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Relief recedes even before rainwater
People grapple with hunger, stench
Tribune News Service


  • Officials busy at meetings.
  • People do not even have beds to sleep.
  • Cooking gas stoves choked with mud.
  • Unbearable stench.
  • Receding waters have left behind a plaster of mud within city homes.
  • Deposits of silt on roads not cleaned. 

Chandigarh, August 5
Except for cursory surveys by a few officials to assess damage to UT’s capital assets like road and culverts, the Administration spent the entire day holding meetings to prepare perspective plans to deal with contingencies like flash floods on August 3.

According to reports, several ‘ambitious’ plans were drawn up to channelise the natural flow of water in and around the city. Meanwhile, over 20,000 worst-hit by the flooding had to fend for themselves for another day.

It is learnt that over the past 48 hours, the Administration has distributed 2,000 food packets among the 20,000 people still not in a position to cook for themselves.

Residents of the worst-effected villages of Kishangarh and Behlana and in Mauli Jagran and Charan Singh Colony in the city claimed that after making a token appearance on the day the heavens opened up, the Administration and its teams have disappeared.

It may be pointed out that household goods in these areas have been washed away or badly damaged. People do not even have beds to sleep as the mattresses are wet. They are grappling with the awful stench emanating from the filth the water has left behind.

In Charan Singh Colony and Behlana, cooking gas stoves have been choked with silt. Mr Sham Charan, a government employee, says: “We have survived the past 48 hours due to helpful neighbours rather than some largesse by the Administration. We cannot cook or sleep inside our homes due to the unbearable stench.”

Interestingly, kerosene is being withheld from residents not eligible for the same. “I am not living below the poverty line. Under normal circumstances, income eligibility should have applied. But not to give kerosene when I don’t have any other way to cook food is making a mockery of the rule. The Administration wants me to starve so that it can preserve its rule. Does it not have a human face,” asked an irate resident.

When The Tribune visited Mauli Jagran this morning, it found residents cleaning their homes of the silt. “ It will take a few days more and the entire house needs a whitewash to make it liveable again,” said Mr Sucha Singh, a mason.

The Administration or the MC has not yet initiated steps to clean the drainage system nor has there been any effort to remove the filth left behind by the flood on roads in Behlana (near the airport), Kishangarh, or Mauli Jagran. Even main roads in the city are still not free of the debris. Kishangarh village has been, perhaps, the worst ravaged by rain. Yet, there are no visible signs of official help in terms of sanitation or provisions for daily needs. The village is at a short distance from the UT Administrator’s official residence.

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From relief camps, onto the road
Tribune News Service

A family makes tent its home after relief camps were closed in Panchkula.
A family makes tent its home after relief camps were closed in Panchkula. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, August 5
Two days after the flash floods in the region, residents of Rajiv Colony and Indra Colony have been left to their fate. Even as they are trying to gather themselves after their colonies were devastated by the floodwater, the administration seems to have washed its hands off them.

Free langars organised by Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board (SMMDSB) have been called off. Free food distribution by NGO’s has decreased, water and power supply has yet to be restored, and the administration refuses compensation to the residents.

Mr Dalbir Singh, municipal Councillor from Rajiv Colony, said the Administration has been callous towards the colony residents. The residents who had shifted to temporary relief camps in government schools in Sector 15 and 17, were asked to vacate the buildings yesterday. “Over 1000 jhuggis in the colony were damaged, and the people rendered homeless. But the Administration has failed to provide them temporary shelter till they can rebuild their homes,” he said.

Mr Swaminath Yadav, a resident of Indra Colony said hundreds of residents were now putting up in the open. “If there is rain and the rivulet floods again, these people could be washed away. The residents of these colonies form the entire workforce of Panchkula.

Labour, housemaids and servants, HUDA Class IV employees, skilled masons, vegetable and fruit vendors — all live here. But the Administration is least concerned about providing them relief,” said Dharminder Kumar, a mechanic in Rajiv Colony.

The house of Shanti Devi, a housemaid, has been washed away. After being asked to leave the flood relief camp in Sector 15, she has erected a tarpaulin tent on the road.

Residents of the colony say while the street in the colonies are filled with slush, their hutments are still under water. With the threat of an epidemic looming large, the residents say it was only today that a team of the Health Department came for fogging the area.

However, the Administration says the relief camps were closed when the colony residents left the camp. “There were only 10 children in the Sector 15 school yesterday. Even on the day of the flood, the residents had refused to leave their hutments and move to the relief camps,” said a senior official. About 50 water tankers were being sent to the colonies daily for ensuring regular water supply, he said.

The Health Department officials claimed that they had started fogging in the colonies to ensure that there was no outbreak of malaria, dengue, diarrhoea or jaundice. They said they had distributed chlorine tablets to residents and also advised them to boil water before drinking.

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Encroachments to blame for flooding in Panchkula
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
The mushroom growth of encroachments on the natural course of seasonal rivulets flowing through Panchkula were responsible for the flooding of the township on Tuesday.

Not only has the course of these rivulets been changed by encroachers within the township, but also in peripheral areas falling in the neighbouring state of Punjab. The district administration and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials have now taken the matter with the Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, by asking him to ensure that encroachments on the natural outflow of the seasonal rivulets be removed.

Officials say the terrain of Panchkula is such that the entire rain water flows down through three seasonal rivulets to Industrial Area and Sector 19 here. The outflow of water from the township is through three places in the neighbouring areas of Punjab, which have now been usurped by colonisers and marriage palace owners in Zirakpur.

“Since the water could not find an outlet, the water pressure not only damaged the buildings constructed on this land, but also flooded low lying areas like Sector 19 and Industrial Area, falling near the nullahs,” said a senior HUDA official.

He said a few years ago, the stormwater would drain out into the nullah flowing behind Industrial Area. “The natural course of the nullah has now been usurped and Harmilap Nagar stands on this land. From here, the nullah reaches the Punjab and Haryana boundary, near Shagun Hotel, where the outflow is now blocked” .

The second outflow of water from the township is also blocked by a coloniser, who has built apartments on the natural course near the railway line on the Zirakpur-Panchkula highway. The third outflow of stormwater from Panchkula has been blocked by a marriage palace near Ganda Nullah in Dhakauli village.

He said even Rajiv Colony and Indra Colony had been built on the natural course of the nullah. “Because of these encroachments by the slum dwellers, the course of the nullah has been changed. When water gushed through the seasonal rivulet at full force, these colonies were flooded.”

The official says that HUDA’s stormwater design was adequate and water drained out from the sectors within half an hour after the rains. But because the outflow is blocked in the neighbouring areas of Punjab, most parts of the township along the seasonal rivulets — Sectors 17, 18, 2, 4, 12 and 12- A were flooded.

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Auto driver who saved 7 children
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
Thirtyfive-year-old autorickshaw driver Nanku was a godsent for Abhay Kumar. On Tuesday morning when Rajiv Colony was flooded and residents were marooned on the roofs of their hutments, Nanku braved the strong water current and brought his three children and four more to safety.

Nanku was about to leave for a relative’s house in Chandigarh, he noticed seven children perched atop a jhuggi. “I thought that my children could have met with a similar fate. As the thought crossed my mind, I parked my auto on one side and jumped into the rivulet to reach out for the children.”

Nanku pulled a rope from a house that was flooded and vacant and tied one end of the rope to a tree and another around his waist. He then swam towards the house. One by one, he brought seven children from the two houses to safety.

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Tackling deluge
Govt agencies stretched to limit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
There was a flood of distress calls at the control room number 100 and that of Fire Brigade at 101 on the day of deluge on August 3.

Sources in the Fire Brigade said it could not reach out to help all individual callers. However, vehicles were sent to all public places. Apparently, resources of the Fire Department, which surprisingly helps also during the time of flooding, could not match the level of distress in the city. Fire tenders are still working in the Sector 17 ISBT basement to pump out water that seeped into the building on August 3.

The ISBT remained without electricity and drinking water for two days because of water-logging in its basement.

Basements across the city saw water-logging. The water draining-out operation in one of the mosques of Mauli Jagran continued till 3.30 am today.

The Fire Department sources said with so many calls asking for help, the department had to ask private callers, who were not in a great danger, to arrange help privately. The department had to focus on institutional buildings and public places. The water level in Charan Singh Colony was so high that five fire tending vehicles were stranded in water. Police vehicles were not in a position to reach the affected people.

There were calls from all colonies asking for help.

Those who had completed their shifts had to be called back on duty and those who were to come for the next shift were called to meet an unprecedented crisis in the city.

Toilets at the ISBT were not functioning and there was no drinking water and electricity at important public place for two days.

The Information Technology Park in Kishangarh still needs fire-tenders to drain out water.

As many as 29 calls from important places went to the Fire Department and 22 to the Police Control Room. The control room provided information to the UT officials, who were to move resources and men to help the people.

The Fire Brigade sources said that due to heavy demand for fire-tenders, certain calls made in the morning were attended to even in the evening.

The sources said that with so many calls and only 21 vehicles available, the Fire Department had to prioritise the need of sending out help. The priority was given to those places where either life was in danger or property was threatened. According to the Fire Brigade, flood might have caused a great loss to those who had kept their important goods in basements.

The police was on toes, with Head Constable Sohan Singh of the Deria police post and Constable Rajinder Singh Dhani of the Security wing earning appreciation for their effort. Dhani was the first person to respond to the road caving in near Hallomajra, saving lives. Dhani kept stones around the caved-in road and informed the police. Sohan Singh fished out the body of Sonu with the help of his friends near Deria.

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Stormwater drainage to be upgraded
Lake, dam among options
Tribune News Service

  • Upgrade drainage infrastructure in southern sectors.
  • Identify structures which are coming in the natural flow of water.
  • New stormwater gullies to be added.
  • Natural flow from the Shivaliks to be curbed by setting up check dams.

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chandigarh Administration today reviewed the extent of devastation caused by unprecedented rains from August 1 to August 3 and subsequent failure of the stormwater drainage system, especially in the southern sectors, slums and rehabilitation colonies.

Regretting the failure of a stormwater drainage system, especially in a planned city like Chandigarh, the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, said the rains had exposed the chinks in the so-called fully planned stormwater drainage system.

He said he had been emphasising since the past one year that keeping in view the gradient of the city towards the south, there was an urgent need to upgrade the stormwater drainage system in the southern sectors.

Though some work was done in this direction, more was yet to be done.

Disagreing with the contention of the Commissioner Municipal Corporation that the rains on August 3 were unprecedented, causing failure of drainage system, Justice Verma said this was a more excuse.

He said instead of excuses, the Administration should identify the structures hindering the flow of water. It was felt at the meeting that unplanned growth, especially in rehabilitation colonies and slums had hindered the natural flow of stormwater in to the drainage.

The expansion of these slums and colonies, especially on the banks of natural choes or nullhas had diverted the entire stormwater towards the slums, causing a flood.

In view of the flow of water from the Shivalik ranges to the city, it was felt the Administration should explore the possibility of another lake on Patiala-ki-Rao-Choe and in southern sectors, which could be created by erecting a small dam to harvest rainwater.

The Administrator asked the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to implement four-pronged strategy in totality rather than in phases for upgrading the stormwater drainage system in the city.

The Finance Secretary was asked to ensure adequate funding for the same.

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Houses still submerged in Mastgarh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 5
Houses in Mastgarh village are still submerged in knee-deep water after the recent rains that lashed out the area for three consecutive days. Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, took a round of the area today.

According to a press note issued here, Mr Kang had directed the Kharar SDM, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Gill, to make arrangements to get the rainwater pumped out of the village to provide relief to the residents.

In order to check any outbreak of disease in cattle and also to prevent skin diseases and worm infestations, Mr Kang said teams of veterinary doctors would visit the affected areas and provide medicines wherever required.

The minister, who was accompanied by a number of officials, also visited Dhakoran, Tira, Nayagaon Khizrabad, Palampur, Thaska and Manana villages, which had been badly affected by the rains.

A nearly 100 ft-stretch of a road in Tira village had been washed away by waters from Jayanti ki Rao, which had changed its course because of excess water from catchment areas. Traffic on the Jhampur-Tira road had been disrupted. Mr Kang directed PWD officials to start work on a war footing in order to restore the flow of traffic.

The Kharar SDM pointed out that raising the level of the Masatgarh-Dhanaura road had hit proper disposal of rainwater.

Water was also being pumped out of the waterworks area at Naya Gaon village.

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Colonisers blamed for flooding
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, August 5
The unauthorised channeling of seasonal rivulets — choes — by property dealers at different places along the interstate border in Bartana village has become a cause of concern for hundreds of residents living in various colonies developed on their banks for the past couple of years.

With an aim to earn maximum profits, the colonisers and property dealers have channeled these choes either by constructing concrete retaining walls or by using concrete pipes and developing residential colonies here.

Ignoring the blockage of natural flow of water and the course of these choes, the colonizers have allegedly sold land to people after carving out plots without following the mandatory instructions of the government.

A mild shower is enough for these channeled choes to overflow, which can result in flooding of residential areas. Moreover, in the absence of a proper solid waste disposal site, the residents dump garbage in these choes. Polythene bags and other trash block pipes, which worsen flood situation.

The basic civic amenities like sewerage, wide roads, green belts and others promised by the colonizers at the time of sale-purchase deal are a dream for the purchasers.

Most affected are the residents of Vikas Nagar, Badhawa Nagar, the Defence Colony, the Highland Cooperative House Building Society and dozens others.

Residents complain that the authorities have hardly acted against the colonizers, who allegedly charged huge money from then by making false promises. Though complaints have been made to PUDA, the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and other authorities concerned, nothing has been done in this regard.

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Bodies of six migrant labourers recovered
Our Correspondent

Lalru, August 5
Bodies of three migrant labourers, who were washed away by the Ghaggar in Tiwana village on Tuesday, were recovered 1 km down stream by the villagers, today. While another labourer is still missing.

The deceased, who hail from Bihar, have been identified as Sanjay (22), Laloo (17) and Arvind (17). The fourth victim, Parmod (18), is still missing. The relatives and colleagues, who were accompanying them when they got trapped in the flood, have identified the bodies.

Six labourers of Soodan Cylinders Limited, an industrial unit near Lalru, in Tiwana village, were washed away in the Ghaggar.

Unaware of the flood, over 12 labourers were trapped inside the building situated on the river bed. While trying to swim across to safety six of them were washed away by strong water current.

Mr Kashmiri Lal Gulati, Manager, industrial unit, confirmed that the victims were his employees.

Neither the management of the industrial unit nor the local administration has promised any help to the families of the deceased. The bodies were today recovered and sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a post-mortem.

Meanwhile, the police has started inquest proceeding in this case and injured the families in this regard.

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J.J.Singh inspects flood relief operations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh today reviewed the flood relief situation in areas where the Army has been deployed for relief operations in flood-hit areas of Punjab and Haryana. He visited areas in Patiala, Panchkula and Ambala and met the troops carrying out relief work.

The Army had mobilised 13 columns on August 3, with nine in Ambala region and two each in Panchkula and Patiala, according to a statement issued here today.

About 800 persons were evacuated by the Army and operations to plug breaches on the Rajpura--Patiala highway were still continuing.

The Army help was requisitioned by the civil administration to launch relief and rescue operations in areas affected by flash floods following and unprecedented downpour on earlier this week.

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Rules still being ignored by Army in foreign firms’ case
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Army, it appears, has failed to learn any lesson from a sting operation conducted by news portal tehelka.com to expose corruption in defence deals, which had rocked the nation three years ago. If evidence produced before a military court trying an officer accused of corruption is to be believed, not only are some procedures being ignored, but instructions regarding meetings with representatives of foreign firms are not available in certain branches at Army Headquarters.

Deposing before the General Court Martial trying Colonel Anil Sahgal, a Colonel from Army Headquarters stated that the register meant to record contact and meetings of Army officers with representatives of commercial firms, is not being maintained regularly.

The register, which was produced as evidence before the court contains entries of contacts with representatives of firms from 1999. It is learnt that there is just one entry for 1999 and no entries for 2000, 2003 and 2004. The officer later stated before the court that there could not be more than one register for the same period and same purpose.

Instructions issued by Army Headquarters require all branches to maintain a register to keep a record of meetings held between their officers and representatives of foreign firms or their agents and where ever necessary, file a synopsis of the discussions. This rule also applies to Indian nationals, including retired service personnel who are representing foreign firms.

The court was also told that a booklet containing instructions on procedures to be followed while meeting foreign nationals was not available in several branches at Army Headquarters.

PIt may be recalled that among other charges faced by six officers, including two major-generals in the tehelka scandal, was improperly meeting with representatives of foreign firms.

In fact, the Directorate of Military Intelligence (MI) is learnt to have issued a classified circular in 2000, stating that there had been reports of representatives of foreign firms establishing contacts with officers at Army Headquarters, which was contrary to laid down instructions. The circular was issued at a time when tehelka.com was allegedly in the process of carrying out its sting operations.

The circular also expressed serious concern over reported instances of meetings and discussions being organised by various agents outside the premises of Army Headquarters and stressed that laid down policy be followed.

It is mandatory to require security clearance of the MI Directorate for any meeting with foreign citizens or representatives of foreign firms. Permission of the Principal Staff Officer heading the concerned branch at Army Headquarters is also required.

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Colonel Chawla asked to conduct probe into records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The General Court Martial trying Col Anil Sahgal on charges of professional impropriety in the tehelka case today directed Col Harish Chawla from Army Headquarters to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the existence of records and instructions pertaining to meetings of officers with representatives of foreign firms at his branch. The court has fixed August 14 as the next date of hearing.

Colonel Chawla is presently posted as Director, Ordnance Services (Armaments), a post held by Colonel Sahgal when the tehelka scam broke. He had been summoned as a prosecution witness.

He had stated before the court that he did not get adequate time after receiving orders to appear before the GCM to collect all the documents required to be produced or to peruse all the relevant files and records in his branch.

On being examined by prosecution counsel Arvind Moudgil, he said that there were no records to suggest that Colonel Sahgal sought permission from the Military Intelligence Directorate for meeting with representatives of foreign firms.

He said that there was also no mention of the names of Anil Malviya and Samuel Mathews, who posed as arms dealers and interacted with the accused as allegedly shown on video tapes, in records available in his branch.

Colonel Chawla was cross-examined by the accused himself, where he was asked about the laid down procedures on meeting representatives and entry of visitors to service headquarters.

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Bansal loyalists’ wings clipped by Bahl
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The tug-of-war between local MP Mr Pawan Bansal, and the CTCC chief, B.B. Bahl is set to intensify again. With Mr Bahl clipping the wings of the Bansal loyalists in the allocation of party work to the office-bearers, a fresh round of confrontation in the faction-ridden CTCC is in the offing.

And what has come as a shot in the arm for Mr Bahl is the nod from the Congress high command for the allocation of work to office-bearers, a majority of them being from the non-Bansal factions of the Congress.

According to party sources, the all-important post of the CTCC spokesman and coordinator of the party for the Congress councillors and the NSUI has gone to Mr Sunil Parti. With the Congress in power at the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the role of Mr Parti, a strong loyalist of former Union Minister and special invitee to the CWC, Mr Venod Sharma, assumes significance.

A councillor and a Manish Tewari confidant, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, becomes spokesman of the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTCC) and SC/ST Cell.

The possibility of Mr Sharma and the CTCC chief, Mr HS Lucky, a Bansal supporter, getting along well is seen as a remote possibility by the party observers.

Not only this, Mr Shreshta Mehta, who will look after the Mahila Congress and Human Resources Cell, would make the going tough for the Mahila Congress president, Mr Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj.

Mr Dharam Vir Manchanda, who will look after the District Congress Committee (DCC), Urban-I, may create hurdles for the DCC president, Mr D.D. Jindal.

Meanwhile, Mr J.N. Shastri will look after the party work of the Teachers Cell and Sports Cell and Mr Ram Pal Sharma that of the INTUC, Anti-corruption Cell. Mr Surinder Bhatia will be the in charge of the Seva Dal, Administration and Membership Drive and Mr Subhash Chawla of the DCC (Urban-II).

The responsibility of looking after the Kisan Cell had been given to Mr Bhupinder Kaur and that of Intellectual and Minority Cell to Mr Mohammad Khalid. While Mr Chaman Lal Sharma will look after the legal cell, Mr Kewal Krishan had been allocated the labour and colonies cell.

Mr R.K. Rathour get the Urban Development Cell, while another youth leader, Mr Ravinder Singh Palli, will look after the Ex-servicemen Cell. Mr Kulwant Dhaliwal will be the in charge of the Doctors and Freedom Fighter Cell.

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SSP asked to probe charges against councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Former Deputy Mayor and Congress Councillor, Kuldeep Singh Kajheri is facing a criminal case for allegedly charging rent from jhuggis built on a land at Kajheri village.

DSP (South) S.S. Randhawa has asked SSP Gaurav Yadav to conduct an enquiry in this regard. The inquiry into the allegations levelled against Mr Kajheri was recently ordered by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar. The Deputy Commissioner in his letter to the SSP stated that he had enclosed a complaint lodged by residents of Kuldeep Labour Colony, Sector 52, UT, Chandigarh.

Mr Arun Kumar in his letter states that Kuldeep Singh, former Sarpanch, Ward No. 18, his brothers Prem Singh and Bagga Singh, who had been paid compensation for their lands acquired vide award No 548 dated March 21, 2004, are extorting money from the jhuggi dwellers.

The letter states the land now belongs to the administration and no one is authorised to take any rent or money from these residing there. The Deputy Commissioner has asked the SSP to investigate and take appropriate action against the “culprits.”

Mr Kuldeep Singh Kajheri, however, said the flats belonged to his parents and no compensation had yet been given to them. He and his brothers were only collecting rent on behalf of their parents, Mr Kajheri added.

The Deputy Commissioner said the compensation for the acquired land had been deposited with a court as Mr Kajheri had disputed the claim.

About 18 persons under the banner of the Nirbal Varg Vikas Parishad, Kuldeep Labour Colony, Kajheri have lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner. Those who have lodged complaints are Mohan Lal, Ganesh Bhai and Pati Lal. They alleged that Kuldeep Singh and his brothers had allegedly been charging between Rs 200 and Rs 300 per month from the jhuggi dwellers.

Mr Kajheri has also been served a show cause notice by the Land Acquisition Officer, Mr S.K. Sethia.

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Army objection stalls HUDA repair work
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
Repair work on the culvert over the nullah passing near Sector 2 here was stopped after the Army authorities from Chandi Mandir forbade the HUDA officials from digging land for channelising the nullah.

It is learnt that HUDA had deployed earth movers for digging land and channelising the nullah, when a team of Army officials came and stopped them on the pretext that the land they were digging was allocated to the Army for constructing an Army institute. The HUDA officials tried to reason with them, but to no avail.

It may be noted that encroachments on downstream nullah had led to the flooding of Sector 2 after Tuesday's flash floods. After HUDA assessed the damage caused by the floods, they decided to channelise the nullah yesterday. But after work began today, the Army authorities restrained them from doing any work.

The matter was then taken to the Deputy Commissioner, who then called a meeting of Army officials to clear the issue.

However, the Army officials asked for an inspection of the site with the records tomorrow and the matter was deferred.

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Protest by Anganwadi workers
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 5
Anganwadi workers staged a protest in front of the office of the SDM here today against the decision of the government by which their work is to be monitored by the panchayat of the village.

The protesters presented a memorandum to the SDM, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Gill, demanding that the government should withdraw its decision. They said in many villages, panchayat members were illiterate or had received little education. As such they would not be able to monitor the work of Anganwadis.

They also demanded that 1,200 workers and 1,600 helpers, who had been removed from service during the tenure of the previous government, be reinstated. They said the Anganwadi workers should be treated as government employees and given same pay scales.

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Two thefts reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 5
Two separate incidents of vehicle theft have been reported in the city. Mr S.K. Chowdhary of Mani Majra reported that his Maruti car (DL-2CG-6068) was stolen from his residence on August 4. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

In another incident Mr Rakesh Kumar of Sector 36 filed a complaint with the Sector 26 police station that his Yamaha motorcycle (UP-14-A-9430) was stolen from House No.2155, Sector 27. A case has been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

Illegal liquor seized

The local police claims to have arrested two persons for possessing illegal liquor. The police arrested Rakesh Kumar of Janta Colony from Sector 25 and seized four bottles of whisky from him, while Mohinder Singh was arrested from Dadumajra and five bottles of whisky were seized from him. Two cases under Section 61 /1/ 14 of the Excise Act have been registered against them.

Mishap victim identified

The Chandigarh police on Thursday claimed to have identified the man who was run over by a truck of the Municipal Corporation here on Wednesday. The deceased, Suresh Kumar, was a resident of Attawa village, located just south of Sector 36. He used to work at a roadside ‘tandoor’ in Sector 35-B. He is survived by three children. He was on his way to get his stove repaired when the accident occurred.

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Driver beaten up
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
A driver with Haryana Roadways, Rampal was allegedly assaulted by four persons on the Panchkula- Zirakpur highway today. He alleges that while driving towards Panchkula, the bus barely missed a car. The occupants of the car came out and abused him. An altercation followed but was soon sorted out.

It was while he was going back towards Zirakpur that the occupants of the car, along with friends in another car, stalked him and assaulted him.

Escape

It was a providential escape for autorickshaw driver Kishen Kumar and his friend Prabhu. Their auto was hit by a truck near Sector 25. It rolled into a gorge. Luckily, both escaped with minor injuries. The truck driver, however, fled after leaving the truck at the spot.

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Postal Department woos corporate sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
With dependence on traditional mail dwindling over the past few years, the Postal Department is now wooing the corporate sector.

“As the dependence on the traditional mail is getting lower and lower the world over, the set up of post offices is undergoing a change. We are exploring new avenues where we can use our vast infrastructure to earn profits. Recently, we have tied up with Reliance and taken their database to handle their mail. We are approaching other cellular operators and some corporate as well,” the Chief Post Master General, Punjab Circle, Mr L.K. Puri, told reporters here.

He said the revenue of the Postal Department was supplemented by other activities, like distributing telephone bills.

“We are distributing BSNL bills and in Punjab alone this has generated revenue to the tune of Rs 10 crore for us so far. This service is proving to be a boon in rural areas, in particular. Our aim is that the vast infrastructure we have is used by various agencies. In Punjab Circle alone (comprising Punjab and Chandigarh) we have 4,000 post offices. With changing times we have to keep pace,” he said.

Mr Puri said during the past three months a review had been carried out of the postal facilities available in new urban extensions in all important towns and cities of Punjab and Chandigarh.

“With the launch of the exercise, aimed at providing new localities with the same standard of postal service as is available to the hubs of these cities or towns, 24 new post offices have been sanctioned, including 12 new delivery offices,” he said, adding that three of the offices have become functional and the remaining would be functional over the next few weeks.

Of the 24 post offices, two will be opened in city at Mauli Jagran, Naya Gaon and one in Mohali

He also informed that the Centre had recently introduced a savings scheme for the senior citizens which was available at 832 post offices in Punjab and 44 post offices in Chandigarh.

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