C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC chief bungling funds, allege Cong councillors
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
The Congress Municipal Councillors, led by Mr V.K. Kapoor, and Mr R.K. Kakkar today alleged that the Municipal Council President, Ms Seema Chaudhary, has been bungling funds meant for various development activities.

The councillors alleged that though expenditure on providing sanitation services and maintenance of street lights had gone up manifold, the quality of these services had deteriorated. They further alleged that the contractors, who were hand-in-glove with the MC president, were not fulfilling the terms and conditions of the contract. “Instead of employing 424 safai karamcharis, the contractor had deployed 250 men for the 31 wards here. Since the Municipal Council pays him for 424 people, he is pocketing the money, after giving a share to the MC president,” alleged Mr V.K. Kapoor, Councillor from Sector 17.

Mr R.K. Kakkar, Councillor from Sector 10, said, “The street light contractor is paid Rs 1.70 lakh each month for the maintenance of almost 8,400 street lights, and in case he fails to repair the defunct lights within 48 hours, a fine of Rs 100 per light point is to be realised from the contractor. Before the year 2002, when HUDA was maintaining street lights, they were doing it at the rate of Rs 6 per light point, but the MC is maintaining it at the rate of Rs 25 per point. The money spent has increased manifold, but the maintenance is poor.”

The Councillors — Mr Kapoor, Mr Kakkar, Mr S.S. Goel, Mr Naresh Rawal, Ms Jalmegha Dahiya, Ms Renuka Rai Walia, Mr Dalbir Singh, Mr Om Prakash and Ms Anjala Kataria, also gave a ward- wise list of defunct streetlights. Mr Goel alleged that the MC had purchased eight lakh street lights, but none of the defunct street light in his ward was changed.

Mr Naresh Rawal, Councillor from Sector 15, said that piles of garbage had lined up in most parts of the city. “The MC cannot excuse the sanitation contractor for his inability to maintain cleanliness. He is being paid Rs 11. 80 lakh a month for maintaining sanitation in all the four zones (as compared to Rs 3.87 lakh per month last year)”, he alleged.

The Councillors alleged that there was no transparency in the accounts of the Council. “The details of ward wise expenditure is not given to Councillors, nor are we asked to give completion certificates to the contractor, after we verify the quality of work done,” they alleged. Mr Dalbir Singh said that the MC had floated two tenders (of Rs 35 lakh each) for the road repairs, but this was not passed by the general house. “All road repairs done recently were done using poor quality material. After the first rains, these roads developed pot-holes, and at several places they were washed away.”

He further alleged that the MC President was working for herself, and not for the development of the city. During the recently organised Haryana State Games, huge cut -outs of the Chief Minister, his two sons, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Devi Lal, were put up by the MC, though the sponsorship mentioned on these cut- outs and hoardings was of Ms Chaudhary,” he added. 



Starvation deaths: Sachin Pilot demands white paper
Tribune News Service

Mr Sachin Pilot (left) and Mr Rustam Singh, Cabinet Minister in Madhya Pradesh Government discuss a point at the function of the Gujjar Samaj Kalyan Parishad at Gujjar Bhavan in Sector 28, Chandigarh
Mr Sachin Pilot (left) and Mr Rustam Singh, Cabinet Minister in Madhya Pradesh Government discuss a point at the function of the Gujjar Samaj Kalyan Parishad at Gujjar Bhavan in Sector 28, Chandigarh, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 24
Accusing the BJP of dividing people on the basis of caste and religion, Congress MP from Dausa Sachin Pilot demanded a white paper from the Rajasthan Government on starvation deaths in the state.

Addressing a press conference at the Press Club here today, Mr Pilot said the BJP government in Rajasthan should also clarify how and why police cases were being withdrawn against party's extremist leaders.

He said the biggest problem facing the country and the youth was that of unemployment. "The Congress government is trying to create an atmosphere conducive for a government-industry interface whereby more job opportunities are created,” he added.

Referring to the controversy of changing Governors in different states, Mr Pilot said that appointing Governors was the prerogative of the government at the Centre. "It is very important in the interest of the state that the Governor and the government don't work at cross-purposes. So, change is necessary," he justified.

Replying to a question on the role of young MPs in the Congress, Mr Pilot said they had been assigned the task of working at the grassroots level while the more experienced leaders took care of running the government. "The young haven't been alienated from the process of decision-making. It is my government, my Cabinet and my Prime Minister that is managing the affairs of the country," he held.

Earlier, at a function of the Gujjar Samaj Kalyan Parishad, after honouring 60 from the community for contributions in various fields, he said the youth force must join hands to contribute towards nation-building the country irrespective of party affiliations.

Minister from Himachal Pradesh Rao Rangila Ram and a Madhya Pradesh Minister, Rustam Singh were also present. They said the Gujjar community must present a united front to be able to retain its identity in the coming years.

The president of the Parishad Mr Hoshiar Singh, introduced the chief guest and recalled the contribution of Congress leader Rajesh Pilot.

Mohali: The younger generation is drifting away from politics so much so that young persons often do not even exercise their franchise at the time of polling. This was stated here on Sunday by Mr Sachin Pilot.

Mr Pilot, who was answering questions from newspersons, admitted that the image of politicians had taken a beating over the years. He wanted persons with a criminal background to be kept out of politics by creating awareness among the people.

Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Punjab Minister for Cooperation and Agriculture, who had come to meet Mr Pilot, said the thrust was on diversification in farming in the state.

He said sugarcane farmers had been paid dues, totalling Rs 56 crore, though Rs 70 crore were still to be disbursed.

Mr Randhawa said the state government was planning to levy entry tax to tackle the problem of sugarcane entering Punjab from other states at lower prices. He said the production of sugarcane was low and two sugar mills (at Zira and Jagraon) would be forced to close down.



India needs to focus on IT development: Sachin Pilot
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Living up to the persona of Congress leader Rajesh Pilot might be a challenge for the younger Pilot but the boy-next-door image of Sachin, his easy mannerisms and amiable smile are certainly winning him friends and admirers in public life.

All of 27 years, first time Member of Parliament and the pride of the Gujjar community, Sachin Pilot, in an exclusive interview to The Tribune during his day-long trip to the city, admits politics is a dirty game and that this tag is not totally unfounded.

However, almost in the same breath, he adds,"Politics is a great medium to contribute meaningfully to society. It is up to us youngsters to cleanse the system since our future is at stake.

All youngsters in politics, cutting across party lines, believe that there is degeneration of moral values in society. Being moralistic is the only solution, and that's what all young MPs are striving for."

Also seen as one of the brand ambassadors of the Congress party's youth club, which is being projected and advertised to attract the young into the party fold, he comes across as a man of conviction when he says that politicians must lead by example if they want to cleanse the system.

"Another job the young MPs have on hand is to bridge the gap between the real issues facing the country and the global issues which spell progress.

While we have to deal with the farmers' India, we also need to focus on keeping pace with developments in information technology. The two have to run parallel if India has to be a force to reckon with in the world market," asserts this Wharton Business School (USA) passout who is a keen sportsman and owns a private pilot's licence.

Having gathered valuable experience in the past four years when he ventured into politics after his father's death in a road accident, the shy Pilot has a ring of truth in his voice when he meets and greets the public with folded hands at a Gujjar sammelan in the city.

Reflecting on the achievements of the past five months as MP, Sachin Pilot says it has been an enriching experience for him. "Being a member of the most powerful body of the country, Parliament, awakens you to loads of responsibility you shoulder. It makes you feel you can contribute to change and towards shaping a better India, debating and discussing issues," he states.

Winning by a thumping majority from his constituency and the celebrity status thrust upon this aspiring management consultant leading a quiet life till destiny pushed him under the spotlight, don't unnerve him any longer.

Sachin Pilot faces the media with confidence and takes the volley of questions shot at him during a press conference with considerable poise.

Time has been his teacher, he maintains.

Speaking about the agenda being pursued by the younger lot of MPs of the Congress, he explains," We meet every week, discuss issues and problems facing the youth and dwell on ground realities.

Based on this discussion, we give our suggestions and recommendations, if any, to the respective ministries. We are contributing constructively to building a better India."



Park right, you are being watched
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Park your vehicle carefully in Sectors 17 and 34. The Chandigarh Traffic video eyes are keeping a tab on your road sense.
Eleven video cameras fitted on the traffic police towing vans have been recording parking violations for the past one month. The challan is issued on the basis of the violations recorded on the video. Then the vehicles are taken to the pounds in Sectors 17 or 34. Those contesting the towing away of vehicles are shown CDs on their parking of vehicles, Traffic Police officials said here today. None of the parking regulation violators who were challaned contested the challan.

Before, the Traffic Police's stealth eye was opened, complaints of cars being parked in areas reserved for scooters and vice versa were aplenty.

Elated with the success of their experiment, the Traffic Police has decided to send more cameramen to Phillaur for training in videography of traffic violations.

Once this experiment succeeds, it will be spread to other parts in the city where parking is chaotic, the officials said.

Equipping the towing vans with cameras and getting pounds allotted were long-pending demands of the Traffic Police.

Earlier, the Traffic Police had acquired cameras to deal with other violators on the road after a public bashing of teenager Amit Suri.



Sangh not behind Venkaiah’s removal, says RSS chief
Tribune News Service

Mr K.S. Sudershan, Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, lights a lamp at a book release function organised by the Bharat Vikas Parisad at DAV College
Mr K.S. Sudershan, Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, lights a lamp at a book release function organised by the Bharat Vikas Parisad at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh on Sunday. — A Tribune photo

Chandigarh, October 24
The RSS chief, K.S. Sudershan, today denied that the Sangh acted as a pressure group behind the removal of a former BJP President, Venkaiah Naidu.
Talking to media persons he categorically denied that the RSS was in any way involved in the change of BJP leadership.

The RSS chief was in the city to release a book on the life and ideas of late J.V. Gupta, a former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a former National President of the Bharat Vikas Pariashad.

Earlier, addressing the function, Sudershan said the western concept of development had played havoc with the future of the country.

Targeting the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for imposing a "western concept of development" on the country, he said the concept had utterly failed.

" While the West viewed the world as a market, India saw the world as a family", he added.

Quoting historical facts, he said Mahatma Gandhi supported the beginning of development from villages where 80 per cent of the country's population lived.

He alleged Nehru had "reversed" Mahatma Gandhi's concept of beginning the development from villages.

The RSS chief said that Gandhi had written a letter to Nehru just before independence in this regard, but the late Prime Minister wrote back, disapproving the Mahatma's concept.

Stating that the late Prime Minister was heavily influenced by the western ideas and western culture since he had major part of his education in England, Sudershan said , "Nehru had once in a communication to a British Ambassador allegedly mentioned that he would be the last Englishman to rule India".

He said it was Nehru who had allowed the use of English after independence. The decision has acted as an impediment in the acceptability of the national language.

Now it has become very difficult to reverse the trend. Parents want to send their children to learn the English language as speaking in Hindi was thought to be backwardness.

He said due to the western concept, the young generation had lost touch with its tradition and moral values.

Earlier, the RSS chief recalled his long association with late JV Gupta.

The material of the book has been jointly compiled by Ms Pratibha Gupta, a daughter and Dr KL Passi, vice-president of the Bharat Vikas Parishad. 



150 take part in RSS camp
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
A path sanchalan camp of the local unit of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh was held at Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, today.
Over 150 volunteers of the RSS participated in the camp. They also presented a march past amidst the beat of drums. The chief of the local unit of the RSS, Mr Swayam Prakash Sharma, was the chief guest. 



Terrorism unites, not divides, India and Pakistan, says Pak leader
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The phenomenon of terrorism has begun to unite, rather than divide, the people of India and Pakistan in their fight against senseless violence, says Mr Arif Chaudhry, President of the newly set up Pakistan chapter of the Indo-Pakistan Friendship Association and President of the Pakistani chapter of International Kamboj Brotherhood.

"The common man in Pakistan, even conservatives, have begun to understand that terrorism has nothing to do with religion and that senseless violence will not serve any purpose," he says in an interview with TNS here today.

"Even suicide attacks are not appreciated because people feel that the killing of innocent people by a bunch of mischief mongers out to create panic and sensation in the society, cannot have the religious sanction in any faith. Therefore, there is no sympathy for such people…".

A lawyer by profession who has spent a good part of his career in the US, Mr Chaudhry is currently on his third visit to India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Mr M.S. Mianwal.

He emphasizes that relations between India and Pakistan have undergone a sea change ever since the then India Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, visited Islamabad in January this year and decided to work along with President Parvez Musharraf on a slew of confidence-building measures between the two countries and resolve all outstanding problems, including Kashmir between them.

Problems of living in a unipolar world have also begun to dawn on Pakistanis. The manner in which Afghanistan, and later, Iraq was invaded has caused concern all round.

"There is just no justification for the invasion of Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq by the US and the UK.

This kind of behaviour has led people to believe that what has been done to Iraq and Afghanistan can also be done to Pakistan and India. The US can invent an excuse to invade this region too. Hence, the need to live in peace, harmony and reconciliation between India and Pakistan".

Increasing globalisation of the world has also spurred the process of normalisation of ties between the two countries because an average Pakistani wants to be a part of the globalisation process. Internet has broken all barriers.

People across countries and continents can interact, exchange information, express views and mobilise public opinion.

The net has put all the information in the world within the reach of everyone. Any one can walk into a cyber cafe and access anything he wants. And, there is also recognition in Pakistan that while net rules the world, India rules the net.

It is, therefore, felt that the time has come to put aside all differences, normalise ties and increase economic cooperation between the two countries.

In this regard, he appreciated the Indian gesture of carrying out free heart operations on Pakistani children. He also wanted the government of India to offer scholarships to Pakistani students to study in Indian technical and other institutions. Visa restrictions must also be relaxed. 



New Territorial Army Headquarters for J&K
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Army will set up a separate Territorial Army (TA) Group Headquarters under Northern Command to streamline the operational and administrative management of TA units deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, it is learnt.

Presently management of TA units in J&K is being done on an ad hoc basis, with a staff officer posted at the Command Headquarters in Udhampur doing the task in addition to his other duties.

With six locally-based TA units, comprising personnel belonging to J&K being raised recently and a large number of TA battalions from other parts of the country being deployed there on counter-insurgency operations, strong need was felt to have a separate headquarters to administer these forces, sources said.

"Presently, Director, Defence Security Corps (DSC), is responsible for controlling TA units and co-ordinating with other group headquarters in different commands," an officer said.

Director DSC is an officer of the rank of a colonel. The commander of the TA group headquarters would be a brigadier.

Under the present arrangement, the deployment of TA units in J&K is controlled by Northern Command, while group headquarters in other commands are responsible for training and administrative matters pertaining to their respective units..

Recently six TA battalions comprising militants who had laid down arms, were raised for deployment in security and counter-insurgency duties.

Termed as "Iqwan" battalions, they were raised on a "home and hearth basis". The idea behind the move to raise battalions comprising surrendered militants was to merge such persons with the mainstream and give an impetus to counter-insurgency operations.

Besides providing them gainful employment, it would also prevent them from returning to anti-national activities.

The battalions would also have the advantage of a first-hand knowledge of the strength and weaknesses of mercenaries, their psychology and method of operation.



Lucky escape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Lakhwinder Singh (Lucky), a 25-year-old man from Dera Bassi, who suffered severe electric burn injuries when he came in contact with an 11, 000 volt live wire, considers himself lucky to have survived an accident that proves fatal in 60 per cent case.

He landed in the emergency ward at the Fortis hospital, Mohali, on August 30 at 10 pm. He was initially admitted to hospital in Sector 32. After nine hours, he was taken to Fortis due to non-availability of a plastic surgeon at that hospital.

His left upper limb was totally charred up to mid-arm level, he had extensive third degree burns on his abdomen and his right elbow had an exit wound that exposed his elbow joint. He also suffered extensive third degree burns on his left leg.

The same night, a rescue surgery was performed by Dr Krishan Mohan Kapoor, Consultant, Plastic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mohali. His left arm, which was badly charred, was amputated up to mid-arm level and an operation was performed to restore blood flow in in the left leg.

He was passing black urine, which indicated that he had suffered massive muscle damage and was on the verge of acute renal failure, an irreversible damage. The patient was administered large amounts of fluids to bail him out of the condition.

Another surgery was performed after three days as gangrene was spreading. Disarticulation of the left upper arm was done at shoulder joint and the wound closed. The patient was kept in isolated and sterile AC accommodation to avoid septicemia due to immuno-compromise conditions.

In the third surgery, meshed skin grafts were placed on the burnt area on abdomen and left leg. The right elbow joint was covered with muscle flap.

According to Dr Krishan Mohan Kapoor, high tension voltage causes devastating injuries as it leads to huge amount of internal thermal damage to body tissues. In such cases, the mortality rate is as high as 60 per cent. “I am pleased that I could save a life,” he said.

Lucky was discharged from the hospital last week, with most of his wounds completely healed.

Looking back on the events of August 30, he said, “I feel lucky to have survived. I am thankful to Dr Kapoor for having saved my life. Today I am happy to be back home and meet my daughter, who was only a week old when I met with the accident.”



Sector 52 residents seek green belt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Residents of Sector 52 (Kajheri north) have sought the development of a green belt on a piece of land acquired by the Chandigarh Administration.
In a representation to the UT Administrator the residents alleged that the acquired area, situated on the road separating Sectors 52 and 53, continued to be neglected by the Administration.

The casual approach on the part of the authorities has encouraged encroachment and use of the land as a dumping ground for garbage and cow dung and open-air toilet.

This has made the area an ideal place for the breeding of flies and mosquitoes. The situation compounded in the rainy season, they added.

The residents claimed that sprucing up of the area would fulfil a long-standing demand of the residents.

They also demanded more dust bins for proper disposal of garbage.



Sewing centre opened in Naya Gaon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Bharat Sevak Samaj, Punjab and Chandigarh and the Durga Das Foundation jointly opened a sewing training centre for girls at Naya Gaon village (Karoran).
Mrs Balwinder Kaur, Sarpanch, inaugurated the centre. She lauded the efforts of the Bharat Sevak Samaj for this noble in the rural area, to make the girls of the poor families self-sufficient after training in cutting, tailoring and embroidery.

She also assured free accommodation for the sewing centre. Mr Sucha Singh, Ms Ranjana, Mrs Raj Kaur panches and other eminent persons - Mr Karam Singh, Mr Lakhanpal and wife of Mr Gurbachan Singh, Chairman Block Samiti were also present on the occasion, besides of women/girls of the locality.

Mr Harbans Singh, State Secretary, Bharat Sevak Samaj explained various welfare programmes/activities run by the Samaj and the Foundation.



GSI workshop from October 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) will organise a three-day workshop on “Quaternary Geology of Yamuna-Indus Interfluve” here from October 26.

According to Mr U.K. Bassi, Deputy Director-General, north-west India has a vast stretch of Quaternary deposits that hold evidences of recent history of earth and events that occurred during the past 1.8 million years. These studies could also reveal the nature of cyclicity of natural hazards such as landslides, earthquakes and floods.

A former Director-General of the GSI, Mr C.P. Vohra, will be the chief guest at the workshop, Mr Bassi added.



Property files digitalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The Estate Office is running a pilot project on computerisation in collaboration with the Bank of Punjab and testing all processes.
The outsourcing of payment collection relating to sale of plots and collection of monthly rents of various colonies has been started through the Bank of Punjab.

At least 15,000 property files have been digitalised. These include commercial lease hold property including booths, SCOs and residential property sold through auction.



A clarification

CHANDIGARH: Reacting to a news item published in these columns under the headline, “720 cases pending before lok adalat” recently, the Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services) has clarified that the adalat had decided 477 cases from January to September this year. As many as 143 cases were decided in the September alone, a press note claimed. — TNS



3 held for robbing factory worker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A local factory worker was robbed of Rs 2,000, a watch and certain documents by three persons yesterday near the Sukhna choe. The victim, Deenanath, was going towards the railway station when he was attacked and looted. All three have been arrested.

Vasim Ahmed, Raju Khan and a minor boy stopped Deenanath at a secluded place near Colony No. 4. They asked him to give them tobacco for chewing when Deenanath told them that he did not chew tobacco. Raju allegedly hit him on the head with an iron rob. They then committed the crime.

Deenanath raised an alarm before falling unconscious. His cries for help brought a group of people from the colony to the spot who caught Raju and Vasim. A team of Government Railway Police also reached the spot. It handed them over to the Deria police post in Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the boy was arrested today after the police gathered and sent to juvenile home from the interrogation of the other two.



Purse snatched from woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Two unidentified motor-cycle borne youths snatched a purse from a woman which reportedly contained Rs 18,500 three gold bangles, three pairs of earings and three rings near the Arya Samaj temple in Sector 22 yesterday.

Rashmi, a resident of house number 149, Sector 180-A, reported that she could not note down the number of the vehicle as the snatchers sped away. In another incident, Rs 15,000, a gold ring, two silver rings, three pairs of anklets and one silver necklace were stolen from house number 2504, Daddu Majra Colony. The house owner, Sat Pal, complained that these things were stolen from the part of his house occupied by a tenant.

Mishap: An unidentified pedestrian succumbed to his injuries in the GMCH in Sector 32 after he was allegedly hit by a motor-cycle near the Gaba Clinic in Sector 45. The driver of the motorcycle, Jagsir Singh was arrested.

Vehicles stolen: One Kinetic Honda and an LML Vespa were today reported stolen from the Panjab University campus and Sector 40 market, respectively.



Newborn’s body found in rivulet
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 24
A new born baby was allegedly thrown into a seasonal rivulet passing near Rajiv Colony. The body of the baby boy who died of drowning was found in the rivulet by two residents of the colony Manoj and Rakesh.

They brought the body to the Sector 16 police post. Even the placenta had not been properly cut.

A post-mortem examination was conducted and the body was later handed over to the Aggarwal Sabha for conducting the last rites. The police has registered a case and started its investigation.

Chain snatched: Two motor cycle-borne youth today snatched a gold chain from a resident of Sector 17, when the woman, Ms Sudershana, had come out of her house to throw away garbage.

Held for eve-teasing: The police has arrested Asif Khan, a resident of Ambedkar Colony, Sector 19, on the charge of eve teasing. The complaint was registered by the girl’s father, Kalika Prasad, who alleged he teased his daughter by singing indecent songs.

One arrested: The police has arrested Santosh of Rampur Seori village, on the charge of speculation. A sum of Rs 555 was confiscated from his possession.



Burglary at airlines office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
Burglars today reportedly decamped with 15 phones and a box of medicines from the Sector 17-C office of Indian Airlines.
They broke the locks of the airlines office.

The burglary was noticed today by the area manager of the branch, Ms Monica, when she reached the office today. The office was closed yesterday at 8 pm. No estimate of the loss has yet been made by the Airlines. The sources said the medicines were meant for passengers of airlines.



Family assaulted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A Manimajra resident, Ashok Kumar, his wife and relatives were allegedly assaulted by a group of 10 to 12 persons at the Housing Board point. The alleged assaulters included Banta, Kaka, Deepak and Rana. The car of the victim was reportedly damaged. Ashok Kumar has been admitted to the PGI. 


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 |