB charged with double standards for billing
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
In its enthusiasm to implement revised billing rules, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) here seems to have goofed up in a big way. Residents have alleged that they have received highly inflated bills.

Ready to approach the consumer courts, the residents, showing a set of bills to Chandigarh Tribune, have alleged that while the PSEB claims to follow the same rules for calculating bills, in case of those consumers who have more than one meter in the house, the board has double standards.

Giving details, the President of the Mohali Development and Residents Welfare Association here, Lt-Col H.S. Sangha (retd) stated that the board had recently started charging common bills from consumers who had more than one meter at the same address. “However, while the bills charged to some residents incorporated the concessions applicable to the first 300 units of electricity consumed, in other cases, the common billed amount was calculated on the highest slab,” he said.

Mr Dhillon of 16, Phase 3B1, received a common bill, calculated at the rate of Rs 3.64 (the highest slab) per unit, for the two meters. A resident of house 84 in the same colony received a bill for two meters calculated at concessional rates of Rs 2.06 for the first 100 units and Rs 3.44 for the next 200 units, followed by the highest slab of Rs 3.64 for units more than 200.

“We approached board officials here with the bills and they did not have any answer. They said common billing for more than one meter installed at a single house was started an year ago, but it was implemented late in Mohali. These are just some teething problems of implementation,” said Mr Sangha.

When contacted, S.E. Operations, Mohali, Mr S. C. Aggarwal said that according to the common billing rule, the consumer who had more than a single meter on the same address installed by the PSEB was to be charged at the highest slab. “This is being done to discourage them to have more than one meter. Those who have tenants should go in for sub-meters and not separate meters,” said Mr Aggarwal.

This was also done to discourage people from misusing the concession clause. “People would get more than one meter installed so that they could avail themselves of concessions on both meters even when the total consumption in the house was worth charging the highest rates,” pointed out Mr Aggarwal. “Moreover, there are instances of consumers indulging in electricity theft with all those wire connections for two meters,” he added.

The residents are not convinced. “The PSEB should allow concessions on the common bill in case of those who have more than one meter. If they have given these concessions to some, they should give these to all,” said Mr Sangha.


Stray animal menace remains unchecked
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 27
Even as residents of the town are facing the problems of stray cattle, not a single animal has been caught by the contractor in the past more than one month.
In a show-cause notice issued to the contractor here today the Municipal Council authorities stated that no animal had been caught and left out of the town after October 20. It asked the contractor to state the reason within 24 hours why he was showing no interest in the work which had been allotted to him. The notice also said that if the contractor failed to give a reply within the stipulated period the council would start the process of cancelling the contract.

A notice had earlier been issued to the contractor on November 11 which asked the reason why he was not catching the animals and leaving them out of the town. The authorities asked the contractor to give a reply within two days failing which action would be taken against him for violating the terms of the agreement.

Sources said neither the contractor gave any reply to the notice nor he came into action. Even the council authorities failed to take any action against him.

The council has been carrying out checks and found that a large number of stray animals were roaming around in different parts of the town. This aspects had been brought to the notice of the contractor through letters time and again by the civic body.

In a letter written on November 25 the council pointed out that 103 heads of stray cattle found in Phase XI (12), Phase X (28), Phase VIII (20), Phase IIIA (15), Phase II (12) and Sector 70 (16). Similarly, in letters written to the contractor by the civic body in the first, second and third week of November it had been pointed out that 83, 90 and 92 heads of stray cattle were found in different areas of the town.

Mr Sarabjit Singh, Additional Executive Officer, told Chandigarh Tribune that when the council found stray animals in different parts of the town during checking, it imposed a penalty of Rs 100 per animal on the contractor and the amount was deducted from the bill presented by him. He said as the contractor was showing no interest in the work, council staff would have to be used to tackle the problem. He said some employees had been asked to carry out an operation in this regard today.

Mr Kulwant Singh, president of the council, said the contract would have to be cancelled as the contractor had failed to give satisfactory performance. He said the work would have to be done by the civic body itself as the experiment of involving a private party for the work had failed. He said council did not have land for a cattle pond and PUDA was not taking the problem seriously as it was not directly involved and was not even answerable to the public.

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

To tackle the problem of stray animals the civic body had decided last year to purchase a cattle catcher van at a cost of about Rs 7 lakh. Though the proposal had been cleared by the House, an objection had been raised in this regard by the Director, Local Government, Punjab.

The council wanted to buy the van as loading of animals proved to be a difficult job. Employees and animals used to get injured while carrying out the work of loading and unloading. 



No end to row over encroachment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
The on-going controversy over the alleged encroachment on the Haryana Urban Development Authority ( HUDA) land by residents of neighbouring areas of Punjab, sees no end in the near future.

The revenue officers of Punjab and HUDA who met at the disputed site today failed to carry out the physical demarcation of the land, because the old revenue records of the area are not available with Punjab. The residents of the area, who were hoping for a final decision in this land dispute, were left high and dry.

Mr Sanjiv Garg, Tehsildar, Dera Bassi, said they would try and locate the old revenue records from Ambala, Rajpura or Patiala. “If these land records are not available, then the Chief Administrator, HUDA, will seek the intervention of the Survey of India, for getting the revenue records,” the Estate Officer, Panchkula, Mr Ashwani Sharma, said.

The officers had earlier tried to match the maps of both Punjab and Haryana, but the boundary did not match and officers from both sides claimed that the disputed area fell within their boundary.

The stand-off between the revenue officials of Punjab and Haryana over the ownership of 2,000 sq yards of land in Harmilap Nagar near Industrial Area (Phase II) began last month when HUDA issued notices to the residents of the area. As many as nine residential premises have come up on this land, which is being claimed by both Punjab and Haryana as its own. HUDA claims that these premises have come up on four industrial plots of one kanal each. Even though HUDA has initiated the eviction process, it has also decided to fix responsibility for neglecting the encroachment which began in 1987 with charge sheeting of errant officers.



3 die of cold in Hoshiarpur district

Chandigarh, November 27
The cold wave sweeping the north-west region for the past one week has claimed three lives in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to five, including one in Haryana, since early this week.

These deaths have been reported from the Dasuya and Mahilpur police station areas in the district, bordering Himachal Pradesh.

The deceased had been identified as Joginder Lal, a rickshaw puller, Surjit Singh, a waiter and Santosh Singh.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at most of the places in the region remained two to six degrees below normal, with Amritsar continuing to be the coldest. The minimum temperature in the district bordering Pakistan hovered around 2.4° C. Six degrees below normal.

Ludhiana and Patiala reported the lows of 4.2° C and 5.5° C, four and three degrees below normal, respectively.

The minimum in Chandigarh today rose to the normal of 9.4° C after touching 6.4° C yesterday.

Ambala, Hisar and Rohtak in Haryana reported the lows of 6° C, 7.9° C and 5.2° C, respectively.

People in and around Srinagar, braved the icy winds and below freezing point temperature of 3.4° C. Jammu had the minimum of 10.4° C. The forward areas, including Drass and Leh, the capital town of northern-most Ladakh district, were reeling under minus 10 to 15 °C temperatures, so also the adjoining areas of Himachal Pradesh.

Shimla saw the minimum falling by one degree below normal to settle at 4.7° C against 8.1° C yesterday. Bhuntar reported the low of 0.6° C, one degree below normal and Sudernagar 1° C. — UNI



Works worth Rs 103 lakh completed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
As many as 26 works worth Rs 103 lakh have been completed so far this year in Sector 21. Another eight works worth Rs 43 lakh were expected to be completed in the coming few months.

This information was given by Mr P.C. Sanghi, president of the Citizens Association of Sector 21. Mr Sanghi, who is a nominated councillor, said the major works included carpeting of back service lanes, installation of tubewells, construction of sump booster, development of parks, and the renovation of the toilet block of the sector market.

During the past two years, Mr Sanghi managed to secure funds to the tune of Rs 146.50 lakh for the area. The association had unanimously decided to extend the term of the president for two years and amend the constitution of the association, said Mr Darshan Singh, general secretary of the association.



50-year-old crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
A 50-year-old resident of Raipur Kalan village was crushed to death here this morning after he fell from his bicycle before a speeding bus.

According to the police, the victim, Rattan Singh, was coming from Sanetta village side on the Kharar-Banur road on his bicycle but fell into a big pothole on the road. A PRTC bus (PB1F 9733) which was coming from the same side ran over him killing him on the spot.



One held on charge of smuggling liquor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 27
The crime branch of the police arrested a Yamunanagar resident on the charge of smuggling of liquor from near the Chandigarh - Zirakpur barrier here today. Another persons travelling in the car, however, managed to escape.

The police claimed that 3,250 pouches and bottles of whisky were seized from the Ambassador car being driven by Gian Chand. The car was carrying an unauthorised ‘Government of India’ plate in front and a flag staff. The police has impounded the car.

The accused, Gian Chand, reportedly told the police that the liquor was for Saharanpur, in Uttar Pradesh. The Police said Gian Chand had admitted to smuggling liquor from the city in the past. He also told the police that the Government of India plate on the car was fake. A case under various sections of the Excise Act was registered. It was yet to be verified if the car had been stolen or not. 



1 held for carrying revolver
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 27
The police today arrested a resident of Moga, Gurinder Singh Gill, for allegedly carrying a revolver unauthorisedly on the Sector 14-15 separating road. The police said Gill was arrested while he was travelling in a car with the revolver. He had got licence for the weapon but had no permission to carry it. He was arrested under Section 188 of the Cr.P.C.

Complaint: A Panchkula resident, Mr Udit Singh has complained to the DSP (Traffic) that he was wrongly challaned by the UT traffic police on November 21 for driving a motorcycle whose number plate did not confirm to the specifications laid down by the law. Mr Udit claims that the number plate was as per the specification as he had verified it from the Hero Honda company. However, he had paid the requisite fine (as per the challan).



Suicide by woman
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
A 20-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging herself at the house of her husband's relative in Daya Colony, Mansa Devi Complex, today. The police says marital discord between the couple who had been married for six months, was the reason for the suicide.

It is learnt that Sapna and Bawra had been married for six months, but she did not like her husband. The latter was away to attend a relative's wedding and she was staying behind at another of his relative's, Jarnail Singh's, place. In the evening, a neighbour found her hanging from a pipe running along the ceiling and informed the police. A case has been registered.



Boy hurt in road accident
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
A young boy Vicky, a resident of Khanna was injured when his car collided head on with a canter coming from the opposite direction near the Kumbra village chowk here this morning. Another person Mr Attar Singh, who was also in the car had a miraculous escape.

He told the police that the canter driver fled from the spot. The police has impounded the vehicle and registered a case.



Beopar Mandal releases directory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The local unit of the Beopar Mandal today released a directory of its members. The directory has been dedicated to the late Inder Lal Batra, founder president of the mandal. The first copy of the directory was released by Mr Gursharan Batra son of the late Inder Lal Batra.

The directory has been compiled by Mr L.C. Arora and Mr Rajinder Manocha, a press note of the mandal said. 


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