C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Open manholes, naked wires too need attention
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Virtual death traps in the form of open manholes, naked electric wires and poor lighting in the streets causing serious accidents have claimed several lives in and around “City Beautiful” over the years. Piecemeal measures have been taken in some cases, while others have been ignored altogether.

The problem is ubiquitous; the posh northern sectors have as many live wires as the southern ones. Open manholes are a common sight, both in and around Chandigarh. Trees on some roads that provide comfort and shade on hot summer days also pose serious danger for night traffic by covering streetlights. The city that has come to epitomise modernity, seems to consider human life cheap.

A drive along the road separating Sectors 32 and 33 or the dividing road of Sectors 45 and 33, Sector 17 and 18 or even the Madhya Marg shows numerous threatening live wires. The posh northern sectors are no better than the southern sectors in this regard.

Regarding open manholes, the story is somewhat different. A random survey showed that southern sectors had more open manholes compared to the northern sectors. The southern sectors have a high population density and vehicular traffic, making the danger even greater.

The Tribune lensman clicked the accompanying picture of the open manhole near the Sector 29-C market within minutes of leaving for the survey. Similarly, open manholes were noticed opposite the market in Sector 20, besides a house in Sector 30 and at many turnings on the roads. Those on the roads sometimes prove fatal for two-wheeler drivers unable to negotiate turns.

Poor lighting in the streets has turned the city roads into a driver’s nightmare. Serious accidents have resulted from drivers hitting obstacles due to poor lighting, at times causing deaths. Almost the entire road from Haryana Raj Bhavan to Sectors 20/21 has streetlights hidden behind branches of trees. This road is popular with those travelling from Mohali side to the Sukhna lake. Even the road from the bus stand till the Sector 27/30 roundabout has streetlights hidden among trees.

Officials do swing into action following accidents, but no concrete steps have ever been taken to deal with the problems on a long-term basis and prevent loss of human and animal life. Cows as well as children have been electrocuted; motorists have suffered accidents owing to open manholes or got killed due to poor visibility. The administration has conducted surveys of problem-infested areas and prepared reports from time to time, but not done much to deal with the situation on a long-term basis.

These problems are even more acute in colonies and villages on the periphery. City residents remember the incidents that have taken place in Ram Darbar where two children were electrocuted, followed by the death of an old woman in Bapu Dham Colony, a labourer in Sector 32 and a Kishangarh resident.

City residents have again begun to hope that things would improve and lives not be wasted on city roads.



PRO’s wife held in flesh trade racket
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
The wife of an officer posted in the Punjab Public Relations Department was today arrested for working as a call girl. The racket was being run by a contractor, who was allegedly using women to lure officers of the Haryana Urban Development Authority to bag contracts.

The local police, comprising staff of the Security Branch and the Crime Against Women Cell (CAW), raided a house in Sector 11 this evening.

Senior police officials said the police had been keeping an eye on the house for the past two months. “The sex trade racket was earlier operating from a house in Sector 10, and had shifted to a house in Sector 11 recently. The contractor, Surinder Kumar Sharma, was living in the house, and was ‘entertaining’ officials there. We were waiting for the right time to strike, and today we decided to go ahead,” said a senior police officer.

The police sent two decoy customers, ASI Ashwani Kumar Sharma and SI Ramesh Kumar, and a deal was struck with two women, the wife of a public-relations officer and her relative. Just as the decoy customers paid them Rs 2,000 each, a team of the police led by Inspector Gurdev Kaur of the CAW cell, waiting outside the house, rushed in and arrested the contractor and the two women.

According to the police, when they went inside, a pornographic film was playing on a TV. The police seized porn CDs and visiting cards of some influential government officers from the house. The police expects that interrogation of those arrested would lead to these officers.

Recently, senior citizens of Sector 11 had complained to the Chief Minister that plainclothesmen were keeping a watch on some houses in Sector 11. They had objected to this and an inquiry was ordered. During the inquiry, police personnel explained that they were trying to bust a flesh trade racket. But the residents had said that they would withdraw the complaint only after the police arrested the suspects.



103 out of 110 rejected candidates selected
Police recruitment
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

IG Rajesh Kumar, when asked that a large number of candidates did not know that they could have appealed against their rejection before you, said that candidates could have approached senior officers to avail themselves a fair chance if they felt that were rejected despite having physical measurements required for qualification.

Mr Kumar said he did not know the exact figure of those who cleared the test today. He also said that a high selection rate did not question the earlier process undertaken by a separate team.

Mr Dhillon refused to comment when asked if today’s development had confirmed the charges that selection process under his team was “unfairly strict.”

Chandigarh, November 18
The Chandigarh Police today seemed to have nullified its own physical test process undertaken under SP Traffic Amitabh Dhillon for the recruitment of constables. The earlier physical test process had attracted a large number of allegations of an “unfairly” strict measurement procedure leading to only around only 5000 out of 1.34 lakh candidates clearing the physical test.

On the contrary, around 103 candidates out of over 110 who today turned up for the physical test for the recruitment of 230 constables in the Chandigarh Police cleared the physical test called again to provide opportunity to those who had earlier been rejected by Mr Dhillon’s team.

The vast difference of success rate between the two physical tests has sparked a controversy as to which of the two tests were proper.

The high success rate in the second test, however, could be attributed to the confidence of the candidates about their measurements. Only those who might have been sure of their measurements were likely to appeal against their rejection and their chances of success could have been higher. The sources said the final figure of those who cleared the physical test is yet to be released but around 103 person out of around 110 today cleared the physical test.

The sources said there were today no reports of the measurement tapes snapping during measurement of chest of the candidates. On the contrary, it was reported that the measurement of chest under Mr Dhillon was so close that around 70 measurement tapes were broken every day during the 45-day-long physical test which had been completed earlier. The physical measurements were today conducted by a separate team of examiners led by SSP Gaurav Yadav and assisted by DSP (South) S S Randhawa.

The candidates today examined were those who had either appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, and SSP (headquarter), Mr Virender Singh against their rejection by the selection committee under Mr Dhillon.

Those who had either approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against their rejection or the senior police authorities by October 25 were today called for a re-examination of their physical measurements. The sources said few the candidates have again approached the CAT for their physical re-examination. The senior authorities, however, had not made any public communication that those rejected “unfairly” by the selection committee under Mr Dhillon could approach the IG and SSP (headquarters) for an appeal. This process might have deprived a lot of rejected candidates an opportunity for an appeal as they were told that they could have appealed to Mr Dhillon at the spot itself. During the selection process earlier, a public announcement was made that the rejected candidates could have gone to Mr Dhillon for an appeal. 



UT downs Mayor’s flight plan
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
What was supposed to be a 10-day junket to Canada for the Mayor and three municipal councillors, besides a couple of officials of the corporation, has been shot down by senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration.

The reason for the rejection is that the corporation team was to visit Canada to see a solid-waste management project set by a company that is already dealing with the corporation. The prospective “highfliers” have been told in clear terms that “no councillor or official should enjoy the hospitality of any company that is bidding to set up a solid-waste management plant in Chandigarh.”

The project is expected to cost around Rs 50 core and already a team of councillors has been to Hyderabad to study a
similar project there.

The delegation to Canada was to be led by the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh. She was to be accompanied by councillors Harjinder Kaur, Chander Mukhi Sharma and Jatinder Bhatia.

Mr Sharma, chairman of the sanitation committee, clarified, “There is nothing in writing from the company on inviting a corporation team.” Sources pointed out that it was part of the terms and conditions of the contract that the bidder would spend money to take a seven-member team of the corporation to see a functional plant.

Meanwhile, officials of the corporation who were expected to be part of the team were jittery as no official sanction had been taken for the visit.

A USA-based company was expected to conduct the Canada tour for the seven-member team. The company has set up a plant for generating electricity from garbage. It is also a bidder for a similar project in Chandigarh.

According to administration sources, officials were acting on their own. However, there plan was disrupted when a councillor, Ms Shyama Negi, let the cat out of the bag when she wrote a letter to the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, complaining that she had been left out of the trip despite the fact that the waste management plant was to come up in her ward. At this, the administration told the Mayor that the trip had to be cancelled. If there was to be a trip, it would have to be funded by the corporation, and a proper sanction was required for that from the UT Administrator.

The Adviser, Mr Lalit Sharma, said the corporation had not sought permission in writing. However, he confirmed that nobody in the government or the councillors would be allowed a company-sponsored trip.



Widow found dead in Sector 21
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 18
A 35-year-old widow was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her Sector 21 rented accommodation this morning. She was living separately from her two children. A used syringe was found lying near her body. The police suspects that the syringe might have been used to inject some drug which caused her death.

Rajinder Kaur’s friend Anjali, a resident of Mohali, who had come to meet her at 12 noon, found her dead. Anjali told the police that she found the door of the house slightly open. When she entered the room she found Rajinder, whose back was resting against the wall, dead. She immediately, informed the landlord who in turn informed the police.

The police took the body of Rajinder Kaur to General Hospital, Sector-16, where doctors declared her “brought dead”. There were some injury marks on her wrist which could have been caused by the syringe. No other injury marks were found on the body.

“We found some prescription drugs, which could have been used as intoxicants, and a few cigarette butts lying scattered in the room. However, no suicide note was found near the body”, said Mr Prem Singh Malik, SHO, Sector 19 police station.

Anjali told the police that Rajinder Kaur had two children, a boy aged 6 and a girl aged 10. Both children were living with their maternal grandparents in Ludhiana. Rajinder Kaur was living in this one room rented accommodation for the past one year.

The SHO further said a man named Rakesh, alias Billa, used to visit Rajinder Kaur . According to the landlord, Rakesh used to pay the rent on her behalf and had come to meet Rajinder four or five days ago.

The post-mortem of the body will be conducted tomorrow. The police has initiated the inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in Sector 19 police station.



Yash Chopra czar of romantic sagas
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
His slow gait and stooping frame is most likely to flummox you. But as you begin conversation with the czar of romance in Bollywood, and Mr Yash Chopra comes as refreshing and young at heart as the romantic sagas that he has been churning over the years.

Mr Chopra was in city to meet the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh. The Chief Minister, after seeing the latest film from the stables of Yash Raj Films- Veer -Zaara, today announced entertainment tax exemption for the movie in Punjab.

"Its the best compliment that I could have received for the movie. The Chief Minister said that he was moved by the story-line, and the way Indo- Pak relations and Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat, had been projected in the movie. He then called on me, and asked me to meet him so that he could announce tax exemptions for the movie," says Mr Chopra.

Over the years, Yash Chopra, has mesmerized the Hindi film audience with the vivid portrayal of human relations- be it between two estranged lovers after they meet in their old years in "Kabhie Kabhie"; the relation between two brothers in 'Deewar", and more recently, the relation between a theatre director, and his muse in "Dil To Paagal Hai". As we get up, close and personal, with Yash Chopra, he comes up as a simple human being, relatively unfazed by his success.

Ask him what it is like to be an ace director and story teller in the Hindi cinema, and he instantly cuts short any praise, as he continues"... I am like any other human being. It's just that God has been more merciful in giving me the creativity to work, and kind by giving me success. I am happy that I can come up to the expectations of my fans and movie-buffs here," he says, rather matter-of-factly.

Talking about his latest movie- Veer- Zaara, which has been doing good business at all centres, in India and abroad, Chopra says that it took him several years to find a good subject.

"I made this film seven years after Dil To Paagal Hai. I was not taking it easy, but could not find an appropriate subject. Then, my son, Aditya Chopra, came up with the script of Veer- Zaara, and after going through the script, I decided to make the movie. It was the best gift that a son could give to his father," he says.

Earlier, Chopra was honoured by the Punjab Chief Minister for his contribution in the film industry.

Appreciating Vee- Zaara, Capt Amarinder said that the film would go a long way in confidence-building exercise between India and Pakistan. Mr DS Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations, Mr Anil Puri, film distributor and Mr Harpreet Sandhu, Senior Deputy Advocate-General, Punjab, were also present on the occasion. 



Saboo awards for teaching presented
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The importance of school education in nation building can not be ignored and recognising the services of teachers is an essential step in this direction, said the Governor of Haryana, Dr A.R. Kidwai, at a function organised at the CII headquarters here today to present the third Tara Chand Saboo Excellence Awards in School Teaching.

Four city teachers, including three from government schools, were selected for the awards by a four-member jury out of the nominations received from various schools in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

Mr Ram Kumar Sharma, Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, received the Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievement for his leadership qualities and his school achieving high results in board examinations for the past five years.

Recipient of the Excellence Award for School Teaching in Rural Areas, Mr Pitamber Lal Sharma of Government School, Dadumajra Colony, Sector 38 (West), was credited with changing teaching methods to focus on overall development of students, promoting sports, extracurricular activities and administrative reforms. In his speech, he said it had been his parents’ dream to promote education in rural areas.

Dr Sumati Kanwar, Principal of IS Dev Samaj Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, who is an accomplished international sportsperson, was honoured with the Excellence Award for Extracurricular Activities (Sports). An international hockey player, she represented India in the eighth Asian Basketball Championship in Hong Kong.

Another Sector 16 Government School teacher, Dr Arun Kumar Sharma, was presented with the Excellence Award for School Teaching. He was recognised for being a resource person at the state and national level. He presented a paper at the National Teachers’ Science Conference in Bhopal. He has earlier been honoured with the National Award for Excellence in Oil Conservation-2002.

While the Lifetime Achievement Award carries a citation, trophy and a cash award of Rs 50,000, the other three awards carry a citation, a trophy and cash award of Rs 20,000 each.

After presenting the awards, the Haryana Governor said imparting quality education was important as India was fast becoming a source of trained manpower for multinationals.

Mr R. K. Saboo, trustee chairman of the Jan Seva Trust, said the city had become a major learning and culture centre where teachers were doing a commendable job, which required recognition.



Woman lecturer’s scooter ‘stolen’ by police; SP apologises
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 18
A woman, working as a lecturer at a government school in Manouli village, went through a lot of tension when she found her scooter missing from her house. The vehicle had been “stolen” by the police.

Mrs Karamjit Kaur, (name changed), a resident of Sector 68 here, found the scooter missing from outside her house when she was about to leave for the school at about 8.30 am on November 16. She asked her son to take the help of his friends to locate the vehicle. In the meantime, she contacted the police station on the telephone. She was surprised to hear that her scooter was lying at the police station.

When she went to the police station to take back the vehicle, she was made to sit for a long time on the pretext that police personnel who had lifted the scooter from her house were not available at that time. She alleged that she was not allowed to make telephone calls from her mobile phone to the principal of the school.

Mrs Karamjit Kaur, said that she had never been to a police station so far in her life. She had to go through a lot of mental agony after her visit to the Phase VIII police station.

The harassed woman brought the matter to the notice of the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today. The MLA asked SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, to inquire into the matter and take action against those found guilty.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, said that later he was told by the SP that the police personnel had lifted the scooter “by mistake”. The SP apologised on behalf of the erring policemen. He even contacted the lecturer and apologised.



Cop arrested for stealing motor cycle

Mohali, November 18
The Mohali police arrested an employee of the Railway police posted at Patiala on charges of stealing two wheelers from the township. One motorcycle has been recovered from the accused, Malook Singh, a resident of Sector 66 here.

Police sources said Malook Singh was caught from Mohali by Mr Kulbir Singh, in charge Phase XI police post. The police is conducting raids based on his information to recover the rest of the stolen property from the accused. TNS 



MC byelection takes ugly turn
Bansal, Verma exchange hot words
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Campaigning in Ward 11 of the Municipal Corporation byelections took an ugly turn today when a verbal duel between the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch candidate, Dr O.P. Verma, erupted during the door-to-door canvassing in Sector 20, here today.

The Congress candidate, Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, and Mr Bansal were doing door-to-door canvassing when they came face-to-face with Mr Harmohan Dhawan and Dr Verma who, too, were on the same mission.

Eyewitnesses said while Mr Bansal and Dr Verma began their talk on a friendly note, the mood of the meeting changed when the latter, a Congressman before joining the Chandigarh Vikas Manch in the last municipal corporation election, said he had been “cheated” by the Congress. Dr Verma said the Congress had denied him a ticket in the past despite his track record of a dedicated party worker. Dr Verma in a complaint lodged at Sector 19 police station has alleged that at 11 am today Mr Bansal and Mr Lucky accompanied by a few Punjab police personnel tried to manhandle him. He wanted to avoid the situation but Mr Bansal and Mr Lucky threatened him. Dr Verma has sought the registration of a case against the Congress leader and security cover at his office.

The Sector 19 police station has acknowledged the complaint but is verifying the incident. No case has yet been registered.



Campaign trail
Gupta promises functional streetlights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
An independent candidate in fray for Ward 11 byelection of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Rajesh Kumar Gupta, is focusing on functional streetlights, a stray cattle menace, free ward and a dispensary to take care of medical needs of residents at highly subsidised rates during his election campaign which is in full swing.

While other candidates might continue to fight the byelection on party lines, this Congress dissident is receiving support from the Congress quarters as well. “The residents and Congressmen had got together to decide that the party ticket should be given to a candidate living in the ward. We convinced them that all of us would support the candidate.

However, the party did not take us seriously and it drove us to fight election. I was selected from among the three interested candidates,” he says.

As he goes around the sector asking people to vote for him, Mr Gupta is welcomed by residents of his area with garlands of flowers and cash. The door-to-door canvassing is more of a celebration by residents of having one from among them in the fray and it’s over-whelming for Mr Gupta.

“The response of the residents acts as an elixir and inspires me even more to the cause of improving my sector. Outsiders elected councillors in the past have done nothing for us. This time the residents welfare association and the market welfare association have passed a resolution that the votes will not go into any political party’s kitty. Instead, the voters will breakaway from party politics opt for an independent candidate to show the leaders that the individual matters more,” he says.

From door-to-door and corner meetings as also those arranged by small groups of residents, Mr Gupta’s message is that development of Ward 11 has come to be synonymous with election of an insider as Councillor. And, most people are agreeing with what he is propagating.



‘Kullads’ give way to cups, glasses
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Launched with much fanfare by Union Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav about six months ago, “kullads” are slowly giving way to plastic glasses and disposable cups.

With the railway authorities dragging their feet on the implementation of the minister’s order, at least one tea stall at the local railway station was serving tea in glasses, as a visit to the railway station revealed today.

Vendors said apart from the cost factor, the “kullads” were not favourite with the passengers. An earthen cup cost between 60 paise and Rs 1.5 and procuring them was a problem, Ram Lubhaiya, a tea vendor said.

The very fact that the passengers of the superfast Shatabdi Express have a choice between the “kullads” and plastic cups seems to have hit the use of the “kullads”.

And faced with an erratic demand, potters at Kumhar Colony in Sector 25 have started producing them in lesser numbers. Anyway, the potters did a brisk business in “diyas” for Divali and “kullads” took a back seat, said Mr Sadhu Ram, a potter.

Another resident of the colony, Mr Manoj Kumar, said the demand for “kullads” by caterers was picking up as they were used for storing curd and sweet dishes at marriage parties.



‘Chandigarh Club loses Rs 6 crore in entrance fee’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
One of the petitioners in the election dispute of the Chandigarh Club has submitted a written statement before the Delhi-based Company Law Board, claiming that the club was falling short of about Rs 6 crore which was to be collected as entrance fee from members.

Mr Rajeev Kwatra, who is a petitioner in the case has submitted a report of a chartered accounting firm which says that the club should have collected Rs 12.18 crore as entrance fee while it collected only Rs 6.11 crore. The report of the chartered accountants is based on unaudited balance sheets submitted by the club to Mr Kwatra, following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on November 9. Quoting article 15.3 of the Article of the Constitution of the club, the report says that the club was to charge Rs 60,000 per member and a total of 2,031 members were enrolled between March 3, 2001, and March 29, 2004.

Another point raised by the report is that the revenue from the sale of wine has dropped in the financial year ending March 2004 despite the fact that more members were enrolled. In the financial year 2001-02, the amount realised from the sale of wine was Rs 1.16 crore while in the year 2003-04 it was Rs 1.12 crore.

The chartered accountants have also pleaded before the Company Law Board seeking full access to the books and the records of the club.

In a separate development, the Company Law Board will start a fresh hearing of the case from November 22 following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Mr Justice Amar Datt had extended the time which the Company Law Board had given for filing written submissions to all parties concerned. The deadline had been extended from November 11 to November 16.

Meanwhile, Mr Mandeep Bhatia and two members of the club have also become a party to the dispute.

They were not among the list of 5,000 members who were eligible to vote. Since 411 persons in the list of 5,000 voters were found to be ineligible, it was wrong to bar them from voting, Mr Bhatia and others claimed.

The Company Law Board has accepted their plea and impleaded them as a party.



Expert for protecting rights of individual
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
“I am on a mission to develop advocates for human rights. The idea is to empower people with tools of laws to fight against injustice in any form, be it physical, mental or emotional. And, all it requires is courage and persistence.”

This was stated by Prof Theodore Orlin of the UTICA college, UTICA, New York. He was speaking at a special lecture on “Violence against women: contemporary issues”, organised by the ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre, Panjab University, here today.

Prof Orlin spoke about the human rights scenario and protection available in various parts of the world. Referring to India, he said the Indian Constitution was reflective of the 21st century, offering civil, political and social freedom to an individual.

He informed the audience that over the years, human rights, in general, and the rights of women and children, in particular, have evolved to include rape, abuse, sexual slavery, forced labour and child labour as violation of the human rights of an individual.

He was of the opinion that with the establishment of the international criminal court and the existence of UN charter of human rights, it will no longer be possible for the state to hide behind the shield of sovereignty to cover up the human rights abuses of their respective citizens.

Prof Orlin further said it was obligatory on the part of the state to proactively safeguard the rights of the women and design systems to redress the wrongs against the individuals. He said states often cited lack of resources as the reason for not safeguarding the rights of women.

Questioning such a stand, he asked, “If the states can find resources for raising armies and building on the arsenals, why could they not set aside resources for safeguarding the human rights of the individuals.” He was of the view that NGOs and self-help groups could do much to bring relief to the victims of human rights abuses.

The lecture was followed by a discussion in which Dr Manjit Singh, Dr Sherry Shabarwal, Mr Tenzen, Dr Yashpal, Prof Virendra Kumar and Dr Shalini Mehta participated. In the course of discussion, a number of interesting issues were taken up like protecting human rights in unipolar world and human rights of vulnerable sections of society.

Earlier, Prof (Ms) Rajesh Gill, Department of Sociology, while introducing the speaker, informed that Prof Orlin was a specialist in the field of human rights and had done extensive work in Central and Eastern Europe and developing countries of Asia and Africa.

Dr M.K. Teja, Chairperson, Department of Sociology, Panjab University, proposed the vote of thanks.



IT park’s substation inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
A 66 KV substation for the Information Technology (IT) Park was inaugurated today by Adviser to the UT Administrator, Lalit Sharma. The project has come up at cost of Rs 7.62 crore and is spread across an area of 3 acres.

This is aimed at providing round the clock power supply to the world class IT companies which are coming up in the IT Park. The substation has been constructed in 16 months against the planned execution of 18 months through Power Grid Corporation of India Limited on a turnkey basis.

For added reliability a double 66 KV transmission line has been erected to feed this substation. It also has three spare bays which may be required to feed the power requirements to the companies that will be interested to have their own substations.

Other infrastructure like roads, sewerage, drainage, water supply connectivity etc are also in position and as soon as the first two occupiers — Infosys Technologies Limited and DLF Info City Developers Limited — occupy their facilities, the IT park will be operational. The Administration also expects that the success of the Chandigarh Training on Soft Skill (C-TOSS), it was expected that more business process outsourcing (BPO) companies like Convergys and Wipro Spectramind would also be occupying space at the IT park.

DELL computers has already announced its Mohali centre with a training facility in Chandigarh. 



Mataur villagers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 18
Residents of Mataur village staged a protest outside the office of the Municipal Council here today blaming the civic body for failing to provide sewerage system in the village. Residents were put to lot of inconvenience as a number of public toilets in the village were demolished by PUDA yesterday.

A large number of residents, including women, raised slogans against the president and the executive officer of the council. As no council official took the trouble of meeting the protesters, the residents then blocked traffic on the main road in front of the council office. Vehicular traffic got disrupted and drivers had to look for diversions. The road blockade went on for about half an hour and was lifted only when the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, reached the scene.

The MLA listened to the problems of the villagers and condemned PUDA for demolishing public toilets without making alternative arrangements. He talked to the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, the Ropar Deputy Commissioner and the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, about the problem being faced by residents of Mataur village.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh told The Tribune this evening that it had been decided that PUDA would be providing sewerage in the village at a cost of Rs 52 lakh and the work on the project would start soon. No further demolitions of the public toilets would be carried out till alternative arrangements were made.

Dr Anwar Hussain, a resident of Mataur village, said that since the president and the executive officer of council were not available yesterday when villagers had staged a protest outside the council office, they had to come again to protest today as the council had failed to provide the basic facilities even when the village fell within the municipal limits of the town.

Mr Makhan Singh, another resident, said had the village had its own panchayat the inconvenience would not have arisen because some arrangements in this regard would have been made at the panchayat level.

Mr Hans Raj Verma, secretary of the Ropar unit of the Congress and a resident of the village, said that PUDA should not have carried out the demolition drive till the sewerage was provided in the village.

The toilets in the village had been constructed by PUDA more than five years ago and had been handed over to the civic body for maintenance. The council was paying Rs 33,000 per month to the agency that was maintaining the toilets.



Traffic partially disrupted for second day
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 18
The traffic on Dakshin Marg that serves as the national highway for Delhi, Patiala, Ambala-bound traffic continued to remain partially disrupted for the second day today due to the recarpeting of the 
entire stretch.

The situation slightly improved today due to the diversion of traffic from Sectors 29-30-31-32 Iron Chowk. The Zirakpur- bound traffic was diverted from the Iron Chowk through Sector 29-30 light point and the Industrial Area light point towards Tribune Chowk.

All entry points to the road in front of The Tribune office were closed. According to sources in the Traffic police, departments concerned never inform them about the repair or any kind of development work they are planning to do and roads going to 
be closed.

The police is called when the situation go out of the control. Under such circumstances it is always difficult to regulate the traffic.



Seminar on duties of citizens from Nov 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Sankriti Gaurav Sansthan, an institution spreading awareness about fundamental duties of citizens under Article 51A of the constitution of India, wll have its Chintan Shivir, at Chandigarh from November 20 to November 21, 2004. The basic idea of SGS is "No Right can flow except from a duty fulfilled".

Intellectuals and delegates from different parts of the country including Mr S. Gurumurthy a specialist of "swadeshi Andolan", in Shreesh Chandra Dixit, Ramesh Chandra Dixit, RR Ohri all here former Directors-General of police, Giridhar Gopal former Commissioner of Allahabad, BP Singhal former MP (Rajya Sabha), Mr Prafull Goradia, Ms Sandhya Jain, both columnists, Dr Sita Ram Jindal, Dr Jitendra Bajaja, are participating in the Shivir.

Mr Ashok Singhal of the VHP and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi will also participate.

Forced conversions, distortions in Human Rights, Panislamism, Media role in cultural distortions, Ram Rajya vis-a-vis democracy and public administration, growing corruption etc will be debated.

A seminar on "social will be addressed by Mr Ashok Singhal and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi on Sunday.



Alteration in Mansa Devi temple roof proposed
Seepage damages frescoes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
The Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board proposes to alter the structure of the roof of the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine here in order to save the frescoes in the parikrama of the temple.

The hundreds-of-years-old frescoes are getting destroyed because of water seepage. To save the frescoes, belonging to the Kangra school of art, the board proposes to alter the structure of the roof so that water does not seep on to the art work.

Peeling plaster, cracks, vandalism, dust, soot, salt and loss of pigment have taken the toll on these exquisite paintings over the centuries. The shrine board had asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in January 2002 to carry out restoration work on the frescoes. After the board deposited Rs 1.21 lakh with the ASI for the purpose, the work started in May 2002.

The ASI had completed restoration of the frescoes on the Singh Dwar and partially completed work on the walls and ceiling of the parikrama. But last year the seepage started and even some of the restored frescoes were damaged.

Deputy Commissioner Neelam P. Kasni today said that the Engineer-in-Chief, Public Works Department, Haryana, had been asked to look for ways to save the paintings. She said they were also considering a proposal for a chemical coat on the walls and the ceiling of the parikrama. “So far, we have not been able to identify a chemical for the purpose. As an alternative, we are considering alteration of the structure of the roof, without harming the facade of the temple,” she said.

The sanctum sanctorum of the temple as well as the Singh Dwar have as many as 10 panels of these Kangra style frescoes, depicting mythological legends. While legends on goddess Durga as Asur Vardhini are depicted in most of these, paintings related to goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi can also be seen.



Bravery award for two children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Master Ramandeep Singh and Master Pawan Kumar of Ropar district have won the National Bravery Award - 2003 for saving the life of a child who fell into Bhakra Canal. They will receive these awards from the Prime Minister on the eve of the Republic Day.

The awardees will get financial assistance till they complete schooling under the sponsorship programme of the Council, says an official release.

The Child Welfare Council, Punjab, had sponsored their names to the Indian Council for Child Welfare, New Delhi. The selection was made by a committee comprising of various ministries, departments, non-government organisations and senior members of ICCW, New Delhi.



Only 415 families below poverty line in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
It seems that the Mohali township is inhabited only by rich people. While 415 families in rural Mohali have been found to be living below the poverty line (BPL), not a single family in urban Mohali has been found to be earning less than Rs 2,000 per month, the cut off income mark for the those living below the poverty line.

The final report of a BPL survey conducted by the local Municipal Council was submitted to the Deputy Director, Local Bodies Punjab today.

The report compiled by the Bharatiya Shahri Avam Gramin Vikas Sansthan, Kurali, gives the names and addresses of 415 families living in Mohali whose annual income is less than Rs 24,000. Majority of these families belong to the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes and are residing in the four villages that fall within the jurisdiction of the municipal council.

According to the survey, a large number of poor families are residing in Mohali village, the village that gave its name to the township. Among 124 below poverty line families residing here, the average monthly income is as low as Rs 1,200 per month. Only 12 of these families belong to the General Category, the rest belong to either the Scheduled Castes or Backward Classes. One family belongs to a minority community.

As many as 116 BPL families belong to Madanpur village. Here, the average income of these families is Rs 1,000. In Madanpur 23 families of the general category are living below the poverty line.

Matour village has 108 BPL families. Out of these only three belong to the General Category. The average income of these families is Rs 1,500 per month. About 68 families of Shahi Majra village are living below the poverty line. Out of these, 17 belong to the General Category and their average income per month is Rs 1,200.

The survey was conducted as part of a statewide campaign on directions of the Government of India is, however, full of flaws. The survey has taken no notice of the vast population of migrant labourers that reside in unauthorised colonies across the township. Even Guru Nanak Colony, that has an elected representative as councillor does not find a place in the survey.

Sources in the council pointed out that since these colonies were illegal, their residents could not be counted as residents of the township and did not fall within the preview of the survey. The sources added that a large number of persons living in Mohali’s industrial areas had not been surveyed since these did not fall within the council’s gambit. Similarly, those residing in the newly-developed sectors of the township from Sector 66 to 69 were not included in the survey since these sectors were not within the council’s jurisdiction.



Gate meeting by CHB employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board today held an emergency meeting and demanded solution to pending issues like pension, among other demands.

The CHB Employees Union said all members expressed resentment against the functioning of Mr KS Wahi, Chief Executive Officer, CHB, Chandigarh. The union alleged that the officials were against the welfare and interests of the CHB employees.

Many more issues relating to the employees were discussed at the gate meeting including that of the case of show-cause notices to three officials of the board, issued recently. Among the other demands were: Implementation of the pension scheme for board on a par with UT employees; Regularisation of the services of daily wage workers; reconsideration of current duty charge charges assigned to Executive Engineers and Subdivisional Engineers and framing a special scheme of rental houses and hire-purchase basis for board employees.



Wing Commander Lotta dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
City’s senior-most Air Force officer Wing Commander A.S. Lotta is dead. He had joined Royal Indian Air Force as an airman.

Expressing grief over the death of 93-year-old Lotta, serving and retired officers to the Army and the Air Force described his death as a great loss.



Talk on lifestyle management today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
Stress is a silent killer — and a complete session is devoted to talks on ‘Lifestyle management’ and how to beat stress during a two-day International Symposium on Lifestyle Diseases and Emerging Trends in Cardiac Care to be organised by the Fortis Hospital tomorrow.

Dr Achintya Moulick, chairman cardiovascular sciences at Fortis Hospital, said nearly 400 physicians from the region are expected to attend the symposium. Participants would be superspecialists in the fields of cardiology and cardiac surgery and endocrinology.

This session will focus on lifestyle diseases like stress, diabetes, obesity , how they are inter-related.

The second day would have discussions on ‘Emerging Trends in Cardiac Care’. 



Mohali couple held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
The Ludhiana police today arrested a couple from Mohali on charges of fleecing people by making false promises to send them abroad. James and Mercy, residents of Phase II, allegedly took Rs 4.5 lakh from Happy of Ludhiana promising to send him abroad.

Their link, Harold, was to be sent documents by Happy.

The Ludhiana police had lodged an FIR against the three on November 15 under Sections 406, 405 and 420 of the IPC.

Case registered

The police on Thursday registered a case in a theft at a sanitation shop in phase 11 that took place on October 3.

Shop owner Satish Kumar told the police that a burglary took place in his shop on October 3 after he had closed shop.

Sources said the thieves had decamped with stuff worth at least Rs 5 lakh.



3 held, smack seized
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 18
A house was reportedly burgled during day time yesterday, the local police said here today.

Jagpal Kaur, a resident of Sector 29 filed a complaint that some golden ornaments and other articles were stolen from her residence at around 1 pm yesterday. A case under sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Industrial Area police station.

Drugs seized

The local police has arrested three persons with smack from different parts of the city, yesterday, the police said here today.

Rajesh of Sector 25 was arrested with two grams of smack from near the cremation ground. A case under section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered in the sector 11, police station.

Toshi Penjor of Sector 9 was arrested with one gram of smack from near the cremation ground in sector 25. A case was registered in Sector 11, police station.

Liquor seized

Rakesh Kumar of Phase II, Industrial Area was arrested with 20 quarters of Hero whisky from near Singla Turn, last night. a case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of Excise Act has been registered against him in the Sector 31, police station.

In another incident, Kirpal Singh of Dharamgarh village was arrested with 48 quarter of Hero whisky. A case has been registered under Excise Act in the Sector 31, police station.



Suicide by youth
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
A 21-year-old youth committed suicide at TBRL Complex, in Ramgarh last night. He was found hanging in a room by the TBRL jawans early this morning.

The police says that the victim, Satish, was staying with his brother, Rajinder, who is a Head Constable at TBRL. Rajinder has reportedly informed the police that the victim was working with their elder brother, and that he was upset when he came back from work last night.

Rajinder has said that the victim went to his room last night. “I got up early in the morning, and went out for the parade at 6.30 am today. It was then that some jawan saw him hanging in the room, through an open window.” The police was called and a post-mortem examination was later conducted. The police has initiated inquest proceedings.



Five acquitted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
Two persons were injured when the auto-rickshaw in which they were travelling was hit by a Canter (HP-15B-0215) coming from opposite direction near Bir Ghaggar this morning.

The injured, Shambhu and Shanti Devi, were taken to the General Hospital from where they were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. The police has booked the driver of the Canter who fled from the spot.

One Arrested: Gautam was arrested on charges of stealing Rs 7,500 from the house of Mr J.P. Chopra. The latter had employed Gautam as a driver.

Acquitted: The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ms Sneh Prashar, acquitted Harjit Singh, alias Kala, Sajjan Singh, Sandeep Kumar, Surinder Kumar and Naib Singh on Thursday.

They were arrested from the Yavanika garden for planning a robbery at a liquor vend. A handgrenade and some country-made pistols were also recovered from them. The police had claimed that Harjit was a terrorist from Punjab. 



3 injured in accidents
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 18
An 18-year-old girl sustained injuries when a speeding car hit her near Sectors 27 and 28 intersection today morning.

According to the police, Puja, a resident of Sector 30-B, was crossing the road near the ITI turn when the car (CH-03-N-7781) driven by Pawan Kumar of Sector 20 hit her. The car driver is an engineer in a private company in Phase II, Industrial Area.

Puja’s was admitted to GMCH-32 as her leg got fractured in the accident. She works in a private company in Phase I, Industrial Area and was going to the office when accident took place. A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the car driver in Sector 26 police station. The police later released Pawan Kumar on bail.

In another accident, two persons travelling in a Sumo got injured when a truck hit the Jeep near Ram Darbar in Industrial Area, last night.

Masoor Reyad of Ram Darbar in a complaint lodged with the police said Shiv Kumar, the truck driver, hit his Jeep. Two passengers Mohamad Akbar of Ram Darbar and Som Nath of Hamirpur district sustained injures. They were admitted to the GMCH-32. 



Railways order on parcel goods irks industrialists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The ban on the booking of the parcel goods to the railway stations not having direct trains from Chandigarh and Kalka has put industrialists to a lot of inconvenience.

Industrialists allege that the ban had adversely affected the dispatch of consignments to various stations, as only a handful of trains originated from the city. The ban order, which came into force in February, is playing havoc with the trade in the region, they alleged.

According to Mab H.K. Sharma (retd), a Solan-based entrepreneur, his consignment of fruit plants was refused by the Railways authorities on the plea that there was no direct train to Dimapur (Nagaland). Since this was fruit tree-planting season in the North East, the ban would put small farmers at a loss, he added.

Mr Chanan Singh, a local industrialist, asserted that the Railways order ran counter to the efforts of the government to integrate various regions of the country. Since the trains were the common man’s medium for transportation, free flow of goods across the country would also bring revenue to the Railways, he said.

The reloading of the parcels at the intermediate stations was not permitted since February. The Railways sources claimed that this had been done with a view to streamlining the goods traffic flow.

Earlier, there were complaints of tampering with the parcels when they were unloaded and reloaded in the transit. Any decision on the issue had to come from the Railway Board, an official added.


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