C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU restricts cultural fests to 1 week
Move aimed at shifting focus to academics
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Concerned at the deteriorating academic environment at Panjab University, the authorities have decided to restrict cultural fests to one week in a year. Festivals and fetes by individual departments as well as the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council will have to be celebrated in the last week of February, one after the other, or be clubbed together as one big extravaganza.

The Dean University Instruction, Prof J.K. Gupta, said the university campus had become one big carnival where songs and dances were on throughout the year and forced the authorities to take such a decision. He added that the hosting of cultural fests on a regular basis was also having a fallout on the studies of the students and giving a wrong signal to visitors coming to the campus.

“The cultural festivities go on all through the session, taking a toll on the study environment. We are worried about this growing trend among the students and want the focus to shift back to the books on the campus. For this purpose, we are holding meetings with the departments involved in organising these fests to curtail their spread over the session and confine celebrations to one week. It is more or less final that cultural activities will be restricted to one week in a year barring a last minute hitch,” he added.

Also, the authorities felt that since the same participants were hopping from one event to another fest after fest as well as bunking studies to participate in such shows, having one cultural week in a year would enable them to focus equally on academics and co-curricular activities.

While the students’ choice in choosing the week for fun and frolic would be taken into consideration before arriving at a decision, it is unlikely that the programme is shifted to a month before February. The beginning of the session when the students are not settled is not conducive since students’ elections are a priority followed by a fresher’s party before the university closes for the autumn break.

When the students come back, studies are high on the agenda with examinations slated for December. Then again, by the time the resident students are back on the campus, it is already the end of January, leaving only February for holding of cultural fests.

Recently, in addition to the conventional programmes of Agaaz, the freshers’ party, and Jhankaar, the farewell party organised annually by the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council, the Chemical Engineering Department had begun organising “Cyanide” while other departments were putting up their own individual shows, holding fetes, besides organising “star nites”.



Property auction to follow old pattern
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The Chandigarh Administration has taken a decision to go ahead with the auction of commercial and residential property scheduled from December 10 and 11 on the old format of making payments, thus allaying fears that the entire money will have to be deposited within 90 days of the auction.

Earlier the administration had sought to take 25 per cent of the bid amount at the fall of the hammer and the remaining amount within three months.

This decision has been necessitated owing to the failure of the administration to notify the change in advance.

An official said it would have been impractical to amend rules in a short time.

It has now been decided that the changes would be introduced in future auctions but for the time being the administration was issuing notices and advertisements informing the public about its decision to hold the auction on the old pattern.

The list of properties to be auctioned include 28 residential plots ranging from 5 marla to 4 kanal in Sectors 19, 28, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38, 40, 44 and 46.

There are 30 commercial sites that include booths, SCO, SCF, atta- chaki, semi-industrial plots and restaurants where the administration would allow running of a dhaba, general use, meat shop, restaurant, etc.

The administration has put the reserve price of the properties at about half the market value.

Real estate analysts in the city feel that this last minute change in policy for auction of property by the Chandigarh Administration is likely to result in a sharp increase in the bid and many people who were earlier planning to stay away from the auction will now participate.

This, they say, would prevent a great financial loss to the administration. Not many people were in a position to deposit the entire amount in one go as was proposed earlier.

An old city resident and president of the Chandigarh Hotel Association, Mr Ashok Bansal, says when auction calls for paying 10 per cent on the spot, 15 per cent in the next two weeks and the remaining over the next three years the bid generally is about 20 to 25 per cent higher than the market price.

If the administration would have stuck to the changed rule of seeking 100 per cent deposit in 90 days, the bids would have been lower than the market price, resulting in en masse withdrawal of sites from the auction causing a considerable revenue loss to the administration.

It is believed that the bid for commercial properties would, however, be below the market rates owing to the introduction of a recurring 2. 5 per cent ground rent.

What would, however, fuel the auction bid is the implementation of the Rent Act and the lowering of bank interest rates.



Mentally challenged bring laurels to city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
Thirteen mentally challenged city cricket players who won the silver medal in the Asia Pacific International Cricket Tournament got a rousing welcome on their arrival here today.

The tournament concluded in Ahmedabad on December 6.

In the meet 21 regional teams of India and a team from Pakistan took part.

They were welcomed at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, where the Chapter of Special Olympics is located.

Describing the stupendous show by the city boys, Ms Promila Chandermohan, Director of the Special Olympics, Chandigarh region, and the woman behind this initiative, said the format of the tournament was quite unique from normal cricket tournaments. She further said the total scores of a team were divided by the number of times a team was bowled out. On the basis of this the final results were drawn.

She thanked the sponsors, State Bank of India, Punjab Industries Department and Dr Chuttani Hospital for sponsoring the kit, diet and other related expenditure of nearly Rs 1.5 lakh for training and participation. She added that they were grateful to I S Dev Samaj Girls School, Sector 21, for giving their ground for more than three months for training purposes.

Mr Govind Singh, head of the delegation, stated that in Ahmedabad delegate from New Zealand Mike Godrick, who had come to observe the tournament, assured that its status would be improved.

Film actor Anil Kapoor inaugurated the meet while actor Akshay Kumar distributed the prizes on the final day.

He said in the matches held Chandigarh defeated Orissa, UP East and Manipur but lost to Madhya Pradesh.

The team comprised Prabhjot, Kirti, Ravinder, Tajinder, Gurdit, Maninder, Ansh, Amit, Ajay Pal, Jatinder, Anuj, Ronnie and Aayush. Head of the delegation was Govind while the head coach was Anil Sharma and assistant coach Rakesh.



Recruitment drive for the disabled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to run a special recruitment drive to fill vacancies meant for persons with disabilities. A letter has been circulated in all departments, asking the respective heads to run a special recruitment drive for persons with disabilities.

This comes after the Union Ministry for Social Welfare clarified that there was no ban on recruitment for such posts. The ministry has observed that the Administration, like any other state government, was taking the plea that there was a ban on recruitment and thus posts could not be filled. The Central Government has clarified that there is no ban on posts which fall under the plan head of the government.

Now, all the departments of the Administration will invite applications through advertisements. An official said the Department of Social welfare had supplied a list of posts which could be handled by persons with disabilities.

The Department of Personnel, UT, has asked all departments to fill posts and send a report to the Secretary Social Welfare, which would be forward to the Union Ministry for Social Welfare.



Visually challenged win 10 medals
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, December 8
Students of the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26 brought laurels to city when they clinched 10 medals —five gold, three silver and two bronze — in athletic events in the National Sports Meet for the Visually Handicapped in New Delhi on December 5. Fifteen students from the institute took part in the meet

The overall championship was won by our institute, said Maj-Gen Rajendra Nath (retd) Chairman of the Institute.

Those who won medals are: Mandeep Singh—two gold medals (1500 metres and 800 metres) and one silver-400 metres; Sunil Kumar—two gold (shot put and Discuss throw), Mamta Sharma— one gold and one silver 800 metres and 400 metres, Rakesh Kumar—one silver (5000 metres), and Kavita Rani—two bronze (Shot put and Discuss throw). Ajit Salani, secretary of the National Handicapped Welfare Council has decided to honour the medallists by announcing Rs 15,00 for each gold medalist, Rs 1000 for each silver medallist and Rs 500 to each bronze medalist.



4 flesh trade rackets busted
Top cops, bureaucrats customers, says police
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 8
The police tonight busted four flesh trade rackets and arrested eight women in four separate operations. Two of the arrested women were bar dancers who had been brought here from Mumbai.

The police crackdown was led by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Desh Bandhu.

Special teams comprising Inspector Pritam Singh, Inspector Gurdev Kaur and Assistant Sub Inspector A.K. Sharma had been constituted for the purpose, after decoy customers from amongst the police had tied up with the pimps or the call girls directly.

Cops in plain clothes had been deputed at various places in the township where these call girls were supposed to meet with the decoy customers.

Two girls from Mumbai, who were bar dancers there, were arrested near Shakti Bhavan chowk. The decoy customer had booked them for Rs 4500 and just when the money was handed over to them, a police team waiting nearby swooped down on them and arrested them.

The girls later told the police that they were brought here by three men, Sanjay, Thakur and Vicky of Zirakpur and were on a monthly contract of Rs 40,000.

The three men used to strike deals for them and pocket the money.

The police say that several top cops and bureaucrats of Punjab, including those posted at Patiala, were their customers.

Another decoy customer of the police had booked two girls and met them near Dhakoli naka in Sector 19.

These girls- one of them an Avon cosmetics agent, belong to Mohali and were around 20 years of age. After the decoy customer paid them the money, they were nabbed by a police team waiting nearby.

Four girls were nabbed by the police near the bus stand near Command Hospital.

These girls were reportedly waiting for the customers and the police say that they saw several cars stop by them and the girls trying to strike a deal. The police has also videographed these incidents before they nabbed the girls.

All accused have been booked under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act. The police say that they will soon arrest the three Zirakpur based pimps - Sanjay, Thakur and Vicky. 



Havildar run over by Shatabdi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
A 35-year-old Havildar with EME Station Workshop, Chandimandir, was run over by the Shatabdi Express near Mansa Devi shrine in the cantonment area this morning.

He has been identified as Deepa Kumar Tripahti of Kanpur. He has two sons aged 12 and 14 years.

The Government Railway Police termed it as an accident saying his face was smashed and legs amputated. He was wearing uniform when the accident took place. The police said Tripathi was to report for duty at 6.30 am but he met with an accident because of fog in the morning.

Tripathi was residing along the railway line and he took a short route to go to his office across the railway track.

According to the police, the family of the deceased and the authorities have been informed. 



Marketing guru advises MBAs not to crave for cushy jobs
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Mr Sunil Alagh is best regarded for his productive stint at Britannia which figured on the Forbes List of 300 best small companies for three years under his stewardship.

Hailed as the marketing guru, he resolved Britannia's gravest crisis posed when the company, bound by a policy decision, had to drop its best brand name Glaxo. Not only that he re-launched the brand without allowing the sales to suffer, he also successfully penetrated the Indian glucose market by launching Tiger against Parley. For the first time, Parley's hegemony was shattered.

Ask Mr Alagh how he reversed the tide and he says the "Kamasutra" helped him with marketing principles. "Kamasutra is an outstanding treatise on marketing principles. If only you can replace the man with the manufacturer and the female with the consumer you will know how well it explains the art of permanently loving the consumer. It's time Indian industries understood that they need to be consumer-driven, not brand-driven," he said.

Having worked as Britannia CEO for 14 years, Mr Alagh recently moved in as President, All-India Management Association, where accreditation of 900 business schools of India is his most outstanding concern. Besides evolving a strategy to accredit schools, Mr Alagh is evolving a general policy of management instruction at all business schools in India including the IIMs.

Admitting that most MBAs crave for cushy jobs in MNCs, he said the thrust of management education in India needed to shift so that the nation had enough managers for rural, small scale and medium sectors. "AIMA is now preparing a paper with the help of deans of all management institutes to devise the future course of action. We also need to introduce specialized courses to address the problems of NGOs, cooperatives, besides training managers to handle government funds and ensure they reach where they are meant to," he said.

In Chandigarh today to attend the 38th foundation day celebrations of the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA), Mr Alagh talked to The Tribune about his responsibilities as head, AIMA which holds Management Aptitude Tests (MAT) for admission to 950 schools besides offering distant education services.

Praising the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, which allows no MNC recruitment on its campus, Mr Alagh said if every school began training MBAs for glamorous jobs in MNCs, a destructive system would come into place. AIMA was addressing the issue," he said, adding that distance education was another strong area.

AIMA is now enlarging its distance education network through broad banding. It is also developing collaborations with local management associations as in Ludhiana, Chandigarh to locate growth areas. About the trend of most Indian industries turning franchises of MNCs, Mr Alagh said India was headed in the right direction. "India is going the Japan and Korea way and I see no risk there. Global brands can only be created on capital and expertise. Outsourcing is hence not wrong. The future wars will anyways be fought over markets and the only two potential markets left in the world are India and China," he said.



Army Service Corps’ anniversary observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Several functions, including a memorial service, barakhana and a social get-together for serving and retired officers were organised to mark the 244th anniversary of the Army Service Corps (ASC) at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir today.

A wreath was laid at the Veer Smriti war memorial by the head of the ASC Branch in Command Headquarters, Major-Gen S N Rajan on behalf of all ranks of the corps, a statement issued here said.

The ASC was raised in 1760.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh, in his message, greeted all ranks, civilian employees, ex-servicemen of the corps and their family members on the occasion.

He also lauded their role in providing invaluable logistic support to army formations and establishments at times of need.



Sector 19 without basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 8
Are the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the local municipal council treating residents of Sector 19 here as poor country cousins of those living in residential sectors on the other side of the railway line.

The answer could well be in the affirmative, considering the lack of civic amenities in this sector. Stray cattle at all corners, including vacant plots; almost non-existent roads; public parks that could pass off as grabage dumps; and lack of proper drainage in the sector are more of a norm than exception in this sector. Mr B.S. Kanwar, a former BDO, and resident of this sector rues that the stray cattle here not only spoils the aspect, but also cause many a accident.

Every morning, residents of the sector wake up to the stench of garbage generated here, which has not been lifted for days. “Whenever we approach the authorities, we are told that some safai karamcharis have been deputed here, but it is once in a week that we see the roads being cleaned, and that too, the outer roads. Nobody bothers to clean the internal roads,” says Sunita Devi.

Residents say they had hoped of a change in things after the local body was formed and a municipal councillor was elected from the sector. “But ever since the MC has been formed, no roads have been laid, nor any recarpeting done on the roads. Two years ago, HUDA had recarpeted the roads, and now the top carpeting of the roads has been washed away because of heavy rain, and poor drainage of water,” says Mr M.S. Rathore.

Residents also complain that defunct street lights are seldom repaired in the sector. The biggest problem of this sector, complain residents, is that each year in the monsoon, the seasonal rivulet passing by gets flooded and water enters the houses. “Each year, the authorities say they will construct a retaining wall along the nullah to stop the flooding of the sector, but nothing has been done so far,” says Mr Des Raj.

They say that though there is development in all sectors of the town, across the railway line that separates Sector 19 from the rest of Panchkula, the authorities seem to have forgotten this sector. 



Brig decides to go ahead with second son’s marriage
Elder’s wedding cancelled two days ago
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
Brig M.P. Singh (retd) has decided to go ahead with the marriage of his second son, two days after marriage of his elder son was called off amid allegations of dowry demand.

The police has not registered any case so far on the complaint filed by Lieut-Col Raghbir Singh, father of the girl, Nancy, who day before yesterday had called off her marriage with the Brigadier’s son Harkirat for allegedly demanding dowry.

Lieut-Col Raghbir Singh, filed a complaint with Senior Superintendent of Police, UT, that Brig M.P. Singh, his wife and son Harkirat Singh had allegedly demanded dowry. The girl then called off her marriage that was to take place on December 6.

The marriage proposal was finalised through a matrimonial advertisement. The shagun ceremony was held on December 4. The family of the girl arrived in the city from Maharashtra for the marriage. On December 4 the shagun ceremony was held at Aroma Hotel. Brigadier M.P. Singh had also arranged the shagun ceremony of his younger son Tejkirat Singh the same day.

Nancy, alleged that during the ceremony she heard her would-be mother-in-law saying that the in-laws of Tejkirat had given much more at the Shagun ceremony than her parents had given to Harkirat.

Lieut-Col Raghbir Singh alleged that Brig M.P. Singh had demanded an Esteem car or Rs 4 lakh. He further alleged that they had given Rs 35,000 and clothes worth Rs 90,000 at the Shagun ceremony, which the Brigadier has not returned so far.

On the other hand, the father of the boy told the police that they had returned everything to the girl’s parents. He said they had visited the family of the girl but they refused to budge.

Nancy is an MBA student studying in Pune.

Harkirat said he would have a “contract” marriage, mother of Nancy alleged.

The Brigadier who is busy in his second son’s marriage refused to comment, saying that he would go the Chandigarh Police tomorrow to record his statement and clarify things.

The police said both parties did not turn up today.



Gujral, the bureaucrat who went by the rule book
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
As the outgoing Home Secretary, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, relinquishes office after more than four years, his tenure will be remembered as that of a bureaucrat who went by the rule book. He was thorough in file work, thus earning the respect of his seniors and juniors.

Mr Gujral, a 1976 batch IAS official, worked with four Advisers, besides himself holding the charge of the post for around three months. Officials admit that during the time of Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Mr Gujral was his trusted man for advice on all matters. Jacob, lovingly called him “HS saheb”.

Old-timers in the Administration also reveal that Mr Gujral was also trusted by senior officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for advice on matters like finances in the UT and even on his own seniors.

Senior officials point out that he used to stand his ground on issues. He got an inquiry initiated into the case in which Mr Varinder Singh, Adviser, awarded a contract to a chemist shop in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. During the tenure of Ms Neeru Nanda, when a Haryana official and an IPS officer were at the receiving end, Mr Gujral diffused the situation as the matter went right up to the then Administrator. In another case, the same Haryana official did not see eye to eye with the then Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh. Again Gujral stepped in.

Several junior officials of Punjab and Haryana serving in Chandigarh looked up to him for advice. However, the sweet talking Mr Gujral never minced words when they erred. An HCS official says, “He was like a father figure and we even discussed a personal problem with him”.

In September 2000, he started off his tenure on an unsavoury controversy involving his wife, Ms Manpreet Oberoi. Ultimately, it turned out that Mr Gujral was the aggrieved party and not Ms Oberoi, who had hidden the fact that she was married before getting married to Mr Gujral. With his personal life behind him, Mr Gujral was initially shy to come to public functions, but then he gained confidence as the then Administrator Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) and the then Adviser, Ms Vineeta Rai, backed him.

He never got a government house allotted and lived in his father’s house and drove around in his Matiz car after office time. Hollywood movie buffs used to sometimes find him watching the evening show at Kiran cinema in Sector 22.



Defeat poverty, says Kokje
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Himachal Pradesh Governor Justice V.S. Kokje (retd) and President, All-India Management Association Sunil Alagh were special guests on the occasion of 38th Foundation Day celebrations of the Chandigarh Management Association at the CII this evening.

Speaking on the occasion, Justice Kokje urged the management professionals to find out workable solutions to the problems facing the country, including poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. He said India needed a comprehensive and proactive strategy in which management practitioners can rewrite history for the good of the society.

While delivering the keynote address on the occasion, Mr Sunil Alagh emphasised the need to develop Marketing strategies that were more consumer-oriented than brand-oriented. He said AIMA was increasingly taking a holistic view of the training needs of people in villages and rural India where appropriate training would be of great help.

Mr Charanjit Singh, President, CMA, took the occasion to announce that the Shimla management association would be launched the next month. The move, he said, was aimed at enhancing excellence in management.



Allot plots, says sangharsh committee
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 8
A delegation of the Allotment Sangharsh Committee here yesterday met the Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, to apprise him of their problem.

The committee members are seeking the allotment of their plots in Sectors 76 to 80 in Mohali. The committee has been formed by 3,900 applicants who had been given letters of intent by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for the allotment of plots in these sectors in 2000 but have not been given the possession of plots.

According to a press note issued by the President of the Committee, Mr Sucha Singh Kalour, Mr Sidhu explained to the delegation that some parts of the land was under litigation but a final decision on the issue was expected very soon. Following this, the allotment of plots would be done.

The delegation appealed to the Secretary that PUDA should allot plots to them from those pieces of land that were not under litigation and had been developed by the authority. As many as 3,950 plots of various sizes in the new sectors were approved and a draw of lots was held in March, 2001. The successful applicants had also paid 25 per cent of the allotment price to PUDA. They were promised that physical possession of the plots would be given by the end of December, 2002, but the plots had still not been allotted to them.

Mr Sharanjit Singh, general secretary of the committee, said some part of these sectors had already been given to the Radha Swami Satsang and the Housefed Punjab. Mr Bhupinder Singh Somal, organising secretary, said the next meeting of the allottees would be held on December 19.



Name Mohali as Ajitgarh or Ajit Nagar: SGPC member
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 8
The local SGPC member has requested the Punjab Chief Minister to announce the name of SAS Nagar as Ajitgarh or Ajit Nagar on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the martyrdom of the four sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh.

Talking to mediapersons here on Monday, Mr Hardeep Singh, said the town was named as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar after the name of Ajit Singh, the eldest sahibzada of Guru Gobind Singh. But, somehow, the name did not become popular and people kept referring to the town as Mohali, which was in fact the name of a small village falling in the town.

He said the town had become prominent due to the cricket stadium, but whenever matches were played here, the name Mohali was used by commentators, when officially the town was known as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar. Such an attitude amounted to showing disrespect to the sahibzada.

He said government departments were using the official name of the town as SAS Nagar (Mohali) which was incorrect. Even the media was not using the name of the town in the correct way. He said perhaps one of the reasons for not using the name properly must be that name was too long. Residents of the town had earlier also made requests to those concerned to change the name of the town to Ajitgarh or Ajit Nagar.

Mr Hardeep Singh said if the government failed to get the name of the town projected in a proper way, residents would be compelled to hold protests whenever cricket matches were held in the town.



MLA to send proposal on district status for Mohali
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 8
The Kharar MLA will send a proposal to the Chief Minister, for upgrading SAS Nagar subdivision to a district. The demand is being made keeping in view the upcoming events being organised to mark the 300 years of the martyrdom of the sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh. Sahibzada Ajit Singh, after whom the township had been named, was one of the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh killed by the Mughals in 1704.

Giving details of the proposal being drafted, the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, said the proposed district would include the three subdivisions — Mohali, Kharar and Dera Bassi. While both Mohali and Kharar fall in Ropar district. Dera Bassi falls in Patiala district. Besides these three subdivisions, Banur and Zirakpur would also be part of the SAS district.

“The new district would include over 700 villages. It would be a compact administrative unit, easier to manage than the current divisions. Residents of Mohali and Kharar have to travel over 40 km to reach the headquarters in Ropar. Similarly, those living in the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi and Banur belt have to travel over 50 kilometers to Patiala for small works. With better roads connecting these places to Mohali, it is just a matter of time before Mohali being central to all these place, is made the district headquarters,” he said.

Mohali residents have been demanding that the township be made the district headquarters where facilities like courts, railway ticket reservation counters, secretariat etc, are available. “With a large number of multi-national companies coming to Mohali, the township is bound to expand. The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority had wisely kept a provision for all district headquarter buildings in its future plans laid down for the township. All that is required now is a nod from the government,” he said.

Sources added the proposal would be considered seriously by the Chief Minister since there was immense pressure on the government to provide good infrastructure to IT companies that were being invited to set up business in Mohali.

Stating that it would be the most befitting tribute to the sahibzadas, Mr Bir Devinder Singh pointed out that the government should announce the upgrading of the township into a district as part of the events at Chamkaur Sahib. Once the government decided to start working towards this, we would be requesting the Chief Minister to constitute a committee that would go into the various modalities and finalise the conversion, said the MLA.

Other than the Congress MLA, members of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mohali circle, had, during a recent meeting, pointed out that making Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar into a district was the need of the hour. Mr. Harsukhinder Singh Bubby Badal, president, SAD, Mohali, had said that SAS Nagar be developed on the pattern of Panchkula as a district headquarters. 



Residents stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Residents of Sector 21-A yesterday staged a dharna in protest against the UT Administration’s decision to allow the construction of a school on a ground meant to be a park. Resolving to continue the dharna unless the decision is reversed, the residents said they would also hold a protest rally on December 12. The rally will be addressed by MP Pawan Kumar Bansal at 12 noon.

The residents added they would march to the Governor House, where they would hand over a memorandum to Punjab Governor and UT Administrator. The protest rally held in Sector 21 today was addressed by Mr P.C. Sanghi, President, Citizens’ Association, Sector 21.



Women Empowerment Scheme launched
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 8
The Punjab Government today launched its Women Empowerment Scheme, selecting 24 villages of Ropar where women selfhelp groups would be formed.

This was disclosed by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, while addressing a meeting of the officials of various departments and prominent citizens at the Boat Club, Ropar, today.

He said the scheme was being launched on the eve of the birthday of Congress president Sonia Gandhi with a view to make women self-dependent through the formation of self-help groups for starting their own businesses.

The villages that had been selected for forming selfhelp groups in the first phase are Kanaura, Teur, Jhingran, Fatehgarh, Niholka, Guno Majra, Dusarna, Baraudi, Suhali and Majri of Majri block, Sahora village of Kharar block and Harnoli, Samana Kalan, Boor Majra, Dholan Majra, Kalaran, Kanjla, Behwalpur, Chatamali, Kainaur, Mundian, Saheri, Bangian ,Dhangrali of Morinda block. He said members of these self-help groups would be imparted training in dairy business, including manufacturing and sale of milk products.

Ms Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, said the administration was committed to make the women self-help group scheme a success. Cooperation of social organisations would also be sought in that regard, she added.

Mr S.R. Ladhar, Director, Social Security, Punjab, Major Harbans Singh, Vice-Chairman of the Ropar Zila Parishad, Mr Hari Pal, President of the Morinda Municipal Council, Mr Raghbir Singh, President of the Kurali Municipal Council, Mr Anil Kaura, Director, Dairy ADC, Ropar, Mr G.S. Ghuman, SDM, Ropar, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Kharar, and Mr Pritam Singh Johal, DTO, Ropar, and Ms Ratna Bakhshi, a social activist, in Delhi were also present on the occasion.



Cut in power tariff sought
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
The Industries Association of Chandigarh has demanded a reduction in electricity tariff. According to Mr Arvind K. Mehan, President of the association, UT consumers were paying five per cent more in various categories as compared to their counterparts in Punjab.

Mr Mehan said the power-intensive industry in Chandigarh had a handicap of total 15 per cent when it came to competing with industries in Mohali and Ludhiana.



Earmark place for Apni Mandi, say residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The LIG and EWS Residents Welfare Association, Sector 40-C, has condemned the decision of the Chandigarh Administration to discontinue apni mandi being held in the sector every Tuesday.

According to a press note issued by Administration, the welfare of the citizens seemed to be last on the agenda of the Administration as it was more concerned about earning revenue by selling the vacant land. The auction of various plots in the recent time had made the sector one of the most-populated areas, leaving hardly any space for religious and social functions.

The press note urged the administration to earmark a permanent place for the mandi.



MC chief hears residents’ complaints
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 8
The local Municipal Council President, Ms Seema Chaudhary yesterday redressed the grievances of residents of Sector 7 here, during the “municipal council at your doorstep” programme.

A number of residents from the sector converged at the Sector 7 Community Centre and forwarded their complaints.

The residents complained that there was no footpath in the Topiary Garden, parks in Sector 7 were not developed, and lack of parking space near Sector 7 market.

Complaints about lack of lighting in the rehri market and request for the removal of encroachment in the sector was also made.

The President promised to redress their complaints soon.

Meanwhile, the councillor from Sector 7, Mr C.B. Goel, alleged that though a redressal meeting was organised in his ward, he was not called to attend the same.



Receipt saves connection
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 8
Officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) today converged at a house of Mr Harish Chandra in Sector 21 here to cut the power connection for non-payment of bill, even though he had paid the bill almost a fortnight ago.

He said a team of UHBVN officials arrived at his house this morning, saying that they had orders to disconnect the power supply of his house. They said they had been issued an order on November 18 for disconnecting the supply as they had not paid their dues of Rs 3,361 for the period August-September.



Photo-journalist bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Sardar Singh Bedi, father of the photographer of Punjabi daily, Ajit, T.S. Bedi, today passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 78. A Former General Secretary of Sector 34 gurdwara, he was cremated this afternoon. 



Bikes, gold ornaments stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
Two motorcycles, gold ornaments and a mobile phone were reportedly stolen from various parts of the city, as per the information released by the police here today.

Mr S.C. Bansal of Sector 33-A filed a complaint to the police that gold ornaments were stolen from his residence yesterday. The police said the thieves gained entry by breaking open the locks. A case under Sections 454 and 357 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.


The local police booked a boy for allegedly attempting to outrage the modesty of a girl near Neelam Cinema in Sector 17, last night.

A girl of Sector 15 reported to the police that Kamal Nain Singh of Sector 15 allegedly forcibly dragged her into his car and attempted to outrage her modesty, last night.

The police has registered a case under Sections 354 and 506 of the IPC against the accused and arrested him.

Mobile stolen

Ms vena Rani of Sector 46 reported to the police that her mobile phone was stolen from her house, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

Motorcycles stolen

Mr Lucky Sharma of Pipliwala Town in Mani Majra reported to the police that his Hero Honda motorcycle (CH-01-C-0858) was stolen from his residence during the night of December 6.

A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.

In another incident, Mr Devi Bali, a resident of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, filed a complaint to the police that his motorcycle (CH-03-H-8495) was stolen from his residence during the night of December 6. A case of theft has been registered in this regard at the Mani Majra police station.

Liquor seized

The local police has arrested Manjit Singh of Mohhala Pallaur Ki Batti in Amritsar district from ISBT in Sector 43 with 24 bottles of Everyday whisky, yesterday.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered at the Sector 36 police station. 



Cop hit by VIP car, dies
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
Kamal Singh (42), a Head Constable in the Chandigarh police, was killed when an unidentified VIP car hit him near the rehri market in Sector 18 last night. He was crossing the road when the car hit him and sped away.

The body was today handed over to his relatives after a post-mortem, who took it to their native village, Damal, in Hoshiarpur district for cremation.

Kamal Singh suffered a serious head injury when he fell after the car hit him. A police control room vehicle rushed him to the PGI, where doctors declared him brought dead. Kamal Singh was posted at the CID in Sector 9.

Kamal Singh is survived by wife Sudesh Rani and two sons, said Mr Balraj Kumar, uncle of Sudesh Rani. He said, “An eyewitness told us that an Ambassador car with a red light hit Kamal Singh and sped away.” A case has been registered in this regard.



Balongi cheating suspect involved in more cases
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 8
Major Singh, one of the suspects in the Balongi cheating case and the owner of the house where an agency by the name of Jai Lakshmi Super Agency was being run, had been earlier booked by the police in four cases.

The agency set up its business at Balongi village in November and allegedly duped residents of lakhs of rupees. The agency was offering various goods, right from a small household item to a car, at half the market price. The customer was free to choose the goods from either the venue or the open market. The delivery of goods was to be given in 15 days from the time when the payment was made. A high rate of interest was also offered to lure customers.

The police had booked four persons in this regard, including the house owner, Major Singh, under Section 420 of the IPC and 4/5 of the Chit Fund Act.

According to the police, Major Singh had been booked in four cases before being booked in the Balongi cheating case. Police cases had been registered against him in Chandigarh, Kharar and Mohali.

On October 12, 1998, the Kharar police had registered a case against him on charges of cheating by personation, forgery and criminal conspiracy. On August 7, 2002, Major Singh was booked by the Mohali police on charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust.

The Chandigarh police booked him on September 14, 2002, on charges of cheating, theft, forgery and registered a case under Sections 379,411, 420, 467, 468, 471, 478, 482 and 120 B of the IPC. Major Singh was again booked by the Mohali police on September 29, 2003, under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC



Cash, gold ornaments stolen in Sec 71
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 8
Thieves decamped with Rs 15,000 and gold ornaments from a Sector 71 house, last night. According to the police, the incident took place in the evening when the house owner was away to Delhi along with his wife. Their maid too had gone to her house in Chandigarh for few days.

The police said thieves gained access into the house by scaling the back wall and later broke the latch of back door. When the house owner, Mr Harshvindra Sain returned from Delhi he found lights switched on.

The entry gate and the main door’s latches were intact but after getting inside the house, Mr Sain found the house was ransacked.

According to the Phase VIII SHO, Mr Trilochan Singh, a forensic team had visited the house last night for collection of the fingerprints. He said during preliminary investigations it was found that one of Mr Sain’s neighbours had seen a person entering the house.

He told the neighbour that he was the gardener and had come to give water to the plants. A case has been registered in this regard under Sections 456 and 380 of the IPC. 



Cellphone thieves on prowl
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 8
The recent attempt of thieves to break into a mobile and accessories showroom in Mohali has brought into focus the failure of the local police to nab the gang responsible for such crimes in Mohali and Chandigarh.

According to Mr Sanjiv Jindal, owner of the mobile care shop in Phase IIIB2, thieves tried to break open into his showroom on Sunday morning. The thieves, according to him managed to break two of three locks of the shop. They, however, could not break open the third lock and the shop was saved.

Mr Jindal pointed out that this was the second incident of its kind in Mohali. On August 2, robbers had decamped with mobile hand sets and accessories worth Rs 2.5 lakh from a mobile care showroom in Phase V.

“Similar thefts had taken place at Akash agencies in Sector 35, Chandigarh, and another at an electronics shop dealing in mobiles in Sector 22, Chandigarh. It seems a gang is operating in Chandigarh and Mohali that is concentrating on shops dealing in mobile sets and its accessories,” he said.



Senior architect booked in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 8
The police has booked a former Senior Architect of Haryana, Mr B.N. Talwar, his wife Kamlesh, sons Rajiv and Anupam, and daughter-in-law, Anju in a dowry harassment case.

All five have been booked under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on a complaint filed by accused Rajiv’s wife, Archana. The latter has alleged that she was mentally and physically harassed, and repeated demands were made to get more dowry.

She has alleged that she was married to Rajiv in 1999, and had brought enough dowry at the time of marriage. 



30-yr-old found dead near GMCH
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
An unidentified male body was found near Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32, here, this evening.

The police was informed at around 5 pm that a dead body was lying near the gate of the GMCH.

The deceased, aged around 30, was wearing grey trousers, grey shirt and red sweater.

He was five feet eight inches in height and was of slim bearing, said the police.

The police said the roadside tea vendors told them that the deceased was roaming in the area for the last four-five days.

One tea vendor informed the police that the he saw the deceased wandering around the place last night.

The tea vendors disclosed that they noticed the deceased lying at that place for a long time as they suspected him to be drunk.

It was only in the evening that the police reached the spot and found him dead.

The body was kept in the mortuary of the General Hospital in Sector 16. 



Sales tax collections up by 21 per cent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The local Excise and Taxation Department has claimed that collection of sales tax till the period ending November 30 stood at Rs 268 crore. This was 21 per cent more as compared to Rs 222 crore collected in the corresponding period last year.

Similarly the entertainment tax collection for the same period had gone up from Rs 1.42 crore to Rs 2.02 crore. The state excise revenue has also increased from Rs 56.81 crore to Rs 62.52 crore.

The Excise Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar claimed that the department was expected to exceed the targets by 18 to 20 per cent this year. 



Biz briefs

PNB FUNCTION: Punjab National Bank organised a retail lending function here on Wednesday. Around Rs 16 crore were disbursed on the spot as loans under various schemes pertaining to housing loan, car loan, trading loan, education loan and loan against property and lease rentals. The function was chaired by Mr B. P. Chopra, General Manager, PNB, Northern Zone, Chandigarh. It attended by around 150 persons. TNS


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