C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No work at tehsil office for seventh day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
The tehsil office went without work for the seventh day here today.

While for most of the week the tehsil office remained closed on the pretext that tehsildars were on strike in Ropar district, when the tehsildar finally arrived in office this evening, he found that his office staff had already left.

Sources added that work relating to registration of sale deeds, issuing of power of attorneys, etc. had been affected ever since the police booked the Naib Tehsildar Sucha Singh for his alleged involvement in a fraud case.

The case was registered in early December, and since then he has not attended the office.

On Monday, he was transferred out of Mohali and a new official, Balwinder Singh, was given his charge. It was learnt that the name of tehsildar Mandeep Singh Dhillon was also likely to figure in the case and he has been on leave ever since.

Following the incident, a strike call was given by tehsildars across the district protesting against the “treatment” meted out to the Naib Tehsildar by the police.

A delegation of the tehsildar union today met Deputy Commissioner Seema Jain, but it could not be ascertained weather the strike had been finally called off or not.

“I have asked tehsildars to resume work but I am not sure if the strike would be called off or not,” Seema Jain said.

Meanwhile, when Balwinder Singh visited the tehsil office at 4 pm today, he found that the office staff had already left after the day’s work.

Hundreds of residents who had come to the office for official work had to return disappointed yet again.

“We have been coming to the office every day for the past one week. No work has taken place in this office and there is no one who is bothered,” said Mr A.P. Singh, a Mohali resident, who remained standing outside the tehsil office from 10 am to 4 pm for the registration of a sale deed.

Many others had come from outside the town to get their work done. “We have bought a house here and have come from Pathankot. Every day I extend my leave from the bank there to complete the formalities here. I am surprised that even higher officers do not stay at the office for more than an hour,” said Mr Darshan Lal.

A retired class I officer from CSIO, Chandigarh, Mr Harbans Singh, who had been waiting since morning for the tehsildar to join office today, said: “When I went up to him, he told me that the clerk who was responsible for collecting the money had been sent to the secretariat for some urgent assignment and that no work would be done today.”

Another resident of Phase VI who requested not to be named said he had been coming to the office for the past 10 days to get a power of attorney certificate “but I have failed. The owner of the property is an NRI and he was here only for a week. Now he is to leave and the work has still not been done”.

There is also a fear among many residents that the registration fee would be increased from the current 6 per cent to 9 per cent from January 1, 2005. “Once the rates go up, who will pay for the additional amount that we pay?” asked Mr Arora, another resident.



Fog envelops city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Winter chill continued to rise as temperature fell drastically as compared to yesterday. With the level of humidity also rising, fog became denser, virtually stalling normal movement. All flights and trains were delayed due to low visibility.

The condition in the morning was particularly bad, with no visibility across the city which seemed to have been shrouded by fog. Met officials said the phenomena was a routine, adding that the fog formation had actually been delayed this season in comparison to the last. Last year, December 17 was the day when fog first featured to last for a whole month but this year it surfaced prominently only in the last week of December.

Data apart, life was affected due to dense fog today. With most of the markets opening late and the vehicular traffic also dropping. Even the otherwise bustling Labour Chowk wore a deserted look as did parks.

The temperature is expected to drop further by a few degrees. Today’s fall was about four degrees. However, the maximum temperature recorded today was higher than yesterday. It was 18.2ºC.



CHB fails to get nod for 10-storey flats
Plans 1,590 flats in Sector 63
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
After not getting clearance for a 10-storey high residential block, the Chandigarh Housing Board has decided that it will go by its original plan of having four-storey high flats in its upcoming 40-acre complex in Sector 63.

Located just north of the PCA stadium, Sector 63 will now have 1,590 flats of various categories. This will be 260 flats less than what the CHB planned in a 10-storey complex. The CHB is drafting an application to seek environmental clearance which is, nowadays, mandatory for any complex which houses more than 100 persons. The full report on sewerage treatment, consumption of water and land use will be sent to the Ministry of Environment, said the Chairman of the CHB, Mr S.C. Poddar.

He admitted that the CHB had not got clearance for its 10-storey project thus the old plan of four stories would be carried forward. A few days ago the Architect Department of the administration told the CHB that the 10-storey blocks would not be allowed.

Interestingly, the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, had been asked by the Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues, to prepare a concept plan for Chandigarh.

It may be recollected that the administration had asked the Chandigarh Perspectives — a body loaded by architects — about its opinion on the 10-storey blocks.

At a meeting held in the first week of November the Perspectives had suggested against having such high-rise blocks.

The CHB had asked for permission to build 10-storey blocks for three bedroom HIG flats, each having a covered area of about 1,500 sq feet. This will require a height of 115 feet. At present, the residential blocks in the city are not more than 37-feet high. The administration referred the matter to the Perspectives.

Going beyond the 37-feet height needed a policy decision. A section among senior officials of the administration was in favour of going vertical and allow high-rise residential blocks like those in Gurgaon and Noida. This will change the skyline of the city which is known for its low-height buildings and tree-lined roads, as envisaged by French architect Le Courbusier.



MLA writes to CM against OSD
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
Infighting in the Congress at Kharar came to light today when Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh wrote a letter to the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, complaining against his OSD, Mrs Lakhvinder Kaur Garcha. The MLA alleged that Mrs Garcha was behaving like a parallel MLA in the constituency. If she was not restrained the MLA said he would be “forced to take steps which will not be in the interest of either the party or the Punjab Government.”

“Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha has been interfering in my constituency with the blessings of the party president,” stated the MLA in the letter.

Pointing to pictures of Mr Garcha distributing cheques for grants issued by the government at Kharar, the MLA alleged that Mrs Garcha had been misusing the office of the Chief Minister. She had been making announcements regarding the construction of link roads and other development activities. “Who has authorised her to do so? 



Clubs cancel New Year functions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali, December 29
The shocking realities and the magnitude of the disaster caused by the tsunami in southern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have stirred city residents. New Year functions have been cancelled in several clubs while a decision of the managements of a few other clubs is expected by tomorrow morning.

The secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association, Mr M.P. Pandove, was the first to announce this morning that New Year celebrations at its Punjab Cricket Club inside the PCA stadium in Phase IX, Mohali, had been cancelled.

The Captain of the Golf Club Mr Gurjeet Singh Lehal said the special New Year eve function at the golf club had been cancelled. A decision in this regard was taken today. The club would function normally, however, there would no lights and music.

The president of the Press Club, Mr Ramesh Chaudhary, said the special New Year function at the club had been cancelled in view of the tragedy in south India. However, the club would function normally on that day.

The Defence Services Officer Institute (DSOI), Sector 36, today cancelled the scheduled party on the New Year eve. Meanwhile sources in the defence sector said the New Year eve party at Western Command, Chandi Mandir, was also expected to be cancelled. However, no formal orders had been issued.

The president of the Chandigarh Club, Mr Mukesh Bassi, said a special meeting of the executive was called for tomorrow and a decision to cancel or carry on the function would be taken. The general secretary of the Chandigarh Golf Range, Mr C.S.R. Reddy, said a decision was expected tomorrow when the management would meet to discuss the matter.

The management of the Mohali Club, Phase XI, has yet to decide about the function.

Meanwhile the Chairman, Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO), Mr S.C. Poddar, said, we were carrying on with our functions. The CITCO had decided that it would put up a box outside each of its hotels —Mountview, Shivalikview and Parkview — inviting people to donate money in cash, cheque or drafts for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

It is perhaps for the first time that new year celebrations will be cancelled in the city in this millennium. The last cancellation was after the fire in Dabwali in 1995. 

Functions cancelled: Chandigarh Golf Club, Press Club, Punjab Cricket Association and DSOI.

Decision awaited: Chandigarh Club and Chandigarh Golf Range.

Function will be held: CITCO-run Mountview and Shivalikview and also private hotels.



160 telephones out of order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The telephone connections of residents of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) colony in Sector 48-C of Mohali have been lying non-functional since December 26.

According to residents, the trouble arose when the telephone cables were stolen from the area rendering over 160 telephone connections non-functional. This is not for the first time that the cables have been stolen from the area.

The residents urged the Principal General Manager of Telecom to intervene so that the telecommunication link could be restored.



SBI PO exam on January 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Written examination for the recruitment of probationary officers (POs) in the State Bank of India, will be held on January 9. It was earlier scheduled for October 31.
According to an official release, there is no change in the centres/venues in Chandigarh zone and the examination will be conducted at Karnal, Hisar, Ambala, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Palampur, Shimla and Jammu centres as per the call letters already issued to the candidates. The candidates may carry the call letters already issued for October 31, 2004, which will be valid for January 9, 2005.



Daon resident killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of village Daon here was killed when his motorcycle hit a parked truck at the Balongi barrier last night. The Police said the victim was returning from Naya Gaon where he had a shop, when the accident took place.

The police has registered a case against the truck driver for parking his vehicle dangerously on the road.



Panchayat Samiti chief’s election on Jan 11
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Election to the office of the chairman, Panchayat Samiti, Chandigarh, will be held on January 10 at 11 am. Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar said that Mr I.S Sandhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner has been asked to oversee the election. Result will be announced on the same day.

The election has been necessitated following the removal of the Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri as head of the samiti.



Cambridge scholar advocates selective globalisation
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
India should go in for selective and reluctant globalisation and not succumb to pressure of opening up in every area. Globalisation is a multidimensional idea that deals with a wide range of issues, based on the needs and requirements specific to the Indian economy, the country must take strategic attitude to continue on the path of sustained economic growth, Prof Ajit Singh, Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge and a Senior Fellow, Queens’ College, Cambridge said.

He was delivering a lecture on “India Rising: Myth or Reality?” And the lessons from the Indian Development Experience, presided over by Punjab Governor Gen S.F Rodrigues, at the Centre for Rural Research and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

Prof Ajit Singh cited the case of Japan and Korea that followed “a need-based opening of the economy” that provided these countries protection from ‘debt crises’ that many Latin American countries succumbed to. The secret lies in enjoying the fruit of globalisation without being exposed to the dangers, he added.

He said that a well-regulated economy could lead to an economic growth of 7 to 8 per cent over the next 20 years to outdo the Chinese economic growth. He quoted western economists, including Harvard Professor Dani Rodrik and Arvind Subramanian of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying that it was either at the end of the 1970s or the early 1990s that a decisive break came from the ‘slow Hindu growth rate of the previous decades. This was achieved by major changes in economic policies from dirigisme to a more liberal economy”.

He said “the Hindu growth rate during the period 1960-80 was low because of extraordinary shocks to the economy arising particularly from the two wars with Pakistan, suspension of foreign aid for various periods following each of the wars in 1965 and 1971, oil price rise in 1973-74 and a subsequent draught”.

Prof Ajit Singh added that it was a credit to the Indian system that these shocks were contained by prudent macro-economic policies.

The Professor said “the management of the Indian economic during these large disturbances to the economy compares favourably not only to the record of the Latin American countries during the debt crisis in the 1980s, but also compares with the experience of leading advanced country such as the UK following the oil shock in the 1970s”.

The Cambridge scholar said that the western world, especially the United States, was keenly watching the economic developments relating to globalisation, as this would impact its own economy. The availability of the one and a half billion workforce from India, China and erstwhile Soviet Union were being viewed as a threat to the workforce in western countries.

The biggest problem that he thinks India would face over the next few years would be to provide employment to the 400 million workers that is further growing at the rate of 2 per cent annually. This situation, he says, has arisen because the industrial growth in India has failed to generate enough employment.

He laid special stress on the need for improving the functioning of the public sector in the country.

“You cannot privatise everything, the only other way is to monitor and improve their efficiency and delivery system”. Indian economists should pay special attention to internal reforms to free the economy of internal sluggishness that hampers efficiency. He also advocated a “Commodities Agreement” at the global level to prevent huge fluctuation costs of agricultural produce, besides establishing linkages between micro enterprises and the small-scale industries.

For India, he said, it was not advisable to take any World Bank or IMF loans unless they were offered at a highly subsidised rate.

“Grants for projects like poverty eradication, etc are recommended, but loans should be a big no for India” to keep itself out of the debt crisis.



Community policing project launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 29
The city police today made an effort to bridge the gap between the police and public by launching a community policing project involving 30 persons from the public under each police station. The UT Administrator decided to put the city police to a test by handing over a study on the city police functioning to a Delhi-based NGO.

The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, today inaugurated the project here. He also flagged off a trauma highway ambulance equipped with medical team and a water cannon.

Speaking on the occasion, General Rodrigues said the project is the first step towards giving the Chandigarh police a new face.

The Administrator also released a Citizen Charter and Standing Order on Community Policing in Chandigarh.

In his welcome address, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Rajesh Kumar, said the city police has enlarged its services by providing public window system to the citizens, including passport verification, police clearance certificate, redressal of grievances, no-objection certificates regarding stolen vehicles, arms license verifications, service verifications, permissions relating to dharnas/procession, registration of foreigners, matters pertaining to foreigners and other services.

He said under the Community Policing Project, one community liaison group would be set up in each police station and its members would assist the police by disseminating crime-relating information, providing assistance in crime prevention and conducting volunteer work. The community liaison group of each police station would comprise about 30 representatives of all sections of society who are bi-partisan, non-controversial and without any criminal record.

Senior officers, including the Home Secretary, Mr Krishan Mohan, Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, SP, Traffic and Security, Mr Amitabh Dhillon, and SSP, Headquarters, Mr Varinder Singh Chahal, were present.

The IGP said the Administrator wanted to have highway trauma ambulance services for the road accident victims. Before that the city police had only one highway ambulance. The ambulance would be in service round the clock in the city and would cater to the needs of road accidents victims in the accident-prone southern sectors. The ambulance would have on board one pharmacist, three cops besides being equipped with a pulse oxymeter, oxygen cylinder, suction machine, artificial respiratory system and first-aid medicine.



BJP sets up fund for tsunami-hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The BJP today formed the “Bharatiya Janata Party Aapada Sahayata Kosh” for victims of tsunami.

President of the local unit Yash Pal Mahajan appealed to the residents to give relief material, including, food items, medicines, utensils, dhoties, sarees, and blankets for the victims. The relief material is being collected at the party office,”Kamalam” in Sector 33.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president, Mr Jagdish Arora, appealed to the residents to cancel new year celebrations in view of the devastations caused by tsunami.

He also appealed to residents, particularly the traders, to donate for the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.



EO, civic body lock horns over hoardings
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, December 29
The Executive Officer of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and members of the civic body have locked horns over the displaying of two hoardings along the Chandigarh-Patiala highway for the past over a fortnight here.

The hoardings displayed to welcome delegates carrying the ‘’torch’’ of the 1st Indo-Pak Punjab Games 2004, held at Patiala from December 5 to 11 have become a bone of contention for the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat officials.

According to sources, a hoarding was displayed along on slip-road diverging from the Chandigarh-Ambala highway to Panchkula and the another one adjacent to a traffic police post on the Panchkula-T point by the civic body authorities a few days before the torch of the Indo-Pak Punjab Games passed from the area.

The sources revealed that the Executive Officer (EO), Mr Girish Verma, has asked the Municipal Councillors, including Mr Narinder Kumar Sharma, president of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, for setting up hoardings along the highway where the torch was to be received by the district administration on December 4.

The EO procured the hoardings from a trader for about Rs 12,000 and listed “Courtesy: EO-MC Zirakpur” at their bottom. A majority of the Municipal Councillors, objected over it, saying that instead of writing ‘’Courtesy Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat’’, the EO painted his designation on the hoardings to take the political patronage.

It is learnt that Mr Girish Verma asked Mr Narinder Sharma to release money from the Nagar Panchayat funds to pay for the hoardings but the proposal was turned down.

Mr Narinder Sharma claimed that though the EO had asked him to erect hoardings along the highway, he had not sent anything in black and white in this regard as such. Repeated efforts to contact Mr Girish Verma on telephone proved futile till late in the evening.

Tax evaders warned

Dera Bassi, December 29
Taking a serious note of tax evasion to the Dera Bassi Municipal Council, the executive officer, today asked defaulters to come forwards voluntarily.

Mr S.S. Sidhu, Executive Officer (EO), said that those who failed in depositing taxes in next 15 days would be penalised as per provisions in the law. He also said that action would be taken against the residents using illegal water and sewerage connections. A public announcement has already been made regarding this, the EO claimed. OC



DC orders probe into cheating of old man
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain, has marked an inquiry into the alleged cheating of an 86-year-old resident of Chilla Manouli village here by another resident, reportedly in connivance with the naib tehsildar, Mohali, and a notary public here.

The inquiry has been marked to the Kharar SDM, Mr S.S. Gill, following a preliminary report submitted by the Mohali SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, on the incident.

Mrs Seema Jain said the Kharar SDM had been asked to file a detailed report on the matter. She added that the Mohali SDM report was the sequence of events as reported by the complainant and the accused to the SDM. Mr M.L. Sharma added that since the incident had taken place within his jurisdiction, it would not have been wise to enquire into it and he had requested that the inquiry shall be marked to some other officer.

Sources said the victim, Pritam Singh, today deposed before the Kharar SDM and got his statement recorded. He alleged before the SDM that Karamjit Singh, another resident of the village, sold over his five qilas using his power of attorney.

According to Pritam Singh, who can barely see and hear due to old age, Karamjit Singh allegedly took his thumb impressions on a large number of documents on the pretext of filing some papers in PUDA. “He told Pritam Singh that PUDA was going to acquire his 8 acres and he would help in filing an objection with the authority. He hurried up the whole thing saying that the last date of filing objections was close,” said a Pritam Singh’s relatives.

Karamjit Singh, along with his uncle, village lambardar Sher Singh, allegedly used the power of attorney to sell parts of Pritam Singh’s land. “Two qilas were sold first on November 30 and then three qilas on December 9. The same day on December 9 morning, we had brought the matter to the notice of the naib tehsildar Sucha Singh who told us to go to the patwari to get the power of attorney cancelled. While we went to meet the patwari, the naib tehsildar registered the sale of our land,” said the relative.

However, the police has not arrested any accused.



CITU protests against ordinance

Chandigarh, December 29
Members of CITU and Punjab and Chandigarh Medical and Sales Representatives Union (PCMSRU) organised a black flag demonstration against the amendment to the Indian Patent Act through an ordinance here today.

The general secretary, CITU, Punjab, Mr Raghunath Singh, said the government had promulgated an ordinance for amending the Act. He said this third bill was not taken up during the last session of Parliament. The general secretary of the PCMSRU, Mr A. Sawhney, said it was anti-people and anti-nation because it would serve the purpose of only big multinational corporations. TNS



BJP workers appeal for donations
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
The Mohali unit of the BJP today went shop to shop asking for donations for the rehabilitation of the tsunami-affected people in different parts of the country. According to a press note issued by Mr Ved Jhingan, mandal president, this was being done following the announcement by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for setting up a BJP calamity relief fund.

Mr Vineet Joshi, member national executive of the BJP youth wing and Mr Indersen Chatwal, district general secretary, BJP Ropar, along with other workers started from the Phase 5 market this morning and went to other markets. The response of the people was overwhelming. Even rickshaw-pullers and tea vendors donated money.



Appeal for donation
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, December 29
The Deputy Commissioner and president of the District Red Cross Society, Panchkula, Mrs Neelam P. Kasni, has appealed to residents to donate generously to help victims of tsunami in Southern states.

Mrs Kasni appealed to the residents of the district to help the victims either in kind or in cash. Donations in shape of cash (cheques/ Drafts drawn in favour of President, District Red Cross Society, Panchkula), could be given to the Red Cross Society by December 31.



Donations pour in for tsunami victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Expressing solidarity with the tsunami-affected people in the South India and Andaman Nicobar Islands, city residents have started making donations. The Chandigarh Administration will collect one-day salary of its employees and send it to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. This works out to be nearly Rs 90 lakh.

SD College Sector 32 presented a cheque for Rs 2 lakh. The President, Mr U.K. Sharma, and the Principal, Mr A.C. Vaid, presented the cheque to the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, as a contribution towards the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, here today. The management of SD College has also offered to provide education with hostel accommodation facilities free of cost to children from tsunami-affected areas.

The Dhanvantry Education Society presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh. It’s president, Mr D.K. Gupta, and the Vice-President, Dr Naresh Mittal, presented the cheque.

The PGI: It was decided today to donate one-day salary by the entire staff. This works out to be roughly Rs 25 lakh. The faculty and staff members of the PGI here have decided to contribute their one-day’s salary towards the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. The PGI Director Prof K.K. Talwar, and the employees have expressed sympathies towards sufferers of the tragedy.

SGGS, Sector 26: NSS volunteers of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, collected funds to the tune of Rs 42,000 for tsunami victims from residents of Sector 34, 35 and 22. The residents also donated a large number of clothes and woollens. According to the college Principal, Dr Kuldeep Singh, the collected amount and the items would be sent for the victims in the South Indian states.

The college authorities have appealed to the city residents for donation by contacting the NSS in charge of the college, Prof Charanjit Singh and Prof Amandeep Kaur.

PowerGrid Corporation: Rs 45 lakh have been collected by employees by donating one-day salary. Mr R.P. Singh, CMD, PowerGrid has requested employees to rush aid in the form of clothes, ration, medicine and other useful things for the use of the victims.



Brig Sucha Singh cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
One of the city’s highly decorated officers, Brig Sucha Singh (retd), who had died last week, was cremated here today. A large number of well-wishers as well as serving and retired officers attended the funeral.

A veteran of World War-II, he died on Saturday at the Command Hospital, Chandimandir, after prolonged illness. The arrival of his son from the USA was being awaited.

The Commanding Officers of 1 Para and 2 Para, which Brig Sucha Singh had commanded as well as an officer of 2 Maratha Light Infantry, from which 2 para had been formed, were among those present.

A wreath was laid by Major-Gen H.S. Herr (retd) on behalf of the Parachute Regiment Association. Lieut-Gen R.S. Dayal (retd) was among those who paid their last respect to the decorated soldier.



Healthy handwriting an asset, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Healthy handwriting is an asset in your professional and personal lives, says a city-based handwriting expert, Mr Mohan Ray, who claims to have developed three-hour capsule course for professionals.

The founder of the Sector 22-based Institute of Healthy Handwriting (IHH), Mr Ray, told Chandigarh Tribune here today that the special techniques were useful for busy professionals like doctors, engineers and journalists.

Moreover, students preparing for the competitive examinations could benefit a lot from the handwriting improvement techniques. Contrary to traditional belief, the letter-formation techniques could be learned, he claimed.

Saying that healthy handwriting was not synonymous with calligraphy, Mr Ray said people from all walks, should learn to write legibly. A healthy handwriting did not meant beautiful handwriting.

“Till now students have been struggling with trial and error method because their teachers are never trained for teaching handwriting. And in the process, millions of students, who cannot learn without guidance, become losers in their careers,” he says.

Persons not improving their handwriting would be left out of the highly-competitive race in the world, he added.

And to create awareness about healthy handwriting, Mr Ray intends to hold awareness workshops all over the country.



Sector 20 woman booked for duping bank
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 29
The police has booked a woman of Sector 20 on the charges of duping a private bank to the tune Rs 1.93 lakh. She handed over the bank a cheque that was later dishonoured.

The police registered a case after a complaint was filed by Mr Sanjiv Kumar, the collection in charge of Standard Chartered Bank, Sector 15, alleging that Ekta, a resident of Sector 20, borrowed a loan of Rs 1.93 lakh from the bank to buy a car.

He said she did not deposit the instalments and it was only later they came to know that she had sold the car. The woman also handed over a cheque that was dishonoured, said the police.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station said the woman did not assist in the investigation and a case was registered against her after the preliminary investigation. A case under Sections 406, 420 and 120-B has been registered in this regard.


Ms Tarsem Kumari Gupta of Sector 39 reported to the police that gold ornaments worth Rs 22,000 and cash worth Rs 3,500 were stolen from her residence. A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Naresh Kumar of Sector 15-A reported to the police that his motor cycle (CH-32(T)-5533) was stolen from the Sector 15 market on December 28.

A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.



4 held in theft case
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, December 29
The police has arrested four persons of Mohali while they were taking away iron goods from an industrial unit in Charnia village, near Pinjore, today.

According to a police press note Zahid, Zakir, Sazir Ali and Israr Ali who were putting up in Balongi village, were arrested for involvement in a theft case. The police also claims to have recovered goods worth Rs 22,000 from their possession. The four were produced before a court here which remanded them in judicial custody.

2 held for gambling

The police has arrested Ved Prakash and Inderjit of Kalka and Surinder and Jagroop Singh of Pinjore for gambling at a public place.

The police has also recovered Rs 4260 from them. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against them. at Pinjore police station.



A year abound in sex, drug rackets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Chandigarh remained haunted throughout the year by sex and drug rackets, resulting in heinous crimes.

Breeding grounds of drugs and sex trade came to light by an enhanced police action against the crime. Increasing drug use resulted in a higher number of burglaries, chain snatchings and thefts.

During interrogation of thieves and chain snatchers, it was found that most of them took to daring crimes because of addiction.

The Chandigarh Police registered a large number of cases in the city but the big fish remain out of its net. The police, however, tried to send a message across by booking those drug users who were caught carrying just one gram of contraband.

Sex trade remained in focus throughout the year, ending with the murder of a reported police informer call girl, Muskan, in Hotel Shivalikview this month.

Her murder is also being seen as a rivalry between call girls and pimps despite the fact that the call girl was killed by a lover of another call girl for reportedly seeking to spoil the latter’s settled life.

The call girl racket in the city and surrounding areas spread its tentacles beyond the control and also reflected the breaking down of the social norms for lure of money.

The Chandigarh Police made a high number of arrests of call girls during the year but media highlighted that it was only a tip of the iceberg.

A team constituted under under-training IPS officer Sanjay Jain arrested around 30 call girls in the middle of the year in a special drive. However, the police could not get much success in unearthing drug peddlers who had been using the city as a transit point.

The breakdown in the social norms led to 21 murders in the city and an average of two suicides a month.

The most shocking murder incidents included that of a mother killing her newborn child in the PGI, an air force man being killed by his wife and a minor son and a woman getting her husband killed by her paramour in Ram Darbar.

A woman accused her husband of allegedly raping his 10-year-old daughter. The woman later withdrew her statement.

The weakening of blood relations was at play in the kidnapping of a banker by henchmen of one of the banker’s relatives based in the USA. First woman pilot of the country Beant Kaur and her sister Satwant Kaur were allegedly tortured by the former’s adopted son.

The city hogged the limelight early in the year when the alleged assassins of a Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh escaped from high-security Burail Jail by digging a 94-foot-long tunnel.

The Chandigarh Police claimed to unearthing a part of the conspiracy but failed to get any clue to the whereabouts of the escapees.

The city residents got a relief when one of the most wanted criminals, Anil Kumar, alias Tota, was arrested earlier in the year.



FIRs can be lodged, says NABARD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
NABARD today allowed its staffers and members of NABARD Employees Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society Ltd to lodge FIRs against the office-bearers of the society for alleged irregularities.

“NABARD rules do not make it mandatory for its employees to seek office permission for lodging FIRs to protect their constitutional rights,” a press note said here today.

It clarified that the society run by an elected body of its staff members was separate from NABARD and it should not be confused as one. The clarification on the position of rules comes as a relief to staff members as they had not got a reply when they had sought permission of the bank to lodge criminal complaints against the office-bearers of the society.

The Chief General Manager clarified that he thought it improper to make any comment about the functioning and financial position of the society as it was governed by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS). He said NABARD and its management had no bearing on the working of the society.

The official note said the monthly subscription of 15 members, who had submitted their no-dues certificates from the society, had already been stopped and for the remaining 43 deductions were kept in a safe custody and shall not be passed on to the society pending the RCS decision.



Industrialists hail move on smoking
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
Members of the Mohali Industries Association here today welcomed the announcement of the local administration to implement the ban on smoking in public places in by using powers conferred on it under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003. The provisions of its various Sections had come into force on May 1, 2004.

According to a press note by Mr Gurmeet Singh, president of the association, this would help protect residents from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and protect children and young people from being addicted to tobacco.

It was also decided to display banners showing the bad effects of tobacco and cigarettes in industrial units in addition to holding awareness camps. A painting competition and declamation contest would be held for schoolchildren of Industrial workers and staff on this subject.

The association appreciated the efforts taken by the generation savior association for creating awareness among local residents by organising on anti-tobacco awareness campaign among industrial workers.



Market panel to donate Rs 5 lakh for victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
A meeting of the Market Committee today decided to donate Rs 5 lakh for the relief of tsunami victims. Chairman of the committee Bhupinder Singh Badheri said.

The committee also decided to hold apni mandis in Chandigarh. Also a resolution was passed for the installation of halogen lights in and around vegetable shed in subzi-mandi Sector 26, construction of a road at the back of SCF 1-16 and maintenance of footpaths at the back of SCF 31-42 in subzi mandi Sector 26.

Also purchase of a multipurpose vehicle for apni mandis has been decided. Installation of a weighing machine and starting of fodder mandi in grain market Sector 39, Chandigarh were also decided.



BSNL phone directory released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The main telephone directory of the Chandigarh district of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been released.

According a press note issued here today, the directory, corrected up to March 31, 2004, is being distributed at five BSNL centres.

The centres are: Central Telegraph Office, Sector 17; Telephone Exchange, Sector 20; Telephone Exchange, Sector 34; Telephone Exchange, Sector 5, Panchkula; and Telephone Exchange, Phase IV, Mohali.

The directory will be available on the production of original copy of the last paid bill.

For clarification, subscribers can dial telephone numbers 2545666 and 2546699, the press note added.



Biz Clip

HUTCH PACKAGE: Hutch on Wednesday announced a special year-end package on Hutchworld for its GPS subscribers called “Best of 2004”. The package contains animations, colour logos, singtones, polytones, realtones, mp3, wallpapers, themes and games like Global Grand Prix, Romeo Juliet, Prince of Persia-Warrior within. They can also book railway tickets by using this service and have the option to talk in Hindi or English on the voice response system. TNS


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