C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SBI Asst Manager kidnapped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
An Assistant Manager of the SBI was today allegedly kidnapped by four persons from his house in Sector 15 D in broad daylight.

An eyewitness, Master Deepak Singh, said four persons came to the house of Mr Lekhraj (35), posted as Assistant Manager in the Industrial Area branch of the SBI. They pressed the bell and when he came out and lifted him bodily before dumping him in a Sumo car (PB07E 6600) as soon as he came out of the house. Mr Lekhraj lives in house number 3300 in Sector 15-D. The Sumo was registered as a taxi as its numberplate was yellow. The eyewitness said he held one of the alleged kidnappers but he escaped.

He said the driver of the vehicle was a man with short hair and four others seemed Nihangs. The eyewitness said that Lekhraj was crying for help while the four persons were lifting him. The eyewitness said the alleged kidnappers could have been caught had others also come forward to join him in stopping the alleged kidnappers.

The incident took place minutes after Lekhraj’s wife Inderjeet Kaur, a steno in the Panjab University, left home to meet one of her friends.

The eyewitness said that the taxi was parked at one end of the road before the woman left home. As soon as she left home, the alleged kidnappers pounced upon Lekhraj.

Two young children of Lekhraj had gone out to a crčche when the incident took place.

The neighbours informed about the kidnapping to the police. All senior police officers immediately reached the spot. The SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, ASP Sanjay Kumar Jain, DSP S. C. Sagar and Station House Officer Mani Ram reached the spot and inquired about the incident from the neighbours and the family. The wife of Lekhraj refused to give any file photo of her husband.

The police was gathering information from the wife of the kidnapped person to know if he had any animosity with anybody and also re-construct the incident to pin point suspicion.

Senior police officers spent hours with the wife of Lekhraj till late night apparently waiting for any ransom call from the alleged kidnappers. Lekhraj had been at home for at least a week as he was preparing for some examination.

The senior police officers had called the help of women police officers to talk to the wife of Lekhraj who is reportedly not co-operating with the police in the investigation, the sources said.

The wife of the kidnapped person reportedly informed the police that there was a property dispute and this could have been the reason of the kidnapping.

The police has registered a case of kidnapping and dispatched parties to trace suspects.


13-yr-old maid raped by neighbour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
A 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 20-year-old neighbour in Sector 52, Chandigarh. This is the second rape of a minor in the past three days in the city. A girl of the same age was allegedly raped by her 48-year-old neighbour in Kajheri on Saturday.

The girl, a maid in a house in Mohali, was going for work when Ashraf told her that she could earn some money by cleaning a house, which was under construction in Sector 52. The girl agreed to clean house No. 2044, according to the police.

Ashraf, a labourer working in the same house, had the keys of the house. As soon as the girl entered the house, he allegedly bolted the door, gagged the girl and raped her. Ashraf, however, denies that he used force on the girl, claiming it was consensual sex.

According to the police, Ashraf allegedly lured her to the house between 1 pm and 2 pm yesterday and was there with the girl till 4 pm.

The police said Ashraf threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed the incident to anybody. Ashraf later ran away from his house, where he was living along with three other persons. Ashraf lives in house No. 2197 on the first floor. Ashraf is from Bijnaur in Uttar Pradesh and works with a building construction contractor, in whose house he was living in Sector 52.

Ashraf took shelter in bushes near the petrol station in Sector 52. He contacted a friend and sent him to the Sector 61 police post to find out if any complaint had been lodged against him in this regard. The friend told the police post in charge, Mr Bakhshish Singh, that Ashraf owed him some money and he was not traceable. The police got suspicious and allowed him to go back from the police post. The in charge asked one of his colleagues to follow the person in plain clothes. Ashraf’s friend went behind the petrol station in the bushes. The police surrounded the area to arrest Ashraf.

The matter came to the notice of the police when the girl narrated the incident to her parents, who approached the police. A case under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (rape) and 506 (intimidation) of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 36 police station.

The rape victim is the youngest among five siblings. Her father works at a factory in the Industrial Area. Her mother is also a maid. The police said during interrogation, Ashraf disclosed that he knew the girl for the past 15 days
and liked her.


Priest held for rape bid
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
The police today arrested the priest of the Gugga Mari dera in Mansa Devi Complex for allegedly trying to rape a 12-year-old girl.

The suspect, 40-year-old Som Nath, was arrested by the police late this evening. He was taken to the General Hospital for a medical examination along with the victim.

The incident took place last night around 9 when the Baba spotted the unsuspecting girl playing near the dera. He took her to the wilderness behind the dera on the pretext that one of her family members was looking for her. On reaching a secluded spot, he tried to rape the girl.

However, she managed to bite his hand and after setting herself free, fled from the spot. She later narrated the incident to her parents, who then informed the police. A case was resgistered against the baba late last night.


Estate Office seals 8 unauthorised hotels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Cracking down on hotels and guest houses functioning from unauthorised commercial places, a team of the Estate Office today sealed eight such places in a drive carried out this evening. These unauthorised places were located in Sectors 35 and 47.

These guest houses and hotels had been functioning in commercial areas and had not paid the conversion charges which are mandatory and are payable for using a “non-hotel” site for hotel. The Land Acquisition Officer, Mr S.K. Setia led a team with a police escort to seal these places. The action followed a directive of the high court. Owners of all these places sealed today had not applied for conversion. In case of two of the hotels the building had been resumed and thus could not be converted. This morning a list was drawn up of places which had not applied for conversion and the drive started around 5 p.m.

Early this month the Administration had asked all guest houses operating in private residences and also those running from shopping areas without proper sanction to apply for it.

The Administration had allowed hotel and guest house owners to use any site but were asked to pay a hefty conversion charge to bring about a level playing field. The conversion charge is between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh depending upon the location of the building.

In view of this the Administration has formed a committee comprising the Assistant Estate Officer, the Land Acquisition Officer, the SDO Buildings and SDO Enforcement to hear the appeal of each guest house owner.

The unauthorised operators were asked to pay conversion charges or else be ready to leave. A week’s time was given to the guest houses to appear before the committee.

It may be recollected that several guest houses had opened in commercial areas after use of shop-cum-offices was allowed for all trades.

The hotel industry comprising people who had paid huge sums to bid for earmarked hotel sites in auctions protested. The Administration fixed a conversion charge for people wanting to use the SCOs for such commercial use.


MLAs Hostel theft case solved; 1 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police today claimed to have solved the Rs 4.75 lakh theft in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) office in the Punjab MLAs’ Hostel a year back with the arrest of a former peon in the office.

Gurjit Singh of Nayagaon was arrested today on a specific information. During interrogation, he reportedly confessed to the theft on the intervening night of June 4 and 5 last year. The peon bought Rs 55,000 worth of Kisan Vikas Patras, a 5 marla plot at Nayagaon for Rs 1.6 lakh, spent Rs 45,000 on the construction of the house on the plot and deposited Rs 52,000 with the PGI branch of SBI. He also bought a Nokia mobile phone from the stolen money.

Gurjit Singh splurged the rest of the money on gambling and lottery.

Gurjit Singh revealed to the police that he broke open the lock of a cupboard of the SAD office on June 4 and 5 night and concealed the money in a waste bin on the top floor of the office housed in flat number 7 in Sector 3 in the MLA Hostel.

The crime branch today laid a trap near the Punjab Engineering College (PEC) towards Nayagaon village at about 1.30 pm. A middle-aged person was coming on foot from Nayagaon but as soon as he noticed the presence of police, he retreated and sought to flee. The crime branch personnel chased him and apprehended him.

The office secretary of the SAD, Mr Iqbal Singh, on June 5 last year reported the theft to the police station (North) but investigations could not make much headway. The case was filed as untraced on October 27 last year.

The crime branch is investigating Gurjit Singh’s possible role in other thefts.


Chandigarh Calling

Notwithstanding growing popularity of slimming centres and gymnasiums among the present generation over traditional methods to keep fit, the age old practice of adopting yoga to remain healthy has been rediscovered.

However, a cross-section of city denizens who now no more rely on traditional ways to keep fit prefers opting for slimming centres and gymnasiums. A visit to slimming centres in the city revealed 60% women which includes 20% unmarried and 30% women and the scene is no different in gyms where youth use technical gadget and facilities to keep fit.

Clinic Manager of the city VLCC centre Ms Babita Soni says: “We not only lose the weight of our clients through machines but we also change their eating habits, quantity control and behaviour modification and improve their lifestyle which helps them even after they leave our centre”. Mr Vineet Kumar, a regular client in VLCC who lost 11 Kg in just two months,cannot rely on exercises and yoga as he finds-slimming centres the fastest and safest way to reduce weight quickly.

Going in gyms, for some it’s fun and enjoyment,and the best way to deal with health problems, but for some its a status symbol and fashion among youth. The coach in Femina Plus gymnasium, Mr Dinesh Malhotra, says” “By exercising in a gym we can get rid of many health problems and can gain fitness as we also give a change in environment to our members along with loud music and fast beats which pours happiness in their minds”.

However, the trend of yoga seems catching up again these days. Famous yogacharya Guru Ramdev, who undertook a yoga camp a few days back that started on June 2 and ended on June 9, taught various yoga exercises to the people. Various people who joined the camp claimed of fast recovery of their illnesses in just one week. For some yoga exercises has brought shooting cholesterol down and others claim to get rid of joint pains, blurred vision and depression even, and to some degree improvement in qualities such as mental alertness and emotional stability.

One of the four yogacharyas in Yog Divya Mandir Sector 30 Pt. Khushi Ram, while teaching ‘Jal Neti’, one of the yoga exercises to the girls, says “ Yog exercises are even better than exercises done in gyms as children of eight years to the persons of 100 years can easily do yoga”. By differentiating yoga with other exercises, he adds: “Yog exercises, involve both body and mind which gives us relaxation “. Yoga experts claim that any disease can be cured through yoga in a small period of time.

Chautala visit

The Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who underwent an operation at Silver Oaks hospital last week, did not forget to visit noted author Swadesh Deepak who was recuperating from heart surgery at Fortis Heart & Multi-Speciality Hospital, Mohali, before going home last week.

An emotional Swadesh Deepak said “I was very surprised and grateful to see Mr Chautala and the other senior dignitaries with him. He held my hand and said ‘Get well soon, you have to a do a lot more, achieve many more laurels in your life. Just forget about everything, you have come to the right hospital and now looking after you is our problem and the State will take care of you.”

Recounting how he became unwell, Swadesh Deepak said that he was alone at home in Ambala when he got pain in the chest. “I took it rather lightly, and just applied some ointment on my chest for the pain and smoked another cigarette” he smiled and said. “Suddenly I fell unconscious and for 2 hours I just lay on the floor. When I regained consciousness, I did not know what to do… who to call, as it was already midnight.” It was the next morning that his brother, Mr R.K. Bhardwaj, drove down from Chandigarh and brought him to a diagnostic centre. “After conducting some tests, they asked me not to waste any time and rush to Fortis. Here, I met Dr Jagmohan Kalra and he immediately operated on me. He is a confident doctor and he told me that I got here just in time.”

Swadesh Deepak has written 15 books and his latest book “Maine Mandu Nahin Dekha” is creating waves across the country.


Mr Rohit Baluja, President of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, has objected to the move for removal of roundabouts on major traffic arteries of the City Beautiful.

An internationally recognised traffic management expert, Mr Baluja, who was in town last week in connection with a workshop on traffic management, says that roundabouts are the best, cheapest and safest system for traffic management on the roads of any city. As a matter of fact, roundabouts are staging a comeback wherever they had been removed in various countries of the world. It is, therefore, sad to find that UT Administation is seriously toying with idea of doing away with some of the roundabouts which any case are being beautifully maintained.

He recalled that a few years ago, when the UT Administration was contemplating removal of the roundabout on the Transport Chowk on Madhya Marg leading to Panchkula, he had objected to it. As a matter of fact, during the course of the meeting, he was amazed to learn that not many had any idea as to the destination of all the vehicular traffic clogging the road.

Now that the roundabout has been removed, the problem of traffic on this particular stretch of road had only worsened. Accidents are an almost every day occurrence, resulting in the loss of life and limb of the road users. The Administration should think of some other alternative. It should create a cell in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for road traffic engineering.

Mantra for success

“Mind your mind and it will mind everything else for you,” said Dr Vijay Chopra, a motivational guru and management consultant, at a workshop on “Success that Succeeds”, held the other day at Parwanoo.

Dr Chopra told participants that “true success” could be achieved only by maintaining a balance between professional achievements and health, happiness and peace of mind. A successful career without these three essential factors is not real success. He emphasized the importance of four Ps — Perception, Principles, Preparation and Practice — in order to attain professional excellence, and to make life truly meaningful and satisfying. He affirmed that every individual had the potential to achieve this kind of success, but true conviction was the key to release this hidden potential.

Dr V.K. Chopra, an award-winning motivational guru, educationist and management consultant, has a vast experience of over 40 years in industry.

Stamp on Sikh turban

Sikh Americans from India who have settled in the USA have launched a campaign to urge the US authorities to issue a stamp on “Sikh turban”.

In a communication addressed to Chairman, Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee, U.S. Postal Service, it has been emphasised that issuing a stamp on Sikh turban would “celebrate our assimilation in the mainstream America. This campaign is supported by all Sikh-American organisations, including over 250 Sikh temples, across the country, which would a long way to promote our American ethos and the dream of ‘Statue of Liberty’, welcoming the immigrants of the world.

The campaign committee consists of Harry Gill, Vikramjit S. Bajwa, Paul Sahota, Dr R.Salwan, Dr A.S. Marwah of Khalsa Heritage Foundation, Santa Rosa, USA.

Banker honoured

S.C. DhallBanker and local resident S.C. Dhall of the State Bank of Patiala has been awarded with the first prize for writing success stories on marketing by the Principal of Staff College, State Bank of India, Hyderbad. This was an All-India show. Thus the award from SBI, explains Dhall.

He has contributed over 500 articles on various subjects concerning banking, money market, industries, agriculture and tourism. His articles have appeared in leading economic and national dailies. He is also regular contributor to The Tribune.

— Sentinel


Verma seeks report on vacant buildings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Taking a serious view of flats and buildings lying vacant due to the non-allotment of the same, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), today asked the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and the local municipal corporation to submit a report within a week regarding various HIG, MIG, LIG and EWS category houses lying vacant.

The local municipal corporation, administration and Estate Office will also submit a list of various commercial and government properties lying vacant. These properties will then be put to use.

Justice Verma asked the Chairman of the CHB, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, and Commissioner, municipal corporation, Mr M.P. Singh, to prepare a detailed list of the properties. The matter was raised during the coordination meeting of the Chandigarh Administration this morning.

During the meeting it was decided to invite “expression of interests” from private parties to set up multi-media centre-cum-science centre-cum-planetarium in two acres on a build-operate-transfer basis. Justice Verma said the administration should put the project on priority basis and invite private operators to execute it.

The monsoon means growth of congress grass or parthenium. The Administrator stressed upon the need to involve people and non-government organisations in a drive to eradicate the deadly weed from the city.

Parthenium has spread on vacant lands, especially which are not maintained by the administration or residents. He said since chemicals required to destroy the deadly weed tend to poison the soil, the only way to eradicate parthenium was uprooting it manually.

Emphasising the need for implementing guidelines regarding the use of polyethylene in the city, Justice Verma regretted that since the past one year not much had been done on this front and various agencies of the city should join hands to strictly enforce the guidelines.


HUDA fails to take possession of land due to absence of staff
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
For the past one year, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has failed to take possession of over 940 acres of land acquired by the Land Acquisition Office. The reason: there is no staff in the revenue branch of HUDA to take over the land.

The land, 622. 76 acres in Saketri and Bhainsa Tibba villages and 317.89 acres in Naddha and Chowki villages, was acquired by the Land Acquisition Office (LAO) over a period of nine months since July 2003. While the land in Saketri and Bhainsa Tibba (482.17 acres and 140.59 acres respectively) was acquired in October 2003, for carving out Sectors 1, 2, 3, 5-B, 5-C and 6 in Mansa Devi Complex, 224.28 acres in Chowki and 8.79 acres of land in Naddha was acquired in July 2003 for carving Sector 32, and another 84.82 acres was acquired in Nadda village this year for carving out Sector 31.

HUDA has been projecting these sectors — in Mansa Devi Complex and Panchkula Extension, as the best offer in the urban township and schemes for allotment of plots in Sectors 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex have already been floated. The residential plots in the other sectors to be carved on this land are also to be floated soon.

Ever since the land was acquired, the engineering wing of HUDA reportedly started developing this land by constructing roads here, even though the revenue branch failed to taken possession of the land in either Mansa Devi Complex or Panchkula Extension. Officials in LAO say that they have written to HUDA officials on several occasions, asking them to take possession of the land.

However, HUDA does not have a regular Naib Tehsildar or a Kanungo for the past several months. A Patwari was recently sent on deputation to the revenue branch, HUDA, from the Revenue Department and is assisted by a clerk. The post of Naib Tehsildar has been lying vacant since May last year, after the then Naib Tehsildar, Mr Bachchan Singh was placed under suspension in a case of cheating and fraud. The then Kanungo, Mr Rajinder Singh, was given additional charge of Naib Tehsildar till his transfer a few months ago, also leaving the post of kanungo vacant. Thus the revenue branch of HUDA is unable to take possession of the acquired land.

Senior officials in HUDA, when contacted, conceded that they had been unable to take possession of the land because no revenue officials were posted in HUDA. A senior officer said the HUDA head office had been informed of the problem and had further requested the Revenue Department to depute Naib Tehsildar, Kanungo and Patwari, so that development work did not suffer.


DC ‘stays’ MC proposal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 28
The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, today 'stayed' a proposal of the Mohali Municipal Council to give a contract for congress grass cutting work for a whopping Rs 40 lakh for an year. The DC also ordered that the council should undertake the work on its own using better and newer methods keeping the township free of congress grass and other weeds.

Sources in the council said that a resolution to give the work on contract was passed during a meeting of the council held on May 31, 2003. Since the resolution was part of the other development works listed in the agenda, the item was passed. No discussion was held or eyebrows raised at the big cost that MC was ready to pay for getting rid of congress grass in the township.

The DC Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain, said that she noticed this while she was going through the various resolutions passed by the council. ''The council is proposing to spend a lot of money just on congress grass. This expenditure is totally superfluous. In fact I have asked the council to co-ordinate with the ADC and examine the matter in detail. The council should be doing this work on its own. In fact now there are many new methods available to get rid of congress grass. The Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) had also come up with a chemical to solve the problem,'' she said.


ESPL reopens; staff see hope
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 28
Electronics Systems Punjab Limited (ESPL) was reopened here today. The ESPL, a sick public sector unit in the Industrial Area, Mohali, was locked on June 11 this year by the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) following orders of the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

However, the company was re-opened today and 41 retrenched employees started work. The MD of the company, Mr Ashok Sharma, also regained his position. The employees and the MD were accompanied by representatives of the PSIDC.

Sources said the company had been restarted to complete a large amount of work that had been taken up by the company but left incomplete following its closure. This work included preparation of voter ID-cards for the Punjab State Election Commission. The employees also pointed out that more work worth Rs 7 crore was being given to the company by the Election Commission, but that had not been taken up by the company.

The BIFR has held the PSIDC responsible for the failure of its rehabilitation scheme to revive the ESPL and after trying its best to help revive the unit, the BIFR had recently ordered the winding up of the company.

The company’s closure has led to over 200 persons losing their job. However, today the employees were hopeful that once the company starts running, there would be chances of its permanent revival. Employees told mediapersons that the MD, during a meeting with them, had stated that the running of the company would depend on the amount of work the company could gather.

As many as 32 employees of the company, who had retired from the company as part of the VRS have also been re-employed on a daily basis to complete the work.

The ESPL MD, Mr Ashok Sharma, refused to allow any member of the Press to enter the premises. “You all have never bothered to talk to me before publishing any news about the company. You can go and write whatever you like, I couldn’t care less,” he said.


Coin distribution fails to take off
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
An ambitious project of the Postal Department to distribute coins at the post offices has failed to take off in the city.

With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reportedly developing cold feet on the issue, the project has failed to take a concrete shape. Under the project, certain post offices were to distribute coins in the denominations of Re 1, Rs 2 and 5 for the convenience of the general public.

The proposal was discussed at an informal meeting attended by the RBI Governor, Mr YV Reddy, and the Chief Post Master General, Punjab and Chandigarh Circle, Mr LK Puri, last year. Mr Reddy had reportedly asked the RBI regional office here to tie-up with the Postal Department in this regards.

Keeping in view of the demand of the coins at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Sector 17 and the commercial centres the project was conceived as an additional facility to the general public. A nominal commission was to be paid by the RBI to the Postal Department.

Currently, the public can get coins either from the RBI office in Sector 17 or from certain authorised banks. Temples, gurdwaras and certain commercial establishments were the other sources of getting the coins.

On the other hand, RBI sources claimed that authorising post offices for the purpose distributing coins was not a priority area for the bank. Anyway there was no shortage of coins at the moment to warrant the opening of the more counters for the distribution of the coins.


SAD candidate’s plea on symbols
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Amarinder Singh, for the lone seat of the SGPC from the city, has appealed to the Additional Deputy Commissioner to ensure that symbols on the ballot paper are easily distinguishable.

In a letter, he has said that while he has been allotted the symbol tractor, an Independent candidate has been given the symbol tanker, which resembles the symbol given to him.

He has said that the two symbols should be easily distinguishable so that illiterate people, who cast their vote, do not get confused.

BJP meeting

The president of the local unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, convened a meeting of office-bearers of the party, district presidents and other members to discuss the case of Mr Balraj Singh, a Congress councillor who was caught taking bribe recently.

It was unanimously decided that the entire report, along with the CD about Mr Balraj Singh taking bribe would be sent to Central leaders tomorrow. Besides demonstrations would be held in the city.


Implement Khurana panel recommendations, say ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
City-based ex-servicemen today demanded that the government implement the recommendations of the Khurana Committee on issues pertaining to the welfare of armed forces personnel.

While flaying the government's proposal to set up a new department for the welfare of ex-servicemen, the All- India Defence Brotherhood, in a statement issued here today, said that rather than burdening the exchequer with a new department, the existing institutions related to ex-servicemen's welfare should be revitalised.

Stating that numerous studies have been carried out in the past and a number of committees constituted on the subject of ex-servicemen's welfare, the statement added that the new government should implement the same, which have been gathering dust.

The root of all ex-servicemen's problems, the statement said, is their early retirement to keep the profile of the services young, and lack of subsequent rehabilitation. several committees have recommended later induction of retiring soldiers into para-military forces, but this has never been implemented despite the recommendations being accepted by the government.


Fauji beat
River-rafting expedition by Royal Jats

What the Royal Jats have achieved now was not even attempted in the last ten years. It was a challenging white water river rafting expedition in Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh, by a team of 20 members, led by Capt S.S. Tanwar.

The team was flagged off from Pooh (Kinnaur) by Brig S.K. Vejeshwar, Commander 36 Sector, on June 18. White water rafting over the treacherous rapids of Sutlej for four days was a rare feat, which put the human endurance and mental robustness of the team to a gruelling test.

Having covered a distance of 97 km and accomplishing its task successfully, the team reached Tattapani on June 21, where it was flagged in by Lieut-Gen P.K. Grover, Chief of Staff, Western Command.

It seems that 1 Jat (L1), which earned the title of Royal Jats during the British regime, new re-designated as a Mechanised Infantry Battalion (1 Jat L1), has seriously taken to such expeditions. In October 2003, the unit had carried out white water river rafting over a distance of 200 km. The expedition was conducted to commemorate 200 years of glorious existence of the Royal Jats.

Unworkable promotion policies

For the past many years, the Army has tried out several new promotion policies for officers. None of them has proved workable. The policy of promotion on pro-rata basis was introduced about two years ago when S. Padmanabhan, was the Army Chief. As per this policy, promotions in each arm and service from Colonel to Lieut-Gen were to be made on the percentage basis of total number of officers in that particular arm on service. This policy gave a distinct advantage to the bigger arms and services because of the larger number of officers in each ran in them. But the Armoured Corps, being a smaller arm, was hit hard.

The new policy issued now to make promotion on “borrowed vacancies” implies that the Colonels who have been approved for promotion but retire in the same rank because of non-existence of vacancies in their arm/service, will be promoted on vacancies to be borrowed from other arms/services. But these vacancies will have to be returned within two months to the arms/services which made them available. This policy also says that an officer who is on top of the list, will be promoted even if there was no vacancy in his own arm/service. The decision, it is said, will not be applicable to minor crops.

The policy has too many ifs and buts. It, therefore, seems difficult to make it work smoothly. Suppose the arm/service, which has given a vacancy for two months, suddenly finds an officer coming up for promotion because of a pending case against him having been decided in his favour. Having already given its vacancy, will the loaner arm/service, start asking for a vacancy on loan to promote this officer? This is one of the many contingencies that we may have to face.

Resettlement of ex-servicemen

The Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) has the overall responsibility to resettle ex-servicemen, widows and dependents of the deceased soldiers. But in practice very little, if anything, is done by it. Even when a job is offered, it is far away from one’s home. Having stayed away from their families for the better part of their service, ex-servicemen are loath to accept jobs away from their homes.

Brig Rajiv Sarin, Director Resettlement Western Zone, gave a presentation about various welfare and rehabilitation schemes at Chandi Mandir on June 19. These schemes have been in existence for more than two decades now. Loans with seed money are also offered to them liberally. Yet there have been few takers for them. The reason is that ex-servicemen, barring a few, do not want to take loans, which they fear they may not be able to return.

It is time the DGR changed its archaic system of working and got down to finding suitable jobs for the ex-servicemen and widows nearer their homes. There is no dearth of jobs. But it calls for intimate day-to-day liaison with various employing agencies. A cue should be taken from the Army Placement Cells which, in a few years of their existence, have started achieving encouraging results.

— Pritam Bhullar


SSC starts recruitment for technical posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
For the first time in its history, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has started recruitment for technical posts.

The SSC recently conducted examination for the recruitment of Junior Engineers (JEs) for the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The recruitment to the technical posts has been initiated following a policy decision by the Central Government, sources said.

Every year, the SSC conducts examinations for thousands of non-gazetted posts, commonly called the Class “C” and “D” posts. These examinations are conducted on the all-India basis and lakhs of job aspirants apply for these posts.

The sources said the widening of the scope of recruitment by the SSC was the result of the excellent record of the commission in recruiting suitable candidates for the jobs. The SSC was likely to take up recruitment for more technical posts as certain government departments were understood have approach it.

The recruitment by the SSC had certain inherent advantages since the departments could get the best talent available in the country. Since the SSC has regional offices all over the country, the regionwise merits could also be prepared to tap the talent of a particular region.

The SCC was likely to make more recruitments for autonomous organisations also, the sources added.


Dairy complex likely at Naggal village
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
The proposed dairy complex, where the dairies from the township will be shifted, is likely to come up at Naggal village, near Barwala.

Sources in the local municipal council have informed that about 100 acres of land is available with the panchayat of the village, and the dairy complex will come up on 50 acres. A four-member team of officials, SDM, Panchkula, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Naib Tehsildar, Barwala, and BDPO, Barwala, will be visiting the site on Wednesday to finalise the setting up of the dairy complex.

Officials say that it has yet to be decided if the land has to be taken on lease or bought by the council. The move comes after the district administration failed to identify and acquire land near Panchkula for the purpose.

It is estimated that there are about 240 dairy farms and over 1,500 head of cattle in the township, including Mansa Devi Complex and the 13 villages of the town. The MC officials concede that of the 1,500 head of cattle at least 500 have been abandoned by the owners.


Postage stamps released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The Department of Post released a set of three commemorative postage stamps and a miniature sheet on the ‘great arc’ today.

According to a press note, the stamps were released on the Great Trigonometrically Survey and surveyors Nain Singh and Radhanath Sikdar at 900 outlets across the country.

The occasion was celebrated jointly by the Haryana Geo-Spatial Data Centre, the Himachal Geo-spatial Data Centre and Punjab and Chandigarh Geo-spatial Data centre of the Survey of India here today, the press note added.

Market committee poll on Aug 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Elections to the market committee of Chandigarh will be held on August 9, Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner-cum-secretary, Chandigarh Agricultural Marketing Board, said today.

The election programme has been announced. The process will start on July 22. The filing of nomination papers before the returning officer shall take place on July 30. Scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on August 2. Symbols will be allotted on August 3 and if necessary, polls will be held on August 9. Counting of votes and declaration of result will be done the same day. Mr H.R. Nagra, Tehsildar (Revenue) has been appointed as Returning Officer for the election.


Yoga camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The third fortnightly special yoga training camp concluded at the community center, Sector 47-B, here today.

This camp was conducted by Mr Rajinder Vashist, yoga instructor with expert guidance from Yogacharya Balvinder Sadhna, Jyoti Sadhna and Nimmi Vashist.

Participants perform yoga at a training camp at Community Centre, Sector 47-B, Chandigarh, on Monday.

Participants perform yoga at a training camp at Community Centre, Sector 47-B, Chandigarh



Fake certificate case: accused wanted to go abroad
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 28
The police here today stated that the fake certificate racket that was unearthed yesterday in Mohali was limited to a single fake certificate. Sources in the police stated that the main accused in the case, Kanwar Ajit Singh, arrested by the police yesterday, wanted to go abroad and had faked a certificate to obtain a visa.

The police said Kanwar Ajit Singh, alias Rocky, worked in a computer shop in Phase VII and had procured the photostat copy of a certificate. He copied the design and created a certificate for himself. He then took it for checking to Sanjiv Kumar, the other arrested in the case.

Yesterday the police had stated that it had information about the operations of a fake certificate racket in Mohali and was on the lookout for a lead. The two arrested today, Kanwar Ajit Singh and Sanjiv Kumar, both residing in Phase VII, were expected to give more information to the police about their possible links in Panjab University. Other than a fake certificate, the police had recovered a CD that contains designs of various certificates of Panjab University, the Punjab School Education Board and some private computer centres.


Labourer arrested for possessing ganja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The police last night arrested a labourer and seized 1.95 kg of ganja from him.

Dharminder Kumar brought the contraband from Bihar and was to deliver it to somebody in the city. The police has not yet been able to ascertain as to whom the consignment was to be delivered. Investigations are on in this regard.

Dharminder Kumar had earlier worked in Hoshiarpur district and had returned to the city from his home town in Bihar.

Dharminder Kumar was arrested when he tried to return from a picket put up by the police in Sector 36. During his checking, 1.95 kg of ganja was recovered from his possession.

The peddler was told by a person in Bihar to take 2 kg of ganja. He was offered Rs 1000 for carrying the contraband. Dharminder Kumar was told keep the contraband at his house in Kajheri till somebody came to pick it up.

He claimed that it was for the first time that he had brought a consignment of contraband to the city.

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