C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man electrocuted by high-tension wire
Bipin Bhardwaj

Other victims

  • A migrant labourer was electrocuted in Shalimar Enclave, a housing colony in Dhakauli village, two years ago.
  • A carpenter, Lakhwinder Singh, died of electrocution in Silver City, a housing colony, located along the Kalka-Ambala highway in Singhpura village on July 18.
  • A day later, Desh Raj, a resident of Bakarpur village, died while he was erecting a metal pipe in Jarnail Enclave, a housing colony. The pipe touched the overhead high-tension wire leading to his death.

Zirakpur, November 6
Paramjit Kumar, alias Pammi, was electrocuted while he was wrapping a plastic sheet on a high-tension wire adjacent to the terrace of his house in Bhabhat village, near here, this morning.

This is the fourth death caused by electrocution in the village in the past two years.

According to eyewitnesses, Paramjit was constructing a parapet on the terrace of his house when in an attempt to wrap a plastic sheet on an 11 KV line he met with the accident. The high-tension wire (linking N. Area in Chandigarh with K. Area in Zirakpur) pulled him towards it, zapping him in the process.

His clothes were charred within seconds and his body was badly burnt. He died instantaneously.

Paramjit belonged to the Daldalia Chowk area in Patiala. He was staying in a rented accommodation in Bhabhat village and had been in real estate business for the past 20 years. He had recently completed the construction of a residential portion above his showroom.

After the accident, labourers at work called the police. Subsequently, authorities from the UT Electricity Department were informed.

The police, with the assistance of the Electricity Department, removed the body after the power supply to the line was disconnected around 12.45 pm.

The body was handed over to the family of the deceased in the evening after Ramesh Kumar, brother of the victim, moved an application before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate seeking its release without the postmortem examination.

The police has started inquest proceedings in the case.

The incident also caused to traffic chaos as scores of passersby and residents of nearby areas assembled on the site, which led to chaos on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

Incidents of electrocution notwithstanding, residents of the area have been building houses and shops in a haphazard manner, ignoring regulations with regards to the presence of electricity poles and high-tension wires.

Many of them have constructed houses and commercial structures under high-tension wires, jeopardising their lives.

Some residents have even bricked electricity poles carrying high-tension wires and included them in the covered area of their houses.

Under the regulations, it is mandatory to maintain a distance of three metres between a high-tension wire and any construction.



Mystery shrouds young girl’s death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
Mystery shrouds the death of an 18-year-old girl at her residence in Sector 17 this afternoon. The girl, Isha Goel, died after receiving 100 percent burns. She was a student of B. Sc. II at MCM DAV College, Chandigarh.

It is learnt that the girl received burns at the terrace of her house around 3 pm in the afternoon. The victim’s father, a prominent marble dealer of Chandigarh, Mr V.K. Goel, has reportedly told the police that a neighbour saw smoke and fumes on the terrace of their house, and informed them. The victim’s younger brother rushed to the terrace and found Isha severely immolated.

The victim’s family informed the police that some time before her death, her friends had come visiting and they were sitting together on the terrace. Her brother had reportedly also been sitting with her some time before the incident took place.

In the meantime, the two uncle’s of the victim — Mr Sushil Goel, and Mr Ramesh Goel reached home and they rushed the victim to General Hospital, Sector 6. The doctors declared her dead, and the family members quietly brought the body to their residence from the hospital.

The police was informed, and the body was again brought to the hospital for a post-mortem examination. A post-mortem was conducted late in the evening, and the victim was later cremated. The police has not been able to establish how the victim was immolated. They say that there was no smell from the hair of the victim, as is expected in case of kerosene being poured before immolation.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of Cr .P. C. Senior police officials say that they had not received any complaint, suspecting foul play in the death. They said that a team of forensic experts would visit the scene of crime only if the police received a complaint alleging foul play.



Bail declined in fraudulent sale of house case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Mr R.S. Baswana, Additional Sessions Judge, yesterday rejected the bail application of Kuldip Nahar, a co-accused in a case related to fraudulent sale of a Sector 35 house here.

Rejecting the bail, the court held that Kuldip could not be considered as innocent since he had been “conniving” with the main accused, Sanjeev Nayyar, from the very beginning. The duo allegedly forged the signatures of Ms Protima Sen Gupta,86-year-old house owner, and sold the house to Ajit Singh and Kuldip Singh on these documents.

Sanjeev and Kuldip had taken House NO 2532, Sector 35-C, on rent. Later, the duo allegedly forged the documents to sell the house to Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Kuldip Singh for Rs 43 lakh.

It was claimed that the landowner had executed an agreement to sell this property in favour of Kuldip and received Rs 42.5 lakh out of a total sale consideration of Rs 65 lakh.

In a complaint, Mr Inder Sen Gupta, son and general power of attorney of Ms Sen Gupta, claimed that no sale agreement was executed and Sanjeev was living only as a tenant in the house.



Scooterist succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 6
Kuldeep Singh a scooterist, who was hit by a truck in Industrial Area late last night, died in the wee hours at the GMCH-32, here today.
His son and a daughter were riding pillion, when the accident occurred.

Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Sector 55, was returning home after visiting his cousin in Sanjay Colony. The accident took place near plot number 38, Phase1, in Industrial Area. His 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were also injured in the accident. They all were rushed to the GMCH-32, where he later succumbed to his injuries. The doctors said that he died of a fatal head injury. The boy and the girl were out of danger, the police said.

Kuldeep Singh was wearing a helmet when the accident took place but it broke loose under the impact of accident and his head hit the road. The police impounded the truck (HR-69-1052) and arrested the truck driver Sunil Kumar, today. A case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A, IPC, has been registered.



Verka penalised for underweight milk pouches
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has penalised Punjab Milkfed, manufacturer of Verka brand milk, for deficiency in service.
Mr Beant Singh Bedi, president, and Ms Urvashi Agnihotri and Mr M.M. Gupta, both members, ordered Milkfed to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,000 as the cost of litigation on a complaint filed by Mr Ajay Sood, a resident of Sector 30 here in two months.

Mr Sood had alleged that the three milk pouches bought by him on October 21,2003, were found to be underweight. Later, the Controller of Weights and Measures, also confirmed that the pouches were underweight.



Experts opposed to long-term storage of
hazardous wastes

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Immediate clean-up of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal is the topmost concern of G Anantha Padmanabhan who has successfully led several Greenpeace campaigns against toxic waste generating units in India.

As India Head for Greenpeace International, Padmanabhan has been involved in evolving the remediation plan for Union Carbide site where unused chemicals are awaiting treatment. He was in Delhi yesterday along with international experts commissioned last year by Greenpeace to secure and contain the contaminated disaster site in Bhopal.

In Chandigarh today, Padmanabhan told the Tribune that the experts had made a presentation on remediation plan before the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Waste.

The immediate concern, he said, was to supply safe pipelined water to local communities. The experts' team has opposed long term storage of hazardous wastes in a secure landfill at the disaster site. Said Mr Padmanabhan, "They want to dig up soil and bury it, but that's not scientific. We are advocating export of wastes to an industrialized country for further treatment.

Closure of the site is not possible as it is already in use. The only solution lies in dismantling the plant and machinery. Soil must be treated to prevent further contamination. Our studies have shown that carcinogens have entered groundwater table in Bhopal, polluting drinking water."

Targeting toxic waste generating units in India (Greenpeace has identified over 20 most toxic spots in India), Greenpeace has managed significant action.

Following its sustained campaign against Hindustan Pesticides which was manufacturing DDT in total violation of environmental laws in Eloor, the Supreem Court recently ordered closure of the unit. The SC also intervened to protect the rights of labourers employed at Alang to break ships covered with asbestos with bare hands.

Mr Padmanabhan said, "More than half of world's end-of-life ships end up at Alang where they are broken through procedures that are dangerous to environment and lives. India gets 10 to 15 per cent of its steel from here. The process leads to contamination of groundwater for miles around the location. Cheap labour from Orissa is brought in to break ships. They use oxyacetylene torches which burst if there are any combustible gases around. In October, 2003, the SC issued directions putting the onus of decontaminating ships on their owners." 



Rs 14 cr sanctioned for improving amenities
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
The Punjab Government has sanctioned Rs 14 crore for the improvement of basic amenities in the state.
The amount will be distributed among various municipal corporations and councils for its utilisation to enhance water supply, roads, sanitation and cleanliness facilities in municipal areas.

This was stated by Minister for Local Bodies Chaudhry Jagjit Singh here today. The minister was talking to mediapersons after laying the foundation stone of the Municipal Bhavan in Sector 68, here.

The bhavan, to be built at a cost of Rs 6 crore, will be completed within next eight months.

The minister announced a grant of Rs 1 crore to the council for the construction of the building.

The bhavan, spread over one acre, will house a gymnasium, a canteen and a bank for the employees.

“The complete functioning of the council will be computerised,” said DC Ropar Seema Jain, who accompanied the minister.

Stating that the government was committed to fulfilling its election promise of abolition of octroi in the state, the minister pointed out that the decision had been delayed due to various reasons.

“Municipal bodies need to collect octroi as it is their source of income and is used for various development and maintenance works in municipal areas. But we are committed to abolishing it,” he said.

The minister promised the Mohali Municipal Council of all help in getting the municipal limits extended and added that the council would be converted into a corporation if the population of the township exceeded two lakh.

Responding to a question, the minister said the Punjab Government was in the process of identifying pieces of land in various corporations and councils throughout the state, as required under the Solid Waste Management Act.

“We have recently compiled a status report of the state with regards to the implementation of the Act. Officials of the department have been sent to Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, to study the solid waste management process there,” he said.

“Land for the construction of bins has already been identified at Kurali and Ropar. Construction will be undertaken and biodegradable material will be dumped there for its conversion into manure,” said Ms Jain.



Kharar MC gets Rs 10 lakh grant
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
Minister for local government, Punjab, Chaudhry Jagjit Singh, today granted Rs 10 lakh to the Kharar Municipal Council other than sanctioning two projects worth Rs 17 lakh to the Council. The minister was in Kharar today to inaugurate the building of the Saint Ezra International School.

The school, being run by a Korean social organisation — Heems Educational Charitable Trust provides free of cost education to handicapped students. The school principal Mr K. David said on the occasion that other than this poor students were taught at much lower fees.

The minister granted the Municipal Council Kharar a special project to augment water supply to the township worth Rs 8.31 lakh.

Another project to enhance the sewerage facility in the township worth Rs 8.30 lakh was also sanctioned.



‘Problems of agro economy fuelling Left-wing terrorism’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Problems generated due to predominance of agrarian economy have led to discontentment among the masses resulting in prolonged support to Left wing extremist groups in the country — this is what former Director of Intelligence Bureau Arun Bhagat had to say.

He was in Chandigarh today to attend a seminar on "How secured is India from within? The destabilising factors and the ways to combat them". It was organised by Forum on Integrated National Security (FINS).

Mr Bhagat — a 1991 IPS officer — asserted that as a result there were more than 35 Left extremist groups in the country. They had taken up arms after breaking away from the mainstream as means of acquiring power, instead of votes.

The former Director added that as per an estimate 13 states in the country, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttranchal and Kerala, were directly affected due to activities of these groups.

Mr Bhagat added that over 22 crore of the country's population, residing in at least 120 districts, were directly affected by extremist activity.

Talking about Left wing extreminism in South Asia, he said the members were of the firm belief that they were liberating people from the evils of Capitalistic forces.

Earlier, Haryana Governor A R Kidwai cautioned that countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh were posing a big threat to peace in India. The other speakers included FINS president P.C. Dogra, Prof S.D. Muni of South Asian Studies from Jawahar Lal Nehru University, former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General Vijay Oberoi and Panjab University Vice-Chancellor K.N. Pathak.



CBI seeks information on corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Years after having worked secretatively, the Northern Region of the CBI yesterday exhorted people to give it information about corruption, disproportionate accumulation of wealth and misuse of official position.

A press note issued yesterday by the head of the CBI in the north-western region said that corruption could only be checked if the people started giving the agency specific information.

The press note has been issued during the Vigilance week observed by central government organisations. It said that the information could be provided on phone numbers 0172-2657102(PBX), 2657135 (SP), 2657469 (DIG). These officials could be contacted on non-office hours and even on holidays, the press note said.

The information should be specific. The CBI said after completing formalities, the money used in the trap could be returned. The CBI said traps were effective and had a long lasting effect. The CBI assured the public that the names of informers would be kept secret if it was required.

The CBI deals with corruption cases in central government departments, centrally funded PSUs, banks and the UT Administration. 



Bringing Haryana artisans out of oblivion
Geetanjali Gayatri

Chandigarh, November 6
A sense of the aesthetics comes naturally to somebody who has given 30 years of her life to designing. And, more so to Delhi-based Payal Khurana, an established interior, textile and product designer, who has made a name for herself by artistically blending the traditional with the modern, be it art, craft or furniture.

Well, that’s not about all for this woman who, perturbed by Haryana’s lack of cultural identity, has taken on herself the task of designing that identity for her state.

“Their first exposure to the world outside their villages begins at Panchkula’s Parade Ground today. We are holding a three-day exposition that will showcase whatever little we have done in the past month to revive the Haryanavi crafts,” she says.

Offering her expertise, Payal has improvised on whatever they were producing. “In fact, till I went round the villages of Gurgaon and Kurukshetra, I believed that Patiala in Punjab was the place to be for buying juttis. The artisans in these villages proved me wrong. Then, Rewari’s brass utensils, lac bangles, Jhajjar’s pottery and leather work, Rohtak’s ghagras and odhnis, Panchkula’s durries have been modernised in keeping with the times. From Sonepat, we have trained a group of mentally challenged children to make candles and paint creative stones which can be used for landscaping,” she maintains.

Wife of the Haryana Chief Secretary, Payal asserts: “This is gesture for the Haryana artisan who has long remained in oblivion and his crafts have gone unnoticed. I want all that to change and, to ensure its continuity, I am roping in the Haryana IAS Wives Association (HIWA) who will be assigned a catalysing role in this affair.” TNS



Library inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
Minister for local bodies, Punjab, Chaudhry Jagjit Singh today inaugurated the Municipal Library at Silvi Park, Phase X here.
The library to be run by Browser, houses 3000 books that would be circulated to its members.

The minister also gave a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to the Council as part of the amount spent in the construction of the library building.

The library offers four different types of membership cards based on the amount of security deposited.

The number of books that a member can get issued from the library would be subject to the total price list equal to the security deposit.

‘‘For example a member is a Cub card holder and he has deposited Rs 300 as refundable security with us. In this case, he can get issued any number of books the prices of which are equal to or less than Rs 300,’’pointed out Amarpreet, a Browser employee.

The library would also offer free home delivery and pick up of books in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula to its members. 



Education can empower poor, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Education, as a tool to empower the weaker sections of society to enable them to raise their living standard was emphasised by various speakers at a seminar on “Justice to weaker sections of society” held at Law Bhavan in Sector 37, here today.

Organised by the Chandigarh People’s Welfare Forum and the Committee for Judicial Accountability, the topic saw the speakers debate on the reservation policy.

The Union Minister of State for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Ms Selja, said that the leadership of the country was engaged in identifying solutions to deal with the problems of the weaker sections.

Earlier, Prof D.N. Jauhar, of the Department of Law, Panjab University, said that education had been on nobody’s agenda since the country got freedom.



Protest against price hike
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
Members of the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a demonstration against the unprecedented hike in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petrol and diesel, announced by the Central Government two days ago.

The BJP activists led by Mr Kamal Sharma, Mr B.K. Nayar and state BJP Treasurer, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, held a demonstration at Sector 17-16 round about this morning. They said the hike in prices of petroleum products would lead to an increase of all other basic commodities.

The activists alleged that the Congress-led UPA government had betrayed the people by increasing the prices of petroleum products. The party workers would stage a dharna outside the DC office in Sector 1 on November 8 in protest against the bad law and order situation. 



Talk on personality traits
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 6
Mr Lalit Bhatia, Additional DGP, Punjab, today gave a talk on “Enneagram-communication skills and personality traits”. It was held at Press Club, sector 27, today.

Mr Bhatia said, “Enneagram was designed as a process tool for clarifying, balancing and mastering various personality traits. Enneagram describes that there are the nine types of personality”. Mr Bhatia gave the brief description of each type of personality.

Later, an on-the-spot questionnaire was also given to the members. “This test not only explains what is your type of personality but also speak a lot about your strengths and weaknesses. One can really improve himself by conducting this test, ” he added.



Vigilance week ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The celebrations of the vigilance awareness week, which began on November 1, concluded at the Post Graduate Institute (PGI) here today. A feature film on the life of Sardar Patel was screened and special lectures sessions were organised to mark the occasion. 



13 gamblers held

Chandigarh, November 6
The local police arrested 13 gamblers from the various parts of the city on Friday.
Four persons were arrested from Sector 22, six persons from near power house in Kishangarh and three from Indira Colony in Mani Majra for gambling at a public place. Cases have been registered.

Assaulted: Sourav Anad of Sector 41 complained to the police that Raju, Chhotu and Gurpreet, who are working at a shop in Badheri Market, assaulted him on October 27. A case has been registered.

Injured: A pedestrian Salaudin of Pipliwala Town in Mani Majra was hit by a Scorpio jeep (CH-03-P-8730) near the police station on Mani Majra-Kishangarh road on Friday. A case has been registered. In another incident, a pedestrian Lal Singh was hit by an unidentified vehicle near Sector 32 on November 3. The driver of the vehicle escaped. A case has been registered. — OC



Man succumbs to injuries in hospital
Our Correspondent

Lalru, November 6
After struggling for life for more than 24 hours, Mr Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Gulabgarh area in Dera Bassi, succumbed to his injuries in the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh, here today.

He along with his colleague Mr Karamjit Singh were knocked down by a Maruti car on the Kalka-Ambala highway near Gholumajra village on Friday. The victims were heading towards Dappar from Dera Bassi on their bicycles when the car approaching from the opposite direction had collided head-on with them.

The victims were employees of Ammunition Depot, Dappar, and were riding their way to the office when they met with the accident.

The body was handed over to the family this afternoon after postmortem examinations.

Meanwhile, the police has booked driver of the car (CH-01U-7633) involved in the accident while its driver is said to be absconding.



2 girls hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 6
Two teenaged girls, students of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26 were injured in an accident when a car hit their scooter from behind near Saint Kabir School in Sector 26, today.

According to the police, Jyotika of Sector 14 Panchkula and Himanshi of Sector 23 were going home after their college. Himanshi who was driving the Kinetic Honda was injured seriously in the accident.

The police has arrested the car driver Karan Prabhakar. who a teenager does not have a driving license. 



Cop hurt in mishap

Mohali, November 6
Inderjit Singh, a special police officer on duty in Mohali was seriously injured when he was hit by a CTU bus while he along with a constable were on patrolling duty near the Verka chowk here this evening.

The police sources said Inderjit along with constable Gurnam Singh were on their motor cycle when a CTU bus (number 35) coming from Kharar hit the two from the front. While Gurnam Singh had a miraculous escape, Inderjit was seriously injured on the face, head and arm and was rushed to the PGI. The bus fled but was caught in Chandigarh and driver Mukhtiar Singh, a resident of Gharuan village, booked. TNS


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