C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mob attacks police post; cops hurt, seven held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A group of around 30 men and women, from Sector 52 last night, reportedly in an inebriated condition, thrashed four police personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) at the Sector 61 Police Post.

While the alleged attack on the police post might have a demoralising effect on the force it also exposed chinks in the security system of police posts and police stations.

ASI Azad Singh, Head Constable Ram Chander and Constables Baljit Singh and Virender Singh were attacked with sticks by the family of an ITBP employee from Sector 52.

Azad Singh was hit in the head by the attackers with a stick. He received minor injuries and was given first aid. Others were thrashed by around 30 persons from the family.

The police personnel were taken aback when a group of people suddenly came inside the post and started beating them up. The hapless police personnel resisted the crowd for almost an hour till late night until help came from the police post in charge Dalsher Singh Chandel.

There were only four persons at the police post. They were so much dazed that they could not use their weapons lying in the police post.

The alleged attackers had got angry after the police post staff had rounded up four persons of a family involved in a drunken brawl on a street in Sector 52.

The police had earlier rounded up Pramod, Sumit Kumar, Udaivir and Subhash for being involved in a brawl on a street on Sector 52 with Sanjiv Kumar. All of them were brought to the police post.

When the police personnel, led by the duty officer Mr Azad Singh, were trying to persuade the two parties to calm down on a festival day, suddenly around 30 relatives of Pramod Kumar, Sumit Kumar, Udaivir and Subhash reached the police station.

The family members of these four had come to the police station after a rumour had spread in the area that the police was reportedly dealing with their group in a high-handed manner. The group initially waited outside the police post but entered the post later. The duty officer was then persuading the rounded-up persons for reaching a compromise when the group entered. There was no sentry on the gate of the police post at that time.

There were only four police personnel present in the police station at the time of attack. The attackers left the police staff in a confused state that they could not use their weapons to defend themselves as none of them had expected such an ‘attack’ from the family members of the four persons.

The police later arrested five persons, rounded up earlier, and two women Munni Devi and Raksha for allegedly attacking the police personnel.

The two groups had earlier been involved in a street fight when Sanjiv Kumar, riding on a scooter, had asked the family of Pramod to let him pass through the road.

The family, including a few drunken members, had lit a bonfire on the road and were dancing there.

When they refused to leave way for Sanjiv Kumar, he allegedly hurled abuses at the group which also replied in the same breath. An altercation followed this.

One of the neighbours complained to the police, which reached on the spot and rounded up both parties involved in the altercation and brought them to the police post. The police post in charge, Mr Dalsher Singh Chandel, said he got information that a group of people had entered the police post and attacked his staff with sticks in the middle of the night. He then reached the police post and brought the situation under control.

The in charge and SHO of the Sector 36 police station said they would now deploy an armed sentry at the police post to prevent unwanted elements entering the police post.


Protesters damage police vehicle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A curfew-like situation prevailed in the Sector 25 Janata Colony after a mob of Sansi tribe last night attacked some police personnel and their vehicle in Sector 25 Janata Colony for ‘rescuing’ a person whom they allegedly wanted to eliminate for ‘making a pass at a girl of their community.’

The windscreen of the police vehicle was smashed. Four police personnel headed by Head Constable Satpal Singh and three others received injuries in the mob violence. None of them was, however, seriously hurt.

A curfew-like situation remained in the locality the entire night following a clash between Rohtash, alias Pappi and some men and women from the Sansi tribe.

Both communities today approached the police demanding protection with Valmikis claiming that many men of their community had hidden themselves fearing reprisal from Sansis.

The Sansis also sought the police help today saying they feared an attack from the Valmiki community.

Meanwhile,Valmikis alleged that the police had not been able to control the reign of terror by the Sansis, who indulged in bootlegging openly.

The girl was, however, not identified.

The police today staged a flag march in the area and deployed additional personnel to prevent the clash taking a caste angle between two prominent castes of the area.

The police, however, denied there was any likelihood of caste violence erupting in the locality.

The police arrested 12 persons, including three women from the Sansi tribe, during a night-long hunt. A temporary beat box was also set up in the locality to keep a watch on the situation and prevent violence .

Earlier, last night all three SHOs of the area and DSP (South) S. C. Sagar reached the spot within an hour of the incident to control the situation.

The police said Sansis complained that a meat seller Rohtash, alias Pappi ,had allegedly made a pass at a Sansi girl last night. It provoked some 25 Sansi youths in the street to gather at the shop of Pappi.

Fearing the mob, Pappi allegedly attacked a person Sohana and then caught hold of another person Subhash. He then kept his butchering knife at the throat of Subhash and took him to a roof of a house in the locality. Pappi asked the mob to disperse if they wanted to save the life of Subhash. The police got the information about the incident and reached the spot within between 20 or 30 minutes.

By the time police reached the spot, the crowd had swelled to around 100 in number and it was baying for the blood of Rohtash.

The police personnel on duty then reached the roof where Rohtash had gone and rescued Subhash from the rear side of the tenement without the crowd getting to knowing about the operation. They also took away Rohtash, fearing the mob would kill him. SSP Gaurav Yadav said the police personnel, who had completed the daring task, would be rewarded.

During the period of the operation the crowd had further increased. When it noticed the police was taking away Rohtash in its vehicle, it turned hostile and pelted stones on the vehicle injuring four of the cops.

The mob had turned violent thinking Rohtash had killed Subhash and the police was taking Rohtash away.

Shakila, Taro, Koni, Ratan, Ravi, Dilip, Manohar, Anil Kumar, Sohan Lal, Santosh and Kishore had been arrested. Rohtash had also been arrested for hurting Subhash with the butcher’s knife.

Rohtash allegedly also caused injury to Sohana who reportedly got 50 stitches.


Chhat Bir Zoo to get rare species
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), January 14
Under its exchange programme Asia’s famous Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chhat Bir, will get rare animal and bird species from other zoos in the country. There is a proposal of acquiring three rare species of animals, including swamp deer, chausinga and chinkara, besides five pairs of khalij pheasants.

Famous for its healthy Royal Bengal tigers, the Chhat Bir zoo has made this deal with other well known zoos and parks located in Kanpur, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Sources in the zoo disclosed that the Chhat Bir zoo would for six animals it would get 20 in exchange. A majority of the animals which the Chhat Bir Zoo authorities would exchange included Royal Bengal tigers, panthers and sars cranes.

‘‘We have decided to exchange surplus animals and birds for certain rare species, which our zoo lacks. This all is done on the directions of the Central Zoo Authorities (CZA),’’ revealed Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Director of the Chhat Bir zoo.

He said a pair of swamp deer would be acquired from the Kanpur Zoo in exchange for a pair of panthers and a female sars crane, while two pairs of Royal Bengal tigers would be sent to the Junagarh Zoo in Gujarat for two pairs of chausingas and two pairs of chinkaras.

The Himachal Wildlife authorities were sending five pairs of khalij pheasants from the Sarahan pleasantry. Being surplus, the Himachal Wildlife would send the bird-pairs without seeking any exchange from the Chhat Bir zoo, claimed Mr Kuldeep Kumar.

The animals and the birds would be exhibited in different enclosures after bringing them to the zoo by January end, he added.

The zoo Director also claimed that efforts to pair an adult male rhino and a male zebra were also being done, but hardly any zoo had expressed their will as yet.

It may be recalled that the CZA had visited all zoos in the country after the deaths of white tigers in the Nandankanan Zoo in Orissa in July 2000 that rocked the wildlife preservation there. The CZA had asked the authorities of different zoos to exchange the surplus animals, birds and reptiles with other zoos to reduce mortality rate among zoo inhabitants.

To curtail over population of inhabitants at the zoo, the authorities had already conducted vasectomy operations upon the adult lions. 


Irregularities alleged in Army selection for UN missions
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
An Army jawan has alleged irregularities in the selection of troops for undertaking peace-keeping missions to the United Nations (UN). In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the jawan has alleged that certain officers responsible for the selection process had sought illegal gratification to favour certain soldiers.

The petition, scheduled to come up for its first hearing tomorrow, also states that the authorities concerned did not take cognisance of his complaints and instead instituted a court of inquiry against him and harassed him.

According to the petition, a company of 15 Guards, where the petitioner, Hav Harmesh Sharma, was then serving, was detailed to proceed to Ethopia on a UN Mission. In January 2001, Havaldar Sharma was sent to Delhi from Bathinda for collecting his passport and undergoing the requisite medical examination.

Then in April, his name was abruptly removed from the list by the company commander without any prior notice or intimation. He apprised senior officers about the development and also put in a written complaint, alleging selection irregularities. After he forwarded another complaint pointing out that no action was taken on his earlier complaint, the petition alleged that he was called to New Delhi from Naserabad and threatened to give in writing that he had made false complaints earlier. A few months later he was again called to Delhi and pressurised. An inquiry was instituted against him after he resented.

Thereafter Havaldar Sharma was asked by his commanding officer to give in writing that he had levelled a false allegation against officers or he would be court-martialled. In February 2002, a member of the selection committee was ordered to record the summary of evidence, a prelude to trial by court martial.

The petition states that Havaldar Sharma was sent to a jail in Sriganganagar. It further alleges that neither was he supplied with a copy of the Court of Inquiry and other relevant documents, nor were his signatures obtained anywhere.

The petition also states that allegations were levelled against Havaldar Sharma that he had beaten up a Major and a JCO. It points out that the Major had not stated any such thing during the Court of Inquiry, but made such allegations later during the summary of evidence where his name was highlighted.


Postal dept declines to honour NSCs of firms
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The Department of Posts has declined to repay deposits worth crores of rupees to small firms partnership firms, and industrial houses in the region along with interest claiming that the amount had been wrongfully deposited by them in connivance with its ‘own’ employees. It maintains that since firms were not eligible to deposit money under the National Saving Scheme, the money will be released only after court or government intervention.

According to sources in the department, thousands of persons in the region have purchased National Saving Certificates (NSCs) on the behalf of their small firms, industrial concerns, partnership firms and registered trading units.

Since the government had to pay up to 15 per cent rate of interest on these NSCs, purchased during 1995-97 period, it was devising new ways to deny them the interest rate benefits.

While the post offices are honouring the NSCs and other saving certificates of individuals, the firms are being denied the benefit. Mr Rajat Gutpa, an industrialist in Mohali, wondered,” How can the government justify that the NSC will be honoured if I have purchased it in my name, but if I had taken it on the behalf of my unit, I will not get the interest ? “ He said he had unknowingly mentioned the name of his unit to avail of tax benefits under the Income Tax Act and a higher interest rate.

Mr Pawan Bansal, local MP, has also raised the matter with the Ministry of Finance, but without any result. He said, “ the government cannot decline to honour its own NSCs purchased from postal offices. Even if the firms and companies were not allowed to buy these certificates, it was not their mistake. The government should honour these certificates without any delay.”

Another industrialist alleged that he had taken an NSC of Rs 10,000 in 1997 in his unit’s name. As per the face value, he should have got Rs 20,150 in June 2003, but the money had not been paid till now.

He said the officials were asking to accept just the principal, saying that “ under the government scheme, only individuals could purchase NSCs and not the companies and the firms.”

A senior official at the General Post Office in Sector 17, requesting anonymity, admitted,“ We have issued these NSCs wrongfully to the firms and companies, but now we cannot repay the amount along with the interest rate.

In some cases, action has been taken against our employees, like the stopping of their annual increment. But some of the firms have already approached the court and have succeeded in getting back their amount along with interest.”

He added that they were helpless to resolve the matter without government direction.


Ex-servicemen seek help of Adjutant-General
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Ex-servicemen in the city have sought the intervention of the Adjutant General at Army Headquarters to review the functioning of the Medical Authority on Pension (MAP), an establishment in the defence ministry dealing with the disability pension of soldiers.

They have also asked the Adjutant General to take up the matter of harassment of ex-servicemen at pension disbursing offices and functionaries of the Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) with the authorities concerned.

Stating that disabled soldiers often find their disability pension being reduced without a review medical board, the Ex-servicemen’s Grievances Cell, Mohali, in a letter written to the Adjutant General, has pointed out that a recent communique from the CDA held the MAP responsible for this. The letter states that disability pension is being reduced by the authorities concerned arbitrarily by overruling the decision of the release medical board, which comprises doctors and specialists. Further, the officials concerned do not even physically see the affected persons before deciding to reduce the pension.

The letter has also revealed that over 4,500 cases of grant of commuted value of pension are pending before the Defence Pension Disbursing Officer, Ambala. This is in addition to other pending cases concerning delay, non-release and revision of pension.


MC’s special cleanliness drive in Feb
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A special cleanliness drive will be organised in the city in February. The drive is aimed at involving all segments of the society with particular emphasis on resident welfare associations, schools, colleges and NGOs.

Giving details of the programme the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, said the Medical Officer Health(MOH) had been asked to chalk out an action plan for the occasion. The two-day drive would be organised in February. Specific dates would be announced after the entire plan had been chalked out, she added.

Ms Kamlesh said the function would include seminars and various contests related to the subject, including painting. “ We want to involve people from all walks of life. The aim is not to organise a two-day programme and forget it. Efforts will be made to chalk out a future course of action on the cleanliness aspect and keep a regular tab on various activities”, she said.

The corporation had cleared 28 new sehaj safai kendras at different parts of the city for collecting waste. The aim was to make 100 sehaj safai kendras operational.

It had also been decided that on main roads the ‘gullies’ would be constructed at a distance of 100 metres each. Currently, the difference between two ‘gullies’ was 200 metres. The scheme would subsequently be extended to internal roads as well, the Mayor added.


Domestic help dies of asphyxiation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A domestic help of a Sector-38 based industrialist last night died due to asphyxiation in his room before going to sleep.

Ramesh, 22, did not open the door in the morning, Mr Gian, an industrialist, said. “When he did not open the door despite repeated knocks on the door for almost half an hour, we called his mother and brother,” he added.

The door was then forced open in the presence of his brother Pratap Singh and mother of Ramesh who was found sleeping in the bed, Mr Gian said.

Repeated attempts to wakeup Ramesh failed. Unused wooden logs were found lying near his bed.

He was taken to Sector 16 hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Mr Gian said lohri celebrations continued till 1 am but he had gone to sleep a little earlier. Ramesh had taken the fire pot to his room after everybody had gone to sleep. This proved suicidal for him. He had closed both doors of the room.

The Sector 39 police station had initiated inquest proceedings. His body was handed over without a post-mortem as his family members did not suspect anything “fishy” in his death.

Ramesh, who hails from Uttaranchal, had joined the family only 15 days also. He was given the job on the recommendation his elder brother Pratap Singh who had worked with the industrialists family for about four years.


House burgled
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, January 14
A gang of burglars broke into a house in Sector 2 and decamped with cash and jewellery worth thousands of rupees in broad daylight here yesterday. The burglary was noticed by the house owners late last night.

According to the police, the burglars took away Rs 20,000 and jewellery of the same amount. The house belonged to Mr Gautam Gulati, a contractor with the MES.

Mr Gulati along with his family members had gone to Faridkot on January 9 and asked his workers, Vishwanath and Sanjay, to stay at his house for nights till the family returned.

In a complaint to the police, Mr Gulati said that he found the house ransacked on Tuesday night.

The police has registered a case on his complaint with Sector 5 police station.


Mohali market an apology for commercial area
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 14
The market in Phase VI here is an apology for a commercial area even after more than 15 years of the allotment of the sites.

It appears as if the area does not hold any importance for the PUDA and Municipal Council authorities as the market lacks basic facilities, including approach roads, parking area and proper streetlight arrangements. Garbage heaps welcome customers at various points.

Many persons came, opened shops but left after seeing that the authorities concerned had adopted an indifferent attitude to the development of the area. Even today most of the showrooms constructed in the market are lying closed. Some 20 persons have taken rooms on rent, which have been illegally constructed in the backyard of the showrooms, to run small shops.

Shopkeepers say that many sectors had developed markets even though they came up much later than Phase VI.

Mr Suresh Kumar Goyal, who has been running a general store since 1989 in a booth, told Chandigarh Tribune that a number of booths had no connecting roads at all. As such a green belt in front of a row of booths was used for loading or unloading of vehicles.

He said that the council had placed garbage containers at some points around the market which was a big nuisance for persons coming to the area. At another point residents had dumped garbage and malba. He said BSNL employees had dug up some area in the market for laying a cable which had not been properly filled up so far. The civic body had collected Rs 4.5 lakh from the BSNL for filling the dug-up area but no work had been done so far. He said the market faced houses, falling in Chandigarh, meant for economically weaker sections, who were reluctant to make purchases from showrooms. He felt there was no need for setting up a big commercial belt in an area which fell on the outer part of the town.

Mr Harish Singla, who runs a chemist shop, lamented that no development had taken place in the area. The authorities concerned did not consider the area as part of the town. He said that the affected persons had met the PUDA authorities two to three times and submitted a memorandum but to no avail. During the rainy season a lot of water collected in front of the shops causing inconvenience.

Mr Harjot Singh, running an STD booth, said the market did not have roads and even the parking area had not been developed. He said a complaint was made to the municipal councillor of the area who had assured that the roads would be made by December but nothing had happened.


People laud India-Pakistan peace process
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Eminent persons of the city gathered at Government Polytechnic, Sector 10, today to welcome the peace process between Indian and Pakistan. Taking a break from routine, Theatre for Theatre, a city-based cultural organisation today organised a special seminar in which speakers like litterateur K.L. Zakir, former Punjab Governor Lt Gen B.K.N. Chibber (retd) and former Punjab Minister Harnek Singh Gharuan shared their past experiences, with Pakistan in special focus.

Mr Zakir read out emotion-laden prose from his story "Sada-e-Sardah" that deals with the pangs of the Partition, referring to his Pakistan travels and also to his very dear friends Sardar Jafferi and Sahir Ludhianavi, he read his travelogue to Pakistan, reflecting his fondness for the people of that country. He ended his speech rather lovingly, by reciting a couplet for the thin audience at the venue: "Tank aage badhe ya pichhe hate, kokh dharti ki banjhh hoti hai...Jang talti rahe to behtar hai, aap aur hum sabhi ke aangan mein, shama jalti rahe to behter hai."

Referring to the composite culture across the borders, Mr Gharuan shared his experiences from the Pakistan visits. He made a special reference to a particular episode in which the former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief had expressed an urge to have some reminder of his ancestral home in the Indian side of Punjab. "We did send him a token in the form of a piece of wooden shaft," said Mr Gharuan, lauding the efforts to restore peace.

General Chibber, who was born in a village that lies midway between Islamabad and Lahore, used examples to validate cultural affiliation between people of Pakistan and India. He narrated the episode wherein he made friends with Pakistanis who, along with him, had enrolled themselves for training at an American Institute years ago. "Kashmir cannot be given away, at least not till the time we have strength left in our arms. But we still hope and pray that peace blesses the border so that even I can return someday to see how my native village looks like."

Among other speakers were H.S. Bhatti, Dr Harcharan Singh and Swaraj Singh. After the seminar, the stage was set for the presentation of "Dulla Bhatti", a play written by Gursharan Singh and directed by Sudesh Sharma.


South Indians perform Makaravilakku pooja
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 14
Thumping of drums and rhythmic clanging of bells welcomed about 200 devotees who had gathered to perform Makaravilakku pooja at Sree Ayyappa Samajam in Sector 47.

The temple was decorated with flowers and illuminated with impressive golden lamps meticulously placed near the idols.

The worship started at 6am . In the evening, the crowd stood in rapt attention as eminent artistes from Kerala and Delhi performed Chendavadyam, a performing art attached to South Indian temples, especially those in Kerala.

According to a Delhi-based artiste, Sajeevamarar, "Chendavadyam is performed in temples located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Children stat learning this art from the age of eight. This art form is passed from one generation to another".

He further said, "initially the practice is done on rocks. You simultaneously beat the rock with hand and wooden stick to create music." The practice, he explained, starts in winters that too early in the morning. In fact, it begins at 4 am and continues for about two hours. The exercise is repeated in the evenings.

Sajeevamarar said, "I started learning the art from my father P.V.Krishnamarar when I was just five years old. After practicing, I performed in Kerala's Mattannur Panchavadya Sangam. I have been performing for 30 years now". Sajeevamarar was today assisted by Ajeesh on eddakka and Madhu on thalam. 


Indian literature not duly recognised in West: Pultar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
“It is pity that Taslima Nasreen is more famous than Rabindranath Tagore in the West. It is this latest crop of writers from the sub-continent that is hogging the limelight and whatever they dole out is being taken as Indian literature. It is sad, especially when India, a storehouse of literature, has much more to its credit and more depth to its literature,” feels Dr Gonul Pultar from Bilkent University, Ankara in Turkey.

In the city for a special lecture at Panjab University, Dr Pultar opined that Rabindra Nath Tagore and writers of his genre gave a new dimension to literature in India. “Sadly, it is no longer in vogue. The great Indian literature of yesteryears has not been adequately exploited, nor sufficiently translated. While I am happy that more and more women are becoming popular writers, I strongly believe that traditional literature is way above the contemporary writings and must be given due recognition and respect,” she asserted.

Co-ordinator of seminars on literature, culture and society at her university, Dr Pultar blamed the government for being unable to project to the outside world what real literature is.

“Translating a literary work, no doubt, involves a lot of labour and good translators. However, given the kind of literature India can showcase to the world if such an exercise is undertaken, I think it is worth the effort,” she suggested.

Lambasting the Britishers for trying to suppress India, it people and culture, she opined,”The British always aspired to prove their superiority over the Indians when they were not. While they did a lot of harm to India, the one legacy they have left behind is that of a superb education system. The Indian spirituality and wisdom find their way at the higher echelons of learning.”

Stating that Indian students were one of the best in the world and qualified to get top jobs in the USA, Dr Pultar, impressed by the system of education, added,”It is amazing how Indian students and scholars have all information on their fingertips. In Turkey, we don’t have such an elite group of intelligentsia even in the best of conferences and in India, they can be found at the drop of a hat,” she compliments.


Steps needed to check quality of water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Highlighting the new dimensions of water which needed to be taken care of, Mr BM Bradish, a distribution systems engineer from the USA, pointed out that water was being treated as a commodity for profit-making by private companies.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Privatisation of water industry’ at the University Business School at Panjab University, here today, Mr Bryan said that the regional and global aspects of water needed to be studied and appropriate steps be taken to make quality water available to the common man.

Stating that this should be done without taxing the common man, he added that it was essential for the government to participate in quality control and management in providing this service to the public.

A sociologist and peace activist, also from the USA, Ms Nancy Leeds, spoke on the economic and political implications of blue gold which was now being exploited by private companies.

She maintained that it needed to be consciously stopped by the communities in order to survive this new inroad into capitalist society.


Information on SC oustees sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has asked the Chandigarh Administration to furnish information on how many SC and ST families were evicted during the planning of Chandigarh and have these families been rehabilitated.

The state office of the commission based in Chandigarh has written to the administration asking how many such families had been uprooted since the inception of Chandigarh.

More than 5,000 families living in 11 villages were evicted about 35 years ago to house the second phase of the city comprising Sectors 31 to 47. Out of these 5,000 families, about 60 per cent were Scheduled Castes. These people have not been rehabilitated despite acquisition of land.

The commission has asked the administration to furnish the name of the head of the family; the year of displacement of the family and the amount of compensation paid to the family. Secondly, information regarding then allotment of land or house to such oustee should also be furnished. The administration has also been asked to tell if any action is proposed to be taken for the benefit of the evicted SC/ST families.


DC distributes sweaters, shoes among poor
Our Correspondent

Raipur Rani (Panchkula), January 14
As many as 27 licences for learners, certificates of domiciles and caste were issued on the spot to the residents of Raipur Rani and adjoining areas at a Janta Darbar organised by the district administration at Raipur Rani today.

Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat, Deputy Commissioner, also distributed 60 sweaters and 90 pairs of shoes among poor children at Senior Secondary School, Raipur Rani. She called upon the district officers of various departments to have humanitarian approach in redressing public grievances.

At the darbar, 172 complaints (civil and criminal) were also received. Certain complaints were marked to the departments concerned for necessary action.

The complaints pertaining to water supply, electricity, widows, disabled persons, old age pension, construction of houses under the Indira Awas Scheme and encroachments in rural areas were also taken up

The Deputy Commissioner also instructed Marketing Board officers to invite tenders for the construction of link road from Ferozepure village to Hangola village. She also directed the officers of the Public Works Department to repair the Dadlawad link road and the Garhi Kotaha-Naraingarh road.

Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat also directed the Executive Engineers and the Naib Tehsildars of the concerned areas to conduct a survey of the area, where pipe lines had been laid and report to her immediately. Regarding the removal of unauthorised encroachment in villages Sarakpur and Samlehri, the Deputy Commissioner advised the BDPO to remove it with police assistance.

The authorities of the UHVPN were also asked to remove a pole from a street in Garhi Kotaha village and change the transformer in Kherwali-Parawala village with in a week’s time.


Demand to implement 85th amendment
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 14
The Punjab unit of the Dalit Chetna Manch has demanded the implementation of the 85th amendment to the Constitution in the state.

Mr Shamsher Purkhalwi, president of the unit, said that on the one hand the Punjab Government was organising seminars in order to eradicate untouchability under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, on the other hand, discrimination was being done against Dalits by not implementing the 85th amendment.

Mr Purkhalwi regretted that even the Minister for Social Security and Welfare of SCs and BCs, who himself belonged to this section, was imposing unnecessary conditions on various concessions to be given to the poor. He demanded that the condition of having yellow cards for help to Dalit families, who did not have houses, be withdrawn.


New bus shelters soon, says Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
City residents would soon get bus shelters which will have a new look with drinking water facilities and also availability of newspapers.

The city will soon have upgraded bus queue shelters at 40 places. Tenders to this regard have already been accepted by the municipal corporation.

Giving details of the programme, Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, said one of the shelter at Manimajra was near completion and would soon be opened for public use. The corporation expected a revenue of at least Rs 2.38 crore from the shelters in the coming five years. She said additional facilities at the shelter could be worked upon later.

Mr Pradeep Chhabra, Senior Deputy Mayor, said groundwork had been completed for the construction of at least 20 more bus shelters in the city.

The firms given the charge of the shelters would be allowed to take advertisements to generate revenue. Advertisement panels would be provided in the structures of the bus shelters.


Senior citizens celebrate Lohri

Chandigarh, January 14
Members of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association celebrated Lohri with inmates of the Sector 15 Senior Citizen Home. They danced around the bonfire while munching reori, gachak and groundnut.

Association president Brig Keshav Chandra said the association would be organising such programmes at each of the four old-age homes in the city at least once every year. Holi, he added, would be celebrated at Sri Sathya Sai Old-Age Home in Sector 30. OC


A beopar mandal, free of politics, on candidates’ agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Beautification of markets has been highlighted as one of the top priorities by Mr Charanjiv Singh, one of the presidential candidates, for the forthcoming elections to the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) on January 18.

Addressing a press conference here today Mr Charanjiv Singh said, “Beautification of markets will be taken up separately with the Municipal Corporation and the Administration. It has become necessary now to rearrange the current infrastructure and facilities because shops now faced tough competition with coming in of the multinational companies and big shopping malls.”

Mr Charanjiv Singh said all efforts would be made to maintain the ‘non-political nature of the mandal. A special effort will be made to include senior members of the mandal in all developmental activities.”

He said a ‘beopari day’ would be organised once in a year which would have events of ‘fun, frolic and community meals.’ He also assured seminars and awareness camps.

Mr Charanjiv Singh is a graduate in commerce and law from Panjab University. He is an exporter of textiles and household items to Canada and various European countries. He currently holds the post of the president of the Chandigarh Wholesale Merchants Association.

He also said he would pursue the case of nomination for the CBM in the MC; a ban on sale of any item from places other than approved markets; protection of commercial tenants against eviction; regular meetings; and classification of city’s commercial areas.

Mr Jagdish Arora, a former president of the mandal, was once again in fray for the top post this time. He made a visit to various markets in Mani Majra today. He emphasised his commitment to work for a mandal, free from any political affiliations. He also promised to work for the non-implementation of the Rent Act in the city.

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