C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Traffic diversion adds to villagers’ woes
Highway may open today
Bipin Bhardwaj

Dera Bassi, December 2
Absence of a suitable alternative road connecting Chandigarh with Ambala and Delhi has hit the flow of traffic. Link roads have failed to cope with heavy volume of traffic that has been diverted to alternative routes following the closure of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway for repair at the Ghaggar bridge. The normal flow of vehicular traffic on the highway is expected to be restored by tomorrow evening.

Diversion of heavy vehicles to these narrow and damaged roads has not only inconvenienced the passengers but also residents of villages through these vehicles passed.

Clouds of dust have engulfed scores of villages along kutcha roads that have been used by thousands of vehicles as alternative routes for the past three days.

Besides having bumpy rides, passengers and motorists got trapped in frequent traffic jams on the link roads.

A visit by the Chandigarh Tribune team to these routes revealed that a majority of village roads were being used by long-route vehicles and goods carriers. Unable to bear the heavy volume of traffic, many roads had caved in.

There was a traffic jam on the Banur-Lalru link road after a truck carrying gravel from Lalru to Rajpura had broke down in Manauli village. The condition of this kutcha road from Manauli to Lehali village was so bad that thick clouds of dust had almost engulfed the entire area.

Similar was the condition of the Ramgarh-Mubarikpur link road being used by thousands of vehicles, including long-route buses, bound for Ambala and Delhi. Because of the closure of a bridge on a seasonal rivulet, Mendkli, the traffic moved at a snail’s pace on a temporary road near the Ghaggar bridge.

Earlier, a Haryana Roadways bus got struck in deep potholes and a link road made by the building and roads wing of the Punjab Public Works Department (PPWD) was blocked.

Mr Chand Rana, Sarpanch of Mubarikpur village, complained that the dust raised by vehicles had been a cause of concern for the villagers since long but the problem had compounded since the highway was closed.

“Plying of vehicles has been causing me huge losses as the dust has covered everything in my shop,” lamented Mr Bhag Singh, a vegetable vendor of Manauli village. “Our village roads were already in a bad shape. Now heavy vehicles have damaged them completely”, said Mr Harinder Singh, president of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Club of Boota Singhwala village, near Banur.

  • The PPWD (B and R) has failed to start the repair work on the Ghaggar bridge even after the third day of damage to its third span. Mr P.K. Kalia, Sub Division Engineer, however, claims the bearing under the span will be replaced tomorrow and the traffic would be restored by tomorrow evening.
  • A consultant of the PPWD from Delhi also inspected the damaged portion of the bridge.
  • Following the closure of the Zirakpur-Lalru stretch of the highway, schools, colleges and other government institutions witnessed a thin attendance. Government school teachers who reside in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur and teach at Mubarikpur, Dera Bassi, Dappar, Lalru and Ambala have gone on leave. Students are missing schools because of ‘undeclared’ holidays.
  • Office-goers reach their offices two or three hours late.



Ban on burning foliage, only on paper
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Despite the possibility of a strong punitive action against the violators, burning of leaves and grass continues in many parts of the city causing environmental pollution and posing a health hazard.

It is sad that while young schoolchildren were holding an anti-pollution rally in Sector 7 today, barely a few yards away, men of the UT Administration were setting uprooted grass on fire by pouring diesel, oblivious to the harm caused to the environment.

And what is worst, the labour said that they were under instructions from their superiors in the PWD Department to perform this act for which the department officials also supplied the labourers with a can of diesel. Burning of grass and leaves all through the year is banned in the ‘City Beautiful’.

It was quite a contrasts for newsmen clicking young children to see that they were carrying placards educating the elderly about the abuse of the environment on the one hand and the adults causing pollution by defying the ban. Almost the entire stretch from Madhya Marg to the Golf Club was enveloped in smoke emitting highly toxic gases, besides reducing the visibility to almost nil. The prevailing fog-like conditions made the visibility even worse.

The grass that was being burnt today was earlier plucked from the cycle track on the road. One wonders what prompted the PWD officials to issue instructions to burn the grass when the department has so many vehicles to ferry grass and other foliage to the dumping areas. The fire from the grass has also damaged the newly planted trees in the vicinity of the burning grass.

The Municipal Commissioner was pulled up by a former Governor of Punjab, Justice O.P. Verma, for allowing the burning of leaves in the open. Following the former Governor’s instructions to take punitive action against those indulging on burning leaves and grass, the MC, in turn, had chargesheeted one of its Sanitation Department drivers for allegedly asking his sweeper colleagues to burn tree leaves, causing air pollution. The sweeper, too, was suspended for burning leaves in Sectors 8 and 9.

Burning of leaves and grass has had serious repercussions in and around the city by not only affecting the health of asthmatic patients, but also by causing a fire in Panchkula last year. Despite orders from various courts, including the apex court, to stop environmental pollution through the menace of burning leaves and grass, many officials continue to remain unaware of the environmental hazards involved in this and have been using this as a convenient way to dispose of foliage.

In Chandigarh, Dadu Majra is earmarked as a dumping site. But there, too, burning of leaves has caused smoke hazard for the residents of the area.



Students put queries on AIDS in drop boxes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
For students and staff members of Government Senior Secondary School, Dadu Majra Colony, spreading awareness of AIDS means much more than taking part in slogan-writing and painting contests.

Acting as peer groups, the activists are sensitising the schoolgoing population of the colony which is considered as one of the most susceptible colonies to the AIDS threat. Police records show the menace of drugs and drug-related crime is on the higher side in the colony.

Basically, the school caters to the children of rag pickers, bazigars and other low-income groups.

Knowing well that drug addicted youth could be potential carriers of AIDS, the authorities at the school hit upon a novel idea of answering the queries of inquisitive students on the issue. Drop boxes labelled as “AIDS Control Box” were placed at different points on the school premises wherein the students could put in their queries without mentioning their names.

“We did on stress on students mentioning their names, especially the girls, so that students from the susceptible sections of society could come forward with their queries and suggestions,” said Mr Pitamber Lal, Vice-Principal of the school.

To ensure that all queries were addressed, the school authorities address these during morning assembly. “We found that when the drop box was opened every Saturday, there were around 50 queries. These are children who see something objectionable in society or in their relations and want to be clear about it.”

Further, a group of students of Classes XI and XII went for training at the GMCH, Sector 32, and were now acting as peer groups in spreading awareness of AIDS. After interacting with doctors and experts, these children try to clear some of the basic confusion and misconceptions about the threat.

Contributing collectively, a group of students from Classes VI, VII and VIII conducted a survey of the barber shops in the colony to ensure that they were using the right procedure for shaving and hair cut, checking the spread of the disease.

The children of rag pickers, who attend the evening classes under the Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan, are being sensitised on not picking used injections and other surgical equipment from dumping sites around the city.



SDM catches tout tampering with official papers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) Varinder Dahiya today caught an alleged tout in the licence and registration office while he was tampering with official documents.

Mr Dahiya said he caught Shiv Kumar in the office at around 7 pm when he went there on a surprise check. “For the past couple of days, I had been seeing three persons near the office on my closed circuit camera. I suspected them to be touts. Today, I left office at around 6.30 pm and within 10 minutes I returned to the office,” he said.

Mr Dahiya said he parked his car at some distance from the office and walked quitely towards his office. “Inside, I found the employees and Shiv Kumar, who was holding some files and tampering with official documents. I immediately called the police and handed over Shiv Kumar to them. The public dealing time is up to 5 pm and he had no business inside the licensing branch,” he said.

The SDM said he would also conduct an inquiry against officials of the licensing branch. In case they were found to be involved in the tampering of files by the tout, action would be taken against them.

Mr Dahiya appealed to the residents not to encourage touts. He said with the computerisation of the licensing branch, he had brought in transparency in the working there. “We need people’s participation to keep a check on touts as well as corrupt officials,” he said.



Tehsildar’s powers withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Collector, Ms Neelam P Kasni, today withdrew all powers from Tehsildar, Mr Vidya Sagar Bathla, for his alleged involvement in registering the sale deed of a showroom owned by Golden Projects, a sister concern of Golden Forests.

Mr Rupinder Singh, Naib Tehsildar Lai Mai, has now been vested with the powers for all registration work in the Tehsil office.

The Deputy Commissioner had withdrawn all powers from the Sub Registrar-cum-Naib Tehsildar, Mr D.N. Malik yesterday, after he registered the sale deed for the showroom in Sector 11.

No property belonging to Golden Forests could be sold or purchased, following a High Court directive.

The sale deed for the showroom in Sector 11, owned by Golden Projects, was registered for Rs 2.4 crore.

The Deputy Commissioner had asked for the registration deed to be impounded as it was undervalued.



Krishan Mohan to be Home Secretary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The appointment of Haryana Health Secretary Krishan Mohan as Home Secretary of Chandigarh has been cleared by the Union Home Ministry.

However, Mr Krishan Mohan, when contacted, said that he had not yet received any order in this regard.

Mr Krishan Mohan was the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh between 1987 and 1991 when terrorism and agitation against the Mandal Commission recommendations were at peak. The 1977-batch IAS officer has been Director Public Relations of Haryana thrice and has also been Excise and Taxation Commissioner of Haryana.



Admn disallows MC to use corpus fund
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
The district administration has refused to allow the Municipal Council the use of its corpus fund for carrying out development works in the town, till the local body furnishes the details of Rs 7.34 crore spent by it during this financial year.

The Municipal Council has already exhausted Rs 7.34 crore, and had submitted a revised budget plan to the administration for approval. The council had sought permission for use of its corpus fund of Rs 8 crore, for carrying out development works for the remaining part of the year.

The administration has, however, raised objections and has asked the council, if the matter has been discussed in the General House of the council. “These are public funds, and we have just sought accountability from the council. With repeated complaints about substandard work and inability of the council to perform, we have to exercise restraint in allowing them the use of another Rs 8 crores of public money,” says a senior official.

The money, it is learnt has been spent on carrying out development works in the town, including recarpeting of C-roads, development of parks, maintenance of street lights, sanitation and rounding of stray cattle. A major portion of the money has also been spent as establishment cost.

With the administration unwilling to relent till it gets details of money spent by the council during this financial year, almost all development works to have been undertaken by the council have come to a stand still.

Though tender for the repair/recarpeting of B- roads was allotted in the first week of November, the work has not begun because of the local body has no money to buy bitumen for the job. “We cannot go ahead with the repair of roads because we have no money. With the winter fast approaching, we will be unable to do the work for another two months, as road carpeting is not done in winter months,” says a senior MC official.

However, the administration says that the dismal condition of development works undertaken by the MC point that the money has gone down the drain. A majority of the roads that have been recarpeted in the town over the past six months have huge craters; piles of garbage can be seen at most places, and several internal roads in the residential areas are not cleaned for days at a stretch.

As many as 67 parks (of a total of 204) have been developed by the MC so far, but the swings and benches installed at these public parks have come apart within days of being installed here.

Street lights on most of the sector- dividing roads in the town are defunct and stray cattle can be seen everywhere, not only spoiling the aspect of the city, but also posing a threat to commuters.



MC to introduce night-sweeping in Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Shortage of toilets and encroachments by rickshaw pullers and beggars was identified as the reasons responsible for insanitary conditions in Sector 17. Next month too, the Municipal Corporation will introduce night-sweeping in the sector to give it a cleaner look.

This was decided at a meeting held between the Mayor, Ms Kamlesh, and the market welfare association of the sector, here today. The chairman of the Sanitation Committee, Mr Chandermukhi Sharma, said to make night-sweeping a success, the shopkeepers would be required to put dustbins outside their shops.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Pradeep Chhabra, assured the delegation of the market welfare association that build-operate-transfer (BOT) toilets would be made in Sector 17 on priority basis.

Appealing for cooperation from the members of the association, the Mayor said any drive initiated by the department has to have the support of the public as well.

She said the MC would address the problems of inadequate street-lighting in the coming days.

To save wastage of water at night, the Mayor said the “Water Lock System” would also be introduced in the market.



Sector 4 residents allege extortion by association
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
The residents of Sector 4 here have alleged that the office-bearers of the Friends South East Association — an association of residents in the sector — are extorting money from them on the pretext of providing sanitation in the area.

Led by Ms Nancy Bhaskar, the residents alleged that they were forced to pay Rs 100 per month to the garbage lifter here, though the rate charged elsewhere in Panchkula was Rs 20 per month. “The office-bearers are siphoning off the money, as they pay only Rs 1,500 per month to the garbage lifter. We tried to employ another person for collecting garbage, and also got two garbage bins placed here, but they did not allow the other garbage lifter to work, and forced the Municipal Council to take away the garbage bins,” alleged the residents.

However, the office-bearers of the association have denied the charges, and claim that money for providing sanitary services is being wilfully contributed by the residents. “Of the 70- odd residents in the area, only 35 houses are paying Rs 100 per month. This money is meant for lifting of garbage, cleaning road berms and paying salary to the watchman.

Whatever money we then save, is used for the joint Holi and New Year celebrations each year. We have not forced anyone to pay up,” says Mr Sushil Kaushal, general secretary of the association.

He added that the accounts of the association were duly maintained and could be scrutinised.

The residents also alleged that they were forced to pay Rs 1,000 each, on the pretext that the money would be spent for erecting gates at the entry and exit points in the area. “Three years have passed, but no gates have been erected. If we question them, they say that the money has been utilised in the community parties (at Holi and on New Year’s eve),” they said.

Mr Kaushal, however, said the money was collected as registration fee from the residents, and that they have deposited the same as Fixed Deposit in a bank.



Bhatti gets threatening calls from Western UP and Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Satirist and film personality Jaspal Bhatti has allegedly received threatening calls recently.

Bhatti has reported the matter to the Chandigarh Police.

Mr Bhatti has been provided security by the Punjab Police following the calls he allegedly received. The Chandigarh Police said it had not yet provided security to the satirist.

SSP Gaurav Yadav, when asked, said, “I got a complaint from Bhatti and it has been sent to the Crime Branch for investigation.” He further said, “The police has taken the matter with all its seriousness and is looking into it. No case has yet been registered as the matter is still under investigation.”

The sources in the police said that the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police had issued notices to Bhatti’s business partners to join the pre-case registration inquiry.

The alleged threatening calls were made from phone number 0120-3948976 on November 9 on Bhatti’s mobile phone. Before this, Bhatti’s wife got a call from phone number 011-22322577 on November 5.

The caller told Bhatti “Hisab kitab karne anaa padega.” When Bhatti asked which “hisab”, the caller said “Aap ko maloom hai.” Bhatti in his complaint said he did not have enmity with anybody.

Bhatti, however, has said “there was some misunderstanding with shareholders in the film.”

Bhatti said he had suffered “losses” in the film. The complaint had been lying with the Crime Branch for 22 days, the sources said.



Kashmiri Pandits organise ‘yajnopavit’ ceremony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A few Kashmiri Pandits, who settled in Chandigarh after being displaced from their homeland, have been following their tradition religiously. Among numerous festivals celebrated by them is the “yajnopavit” ceremony, which signifies the connotations of the word “Brahmin”.

Most pious of all festivals, the “yajnopavit” ceremony is organised to baptise the child. Pandits believe that this ceremony helps the boy in discharging his duties rightfully, including liberation of his ancestors.

This ceremony was organised at Kashmiri Bhavan in Sector 24 today. Members of the Tikoo family of Chandigarh got together to organise the “yajnopavit” ceremony of Amit, Aditya, Uday and Ujjwal Tikoo. Although displaced from their homeland years ago, Hira and Ravinder Tikoo have not forgotten their tradition.

“Yajnopavit” is a sacred ceremony for us. It came into being with the creator of the universe Lord Brahma. It bestows divine strength and pure effulgence, setting one on the path of liberation from birth to death”, they said while their sons were being baptised.

Mr Ravinder Tikoo said, “Kashmiri Pandits will perform this ceremony even if they have to sell their belongings”. At the heart of “yajnopavit” ceremony is the “janeo” (the holy thread), which is put on the boy’s neck by scholars after mahayajna. The “janeo”, which is put on boy’s neck before marriage, consists of three threads symbolising Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati.

While putting the thread around boy’s neck the guru tells him that now you have become a Brahmin and will have to discharge three debts acquired by birth.

Mr Hira Tikoo said,“They are dev rin (deities), pitra rin (ancestors) and rishi rin (seers). After getting married the man fulfils these three debts on behalf of his wife as well and has therefore to have six-fold “yajna sutras.”

Without placing “yajnopavit” around his neck the boy is not eligible to discharge any religious or spiritual duties. Even the Jammu and Kashmir Government has made a provision in the law to consider this ceremony of Kashmiri Pandits as pious. 



Disabled Day goes unnoticed in Punjab: council
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 2
The National Handicapped Welfare Council today flayed the Punjab Government for failing to make arrangements for organising a state-level function on International Disabled Day.

The secretary of the council, Mr Ajit Salani, said here that it was also regrettable that no disabled person was being honoured for achievements at the Punjab Government level. Also, no disabled person’s name figured in the list of those to be honoured at the national level. Mr Salani said all this showed how serious the government was about the welfare of the disabled.

He said the government drew up grandiose plans for the welfare of the disabled and earmarked funds for the purpose. However, experience showed that in reality these schemes remained only on paper.

He said there was only one school for the visually impaired in Punjab and that, too, did not have adequate facilities. As such, many students were not taking admission to that institution. There was also no school for children suffering from hearing and speech impairment.

He said new panels for the disabled had not been set up in Punjab even though the terms of the executive committee and the coordination committee had expired. The office of the commissioner for the disabled existed only in name. He demanded that a disabled person should be appointed additional commissioner. Besides, only a person who was sympathetic to the problems of the handicapped should be appointed to the post of commissioner.

Mr Salani further demanded full implementation of the PWD Act, 1995, and transfer of disabled employees according to their convenience.



Longewala battle’s anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The 33rd anniversary of the famous Battle of Longewala is being celebrated by 23 Punjab at Bathinda on December 5. It was on this day that a handful of Indian troops blunted a massive Pakistani thrust into Rajasthan.

The battle was fought in the night of December 4-5, 1971. A company (about 120 men) from the battalion held their ground against an enemy force comprising 3,000 men and 60 tanks. The company commander Major (later Brig) K.S. Chandpuri was decorated with the nation’s second highest gallantry award, the Maha Vir Chakra.

Besides, the battalion earned three Vir Chakra, three Sena Medal, one mentioned-in-dispatches and an Army Chief’s Commendation.

The battle was imortalised by the film Border.

A wreath laying ceremony, special sainik sammelan, barakhana, family welfare meet and a battle honour dinner are among events being organised to commemorate the event.



17 ASIs to be recruited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Chandigarh Police is going to recruit 17 Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) after a gap of five years.

Thirteen ASIs are to be taken from the general category, while the remaining four will be women cops. The recruitment of ASIs will be from the quota fixed for direct recruitment.

The police will take eight male candidates from the general category, three from the Other Backward Classes and one each from the Scheduled Caste and Ex-Servicemen categories.

The minimum qualification of a candidate has been fixed as graduate, while the physical standards will be of the same level which were set during the recruitment of 230 constables recently.

The forms will be sold and deposited between December 15 and 31 in the police line in Sector 26.



PSEB’s technical union stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Members of the Technical Services Union, PSEB, Mohali, today staged a dharna in front of the Superintending Engineer, Mohali circle, in protest against the board’s decision to privatise the meter reading and bill distribution services in the circle.

They stopped the Superintending Engineer, Mr S.C. Aggarwal’s vehicle outside the main office of the board and prevented him from entering the office for half –an- hour.

After about half- an- hour the SE managed to enter the office with the help of the police. Subsequently the employees went on a 2- hour go slow strike and took out a rally and burnt an effigy of the board’s chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra. The president of the union, Mr Lakha Singh, said a state- level rally would be held on December 8 in Chandigarh.



Move to clear encroachments on highway at Zirakpur
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 2
The Punjab police has deployed 50 constables to clear the Zirakpur stretch of the Chandigarh-Patiala highway of encroachments.

The step was taken in the wake of Inspector General (Zonal) of the Punjab Police Rajinder Singh’s visit to the Zirakpur market on November 30. He had reviewed the arrangements made by the local administration in removing the encroachments on the highway and at the local market. The IGP had directed the police and the local civil administration to remove the encroachments before the torch of the 1st Indo-Pak Punjab Games-224 was taken to Patiala from Chandigarh on December 5.

The police officials were also directed to challan truck drivers who parked their vehicles at various places in the Zirakpur area impeding flow of traffic. 



‘Statement of Beant Singh’s driver not recorded’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The statement of the driver of the car, which was blown up in a blast resulting in the death of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, at the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat on August 31,1995, was not recorded.

This was stated by Mr Nanha Ram, Chandigarh police Inspector, during his cross-examination in the case relating to the assassination of the former Chief Minister at the Burail Jail here today.

In his cross-examination, Mr Nanha Ram said he had thought that the injured driver had been removed to the hospital along with the other injured on August 31,1995. He did not know that the driver was alive for more than three hours after the blast, he added.



INLD govt lauded
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Mr Narinder Singh International, receipient of Punjab Sarkar Parman Pattar, has lauded the Indian National Lok Dal government in Haryana for according second language status to Punjabi language in Haryana.

Blood testing camp: Eighty adolescents were examined at a blood testing camp organised by the Piya Sharma Charitable Trust at Holy Child School here today. A team of doctors from GMCH, Chandigarh, examined them for anaemia, lymphnodes and other nutritional deficiencies.



BSNL directory ready for release
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
With the printing process almost over, the new directory of the BSNL is ready for release.

The Telephone Directory-2004 is likely to be released by next week. The directory contains a list of about 1.91 lakh nigam subscribers, including private and government organisations. While the latest telephone numbers of the government departments have been incorporated, the directory has been updated till March 31, 2004, as far as other subscribers are concerned.



State govt employees body to hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Members of the All-India State Government Employees Coordination Committee have decided to organise a rally here on December 17 in protest against the “anti-employee” policies of the Central and the state governments.

According to a press note, a strategy to implement the “national programme of action” was discussed at a meeting here last night. Strikes by the employees of the government and public sector undertakings in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh have ben planned by the committee.



Five shops burgled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Five adjoining daily-need shops in Abheypur village were broken into by burglars and cash and goods worth Rs 50,000 were stolen here last night.

Unknown miscreant(s) broke the locks on the shutters of five adjacent shops — Shiv Shankar Karyana Store, Bobby Karyana Store, Rajan Karyana Store — Vijay Karyana Store and Singla Karyana Store, and decamped with cash and goods stored in the shops. The miscreant(s) had taken away the cash boxes from all these shops and these were later found in bushes at some distance from the shops.

Mr Satish Kumar, owner of Shiv Shankar store, was the first one to notice that the locks on the shutters of his shop were broken when he reached his shop in the morning. He noticed that the locks of the other shops were also broken and then informed the shop owners and the police. When the shops were opened, they found that these were ransacked and the cash boxes were missing.

The police has registered a case of burglary and started investigations.



Proclaimed offender held

Mohali, December 2
The local police today arrested a proclaimed offender wanted by the Chandigarh, Mohali, Moga, Ludhiana and Karnal police since 2001. The accused, Ranjit Singh, had allegedly duped women of a large amount of money after marrying them off to his brothers settled in Canada.

Ranjit, a resident of Sector 70, was wanted by the Mohali police after got one of his brothers, settled in Canada, married to a Mohali resident. The parents of the accused, Raghubir Singh, and Surinder Kaur too attended the weddings.

One of the victims said Ranjit Singh used to search for a rich Punjabi girl’s family and organise the wedding of one of his brothers. Later, he would demand a huge sum from the girls’ family for wedding and sending them abroad with their husbands. After the wedding was over his brother would return to Canada leaving the girl behind.

‘‘He duped us of Rs 7 lakh, the Karnal girl was duped of Rs 12 lakh and the Ludhiana girl of Rs 10 lakh. We also know that girls from Chandigarh and Moga too were duped”, said the Mohali victim. TNS



Fraud accused approaches rights panel
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Pavan Kumar Dhawan, an employee of Shivalik Prismo, here who was yesterday arrested for allegedly defrauding the company of Rs 5.93 lakh had approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission alleging harassment at the hands of a senior manager of the company.

The letter to the commission was written on November 9 after the General Manager of the company reportedly approached the police to investigate the alleged fraud committed by Pavan. According to the police, the General Manager, Mr Arjun Anand, had complained to the police that Pavan, who was a senior marketing executive of the company, had in connivance with an accomplice in Gurdaspur ‘sold’ products of the company worth Rs 5.93 lakh.

According to the FIR, Pavan had allegedly facilitated the selling of goods to Gurdaspur-based R.K. Construction. The deal was finalised on the basis of a bank guarantee given by RK Construction to Shivalik Prismo Limited. After the goods were despatched it was realised that the bank guarantee was fake. When the company officials tried to contact R.K. Construction officials, it was found that the address given by the company too was wrong.

However, Pavan had stated in the representation to the commission that he being the marketing executive of the company was approached by the buyer company from Gurdaspur who placed orders worth Rs 5.93 lakh. He stated that it was the duty of the commercial department of the company to verify all bank guarantees.

But an alleged failure on the commercial department’s part led to the Gurdaspur party defrauding the company.

He was being made a scapegoat in the matter since senior officials of the company did not want to take responsibility of the bad deal, he added. 



Accident victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Gurpal Singh, 33, who met with an accident a week ago in Sector 70 here, succumbed to his injuries at Fortis Hospital here yesterday.

According to the police, Gurpal Singh was critically injured in an accident and was in a state of coma since he was admitted to the hospital. The Mohali police has registered a case and started a probe. However, no arrests have been made so far.

The case has been registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a Sector 70 resident, Mr Didar Singh. Sources say the accident took place near the Radha Soami gate in Sector 70 in which Gurpal Singh, who was driving the scooter, fell on the road after a collision.



Duping case against four
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
The Mohali police today registered a duping case against four persons for selling a house to a Chandigarh resident, which had already being sold to two other persons.

According to the police, a Sector-41 resident, Vakil Chand Garg, told the police that he had purchased the house from a Talwara resident, Bhagirath Singh, in 2000 for which the deal was struck for Rs 2,75,000.

He said he paid Rs 2.5 lakh to Bhagirath in front of other three persons, Jagdish Kaur, Shashi Sharma and Balbir Singh. He alleged that after striking the deal, Bhagirath started staying in Mohali. It was reportedly decided in the agreement that the registry for the house was to be done on December 2001, but it was not done. Vakil Chand told the police that despite several reminders and meetings, Bhagirath kept delaying the process. It came to be known later that the house had been sold to someone else.



4 vehicles stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
Four vehicles were reportedly stolen from the city the police said here today.

Mr Prem Chand Kansal of Sector 29-D, reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH-01-0169) was stolen from his residence on the night of November 30. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered at the Sector 10 police station.

Mr Mohamad Salim of Sector 27 filed a complaint with the police that his Maruti car (CH-03-L-7721) was stolen from residence on December 1. A case was registered in this regard at the Sector 26 police station.

Mr Daya Ram Yadav of Colony No. 5 reported to the police that his motor cycle (PB-49-5666) was stolen from his residence during on the night of November 30. A case was registered at the Sector 34 police station.

In another incident of vehicle theft, Mr Mohinder Singh of Sector 24 reported to the police that his scooter (CH-01-W-7601) was stolen from the PGI parking. He had parked the scooter on November 27 when he came back on December 1, he found the scooter missing. A case has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.



Bonus given to 844 milkmen, societies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Dividend and bonus worth Rs 78 lakh was distributed to 844 milk producers cooperative societies affiliated to the Verka Milk Plant, Mohali, during a special function organised here today.

Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, the Minister of Cooperation and Horticulture, Punjab distributed the chequess to the farmers who had collected at the function for the occasion. The 844 societies have over 43,000 milk producers as members. Out of these, 111 societies are from Fatehgarh Sahib , 80 societies from Patiala and remaining 653 societies fall in Ropar distt.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, congratulated the Milk Union, Ropar, and appreciated the functioning of Milkfed. He stressed the need to strengthen the dairy cooperatives in Punjab which had earlier played a vital role in the upliftment of the milk producers of the state.

Inspiring the milk producers of Punjab to strengthen their village-level milk producers cooperative societies, Mr Randhawa said over 3.5 lakh dairy farmers in the state were providing milk to Milkfed. He emphasised that the dairy was the only profitable profession in the current scenario under the diversification of agriculture in Punjab.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Punjab, in his presidential address applauded the role of Milkfed Punjab for giving technical input services for increasing the milk production apart from remunerative price.

He said with the pro-milk producers policies, dairying is being adopted as primary profession instead of secondary by the farmers. He also shared the various steps being taken by the Punjab Government for breed improvement and creating decease free zones.

He added that the unemployed youth of the state should take to dairy farming.

Mr Gurbachan Singh Babehali, Chairman, Milkfed, Punjab, stressed the need of increasing milk production at low cost especially by providing vital inputs like Animal Health Care, proper feeding and breeding programme.

He motivated the farmers to produce best quality of milk so as to have the finished products of excellent quality for effectively meeting the growing competition in the global market.

Mr Vikas Pratap, Managing Director, Milkfed, Punjab, on the occasion informed that presently Milkfed was having 6,500 Milk Producers Cooperative Societies in 11 district milk unions and 3.5 lakh milk producers’ families were attached with the dairy cooperatives. He assured the milk producers that Milkfed shall continue to pay the remunerative and competitive price despite of the odds and constraints being faced by dairy industry because of great slump in the milk products prices in the market.

He informed that Milkfed’s efforts will be to produce value-added products and to realise more through efficient marketing and export of Verka milk products so as to pay better price to the milk producers.

He informed that this year upto November, Milkfed had already exported Verka Milk products worth Rs 12 crore against Rs 6.9 crore of last year.

Mr Balwinder Singh, General Manager, Milk Plant, Mohali, while giving the vote of thanks highlighted the achievements of Milk Plant, Mohali informed that the Milk Union, Ropar, was the first the Milk Union in Punjab which initiated the massive programme of clean milk production among the milk producers cooperative societies.

He informed that the Milk Union, Ropar, has covered 795 milk producing cooperatives societies out of total of 844. Under this programme, 16 instant bulk cooling units had been installed for improving the bacteriological quality of milk, 130 electronic milko testers and 229 automatic milk collection centres had been installed in the societies for bringing transparency in the procurement system at the village level.



Seminar on corporate excellence held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
The National Institute of Personnel Management, (NIPM), Punjab Chapter, organised a seminar on ‘training — The Mantra for Corporate Excellence — by Mr V. Aswatha Ramaiah, a management consultant based at Bangalore. The seminar was organised at Punjab Tractors Limited here.

Mr Ramaiah appraised the participants with the paradigm shift in the field of training and development with the advent of BPOs, contractual working, outsourcing and other sweeping changes in the national industrial scenario. Mr Ramaiah emphasised on the point that human resource was being identified as the real asset of the organisation. With the coming of MNCs and main thrust being on the IT Industry, training styles, logistics and modes had also changed.

Voice modulations, English naturalisation and functional training like cultural and geographical introduction, product training, phone etiquette’s, sales, campaign and other behavioral training were being imparted to the employees in call centre business.

Training had become more practical with innumerable animations and visuals from appropriate case studies, anecdotes and use of humor, brain teasers psychoanalytical tests for individuals with needbased workshops were being organised for this purpose.

In the recent the spiritual dimension such as yoga i.e. aasana, pranayama and meditation has started playing a predominant role in any exhaustive behavioral training module.

The seminar was attended by more than 50 human resource professionals, functional heads and CEOs from various renowned corporates in the region such as Dabur, Wrigley. Punjab Tractor Ltd., PCPL, Godrej, Ranbaxy, Max Specialities, Gujrat Ambuja, Fortis, NFL, DCM, Kamla Dials and Devices etc.



Apni mandi in Sec 34 from Dec 10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
An apni mandi will start functioning from December 10 from the ground near the petrol pump of Sector 34 every Friday.

The decision to start an ‘apni mandi’ in Sector 34 has been taken to decongest the Sector 33 mandi on every Saturday. The mandi in Sector 34 will operate on every Friday.

The sources said the Sector 33 mandi had been leading to traffic congestion and piling up of garbage.

Keeping this in mind, the mandi in Sector 34 will have a huge parking space in the ground for which the ground is being levelled.

Official sources said the Market Committee had decided to give a sweeping contract for ‘Apni Mandi’ so that the vegetable and fruit waste was cleaned on the same night.



Airtel Divali Bumper results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The money is Godsent and I really can’t believe my luck, says Dr Meera Castro, the winner of the first prize of Rs 15 lakh of Airtel Divali Bumper .

Airtel Divali Bumper was an interactive voice contest with fabulous cash prizes and was open for all Airtel Punjab customers, (postpaid and prepaid).

Divali Bumper was open for 10 days from November 3 to November 12, 2004. There were 10 prizes of Rs 1 lakh each to be won every day and a bumper prize of Rs 15 lakh at the end of the scheme. The 1 lakh prize winners were S. Singh of Jalandhar, D Singh of Ferozpur, J Gupta of Ludhiana, G Kumar of Amritsar, S Singh of Ludhiana, R Sachdev of Patiala and M Singh of Jalandhar, K Kishore of Pathankot, N.N. Vyas of Bathinda and G.B. Lall of Rampura Phul.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |