C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Charges for bhog at community centres waived
Group housing scheme for Mani Majra cleared
Tribune News Service


* Charges for using community centres for bhog and kriya ceremonies waived. Users to pay only Rs 200 as cleaning charges.
* Group housing scheme for Mani Majra cleared.
* MC to pay Rs 1,000 per head of cattle to Dabur gaushala, Delhi.

Chandigarh, December 30
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation today waived charges on availing services of community centres for bhog and kriya ceremonies. Users will be required to pay only Rs 200 for cleaning the place after use. In another important decision, the committee cleared a group housing scheme for Mani Majra.

Residents will be exempted from paying charges for using the community centres or the adjoining open spaces. They were earlier required to pay Rs 300 or Rs 600. Sources confirmed the decision of the committee and said the users would be required to pay only Rs 200 as cleaning charges, which existed even earlier.

The original proposal in this regard was moved by Mr Subhash Chawla, Mayor.

The committee cleared a major group housing scheme for Mani Majra. The project will come up in 5.3 acres. The reserve price has been fixed at Rs 9.15 crore. The project will be handed over to a “reputed” builder to ensure quality.

One hundred and fifty flats will be constructed under the project. Sources said at least 10 per cent flats will be reserved for economically backward sections. The land will be sold in an open auction.

The corporation decided to pay Rs 1,000 per head of cattle as maintenance charges to the Dabur gaushala, Delhi. Cows are being shifted there because of paucity of space in the city. The move follows a communication from the gaushala demanding maintenance charges for the cattle. The committee cleared Rs 13.50 lakh for carpeting of roads in Mani Majra and Rs 15.63 lakh for V-6 roads in Sector 47, sources said.

The committee cleared 16 posts for the MC slaughter house.


Objections against Kamlesh ‘not relevant’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Ms Kamlesh stays as the only candidate in the fray for the post of Mayor as objections raised by some BJP councillors were not found relevant, sources in the Administration said.

The matter would, however, be referred to the MC Commissioner. Mr Kulwant Singh Kalson, secretary in the corporation, said the Municipal Corporation Act made a reference to dispute regarding the candidature of a councillor. There was no mention of any disqualification on this ground regarding the post of Mayor, he added.

He said the matter would be referred to the Commissioner for consideration.

The BJP-SAD alliance had levelled charges against Mrs Kamlesh that her husband and his uncle were receiving Rs 51,000 per month as aid for sanitation activities in the ward. Mrs Kamla Sharma and Mr Rajesh Gupta, BJP councillors, and Mrs Harjinder Kaur, a SAD councillor, who are party to the complaint, alleged that the act of Mrs Kamlesh amounted to receiving monetary benefits. This should lead to her disqualification under Section 13 of the MC Act.

BJP-SAD councillors, in a press note, accused Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Member of Parliament, of not only protecting but even encouraging corruption by various Congress councillors. “The statement of Mr Bansal in defence of allegations against Mrs Kamlesh regarding collecting money from the corporation, proves beyond doubt that everything was being done with his consent,” the note said.

It said a large number of people “visited the party office in Ram Darbar and showed photostat copies of receipts of the money” given to the party associated with Mrs Kamlesh. They said the issue was not merely rejecting Mrs Kamlesh’s candidature as Mayor but also as a councillor.


Vehicles pass over cop’s body for 12 hours
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, December 30
Hundreds of vehicles drove over the body of a Chandigarh Police official for more than 12 hours late last night. The badly mutilated body was discovered this morning. The face had been crushed completely and the deceased was identified by the identity card found in his pocket.

The cop, Jagdish Kumar, was in civil dress and was returning home on his scooter when a car hit his scooter in the thick envelope of fog on the Kalka-Ambala highway in Singhpura village near Zirakpur.

A resident of Sundran village near Dera Bassi, the cop used to commute to Chandigarh daily on his scooter. He was posted at PCR Mani Majra Police Station, Chandigarh.

As per the police, the accident occurred around 9.30 pm on the highway near Ghaggar bridge. After being knocked down by the car the body of the cop kept on lying by the roadside unattended. All through the night trucks, buses and other four-wheelers passed over it and only mangled remains could be seen in the morning.

After receiving information, the police removed the remains and sent those to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for post-mortem examination.

The police has impounded the scooter and a case under Sections 279, 427 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered at Zirakpur police station in this regard on the complaint of Mr Hari Ram, a brother-in-law of the deceased.

In a similar accident, a lunatic aged man was run over by heavy volume of traffic on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway near Dyalpura village last year. 


3 injured in highway mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, December 30
In another head-on collision involving a car and an oil-tanker on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway near Lalru, three car occupants, including two Haryana police personnel from Hisar, sustained serious injuries early this morning. Among the injured is a brother-in-law of Karnal Deputy Commissioner Mr R. S. Doon, Mr Rohtash Singh.

Working with the Haryana police as Sub Inspector at Hisar, Mr Rohtash Singh and Constable Om Pal were on their way towards Ambala while their Esteem car (DL-4CE-1631) had a head-on collision with an empty oil-tanker (CHW-8424) opposite Jasmine Resorts.

Mr Rohtash, Mr Om Pal and Mr Suresh Kumar, who was driving the car, sustained severe injuries. The car was badly damaged and the front wheels of the truck got detached under the impact of collision.

The passers-by and police had to break open the windows with the help of iron rods to extricate the injured.

After being given first aid at Civil Hospital in Dera Bassi, the injured were referred to the PGI in Chandigarh but on the request of family members of the victims they were permitted to go to the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula.

The driver of the oil-tanker is said to have fled from the scene after the accident.

Meanwhile, a case under the provisions of rash and negligent driving causing serious injury has been registered against the tanker driver and the vehicles have been impounded.


Octroi contractor given extension
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 30
The crisis over the octroi collection in the township ended here today with the Local Government Department, Punjab granting a month-long extension to the present contractor. The contract with the contractor was ending tomorrow.

Following two unsuccessful attempts to auction octroi collection in the town the municipal council was in a fix over how to handle a situation when there would be no one to collect octroi at the Mohali borders in the absence of the contractor.

However, sources in the council stated that in response to the MC President’s urgent request to the Secretary, Local Government Department, Punjab, the Secretary has allowed the present contractor to continue till January 31 or till the time when the contract is given to someone else, which ever is earlier.

The MC President, Mr Kulwant Singh, stated that they would be holding another auction for the octroi collection contract by mid-January. He also informed that there was a strong possibility of the government reducing the reserve price of the contract from the present Rs 19.9 crore. ‘‘The high reserve price is the main deterrent for bidders to compete for the contract,’’ he added.

Yesterday, the President has written to the Secretary to either reduce the reserve price of the contract or grant extension to the present contractor or provide 30 employees to the council to do the job.


5 PGI employees booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Five employees of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) were today booked for obtaining loan on allegedly forged salary certificates.

The cases have been registered against them on the complaint of the Chief Vigilance Officer of the PGI. The Senior Accounts Officer of the institute, Mr D.P. Singh, had complained to the vigilance office that these employees had allegedly submitted fake salary certificates.

Mr Shamsher Singh, Technical Grade II, Ms Jagjeet Kaur, nurse, Prem Chand, dietician, Laxmi Chand Pant, laboratory technician and Mohinder Singh, technical grade II, have allegedly submitted fake pay certificates, according to a complaint sent to the police by the Chief Vigilance Officer of the PGI.

According to the complaint, Mr D.P. Singh has denied having signed these salary certificates. The complaint has been forwarded to the police after the PGI authorities considered the matter.


MLA’s pilot vehicle collides with car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The pilot vehicle of the MLA son of Andhra Pradesh Governor S. S. Barnala today collided with a car near Laxmi Narain temple in Sector 45-D.

The pilot vehicle of the Punjab MLA Gagandeep Singh was being driven by Constable Manjit Singh when it collided with a car (registration number CH01 Z 6392). Mr Rohit was driving the car.

Mr Gagandeep Singh was not there on the spot but arrived later.

The pilot vehicle allegedly hit the car coming from opposite direction. However, no one none was injured in the accident.

However, the Santro car bore the brunt of the accident. The two parties later struck a compromise after Mr Gagandeep Singh reached the spot.


City enveloped in fog
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The city and its surrounding areas continued to reel from the impact of fog even as the local Met office said the cold wave will intensify. Flights stood cancelled, trains were delayed by several hours and road traffic was again hit.

The minimum temperature rose slightly to make the night more comfortable. It was recorded at 4.4°C yesterday it was 1°C.

Like in the past 10 days, the biggest casualty of the foggy conditions continued to be transportation. Flights were hit and residents have come to terms with the late arrival of trains.

Early morning fog continued to have an impact on major trains arriving in the city as all trains were late by a couple of hours. Overnight and early morning fog all over North India slowed down trains.

Among the trains running late were the Shatabadi arriving here in the morning about two hours behind schedule. The Himalayan Queen was late by one hour. The Sadbhavna Express ( Chandigarh-Lucknow) which was late by about four hours and arrived at 1: 45 p.m. The Paschim Express from Mumbai arrived around 6 p.m about 3 hours behind schedule. The Howrah-Kalka mail arrived around 5 hours late. The Jodhpur-Kalka express arrived two hours and 30 minutes behind schedule.

By evening the fog had cleared up and train timings returned to normal with the Jan Shatabadi and the evening Shatabadi arriving right on time.

It was risky to drive on the highway in the morning. Thousands of daily commuters were delayed as buses were running behind schedule. In the city government offices wore a deserted look.

Meanwhile, the local Met Department said foggy conditions were likely to continue. By tomorrow there was a possibility of cloud cover which will improve visibility. However, there will be no let up in cold wave conditions.


Cops gear up to rein in revellers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
If getting drunk and swaying to the rhythmic beat of bhangra, after parking your car along the roadside, is your way of celebrating the New Year, you are in for a trouble. While you will be readying yourself for the New Year bash, the Chandigarh police personnel will be taking up their pre-assigned positions to make sure that New Year Eve pass off peacefully.

The cops, including Deputy Superintendents of Police and Inspectors, will be patrolling the length and breadth of the city to ensure free flow of traffic, besides preventing incidents of eve-teasing and violence.

“Party goers, blocking the way by parking their cars along the roadside, will not be spared,” says a senior police official. “For the purpose, barricades have been set up at strategic places, including outside Aroma and Piccadilly Hotels in Sector 22, besides the PGI and Panjab University”.

At each barrier, six to eight policemen, including traffic policemen, will be deployed. “They will also ensure against drunken driving and other incidents of harassment,” said the official. The traffic police now has added teeth to its force by acquiring interceptors equipped with breath analysers and speed guns. They will be chasing your vehicles if one violates traffic rules.

The men-in-khaki are also being deployed outside the hotels, clubs and restaurants, including Hotel Mountview and Hotel Shivalikview, Chandigarh Club and the Golf Club. The mounted police will be covering the barren ground behind the clubs and the area near the Sukhna Lake.

Sources said 65 control room vehicles will patrol the roads leading to the venue of celebrations and the internal roads. “The force required at each spot has been assessed after meetings were conducted with hoteliers and managements of the clubs.”, said the official. 


Babu Mann to perform on New Year Eve
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
He is all ready to launch music album “Ohi Chann, Ohi Rattan”. But before that Punjabi pop star Babu Mann will set the stage on fire with his sizzling numbers. He will be performing live along with Jaswinder Bhalla, Bal Mukand Sharma, Bhotu Shah and Kaka Shah. If you wish join them reach the ground adjoining Celestia in Sector 34 on New Year Eve.

Addressing a press conference after visiting old age home, Mann said: “More and more people should take up singing as a profession, but should sing with dedication”.

Getting into the profession is not difficult, he said. “The struggles have lessened for the newcomers and it fetches good money”. Adjusting the microphone, he said, “Punjabi music is liked by all, but singers should struggle for creating their own style.”

Commenting about vulgarity in music videos, he said: “Censorship in television will not help much.... Artistes and public should come together against vulgarity”.

Mann says singing was always a passion for him and he writes his own songs. Nature is his source of inspiration. He was least interested in studying, but did his masters in History and Urdu from Panjab University.

He has produced a Hindi film, “Hawaiin”, in which he also acted. Talking about his future plans, Mann said he would be conducting stage shows all over Punjab and Haryana.


New Year blast at Press Club
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
If you wish to dance into the New Year, the Press Club in Sector 27 is the right place for you. The Red and White New Year Blast night at the club will surely have you dancing and rolling with performance by Punjabi pop singer Sarbjit Cheema and Gurpreet Ghuggi of the Ghuggi Express frame. A colourful dance programme is also scheduled for the evening.

Just in case you are not aware about Cheema’s credentials, he is loved by millions for his songs like “Rang rara rere rara” and “Chandigarh shahr de kudi”. His song “Rangla Punjab” was an all-time hit. The programme will start at 8 pm.


The tough get going when the going gets tough
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The tough get going when the going gets tough, says Ritu Kolentine, a certified aesthetician from Pamela Taylor Make-Up School of New York and a trained nail artist from Elim Nail Tech Academy, New York.

This is the secret of success of the 33-year-old housewife-turned-business woman who emphasises that those who regard life as a bed of roses are in for a disappointment. "I was born in a family of faujis where discipline was the watchword," she recalls with a smile.

"I was then too young to understand how tough it was for a defence personnel to raise the family within his limited means. But I could see that my father wanted me to chart out my own course in life. So after completing my studies, I decided to be on my own and went to Toronto to stay with my maternal uncle".

Ritu says that she had always wanted to be either an airhostess or run a business relating to health and beauty. Since the option of joining an airlines as a airhostess was rather weak, she decided to concentrate on developing her career in the beauty business.

It was during her stay at Toronto that she learnt certain hard lessons of life. "I had to fend for myself. I not only had to study and pursue courses during the day but also work at night to earn a few dollars to support myself financially. And believe me, it was not easy. There were occasions when I was on the verge of giving up and returning home to India. But then I told myself repeatedly that I had to make a success of it.

"I worked as a waitress in a restaurant and the most difficult thing I found to do was to clean the tables before calling it day. Back home in India, we had orderlies to do such things. There I had to really slog. I also worked for a short while at a store when I had to take orders for CDs and then look for them in a huge pile throughout the night. It was back breaking work. Finally, it was the job in a warehouse which brought her to the brink of a breakdown.

" The owner was a German who was of the view that non-whites had no right to live in this world. So he was particularly harsh to me and gave me the toughest job in the most isolated corner of the warehouse. And to his surprise, I did it, day after day.

"And finally, when I completed my courses and left the job, I gave him a piece of my mind. I told him not treat Indians like a pile of dirt....They are educated, hardworking and intelligent people and are second to none in the world. The German could say nothing but smirk..."

On her return here, she found the going tough again because of limited job opportunities. Soon she was married off to a an Army officer. But she refused to give up on her ambition of setting up her own business. Her husband was quite supportive. Finally, she got together with her sister, Richa, and a friend, Harveen Kathuria, to set up a health and beauty clinic in Sector 8.

"As luck would have it, VLCC was moving to a bigger premises in Sector 9 and the premises vacated by them came in handy for us to establish our clinic", recalls Ritu. It was during this period that father fell and expired in the PGI. "But I kept the show running at the clinic. And with God's blessings, things have been going fine right from day one".

Ritu says her USP is her training in nail art form. "More and more young people are becoming aware of their looks and want to put their best foot forward. And what we offer in our clinic, especially the nail art, is not available anywhere in the region..."


Councillor seeks probe into ‘forgery’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Mr Rajesh Gupta, a councillor, in a memorandum submitted to the UT Administrator has demanded an inquiry into the “forging of documents by officials of the municipal corporation” for defaming him.

A copy of the memorandum issued to the press here today said the he was challaned by the MC for storing malba adjacent to his showroom in Sector 22-C.

Mr Gupta said he had obtained permission for storage of material and “I have written a letter to the Commissioner seeking an inquiry, however, there has been no response”, he said.

He also alleged that a letter in possession of the corporation differed in its wording. “The permission letter No 1848 does not contain the word ‘allowed backside’ whereas the permission letter in the office of Commissioner contains the words ‘allowed backside’. The office is instrumental in forging this letter”, he added.


Braving the chill for bill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Queuing up in this cold in the open to deposit electricity bills can be bone-chilling. City residents, who had lined up outside the bill collection centre in Sector 32, braved the cold to deposit bills today.

Most people do not use the option of depositing bills through banks. A person just has to give a call to a private bank, which runs this scheme. Another scheme is the Electronic Clearance Scheme. A simple form is given by the Electricity Department, which is attested by the bank concerned where the person has his account.

The department sends a bill to the bank, which in turn releases the payment directly and the consumer need not stand in a queue.


334 ITBP recruits join Himveers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
As many as 334 recruits of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police formally joined the Himveers here today at Bhanu Training Centre (BTC), ITBP, Bhanu, after an impressive oath-taking ceremony and passing-out parade.

The Director-General, ITBP Force, Mr R.C. Aggarwal, the chief guest at the function, reviewed the parade and took the salute of the marching contingents at the decked up parade ground.

Mr Aggarwal highlighted the achievements and duties being performed by the ITBP in addition to excelling themselves in mountaineering, white water rafting, judo, karate, shooting skills. He also highlighted the hazardous high altitude climatic conditions where the ITBP is deployed.

He added that the Government of India has declared the BTC as national-level institute to conduct disaster management training and nuclear biological and chemical first responder course and two battalions have also been sanctioned for deployment.

He congratulated the new entrants, stating that they ought to be proud of joining the Paramilitary force which is recognised as one of the best in the world. The DIG (BTC) ITBP, Mr N. Thangaiyan, in his welcome address, said the recruits had undergone 44 weeks basic training in weapons, firing, map reading, drill, armed combat, field craft and battle craft.

The parade was commanded by constable (GD) Ravinder Sharma 9th Bn. The chief guest gave away the best trainee awards in various disciplines to CT/GD Chattar Singh, 20th Bn (Best in Drill), CT/GD Pritam Singh 6th Bn (best in physical training), CT/GD Anoop Biswas 12th Bn (best in weapon training) and overall best trainee to CT/GD Ravinder Sharma of 9th Bn.

Immediately after the passing-out parade, the chief guest inaugurated the website of the National Institute of Training in Search and Rescue Disaster Response”, a newly authorised training centre for disaster management at the BTC.

The sophisticated equipment being used for rescue operations were also displayed and their utilities explained through demonstrations.


Woman dies of burns
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 30
Ms Rekha Rani, a resident of Preet Nagar Colony, succumbed to her burn injuries at Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, today.

According to the police, the victim has sustained over 80 per cent burn injuries on Sunday when a kerosene stove bursted while she was preparing food. A case has been registered with Zirakpur police station.


Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Mrs Gurmel Kaur, mother of Mr Gurdip Singh, a Computer Operator with the Punjabi Tribune, died here today at 2.30 p.m. She was 65. She is survived by two sons and two daughters.

The cremation will take place on Wednesday at the Cremation Ground, Sector 25, at 11 a.m. 


City police nabs 2 UP criminals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Chandigarh Police today arrested two persons allegedly involved in dacoity and attempt to murder cases in Uttar Pradesh.

The Crime Branch arrested Shambhu Prasad and Ramesh Kumar of Khushi Nagar district in a raid in the wee hours from the transport area.

During interrogation, they confessed that they had been involved in criminal activities in Khushi Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh and had shifted their base to Betia in Bihar before moving to the city.

The Khushi Nagar police has been contacted and it has confirmed that the two were wanted by them. Shambhu Prasad was released from jail only a month ago.

The Chandigarh Police is trying to find out if the two had shifted to the city to carry out some criminal activities. This is being considered the first case of an Uttar Pradesh criminal shifting base to the city.

The duo along with their third accomplice Aslam, had on December 21, hired a four-wheeler from Kasia in Khushi Nagar district to take it to Devaria and had taken it away forcibly on the way after stabbing the driver and conductor. Presuming the driver and the conductor of the vehicle to be dead, the threesome threw their “bodies” from vehicle.

The three gang members then took the vehicle to Betia in Bihar, where the four-wheeler was identified by one of the relatives of the owner of the vehicle.

When this relative raised a hue and cry over their possession of the vehicle, a crowd gathered in Betia. The situation forced the trio to leave the vehicle there and flee from the spot.

The accused then fled from Betia and came to Chandigarh. Aslam, somehow got separated from these two.

The accused told the police that they had decided to settle down in the city. The Chandigarh police got the information about the two while tightening the noose around local criminals ahead of the visits of the VIPs to attend the Science Congress.

The police had started the crackdown on criminals in the wake of New Year celebrations also.


3 HUDA employees nabbed for bribery
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, December 30
Three employees of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) were reportedly caught by a team of the Haryana Vigilance Bureau (VB) for bribery in Sector 6 office here this evening.

Highly placed sources in HUDA revealed that a team of the bureau came to the office after receiving information regarding graft in deals of re-allotment of flats located in various towns and big cities in the state.

The nabbed HUDA employees have been identified as Sunil, accounts clerk and two other senior officers of the rank of a section officer and an accounts assistant.

The bureau team sent a decoy customer to Sunil in a flat deal and offered him a bribe of Rs 8,000 in this connection. While he was taking the bribe, members of the bureau caught him.

During questioning Sunil named Sanjiv Jain, a section officer, R.C. Tarikha, an accounts assistant, involved in the racket.

The police was tightlipped about the incident while efforts to contact members of the bureau failed.


Firm employee booked for embezzlement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
An accountant of Hind Motors, Sanjay, was today booked for allegedly embezzling more than Rs 3 lakh of the company.

The case has been registered on a complaint of the owner of the company, Mr Ashish Gupta, who alleged that he had ran away with the amount. Sanjay had collected the money from customers and was to deposit it in the bank account of the company. Mr Gupta said Sanjay is suspected to have fled to Kolkata.

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