C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Thousands held up in traffic jams on highway
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, December 1
Commuters were today held up in massive traffic jams as the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi stretch of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway has been closed to vehicular traffic for three days following damage to a portion of the third span of the Ghaggar bridge at Bhankharpur village, near here. However, two wheelers are permitted to cross the bridge till the repair work starts.

Thousands of motorists and passengers, who were unaware of the closure of the road, got trapped in traffic jams for hours together.

* Mr Har Ashok Sharma, Executive Engineer, PPWD (B and R), said, “Mild tremors felt in the city recently probably damaged the bridge.” He said the number of vehicles crossing the bridge daily had increased manifolds. At present over 74,000 passenger cars crossed the bridge daily.

* Toll-tax contractor of Railway over bridge in Dera Bassi suffered huge losses as heavy vehicles were diverted from Dera Bassi to the Barwala-Panchkula route.

Vehicles heading towards Ambala from Chandigarh were diverted to the Zirakpur-Rajpura highway while traffic heading towards Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh was diverted to the Dera Bassi-Barwala-Panchkula-Chandigarh route. Motorists had to take a detour of about 30 or 40 km travelling on these alternative routes.

A cavalcade of vehicles that was to join Yuva Garjana rally at Chandigarh was also stranded in the jam. They took kutcha village link roads to reach their destination.

Senior officials of the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI), Ministry of Surface and Transport, Building and Roads wing of the PPWD and some experts from the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) inspected the damaged part of the bridge. Those who visited the site included Mr Ashok Sood, Chief Engineer of NHAI, Mr S.K. Marwaha, Superintending Engineer of the ministry, and experts from various government engineering departments.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Har Ashok Sharma, Executive Engineer of the PPWD (B and R), said two tie-beams of the span had also been damaged. He claimed that half portion of the span sank because of the ‘dislocation’ of four bearings. He said all old bearings of third span would be replaced.

He said the damaged span would be repaired by J K Builders, a Yamunanagar-based company, under the supervision of the PPWD authorities.

Over 50 workers would carry out repair from tomorrow, he added.

Mr P.K. Kalia, Sub-Divisional Engineer of the PPWD (B and R), said an adviser from the Delhi-based head office of the NHAI would visit the site in a day or two and following his suggestions the repair work would be taken up.

Meanwhile, auto-rickshaw operators did brisk business transporting commuters from either end of the bridge to Zirakpur bus stop and to Mubarikpur and Dera Bassi.



Non-bailable warrants against Hooda’s son issued
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 1
A local court today issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Deepinder Hooda, son of former Haryana Pradesh Congress chief Bhupinder Hooda, in a dowry harassment case .

Judicial Magistrate, Ajay Aggarwal, directed the police to submit the report on serving of these warrant s on January 19. The police said that they would serve these warrants through the US Embassy, so as to initiate extradition proceedings against Deepinder Hooda.

A case of harassment for dowry was registered against Mr Bhupinder Hooda, his wife, his sister in law and Deepinder, by the latter’s wife, Dr Geeta Grewal earlier this year. Other than Deepinder, all other accused have secured bail. Deepinder is in the USA for the past over one year.

The police had filed an application for seeking arrest warrants against Mr Deepinder Hooda on October 29. The judge then ordered the police about the status of the warrants issued earlier, and asked them to file a reply on November 5. The police, however, failed to appear before the court on November 5, and again approached the court on November 7. They were given the next date of hearing for November 30, and had again failed to present themselves before the court.



Rs 50,000 returned to owner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
A post office employee, Mr Krishan Gopal could have lost a fortune had it not been for the honesty of Sector 19 restaurant owner and staff. Unmindful of his belongings Mr Gopal, after collecting his order from the restaurant at 8 pm tonight, left his bag at the counter.

About 15 minutes after he had left, owner of the restaurant Mr Arun Batta and his cousin Mr Ashok Wadhwa spotted the abandoned bag at the counter.

When enquiries by them in the restaurant yielded no results, they began searching the bag for any detail of its owner. To their surprise they found the bag contained Rs 50,000 and valuable documents including a Life Insurance Corporation policy. The LIC document bore address of the holder Mr Krishan Gopal who still seemed oblivious of his loss.

Restaurant owners, however, wasted no time in intimating Mr Gopal about his misplaced bag. A stunned Krishan Gopal rushed to the restaurant and recovered his belongings which could have been lost forever, but for honesty! He had withdrawn Rs 50,000 from his account today.

The money was meant for marriage.



‘Killer carriers move freely on city roads’
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Constabulary of the Chandigarh Police deputed on city roads has been doing well in terms of checking traffic violators on two and four wheel vehicles. It is impossible to evade a traffic policeman by a scooter or motorcycle rider without a helmet or a person in the front seat of a car without a seat belt. But there is no law enforcement whatsoever for three-wheel cycle rickshaws and ‘rehris’ that carry pipes, glass, iron rods, etc threatening human lives on the roads.

Several people have lost their lives; many have suffered grievous hurt from protruding pipes and jutting glasses. But an accident from a ‘migrant labour’ driven ‘rehri’ is taken to be quirk of fate. Steel sheet, sharp as a razor are ferried from one part of the city to another on open carts.

There are provisions in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 to make the roads safe, but for reasons best know to the police, these traffic violators simply do not exit. Incidentally, the Motor Vehicle Act does not apply to vehicles driven by humans or animals.

A shopkeeper in Sector 47 who lost his son after his scooter was hit by a bus while trying to dodge one such ‘rehri’ coming from the wrong side is candid in his opinion, “the policemen cannot make any money from such poor rickshaw pullers, nor can they issue them any challan, so why should they waste their time stopping them from moving on the road”.

Similarly, there have been cases here where people have lost their fingers or suffered deep cuts after hitting into cycle rickshaws ferrying huge sheets of looking glass or glass for doors and windows of construction site.

In the absence of any directions to the enforcement staff on the roads, the traffic policemen do not even bother to prevent slow moving ‘rehris’ from entering the road from the wrong side or moving in heavy traffic.

In many case the long pipes or the heavy iron rods almost make it impossible for the rickshaw or ‘rehri’ puller to negotiate sharp turns with load that is at times as long as 20 feet. During the evening, it is impossible to make out the jutting load by any passer-by. This is the time when most fatal accidents take place. Such protrusions have caused many deaths, including that of a young and bright upcoming lawyer some years ago.

It is ironic that the traffic police doe not allow three people to sit on a cycle rickshaw, but when it comes to the same vehicle to carry load that is overflowing from all ends, they simply turn a blind eye.

In case of trucks and other load carrying vehicles, the weight they can carry are fixed, but for these slow moving vehicles, sometime horse carts too, there is no limit on the laden weight.

Plying of cycle rickshaws is governed by the Chandigarh Cycle Rickshaws (Regulation and Control) Byelaws, 1960, amended later in 1997. The byelaws says that “no person shall keep a rickshaw either for plying on hire or private use and shall not ply the same without a proper licence issued by the Estate Office”, but flagrant violation continue.

Rough estimates put the number of license issued at about 10 per cent of the total number of rickshaws and ‘rehris’.

As per the law, it is mandatory to have a licence and medical fitness certificate for a rickshaw/‘rehri’ puller who should be between 18 and 50 years of age.

The rickshaw must have a lamp and reflector. A cycle rickshaw cannot have a load of more than 20 kg with two persons.

But the ‘rehris’ carrying iron sheets and pipes have a load in tonnes. The byelaw authorises a Assistant Sub Inspector to challan the rickshaw puller. Besides this another law that governs the carts on the roads is the Chandigarh Hand Cart (Control and Regulation) Byelaws. 1975. But this law too is not implemented properly.



Punjab to field big contingent for Republic Day parade
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate will be fielding the largest-ever contingent for the forthcoming Republic Day Camp (RDC) in the New Delhi.

The contingent will comprise 170 cadets, including 34 girls and six riders. What adds to the contingent's size this year is the inclusion of a full-fledged 44-member boys' band.

Earlier, the largest contingent used to be from the Uttar Pradesh Directorate which sent around 140 cadets.

This is for the first time that this directorate is sending a full-fledged band to the RDC. The band, comprising cadets from Sainik School, Kapurthala, will be the only NCC boys' band to march on Janpath. The other NCC band would be the girls' band from Pillani. Last year, this directorate had sent a "truncated" band comprising a few cadets, who had joined up with cadets from other directorates to make up the full complement of a marching band.

The decision to send a full- fledged band could be made only a few days ago after the Punjab Government released the much required special funds for the dresses and mufti for the band.

Training and preparation for various competitions at the RDC is in full swing.

"The directorate had achieved the fifth position in 2004, a marked achievement over previous year," Brig D S Dhillon, Deputy Director-General, NCC, said. "This year we are striving to further improve our performance," he added.

Apart from militarised competitions like drill, firing and obstacle courses, emphasised is being laid on grooming cadets for cultural activities. "We have hired experts from Kalagram and the North Zone Cultural Centre for the purpose," Brigadier Dhillon said. Cultural competitions like group and solo songs and dance and national integration presentations form an important aspect of the competition and overall grading.

Assistance of the world renowned creator of the Rock Garden, Mr Nek Chand is also being taken to conceive and prepare a thematic design for the line area competition.

Brigadier Dhillon said that another initiative taken this year was a personality development capsule for cadets identified for participating in the best cadet competition. It includes inculcating effective communication skills and brushing up on general knowledge and current affairs.



Formation commanders’ conference held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Western Command Formation Commanders Conference was held here today, where operational and administrative matters pertaining to the western sector were discussed.

Besides senior officers of Western Command, the conference was attended by general officers commanding, various field formations, the Delhi Area and Sugar Sector. The conference was chaired by the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh.

Later, the General presented the Army Commander’s Inter-Formation Sports Championship Banner for 2004-05 to the Golden Ram Division. The banner was received by Major-Gen T.P.S. Bakshi. The Golden Key Division was the runners-up during the sports meet, which involves competitions in 12 disciplines.

Meanwhile, The Air Force Station, Thoise, was declared the best Forward Base Support Unit of the Western Air Command (WAC) during the recently concluded WAC Commanders Conference.



December 1 is World AIDS Days
Rodrigues for systematic approach to tackle AIDS
Ignores prepared speech, speaks extempore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Underlining the need for a systematic interactive process and practical approach for tackling AIDS, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), said that the menace was not confined to a particular section but was a matter of societal concern and needed a solution at the societal level.

Speaking extempore at the function to mark the “World AIDS Day’’ today, the UT Administrator, however, candidly remarked that the official speech draft given to him by the Health Department officials pertaining to AIDS was not to his satisfaction and that he had decided to share his views directly at the function. “My way of working is direct and I would expect you to share with me the concern and guide us in certain areas,’’ he appealed to the audience.

The Administrator appeared critical about the role of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the city. “We have 12 intervention programmes and five education programmes currently running in the city. We, however, have to ask whether we are doing enough. Each meeting has to be interactive and systematic,’’ he said.

Stressing on the need of periodic evaluation and regular monitoring of the AIDS Control project, General Rodrigues said that we must modify the plans to effectively control the disease. He said the HIV/AIDS situation was alarming not just in India but also in the entire world and it would require commitment and expertise to fight it.

Former Chief Secretary Punjab and Chairman of the Board of Voluntary Organisations, Mr P.H. Vaishnav, also raised the demand for a separate fund for carrying out various developmental activities.

The UT Administrator, while taking a round of the exhibition of posters and charts, interacted with the NGOs and inquired about a number of issues. Unable to get the consistent figure about the AIDS epidemic from various NGOs, General Rodrigues said they should be clear about their facts.

Secretary Finance and Health, S.K. Sandhu stressed on the empowerment of the women and girls to fight the dreaded disease. He said 33 vaccines are currently under trial in 19 different centres in the country and in the absence of any cure, knowledge and awareness about the disease were essential.

Director Health Services, UT, Dr C.P. Bansal, welcomed the guests and Project Director of the State AIDS control Society, Chandigarh, proposed the vote of thanks.



Ministry sanctions free AIDS drugs for only 200 city patients
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Even as the much-awaited free anti-retroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS patients is likely to start this month at the PGI, a large chunk of HIV positive patients availing treatment in the city would still be deprived of the free drugs.

The reason: the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which has included the PGI among the 25 other centres in the country for making the expensive ART (starting from Rs 1,200 per month to more than Rs 10,000 per month) available free of cost, has sanctioned free drugs for only 200 patients when, despite high dropout rate, nearly 600 patients are currently taking medicine for HIV/AIDS.

"We are getting the free stock of ART drugs for 200 patients for the next six months by the WHO. We are expecting the medicines to be made available any time this month," says the Director of the State Aids Control Society, Chandigarh, Dr N. M. Sharma.

The three hospitals in the city — PGI, GMCH Sector 32 and General Hospital Sector 16 — have 1,027 AIDS patients and more than 4000 people are HIV positive in the city. By making the medicines available only for 200 patients, all AIDS patients alone would not be made available the free treatment, leave alone other HIV positive cases.

The AIDS patients, HIV positive pregnant women covered under the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme in the ante-natal clinics, all children below the age of 15 and those HIV positive patients whose CD4 and CD8 count is less than 200 would be eligible for free treatment.

Meanwhile, no specific criteria is laid down on how to identify the 200 needy patients and it would be up to the doctors attending on HIV positive patients to decide who should be given the free medicines. Income could be one of the important but not the only criterion. The patients who are enrolled with either the GMCH-32 or GH-16, apart from being treated at the PGI can avail the medicines free of cost once the scheme is actually implemented.

The exorbitant cost of the ART is already leading to patients opting out of the treatment in hospitals like the PGI, where more than 80 per cent of the patients do not go in for medication.



Special camps on AIDS awareness to be organised
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 1
The Haryana Minister of State for Health, Dr M.L. Ranga, today said that special camps would be organised to create awakening among the people, especially truck drivers, about the causes and preventive measures of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

The Minister was addressing a press conference today after flagging off an AIDS awareness rally comprising 1000 school students on the occasion of World AIDS Day. He said dhabas in Murthal in Sonepat district and Kurukshetra had been told to participate in an AIDS awareness programme, and literature about the disease would be available here. An awareness camp will be organised at Murthal shortly.

The Haryana AIDS Control Society had also provided condoms free of cost to truck drivers and at dhabas so as to make people aware that unprotected sex was one of the causes leading to HIV and AIDS.

He said that 24 persons had so far lost their lives due to AIDS in Haryana. At present, 40,000 HIV positive cases in Haryana, and 385 had full-blown AIDS. Since those suffering from HIV or AIDS were not coming forward for the diagnosis of the disease for fear of social stigma, the health department had started tele-counselling by the Haryana AIDS Control Society. For seeking any information in this regard, one could ring 94160-56789 or 94160-66666.

With a view to create an awakening about HIV and AIDS among students, teachers had been specially trained to impart sex education to students of class ninth and XI in 1200 schools in the districts of Panchkula, Rewari, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Hisar, Kurukshetra and Karnal. The programme would be further expanded in a phased manner. He urged the people to take blood, whenever required, only from authorised blood banks and not from professionals as it might be infected.

He said that a community care centre for the rehabilitation of patients of AIDS had been set up at Yamunanagar where they were being provided all basic facilities. Also, counselling centres had been set up in all districts of the State to help those suffering from AIDS.

He also released a quarterly newsletter titled ‘Chetna’ in English by the Haryana AIDS Control Society so as to create an awakening about HIV and AIDS among people. He directed the project director of the society, Dr B.S. Dahiya to bring out its Hindi version to benefit a large number of people. The Minister also launched a website of the Haryana AIDS Control Society which can be logged in at haryanahealth.nic.in/hacs.htm.



Awareness programme on AIDS held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 1
The Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Mohali, organised an awareness programme on HIV/AIDS on its campus today on the occasion of World AIDS day. More than 200 students participated in the programme. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dildar Khan, director-in charge of the sansthan said there was a need for the youth to understand the issue in proper perspective. “HIV/AIDS is a social problem which also has economic and ethical dimensions. There are many myths and misconceptions about the issue which lead to discrimination against those afflicted with the disease,” he said.

Mr Anand Mohan Sharma, programme officer of the sansthan in his presentation explained various ways through which HIV spread. He also explained the precautions to be taken against the infection.



Sub-Registrar divested of work
Golden Forests Group case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 1
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, today withdrew all work from the Sub- Registrar in the Tehsil office, Mr D.N. Malik, for allegedly registering the sale deed of a property belonging to the Golden Forest Group of Companies.

An inquiry was ordered against him today, and action against the Tehsildar, Mr Vidya Sagar Bathla, will be taken tomorrow. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Kasni said she had asked the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijinder Singh, to conduct the inquiry into the entire episode, as no property belonging to Golden Forests could be sold or purchased, following a high court directive.

A showroom in Sector 11, owned by Golden Projects, a subsidiary of Golden Forests, was reportedly sold off for Rs 2.4 crore. The Deputy Commissioner today also asked for the registration deed to be impounded as it was undervalued.

Ms Kasni said the sale deed had been registered by Mr Malik, after he reportedly received a reply to an inquiry made to the Liquidator appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to decide the claims of the investors in Golden Forests. The letter, reportedly written by the Liquidator, says that the property (a showroom in Sector 11) does not fall under the purview of the properties that cannot be sold off. “We will also inquire if any such letter has been written by the Liquidator or on his behalf, as the letter furnished by the Sub-Registrar appears to be fake,” she said.

Meanwhile, action against some officials in the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is also likely to be taken for issuing No objection certificate (NOC) for selling off the showroom in Sector 11. Unconfirmed reports said work from an official, who issues the NOC for sale of commercial property, had been withdrawn.



Meeting discusses ways to deal with stray cattle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
To address the problem of stray-cattle, the local bodies of the city and adjoining towns, today, decided to earmark areas for cattle-pounds in their respective jurisdictions.

At a first-ever meeting held at the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and attended by representatives of the Municipal Council, Mohali and Panchkula, Notified Area Committee, Zirakpur, it was decided that registration of dairies would be made mandatory as also the registration of new-born calves.

The representatives were of the view that stray cattle on the roads primarily came from nearby villages. To check this release of cattle every evening, the local bodies decided to hike the fine for any cattle caught roaming in the streets.

The Mayor Ms Kamlesh, said that this had been done to discourage villagers to let their cattle free for grazing in the cities. She said that the representatives were also unanimous in their opinion that steps should be taken to seal borders of their districts and sub-divisions against stray cattle.

The panchayats in nearby villages would also be involved in the exercise of controlling stray cattle. “The panchayat would be given the responsibility of ensuring registration of calves and educating the villagers against leaving their cattle in the city to graze,” Ms Kamlesh said.

While the committee decided to punish anybody caught leaving stray cattle on the roads along with a fine, anybody giving information of such a person would be duly rewarded, she stated.



LIC dev officers resent decision on conveyance allowance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The development officers of the LIC under the banner of National Federation of Insurance Field Workers Of India is surrendering their vehicles purchased on loan from LIC of India for performance of official duties in protest against the unilateral withdrawal of the scheme of ‘Additional Conveyance Allowance’ on 1st of December’2004. The day is observed as strike with the entire 19400 Development officers staging a ‘Dharna’ before all Divisional offices, Zonal offices and Central office to protest against the unilaterally issued scheme of Incentive Bonus which is adversely affecting the entire class of Development officers and destroy LIC in the long run.

The development officers had taken a interest free vehicle loan for the very purpose of better activity in the market. The decision for a loan was based on the facts that 1. FCA and ACA were paid to Development officers, 2.The loan was interest free, and 3. Income tax exemption at source was granted for a specific amount for a four wheeler and the rest based on proof of spending could be claimed from the ITO.

The conditions for Additional Conveyance Allowance apart from fixed conveyance allowance was based on productivity in terms of Total Scheduled First Year Premium Income. This meant that for more productive working in the field, proportionate travelling expenses in the form of ACA was introduced. This was introduced in 1973 to avoid across the board increased Conveyance allowance( like the concept of productivity linked incentive which is increased wages subject to productivity).

The perquisites are levied for interest free vehicle loans which is solely used for official purposes of Insurance marketing. The management has not given any relief to development officers whereas they have absorbed the burden of Class I by introducing scheme VI.

Now the management has removed the provision for ACA and Income tax exemption at source. This is totally a breach of trust and shredding off, the responsibility on the part of the management in granting expenses to an employee for traveling in the field to conduct marketing activities. This has made the movement in the market very difficult and this will also adversely affect the good business performance exhibited so far, for which the management is solely responsible. It is unreasonable and unfair on the part of management to expect the Development officers to meet the expenses for the running and maintenance of the vehicle which is increasing every day , from the personal income . The managers are given expenses by LIC and even agents are allowed up to 50% of their income as expenses exempt from income tax. This also reflects a negative and unprofessional attitude of the management towards the development officers.

The prevailing basic conditions prior to 31.08.2004 for expenses of vehicle, on which the vehicle loan scheme was designed has been unilaterally withdrawn by the LIC management . This situation for which the management is solely responsible has compelled the development officers to return the vehicle back to the management for a consideration of the entire value of the vehicle minus the outstanding vehicle loan.



Temperatures to drop sharply
Rains not to last beyond 48 hrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Changes in weather are only beginning to surface. Over the coming week, many alterations are expected, including a major drop in the day and night temperature. Rains that lashed the region yesterday will also depart within the next 24 or at the most 48 hours. As for yesterday’s rainfall, Bhuntar in Himachal Pradesh recorded the highest of 14. 1 mm while Chandigarh recorded a meager 1 mm.

Speaking to the Chandigarh Tribune today, Mr R.D. Singh, a weather expert from the Indian Meteorological Department, Delhi, attributed rains and windy conditions in the NW zone to a western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir.

Saying that the snow in upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh towards the beginning of December was a natural phenomenon, Mr R.D. Singh, said rainy conditions would not persist beyond 48 hours, though snowfall may occur in Himachal Pradesh. “After about 48 hours, day and night temperature in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi will fall significantly,” he added.

Another reason for changes in the weather is the cyclonic circulation extending upto 4.5 km above mean sea level and an induced upper air cyclonic circulation extending up to 3.1 km above mean sea level over north-east Rajasthan. Snow in the higher reaches of Himachal is being propelled by these factors. The department has also warned isolated pockets in HP of heavy snow and rains.

Meanwhile in the NW region that includes Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh, Bhuntar received the maximum rainfall of 14. 1 mm today. Chandigarh received 1 mm while Ambala and Karnal received 0.5 mm of rainfall. Shimla and Rampur recorded 3.4 mm and 1.6 mm rainfall respectively.



Traffic held up for one hour
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 1
Traffic on the Phase II and Phase IV dividing road was held up for over an hour following an accident that involved a bus and three cars. No one was injured in the accident.

The accident took place early today morning when the bus of a private college was picking students. The bus was parked in the middle of the road. A car coming at a high speed hit the bus and two others following banged into each other.

The cars were badly damaged but none was injured. The police said the traffic coming from behind the accident site remained blocked for 45 minutes till the cars and the bus were cleared from the road. The police has registered a case and impounded all vehicles.



Students to the rescue of a hapless father
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Resident students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), today, donated Rs 6,000 to the father of a kidney patient at Panjab University, here today. Residents of hostel number 3, these students collected the money by selling waste-paper collected from departments of the campus.

The warden of the hostel, Dr Mohd Khalid, said that the students had got together to form an association, Ayushnay Bandana, which would collect money for all such causes. Starting with a membership of 300 students, the organisation would have representation from all the departments of the campus.



UT powermen’s dharna today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
UT Powermen have decided to stage day-long dharna before the office of Electricity Department Operation Division 3 in Sector 19-B in support of their long-pending demands against the Electricity Act 203. They have also urged the Indian government to scrap the Electricity Bill 2003.



MLA suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Congress MLA from Beri, Dr Raghbir Singh Kadiyan, was suspended from the Assembly for the rest of the session here today.

Dr Kadiyan wanted to speak on the controversial Bill seeking to advance the panchayat elections when he entered into a heated exchange with the Deputy Speaker, Mr Gopi Chand Gahlot, who was in the chair. After Dr Kadiyan made certain personal remarks about Mr Gahlot, the Deputy Speaker named him and ordered him to leave the House.

After Dr Kadiyan left the House, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Prof Sampat Singh, moved a motion for his suspension, which was carried out by voice vote.



Toll contractor suffers loss, turns violent
Scuffles with cops
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 1
A toll collecting contractor of the Dera Bassi railway overbridge turned violent last night and allegedly fired three shots after he suffered a huge loss due to the closure of the highway.

Jagdeep Singh, director, R.S. Builders, a construction company which had constructed the overbridge on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway in Dera Bassi, allegedly turned violent and fired three shots from his licensed pistol after policemen stopped him at traffic light point at 10.30 pm.

Police sources said Jagdeep Singh along with his friend Mr Prabhjit Singh of Delhi was going towards the railway overbridge, to review the situation at the toll collecting centre, when the incident took place.

Policemen, who were diverting the traffic towards Rajpura following the closure of the Ghaggar bridge at Bhankharpur village, urged Jagdeep Singh to take an alternate route. At this he turned violent and started arguing with the policemen on duty.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, Dera Bassi, said Jagdeep also scuffled with policemen and fired three shots from his .32 bore pistol. While one bullet accidentally pierced through the front door of his car (CH-20T-3189) the two shots were fired into the air.

The policemen, however, managed to overpower him. He was arrested on the charges of assaulting a public servant and disrupting him from performing duty.

A case under Sections 353, 332, 336, 186 of the IPC and the Arms Act has been registered against Jagdeep Singh at Lohgarh police post on the complaint of Gurdeep Singh, a constable. The car has been impounded.

He was today produced before a Rajpura court and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.



Body identified
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Chandigarh Police has identified the person who was allegedly murdered and dumped near the Railway track in Adarsh Nagar, Manimajra. His body was found yesterday.

The person has been identified as Mahesh (30) of Charan Singh Colony. Mahesh, who was unmarried, was staying with his parents in Charan Singh Colony. According to his parents, he had left home on Monday at 7 pm and did not turn up. His body was discovered yesterday with injury marks indicating that the man was murdered and dumped near the railway track.

Mahesh was working as a labourer and usually picked up job works. He was cremated today after his post- mortem examination. The police has not yet got a clue about either the suspect or the motive of his killing. 



Firm’s employee remanded in police custody
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 1
Mr Pavan Kumar Dhawan an employee of Shivalik Prismo here, who was booked for allegedly defrauding the company worth Rs 5.93 crore yesterday was arrested today and sent to one day police remand.

According to the police, the general manager, owner of the company, Mr Arjun Anand had complained to the police that Pavan who was working as a senior marketing executive with the company had in connivance with an accomplice in Gurdaspur sold products worth Rs 5.93 lakh.

The FIR stated that Pavan had allegedly facilitated the selling of goods to Gurdaspur-based company R.K. Construction. The company reportedly gave a fake bank guarantee to Shivalik Prismo Limited. After the goods were dispatched it was realised that the bank guarantee was fake. When the company officials tried to contact the R.K. Constriction officials, it was found that the address given by the company was also fake. When contacted Mr Arjun Anand said he did not want to talk about the matter.

The person representing R.K. Construction who had contacted Pavan Sharma for the products has also been booked by the police.



Computer snag denies salary to bank staff
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 1
A snag in the computer system of the State Bank of Patiala, Sector 7, here did not allow employees of the district administration to get their salaries on the pay day today. The employees, posted in various departments, said that when they went to withdraw cash, and also to deposit money from the treasury, they were told that transactions had been withheld because of 
the snag.

Bank officials, however, said that they had allowed for cash transactions and payments in the afternoon, but could not make transfer entries. By the evening, the snag had been detected and rectified, and all transfer entries were made.



Verka to distribute dividend, bonus
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 1
The Verka milk plant here would distribute dividend and bonus worth Rs 78 lakh to various milk producers and cooperative societies of the plant tomorrow.

According to the General Manager, milk plant Mohali, Mr Balwinder Singh, over 800 such societies affiliated to the plant would be given the dividends and bonus.

Mr Balwinder Singh added that Milkfed had managed to survive the competition it had faced due to globalisation and liberalisation over the past few years.

“What we are going to give to the farmers tomorrow is over and above the competitive price that has been paid to them throughout the year for the milk supplied by them,” he said adding that the societies would then be dividing the amount among member farmers.


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