C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal parking lots thrive in Panchkula
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
Residents of the township are being forced to pay parking fees for vehicles at various public places and near government offices even though the district administration, HUDA or the Municipal Council (MC) have not introduced the concept of paid parking in the district.

Taking advantage of the ignorance of visitors, “parking contractors” at two cinema houses in the township and the office of District Transport Office (DTO) are charging parking fees from them.

Since most of the visitors do not know the difference between parking within the premises of the cinema halls or HUDA land outside their premises, visitors are being forced to pay parking fee on the pretext of “ensuring safety for the vehicles”.

It may be noted that cinema owners can charge for parking within their premises, and the General Manager, Haryana Roadways, for parking vehicles within the premises of the bus stand that also houses the office of the DTO. However, they cannot charge for parking on land outside their premises, as is being done in here.

It is estimated that around 30 vehicles each are parked near the two cinema houses while over 50 vehicles are parked near the DTO office daily.

Parking slips issued to the visitors do not mention the amount to be paid. It just says: “On loss of this parking slip, the vehicle owner will be liable to pay four times the parking fee and will also have to produce two witnesses to reclaim their vehicle”.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, said she had not received any complaint for any illegal charging of parking fees. “We have not auctioned any parking site in the district. If anyone is charging parking fees for vehicles parked on the land other than their premises, a strict action will be taken against him,” she said.

The Municipal Council President, Ms Seema Chaudhary, too, said the MC had not introduced the concept paid parking. “So far, HUDA has not transferred any markets to the MC. That is the reason that we have not introduced the concept of paid parking in the town. We will inquire into how anybody can charge for parking at public places,” she added.

The two cinema halls — Suraj in Sector 1 and K.C. Cinema in Sector 5 — are charging parking fees varying from Rs 5 to Rs 10. While visitors at KC Cinema are being forced to pay Rs 5 for a vehicle, including car, scooter or a bicycle, at Suraj film enthusiasts are being made to pay Rs 10 for a car and Rs 5 for a two-wheeler. Similarly, outside the DTO office, the visitors are forced to pay Rs 5 for a two-wheeler.

At Suraj, the owners have encroached upon the land around the cinema hall by putting up a gate which is manned by at least two persons. Employees at the cinema house maintain that they had no information about people being charged for parking outside the theatre.

Similarly, the Manager of K.C. Cinema, Mr Roop Raj, said the cinema house was charging parking fees only for parking within the basement of the hall. He expressed ignorance for the parking fee being charged outside the cinema hall. 



Rodrigues has many friends in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
For him, it was nothing less than home coming. As General S.F. Rodrigues stood in Punjab Raj Bhavan soon after being sworn-in as Punjab Governor this afternoon, friends and former colleagues were there to meet him.


“I am still here”

Soon after the conclusion of swearing-in ceremony, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice B.K. Roy — in reply to a question about the effect of his possible transfer on war against corruption — said, “I haven’t gone yet. As of now I am here”. Quoting a couplet in Sanskrit, the Chief Justice said, “What to talk of man, even God does not know the fate”.

The Governor did not disappoint them as he stepped forward to meet everyone with extended arms. Reminders were not required as the Governor recognised them at once.

Among them were officers who had worked with the Governor some 30 years back. He was posted here in the late 80’s.

The young serving officers too did not miss the opportunity to meet him.

The officers and other guests began pouring in before time.

In their eagerness to sit near the dais, they made themselves comfortable without even paying attention to the placards specifying the category of guests. No wonder, Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal sat on the sofa meant for the Punjab and Haryana High Court Judges.

The guests were not forced to wait for long. Hooting sirens announced the General’s arrival, even before the car he was travelling in zipped down the road leading to the Raj Bhavan. Fluttering orange, green and white flags on either sides of the road greeted him as he got out of the car for attending the ceremony.

Punctuality was the key word. The function started a little before the scheduled time.

The special arrangements made by the police for the occasion were apparent as men in white and khaki could be seen all around issuing instructions over the wireless sets outside the Bhavan. Inside, the Punjab police personnel stood at attention, next to the police band, for greeting the Governor and presenting the guard of honour.

Talking to mediapersons after the Governor was sworn in, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh asserted that the problem of human trafficking was not widespread in the state of Punjab. “The matter will be examined by the police as and when it is brought to my notice,” he asserted.



Issues before Rodrigues
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Even as the Chandigarh Administration is preparing a list of important tasks carried out by its various departments to brief the new UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), several issues which affect the day-to-day life of the city residents need to be sorted out. 

Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, will brief the latter on the matters being dealt with by each of the departments.

A list giving details on about 35 important points, projects and tasks being handled by the Chandigarh Administration is being prepared to provide an insight to the new UT Administrator. Officials of the Administration are tight-lipped about the contents of the list, saying it has to be shared with the Administrator first.

Several important decisions, which can have an impact on the city, are at a critical stage. About 6,500 employees of the municipal corporation are demanding that they be treated on deputation to the MC and not as employees. High-level meetings have been held between the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Administration.

The condition of roads in the southern sectors is appalling. More than a year ago, it was announced that several important roads in the southern sectors will be re-laid and widened. Since then nothing has happened. The problem of traffic management is another serious problem. For the past several years, plans to have flyovers at critical points remain on paper. Road links to Panchkula have not come up due to one problem or the other, making travel on the lone road connection quite risky.

The rising population of the city needs more water. New agreements need to be drawn up in consultation with Punjab and the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

The important project of the IT park is on the cards and leading companies have pledged to be here. It needs a final push before the city is projected as the next IT destination.

A long-standing demand is to allow need-based changes in houses of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). The need-based committee formed by the Administration did little. Even members of the committee were disappointed when only one of the 28 suggestions was approved and criticised the Administration.

The Administration has plans to go for complete e-governance. It is starting in fits and starts. 



Slum children her best pals
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
For as long as Geeta can remember, slum children of Sector 25 have been her best pals. To them she may be a mentor, a teacher, a model but to her they will always be eternal sources of strength. Why else would she come rushing to them even after her destiny planned otherwise?

Associated with Theatre Age-run primary school of Sector 24 for over five years now, Geeta can hardly imagine herself without her students. She feels deeply for them because she has been a part of them. Associated with Theatre Age for 12 years now, Geeta feels obliged to use her talent for the betterment of the school children. Although married in Samana recently, she worked her way back to Chandigarh. Not only did she decline a cushioned job to fulfill her vocation, she also inspired her partner Sham Lal to do something for the poor children.

In Chandigarh now, Geeta is back to teaching in the school while her husband goes door to door collecting waste paper - the only source of sustenance for 25 slum children who study in the Theatre Age school. There are about 240 donors and Sham Lal is responsible for collection from each household - a job no one willingly takes up. But like Geeta, who is the only permanent teacher in this school, Sham Lal has no difficulty in linking his future with that of these children.

He reasons, “If they can work as shoeshine boys all day long and study from 3 pm, why can’t I collect waste for them. This job may be unwelcome at times especially when donors don’t keep their promises, but it’s worth it because the education of children depends on money generated from the sale of waste paper.” For Sham Lal, his original business of carpentry is now secondary to his new-found job.

For her part, Geeta remains busy at school. About 15 slum children have passed Class V examinations under her guidance; another 15 are preparing. Apart from teaching, Geeta also cooks meals for children and washes thear utensils. She says, “Children are very tired by the time they reach school. We are ready with lunch before we start with the classes. They eat first and study later. Also in the game is theatre which sustains all of us.”

Geeta has worked in hundreds of plays under the direction of Zulfiqar Khan, the man behind Theatre Age. She has played lead roles in plays on almost all socially relevant themes like drugs, AIDS, dowry and literacy. Lately she was part of Zulfiqar’s team which had been engaged by the Women and Child Welfare Department, Haryana to spread awareness among the rural women in various Haryana districts. She educated 300 women on significant aspects like empowerment and healthcare.

Today she is the best resource person Theatre Age has. Ask her how it feels to be serving slum kids and she literally springs to life, “I feel fulfilled.”



Dog’s meat being sold in city?
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Mystery shrouds the appearance of body parts of dogs in the Sehaj Safai Kendra (SSK) of Sector 15, here. A PGI doctor resident of Sector 15, Dr Pankaj, told the Chandigarh Tribune that a skeleton, head, paws and skin of a dog were found today in the SSK.

Inquiries made from an employee of the SSK, Vijay, confirmed the fact saying that skeletons, heads, paws and skins had earlier also been found in the SSK several times.

Vijay, however, said he did not suspect anything nor did he report the matter either to the police or the municipal corporation officials.

The appearance of the body parts of dogs had been noticed by residents of Sectors 35 and 38 earlier. The finesse with which the dog was butchered suggests that it was slaughtered for the purpose of meat.

The police and the municipal corporation, which regulates the sale of meat and its quality in the city, were clueless about the fact.

Medical Officer Health (MOH), Dr G. C. Bansal, said he had come to know about the fact only through the queries of the correspondent and nothing of the sort had earlier come to his notice earlier.

Dr Bansal, said that the matter was serious and he would get the matter investigated and seek assistance of the police in this regard.

The police and the municipal corporation now have to find out if the dogs are being butchered for eating by some individuals or commercial ventures.

Dr Bansal, said he had not heard of meat consumption of dog in the city adding that it was a known fact that dog meat is eaten in northeastern states like Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal and Assam.

The MOH said that the meat sent to the eateries in the city had to be supplied after slaughtering in the government slaughter house and it has to be stamped and certified for quality.

Dr Bansal, said he was not aware of any law under which there could be a case registered for butchering a dog in Chandigarh as nobody had earlier been booked in this regard. Except that if any meat is supplied, it has to pass through the authorities test, he did not know if the sale and consumption of dog meat was illegal or not in the city.



Dera Bassi resident wins Rs 10-lakh lottery prize
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, November 16
Fortune smiled on Mr Harish Arora, an employee of a steel products manufacturing unit, when he won a prize of Rs 10 lakh in Maha Luxmi Divali Pooja Bumper of Punjab State Lotteries today. He won the amount in the consolation prize category.

Mr Arora told the Chandigarh Tribune that his joy knew no bounds when he found the number of his ticket (C-675838) in the list of winners in a newspaper.

“I had purchased the ticket in the name of his daughter Avni Arora from a shop located on the Zirakpur-Patiala road in Zirakpur,” he said. Mr Arora has decided to spend a part of the money for a religious cause.

Colleagues, relatives and neighbours of Mr Arora had thronged to his house here to congratulate him till late in the evening.

He said he would get the prize money in January next year. 



Eight fresh gastroenteritis cases reported
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 16
Eight fresh cases of gastroenteritis were reported today from Guru Nanak Nagar, Gurbaksh Colony and Jujhar Nagar here even as a team led by the Civil Surgeon, Dr Hardev Singh, today distributed 20,000 chlorine tablets in the area. Drinking water in the area had been contaminated with sewerage due to sewer block in the area two days ago.

The fresh cases of gastroenteritis are, however, mild in nature, according to the Civil Surgeon, even as colony residents said cases of vomiting and diarrhoea, which had been reported earlier, had improved on their own after medical aid taken from Registered Medical Practitioners in the colonies. The Health Department had, however, distributed 20,000 chlorine tablets in the area by giving these to local community leaders, RMPs and ‘karyana’ merchants.

Besides, a Health Department team, led by the District Health Officer, Dr V.S. Mohi, today also conducted raids in the affected areas and destroyed overripe fruits and vegetables besides exposed sweets. Dr Mohi, said two medical teams had been posted at the spot to cater to all eventualities and 15 water samples had been taken from the affected areas. These would be sent for sampling to Chandigarh.

People of the area have also been advised to drink boiled or chlorinated water and to avoid eating cut fruit and vegetables. The Health Department has also decided to start daily monitoring of gastroenteritis cases in the area and a control room has been set up in the Civil Surgeon’s office for this purpose. The telephone numbers are 2211619, 98553 -01954 and 98145 -29113.

Meanwhile, even though the corporation health officer had claimed that the epidemic disease spread due to blockage of sewerage and the subsequent mixing of sewerage water with drinking water lines, the corporation today maintained the incident had occurred because people had installed illegal water connections. A press note by Mayor Vishnu Sharma, said some people had installed their private lines which were running alongside the sewerage lines which had resulted in contamination of the drinking water.

The Mayor said despite this, the corporation had disconnected the connections, carried out the necessary repairs and then reconnected them. He said chlorine tablets were being distributed in the area.

Residents of the city said it was strange that the corporation was allowing running of illegal drinking water lines alongside sewerage ones. Manjit Singh of New Bishen Nagar said action should be taken against such persons instead of allowing them to continue with the practice. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh has directed the civil surgeon and the district health officer to provide free medicines to the affected persons and remain vigilant to prevent further spread of the disease.



Stress laid at institutionalising Army-media interface
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
In the backdrop of the changing face of warfare, with terrorism, low intensity conflicts and information warfare gaining center-stage, stress was laid at institutionalising Army-media interface at a seminar organised by Western Command at Chandimandir today.

The aim of the two-day seminar is to enhance awareness, mutual understanding and harmony between the media and the Army with particular reference to their respective roles in regard to national strategy. Formation commanders from the Western Sector, senior Army officers and media personalities attended the seminar.

The sessions were chaired by former Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V P Malik.

Stating that it was a misconception to believe that the power of a nation lay primarily in its military strength, the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J J Singh, in his inaugural address remarked that a factor no less important that those directly contributing to the power of the nation was national morale. "It is the fourth estate that has the inexhaustible capacity to sustain, boost and safeguard national morale," he said.

Stating that the internal security situation and the emerging nature of conflict has enhanced the role of media in reporting matters military, the Army Commander added that the military needed to take a hard look at how it interfaced with the media. "It is imperative for both the military as well as the media to work out a congenial relationship, which gives the media its traditional transparency and freedom and provides to the Army a potent dimension of modern warfare towards the ultimate collective aim of national security," he said.

Delving upon "a blueprint for harmonised approach towards enhancing national strategy," Mr Kanwar Sandhu, resident editor of Hindustan Times rued the lack of a documented national security policy. Stating that such policies are imperative to identify national interests, maintain initiatives and avoid, pre-empt or manage crises, he added that a national strategy coul not be formed unless there was a policy.

Even war doctrines formulated by the services, he said, would be of little values without national policy.

He was of the view that the media played little role in formulating national policy and failed to caution the government of the day during over issues and blunders concerning the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict, 1987 Jaffna operations and the recent Operation Parakram.

Srinjoy Chowdhary, special representative of The Statesman said that though there were several institutions engaged in working out policy, there was lack of input from the Opposition.

Observing that there is a lack of consensus in the political establishment over national issues, he remarked that national security should be above politics. He also said that presently there was no institutionalised approach for the media to play a role in formulating national security policy.

Giving an overview of shapes and contours of conflict in the 21st century, Major-Gen H S Panag from Army Headquarters said that technology and globalisation were transforming the theory and practice of war, where sub-state and trans-state forces had started to challenge the established state system.

An individual or a group of people without the identity of a nation can now attack nation states and the rise of non-state action, geo-economics and democratic values would be factors affecting future conflicts. Islamic fundamentalism, he said, had emerged as the main driver of conflict and will continue for some time.

Noted journalist Sayed Naqvi stressed upon the fact that the Indian media must develop its own sources of information to learn the true picture of global events. Stating that 1991 Gulf War brought in a media revolution, he emphasised that due attention must be paid by the leadership and the media to visit and report on Indian troops deployed oversees. Failure to do so has resulted in other countries stealing the limelight for good work done by Indian soldiers.

Major-Gen Askok Mehta (retd) was of the view that in the present day information could not be withheld from media and it was the duty of commanders to disseminate information in the correct perspective.

Observing that media is more interested in the politics of security that pure military matters, he said that clear rules for accountability and responsibility be drawn up for the media as in other countries.



Students up in arms over non-receipt of roll numbers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Several students in the region enrolled with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for appearing in the matric examination are up in arms against the authorities for non-receipt of their roll numbers. The supplementary examination are beginning from tomorrow.

Officials at the Regional Centre of the NIOS blame the postal department for delay in delivery of the roll numbers. The Chandigarh centre caters to over 45 000 students in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal, Punjab and Chandigarh.

Irritated at the attitude of the authorities concerned, a number of parents from distant places in Punjab and Haryana, whose wards are appearing in the examination, today descended at the regional office of the NIOS in Sector 11, Chandigarh. They protested against the unprofessional handling of their grievances by the lower staff at the centre.

" The employee who was supposed to check out the status of the roll number on a computer was not available. I have been waiting since morning" , said Ashok Jain, who had come from Shahbad.

To call back the employee handling the computer the regional officer at the centre had to repeatedly call him back.

Those who have received their roll numbers by post or have been able to download from the website of the NIOS were unable to trace the address of their examination centre.

The students, whose application forms have been rejected on one or the other pretext, lamented that they were not informed on time.

Another parent from Sonepat, Darshan Lal, told the Tribune that he had been waiting in vain to know the examination centre of his son. Several parents blamed the slow handling of their grievances on the skeleton staff at the centre.

An official at the centre blamed the weekend holidays and the postal department for the non-receipt of the roll numbers.

He said under the rules the roll numbers of outstation students were dispatched at least 10 days in advance. For the local candidates, the roll numbers were dispatched a week before the exam.

In some cases, the students had opted for Rohtak centre which came under the Delhi zone.

" Officials at the regional office in Chandigarh acknowledged the receipt of application form and the fee but did not inform about the wrong option of the examination centre", said Banwari Lal from Rohtak.

A number of students had come to know about the revaluation results. Inquiries reveal that the result had not been pasted on the website of the centre. The in charge at the centre said efforts were being made to redress maximum number of grievances. 



Sisters’ woes refuse to end
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 16
The tale of rejection and misery of India’s first woman pilot, Mrs Beant Kaur, and her younger sister, Ms Satwant Kaur, refuse to end. Red-tapism at the Punjab and Haryana High Court stalled, Mrs Beant Kaur’s, efforts to personally meet the Chief Justice along with some of her well-wishers to narrate her woes.

“She wanted to meet the Chief Justice to give a first-hand account of the alleged torture being inflicted upon her and her sister by her adopted nephew. However, since she and the others accompanying her did not have passes to go inside the courtroom, they could not meet the Chief Justice.”

“Later, when passes were made available, it was too late as the Chief Justice had left for the swearing-in of the new Punjab Governor,” said a person accompanying her.

Incidentally, the group did not have any petition to present to the Chief Justice, Mrs D.K. Gill, counsel for Mrs Beant Kaur, was also accompanying the group.

Mrs Beant Kaur, 87, who is the widow of Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh, one of India’s pioneering aviators, and her sister had sometime back alleged that Col. M.S. Bains (retd), whom she had adopted when he was just four, had forcibly occupied her Sector 3 house and also taken away all their possessions, including cash and jewellery.

Over one dozen well-wishers, most of them neighbours of, Mrs Beant Kaur, in Sector 3, were also accompanying the sisters to the High Court.

“What has happened is very unjust. We will support them in all their efforts to get justice,” said one of them.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana has constituted a committee to study all aspects of the case concerning the women. The committee members are advocate Ashok Singla, member, Bar Council, and advocate Parveen Vohra.

“They will suggest what needs to be done to get justice for these women. We have also decided to provide all legal assistance to them,” said ,Mr C.M. Munjal, Chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana.



Sanitation in Mohali neglected
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Sanitation is in a state of neglect in many parts of the town. Complaints made by residents to the municipal council authorities have fallen on deaf ears. According to the complaints, employees of a private contractor who have been allotted sanitation work for almost half of the town, do not lift garbage regularly. Sweeping of roads in residential areas is not being done on a regular basis.

It has also been alleged that the contractor has not employed the number of safai karamcharis according to the agreement for the work.

The town has been divided into four zones for the sanitation work. It is learnt that the Gill Contractor, that looks after sanitation work of Zones II and III comprising Phases III B-1, III B-2, VII, VIII, IX, X and XI has been issued notices by the MC for unsatisfactory work. A sum of Rs 40,000 was also deducted from his payment for October for failing to do satisfactory work and engaging less number of workers.

Mr Manmohan Singh Langh, councillor who lives in Phase VII, said what to talk about the rest of the town, the vacant area in front of the office of the council, was not being cleaned on a regular basis. As the area, earmarked for a police post, was lying vacant, a garbage collection point had been set up here. Garbage was removed from this point on alternate days.

He said the condition of sanitation in Phase VII was no better. Sweeping of roads was done only about three days in a month.

Ms Harbans Kaur, another councillor, said the safai karamcharis had not lifted garbage from a collection point near the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research despite several complaints. The garbage collection point in the Housefed Complex in Phase X also remained neglected. Garbage kept lying there for days and was removed only after repeated requests, she added.

Municipal councillor Manjit Singh Sethi of Phase III-A said sanitation was in a state of neglect even in the cremation ground. He said it was difficult to stand there for long due to foul smell in the area. Garbage dumped near the cremation ground had not been removed despite the problem being brought to the notice of the authorities concerned.



Indians express solidarity with Tibetans
Tribune News Service

A Tibetan Youth Congress activist, with his face painted with colours of the Tibetan flag, shouts slogans during a demonstration in Chandigarh on Tuesday
A Tibetan Youth Congress activist, with his face painted with colours of the Tibetan flag, shouts slogans during a demonstration in Chandigarh on Tuesday. — Reuters photo

Chandigarh, November 16
Hundreds of Indians expressed their solidarity with the Tibetans in exile seeking the release of their religious leader Lama Tulku Tenzin Delek. Delek (54) is facing execution in China for his alleged involvement in a bomb blast that killed one and injured 12 persons two years ago.

The protest and chain fast, organised by the Regional Tibet Youth Congress (RTYC), received wide attention on its third day and people from various walks of life volunteered to get themselves pricked and used the blood to sign a memorandum that will be sent to the United Nations Secretary General, pressing for Delek’s immediate and unconditional release. Besides Delek, they are also demanding the release of other Tibetan political leaders such as Geshe Sonam Phuntsok and Panchen Lama.

After the police disrupted the chain fast by students yesterday, students resumed it with 40 activists taking the fast into the third day today.

Meanwhile, foreign students will join the Tibetans tomorrow for one-day chain fast to show their sympathy with the Tibetans. According to Mr Mohd Abdi, President of the Foreign Students Association, “Chinese injustice to the innocent Lama shows the malice towards the humanity. We are here once again with Tibetans to provide them enough strength.”



Traffic blocked in Sector 17
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 16
The traffic at the Sahib Singh entry point of Sector 17 was blocked for a long time today evening as a protest, when a car driver of Mr S. N. Roy, the Excise and Taxation Commissioner of Haryana, was allegedly beaten up by the employees working at the Sahib Singh parking in this sector. The jam was lifted after the intervention of Mr S.N. Roy.

Ashok Kumar, the car driver in his complaint alleged that a pass is issued to the car no. HR-03-B-4502 by the Municipal Corporation here. When he was going out from the Sector 17 parking in the official car at around 4 pm, the contractor of the parking lot told him to show the pass. He said he showed the pass but the contractor snatched it and did not return it to him. He said when his requests were not heeded to he retuned to his office and came back with another driver of the department.

The contractor did not stop at that and he began abusing the person accompanying him alleged Ashok Kumar. He further added that they were not only slapped by the contractor but he also threatened to kill them.

The driver in his complaint said the contractor yelled at him saying that he will not allow any vehicle of the Excise and Taxation Department to be parked in the parking area.

Lokesh Arora, the contractor while talking to Chandigarh Tribune said they had multiple pass, on which they were authorised to park their vehicles at all zones in Sector 17 parking area where there was the pass parking facility available.

It was the paid parking where they were parking their vehicles. He further added that they jammed the traffic and abused his employees.

The police has registered a case of preventing a public servant from discharging his duty against Manmohan Singh, the partner of the contractor under Sections 332 and 353 of the IPC in the Sector 17, police station.



Dwarka Dass Library falls on bad days
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A treasure trove of rare historical literature, the Dwarka Dass Library in Sector 15 here, seems to have fallen on bad days due to resource crunch. With government and non-government organisations (NGOs) virtually turning a blind eye to its upkeep, the premier institution is finding it difficult to preserve scores of out-of-print publications on the political and social history of the country, particularly Punjab.

The library, which is maintained by the Servants of the People Society through its own meagre resources, gets only an annual grant of Rs 15,000 from the Haryana Government. The Punjab Government stopped its grant a couple of years ago and the Chandigarh Administration has never bothered to spare any money to preserve the priceless literature.

A visit to the library today revealed that it contained several original reference books on the Indian history like the resolutions of the Indian National Congress (INC) and letters of Lala Lajpat Rai to leaders of the freedom movement. Copies of several Indian and foreign journals and dailies like The Tribune, find a place of pride in the library.

The rare books, the earliest of which dates back to 1702, are dying a slow death as the society lacks funds for their maintenance, Mr Onkar Chand, Chairman of the society, said. A few years ago, Raja Ram Mohan Memorial Library, Calcutta, had sanctioned a grant of Rs 1 lakh which had come handy for the preservation of scores of books, he added.

The need of the hour is to reproduce the contents of the books on compact discs (CDs) which is a costly proposition and only a government agency or an NGO can help in undertaking that work, said Mr P.S. Soni, Administrator of the society.

Established by the legendary freedom fighter, Lala Lajpat Rai, in the memory of his friend, Dwarka Dass, who donated his personal library to the society, the library was known as “revolutionaries’ shrine” since it became a meeting ground for Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his compatriots.

However, the present library, which incorporated the personal library of Lalaji, was opened to public on January 28,1966, is the post-Partition restoration of the original library in Lahore.



Martyrdom fortnight of Lala Lajpat Rai from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A variety of activities will be organised during the martyrdom fortnight of Lala Lajpat Rai to be organised by the Servants of the People Society here from November 17 to 30.

Stating this here today, Mr Onkar Chand, Chairman of the society, said on November 17, a noted social activist, Dr Vandana Shiva, will deliver a lecture on “Economic freedom for common man” at Lajpat Rai Bhavan. An exhibition of the memorabilia of Lala Lajpat Rai and display of rare books will be the another highlights of the programme.

Contests for the school- children, health camps and a multi-lingual mushaira will be other highlights of the programme, aimed at promoting dialogue with the people at the grassroots level.

The local branch of the society, which is one of the 19 branches all over the country, is engaged in various welfare activities at its centre in Sector 15 and various slums and villages of Chandigarh for the uplift of the lower strata of society, he added.



Campaign Trail
Lucky promises development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Holding out the development card and seeking votes on grounds that the Congress government was ruling at the Centre and the Congress-led Municipal Corporation here would ensure that the demands of the residents were met with Congress candidate Harmohinder Singh Lucky began his campaigning in Sector 20, here today.

Mr Lucky went around the sector wooing voters of Ward 11 of the Municipal Corporation. Women councillors and supporters were waving Congress flags and raising slogans in his favour.

Beginning his day at 7.30 am, Mr Lucky was among the first few to reach his party office in the market place. Accompanied by his wife, Ms Harneet Kaur, he chalked out the route for the door-to-door campaigning while supporters poured in.

Organised in two groups, the men led by Mr Lucky and the women donning Congress caps headed by Ms Harneet Kaur appealed to voters to exercise their franchise in favour of the Congress party.

The constant beating of the dhol brought the residents out of their houses. As the group went from house to house, the reception grew warmer and Mr Lucky was assured of vote and support.

Later, he addressed party workers here and had a quick lunch after which he was back to campaigning, meeting people, distributing pamphlets. The personal meetings continued till about 8 pm after which the supporters returned to the party office.

Back in the office they were busy planning strategies and analysing the progress made during the day. "I will go back home with the satisfaction that I gave my best shot to the campaign during the day. If I believe in that, I will be recharged to meet the challenges of the next day," he said.



Raising Day silver jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Seventeen Dogra will be celebrating the Silver Jubilee of its Raising Day from November 24 to 26, with a number of events being organised to commemorate the event. The celebrations would be attended by Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N C Vij, who is also Colonel of the Dogra Regiment. A number of serving as well as retired regimental officers are expected to join in the celebrations.

Besides a guard of honour to the Colonel of the Regiment, a special sainik sammelan, family welfare meet, variety entertainment programme for the troops, a band concert and officers mess function are scheduled.

The battalion was raised on August 1, 1980, at Faizabad by Lieut-Col S S Sandhu and was presented the President’s Colours on February 18, 1984.

It has won one Shaurya Chakra, four Sena Medals, two Vishist Seva Medals, two mentioned-in-Despatches, 16 Army Chief’s commendation cards and 17 GOC-in-C’s commendation cards.



‘Only BJP can solve problems of Dalits’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Mr Ramnath Kovind, national president of the Scheduled Castes Morcha of the BJP and an MP, claimed here today that the problems of the Dalit Samaj could only be solved by the BJP. Addressing a meeting in support of the party candidate from Ward No 11 of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MCC), Mr Girdhari Lal Jindal, he said the BJP had launched several welfare schemes for the uplift of the Dalits.

Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit of the BJP, claimed that the party had always been taking up the issues of Dalit with the Chandigarh Administration on a priority basis.

Mr Sachin Lohtiya, another leader, alleged that the local MP Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mayor Ms Kamlesh, were prejudiced against the safai karamcharis Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, former Mayor, and Mr Jindal, also spoke.

Panchkula: Mr Ram Nath Kovind, said that Haryana ranked second only to Bihar, in terms of atrocities being meted out to Dalits.

Kovind, along with the BJP State President, Prof Ganeshi Lal, was addressing media persons at Rajiv Colony here today. He said that incidents like the massacre of Dalits in Duleena in Jhajjar, and the Harsola episode in Kaithal, where the Dalits have been forced out of the village, reveal the atrocities being meted out to Dalits.

“Even after three years of the Duleena incident, no charge sheets have been filed, and no action had been taken. Even in Harsola, little efforts have been made by the administration of bringing the Dalits to their homes. Haryana has not even constituted a SC/ ST Commission, though all states in the country are supposed to have such a commission,” said Mr Kovind. 



Rally condemns arrest of seer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Various Hindu organisations of the city held a rally and condemned the arrest of Shankaracharaya Jayendra Saraswati under the banner of the Hindu Maha Panchayat, here today. Activists, led by Mr Subhash Kataria, marched from the Sanatan Dharma Mandir, Sector 22, to the Sector 17 plaza.

At the plaza, the members of the Hindu Maha Panchayat submitted a memorandum to SDM, HR Nagra, who received it on behalf of the Administration. Members of the Maha panchayat appealed to the President of India to secure the release of Shankaracharaya and initiate proceedings against the Tamil Nadu government for the “hasty” move.

The rally saw participation from the Central Ramlila Sabha, the Vishva Hindu Parishad Hindu Mahasabha, the Bajrang Dal, the Puri Peeth Parishad among others.



Police notice to Bal Sehgal for investigation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
With the former head of Quark company, Bal Sehgal, today failing to turn up to join investigation, the Chandigarh Police today issued him a notice under Section 160 of the CrPC to join investigation with regard to an allegedly threatening call made from his mobile phone.

Bal Sehgal was scheduled to join the investigation today but he did not turn up, DSP (Central), S. C. Sagar, said. There is no confirmation as to the notice has been served to Bal Sehgal and when he would be available for investigation.

The police has got mobile details of the complainant industrialist Pankaj Khanna and others who allegedly twice called him in the month to threaten him.

The police has written to Hutch and Airtel to provide the mobile details. Mr Pankaj Khanna of sector 8, in his complaint, alleged that on November 2 he had received a call on his cell phone. The caller allegedly threatened the complainant and used filthy language. The police has registered a case under Section 507 of the Indian Penal Code in the Sector 3, police station.



Police claims solving 5 cases of theft
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Five cases of theft in the town seems to have been got solved by the police with the arrest of six persons from a choe near Chapparchiri village, near Kharar, on November 9.

It is learnt that the police has recovered gold ornaments from the arrested persons. The thieves had admitted during interrogation by the police of having committed five thefts in the town. Out of the five thefts two had been committed in Phase IV and one in Phase VI. The remaining two cases are linked with Phase VIII police station.

The police had claimed that the suspects were arrested when they were preparing to commit a dacoity and were armed for the purpose.

The police had recovered a country made pistol, apart from live cartridges from them.

The arrested persons were Zila Singh, alias, Chotu, Ram Kumar, Joginder Singh, Rajiv Kumar, alias Raju, Sunil Kumar and Balwan Singh. A case under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC had been registered against them by the 
Kharar police. 



Three held with smack
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 16
Two scooters and a motor cycle were stolen in city, the police said here today. Mr Hunny Kaura of Sector 15-A complained to the police that his motor cycle (HP-47-2072) was stolen from his residence on November 6. A case under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered on his complaint.

The scooter (CHT-2520) of Mr Jai Parkash, a resident of Sector 27-D, was stolen from his residence on the night of November 12. In another incident, Mr Sunil Suri of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, reported to the police that his scooter (CHJ-2274) was stolen from his residence yesterday.

Mr Hardeep Singh of Sector 35-D complained to the police that Davinder, alias Bishu Brar, along with two other persons, attacked him in the Sector 35 market. A case has been registered.

Drugs seized
Vicky of Sector 38 was arrested from near cremation ground, Sector 25, with 1 gram of smack on Monday. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

While Khushi Ram of Gani village in Bareilly district (Uttar Pradesh) was arrested with 2 grams of smack and Pinderjit Singh of Peer Jain village in Fatehgarh Sahib district was arrested with 1 gram of smack.


Mr Nirmal Singh of Khudda Lahora village complained to the police that Sandeep Singh of Deep Nagar, Hoshiarpur district, who was driving a car, hit his car near the Civil Hospital in Phase VI on Monday injuring his wife Baljinder Kaur. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr Vivek Thapar of Baltana village reported to the police that a sum of Rs 7,000 was stolen from a shop in Phase VII on Monday. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered. 



Junk dealer held for selling liquor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 16
The local police arrested a junk dealer today for selling liquor illegally in the city for years. Parkash Chand of Ram Darbar was today arrested from 3 BRD with 24 bottles of Officer’s Choice whisky. He was buying the liquor in bulk and selling it in small quantities later on. He was into this practice for a long time and made a lot of money, said the police.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered against the accused in Sector 31, police station. 



HMT employee succumbs to burns in PGI
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
Than Singh, an employee of HMT Pinjore, who tried to immolate himself following a fight with his wife in the wee hours of November 11, died at the PGI yesterday. His wife, Bhagwanti, too, had tried to immolate herself.

She is stated to be in a stable condition.

The accused in the rape of a minor girl at Morni, Pritam Singh, was remanded in judicial custody by a local court today. He had allegedly waylaid a 15-year-old girl on November 14, while the latter was returning home and raped her.

He was arrested by the police yesterday.

In another case, a local court sent Manoj Sharma in judicial custody. He is one of the three accused in causing death of a three-month-old girl in Sector 12- A.

The girl had died after she was hit by a stone, which were being hurled at residents of a slum colony by ten youth. 



Theft in showroom, case registered
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
The police has registered a case in connection with a theft which took place in a showroom dealing in readymade garments here yesterday.

Thieves decamped with cash to the extent of Rs 70,000 from a Sportsking showroom in Phase VII. It was alleged that the thieves had entered the shop by lifting the shutter.

The case had been registered under Section 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Vivek Thapar, manager of the shop.


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