C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn adds to chaos on roads
Re-carpeting to be trifurcated, CHB too roped in for job
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The Chandigarh Administration has come out with a unique plan to re-carpet roads in the city. It has roped in the Chandigarh Housing Board to help it out.

However, instead of creating a nodal road maintenance and re-carpeting agency, the Administration has further split the task by asking the CHB to maintain 1.5 km of three 10-km stretches, besides taking care of some southern sectors. The rest would be looked after by the Administration, along with the Municipal Corporation.

The CHB has, so far, never undertaken any re-carpeting of roads in the city. Originally, the re-carpeting had been done by the Municipal Corporation but later a part of it was taken over by the Administration. With the CHB now coming into the picture, the confusion had been further confounded. Already residents were baffled in trying to figure out which road was owned by the MC or the Administration.

For example, the CHB would re-carpet a small portion of 1.50 km while the Administration would take care of the rest of the 8 km on a road which ran about 10 km north to south in the city. Hence, the CHB would now work with the Administration on the three main arteries — the Chandi Path, The Udyan Path and the Vidya Path. The Administration planned to spend Rs 12 crore to re-lay, widen and construct dividers on these roads and make footpaths along these roads over the next five months. All these roads lead to Mohali and pass through the southern sectors.

The CHB had been asked to spend its own money to do likewise for its section of 1.50 km on each of these three roads.

When asked about the rationale for this work distribution, official sources said that since the CHB had developed the southern sectors (from Sectors 39 to 61), it was its responsibility to re-carpet the roads there.

It was still not clear, the officials said, as to who would maintain the roads after the Rs 12-crore re-carpeting effort. So far, these roads had been under the control of the MC.

As far as the 1.50 km stretch on the three main arteries was concerned, senior officials said that it had been delinked as it fell within the new jurisdiction of the CHB in the southern sectors.

Adding to the total chaos on roads was the fact that sewer and water supply lines along the roads would continue to remain with the MC. The storm water drainage would be with each of the three agencies maintaining their share of the city roads. The three would also look after landscaping and pruning of vegetation in their respective areas. Streetlights, however, on these very roads would remain with the MC.

So if you lived in one of the southern sectors like Sectors 46, 47, 41, 42 or 39 and have to complain for any repair soon it would go to the CHB while all others would go to the MC for any repair at a later stage.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration would give another Rs 6 crore to the MC as a one-time grant for re-laying other V-3 (sector-dividing) roads. The MC would be free to chose which roads it needed to re-carpet first. This was un-related to the taking over of three roads for widening and re-carpeting by the Administration.



Blackout in Sec 22 market
Shopkeepers oppose MC action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
A blackout was observed by shopkeepers of the Market Welfare Association (MWA), Sector 22, for over an hour this evening after the enforcement staff of the municipal corporation descended on the market to remove floral decorations.

With shutters down and lights out, the shopkeepers raised slogans against the MC as the staff geared up to remove the wrought iron extensions supporting floral decorations in front of the shops.

The president of the MWA, Mr Arvind Jain, claimed that the decision of the MC was "unreasonable and uncalled for", especially since the association had met the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, this afternoon with regard to permission for the shopping festival.

“We asked her why Sector 17 had been given the go-ahead while our permission had been delayed without citing any reasons. She told us that she would look into the matter, though she failed to justify the delay. We were told that the final decision rested with the Finance and Contract Committee and our case would be decided on October 21,” he said.

He alleged that the entire exercise was being carried out at the behest of the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Pradeep Chhabra. He asked the enforcement staff to produce notices for the removal of the decorations.

After closing the shops, they tried to prevent the staff from removing the poles on which the frame was propped up. The operation was suspended after the staff was reportedly “manhandled” .

A complaint was given by Mr Dalbir Singh, an Inspector of the enforcement staff, to the police against the shopkeepers.

Shoppers and passers-by stopped to enquire about the reason for the closure of the market and the shopkeepers held meetings to decide the course of action.

After the registration of a complaint, the enforcement staff came back with a posse of policemen to execute the orders.

In response to this move, the shopkeepers joined hands and stood under the wrought iron frame, challenging the staff to act. A couple of poles supporting the framework were removed by the staff before the drive was called off and a meeting of the MWA, the tehsildar, and the police was held to assess the situation.

Later, it was decided that the removal of the floral decorations would be suspended till tomorrow. “We have told them to reject the permission we are seeking, decide our case and we will willingly remove the illumination and the decorations. They claimed that they had orders from the Municipal Commissioner which I doubt. The case will be taken up with the MC tomorrow morning,” Mr Jain stated.

The police later booked Mr Jain, and his brother Mandeep.

According to the police, the Enforcement Inspector went to the Sector 22 market to remove encroachments and flower decorations put up by the shopkeepers. He was manhandled by the accused there.

A case under Sections 332 and 353, IPC, has been registered.



Overhead water tank put to use after 27 years
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
An overhead water storage tank, which was constructed in 1977 at Chunni Kalan village, was filled with water for the first time in 17 years. The inauguration of the water tank facility was done by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh today.

A new tubewell was sunk and the water tank strengthened before water could be filled in it, as the earlier construction had become very weak. A sum of Rs 18.60 lakh was spent in this regard. The tank would be catering to the area falling under the grain market.

The MLA said that when he came to visit the village last year, farmers had brought to his notice that they were facing water problems. It was then that he came to know that water tank in the area had never been used all these years. So much so, the officials concerned had not even applied for a power

Mr Subhash Mahajan, Executive Engineer, told mediapersons that an estimate of Rs 6.14 lakh had been prepared for the tank in 1977 by the public health wing of the Public Works Department. Funds totaling Rs 2.99 lakh were released in this regard with which an overhead tank was constructed, a tubewell sunk and machinery installed. The water pipelines could not be laid as the remaining amount was not released. The officials concerned kept demanding for the remaining funds for completing the work but to no avail. Later the project was transferred to the Punjab Mandi Board.

He said that the overhead tank, having a capacity of 10.000 gallons, was now strengthened and filled with water. Water connections would be given from next week.

The MLA told the gathering that all round development of the village was being carried out. A sum of Rs 17.29 lakh had been released for developing the grain market and internal roads in the area.

Another Rs 9.80 lakh had been released for the gram sabha hall. The school in the village would be upgraded. The power supply system would also be augmented at a cost of Rs 6.44 lakh.

He said that godowns constructed by the market committee had also been put to any use for the past 20 years. He said there was a plan to give these on rent now.



Lassi finds favour with Japanese
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Punjab Milkfed’s, Verka ‘Lassi’, will soon hit Japanese markets in a big way. Negotiations are on with the Japanese counterparts on setting up a market there following a positive response to the product during the test marketing drive held recently.

Not only lassi, but even the UHT ( ultra heat treated) milk tetrapack has found a market in Singapore as the deal has been clinched.

Talking to TNS, the Managing Director of Milkfed, Mr Vikas Pratap, said today that ‘lassi’, the popular drink of Punjabis, had found favour with the tastebuds of the Japanese. The exports of the same would start shortly.

Similarly, milk in tetrapacks which is subjected to ultra heat treatment UHT has a shelf-life of four months and hence easy to export.

Other Verka products particularly ghee and milk powder were already being exported to the UAE, Dubai, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Indonesia, he said, while adding that these products with International certification are a hit in the markets wherever they have entered.

Besides this, Milkfed as part of its new policy has also entered into agreements with the Army and Mother Diary, New Delhi, to get some of its loss-making milk processing units out of red. Of the 11 units, nine were making losses, except the ones located at Mohali and Ludhiana.

Mr Vikas Pratap said since the milk units in Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Hoshiarpur were close to the Army areas in Jammu and Kashmir, they would be for the first time supplying milk in bulk to Srinagar and Baramulla. To begin with nearly 40,000 litres per day would be supplied to Baramulla and parts of the valley from the Gurdaspur milk plant. This would help raise the production of these units gradually to 50,000 litres per day and the Gurdaspur unit would break even by the year end, he claimed.

Milkfed, which was till now supplying 25 lakh litres of UHT tetrapack milk per annum to Northern Command, has also entered into a contract of supplying another 25 lakh litres per annum to Eastern Command, including far-off places like Gangtok, Dimapur and Kohima.

It would, however, be supplied at subsidised rate for distribution through CSD and free ration. Rough estimates available with the Federation officials indicate that 70 per cent of the supply would be targeted towards Northern Command and the remaining 30 per cent to Eastern Command. This would also have a bearing on the profits.

As yet another step, the Patiala milk unit because of its close proximity to Delhi has started packing of custom milk pouches for Mother Dairy. This, according to official estimates, would gradually increase the sale of milk in Patiala and nearby places in Haryana and Uttaranchal from 25,000 litres per day to at least 50,000 litres per day.

This would also bring in constant flow of revenue. Similar deals will be finalised with the milk plants in Sangrur and Bathinda because of their location in due course.

The implementation of directive pertaining to putting an end to the monopolistic pattern of distribution of milk in the near future will also bring down losses, it is learnt.

The MD said the annual turnover of Milkfed had crossed Rs 700 crore and they were targeting a 10 per cent growth this fiscal. As part of its expansion plans, the milk plant at Mohali has been upgraded and improved and Ludhiana will be the next in line.

Plans are on the anvil to give milk bars across the state a new look and yet another ice cream parlour would be opened in Panchkula on the lines of Chandigarh shortly, he said.

Steps were also being taken to improve the quality of distribution system and ensure that milk is transported from the plants to the shops and milk bars in insulated vans with ideal conditions and temperature.

Aggressive marketing strategies have also been formulated in the new policy to create awareness about the verka products in the market and tetrapacks world be offered as festive packs during this festival season to further boost the sales.



CHB to invite fresh applications for Sec 51 flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The Chandigarh Housing Board today decided to invite fresh applications to allot 64 flats in Sector 51-A. These flats had been left out of the newly-built housing scheme just south of Sector 44.

However, the price would be enhanced by more than 50 per cent of the original cost to factor in the market forces.

Also the CHB decided that one more chance would be given to about 200 persons who had not paid up the initial instalment for flats in Sector 56.

The board of members of the CHB had met today and okayed these proposals besides also allowing payment of bonus as last year. The amount payable as bonus would be same.

Meanwhile, explaining the plan to invite applications for these 64 flats in Sector 51-A, sources said these would be allotted through draw of lots.

The flats were much in demand and commanded a premium of Rs 4 to 5 lakh in the open market.

The CHB today decided to charge 60 per cent more than the original cost for a ground floor flat. Also applicants for first, second and third floor flats would have to pay more by 55 per cent, 50 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively.

Originally the ground floor flat had cost between Rs 12 to 13 lakh while the upper floors were for anything between Rs 10 to 11 lakh. These were three bedroom flats.

The other major decision was permit the allottees of the economically weaker section in Sector 56 to avail another chance and deposit the instalment by December 31.

This would be the last chance for them, failing which their allotment would be cancelled.



Wheat-rice rotation depletes water table
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
The intensive cropping pattern of Punjab involving the rotation of wheat and rice has adversely affected water resources of the state, particularly the ground water aquifers.

This was stated by Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, at the Soil Conservation Complex in Phase VI here today where he released the news letter of the Punjab State Land Use Board.

He said now a majority of centrifugal pumps had become ineffective and farmers had to install submersible pumps. If this trend continued then Punjab was moving fast towards desertification in the central districts, which were the grain bowls of the nation.

Mr Randhawa said it was necessary that water should be preserved. There was a need to recharge ground water to raise the water table in the central districts. To achieve this objective campaigns should be launched by the department to create awareness among farmers about the ground water situation.

Methods involving judicious use of irrigation water need to be elaborated to farmers.

He said the department had prepared a proposal under which even residents, apart from government departments, should be asked to have rain water recharge system in their buildings.

He said he had sent the proposal to the Punjab Chief Minister for approval. In case it was cleared by the Chief Minister, he would request him to give directions to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority and civic bodies to issue no objection certificates, in the case of new buildings, only when arrangements for the recharge of rain water was made in them.

While welcoming Mr Randhawa, the Chief Conservator of Soils, Punjab, Mr Gurdarshan Singh Virk, said the work of the board was to access the land and water resources and issue guidelines to various department regarding proper utilisation of land resources.



Potholes at level crossing lead to traffic jams
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, October 19
Deep potholes, absence of protection walls and over-sized speed breakers without any light reflectors at level crossing on the Kalka-Zirakpur highway at Dhakauli village have been proving a nightmare for motorists and local residents here for years.

Hurried motorists often try to over take other vehicles from wrong sides, causes traffic jams at the level crossing. Absence of any traffic police personnel to control the heavy volume of traffic has further boosted the morale of these violators.

Over six trains cross the track daily following which long queues of vehicles can be seen on either sides of the level crossing.

Residents of the area complained that potholes on the highway, especially around the level crossing had been causing damages to their vehicles. Moreover, the lack of any protection wall along the railway track, had become a death trap since long.

A number of two-wheelers heading towards Zirakpur from Panchkula had fallen into a deep ditch while three four-wheelers had turned turtle in the absence of a wall at the spot in past three months, claimed Mr Kanwal Kapoor, a resident a nearby housing society.

The motorists and the residents of the area also complained that the speed breakers, not painted white, and absence of light reflectors at the spot had caused many accidents. Invisible to the motorists there had been adding to the woes of the motorists, claimed Mr Surjit Singh, a Panchkula resident.

Residents of various housing societies and colonies located in this area, had complained that frequent traffic chaos for hours at the level crossing put the residents to great hardship. They added that the level crossing had been proving a major bottleneck in vehicular flow. The residents have demanded a railway flyover as a permanent solution of the problem.



3 lakh devotees visit shrine
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
The sixth day of the Navratra fair at Mansa Devi shrine here saw a large number of devotees thronging to the shrine to pay obeisance, and participate in the cultural programme organised by the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board (SMMDSB).

Urban Development Minister, Haryana, Subhash Goyal, was the chief guest on the occasion, and lighted the lamp. He also honoured the artistes from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Mathura, and from Public Relations department.

The artistes from North Zone Cultural Centre enthralled the audiences with a beautiful display of Kalbelia, Ghoomar, Chairi and Bhawai dances. Dance and song sequences of famous Sufi songs were also presented on this occasion.

As many as three lakh devotees have visited the shrine till yesterday. Offerings worth Rs 12, 51, 593 have been collected till date. Other than this, 36 gold items, 251 silver items and 243 litres of ghee, 15 sarees, 13 suits, one blanket several utensils and fans, have been offered by the devotees.



Adventure hungry, rush to Morni
Tribune News Service

Tikkar Tal (Panchkula), October 19
Morni, a picnic paradise in the foothills of the Shivaliks, now offers entertainment for those with an adventurous streak.

An adventure park- Hosh and Josh Thrills Adventure Park - built by the Haryana Tourism in the pristine surroundings of the Tikkar Tal, was inaugurated by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala today.

The park, developed by the Haryana Tourism at a cost of Rs 1 crore, is a part of the bigger project to develop this area as an adventure tourism destination.

The Haryana Tourism has also initiated several tourism activities around the lake, just two km from the park.

The adventure activities available at Tikkar Tal include camping, boating, river crossing, obstacles, para-sailing, biking, trekking, rifle shooting, rock climbing and rappelling, bonfire site and a dance floor for those wishing to let down their hair.

A café-cum-restaurant, lake- view huts which can accommodate 32 persons, a huge camping site have also come up here. The lake will also be used for various water activities like kayaking and angling

The adventure park has been so designed that it does not interfere with the ecology of the land.

There are no mechanical or other swings as found in most amusement parks; rather obstacles adding to the adventure theme have been set up.

The park has river crossings, tarzan swings, tree houses, a maze, tree top works, a haunted house ( where the visitors have a rendezvous with fibre glass mummies using light and sound effects) etc. A kutccha house on this land has been redecorated and converted into a restaurant.

Morni is the only hill station in the state and attracts a large number of trekkers and adventure sports enthusiasts from the region.

The adventure camps are a regular feature here, with over 3500 visitors, including NCC cadets, scouts and guides, and families coming here from September 2003 to April 2004, and enjoying the virgin beauty of Morni.

Ms Navraj Sandhu, Director, Haryana Tourism, reveals, "This year, many corporates from Delhi got their employees to Morni for trekking and rock climbing. The adventure theme park will further add to the adventure spirit at Tikkar Taal."

A unique thing about the park is that students of two Chandigarh colleges- Chandigarh College of Architecture and Government College of Art, Chandigarh, were commissioned for creating the theme park.

The Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone of lake-view cottages for tourists.

He disclosed that the Haryana Government planned to connect the road leading to Morni and Tikkar Tal with Shimla in order to promote tourism.

The Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Tourism, Mr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Chairman, Haryana Tourism, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni and Superintendent of Police, Ms Mamta Singh, were also present.

The Tourism Department also displayed the mountaineering and rock climbing equipment for acquainting the visitors with these adventures. 



Minister for movement against foeticide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
The Haryana Health Minister, Dr M.L. Ranga, has urged the people for a movement against female foeticide, and sex detection tests so that the dwindling sex ratio in the state can improve.

Speaking at the inauguration of a multi-speciality health camp organised by the district health authorities in Chikan village today, he said girls were doing better than boys in all fields and were an asset to the family.

Dr B S Dahiya, Director-General, Health, Haryana, said sex detection tests were illegal and the health authorities were taking action against those indulging in pre- natal sex detection.

The Civil Surgeon, Panchkula, Dr Satvir Chaudhary, said if residents knew of anybody opting for such tests, they should inform the health authorities at (0172)- 2573907.

As many as 519 persons were examined in the camp and medicines were given free of cost.



Hot-air balloons in IAF station area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
Authorities of Air Force Station, Chandigarh have reported that in the past few days there have been instances when hot-air balloons landed close to the aircraft and the aircraft maneuvering area. One such balloon had the markings of ‘Arumita Gas Agency.’

These balloons were lit even when they hit the ground.

In a release here today, they have said that these incidents posed a threat in the area where highly volatile fuel, aeroplanes and other vital installations exist.

Although these balloons herald the onset of the festive season, but when such festivities become detrimental to the very safety of men and material, it demands a rethinking.



Colony leader, financiers booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19
The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the police today booked a leader of Colony Number 5 and two financiers for allegedly duping 30 persons of around Rs 8 lakh.

Two agents of Satin Credit Care and Network Limited and Colony Number 5 leader R.S. Mishra were booked on the complaint of Satin Care Limited.

The company manager, Col J.S. Multani (retd), and Anil Kumar, in alleged collusion with Sandhu Electronics of Ram Darbar and Mishra Electronics of Colony 5, had reportedly procured signatures and thumb impressions of a large number of applicants. They were told that they had to affix poor thumb impressions for getting yellow cards for those living below the poverty line.

The ignorant colony residents signed the documents which were used to get loan from the Home Appliances Finance Company.

The police contacted 30 persons who had turned defaulters. The loanees told the police that they had not applied for any loan nor had they got any money. Some defaulters had not even signed bills raised for the purchase of some goods. The police found that Colonel Multani and Anil Kumar had allegedly not verified the addresses of the applicants. The police could not trace many of the defaulters as the addresses mentioned in the records were wrong.

According to the police, the agents got the loans sanctioned for purchasing home appliance products. The draft was made in the name of the dealer from whom the goods had to be purchased.

The fraud was detected when there was no reply to the legal notices issued by the Home Appliances against the loanees. During investigation, the loanees denied that they had taken any loan or bought any product on loan from the dealers.

Action against the accused has been initiated by the present manager of the firm, Sukhwinder Singh.



Woman crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 19
A woman was crushed to death, today in Mani Majra this morning, when a CTU bus hit a scooter. She was riding on pillion. She was coming back with her husband from Mansa Devi temple after offering prayers. Prabha, a resident of Sector 20 died on the spot receiving severe head injuries. Luckily, her husband Sanjiv Kumar escaped unhurt in the accident. An eyewitness said that she was crushed under the rear wheels of the bus. The accident occurred at Aryan Wali Gali in Pipli village. Sanjiv Kumar is a clerk at High Court.

The police has arrested bus driver Hemraj of Kharar. A case has been registered.

Theft: Sharanjit Kaur a resident of Sector 10 reported to the police that her house was burgled during October 16 to October 18.

The thieves decamped with a gold chain, two pair of ear rings, two rings, three wrist watches, one VCR and a camera.

Her brother-in-law lives at the first floor of the house and he was not aware when the thieves entered the house. A case has been registered.

Vehicles stolen: Sanjeev Handa of Sector 24 reported that his Maruti car (PB-11-C-0979) was stolen from PGI parking on Monday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in Sector 11, police station.

Rajinder Mahajan of Sector 40 reported that his scooter (CH-03-N-4604) was stolen from his residence on October 17. A case has been registered in Sector 39, police station.

Baldev Singh of Sector 46 filed a complaint that his scooter (CH-01-U-2629) was stolen from Sabzi Mandi, Sector 33, on October 16. A case of theft has been registered in Sector 34, police station.

Attacked: Mandeep Singh of Sector 44 filed a complaint against two brothers, Upander Singh and Charanpreet of Sector 44 that they have attacked him in Sector 44 market. He got his two teeth broken and was injured. He was admitted to the hospital.

A case under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC. The police has arrested both the accused.



Mystery surrounds death of woman
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 19
Mystery surrounds the death of a married woman who died at the PGI, Chandigarh, today where she had been admitted after she allegedly consumed acid at her house in Phase VII here.

It is learnt that the parents of Mrs Meena Sharma, who got married over two years ago, have demanded the registration of a murder case.

Meena, who was married to Rajiv Kumar, possessed the MA and B.Ed degrees and wanted to take up a job. The couple did not have children.

Meena had consumed acid a few days ago and was first taken to a local private hospital from where she was referred to the PGI at Chandigarh.

The local SP is probing the matter. Further action by the police is expected after the recording of statements and examination of other evidence.



Four injured in road accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 19
Four persons were injured seriously when the car they were travelling in overturned near Barwala, after the car driver fell asleep momentarily.

The four victims — Mahinder Singh, Harjit Kaur, Hardeep Kaur and Devinder Kaur, were returning to Mohali after a trip to Hari Dwar. The police says that Mahinder Singh fell asleep and the car overturned.

A police control room vehicle rushed the victims to General Hospital, Panchkula, from where they were referred to GMCH, Chandigarh. 


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |