C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cong team leaves for Delhi today; to seek Bahl’s ouster
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
A deputation of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) is leaving for Delhi tomorrow to press the Congress high command to effect an immediate change in the leadership of the CTCC.

The deputation will meet the Congress leader, Mr Janardhan Dwivedi, who has now been the in charge of the party affairs in Haryana and Chandigarh and urge him to appoint an observer to ascertain the views of the party’s rank and file on the question of continuance of Mr B. B. Bahl as the president of the CTCC. A dominant section of the party led by the Congress MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, who has now been appointed the chief whip of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha, says that a majority in the party is in favour of an immediate change in the leadership.

If any proof was needed, it was available at the meeting of the Congress party held here yesterday at Ramgarhia Bhavan where Mr Bansal was honoured on his appointment as the chief whip of the Congress Parliamentary Party. The meeting was attended by 12 of the 14 Congress councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, including the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of Chandigarh, all the three presidents of the District Congress Committees, vice-president of the CTCC, besides a host of other party office-bearers.

Close friends and colleagues till recently, relations between Mr Bahl and Mr Bansal soured during the recent parliamentary elections over the readmission of a local politician, Mr Devinder Babla, into the Congress fold. While Mr Bahl opposed the move tooth and nail, Mr Bansal was equally adamant on his reinduction into the party. As the controversy grew, relations between the two leaders touched a nadir with Mr Bahl refusing to attend Mr Bansal’s poll rallies being attended by Mr Babla.

As soon as the elections were over and Mr Bansal won the Chandigarh seat with a handsome margin, a war of words broke out between the two factions with Mr Bansal’s camp accusing Mr Bahl of doing his best to sabotage Mr Bansal’s election campaign and financing a dummy candidate against the Congress nominee. This was hotly denied by Mr Bahl’s camp but in the process, the party machinery was paralysed.

In a talk with TNS, Mr Bahl indicated that he had no intention of resigning because he was an elected president and had the approval of the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. “The show staged-managed by my friends at Ramgarhia Bhavan yesterday will have no effect on me”, he said, adding that he had worked wholeheartedly for the victory of the Congress party in the recent parliamentary elections. “I have worked hard for five years in the city and strived to spread the policy and programmes the party. I have no intention of obliging those who are asking for my resignation unless the Congress high command asks me to step down”.

Mr Bahl also asserted that he continued to command a majority in the party. Therefore, he was not afraid of facing and interacting with any observer which might be sent to Chandigarh by the party high command in response to the demand of a section of the partymen.


Bahl unfazed by accusations
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), Mr B.B. Bahl, has been in the firing line from people within his own party and he doesn’t seem to mind that. He has chosen to stay mum through all the accusations levelled against him from various platforms. And not because he has nothing to say but because he doesn’t want to get into a mud-slinging game.

In an exclusive interview to Chandigarh Tribune, here today, he said that the high command was well-informed of the goings-on in the local unit of the party. “I am sending them newspaper cuttings everyday about who is saying what, where and when. The disciplinary committee will tackle the rising instances of indiscipline. There is no need for me to retaliate. My job is to keep them informed and I am doing that,” he says.

Reacting to allegations that he had failed to call a meeting of the party to discuss the anti-party activities during the recent Lok Sabha elections, he asks,”What anti-party activities are these local leaders talking of? Our candidate won by over 45,000 votes in the election. This is one of the highest margins ever recorded for the Chandigarh Parliamentary seat. In the last election, the margin was only 5,000 votes. Where is the possibility of anti-party activity in this case ?”

He added that if a few Congressmen did suspect some anti-party activity by fellow workers, the best alternative was to name these “suspects”. “I will thoroughly investigate the matter and take strict action against anybody found guilty,” he stated.

Mr Bahl further admitted that in a letter written to him and signed by a few leaders, it was mentioned that they wanted him to call a meeting to prepare an action plan for dealing with the water crisis and demolitions.

“When our party has the majority in the Municipal Corporation, such issues should be directed to the Mayor. Again, on demolitions, Mr Pawan Bansal had met the Administration and given statements in the press that no more notices would be issued and demolitions stalled. While all three issues resolved, there was no need for the meeting. So, it never took place,” he held.

On differences between him and Mr Bansal, Mr Bahl said that there was nothing more to it than the “Babla episode”. “I was not taken into confidence by Mr Bansal. Anyway, we had no power to get him into the party. After all that Devinder Singh Babla had done in the presence of a leader as senior as Mr Moti Lal Vora, right from throwing the party flag on the face of the leader to openly condemning the party high command, he has no place in the party. He is not even a primary member of the party. All those siding with him will have to face the music. For me, he continues to be an associate of Mr Bansal and nothing more. The matter ends at that unless the All India Congress Committee (AICC) decides otherwise,” he emphasised.

For now, his only concern is that the image of the party does not take a drubbing only because a few leaders have used public platforms to settle their differences with him. A response from the high command is what Mr Bahl is waiting for.


A day later, repair on Ghaggar bridge stalled
NIFD show cited as reason
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 19
A day after the repair work on the old Ghaggar bridge began, it has been stalled indefinitely. Reason — the Administration has decided that the old Ghaggar bridge cannot be closed down for at least one week, till the approach road of the new Ghaggar bridge is repaired and consolidated to carry the heavy vehicular flow of the National Highway.

Now, the contractor hired for the job by the National Highways division of the Public Works Department (PWD), has threatened to walk out of the project. He alleges that he started the work on the bridge only after receiving a green signal from the PWD and the district administration. He has now demanded that he be paid Rs 23.50 lakh — the amount he has spent for getting the bearing plates of the bridge constructed and the money advanced to the labour he had hired from Calcutta.

It may be noted that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and National Highways had released a grant of Rs 57 lakh for the repair of this 300-metre long vital bridge across the Ghaggar, on National Highway 73, which had been swaying dangerously. The expansion joints of this bridge with eight spans had loosened and the bearing plates, which facilitate the working of these joints, have worn off. The work for repair started yesterday and a wall was erected just before the bridge to close the road to traffic and the traffic was diverted via the new Ghaggar bridge.

The Administration claims that the repair work has been deferred for eight days so that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) gets sufficient time to repair the curvaceous approach road via the Azad Colony in Sector 3, to the new bridge. It is estimated that almost 15,000 heavy vehicles and 2000 light vehicles, which pass over the old bridge each day, will be diverted towards the new bridge. However, sources in the PWD allege that the real reason why the work has been abruptly stalled is to allow the smooth flow of VIP traffic to a hotel on the banks of the Ghaggar tomorrow, where a fashion show is being organised.

The owner of the contractor firm M/S Arya Nirman, reportedly submitted an application to the Deputy Commissioner via the Executive Engineer today alleging that his firm had been taken for a ride. He said that after he was allotted the contract on May 26, he placed an order for tailor-made Neoprene bearings and expansion joints, which were ready on June 18. The PWD checked the joints and then asked that these be checked at the IIT, Roorkee, who also gave a positive report. Skilled labour (about 15 foremen) were called from Calcutta for replacing the joints and bearing plates and the work was to be completed within two months. The contractor said that because of delay in starting the work, his labour too had walked out.

He has demanded that he will begin repair only after he has been paid damages, and in case the contract has to be deferred, then he be paid the damages as well as interest on the expenses incurred.


Uzbek women remanded in judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Three Uzbek women, who were arrested from Sector 17 market yesterday without valid travel documents, were remanded in judicial custody till August 2 today. There were reports that some foreigners were allegedly involved in flesh trade in the city and its surrounding areas.

They were booked under Section 14 of the Foreigner’s Act for allegedly neither possessing visas nor passports.

Feroza, Gulbahar and Mukrram were arrested yesterday when they failed to produce before the police their travel documents.

They were today produced before a local court, which sent them in judicial custody till August 2.

The Chandigarh Police checked up with the Foreigners branch if it had been informed about the presence of these women in the city. Neither they nor the hotel in which they were suspected to have stayed during the past 10 days, had informed the police about their presence. A hotel is supposed to inform the police about the presence of a foreigner within 24 hours of his or her checking in.

The police has informed the embassy of Uzbekistan about their arrest. The police had a tough time handling the women, who refused to cooperate with it. They did not even allow the police photographers to take their snaps. Though the women disclosed their names and nationality to the police, there was no proof, a police officer said. The women might have misled the police. An officer said the women could speak their own language, Punjabi and Hindi apart from English to some extent but they preferred to keep silent before interrogators. They were believed to have come to the city from Delhi, where women from former Soviet Union had been arrested for allegedly been involved in flesh trade.

A police officer said but for the non-possession of valid documents, the women could not even have been arrested.

The police tried to engage a decoy customer to find out if the women were involved in the flesh trade, but it could not arrange one. The fear of annoying the Embassy of Uzbekistan was haunting the investigating team. And the status of the foreigners was playing upon the mind of the Chandigarh Police officers.

The women had also come to the city a month back but returned after a couple of days without the police noticing it. The police, however, suspected that the women were brought by an agent from Delhi, who kept with him their travel documents. The interrogators virtually had to surrender before the women for a fear of their country objecting to their arrest in a serious case and lack of evidence.

However, questions like motive of their coming to India without travel documents, how they reached India and how they could have escaped immigration check while entering the country, when they reached the country from Uzbekistan were still unanswered.


Hope for HIV-infected pregnant women
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

  • One lakh HIV positive women deliver each year in the country.
  • With the estimated transmission rate of HIV from mother to child being 30 per cent, 30,000 infants acquire HIV infection each year.
  • Life span of child infected with HIV is lower than that of adults, with HIV infection.
  • Parent to Child Transmission (PTCT) is the most significant route of transmission of HIV infection in children below 15 years.

Chandigarh, July 19
Hope may be in sight for the pregnant HIV positive women as the chances of the transmission of infection to their children are minimised through the anti-retroviral drug Nevirapine. The chances of transmission from a HIV positive mother to her child, which otherwise are no less than 35 per cent, can be reduced to 8-10 per cent after the drug is administered to the pregnant women.

Nevirapine, which is given in the form of 200 gm tablets, would be prescribed to the HIV positive pregnant women to reduce the risk of vertical transmission to the foetus under the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme of the union health ministry. The programme got underway in the three city hospitals, including PGI, GMCH Sector 32 and General Hospital Sector 16, this month only. By initiating the programme, Chandigarh in fact, has become the only city in the region to have started the PPTCT programme for counselling and prevention of HIV Infection to the mother and the child.

“All women who are tested HIV positive and have given consent in the ante-natal care (ANC) clinics for taking Nevirapine would be administered the tablets orally,” said a senior official of the UT State AIDs Control Society here, adding that the drug would be given only after the consent of a pregnant woman is obtained and the counselling sessions are attended by both the woman and her husband.


Action against battalion's CO initiated
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Army is understood to have initiated an administrative action against the commanding officer of a Mechanised Infantry battalion for certain acts of omission and commission pertaining to the selection of personnel to be sent on UN Peacekeeping Missions abroad.

"The decision to take administrative action against the CO was taken by Headquarters Western Command a few days ago," highly placed sources revealed. A show cause notice is expected to be issued to the officer soon. An administrative action is different from a disciplinary action, which is more severe and generally entails trial by a court martial.

An NCO from the battalion, Ajay Kumar Dubey, had alleged that some officers were demanding money from jawans to ensure their inclusion in UN contingents. He also maintained that he was forced to sign his own discharge roll after he witnessed an officer accepting money. Following this, Headquarters Western Command had directed the formation concerned to order a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the matter.

The findings and recommendations of the CoI, headed by Brig D.S.C. Sharma, commander of an infantry brigade have been sent to Headquarters 7 Infantry Division for further action. It is learnt that a senior officer from the division headquarters was present at command headquarters recently to discuss the matter.

The reason mentioned in Dubey's discharge certificate was that his mother is not keeping good health and required him to be present at home to take care of her. However, a police verification team, accompanied by Army representatives, which visited Dubey's home in Mallikpur village near Sultanpur found his mother to be in good health.

Further, Dubey's father, Dharam Narain Dubey, an ex-JCO who accompanied him to depose before the CoI, maintained that his wife was not ill and even if required, he could avail medical treatment from military hospital and his son's help was not required.

Dubey also maintained that the commanding officer of the battalion was not examined by the CoI in his presence and nor was he given an opportunity to question or cross-examine him.

Jawans are alleged to have paid up to Rs 40,000 for ensuring their selection. Most of them had reportedly withdrawn the money from their respective provident fund accounts, the records of which are said to be existing in the unit as well as other establishments. A list of persons who had withdrawn money has also been attached with the CoI proceedings. Dubey, who was a clerk n his unit, claimed that eight out of the 10 jawans who were selected, had withdrawn money from their provident fund accounts.

There are also indications that the practice of some officers accepting bribes for ensuring selection of personnel for UN Missions could have been going on for some time now. Over a year ago, a colonel posted in the Military Secretary's Branch at Army Headquarters was reportedly court martialed for this. Sources said that he had allegedly been caught red-handed by the military intelligence while accepting money. Already, there are a number of statutory complaints filed by officers, alleging irregularities and corruption in postings and transfers.


DRT lawyers adopt contrasting stands on Recovery Officer
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
On July 17, the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) Bar Association, Chandigarh, had accused Recovery Officer Yogesh Jain of serious irregularities and corrupt practices.

Addressing mediapersons, DRT Bar Association, Chandigarh, President S.D. Bansal and some other office-bearers had alleged on that day that Mr Jain had been committing grave irregularities while allotting and conducting auctions of properties of defaulters.

Saying that despite numerous complaints to top authorities in this regard, no action has been initiated against the officer. Mr Bansal alleged that Mr Jain's actions had caused loss of crores of rupees to banks and other financial institutions.

However, in a twist to the tale, some other office-bearers of the association have come out in support of the Recovery Officer. In fact, these lawyers, led by association Vice- President Atul Mahajan, have claimed that they were not party to the utterances of Mr Bansal and his supporters.

"We want to clear the air on the matter. We were neither informed nor called to the press meet. How can Mr Bansal issue releases on behalf of the association without talking to us first. In fact, Mr Jain is doing a good job," Mr Mahajan told The Tribune.

Mr Bansal, general secretary Baljit Singh and some other office-bearers had alleged that Mr Jain, in league with some lawyers and other persons, was causing huge loss to banks and financial institutions by auctioning prime property for meager amounts.

They had also given instances of auctions where the prime property had been sold off in this manner.

"Mr Jain, who was on deputation to DRT from the Central Bank of India, has been instrumental in the sale of property worth crores for a song for personal gains. We have been demanding an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into his acts since taking over as Recovery Officer. We request the authorities to order a CBI inquiry into all auctions conducted on the orders of Mr Jain," Mr Bansal said.

However, Mr Jain has also asserted that he had done nothing wrong. He maintained that Mr Bansal and his supporters were after him for some reason. He has also stated that he had been given proper extension by the Union Finance Ministry.


Chandigarh Calling

Contrary to the claims of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), certain parts of the main shopping centre— Sector 17— seem to be in a drift. At least this is true of two water features in the Plaza, which seem to be nobody’s baby. While the fountain had been functioning in fits and starts, the other water feature in front of the Plaza carnival stage virtually stinks. The lack of maintenance is ensuring a slow death for the water bodies, apparently planned to add to the beauty of the premier shopping centre. To top it all, visitors throwing waste items into the water features make the civic body’s job even more difficult. Shopkeepers inform that strict action by the corporation against the violators and regular maintenance can only restore these water features to their former glory.

Three cheers for honesty

The Director General of the Army Institute of Law, Mohali, Dr Veer Singh, recently had a remarkable experience which he shared with Sentinel. He resides on the Panjab University campus and like any other routine activity, he handed a bunch of clothes to his dhobi for ironing. However, within an hour he had the dhobi Mangal Prasad at his door with five crisp Rs 500 denomination notes that had been found in Dr Veer Singh’s pant pocket. Here was this poor but honest man returning the amount when he could have easily pocketed it and let Dr Veer Singh think that he had lost it. Kudos to Mangal Prasad and the likes of him who sometimes come across more honest than many of the richest men and women we might know.

PU back to life

Panjab University is once again bursting with energy. With the new academic session having begun, the hostels, departments and the deserted Student Centre are bubbling with life. However, while in some departments there are no seniors, in others there are no freshers. The seniors are “missing” out on all the fun of the first few days all because their results have not been declared while the freshers are still to come in as far as other departments are concerned. Despite this, the university is all jazzed up to welcome the students after a vacation. Swanky cars, macho bikes and whizzing kinetics, the parking lots in front of various departments are almost full even though the classes are yet to start. Then, there are those visiting the university, in the hope of getting lucky and still get admission. These students, on the waiting list, are regular visitors and can be seen hanging out at the Student Centre.

Evasive degrees

Degrees continue to evade a handful of B.Com passouts from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26. After repeated visits to the college, these students have returned empty-handed. The grouse of most of them was that they were paying guests in rented accommodations while they were studying and now, were being forced to come from their native place at least once a week to find out about their degrees. They claim that they are finding it difficult to apply for permanent jobs and studies abroad. While no convocation was held for these students, they are being told to get their degrees directly from the university. When contacted Dr Kuldip Singh, Principal of SGGS College, said, “We are planning to hold the convocation for the students in the month of October or November. If there are in such a great hurry, they can also obtain their degrees directly from Panjab University by obtaining a written permission from me.”

Jacob pleased

Chandigarh’s rising stature in the field of Information Technology has gladdened the heart of one man, the former UT Administrator Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Now based in Delhi the General was delighted to know that one of the world’s biggest IT companies, Infosys, will set up its campus in Chandigarh. It was during the tenure of General Jacob that the Administration had actually clinched the deal with Infosys. A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in December 2002. He told the Sentinel, “The efforts are bearing fruit and it is for everyone to see. Children of the city can now hope to get good jobs.” Actually it was during his tenure that the IT policy was released and he handpicked the Secretary Finance Mr Karan Avtar Singh to handle the work.

— Sentinel


Admn, police ‘sheltering’ Cong councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The BJP, SAD (B), Janata Dal and Janta Party launched a joint attack against the Administration and the police for failing to arrest the Congress councillor, Mr Balraj Singh, who had allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a building contractor.

Addressing a joint press conference in Sector 22, here today, leaders of all four parties said a case should be immediately registered against Mr Balraj Singh and a CBI inquiry should be ordered in the matter and the councillor should be suspended.

After showing the video CD which showed the councillor taking bribe. Mr Gian Chand Singla, the contractor who was being harassed by Mr Balraj Singh for money, said he had been receiving threatening calls ever since the councillor had been exposed. “I have reported the matter to the police which seems to be unconcerned. They are not registering a case against the councillor for accepting the bribe and for threatening me,” he said.

Replying to a question, Mr Singla said he knew that giving and accepting bribe was a crime. “I am party to it but I had no option. I consulted a few people and they suggested that I make a CD. The thought of calling in the CBI did not occur to me,” he maintained.

The leader of the Janata Party, Mr Ajit Jagga, speaking on behalf of the other leaders, said the police and Administration were being pressurised into letting Mr Balraj Singh go scot-free. “We have the Congress-led government in the Centre, a corporation dominated by the Congress and the local MP is also a Congressman. They are all ensuring that nothing comes of the bribery case,” he alleged.

The leaders were unanimous in their opinion that the in-house inquiry by the Congress which gave Mr Balraj Singh a clean chit, was merely an eyewash. “They are not a government agency. The inquiry should be conducted by an independent agency, preferably the CBI, if justice is to be done to Mr Singla. The police and administration should take the matter seriously. If they don’t we will be forced to adopt other ways,” the party leaders threatened.

Those present included Ms Harjinder Kaur of SAD, Mr S. Bhardwaj of Janata Party and former BJP Mayor Kamla Sharma.


Lukewarm response to BJP bandh call
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 19
The bandh call by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) over Punjab’s termination of all water agreements, drew a lukewarm response in the district.

While it was business as usual in the neighbouring towns of Pinjore and Kalka, protests marked the bandh call in Panchkula and Barwala. No untoward incident was reported, and business and trading remained unaffected. Shops in Panchkula were closed because of a general holiday in shops on Monday.

In Panchkula, the local unit of the BJP led by its president B.K. Nayar and senior leader Shyam Lal Bansal held a protest march at the Labour Chowk. Amidst tight police arrangements, the BJP workers raised slogans against the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. They burnt the effigy of Mrs Gandhi and alleged that she was encouraging Punjab Chief Minister in his designs to stop the water from reaching Haryana.

In Barwala, the BJP workers gathered at the main market and burnt an effigy of Punjab Chief Minister. The bandh was more or less peaceful.

The Haryana Vikas Party led by Mr K.P. Singh submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner. The memorandum addressed to the President of India sought the latter’s intervention in resolving the river dispute with Punjab.


Colony No. 4 residents seek potable water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The BJP has criticised the Congress-ruled Municipal Corporation for being unable to provide potable water in Colony No. 4.

The BJP spokesperson Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, said Colony No. 4 had been apprising the Congress Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, former Mayor Lalit Joshi and various officers of the corporation about the paucity of potable water for the past one month.

“However, these residents claim that the Congressmen have not paid any attention to the problem being faced by them. As a result, the people living in Colony No. 4 have been compelled to drink contaminated water which has resulted in breaking out of serious diseases like cholera in the colony,” he stated.

The BJP leaders, Mr Deen Dayal Tripathi, BJP president Ward No. 15, Mr Megh Raj Verma, Mr Shashi Shankar Tiwari, Ms Manjit Kaur, Mr Hari Shankar Mishra, Mr Radhey Shyam Singh, Mr Jitendra Jindal, Mr Akshay Chugh and Mr Deep Chand said since the day Congress had come to power in the city, the problems of the residents had increased enormously.

The Congress had won the Lok Sabha seat of Chandigarh by securing votes of the people living in colonies but it had not been able to solve any problem of any colony.

The BJP leaders of Ward No. 15 have warned that if the people living in colonies are not provided with potable water immediately, they would burn the effigies of Congress Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, and Congress MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal.


SP (Mohali) shifts office again
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 19
For the second time in the past one year the SP, Mohali, is once again shifting his office. Following orders of the DGP, Punjab, to cut down costs, the SP, Mohali, Mr Rakesh Aggawal, has been directed to shift his office from the current rented accommodation in Phase 11 to his old office in Phase IV, currently lying unused as SSP Ropar’s camp office. Mr Aggarwal will be available at the old SP office in house number 1045, Phase IV, from tomorrow.

The SP’s office was shifted from Phase IV to Phase 11 last year reportedly following a battle of egos between the SSP Ropar, Mr S.P. Singh, and the then SP, Mohali, Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. The SSP had converted the phase IV office of the SP into his camp office and dislodged the SP from there. Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh had managed a temporary office in Phase 11, taking a floor on rent from former ADGP Punjab, Mr B.B. Tewari.

However, the SP office here recently received a communication that the Police Department had disallowed two police offices in Mohali and one had to be closed. Apart from the SP shifting to phase IV, it is learnt from reliable sources that the DSP too has been asked to close shop at the phase I police station and shift to Phase IV.

“I don’t think that the DSP is shifting there but yes I, along with my office staff, are shifting to Phase IV. It will be functional from tomorrow morning,” said Mr Aggarwal.


Hutch tower not removed despite DC’s orders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Despite directions from the Deputy Commissioner (DC), the telecom giant Hutch seems to be dragging its feet on the pulling down of a tower in the residential area in Sector 4 here.

In fact, throwing the building bylaws to winds, the company was allegedly going ahead with the construction activity at the site putting the residents of the sector to a lot of inconvenience. It may be recalled that Hutch, which launched its services in Punjab recently, had rented the lawn of a palatial house in the sector for the installation of the tower.

The company went to extent of installing a generator set and dumped several truckloads of construction material in the open space. However, earlier this month, Mr Tarun Ghai, represented to the DC, who reportedly ordered that the tower should be removed by July 15.

Besides representing the firm’s Global Chief in Hong Kong contending that the tower had been erected against rules, Mr Ghai met the top Administration functionaries, including the UT Administrator, who were of the view that the tower had been erected throwing the norms to winds.

The officials even promised to disconnect the supply of electricity to the tower by today. However, nothing could be done on account of the bureaucratic apathy.

Mr Ghai wondered why the tower had not been removed despite clear orders from the Administration as it posed danger to life and property.


Fauji Beat
Command Hospital expecting MRI machine

Unlike government hospitals, military hospitals are neat and clean and have well-managed wards. For the past few years, these hospitals have never had a shortage of medicines and are well equipped and have competent doctors.

In Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, medicines worth about Rs 1.25 lakh are purchased every day and more than 1,000 outdoor patents visit the hospital daily. The hospital has nearly all modern equipment and its Eye Department is the best equipped among the command hospitals. What it lacks at present is an MRI machine, which, costing Rs 5 crore, is scheduled to arrive by September. The hospital was upgraded to a postgraduate institute a few months ago.

New Commandant

Maj-Gen S.K. Kaul, who took over the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, recently, is a renowned consultant in cardiothoracic surgery. After receiving the MS and M Ch. degrees from Pune University in 1978 and 1985, respectively, he did his advanced training in cardiac surgery in the UK from 1987 to 1988. Thereafter, he passed the FIACS examination from the Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons in 1991.

As for General Kaul’s appointments, he was cardiothoracic surgeon from 1985 to 1996, senior adviser in cardiothoracic surgery from 1997 to 2001 and consultant in cardiothoracic surgery from July 2001 to November 2002, he took over the command of Military Hospital, Namkum, in Bihar. From there, he was posted to this hospital.

General Kaul started the open-heart surgery centre at Army Hospital (RR), Delhi, in 1992 and has performed 4,000 cardiac, thoracic and vascular operations. He was Professor and Head of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, 1998 to 2002.

With his long experience in heart surgery, it is hoped he would start thoracic surgery in this hospital also.

Report leak inquiry

The leaking of the in-house report on Kargil has created an awkward situation for the Army. It has made the Air Force sore as its role in the Kargil war has been criticised in the report. To pin-point the responsibility for the leak the Army has instituted an inquiry. It is highly improbable that the inquiry would be able to locate the point of leak for the report was sent to all formations, where several officers have seen and read it.

No document can be saved from being leaked out unless it is “Top Secret”, in which case it is received and handled only by senior officers. But at times even such documents are leaked out by unscrupulous recipients or handlers.

Callous banks

The widow of Naik Gurmeet Singh received a cheque for Rs 272,505 as final payment of APP/DLIS funds from the CDA, Patna, more than a year ago. The State Bank of India, Panchkula (Ramgarh), dishonoured the cheque because it could not trace the specimen signature of the officer who had signed it.

Rather than seeking a clarification from the CDA, Patna, the cheque was returned to the widow. After more than one year, and that too after the Western Command Ex-servicemen Helpline took up the case with the CDA and the bank, the widow is now being paid her dues.

Pritam Bhullar


Fire Dept to begin survey of schools today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
In the wake of the Tamil Nadu school fire the local Fire Department is starting a detailed survey of all educational institutions in the city from tomorrow . Three teams of fire officials have been constituted which will visit each school in the city to ascertain the level of fire preparedness.

The visiting officers will also be assisting the respective school authorities in adopting various fire safety measures. If needed, they would also train school staff in evacuation and fire fighting drills.


2 killed in separate incidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Two persons were killed in separate incidents at Attawa and Sectors 24 and 25 roundabout this morning.

A 25-year-old rickshaw-puller, Gopal, was killed after he fell off the top floor of the four-storeyed White Palace guest house at Attawa. He was allegedly drunk when he fell on a heap of bricks on the ground. He died on the spot. Gopal hailed from Uttar Pradesh. A post-mortem examination of the body would be done tomorrow when members of his family reach here from Uttar Pradesh.

In another incident at the Sector 24 and 25 roundabout, 45-year-old Vijay Pal, a fruit vendor, was killed when he fell off a wall. He was allegedly drunk when he fell off the wall on which he was sitting.


Labourer electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 19
A labourer was electrocuted to death while sinking a tubewell in Jarnail Enclave, a housing colony on the Zirakpur-Bhabhat village this morning.

A resident of Bakarpur village, Desh Raj was erecting an iron pipe, which got entangled in overhead high-tension electricity cables, electrocuting him on the spot. He was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where doctors declared him dead.

Desh Raj was employed by Mr Salam Khan, a Chandigarh-based contractor, and was engaged in the sinking of the tubewell. The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examination.

The police booked the contractor under Section 304-A of the IPC. No arrest has been made in this regard so far.


Anomalies in MC accounts found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 19
Internal vigilance of the Local Bodies Department, Punjab, today conducted a surprise check at the Mohali Municipal Council office here. The officials reportedly found grave anomalies in the maintenance of accounts the issuing of octroi passes by the council.

Mr Naresh Garg and Neeraj Bhatti from the department visited the MC office in Phase VII today and inspected various records of the council. They took some of these records in their possession.

Sources said that Mr A.K. Kansal, Chief Vigilance Officer of the Department of Local Bodies had received an anonymous complaint following which this action was taken.


BSNL panel holds protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Members of the local unit of the All-India BSNL Executives Association today organised a protest against the apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned towards their demands.

The association in a press note said today that they also sent a representation regarding their demands to the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the BSNL in New Delhi.


One held for misbehaving with woman
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 19
Surjit Singh, of Sector 52, was booked for outraging the modesty of a woman of Ram Darbar, Phase-I, here today.

In a complaint to the police, Ms Sunita alleged that Surjit Singh misbehaved with her in Sector 20 and tried to take her along forcibly to a public place on Monday.

On her refusal, he also threatened her with dire consequences.

A case under Sections 341, 354 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against Surjit Singh.

3 held for theft

Gagan Sharma of Sector 28-A, Harbhajanjit Singh of Pipliwala Town in Mani Majra, and Ajaypal of Sector 29-A - have been arrested for stealing a motor rotor worth Rs 40,000 from plot No. 145 of Industrial Area, Phase-I, Chandigarh.

The trio were booked on a the complaint of Mr Ishwar Chand Saini.

The police also recovered the stolen motor from their possession.


Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
A 30-year-old resident of Deria village today allegedly committed suicide in his house. He had been working with Maruti Courier Company in Sector 22.

Mangesh Rajpurohit was found hanging from a fan of his rented room in the village this evening by his neighbours. The room was bolted from inside.

An identity card was found from the room. He had been identified by neighbours also. The police entered the house by breaking an iron gate.

The police said the person was living alone and hailed from Bikaner in Rajasthan. The members of Rajpurohit’s family had been informed about his death.


Suicide bid by woman
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 19
A 32-year-old divorcee, resident of Sector 2, Panchkula, allegedly attempted suicide today. The victim, Kamaljit, is a teacher in a school in Chandi Mandir. She had reportedly left for Mansa Devi Complex at around 8.30 pm from her house in Sector 2. It was around 9 pm that a shopkeper in Mansa Devi Complex noticed her lying unconscious. He took her to the General Hospital, Sector 6 from where she was reffered to PGI, Chandigarh.


Woman registered as bad character
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Bala, sister in-law of a registered woman bad character Kamla, has also become a bad character in the Chandigarh Police records.

She probably is only the second woman bad character whose name has been entered in register number 10, the entry in which is called “das nambari” in common parlance. Bala, who was recently arrested by the Crime Branch in connection with thefts, has 16 cases of theft and burgalry against her.

Bala already had 12 cases against her before she was arrested by the Crime Branch, which got four fresh cases registered against her.


Police crackdown on gamblers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh police today arrested eight alleged gamblers and seized Rs 49,692 from them in raids across the city.

Satish Kumar of Sector 36 was arrested from the Sectors 42 and 43 round about along with Rs 15,795, Mangat Ram of Sector 40 was also arrested from the same place along with Rs 14305. A case has been registered.

In a separate raid, Joginder Singh, alias Tony of Sector 47, Amar Singh ,alias Baba, of Kajheri, Sadeeq, alias Lally, of Panchkula, Krishan Kumar of Attawa, Nazeer Ahmed of Ram Darbar Colony and Jagdish Chand of Dhanas village were allegedly found gambling at a public place.


Adviser opens shed in Sector 26 vegetable market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, today inaugurated a newly constructed shed on onion and potato auction platform at the vegetable market in Sector 26.

The shed has been constructed at a cost of Rs 75 lakh and is spread over an area of 27,319 sq feet.

The Engineering Department had been entrusted the task of the construction work while the Market Committee would provide the resources.

Later, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Chandigarh Marketing Board Mr Arun Kumar, said the covered shed would be quite useful during the apple season as Chandigarh was the base market for the apple growers of entire Himachal Pradesh and from this very market the crop was dispatched to the other parts of the country.

The Market Committee had arranged free accommodation for the farmers at Jat Bhawan, Sector 28, and land measuring 15 acres had been arranged for the parking of trucks at Manimajra so as to ease the traffic congestion during the apple season. Internet facilities had also been provided for the apple growers to make them aware about the latest rates of Delhi mandi, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner said the sewerage cleaning work had been given to a contractor so that all complaints were promptly attended. An amount of Rs 12 lakh had been paid to the municipal corporation for laying additional storm lines for better drainage of the water. An eating outlet had also been opened in the mandi to provide hygienic food to the public at reasonable rates. Some more such outlets were proposed to be constructed in the near future. The open space near the office of the Market Committee had been landscaped and sapling plantation work was in progress.


Shopkeepers resent MC apathy

A view of the parking space at Sector 44-C market in Chandigarh
A view of the parking space at Sector 44-C market in Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, July 19
Shopkeepers of the Sector 44-C market are a disappointed lot as their business continue to suffer for want of a proper parking space in front of shop-cum-offices.

President of the Shopkeepers Welfare Association, Sector 44-C, Mr Davinder Singh Aulakh, said today that despite a number of reminders to the local Municipal Corporation, the parking space had not been developed yet. A few customers visited the market as water got accumulated in the kutcha parking space.

All shops in the market have been occupied. During rainy season even shopkeepers find it difficult to park their vehicles as water gets accumulated in most of the part of the parking space, he added. TNS


CII to host conference on organic farming
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will be organising a day-long conference on July 23 to discuss the issue of organic farming as a potential source of sustained prosperity for rural economy.

The conference has been structured to provide inputs on the viability of organic farming to progressive farmers, companies and government officials.

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