C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Over 15,000 seek inclusion in UT voters’ list
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The election office of the city has received names of more than 15,000 persons for inclusion in the voters’ list for the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll. The exercise of updating the electoral rolls has restarted after the earlier list of voters was declared closed on January 20.

The first list saw that the total number of voters had fallen by more than 30,000. The city witnessed a polling of 2,82,879 voters out of the total of 5,84,656 during the last parliamentary elections in 1999; As many as 2,63,189 persons out of 4,50,599 had cast their vote in 1998, and 1,25,944 out of 1,96,156 had cast their vote in the parliamentary elections of 1980.

In a special case, the deletion of votes had come at Palsora and Shaheed Bhagat Singh colonies because of demolition by the UT Administration as part of the drive to clear slums in city. There was a reduction of more than 6000 votes in these areas. More than 5000 residential dwellings in these areas were razed to the ground. The names of voters from these areas had been deleted.

It is felt that the reduction of votes in the colonies could affect the overall voting percentage in the city. This is because of the fact that the slums and colonies were the highest “actual” voters in the local constituency. Certain segments of “influential residents” usually did not vote, which was reflected in the polling percentage which bordered around 50 per cent.

A delegation of the BJP had met the Administration with regard to allowing eligible voters last month seeking an update of the data.

Mr B. B. Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress, said that the initial list saw a decrease of 30,000 voters, which was obviously very high. This showed that besides the demolition of colonies, certain segments of the labour class had been left out.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, the BJP candidate, said “legally” speaking candidates who had applied for enrollment after the first list was published on January 20 will also be included in the voters list. Till the time the government releases a notification for the polls, additions or deletions concerned can be made to the voters' lists.

The voters have the option of filing an application to the election officer seeking his name to be included in the list. Another application can be filed seeking deletion of certain names. The candidates are required to provide affidavits regarding criminal cases, if any, and also an affidavit regarding personal assets.

The list includes the names of 405 polling booths in different parts of the city. It is worth pointing out that the number of polling booths was 645 in the last elections. A majority of the polling centres are located in the government school buildings.

Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said that all those applying to be included on the voters’ list till the date of notification will be counted as eligible voters.

The election office will verify the details in the forms and those found correct will be allowed to vote.


Strict law to curb malba dumping on the anvil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Alarmed at the growing tendency of city residents to throw malba (building material refuse) at almost any open space, the Chandigarh Administration intends to make a strict law to curb this practice in the city.

The Administration is contemplating to enforce Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr PC) to ensure that residents do not throw malba in open spaces. With construction activity being carried out in the city on a large scale, it has become a tendency among residents to dump the waste in any open space. At times, the Administration and the MC have to remove the malba at their own cost. At present, a fine is imposed, which is hardly a deterrent.

The city had earmarked spaces for malba dumping in largely low-lying areas, which need to be levelled. By dumping malba, a dual purpose is served. First it gets rid of the waste and also acts as land-fill.

Section 144 of the Cr PC gives powers to the District Magistrate (DM) or the Deputy Commissioner to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance. The DM can ask any person to abstain from carrying out any act if he deems it to be a danger to public health or safety, or a disturbance of the public tranquillity.

It may be mentioned that Section 144 does not have any scope of punishment. Sources said without any punishment under the IPC, the imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC will lose its relevance.

The sources added that in the case of the dumping of malba, the aspect of the health and nuisance would be taken up. Residents can call up the Municipal Corporation and get a fine imposed on the offending lorry or truck. If Section 144 was imposed, the trucker could be detained and booked.


Pre-allotment premium on HUDA plots!
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
Can a large number of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) applicants get premium even before the allotment of plots? The answer is in the affirmative if letters written by certain property dealers to several prospective allottees offering them premium on their plots is any indication.

With plots in certain categories outnumbering the applicants in HUDA’s draw of lots to be held on March 22 here, speculators are having a field day. In fact, the property dealers, after getting the addresses of the prospective allottees from the HUDA office, are already luring them with hefty premiums.

HUDA had floated over 2,500 plots in September and October last year in several sectors, including 12, 12-A, 17, 21, 23, 27, and 28 and the Mansa Devi Complex. While HUDA received over 65,000 applications for the scheme, the response to certain categories in some sectors was poor.

For instance, for the 110 plots of 14 marla in Sector 27, only 60 persons applied, making sure that every applicant received a plot. Similarly, for 23 one-kanal plots, only three persons reportedly applied in Sector 28.

It was the problem of plenty that the property dealers were keen exploit. Premium ranging from Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh was being offered by the dealers. An applicant, Mr Satish, virtually assured of a plot in Sector 27, said he had been offered Rs 2 lakh for his plot by a local property dealer.

A property dealer, on condition of anonymity, said pre-allotment transactions were a normal business practice.

HUDA sources said there was nothing the authority could do to curb the practice.


Strengthening her hold in Bollywood
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Sandali Sinha is thoroughly nervous to be part of the same production as Amitabh Bachchan. She is also extremely conscious of her director Anil Sharma’s requirements. Anxious on her arrival to Chandigarh today, the petite star of “Tum Bin” and “Pinjar” did not mind admitting that she virtually fell speechless in the presence of Big B.

“I could not say anything when I had a shot with him. I thanked my stars that the scene required me to look absolutely confused, which I already was. I was very nervous also, to tell you the truth. I am even more nervous on my arrival here. My shoot with Amitabhji and Bobby Deol begins tomorrow. It is a dance sequence.”

Still a lesser star on the Bollywood sky, Sandali plays an Army doctor in “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon”, the latest film of Anil Sharma, being shot at the Chandimandir cantonment. She plays the female lead opposite Bobby Deol. Lucky to have managed a role in the Anil Sharma film, Sandali is naturally happy.

But nervousness seems to be weighing heavier on her mind, as she says: “It is big film for two reasons. One, because of the director Anil Sharma, who has behind him historic hits like Gadar. And two, because of Amitabh Bachchan, whose very presence is enough to add value to the film. I am trying hard to match the expectations of the director and my co stars. In fact, I consciously tell myself to enjoy the shoot because no one else, but I have had the opportunity to feature in it. It is great fun to shoot although it is not so much fun to hunt for work.”

After putting her best foot forward in the earlier two productions, one of which (Tum Bin) was a big hit, Sandali is now working hard to prove herself in the first big banner film that she has got. Encouraged by the trend in Bollywood, which has moved beyond routine productions, she says: “This is the best time to be in the industry. Everyone seems to be experimenting with ideas and bearing risks with scripts. The wave is not in favour of a particular theme or a particular segment. It is catering to diverse sections of society and is banking on original scripts. I think I have a great chance to grow, given the volatility of the industry.”

In the near future, Sandali is looking forward to gaining maturity in her act, just like Kajol. “Also I would like to work with older actors like Shah Rukh and Salman, who know their job too well. Working with them would be a great learning experience,” says the actress, who is prepared to take up an alternative profession in case Bollywood does not suit her or vice versa.


Amitabh captures ‘enemy’ in action-packed sequence

The shooting of Anil Sharma’s film, “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon” continued for the third day today at the Army cantonment area in Chandi Mandir. The shoot, which will go on till March 28 here, today featured an elaborate action-packed shot featuring the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 in which Indian Army personnel clash with their Pakistani counterparts, finally capturing them.

The cynosure of all eyes, as expected, was Amitabh Bachchan, who was in Chandi Mandir for well over seven hours today. His act consisted of a fight sequence with Ashutosh Rana, a Pakistani general, who puts up brave resistance. For a change, today’s sequence was over in three retakes, which took just about 10 minutes.

In another sequence massive blast occurs in a Pakistani jeep, goes up in flames. This is followed by Indian troops running towards the jeep to confirm the loss to life and property. Soon after, the India troops open fire on Pakistani soldiers, including Ashutosh Rana, who escapes by hiding behind a tree. He is, however, injured in the sequence.

At this point, Amitabh Bachchan enters the scene, taking hold of Ashutosh and beating him up severely. The scene is shot for about an hour.

Like yesterday, Amitabh Bachchan was seen only for a few minutes during the shoot. His Mercedes van, escorted by security guards armed with AK-47s, picked him up from the shot to avoid any untoward incident on the sets.

Yesterday the director had a tough time controlling the crowds. Today the security on the location was very tight as expected. TNS


Two Burail jail warders suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Two key witnesses against the arrested jail officials in the jailbreak case involving Jagtar Singh Hawara and others have reportedly been suspended by the jail authorities.

The suspended warders, Hira Nand Mishra and Ashok, whose disclosures had led to the recovery of a mobile phone and Rs 40,000 from Hawara, alleged assassin of Beant Singh, in 2002 said the jail authorities had taken action against them as they had become witnesses against other officials.

They alleged that Deputy Superintendent of Jail Shamsher Singh Dahia had stopped them from giving statements against the arrested employees. Mr Dahia was not available for comment and to confirm if these employees had been placed under suspension.

Mishra and Ashok, talking to the media outside the District Court here, said they had more evidence against the jailed employees’ link with Jagtar Singh Hawara and others.

Repeated attempts to contact the IG (Prison) at his residence failed.


Roadways staff lay siege to workshop
Tribune News Service

Haryana Roadways employees protest in support of their demands in Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Haryana Roadways employees protest in support of their demands in Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh, on Friday. — Tribune photo by Malkiat Singh

Chandigarh, March 19
Employees of Haryana Roadways today laid a siege to the workshop in the Industrial Area for four hours when a senior official refused to provide his vehicle to take an injured employee, allegedly beaten up by another, to hospital.

A steno, Tek Chand Sharma, was hospitalised in the Sector 32 hospital with injuries on his head, eyes, nose and ears after he was beaten up by a clerk, Kailash Chand, in the office over a dispute on payment of money.

The police has averted Kailash Chand.

Savita Sharma, wife of Tek Chand, told the Chandigarh Tribune her husband had not yet gained consciousness after the incident.

The president of the Employees Union of the Haryana Roadways Workshop, Mr Sumer Singh Rana, said the Traffic Manager, Mr K.R. Dudi, refused to provide an official vehicle to take the injured to hospital. When the employees tried to take a bus to carry the injured employee, it was also not allowed.

The employees again asked Mr Dudi for his vehicle to help the injured employee on the plea the vehicle was of the department and not of any individual. Mr Dudi did not relent. He asked his driver to drive away. The employees then closed the gate of the workshop and did not allow them out.

The dharna was lifted when Deputy Transport Controller S.C. Goel, Works Manager Ravinder Pathak and Accounts Officer R.D. Rathi persuaded the employees to withdraw their dharna and assured action against Mr Dudi, his driver and Kailash Chand.

The employees union president said Mr Dudi and Om Prakash had allegedly tried to crush employees under the vehicle.

The senior officers, however, explained to the employees that action against Mr Dudi and his driver could only be taken with the consent of the General Manager of the depot, who was away.

Mr Dudi was not available for comment.


Body of 5-yr-old found in tank
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
The body of a five-year-old child was found from a water tank at a construction site at Yadvindra Public School here. The body of Naresh, son of a daily wage worker, employed at the site was found floating in the water tank by the watchman late last night.

According to Naagmani, Naresh's mother, Naresh had been playing near the site till 5 pm yesterday after which he went missing.

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