C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


One more held in jailbreak case
Tribune News Service

Setia replaced

Chandigarh, February 5
The Burail jailbreak case took its second casualty today. The Additional Inspector-General of Police, Mr S.K. Setia, was replaced by Mr Preet Dev Singh Shergill. In a late evening order issued today the work of the AIG, Prison and also the additional work of the Superintendent of Jail, was handed over to Mr Shergill. 

Chandigarh, February 5
The Chandigarh Police today claimed to have arrested one Gurnam Singh from Patiala for allegedly providing a mobile phone to Baljit Kaur and his car to facilitate Jagtar Singh Hawara's escape from Burail Jail on January 13.

Gurnam Singh came in the police net after the police got details of Baljit Kaur's two mobile phones. The police said Baljit Kaur had arranged for a Maruti 800 car and Gurnam's driver on January 13 to help Hawara escape. Baljit Kaur was using her own SIM card while using the mobile phone of Gurnam Singh.

Gurnam Singh had also lent his mobile phone to Baljit Kaur to help her keep in touch with Hawara for the escape operation.

However, Baljit Kaur had to return Gurnam's car mid-way as an inebriated driver of Gurnam Singh allegedly misbehaved with her. He had taken a friend, who was a cop, aboard the car. The car was to pick up the escapees. Baljit Kaur was enraged when the policeman sat in the car.

Gurnam Singh gave Baljit Kaur his mobile phone when she told him her mobile was causing trouble. She reportedly told him she needed the phone to talk to Hawara "uninterrupted".

Hawara asked her to arrange for another car.

The police claims Gurnam Singh met Hawara on December 31 through Baljeet Kaur's husband, Lakhwinder Singh, in Burail Jail. Gurnam Singh had been sending ration for Hawara through Lakhwinder. He also sent his wife, Krishna, to meet Hawara through Lakhwinder.

The police confirmed the version of Baljit Kaur that Gurdeep Singh had to confess to his wife about helping Hawara escape as when he returned home in the night he was in his undergarments alone. He had to lend his clothes to Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjeet Singh Bheora. Baljeet Kaur accompanied Gurdeep Singh to his house and was given a shawl by the family of Gurdeep Singh.

A local court today sent Gurnam Singh to police custody till February 10. Asking for police remand, the public prosecutor argued that his interrogation was required as the mobile phone was to be recovered and it would help solve the conspiracy.


Patients suffer as ministry fails to pay chemist
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Non-payment of over Rs 1 crore to a local chemist by the Union Health Ministry for supply of medicines under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) for the retired employees has left patients suffering from chronic renal failure and cardiac problems, high and dry.

The retired Central Government employees coming to the Sector 45 CGHS dispensary have shot letters to the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, local MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Health Secretary and other officials as the local purchase of medicines from the chemist has been completely stopped. Patients suffering from chronic renal failure, cardiac ailment and diabetes are the worst hit.

“Since no payment has been made to me since March, last year, I have been forced to stop supply to the retired employees coming from the CGHS dispensary,” said the owner of Sagar Chemists, Sector 19, who had been given the contract for supply of medicines. He added that the supply had been completely stopped from January 28, after giving them a number of reminders and a final notice.

“I am a chronic renal failure patient and need to undergo regular dialysis, but due to non-availability of medicines at the dispensary and at the chemist shop it has become increasingly difficult for me to bear the expenditure,” rued Mr Bakshi Ram. He said there were almost 20 other renal failure patients who were facing inconvenience on this account.

A large number of patients suffering from cardiac ailments, diabetes, hypertension and other problems said they were facing difficulty in getting medicines from the dispensary. “This is my third visit to get my wife’s medicines for diabetes and even now they are telling me to call up next week to find if the medicine supply has come,” said a retired executive engineer, resident of Sector, 42.

A lot of other patients too complained that either they were not getting medicines from the chemist or were being given substitutes, costing less. “Every time we go to the shop the chemist asks us to either take the substitutes of the medicines prescribed by the doctor or else purchase it,” said a retired geologist from the Ministry of Steel and Mines.

Though the Chief Medical Officer, Mrs Kanwal Vilku, was not available the other dispensary staff said they were trying to provide all possible medicines to the patients from the limited stock they had.


Mi-25 to fly for five years more
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
With the life-extension programme for the IAF’s older generation helicopter gunships, the Mi-25, coming through, these will continue to serve for at least another five years. Studies conducted on these helicopters at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD) here have revealed that these machines, which are at the fag end of their stipulated lifespan, can continue with their operational roles.

“We have recommended that the life of these aircraft be extended from 20 years to 25 years,” a senior officer at 3 BRD told The Tribune. “Final approval in this regard from Air Headquarters is awaited,” he added

“The aircraft were inspected and examined in totality to find out the reliability factor of various components and also to gauge the material fatigue,” he said. “Based on this, a data bank was prepared, which was used to work out the life extension parameters,” he added. The engines and rotables were subjected to extensive tests and the airframes were examined for signs of structural weaknesses and the presence of micro-cracks.

The Mi-25s were inducted into the IAF in the early eighties, which has one squadron of this type. Later on the IAF acquired two squadrons of Mi-35 gunships, an upgraded version of the Mi-25. Heavily armoured and armed with canons, rockets and anti-tank missiles, these are tasked to provide close air support to mechanised or armoured formations during offensive manoeuvres.

The life span of these helicopters stipulated by the manufacturers is 20 years (calendar life) or 3,000 flying hours (fatigue life). As is generally the case with combat aircraft, a large portion of the fatigue life remains unutilised by the time the calendar life expires. 


MC’s hunt for octroi contractor on
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 5
The Municipal Council is once again looking for a contractor to take over the work of octroi collection in the town despite three unsuccessful attempts earlier. The auction now has been fixed for February 12, which will be held at the council office in Phase VII here. Earlier, auctions were held at Ludhiana.

The contract for the work had expired on December 31. Since then, the work of octroi collection is being done by the civic body itself.

The daily average of the council has come down to about Rs 4.25 lakh after it was compelled to collect octroi on its own. During the month of January, the council staff could detect 22 cases of octroi evasion and fines totalling only Rs 15,000 was imposed.

The daily average income earned by the contractor last year was about Rs 4.83 lakh. He had deposited Rs 1740 lakh with the civic body during the year.

Mr Kulwant Singh, President of the council, said today there was a fall in income because the civic body did not have the adequate infrastructure for the work, apart from facing staff shortage.

Proper checking could not be carried out because of inadequate manpower. He said the auction to be carried out on February 12 would be the last attempt to look for a contactor to privatise the work of octroi collection.

In case the council failed to get the desired result this time, the civic body would have to do the work on its own.

The department would be requested to give additional staff so that the council could earn more income than the reserve price fixed for the auction.

The reserve price fixed for the auction to be held on February 12 is Rs 1690 lakh and the work period is March 1 this year to February 28 next year.

The first auction for the octroi work was held on December 19 at Ludhiana. At that time the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, had fixed the octroi reserve price at Rs 1909 lakh. Only one bidder had turned up for the auction who did not make any offer as he felt that the reserve price was too high.

The second auction took place on December 26, but again none of the two bidders present made any offer.

Later, the Deputy Director requested the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, to reduce the reserve price. The latter scaled down the amount to Rs 1690 lakh and directed the civic body to give the work on contract after giving wide publicity to the auction which was scheduled for January 15.

However, not a single bidder turned up for the auction despite a reduction in the reserve price.

However, members of the Opposition group of the council had said at the general body meeting held on January 6 that the new reserve price was unreasonable. They had said it would be more beneficial if the civic body collected octroi at its own level.


Dump ‘malba’ and pay fine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Municipal Corporation is all set to challan city residents who have stored construction material at construction sites without the permission of the Municipal Corporation.

Action against illegal dumping of ‘malba’ is on the anvil. A week’s notice given to the defaulters elapsed on January 16.

The Municipal Corporation had recently identified at least 700 sites in the city where the owners had stored construction material at unauthorised sites or without the permission of the corporation.

Reliable sources said only a “handful defaulters” had responded to the notice, seeking the permission of the corporation.

Reliable sources in the corporation pointed out that the papers concerned had been forwarded to the Commissioner for appropriate action.

It is anticipated that the corporation will give three day’s time to the residents who have dumped their ‘malba’ at unauthorised places. ‘Defaulters’ are likely to be charged a fine of Rs 500 each.

Residents who have stored the construction material for new sites are expected to pay at a rate of Rs 1,000 per cubic metre.

The permission is for a period of six months. In case of additions or alterations to existing structures, the MC gives permission to store material at Rs 250 per cubic metre for a month.

A week’s notice will be given to the defaulters following which the charges will be doubled, sources added.

The corporation, in an official note signed by Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, on January 16 had given a week’s time, failing which the defaulters were warned that they would be challaned.

The defaulters were required to pay storage charges as levied by the MC and in case of failure, they were to pay a penalty. The debris was to be removed at the cost of the owners. The charges were Rs 2 per cubic feet and the minimum charges Rs 50.

The corporation had “requested” citizens to dump ‘malba’ at authorised places in different sectors. Residents who did not do so would be fined up to Rs 500.

The MC has the facility for removal of waste material on special request. The defaulters will be required to pay the fine through water bills.


‘Need to change feudal mindset in corporate world’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Human resource is an asset beyond the balance-sheet and the need for changing the feudal mindset in organisations the biggest challenge before the corporate world.

This formed the gist of the 23rd annual national conference of the National Institute of Personnel Management on “People—the cutting edge for corporate excellence”, which began at Panjab University here today.

The chief guest, Punjab Governor Justice O.P. Verma, said there was a need for organisational heads to be open to suggestions and criticism. “We should take this as an opportunity to learn rather than be rigid and over-confident of our views,” he maintained.

“Digitalisation, deregulation and globalisation have altered the corporate landscape. The strength of India lies in its human resource. In fact, human factor is vital for making the organisation a worthy and effective one. While globalisation and knowledge management are becoming key agenda for all local and international corporations, it is well-recognised that it is people that make the difference in the borderless competition,” he stated.

He concluded on the note that companies should create an organisational ambience where talent can bloom, put in place systems that help unleash their potential and build in a reward and recognition mechanism that provides value for people.

“The tragedy of our country has been a tragedy of waste — of time, talent and manpower. It is this aspect of manpower, which is of paramount importance,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of Ranbaxy, Mr Tajinder Khanna, said people made a difference between high-performance and low-performance organisations. “Organisations must realise that they need to spend time for planning training programmes for the staff. They should have zero tolerance on people breaching the ethical code,” he advised.

Mr Khanna said that professionals should inculcate constant learning ability to upgrade their knowledge base and show respect for dissent and opinion. “Organisations should seek opinion, suggestions and be open to criticism since it is a step towards improvement. Human resource management is the single most important segment of management,” he opined.

The president of the NIPM, Mr Partho Chatterjee, released a book titled “Comprehensive HR Management—Genesis to Latest Trends” written by Mr P. L. Rao. He said HR managers should take innovative steps to take adequate care of human resources. A souvenir of the NIPM was released on the occasion.

Ms Amar Deepika, chairperson of the Punjab Chapter, said that HR practices should be benchmarked against the best global practices to make Indian corporates compete successfully.

Later, at a convocation held in the Law Auditorium, diplomas were awarded to successful students of the NIPM by Prof. Satish Kapoor, head of Business School, Panjab University, who was the chief guest.

Delegates from companies like the ONGC, Andrew Yule & Co., Swaraj, Sriram Pistons & Rings, Goodlass Nerolac Paints, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Alembic Ltd., NTPC, JK Cement, Escorts Ltd., JCT Ltd., Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Mahavir Spinning Mills, National Aluminium, Gujarat Ambuja Cement, Max Speciality Products, Descon Ltd., and GNA took part.

A cultural evening was organised at Forest Hill Golf & Country Club. The cultural presentation comprising folk dances was made by troupes of North Zone Cultural Centre.


Ex-servicemen postpone stir
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 5
The All-India Defence Brotherhood (AIDB) and other like-minded organisations of ex-servicemen have postponed the agitation which was to start from February 14.

Speaking to mediapersons at a press conference here today, representatives of the organisations said they had planned to delay air flights and ‘presitigious’ trains for a special period of time to focus the attention of the “high and mighty” to the long-standing demands of ex-servicemen.

They said since high-levels talks were to be held between India and Pakistan, it would not be proper to embarrass the Indian Government at this junction by holding protests.

The demands of ex-servicemen include setting up of a separate pay commission for defence services on the UK pattern, upward revision of “warrant of precedence”, job guarantee up to the age of 60, jobs to ward of deceased soldiers, waiving of the condition of 33 years’ service for full pension and implementation of the one rank, one pension scheme.


Congress panel hails verdict
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee at a meeting here today “celebrated” the exoneration of the former Prime Minister, Mr Rajiv Gandhi, in the Bofors kick-back case.

Mr B.B.Bahl, president, was critical of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA partners who had indulged in a malicious campaign against “Mr Clean”.

Mr Bahl was also critical of the system adopted to investigate the “tehelka” episode. He said voters of the country would give a befitting reply to all concerned during the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Mr Chaman Lal Sharma and Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, senior Congress leaders, welcomed the verdict of the Delhi High Court.

Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, a leader of the Chandigarh Youth Congress, also welcomed the decision of the Delhi High Court.


Teams inspect poultry farms
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 5
Though no case of bird flu has been reported from the district, the district administration has taken precautionary measures to prevent its occurrence and deployed several teams for the inspection of poultry farms. Stating this here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, said the team, constituted under the City Magistrate, Mr Ashwani Kumar, had visited Mattan Wala, Khangesara, Toka, Shyamtu, Tibbi, Khetparali, Kot Dabkori, Bunga and Kanoli villages. Besides, a team, headed by the BDPO Pinjore, Mr Roshan, had visited poultry farms situated in the Pinjore area.

She said similarly BDPO Barwala and his team inspected poultry farms at Nangal, Alipur, Jaloli, Kami, Sunderpur, Barwala, Bhareli, Bator, Naya Gaon, Khatoli, Manak Tabra, Plasara and Bhagwanpur villages. The BDPO Raipur Rani and his team inspected Garhi, Kheri, Haripur, Mouli, Kakrali, Toda, Natwal and Jaspur villages. Naib tehsildars, veterinary doctors and a civil doctor each accompanied the teams.


Tenders for road recarpeting okayed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 5
The Municipal Council(MC) today okayed tenders amounting to Rs 1.28 crore for recarpeting of internal roads and maintenance of parks in different sectors.

According to sources, tenders for internal roads in the Haryana Housing Board(HHB) colonies in Sectors 15 and 19, amounting to about Rs 60 lakh, had been cleared, paving the way for recarpeting of the roads.

These roads had been in a pitiable condition . Similarly, tenders for maintenance of parks in several sectors, including 4, 10 and 15, had been cleared.

Meanwhile, the MC will open tenders for the maintenance of streetlights on February 9. The date for the award of the sanitation contract will also been announced soon.

It may be recalled that the MC had cancelled the contracts for the maintenance of the streetlights and sanitation at its meeting on January 23.


Kehar Singh to continue as board chief

Mohali, February 5
The Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), Dr Kehar Singh, whose term ends on February 7, has been asked to continue as Chairman till further orders from the Chief Minister's Office.

Sources in the Chief Minister office today said orders to this effect had been passed a few days ago and would be communicated to the board through proper channel. When contacted, Dr Kehar Singh, said he had not received any such communication. TNS


Low water pressure today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Water pressure in certain areas of the city may be affected tomorrow because pumping of water from the Kajauli Head Works to the Sector 39 storage units will remain suspended till 5 p.m. tomorrow, an official press note said.

Mr Kandolha said there was no reason for concern by city residents. “There are three pipelines on this route and only one is under repair. So the water supply will not be stopped,” he said.

Mr Kandolha said the water pressure may be low. The fault would be rectified by tomorrow evening.


BJP poll panel formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The state unit of the BJP has formed the state election committee under the chairmanship of its president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, according to an official spokesman.

The other members of the committee are Prof Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, Mr Vijay Sampla, Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Mr Narottam Dev Ratti and Dr Balbir Chand Kapila.


Businessman held under Section 420
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 5
During the past 24-hours, the police arrested six persons, including a local businessman, in different cases. The police arrested two persons in Baltana village, Patiala, for allegedly stealing tyres valued at Rs 3 lakh from a shop in Burail here. The tyres were stolen after pulling down a wall of the shop.

The accused, Ram Pal and Maan Pal, have been remanded to police custody till February 7. The police claimed that the stolen property had been recovered from their possession.

The police arrested Jaspreet Singh of Panchkula and Narinder Singh of Sector 22 here for allegedly stealing a bicycle. The bicycle was recovered. One Krishan Kumar of Dhanas village was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing a manhole cover from an anganwari in Sector 41.

A Sector 8-based businessman, Sanjiv Kumar, was arrested for allegedly issuing a fake cheque for Rs 5,500 to Dr Manjit Singh, a Panchkula resident. He was arrested under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 511, IPC.


Murdered boy’s clothes found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 5
The clothes of seven-year-old Amit of Shahi Majra village, who was killed on the night of January 26, were removed from a nullah by the police here today.

Mr Achhe Lal, father of the deceased, said here today that the vest and the shirt of the child were found at a little distance, while the sweater was traced easily as it had got stuck to something in the nullah.

The police had taken a photographer from the village to click pictures of clothes being removed from the nullah by policemen.

Amit, who went missing on the evening of January 26, was sodomised and killed. His body was dumped into the nullah in the industrial area. It was found by the police on the night of February 3.


Thieves loot Vita booth
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 5
Contrary to the claims of the police, the high-security mini secretariat area, housing the police headquarters and the district courts complex, seems to be unsafe. A case in point is the ransacking of a Vita milk booth in the area by unidentified persons late last night.

According to sources, unidentified persons broke into the booth situated close to the courts and decamped with dairy products worth over Rs 5,000. Though the losses not substantial, what surprised observers is the fact how the thieves got to enter the highly-guarded premises.

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