C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mayor questions poll panel on code
Development work halts
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

After the imposition of the model code of conduct, development work has come to a standstill. This footpath in Sector 22-C, which had been dug up to lay tiles, is lying unattended.
After the imposition of the model code of conduct, development work has come to a standstill. This footpath in Sector 22-C, which had been dug up to lay tiles, is lying unattended. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 20
Imposition of the model code of conduct and the subsequent suspension of development work in the city has developed into a confrontation of sorts between the Congress-led municipal corporation and the state Election Commissioner

The Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, challenging the code, has shot off a letter to Mr S.K. Sandhu, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), who is also the UT Finance Secretary. The Mayor wants a clarification if the code has been imposed on the entire city or only in the ward where election is to take place.

The CEO is yet to give an answer. Sources in the Administration said the CEO could not handle this query as he was under the Election Commission of India and, therefore, could not challenge, question or sit in judgement over an order passed by the state Election Commissioner, Mr M.P. Tyagi.

The code has been imposed in all areas under the municipal limits of the city on November 9 when the byelections to ward number 11, comprising sectors 20 and 33, were announced. The code will remain in place till November 30 when the counting is done. This means other than revenue areas of the 17 villages which are not part of the MC, the entire city is covered under the code.

The Congress, on its part, is stung by the fact that all works, including those being carried out in areas which are not going to the polls, have stopped. The local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, said: “It was ridiculous to impose the model code of conduct in the entire city when elections are restricted to just one ward comprising two sectors.” He clarified that he was in favour of restricting the code to the ward which was going to the polls.

Mr Jasjeet Singh, a resident of Sector 22 C, where laying of tiles on the footpaths has been stopped, said: “I cannot fathom how some work in Sector 22 can influence the voter in Sector 20 or Sector 33.” Senior Deputy Mayor, Pardeep Chabbra, said: “We are helpless. Already three months had been lost due to the imposition of the code when the Lok Sabha polls were announced.

Development works relating to recarpeting of important roads, building of new green belts and laying of new tiles on footpaths have come to a standstill. MC officials have issued orders to stall all work till November 30. Also floating tenders for all new works has been stopped. Even works being done from the funds of the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) have been stopped. Some of the worst-hit areas are in Sector 22 where things have been left as they were after digging and also in Sector 38.



Vehicle population causes chaos on city roads
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Having the highest ‘vehicular density’ in the country, Chandigarh is fast heading towards a traffic disaster. City roads, especially, those within sectors, are nearly choked with moving and parked vehicles. The situation is alarming in many pockets of the city making travelling a nightmare. The city has touched vehicle density of one vehicle per 1.7 persons and the situation is getting worse.

Growth of vehicular traffic in the city has far surpassed the increase in human population. A recent report ‘State of Environment of Chandigarh - 2004’ says that while the human population in the city has increased a little over three times from 1971 to 2001, vehicle population during the same period had shot up by 42 times. Currently the city has over 5 lakh vehicles for a population of about nine lakh.

Incidentally the city has the ‘highest percentage’ of personal four-wheelers, and the highest percentage of two-wheelers in the country. Nearly 15.43 per cent people in the city own four-wheelers and 43.19 per cent are proud owners of motorized two-wheelers.

The 68.9 per cent people in the city who own bicycles are as responsible for causing traffic hazards as those travelling on two and four wheelers.

Inadequate proper public transport system is the single largest cause for the vehicle boom leading to congestion on city roads. Several proposals have been floated in the past, but none has seen the light of the day for reasons known to bureaucrats who handled those files.

One of the most significant recommendations till date came way back in 1999 from Crafts Consultants that conducted a study on behalf of the Chandigarh Administration and submitted a report titled “Comprehensive Transportation Plan and Mass Transport Related Options for Chandigarh Complex”.

The recommendation also had a futuristic plan for Chandigarh’s transport system that would use urban buses and a monorail to cater to the city’s population that is expected to touch 20 lakh by 2021.

Futuristic planning seems to be the last on the agenda of city bureaucrats, who have hardly ever involved any politician or public figures in finding a solution to the growing traffic. Most people agree that there is immediate need for widening of city roads and decongesting vehicular routes. Areas that cry for attention include the Transport Chowk, Piccadilly Cinema Chowk, Tribune roundabout, the Sector 26 Grain Market intersection, Railway Station traffic lights on the Madhya Marg, etc. There are several locations inside sectors where parking of vehicles on roads causes jams.

The city planners never anticipated that Chandigarh would one day overtake Delhi in terms of vehicle population density. Encroachments outside most houses are required to be retrieved and carpeted after putting telephone and electric cables underground. This will provide some space to the choked roads, especially in southern sectors and the sectors having a high population density and small houses.

Previous Governors, J.F.R Jacob and O.P. Verma got cycle tracks constructed in most parts of the city. But there is a reluctance towards using these by cyclists and rickshaw pullers. Cajoling, educating and penal action should be introduced to divert slow-moving traffic to these cycle tracks. This will reduce congestion on main roads considerably.

A move to put 120 urban buses with low-flooring on the road has been postponed indefinitely as the clearance for the purchase of the buses has been held up. These buses were scheduled to start operation from August 15 last and the objective was to provide people with an alternative means of public transport that would reduce private vehicles on roads. Similarly the long-pending plan for constructing flyovers is far from materialising. But for immediate attention, Chandigarh traffic is fast going the Delhi way.



Colonel Bains, son arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
The local police today arrested Col. Manmohan Singh Bains and his son Vikram Bains from near the Raj Bhavan. The police said they received an information that both of them were going to the Raj Bhavan.

The SHO of Sector 3 police station, Mr Bishwa Lal, said they were taken for interrogation regarding the case registered against them on a complaint filed by Ms Beant Kaur, wife of Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh and her sister Satwant Kaur. They were later taken into police custody.

The police recovered the passbooks and passports of both aggrieved women from their possession. A Fiat car (DEA-998) belonging to Beant Kaur was also recovered from a factory in Phase I, Industrial Area. Colonel Bains and his son will be produced in the court tomorrow.

A case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC was registered on a complaint filed by Ms Beant Kaur on November 9. She in her complaint had alleged that she and her younger sister, Ms Satwant Kaur, were tortured for over 10 years by her nephew, whom she had adopted when he was four years old. She had alleged that not only her nephew and his family occupied her Sector 3 house, but also took away all their belongings, including the cash and jewellery.



Battered widow meets Gen Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
India's first woman pilot and widow of Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh, Beant Kaur, who was allegedly tortured and maltreated by her nephew, today called upon the Governor of Punjab, Gen S. F. Rodrigues (Retd) at the Raj Bhavan here.

She was accompanied by her younger sister Satwant Kaur who was living with her and had faced similar treatment.

The two ladies narrated their tale of woe to the Governor and sought his assistance in overcoming their difficulties.

Their nephew, a retired Colonel, had been living with them since he was four years old. After retirement he came to stay with them in their Sector 3 house but gradually took over the entire house.

The ladies have alleged that all their belongings, including money and jewellery, have been taken away from them.

The police has registered a case against the nephew and his wife. Two days ago, a local court had rejected their anticipatory bail plea.



Roadways employee shot at
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
A 47-year-old Punjab Roadways employee was shot at twice by a person at Phase VIII bus stand here late last night. The victim, Mewa Singh, a resident of Dharamgarh village, was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, in serious condition. The accused fled away after committing the crime.

The incident took place just after midnight when Mewa Singh and the man had a heated argument over the parking of the latter’s scooter at the stand. Mewa Singh, who worked as a watchman at the scooter stand, asked for the parking fee from the man who refused on the pretext that he had parked his scooter outside the stand. The man was drunk and started shouting at Mewa Singh, according to Thakur Prasad, another scooter stand employee, who witnessed the entire incident.

The two started fighting and within no time, the man took out a revolver and shot at Mewa Singh. One bullet passed through his neck and the other hit him in the chest. Mewa Singh collapsed and started bleeding profusely. Before we could realise what had happened, the man immediately started his scooter and drove away, said Thakur Prasad.

The police rushed to the spot and shifted Mewa Singh to the PGI where he was operated upon last night. The bullets were removed from his body. The police said he was still not in a condition to give a statement and thus the identity of the person who shot at him was unknown. It added that the accused used to regularly park his scooter outside the bus stand. Mewa Singh and other scooter stand employees used to bring the scooters inside the stand in the night due to security reasons. This was what was objected to by the accused. Sources added that the police had recovered the parking slip that had the scooter number of the accused and would soon be able to nab him.

According to Mr Hardev Singh, Mewa Singh’s brother-in-law, Mewa Singh was employed as a driver with the Punjab Roadways but was shifted to scooter stand as a watchman due to health reasons. He underwent a major brain surgery five months ago, said Hardev Singh. He added that Mewa Singh’s wife Tripta and their three children lived at Dharamgarh village near Lalru.



Stay on brigadier's trial vacated
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Delhi High Court has vacated the stay imposed by it earlier on the trial of Brig Iqbal Singh by a General Court Martial (GCM) in the Tehelka case. The GCM commenced at Patiala on November 18.

Brigadier Iqbal Singh, who was among officers caught on video tape allegedly demanding and accepting bribes from fictitious arms dealers, had earlier moved the High Court, challenging his trial on various technical issues. Though the court was convened in April, its proceedings were held in abeyance till the High Court gave its ruling on the matter.

The General Officer Commanding 1 Armoured Division is the court's presiding officer, which has four other brigadiers as members. Brigadier Iqbal, who has now retired, was serving as the Prospective Procurement Officer at Army Headquarters when tehelka.com had carried out their sting operation. He had allegedly taken Rs 50,000 from Tehelka operatives posing as arms dealers.

With the commencement of this trial, the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the against officers alleged to have been involved in the scam have come a full circle.

Following the recommendations of the court of inquiry constituted into the affair, action had been initiated against six officers, including three major-generals.

Three officers were to be tried by separate general courts martial and administrative action was recommended against the other three.

The GCMs of Major-Gen P S K Choudhary is currently underway at Ferozepore, while Col Anil Sahgal is being tried at Chandimandir. The deposition of witnesses is underway at both these courts martial. Those who faced administrative action included Major-Gen Satnam Singh, Major-Gen M S Ahluwalia and Lieut-Col B B Singh.



Witness deposes in Tehelka case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Though the chargesheet against Col Anil Sahgal, who is being tried for professional impropriety in the Tehelka case states that he had asked his assistant, P. Shashi to hand over 27 documents to the Tehelka team, only 16 documents were handed over by Shashi when the sting operation was being carried out. The remaining 11 were made available to the witness by army officers during the court of inquiry.

Stating this while deposing before the GCM here today, prosecution witness Mathew Samuel, who had carried out the sting operation, said that these documents were later given to him by the prosecutor, Major Sanjay Sitanshu.

On being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Major K. Ramesh (retd), Mathews said that five more documents pertaining to the Weapons Directorate and not the Ordnance Services Directorate where the accused had been posted at that time, were provided to the Tehelka team.

During the cross-examination it was brought out that a statement purported to have been made by the accused, directing Shashi to open the almirah in his room and hand over documents, did not figure in the tapes screened before the court.

During re-examination by defence counsel, Mr Arvind Moudgil, the witness, on viewing the tapes, deposed that the accused had asked for money from the Tehelka team not only for himself, but also for Shahsi.



An artificial heart designed
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Two years from now, India’s first artificial heart would be available for thousands of patients across the country who are waiting for a heart transplant surgery. The indigenously designed and manufactured artificial heart would probably be the cheapest in the world, costing less than Rs 3 lakh. Currently, the most economical heart assist device or artificial heart is available for Rs 15 lakh, every component of which has to be imported from either the USA or Europe.

Spearheading the Indian endeavour is Dr K.R. Balakrishnan, Professor and Head, Department of Cardio Thoracic Surgery, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai. He and his team of scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Chennai, have recently completed designing the artificial heart. ‘‘We have applied for a patent on this design which I believe is one of the best in the world. The next step is manufacturing which should begin in two years,’’ he said.

Dr Krishnan, who was in the township today to deliver a lecture at an international symposium at Fortis Hospital here said although the problem of heart failure was increasing the world over, it was becoming acute among South Asians.

The artificial heart devices currently available are too expensive and available only as an elitist medical option in case of heart failure. As I see it, what we are doing has the potential to dramatically alter the way artificial hearts are manufactured and used.

Dr Krishnan also pointed out that the use of artificial hearts in India is yet to begin on a large scale. At Chennai, we have been able to sustain the life of a patient on an German artificial heart for nine weeks after which he was lucky to get a transplant. But unlike in the USA and European nations, we are not able to send a patient with an artificial heart home. The battery life of the device is four hours and with erratic electric supply in Indian cities, it could be dangerous to send the patient home. In the USA doctors are able to do it, he said.

Stating that an artificial heart is the only option available for heart failure patients as a bridge to transplant, Dr Krishnan added that in some cases, the heart regained functioning following the use of a artificial pump. But that happened only in select patients. Studies are going on to pinpoint those indicators that increase chances of the heart recovering in patients of heart failure using an artificial heart, he said. 



PIL filed in sexual harassment case
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
The High Court on Saturday issued notice of motion for December 8 on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a thorough probe into the recent alleged incident where two lady schoolteachers had alleged that their Principal had sexually harassed them.

Saying that no action had been initiated against the Principal, Mr Jaswant Singh, even after one of the teachers, Ms Manju Sanghi, had levelled serious allegations against petitioner World Human Rights Protection Council said that it was ironical that the UT Administration as also the Managing Committee of Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, had not initiated any action against the Principal.

The petition has been moved through Council Chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal.

The petitioner has prayed that till investigation in the two FIRs registered by the UT Police in this regard are completed, the accused Principal should either be suspended or sent on leave or removed from his post.

The PIL also prays that in view of the increase in such incidents, directions be issued to the UT Administration to set up an effective complaint committee to deal with all complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Among those to whom notice has been issued are UT DPI (Schools), UT Education Secretary and the managing committee of the school where the alleged incident took place.



Bharat Thakur — a new age yoga guru
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
An iconoclast and entrepreneur par excellence. That’s the new age yoga guru, or rather exponent — Bharat Thakur. From taking the message of the yogis meditating in the Himalayas to the creme de la creme of the society, Thakur’s artistic yoga has become a fashion fad for the well- heeled.

For a man who spent 14 years meditating in the Himalayas, he has come a long way from being a renunciate to a man of the world. He does not believe in holding yoga shivirs, but teaches his brand of yoga in specially crafted studios. Unlike the sadhus teaching yoga, while wearing their saffron robes, he is immaculately dressed in jeans and tees. Irrespective of the fact that his classes are expensive, his list of disciples keeps on growing.

Bharat Thakur was in town to announce the setting up of a yoga studio in Sector 34-A, Chandigarh. The studio will be inaugurated by Ms Gul Panag on November 26.

Ask him about his transition as a corporate, and he has no qualms when he admits,”... but this is how the science of yoga will grow. If you want the world to respect and accept yoga as a science for the complete well being, you have to commercialize it. In any case that is what the other so-called sadhus are doing.”

By no standards is this an over-rated statement. With clientele that includes the who’s who of the corporate and glamour world — from Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Lara Dutta to corporates like Sunil Bharti Mittal — Thakur’s yoga studios have a long wait list in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. Those aspiring to take his artistic yoga classes in Mumbai have to often look for references to get an enrollment.

With yoga being the hottest fitness regimen all over the globe, Bharat says that his artistic yoga is evolved using the scientific principles. “I have evolved it on the scientific lines, as I am a trained physiologist with Masters in Lakshmibai National College of Education, Gwalior. That is why I teach yoga as an exercise, and help my disciples develop a lean and athletic body.” He says that he has developed as many as 40,000 passive stretches —Nyas Kriya — and developed over 100 forms of pranayam.

But is he not often accused of spoiling the traditional yoga techniques, we ask. “No, I have just changed the way certain kriyas in yoga are to be performed, so that they do not cause any harm to the body. For example, no other yoga instructor teaches warming up before the exercises. Also, the traditional way a suryanamaskar is performed could lead to tearing of ligaments and back aches. So, I have just made it more comfortable to perform,” he says. He adds that he has brought yoga as he learnt it from the traditional yoga masters, and offer it as a module programme to his disciples, based on the scientific aspects.

“Strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and agility are the five elements of yoga, and after years of research, I am teaching them to my disciples, “he reiterates. “The biggest problem of the 21st century is emotional stress and falling apart of relationships. That is why we also teach meditation, which is missing from most traditional yoga classes,” he says.



India has edge over China in knowhow: Agarwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
India has a clear advantage over China when it comes to technology and qualified manpower, said Mr S.C. Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Government of Punjab, while inaugurating a seminar-cum-exposition on recent trends in cutting tool technology at CII today.

There is a need to now take this advantage to the cutting edge level and to ensure that the benefits of technological advances are available to all levels of industry — small, medium and large. There is also a need to focus on the SSI sector since access to technology and markets are the two major issues facing this sector because of lack of in-house R and D competence and outsourcing technology proving to be too expensive for these units.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr F. Tsurumaki, General Manager, Overseas Operations and Marketing, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Japan, said Foreign Direct Investments into China and India have been growing in large proportions and this trend is likely to continue over the next few years. India and China are expected to become major sourcing bases for many multinational companies.

The mood of the Indian industry is visibly upbeat. In particular, the success of Indian auto component manufacturing and its export is now known internationally and in this scenario, the machine tool and cutting tool industry have also been striving to cope with the changes in the Indian and global requirements in manufacturing technology and manufacturing processes.

Also, since the business for cutting tools and machine tools is largely driven by the automotive industry and with the industry doing so well, this year in particular has seen a growing demand for new generation machine and cutting tools which can produce faster and better components.

Mr R.P. Sehgal, Convenor, CII Manufacturing Technology Panel, spoke about the lack of emphasis on technology and R and D in Indian industry as the main reason for its non-competitiveness. An exposition showcasing the latest technologies is also being held during the two-day period.



Trenches on internal roads prone to mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
The Citizen’s Welfare Association has decried the lack of coordination between Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Municipal Council (MC) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which has led to digging of trenches on internal roads in Sector 15 here.

The association has alleged that as against the rules, the various telecom companies, laying their cabling system, have dug up the side of the roads where the sewerage system has been laid.

The rules specify, that for the necessity to lay out cables or pipes the road side where water system has been laid, should be used.

Mr S.K. Nayar, president of the association, alleges that the B-road (near house number 500 -527) has been dug up for the fifth time in the last three years by BSNL (where the sewerage system is laid) in order to lay their cables. “Trenches are dug in a haphazard manner and no space is left, in case the sewerage system has to be opened,” he said.

He alleged that the trenches were dug in Sector 15 in October, but till date these trenches had not been filled, nor had the curve channeling been set right. “This has made the road, accident prone. Many a times, stray cattle and dogs have fallen in these trenches, and even human life is in danger,” he said.

He alleged that though the residents of Sector 15 have approached both the HUDA officials and the MC officials for repairing the roads, nobody has come forward. While HUDA maintains that the road has been transferred to MC, the latter says that HUDA still maintains the B-roads.

The association has now urged the Deputy Commissioner to take immediate steps to ensure that no mishap occurs here because of the trenches.



Sonia behind seer’s arrest, alleges VHP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Giving a new twist to the ongoing controversy over the arrest of the Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today alleged that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leader and Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, was behind the whole show.

The arrest was a part of the conspiracy hatched by the UPA and the Tamil Nadu Governments against Hindus to control the Rs 5,000-crore Kanchi Mutt property, the VHP working president, Mr Ashok Singhal, told reporters here without elaborating on the role of Sonia Gandhi.

Going into the background of the arrest of the seer, Mr Singhal alleged that Ms Shashikala, a close aide of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalitha, wanted to buy a hospital which had been taken over by the Mutt management.

Terming the allegations against the Shankaracharya as “false”, he said the agitation launched by the Hindu organisations, led by the Akhara Parishad, would continue till he was released. A call for a “Bharat bandh” had been given by the VHP on November 22 to press for the immediate release of the Kanchi seer, he added.

Meanwhile, addressing a “chintan shivir” organised by the Sanskritik Gaurav Sansthan, Mr Singhal said casteism was the most serious challenge before the society and efforts should be made to get rid of this malady.

The all-India president of the sansthan, Mr S.C. Dixit, said the individuals should keep in mind that rights and duties were the two sides of the same coin. A former Punjab DGP, Mr P.C. Dogra, detailed threats to the Indian security from the terrorist outfits, saying that a close watch should be kept on their activities.

A columnist, Ms Sandhya Jain, said the communists contested the elections to get power although they seemed to be having no faith in the democratic process.



Local BJP unit protests against seer’s remand
Our Correspondent

Members of the BJP at a dharna in front of Luxmi Narayan Mandir, Sector 20, Chandigarh, on Saturday protest against police remand of Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt.
Members of the BJP at a dharna in front of Luxmi Narayan Mandir, Sector 20, Chandigarh, on Saturday protest against police remand of Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt.— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 20
Protesting against the police custody remanded to Jayendra Sarswati, Shankarcharya of Kachi Math, the local unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party staged a dharna in front of Laxmi Narayan Mandir in Sector 20, here today.

The protestors raised slogans and criticised the Tamil Nadu government for implicating the swami in a false case.

While addressing a gathering Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former MP from here, said the Central Government in connivance with the Jayalalitha government implicated Jayendra Sarswati in a false criminal case. Moreover, the Tamil Nadu police forcibly took three days police remand for the Swami thus insulting scores of Indians. Mr Jain also expressed his concern about the shabby treatment given to the swami.

Mr Yash Pal Mahajan president of the Chandigarh unit of the BJP, said arrest of Jayendra Sarswati indicated a clear conspiracy of the Central Government and Government of Tamil Nadu and political parties like the DMK and the Congress. He said the Indian society would not tolerate this sheer insult of its swami.

Besides the BJP workers, many senior party workers including Mr Purshotam Mahajan, Mr Ramvir Bhatti, Mr Girdhari Lal Jindal and Mr Sanjiv Gupta were also present there.



Bandh call to protest against seer’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal have given a call for bandh on November 22 in protest against the arrest of Kanchi Sankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswati.

A number of advocates of the district court here termed the arrest as an “attack” on Hinduism.

The advocates appealed to public to defeat the forces, which were trying to disrupt the social and cultural fabric of the country.



Four committees to oversee sanitation, streetlights
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
Deputy Commissioner Panchkula district Ms Neelam P. Kasni has formed four committees of officers to assess sanitation conditions and streetlight maintenance in Panchkula.

Ms Kasni asked the officers — SDM V.K. Dahiya, DDPO Maheshwar Sharma, City Magistrate Vandana Disodia and District Revenue Officer H.S. Sihag — to check all four zones carved by the Municipal Council for the maintenance of sanitation and streetlights in the township. She has also asked the officers to check if the sanitation contractor has employed 100 safai karamcharis for each zone.

The Deputy Commissioner gave these instructions at the Open Darbar, organised by the district administration at the Sector 9 Community Centre today. A number of complaints of insanitary conditions in various parts of the town were received in the open darbar. Ms Kasni said that she had formed four committees, with one officer and an Executive Engineer in each committee. She asked the committee members to submit a report at the earliest.

A delegation of residents of Housing Board Colony, Sector 15, led by Mr Ashok Narang, complained that the Municipal Council was favouring some while removing unauthorised constructions from houses in the colony. The DC asked the SDM, and MC Secretary to visit the area and see that no unauthorised construction was spared. “We will go ahead with the demolition drive, and the road alignment will be done by removing unauthorised constructions,” she reiterated.

Ms Kasturi Devi, councillor from Kharag Mangoli, complained that a large number of encroachments had come up on HUDA land. The councillor alleged that though she had taken up the matter with the Estate Officer HUDA, no efforts were made to remove the illegal jhuggis. Ms Kasni instructed the Estate Officer to remove all new encroachments on government land. In another complaint regarding encroachment on roads in village Railla, she asked the HUDA and MC authorities to take up the matter on priority.



Red Cross approves scheme for senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The managing committee of the UT Red Cross Society today approved a scheme for helping senior citizens in depositing their electricity and telephone bills, provide medical treatment, legal assistance and upgrade their computer skills to correspond with their near and dear ones.

The package will be offered to those who wish to avail these services and were ready to pay a monthly service charge of Rs 200 per month.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman, UT Cross Society, Mr Arun Kumar, said the Red Cross would soon make the details of the scheme public and added that the scheme would only be launched it was able to enroll 150 senior citizens.

The State Aids Control Society, Chandigarh, has entrusted the UT Red Cross Society to launch the project of Community Care Centre for those affected by HIV\AIDS. An AIDS hospital would become functional by January.

Similarly, a clothes bank has started functioning. Everyday it receives clothes from well- to- do families and from Shimla and other neighbouring towns.

A camp will be organised on December 4 in which the wife of the UT Administrator and Punjab Governor will distribute clothes among poor.



Sikh jatha leaves for Pakistan
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
An 85-member jatha of Sikhs from Mohali today left on a ten-day tour of Pakistan. The jatha was flagged off by Mr Hardeep Singh, member, Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Mohali, from the Amb Sahib gurdwara, Phase VIII, here this morning.

Mr Hardeep Singh said the jatha was part of a 5,000 member jatha from across the country that would be visiting the historical Sikh gurdwaras in Pakistan. The jatha would be celebrating Gurpurab at Nankana Sahib.

The jatha from here is being led by Mr Swaran Singh Bhullar along with Mr Surjit Singh Matharoo and Mr Jaswant Singh. The jatha would go to Pakistan by train and return on November 30.

Mr Hardeep Singh demanded that the Government of India should try to make the process of getting visa to Pakistan for religious visits.

‘‘A facility for visa should be opened at Amritsar so that everyone does not have to travel to Delhi for the visa formalities.’’ he said.



Shobha yatra to be organised today
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 20
A shoba yatra is being organised by Shri Vaishno Seva Mandal in the town tomorrow.

Mr Manoj Aggarwal, a representative of the mandal, said the yatra would start from Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Phase XI in the morning and culminate at the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Phase III B 2 in the afternoon. A 32 feet high rath had been prepared for the yatra. Prominent religious personalities from Rishikesh, Vrindavan and Amritsar had reached here to take part in the yatra.



Readers write
Improve health scheme

The Central Government Health Scheme launched in Chandigarh in 2001 has failed to take off. There is only one dispensary for the entire Union Territory and the satellite towns of Mohali and Panchkula. Even this lone CGHS dispensary (in Sector 45) is not fully equipped to handle even a fraction of the task assigned to it. The number of doctors and dispensary staff is inadequate and they are overworked.

A senior official of the CGHS Directorate in Delhi should come and see things for himself and make the scheme a little worthwhile.

S.P. Singh, Chandigarh


A major demand relating to balconies has been rejected by the Chandigarh Administration. This has shocked most of the “marla” house owners. A balcony, which is 1/3 the width of the courtyard, can never project out on the street. It remains well within the front courtyard. Secondly, if this balcony, measuring about 3 ft and at a height of 10 ft, can harm the open character of the city, then what about car porches which extend right up to the street?

Old sectors of Chandigarh and houses of the Chandigarh Housing Board already have 3 ft to 4 ft balconies.

It appears that rejection of the demand is unjustified and discriminatory. The Administration should reconsider the demand along with other changes recommended. 

Capt Joginder Singh, Chandigarh

Naming sports complexes

In Chandigarh certain public places have been named after individuals. The Central State Library in Sector 17 has been named after librarian Tarlok Singh and the Rose Garden in Sector 16 after the late President, Dr Zakir Hussain.

To give a boost to sports, I have suggested to the Adviser to the Administrator, the Secretary, and the Deputy Commissioner, that the Athletics Club-cum-Sports Complex of Sector 7 should be named after “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh, the Cricket Stadium in Sector 16 after Kapil Dev, the Lawn Tennis Stadium in Sector 10 after former Asian women’s lawn tennis champion and Magsaysay Award winner Kiran Bedi and the Hockey Stadium in Sector 18 after Olympian Dharam Singh.

Narinder Singh “International”, Chandigarh

Plying of trucks

I have been commuting on the road leading from the Transport Area chowk to the Dhillon Complex, Mani Majra, for the past few years. Traffic has increased manifold on this stretch resulting in a number of accidents and traffic jams. This also results in fuel loss and increased pollution.

In order to bring about an improvement, trucks should not be allowed on the road from 8.30 am to 11.30 am and from 5 pm to 8.30 pm. During these periods, the trucks can ply on the Zirakpur road.

Abhilash Kapoor, Panchkula


Chandigarh Tribune has been highlighting the woes of residents due to encroachments by shopkeepers, pheriwalas, etc. In Panchkula’s Sector 10 market opposite the main bus stand, eating joint owners make use of parking spaces with impunity. A wine shop nearby attracts many customers and the owner places chairs and tables for them in the parking area after sunset. Families visiting the market find it hard to park their vehicles.

Is all this authorised? If yes, then the owners of booths and rehriwalas should also be allowed to carry on their business wherever they please.

Dinesh Goyal, Panchkula

Bus queue shelters

‘‘Light chowk’’ on Madhya Marg, from where roads lead to the railway station, Kishangarh village, Modern Housing Complex and the proposed IT park, is a busy area. Local buses stop there. Those who are to board the buses have to wait in the open.

It is unfortunate that nobody has ever thought of providing bus queue shelters at this place although hundreds of government officers and politicians pass through the area daily. It seems the plight of the waiting passengers does not come to their notice or they deliberately ignore it.

The Administration should construct shelters at this crossing on priority as a special case. If the Administration does not do so, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, should get these built with his LAD funds.

T.R. Goyal, Chandigarh



Cash, valuables stolen from Sector 12 house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
A .32-bore pistol, about 20 cartridges, gold ornaments and some cash were stolen from a house in Sector 12 here last night. The owner of the house, Ms Shashi Prabha Aggarwal, advocate, was away to be with her son in Ujjain and the house was locked.

The police says that the burglary was first noticed by a maid servant this morning. She was asked to stay in the house and keep a watch while the owner was away. The maid noticed that the window pane of the drawing room in the house was broken and she called the police.

The police found the entire house ransacked and informed Ms Aggarwal. Her son is an IAS officer posted in Ujjain and she is expected to reach here tomorrow. The police has picked up the maid and her husband for questioning.

One killed: A scooterist, Shyo Ram, was killed and his daughter was seriously injured when their scooter (HR-03A-2610) was hit by a speeding truck (HR-03-8322) at Pinjore this morning. The victim was reportedly on his way to drop his daughter at the HMT bus stand when the bus hit the scooter from the rear. The truck driver fled from the scene.

Two arrested: The police arrested two juveniles from Sector 7 on charges of stealing some parts of the streetlights on the road dividing Sectors 7 and 8. The two brothers, aged 13 and 12, are residents of Mauli Jagran. The police recovered the parts — kit kats — worth Rs 15,000, from them.

Two injured: A 50-year-old man, Inder Ram, was seriously injured at Khet Parali, Morni, when a tractor he was driving overturned. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Panchkula, and later referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. In another incident, a scooterist, Mr B.K. Kataria, received head injuries when his scooter was hit by a speeding Zen car on the road dividing Sectors 2 and 6. The police says that after he was hit by the car, he flew off the scooter, and landed on another car coming from the other side. He was rushed to the PGI and is stated to be serious.



Two held for stealing mobile phone
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
Two persons were caught red-handed while trying to steal a mobile phone from a shop and two houses are reportedly burgled, according to the information released by the police, here today.

Mr Jatinder Singh of Baltana village in Patiala district and Gurnam Singh of Phase II, Mohali were caught red-handed while stealing a mobile phone from a shop in Sector 44-C, yesterday. Avtar Singh, the owner of the shop caught the thieves and later handed them over to the police. The police said, Jatinder Singh is married and is a three wheeler driver.

A case under Sections 380 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them in Sector 34, police station. The police also recovered the stolen property from their possession.

Mehraj Hasan of Mori Gate Mani Majra filed a complaint that one colour TV, one ceiling fan and one cycle were stolen from his house during November 13 to 19. A case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Manimajra police station.


In another incident of burglary, Mr. Padam Singh of Sector 44 reported that one gas cylinder, cloth, cash Rs 2,000 and some other articles were stolen from his house last evening. The police said the thieves entered the house by breaking the locks. A case has been registered in the Sector 34 police station.

Chain snatching

Three incidents of snatching were reported in the different parts of the city, today.

Ms Preeti, a resident of Sector 40-B reported to the police that her gold chain was snatched by two scooter borne youths at around 3 pm. She informed the police that she was going to Gurdwara when at a lonely place.

The two youths came and snatched her chain. There was no body on the street at that time. She raised the alarm but in vain. She further said that the colour of scooter was green, bearing number CHD-6568. One youth was clean shaven while the other was wearing a turban was riding pillion. She said he was the one who snatched the chain.

A case under Section 382 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 39, police station.

Ms Santosh Joshi of Shimla filed a complaint to the police that a scooter borne youth snatched her hand bag containing some cash and a mobile phone, from Sector 10-A, while she was going on a rickshaw.

She informed that the incident occurred at around 11:30 am. The police has registered a case in the Sector 3 police station in this regard.

In another incident, Ms Nitu Singh of Sector 34 filed a complaint that a scooter borne unidentified youth snatched her purse at around 12:15 pm on Sector 7-8 dividing road.

She was going in a rickshaw with another woman when the incident occurred.

Her purse was containing cash Rs 500 and two ATM cards. The women informed the police that everything happened so quickly that they even failed to note the registration number of the scooter.

A case has been registered in Sector 26, police station.



4 truckloads of consumer items seized
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 20
The police raided a house in Balongi village, near here, today and seized four truckloads of consumer goods and other utility items which the owners had claimed were to be sold at half the cost. The police suspected that those running the business, amounting to crores of rupees, would have fled duping customers of their money.

The persons involved in the alleged racket fled before the raid of the police. However, a few sales girls were rounded up for questioning from the house where the business under the name of Jai Lakshmi Super Agency was being run.

Mr Rakesh Agrawal, SP, said the items seized during the raid included TV sets, refrigerators, coolers, utensils and bicycles. He estimated that the cost of the goods was between Rs 3 to Rs 4 lakh. He said the suspects had been delivering goods to customers at half the cost, but the payment in this regard was received 15 days in advance. However, a few complaints had been received by the police that goods had not been delivered as promised.

He said the police was not able to arrest anyone in this connection as the suspects had fled the village when a complaint about the alleged racket was made to the police by a mediaperson. He said the business had been going on for about 15 days. He allegedly the suspects were luring said innocent persons into their trap by offering irresistible bargains and he claimed that those running the business would have fled after a few days duping people of lakhs of rupees.

It is learnt that people had been making a beeline for the house in the village to strike a bargain. The offers began with small items like utensils. Two police personnel are reported to have bought two motor cycles from the agency.

The SP said a case under Section 420 of the IPC and the chit fund law would be registered in this regard.



Flesh trade racket busted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
The local police today busted a flesh trade racket by arresting a pimp and two girls allegedly involved in it. A decoy customer was sent by the police with marked currency notes to nab them.

The police said it had received information about Rajesh Kumar Arora of Mithan Lal street in Muktsar district, who was into the business of supplying girls for prostitution in Sector 35.

The police said it laid a trap and engaged Mr K.K. Kapoor, Member, Social Welfare Advisory Board, UT, with the raiding police party. As per the plan, a decoy customer with marked currency notes was sent to approach the pimp to arrange for girls. After negotiations, a “deal” was fixed and the “customer” handed over currency notes to Rajesh Kumar and the girls. Rajesh Kumar then handed over the girls to the decoy customer in exchange for the money. The police party that was watching the whole affair conducted a raid and arrested Rajesh Kumar and the two girls. The marked currency notes were recovered by the police from their possession.

Police sources said both girls on interrogation revealed that they belonged to Lajpat Nagar and Jahangir Puri in New Delhi. They said that Rajesh Kumar used to hire them in the city on a monthly and share basis. They were also given “commission” as per the paying capacity of the customer. They added that they were into this trade for the past about 15 days and had been to the city on earlier occasions also.

The police further said that Rajesh Kumar had hired a house in the city where he kept the girls. He fixed the deals on his mobile phone and supplied the girls from his rented accommodation. The police has impounded a Maruti Zen car (CH-01-R-3426), which was used by him to ferry the girls to the customers.

A case under Sections 4, 5, 7 and 8 of the Immoral Trafficking Act, 1956, was registered in the Sector 36 police station.



Minor abducted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 20
A resident of Janta Colony filed a complaint that Mehak Singh, a resident of the same locality had abducted his minor daughter on October 25. The police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC in Sector 11 police station.

Liquor seized

The local police has arrested two persons from different parts of the city, as per the information released by the police here today.

Shyam Singh of Kajheri was arrested from Sector 43 and Suresh Kumar of Dadu majra Colony from the same locality. The police seized 15 nips of Chandigarh No 1 country wine and four bottles of Rocket Whisky from their possession respectively.

Two cases have been registered against them under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act in Sector 36 and 39 police stations.



Woman’s chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
A cycle-borne youth snatched a gold chain from a woman in Sector 10 late this evening. The police say that the woman was standing outside her house in Sector 10, when a cycle-borne youth approached her with a visiting card on the pretext of knowing an address. As the woman’s attention was diverted, the cyclist snatched the gold chain and eloped, informed the victim’s husband, Mr Pramjit Singh.



Big city units keep away from trade fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
A large number of big industrial units of the city have kept away from the India International Trade Fair at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan even as Chandigarh has been allotted its own pavilion for the first time.

Only 22 out of about 2,000 functional units manufacturing various products here turned up for the country’s largest exhibition to display their products at the annual trade fair that began on November 14 and will conclude on November 28.

Director Industries H.S. Khandola admitted that most of the industrial units in Chandigarh were not interested in displaying their products at the exhibition. Giving an explanation, he said that many units in Chandigarh were export-oriented, while some had an established market of their own, thus they don’t go for the trade fair.

Earlier, Chandigarh used to be clubbed with other Union Territories in one pavilion which did not attract many visitors.

Units in Chandigarh export up to Rs 70 crore annually and this does not include another Rs 70 crore by way of software exports.

A total of 22 units which exhibited their wares in the Chandigarh pavilion were receiving hundreds of visitors on Friday when The Tribune visited the place. Among the products on display include healthcare and gym equipment, home products, toys, clothes hand-crafted pottery and fibre glass items.

The Administration is charging Rs 1,000 as rent for the entire duration of the fair and the products were transported there free of cost.


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