C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Panchkula couple among 7 killed in accidents
Tribune News Service

Grieving relatives of Ashok Kumar and Sunita Devi, who were working as constables with the Haryana Police.
Grieving relatives of Ashok Kumar and Sunita Devi, who were working as constables with the Haryana Police.

Panchkula, July 20
A young couple, both constables in the Haryana Police, were crushed to death by a speeding Army vehicle near Chandi Mandir temple this evening. The couple, Ashok Kumar and Sunita Devi, were on their way to the former’s native village, Dera Guru, near Pinjore.

The accident took place when the motor cycle they were driving (HR-49A- 2010) was hit by an Army truck (CD-1489-31K) on the right side, near the Chandi Mandir cantonment area. The motor cycle along with the victims was dragged by the truck for almost 20 feet, before the truck came to a halt.

The victims, both 28 years of age, were seriously injured and were bleeding profusely. The driver of the truck, Pradeep Kumar, of 12 Signal Group, called in his officials and the Army men then transported the victims to the General Hospital, Sector 6. However, the couple died before they reached the hospital.

While Ashok Kumar was posted in Sector 15 police post, his wife, Sunita was posted as Wireless Operator in the Haryana Police Headquarters in Sector 6. They had been married for two years, and have a year-old son, Deepanshu. The baby was with his grandmother in Dera Guru, and the couple were going to get him back.

It is learnt that Ashok Kumar was presently undergoing weapons training at Madhuban and had come for a few days leave to celebrate his son’s birthday. His grief stricken father, Mr Baldev Singh, said that they had organised a small party for Deepanshu on his birthday on July 16, and were planning to have a bigger party at their official quarter in Sector 14, Panchkula.

“Everyday, I used to pick up Sunita after her office hours and would either take her to Dera Guru or drop her at their residence in Sector 14. Since Ashok had come here on leave, he said that he would fetch her to the village and they would then bring Deepanshu back to Panchkula. But God had other plans in store for them,” said an inconsolable Baldev Singh.

The Chandi Mandir police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving leading to death. Meanwhile, four persons, including three members of a family, were killed in two separate accidents on the Kalka-Ambala and the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highways in wee hours today.

Three members of a Rajgarh-based family, near Solan, died on the spot when the car in which they were travelling rammed into a stationary truck on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway at an octroi collection post near Silver City in Singhpura village early this morning.

The deceased have been identified as Vishal Bakharu (22), his mother Neelam (50) and their relative Anil Kumar (23) of Diyal Billa of Rajgarh in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. The three were on their way from Ambala to Solan when their car (HP-14-0450) rammed into the truck (PB-12B-1187).

According to the police, the accident occurred as there was no light on the octroi post as well at the site. The truck driver had not reportedly switched on the parking lights of the vehicle and the indicators. Absence of big reflectors with the truck is also said to be a reason of the mishap.

Some passersby noticed the spot and subsequently the police was informed. The bodies were extricated by breaking open the windows of the badly damaged car.

A case has been registered against the truck driver on the complaint of Mr Prem Chand, father of Vishal, but no arrest has been made so far.

In another accident, a 65-year-old labourer, Om Bahadur, was crushed to death by a Maruti Zen car on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur-Patiala highway in Nabha village late last night.

Hailing from Udeenapur in Nepal, Om Bahadur was crossing the highway when the car (PB-11Y-0040), heading towards Zirakpur, hit him and dragged him for a long distance and then left him crushed on the spot.

Om Bahadur was employed with a poultry farm in a nearby village for the past some years. According to eyewitnesses, the car occupants stopped at the site, made an excuse to inform the police to the people assembled there and sped away.

The bodies have been sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for postmortem examination and cases against driver of the stationary truck and the car have been registered at the Lohgarh police post.

A 20-year-old girl riding pillion on a motorcycle died on the spot while the rider of the bike was seriously injured when their vehicle was allegedly hit by a truck from behind this evening at Sectors 37, 38, 24, 25 round about.

Geshu Chawla of Ambala was declared brought dead when she was taken to the PGI. Shabhu Prasad (27) is stated to be out of danger but unfit for giving any statement. The police is yet to confirm from where Sahbhu Prasad belonged. It initially got information that Prasad lived in Sector 22. The police has arrested truck driver Mustan Singh of Bilaspur.


Traffic cops have recourse to book
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
With tough traffic policing alone failing to bring desired results, the Chandigarh Traffic Police today released a book - “Black Book” - to let people themselves examine each accident of the last year.

The book was released by the SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, in the presence of teachers who had contributed to the compilation of data, representatives from the PGI Community Medicine Department, Engineering Department and the media. All Sub-Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs), SHOs and police post in charges were also present at the function.

Explaining the importance of the book and CDs with graphics, data and picture support, the Superintendent of Police (Traffic and Security), Mr Amitabh S. Dhillon, said the book would make it clear what factors were causing accidents and what the reaction of the agencies involved was. This information would generate debates as well as sensitivity about the road safety issues. Mr Dhillon said this was the first primary effort in a series of such publications.

Mr Dhillon said now the traffic police would be better equipped to persuade other agencies like the Engineering Department, hospitals and the public at large for cooperation on road safety. He said the suggestions of the police would now be backed with facts provided in the book.

Asserting that traffic policing was the biggest challenge before the police in the city, he said the book provided ratios about even calls of occurrence of an accident made to the Police Control Room. Every two hour, the PCR got a call about an accident. However, most of the accidents were not converted into FIRs as parties involved arrive at compromises. Mr Dhillon said the data indicated that an accident victim was picked up by the PCR in 90 per cent cases and only in 10 per cent cases a passers-by saved the life of a victim.

He said scooterists made up for a major part of accident victims with 50 of them dying last year. Surprisingly, only 10 motorcycle riders died in accidents.

Mr Dhillon urged the investigating officers that there was a need to improve investigation into accident cases to find out what their causes had been and who was responsible. Mr Dhillon said data showed that a higher number of challans of the persons might not bring commensurate results in bringing down the number of accidents. This left scope for public awareness to secure safety on roads, he added.


Centre set up for round-the-clock availability of blood
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

(L to R): Dr B. N. S. Walia, former Director, PGI, Mr R.K.Saboo, Past Rotary International President, Mrs Kanta Saroop Krishan, Secretary, Managing Commitee, Blood Resource Centre, and Mr Baldev Aggarwal, President, Rotary Club, Chandigarh. announce the launch of the Blood Resource Centre at Chandigarh on Tuesday.
(L to R): Dr B. N. S. Walia, former Director, PGI, Mr R.K.Saboo, Past Rotary International President, Mrs Kanta Saroop Krishan, Secretary, Managing Commitee, Blood Resource Centre, and Mr Baldev Aggarwal, President, Rotary Club, Chandigarh. announce the launch of the Blood Resource Centre at Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Chandigarh, July 20
The City Beautiful which is fast developing into a preferred health destination of the region today added another feather in its cap with the operationalisation of Blood Resource Centre to ensure round-the-clock availability of safe blood and its components to patients.

The ultra-modern state-of-the-art Rs.3.5 crore Blood Resource Centre located in Sector 37, Chandigarh, has been named "Chirag". Set up on a three-kanal plot, the project is a joint venture of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh and the Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh. The centre received the licence recently from the Directorate General of Drugs to run the blood resource centre to meet the growing need for safe blood in the region, according to Mr. R.K. Saboo, Chairman of the Governing Body of the society which is managing the centre.

Mrs. Kanta Saroop Krishan, secretary of the society, said in an interaction here today that the UT Administration provided the land for the centre and the building was constructed from a donation made by a philanthropist, Mr. Sudhir Bhagwan, in memory of his father, Mr Vishan Bhagwan, while the Rotary Club of Chandigarh arranged highly sophisticated equipment worth nearly Rs.2.5 crore. She said that the Blood Bank Society, which had been motivating the people for the past 40 years would continue its mission.

Mr. Saboo pointed out that Chandigarh was fast developing as a health destination of the region.

Besides the PGI, government hospitals in Sector 16 and 32, many speciality hospitals had also come up in and around the city. These included Fortis Health and Multi Speciality Hospital, Silver Oaks, Inscol, Mukut and Kiaser in addition to a large number of nursing homes. There was thus a growing need for safe blood in this region, which needed to be met through voluntary donation alone. The Blood Resource Centre would strive to fulfil that need.

The centre is open round the clock and any one can get safe blood from the centre without providing any replacement donor by paying the service charges of Rs.700 only. The centre, however, would be keeping some part of its blood collection to serve the poorest of the poor.

The centre is equipped, at the moment, to store nearly 600 units of blood though the capacity would be increased very soon. Automatic refrigeration and storage devices have been installed that can keep the whole blood for over 35 days while certain components can be stored for over a year, informed Dr. Col. R.S. Shah, the Director in charge.

Dr. Shah said the centre had a serology lab for blood grouping as well as another sophisticated TTD (Transfusion Transmitted Diseases) Lab to conduct tests for HIV, HCV, VDRL, malaria etc., so that only the safe blood was made available at the centre. The automatic process unit to segregate whole blood into components like red cells, plasma and platelets had also been installed which would be commissioned soon, according to Dr. Shah. This increases the utility of the blood per unit for more than one patient.

The Blood Resource Centre is maintaining a panel of donors to meet emergencies, as well as to recognise the regular donors, informed Dr. Shah. He said that a survey had revealed that AB -ve was the rarest of blood in this region and only 15 percent of the population had -ve blood group, while B +ve was the commonest of all in this region.

Mr. Baldev Aggarwal, President, Rotary Club of Chandigarh, said that the club would launch a campaign to create awareness amongst public towards voluntary blood donation, and also requested all the NGOs in the region to conduct their regular blood donation camps at the centre so that the demand for safe blood in various private hospitals and nursing homes could be met urgently.

'Chirag' brings new hope to the people in this region, as it would act as a resource centre to conduct research in the field of transfusion medicine, train technologists and motivators, and run a mobile blood service to tap donors pool on the periphery of the city.


CAG raps IAF’s 12 Wing for avoidable expenditure
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has rapped Air Force's No.12 Wing here for contravening directives issued by Air Headquarters, which consequently resulted in an unnecessary expenditure of over Rs. 61 lakh while executing civil works at the airbase.

In its latest report, tabled in Parliament last week, CAG has pointed out that sanctioning of two works by the then Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing and commencement of seven works by the Garrison Engineer (Chandigarh), after Air Headquarters cancelled the exercise for which they were required, led to an "avoidable" expenditure of Rs 61.11 lakh.

Western Air Command and local authorities had proposed 40 works, costing Rs 3.47 crore for the Presidential Fleet Review, to be held at the Chandigarh Air Force Station on October 17, 2001. Majority of the works were sanctioned between March and September, 2001.

However, on September 26, weeks before the scheduled event, Air Headquarters intimated that the Fleet Review had been cancelled and issued instructions that no fresh project, purchase, order or commitment of funds with respect to the event was to be undertaken.

The Fleet Review, a massive exercise which would have entailed just about every type of aircraft and weapon system in the IAF being put on public display, had resulted in the Chandigarh Air force Station getting a complete facelift. The exercise was cancelled, ostensibly due to developments in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

In contravention of Air HQ instructions, the AOC sanctioned two more works for the event in November, 2001. These commenced in June, 2002, and were completed in April, 2003. Besides, five other works commenced from December 3, 2001, onwards, well after the Air HQs instructions. These works were completed between February, 2002 and April, 2003.

Audit scrutiny revealed that the works sanctioned after cancellation of the fleet review pertained to construction of roads, parking areas, provision of air conditioners and special furniture and refurbishing the station briefing hall. "Sanctioning and commencement of these works even after October 17, 2001, which was the scheduled date for the fleet review, was not justified," CAG remarked.



Administration cancels lease of Central Club
Non-payment of Rs 25 lakh as arrears
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Continuing with its crackdown against defaulting clubs, the Chandigarh Administration today cancelled the lease of the Central Club based in Sector 9 for non-payment of dues. The club was to pay more than Rs 25 lakh to the Chandigarh Administration by way of arrears of lease money.

The area under the Central Club, located opposite Carmel Convent, was given on lease by the Chandigarh Administration to the club management in 1971 at a monthly lease of Rs 975. Towards the end of the last decade the Administration revised the rent and fixed it at Rs 25,567 monthly. This rent was payable from a retrospective date of March 1, 1993.

The club expressed its inability to pay such a sum. Today, after having exhausted all avenues, the Assistant Estate Officer, Mr N.S. Brar, cancelled the lease and issued directions for eviction under the Public Premises Act. These would be carried out separately by the area Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-SDM, Central, Mr Inderjit Singh Sandhu.

Meanwhile, the president of the Central Club, Major J.S. Sekhri (retd) expressed anguish at the order of the Administration saying the club could not be treated on a par with other clubs as it was upgraded from a community centre. “We hardly have any income and cannot raise this kind of money. We collect a monthly fee of Rs 50 per month from each member. In the year 2000 we were conveyed that the annual lease had been hiked”, said Major Sekhri, adding that the club tried to reason with the Administration but to no avail. The club even highlighted that they could not collect dues with retrospective effect.

It may be recollected that the Administration had cancelled the lease agreement it had with the Chandigarh Club. The matter is pending with the Chief Administrator and the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, is hearing the matter.


Bid to loot petrol station; 2 employees hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Two armed motorcycle-borne youths allegedly attempted to loot cash from a petrol station on the Dakshin Marg in Sector 37 early this morning. This is the same petrol station on which a robbery attempt was made by Anil Kumar, alias Tota, and his gang members. They were arrested while planning to rob the petrol station.

A youth riding a silver-colour Bullet motorcycle and another clean-shaven riding pillion today allegedly assaulted petrol station employees Suman Kumar and Double Singh with a sword in sheath, petrol station owner Raj Kumar told Chandigarh Tribune.

He said the pillion rider first attacked Suman Kumar and then Double Singh, but in the meantime cashier Jarnail Singh ran away from the petrol station to scale a wall to save the cash from being looted. Double Singh was attacked when he came to the rescue of his colleague. The attackers then chased Double Singh and when Jarnail Singh saw them, he ran away with cash and scaled the wall.

Mr Raj Kumar said both his employees sustained minor injuries as the youth in an inebriated state could not take out the sword out of the sheath.

Both employees of the station repulsed the attack. and in the process received minor injuries, according to the Raj Kumar.

The two youths fled as soon as Jarnail Singh raised an alarm. A number of labourers working at the Law Bhavan came to their rescue. Jarnail Singh climbed the wall and sought help from the nearby labourers. While, the attackers were fleeing, a sheet wrapped around the pillion rider fell off.

Suman Kumar and Double Singh said they could not record the registration number of the vehicle as it was covered by the bed sheet.

The SHO of Sector 39 Police Station, Mr Hardev Singh, however, dismissed the robbery attempt saying that it was merely a scuffle between a customer and the salesmen. None was seriously injured and no cash was looted, he said.

The employees of the petrol station said that the attackers came to the station as customers. They stopped at the station. Suman Kumar said he thought that they wanted fuel but as soon as he went close to the youths they attacked him apparently to create panic and loot the cash. Double Singh was attacked when he tried to hit them with an iron container.

The attack and the melee lasted only a few minutes. The police was informed at the PCR number but by then the alleged robbers fled. A tea vendor is reported to have noted down a part of the registration number of the motorcycle. He thought it seemed to be a temporary registration number.

The employees of the petrol station said they picked up stones to repulse the attack and when the labourers standing nearby rushed to the site, the attackers fled.


A heady mix of beauty & creativity
Swarleen Kaur

It was something from the dreamland. Fantasy and reality mixed and merged to give shape to the creative desires of budding designers. Several gathered to get inspiration from the latest cutting edge of styles in fashion and beauty. The occasion was the Annual fashion show “Aristocrat Premium Fashionatils” showcasing the creations of final year fashion design students of the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD). The event was held at North Park Resorts, Panchkula, today.

Top models of the country including Ms India Universe Tanushree Dutta, Femina Miss India Sayali Bhagat, and Miss India Earth, Jyoti Brahmin, displayed the designers’ collection on the ramp. The most talked about model, Laxmi Pandit, was a terrific combination of talent and beauty on the ramp.

The show began with devotional dance performance on “Om Namah Shivay”.

Budding designers took inspiration from the “Taj Mahal” for their collection. Delicate touch was given to rich fabrics like crepes and chiffons by use of intricate motifs. There was a striking combination of white suits with semi precious stone jewellery. The collection was a tribute to the eternal love of Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz.

Reflecting the current trends in “Floral Cuisine” around the body hugging silhouettes, ensembles ranging from gowns to skirts to trousers in black net with floral motifs were showcased. The black reflected elegance, authority and sophistication in each garment.

Inspired by the works of spirituality a coloured, dramatic look was given to the flowing garments. Tints and shades of orange, yellow added the element of light to the collection. The different techniques of patch work, tie and dye, burning effects and crochet with the flow depicted simplicity. Models even sported Rudraksh symbolizing the journey of soul. There was a touch of ethereal in the whole collection.

Bold and vibrant hues were used for the feminine collection in the “Pop Pourri” round. From the blue to coral orange and sunny yellow enthused the freshness in the creations. There was a good display of cool bags, hats and even trendy umbrella.

Glass nylon and tissue teamed up with foam and cotton balls with a blend pastel colors gave an aesthetic touch to the clothes. Quilting, smocking and dyeing created a fusion in this collection. The mood was soft, light and very feminine. In all 14 rounds were held.

The show was choreographed by Priyanka Singh and was compered by Pallab Bose.



Bajrang Dal activists hold protest
Tribune News Service

Bajrang Dal activists protest against the NIFD fashion show near North Park Resorts, Panchkula on Tuesday.
Bajrang Dal activists protest against the NIFD fashion show near North Park Resorts, Panchkula on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, July 20
Members of the Bajrang Dal today staged a protest against the alleged “show of flesh, contrary to the Indian tradition” at a fashion show being held by the NIFD, Chandigarh, at hotel North Park.

About 30 odd activists of the Bajrang Dal, led by the district president, Sandeep Kapoor, raised slogans against the “erosion of Indian values” in fashion shows. Though the activists had planned to stage the protest outside the hotel, and stop the show, but the police had made elaborate arrangements for security.

The activists were stopped by the police at the Majri chowk itself, about 1 km before the hotel. Police barricades were laid at the chowk and 20-odd policemen under the Station House Officer, Sector 5, Mr Ashok Kumar Bakshi, however, prevented the activists from marching ahead.


Court declines to stay NIFD show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
A local court today declined to stay the organising of a fashion show by the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) at North Park in Panchkula tonight.

It be recalled that Mr Arvind Thakur, a human rights activist, had moved the court yesterday alleging that organising such fashion shows promoted vulgarity and had an adverse impact on the young impressionable minds.

The fashion show, which is being sponsored by Jagatjit Industries, was only meant to advertise liquor by the wine company, he said, adding that organisers be restrained from organising the show.

However, the counsel for the organisers pleaded that they had spent lakhs of rupees on the event and invitations had been sent. Any cancellation at this moment would result in huge loss to them. Following this, the court refused to grant interim relief.



Housing Board to build better houses in villages
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
The Haryana Housing Board will construct better houses in the rural areas on the pattern of the urban areas.

This was stated by the Chairman of the Board and MLA, Mr Krishan Lal Panwar, after inaugurating the project ‘Awas’. He said that the Board had selected some villages under this project and the construction work on the houses would begin soon.

Mr Panwar also announced the launch of the Computerised Property Management Programme by the Board. This project had been set up with the assistance of HARTRON. Mr Panwar said that transparency would increase the functioning of the Board and the quality of working would improve with the computerisation of data.

Mr Amit Jha, Chief Administrator, Housing Board, said that the Board had computerised the complete record of Sectors 28, 19 and 26 of Panchkula. He said that the Board had launched a website: www.hbhindia.com to facilitate people and applicants. He said that the record of applicants of Sector 43 of Gurgaon, Sector 4 of Rewari and Sectors 11 and 12 of Panipat had already been computerised. The computerisation work for sectors of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Hisar and Faridabad was underway.

Mr Jha said that the Board had allotted 59,551 houses and was maintaining their accounts since its inception in 1971 and this number was increasing every year. Out of these houses more than 95 per cent houses had been allotted under hire purchase scheme and the remaining 5 per cent under self financing scheme. For the houses allotted under this scheme the recovery period was spread over 10-13 years and that under self financing full costs of the houses was recovered up to allotment. He said out of 59,551 houses full payment had been received for 33,672 houses; no dues certificate had been issued in 26,693 cases and presently recovery was being effected for 25,870 houses.

He informed that at present the software had been made functional for the housing colony in Sectors 19 and 28 of Panchkula and it would be extended to cover the housing board colonies in the entire state subsequently. The programme would have a computerised data of installments paid and remaining dues from the allotees in these two sectors. Around 1,000 houses were allotted by the Board in these two sectors five years ago. Though the department had received the installments for five years, the computerised data would show the dues to be recovered from the allotees each year for the remaining eight years.


Revision of electoral rolls from Sept 15
Tribune News Service

During the current revision of rolls, the services of post offices and postmen would also be used for receiving applications and verifications. The post offices would be used as designated locations for display of draft electoral rolls.

Chandigarh, July 20
Voters in Chandigarh, a large number of whom had been left out in the last Parliamentary poll, can get ready to get their names included in the voters’ list as the Chandigarh Administration will start intensive revision of electoral rolls from September 15.

The period from September 15 to October 15 had been fixed for filling the claims and objections, said the Additional Chief Electoral Officer-cum-Returning Officer (ACEO), Mr Arun Kumar.

The designated locations for the publication of electoral rolls and to receive claims and objection would be polling stations, besides the offices of EROs and AEROs. Further the offices of rural and urban elected bodies would also function as designated locations during the period of revision. It was also decided in the meeting that the Principals of the schools in which the polling booths were located would be designated officers for the revision of the electoral rolls and special designated officers would be appointed for the other polling booths.

He said that all the claims and objections would be disposed of by December 1 and preparation and the printing of supplement of addition, deletions and corrections would be done by December 31. The electoral rolls would be finally published on January 3, 2005 .

The entire exercise would be conducted in several stages. In the first stage draft rolls complete in all respect would be circulated to different localities, resident welfare associations and various societies, gram sabhas , elected members of municipality, panches and sarpanches for their verifications. During this stage the electoral rolls and forms related to the revision would also be supplied to the post offices.

The 11 Assistant Electoral Returning Officers would first conduct the summary revision of the electoral rolls thoroughly so that all the eligible voters were registered on the rolls and take precaution that no one was left out. They were also apprised of and acquainted with the proper preparation and the revision of the rolls. The schedule for the special summary revision of the electoral rolls was also decided at the meeting.

Mr Arun Kumar appealed to the people, especially the resident welfare associations, to come forward and help the administrative machinery in this exercise as only coordinated efforts of the people and the Administration would lead to the proper preparation of the revised electoral rolls.


Power, water crisis in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
With the monsoon still unrelenting, the residents of the township have been forced to go through a power and water crisis. Though Panchkula is a power cut free district, but the power shortage in the state has forced the authorities to annouce a time zone from 6 am to 8 am, in case there is a shortage in supply.

Today, the power supply to the entire township was shut for an hour- from 6.15 am to 7.15 am. Sources in the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) say that with the frequency going down, they had to restore to a shut down. Once the frequency stabilises, the power supply was restored.

Officials in the UHBVN say that the cut on industry from 7. 30 in the evening to 6. 30 am in the morning was to continue till the state could tide over the power crisis.

Meanwhile, the power shut-down in the morning resulted in a shortage of water. Since tubewells in the township could not pump water because of the shut-down, residents complained of low water pressure even after the power supply was restored. People staying on the first and second floors had to face an acute water shortage. Mrs Kirandeep Singh, who stays on the first floor of a house in Sector 17, complained that there was no water in the morning, and she had to wait till the evening, when the tubewells were operated, to do her household chores.


PWD engineers to hold rally today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 20
Members of the Joint Action Committee of Engineer and Employees of Punjab PWD (B&R), today gave a call for holding a state level rally tomorrow to protest against the alleged unprecedented action of the Vigilance Department towards the engineers.

Members of the committee were today invited for talks by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, but the meeting was not held. However, the PWD minister, Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, discussed the matter with the Chief Minister regarding the committee’s demands.

According to a press note issued by the convener of the committee, Mr N.K. Aggrawal, the committee had asked to revoke the suspension orders of the 21 engineers and to ensure that no further arrests would be made in the matter. Mr Aggarwal said both these terms were agreed to by the minister.

Members of the committee alleged that the Vigilance Bureau had not afforded any opportunity to any of the arrested officers to explain their position against the charges levelled against them. 


Seeking divine intervention to bring rain
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
The threat of a drought looming large because of the delay in monsoon, people are invoking divine intervention to make the rain god relent.

As the burning of dolls by young girls in villages of the district failed to bring rains, people have now started organising yajnas to please the gods and seek rains for their parched fields.

Today, the local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, organised a yajna to propitiate Lord Indra at Trilokpur village, near Barwala.

The yajna was organised at the Sharda Devi temple in the village.

Other than residents of Trilokpur, villagers from nearby villages of Tibbi, Bunga, Tiprian, Barwala, Khatuali, Toka, Billa, Ramgarh and Bhagwanpur participated in the yajna. They recited Vedic chants to please Lord Indra.


Encroachments removed

Chandigarh, July 20
Enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation removed encroachments from the rehri market of Sector 19 and the main markets of Sector 19 and 20, here today. After the anti-encroachment operation was carried out for a couple of hours, a delegation of shopkeepers from the two sectors met the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, and sought a week’s time to clear the markets of encroachments.

“We were directed by the administration to get these encroachments removed in view of the fire tragedy in Tamil Nadu. However, the shopkeepers have assured me that within a week’s time all encroachments would be removed. Following their assurance, we have decided to give them some more time,” the Mayor said.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader in the Municipal Corporation, Ms Kamla Sharma, and the BJP councillor, Mr Rajesh Gupta, in a joint statement, alleged that shopkeepers running their shops in the rehri market of Sector 19 were not given proper notice before the drive was undertaken. TNS


Minister’s help sought to stall demolition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The UT Administration would not be allowed to go ahead with its July 23rd demolition drive at Janta Nagar Colony in Mani Majra. Area councillor, Mr Surinder Singh, after a meeting with Union Minister for Rural Development, Mr Gulam Nabi Azad, in Delhi, claimed this here today.

A delegation led by the local Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the area councillor and other office-bearers of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, met Mr Azad and apprised him of the “high-handedness” of the administration with regard to the removal of encroachments.

“We told him that the administration had sent notices to house-owners and shopkeepers of Janta Nagar. An ancient Shiva temple also falls in the area. We tried to urge the administration to formulate a rehabilitation scheme for residents of the colony before uprooting them. However, the administration was unwilling to listen. So, we decided to seek minister’s intervention,” Mr Surinder Singh said.


Punwire employees meet Biswas
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 20
The Punwire Employees Union today met Mr Debabrata Biswas, MP and General Secretary, All India Forward Block, in Delhi. According to a press note issued today by the president of the union, Mr Shahid Ahmed, Mr Biswas was apprised of the problem faced by Punwire. The employees had asked him to forward the problem to Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Shahid Ahmed stated that Mr Biswas met Ms Sonia Gandhi today. She assured them to seriously look into the matter of the company’s revival. In a special message to Punwire employees Mr Biswas assured him that the AIFB would stand by Punwire employees in their fight for its revival.

A rally by Punwire employees will be organised in Sector 17, Chandigarh, tomorrow.


Man succumbs to burn injuries

Chandigarh, July 20
A victim of the Mani Majra-based Nirmal Gas Agency fire tragedy, Bant Singh, today succumbed to his burn injuries in the GMCH, Sector 32. Bant Singh along with two others was admitted to the GMCH in Sector 32 with the burn injuries. Bant Singh received 70 per cent burn injuries.

Two days after the incident, the police registered a case against the owner of the gas agency and arrested him and one of his employees.

The police said that with the death of Bant Singh, an additional charge of death by negligence under Section 304A of the IPC would be added to the case. — TNS


3 behind bars for offering eggs to Lord Shiva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
An effort to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva with an unusual offering of eggs has landed a couple of Colony Number 5 and their childless daughter behind the bars.

Ram Asrey, his wife Geeta and daughter Sunita were booked under Section 295 A of the IPC for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of complainant Prithi Singh of Sector 44.

Prithi Singh complained to the police that the couple alongwith its daughter came with eggs and put them on the Shivling while he was performing puja in the Laxmi Narain Temple of Sector 44 C.

The complainant immediately called the priest of the temple and told him about the incident. Meanwhile, others also gathered there. The devotees caught the three persons and called the police.

They revealed to the police that they were advised to offer eggs to a Shivling so that Sunita become pregnant.


Woman dies after consuming insecticide

Panchkula, July 20
A 32-year-old divorcee and resident of Sector 2, who had reportedly consumed an insecticide at the Mansa Devi Complex yesterday, died at the PGI today. The victim, Kamaljit, was a teacher at a school in Chandi Mandir. The woman was reportedly suffering from depression after her divorce. — TNS


Theft bid: man succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, July 20
Kuldeep, alias Deepa (22), of Saini Mohalla, who sustained serious injuries while breaking into a shopping complex in Dera Bassi on Thursday night, succumbed to his injuries in the PGI today. His accomplice Mohammad Imran of Dadpura Mohalla is still fighting for life.

The body was today handed over to the family by the police after a post-mortem at the PGI, Chandigarh.


One held for running godown in house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
In what is seen as a serious violation in Chandigarh, a city resident was arrested for running a godown in a house in Sector 40. A team of the Chandigarh Administration seized about 700 kg of undersize and underweight plastic bags.

Action for keeping polybags, which are not as per specifications, will be taken against him under the Environment Pollution Act. The 700 kg of bags were less than 30 micron and were less than the specified size of 8 inches by 12 inches.



Workshop for small scale industries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 20
The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research will conduct a training programme under the Capacity Building Project of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, from July 26 to July 30. The workshop is for production staff of small scale industries. As many as 50 participants are expected to attend the programme.

The workshop will focus on Indian Government’s revised Good Manufacturing Practices (Schedule-M) guidelines, that would be required to be implemented even by Small Scale manufacturers by start of the next year.

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