C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City girl killed for dowry in Shimla
Ramanjit Sidhu

Chandigarh, December 30
A 22-year-old local girl and mother of a 4-month-old son is suspected to have been poisoned to death by her husband and in-laws this month in Shimla for the failure of her father to meet a Rs 50,000 dowry demand.

The Shimla police registered a case of dowry death on December 5, despite sufficient grounds to suspect that the girl might have been given either poison or life-threatening drugs.

Monika died on December 4 and her body was blue and had injury marks suggesting either she was beaten up before death or she was forcibly administered something which she objected to resulting in a scuffle. The father of the girl, Mr Ashok Ghai, who brought the body from Shimla to the city for cremation on December 5, said here today that her body had injury marks.

Mr Ghai said her daughter could not commit suicide as even he was not allowed to meet the girl 15 days before her death. Mr Ghai also said her daughter was being administered some medicines at that time and the medication reportedly led to worsening of her condition.

Mr Ghai quoted neighbours of the girl as saying that when the girl died, family members of her husband were carrying either an ill or dead Monika with covered faces to hospital. They did not disclose that they were carrying Monika to the hospital.

Mr Ghai said he was informed by the in-laws of Monika that she was in the hospital. Mr Ghai immediately sent his Shimla-based relatives to the hospital but she was declared brought dead. The family of the boy was insisting on cremating the body immediately. The relatives objected to an early cremation and a dispute erupted between the two families. A doctor on the duty intervened to pacify them saying that there was no need to fight over the body as preliminary indications were that the girl died of poisoning and there were injury marks on the body.

The doctor reportedly assured the family of the girl that her in-laws would be in jail.

The suspicion of poisoning still hangs as the police sent the viscera of the girl for a medical examination. The report is awaited.

The father of the girl also said she had communicated to him that her in-laws were harassing her and the neighbours also confirmed that she was being “mistreated.”

Monika (22) was married to Naresh Dhillon of Nighu Tutu in Shimla district on July 20, 2003.

Mr Ghai said the police initially showed reluctance to register a case against Naresh Dhillon, his father Rattan Lal, his mother Ajit and sisters Bindu and Ritu. However, after his efforts, the police registered a case of dowry death under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC.

Mr Ghai alleged the police was biased while registering the case as it deliberately avoided registering the case under Section 302 of the IPC.

The family of the boy was not accessible on the telephone as repeated calls to Shimla remained unattended in the evening.

The Station House Officer handling the case, Hemraj Poswal, however, said there was no confirmation of poisoning as the viscera report was yet to be received.

He said there were no injury marks on the body. He said that the police had sent a reminder to the medical authorities to send the report.



Mayor talks of her achievements
Lists property tax, parking area auction as successes
Tribune News Service

What the Mayor could not achieve during my tenure

*Solid Waste Treatment Plant

*Powers to write the ACR's of the employees

What Mayor claims to have achieved

*Imposition of three per cent property tax

*Pushing for the early completion of fourth phase of Kajauli water works

*Launching of website of the corporation

*More facilities for councilors

*NOC for construction in five villages with corporation

*Decision to have a shopping mall site in place of a hotel site in Sector 35

Chandigarh, December 30
Politics makes strange bedfellows; this is all the more true for the city leadership. Those who had opposed the implementation of property tax are now claiming this to be one of their major achievements.

Taking the lead in this matter is none other than the outgoing Mayor herself.

Though city's Congress leadership had been avoiding the issue prior to the last Lok Sabha election, they are now finding it beneficial to stake claim for the same.

Having led the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation during 2004, Mrs Kamlesh today listed the imposition of three per cent property tax as her main achievement.

The Congress leadership is now silent when questioned about their having outrightly rejected the imposition of five per cent property tax in 2003.

So much so that in her annual press conference, the Mayor listed the issue of property tax as her major achievement.

She said, "imposing of the three percent property tax would get matching grant for the civic body to carry out development activities."

The other achievements of the corporation include generating a revenue of Rs two crore from the auctioning of parking areas.

In the last meeting of the general house, the civic body had approved a new policy to generate revenue from selling space for advertisements at parking places.

However, what the Municipal Corporation could not manage to achieve during the entire year was its inability to resolve the waste disposal issue by giving a go ahead to a Waste Disposal Dump for the city.

Besides, the employees of the MC also continue to remain out of the purview of the Mayor as she does not have the powers to write their Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs).

She, however, claimed, " Despite the electoral code of conduct and monsoons stalling the development works for few months, I have been able to push several proposals to the implementation stage," she said adding that for the first time a budget review committee had been set up.

The sanctioning power of the ward committee had been increased by Rs Five lakh.

The amount of area development fund had been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh and the mayor's fund had been increased from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh.

She said during her tenure it had been decided that each councillor would be given a room in the community centre of his respective area to attend to the public grievances. The civic body was able to provide more community centers, bus queue shelters and modern toilets to the public.

On the issue of sewage treatment, the Mayor said with the completion of the three new and up gradation of the existing treatment plant, the untreated sewage of the city would be treated and pumped back for watering of lawns.

She said 12 tube wells had been bored and a 2 MGD- storage capacity tank had been set up in Manimajra.

At least 80 stand posts had been provided in Colony no.4

The corporation had been able to formulate a policy on day market. Mrs Kamlesh said as a policy matter it had been decided that the open space in front of the government schools and colleges would be covered tiles.

A major renovation of the fire station buildings was being undertaken.

A proposal for increasing the financial powers of the Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor had been mooted.



Mayor’s election tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Election to the office of the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will be held on January 1, 2005. Deputy Commissioner, Arun Kumar, has authorised Brig Sant Singh, a councillor, to preside over the meeting convened to elect the Mayor.



CITCO-run hotels, more clubs cancel New Year functions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/ Mohali/ Panchkula, December 30
The managements of various clubs and CITCO-run hotels — Mountview and Shivalikview — in the city cancelled all special celebrations scheduled for the New Year eve tomorrow.

The Chairman of CITCO, Mr S.C. Poddar, said today that it was decided that it would be improper to have a bash in view of the tsunami — triggered tragedy, thus they had cancelled all functions. The hotels would, however, function normally.

The management of the Chandigarh Golf Range decided to cancel the function, but said the club would function normally.

The executive committee of the Chandigarh Club unanimously decided to cancel the Harbhajan Mann nite scheduled to be held on the club premises on December 31. However, the club would function normally, there would be no special lights and music, Mr Mukesh Bassi, the club president, said.

The club said all executive members would personally contribute Rs 25,000 towards the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the committee had decided to contribute Rs 5 lakh to the fund.

The General Manager of the Lake Club said there would be no New Year function in the club.

The president of the Central Club in Sector 9, Maj J.S. Sekhri (retd), said the function at the club had been cancelled.

Each of the executive members would donate Rs 1,000 while members are requested to donate Rs 100 each for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Members can deposit the money at the club counter against receipt.

The Defence Services Officer Institute (DSOI) Sector 36, today issued a statement that entry fee for the New Year function would be credited in the accounts of the members. The DSOI had decided yesterday to cancel the special function on New Year eve.

The Lions Club, Chandigarh Greater, has decided to cancel the celebrations , Mr N.K. Chawla, secretary of the club, said.

The chief executive of the Mohali Club , Wg Cdr S.S. Dhillon (retd), said the New Year function had been cancelled.

The Gymkhana Club in Panchkula will have no special function, however, it will function normally.



Tamilians from city head for Chennai; all contributing monetarily
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Tamilians of Chandigarh have never prayed harder. Helpless for the moment and scarred for a lifetime, they can perhaps do little than pray, at least so long as they are away from their home state where thousands of their brethren were devoured by the killer Tsunami.

Mention the grim statistics and they are least interested. “Five thousand or five lakh, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that people have gone and have gone rather sadly,” says a member of Tamil Manram, the association of Tamilians settled in Chandigarh.

Strong with 600 members, the Association is doing everything possible to ensure that help flows from all quarters. Though the assessment of direct losses to the 7000 Tamil families settled in the city has not been possible, members say the loss is cumulative, not personal.

“The tragedy has menacing proportions which we can never really measure. All we know is that we will help in whatever way we can. Soon after we learnt about Tsunami hitting India, particularly Tamil Nadu, we met in our Sector 30 headquarters to decide about help. We have shared the impact of the tragedy and have left our members alone to decide what they want to offer. We will again meet on January 2 to collect the donations,” Mr Ekambaram, Secretary of Tamil Manram told The Tribune today.

Hailing from Nagapattinnam, the worst hit coastal district of Tamil Nadu where over 2500 persons have been killed, Mr Ekambaram confirmed that many association members had relatives in Cuddalore and Chidambaram, which were also affected.

“We have lost distant relatives, so have many others from the community.” Worst affected are the Tamilians working as labourers or employees in government’s PWD. Many of their relatives were fishermen back in Cuddalore and Nagapattinnam.

Several Tamil families in Chandigarh, especially those below the poverty line, hail from the districts worst affected by the Tsunami. Others might be better placed but they are equally pained as Dr Rajasekharan of the PGI who hails from Chennai.

On a hectic shift in the CCU for the past some days, he said, “I have been devastated, more so because I have not even had the time to follow the tragedy, let alone lament over the losses. But I was fortunate to have company in pain.

Never in life have I received more messages on my mobile than in the past four days. My friends from all over the world right from Japan to Philippines called me and condoled. I have not particularly lost anyone in my family, but I have shed many tears nevertheless.”

For Mr Ramachandran, working with the BSNL, December 26 was a tough day. Back in Chidambaram, his daughter may have been affected, but fortunately for him she was safe.

“She is pursuing BE at Annamalai University in Chidambaram. I called her soon after I heard about the tides. She was safe, but many other lives were lost. I am leaving for Chennai next week. I cannot keep myself away from my people,” he said.

Mr Manikadnam, attached as an assistant with the Liaison Officer of Annamalai University in Chandigarh, can still feel the jitters of the shattering news. He says, “My sister lives in Adam Bakkam, close to the coast.

She survived, but many did not. For us, this disaster will never really pass.” The entire staff of Annamalai University is donating a day’s salary for relief operations.

Even as the assessment of losses in Tamil Nadu (where over 5000 have died) continues, the community in Chandigarh has joined hands to share the burden of loss. Many Tamilians are heading for Chennai where some dead still wait to be counted.



More extend aid for victims
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
Officers and staff members of the Regional Labour Commissioner (Central), Chandigarh, and its subordinate offices in Shimla, Karnal, Faridabad, Jammu and Jalandhar have mourned the loss of human lives due to tsunami waves in the South and other neighbouring countries.

They have also decided to donate one-day’s salary to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to help victims. Mr Navdeep Sud, Regional Labour Commissioner (C), said this was the first time that employees of the department had come forward without waiting for any appeal from the Ministry of Labour, New Delhi.

Members of the Haryana Civil Medical Services Association, Central Executive Committee, have decided to donate one-day’s salary. Dr Satvir Chaudhary, president of the association, said over 2,000 doctors in the state would donate.

Gujarat Ambuja Cement, has announced Rs 1 crore as contribution to the Prime Minister’s Nation Relief Fund. “We hope this small contribution from Ambuja Cement will help in sharing the pain and agony of victims of this disaster,” said Mr Suresh Neotia, Chairman of the company.

The Indian Red Cross Society, in association with the Coca-Cola India, has given a grant of Rs 10 lakh to provide medical support in the relief material. The society and the company are organising relief measures in the affected areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Island besides Sri Lanaka. The measures include providing clean drinking water, food packets, clothes, besides helping the district administration in setting up relief camps and shelters for the affected, said Dr (Mrs) Vimala Ramalingam, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society. A team of officials have visited the affected areas such as Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Pondy to assess the damages.

The Joint Action Committee of Engineers and Employees of Punjab Public Works Department (Building and Roads) has appealed the committee members of donate one-day’s salary in favour of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The Safe Express, transporting relief material to the affected regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other areas. Mr Pawan Jain, chairman and managing director of the company, said the company would contribute a day’s salary of its employees for the help of the tsumani victims.

The members of the Property Consultant Association Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, today contributed Rs 2,00,000 and donated it to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The Voluntary Health Association of Punjab today organised condolence meeting at Plaza, Sector 17, to pay homage to those who lost there lives due to tsunami disaster. A shabab kirtan was also organised.

Panchkula: Employees of Punjab National Bank, Zonal Audit Office, Panchkula, today contributed their one-day’s salary (Rs 76,991) in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Apart from this, a sum of Rs 11,200 has also been donated by some other employees of the bank.

A press note issued by a senior manager of the bank said the employees were inspired from the appeal made by Mr S.S. Kohli, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank who contributed Rs 5 crore on behalf of the bank for the cause.

Baddi: Employees of State Bank of Patiala, Baddi, donated Rs 6,500 to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund after contributing their one-day’s salary for the help of tsumani victims.



UT Police donates Rs 16 lakh
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
The Chandigarh Police has donated Rs 16 lakh to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the tsunami victims. UT, IGP, Rajesh Kumar, yesterday handed over a cheque of the amount to Home Secretary of Chandigarh Administration, Krishna Mohan.

Officers, jawans, ministerial, police hospital and police school staff have donated their one-day’s salary for the fund.

MC staff to give day’s salary

Members of the Municipal Corporation Employees Welfare Association have decided to donate one-day salary for tsunami victims. President of the association, Madan Lal Sharma, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, said the willingness of the employees to donate their salary had been sent to the MC Commissioner.

Donations continue

Staff of the hotel Aroma has collected Rs 11,000 for the relief of tsunami victims in the south India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


Panchkula: The Citizens Welfare Association, Panchkula has asked residents to contribute to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for tsunami victims. President of the association Mr S.K. Nayar, said a resolution at a meeting of the association on December 28.



Donations continue to pour in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Donations for relief of the tsunami victims continue to pour in. Leading donors was UT Administrator, S.F. Rodrigues, and his staff at Raj Bhavan who pledged one day’s salary to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The Administrator appealed to social organisations, business houses and institutions to contribute for the victims.

BJP: The Councillors, Mrs Kamla Sharma and Mr Rajesh Gupta, have donated their one month honorarium in the “Aapada Sahayata Kosh ‘’ started by the BJP.

A meeting of the local unit of the BJP was held and the president, Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, said relief material as well as money collected at all its district, mandals and samitis level would be deposited in the BJP office, “Kamlam”, Sector 33-A. Entire relief material would be sent to the central office of the party in Delhi.

Haryana Industries Department: A meeting of the Employees Welfare Association decided to donate one-day salary to the PM’s Relief Fund.

TBRL: Employees union of the TBRL today decided to donate one-day salary.



Admn’s order on New Year revelry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Chandigarh Administration tonight said all special functions to be hosted by any of its departments for the New Year eve stands cancelled.

A spokesperson of the administration clarified that the Tourism Department of the Chandigarh Administration was not associated with the function to be hosted at the plaza in Sector 17 tomorrow.

Early this morning, CITCO was asked to stop the celebrations it had planned in its hotels.



AMC function cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
In view of the tsunami tragedy the Army Medical Corps Day celebration slated for January 2 have been cancelled. It was scheduled to be held at the Command Hospital Officers mess.



Panel formed for upkeep of welfare institutions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Chandigarh Administration has constituted a coordination committee for the periodic review, imparting of technical training, maintenance of buildings, upkeep of lawns and for providing healthcare facilities to inmates of those social welfare institutions which are being run with government assistance and are housed in government buildings.

This was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Social Welfare Krishna Mohan to review the working of social welfare institutions here today.

Representatives of as many as nine such institutions participated in the meeting.

The Chief Engineer has been asked to evaluate and assess the renovation and maintenance work required to be carried out in the these buildings. The Director, Technical Education, will facilitate the imparting of technical training to inmates of these societies.

Similarly, the Director Health Services will plan out visits of medical teams to these institutions. The committee has been constituted with an aim to facilitating the societies/institutions to focus themselves in their social activities and welfare of inmates, while the administration takes care of the training programmes, healthcare and maintenance/upkeep of government buildings housing institutions.

The Home Secretary has urged the representatives of societies to maintain general cleanliness in their institutions, especially kitchen, washrooms and lawns.

Cooks preparing food for inmates should asked to pay special attention to hygiene, he added.

The administration, he said, was willing to provide all kind of assistance in case there was scope for diversification of activities being carried out in these institutions.

Sufficient educational material, toys, building blocks, posters will be provided to these institutions to create an ideal environment for the proper growth of inmates.

Similarly, tracks will be laid in lawns to enable senior citizens to move around easily and heaters provided to keep them warm during winter.

Regular visits will be made by doctors to these centres for general as well as specific check-up of inmates.

The PGI authorities, Government Medical College and Hospital-32 and General Hospital-16 will be requested to send a speech therapist to those institution that cater to the needs of deaf and dumb people.

Mr Mohan said big industrial houses and philanthropists would also be urged to provide necessary help to these institutions.

The problems of inmates of these institutions can be tackled efficiently and effectively with the coordinated efforts of the administration, societies, and individuals, he added.



Importance of cooperatives in Indian economy discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
To understand the ideology and ethos of cooperation in the competitive global environment, a national symposium on "Cooperation as a tool of Social Change In India" and an inter-university national debating competition on cooperation was organised at the Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Sector 32, here today.

The two-day symposium was organised by the National Cooperative Union of India and National Council for Cooperative Training, New Delhi. Over 100 participants from various cooperatives and universities are participating in the seminar.

On the inaugural day, the participants took part in a debate on cooperatives as an instrument of socio-economic development to meet the challenges of the privatisation, liberalisation, and globalisation.

Dr S.S. Sisodia, president of the National Cooperative Union of India, in his inaugural address, said the debate was being organised since 1963 and it provided the students an opportunity to interact with academicians and cooperative leaders. He said cooperative leadership was important for the younger generation.

The National Council for Cooperative Training, under the aegis of National Cooperative Union of India, was promoting human resource development among cooperative managers, and members of various training institutes.

Mr Sat Mahajan, Minister of Revenue and Panchayati Raj, Himachal Pradesh, cited few examples of contribution of the cooperatives in the changing economic and global environment.

There was a need to change the management and functioning of the cooperative organisations by adopting the latest changes in the Cooperative Acts, he stressed.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Punjab, Mr Rakesh Pandey, in his address emphasised the role of science and technology in the present information era. There could be a drastic change in the agricultural sector with the adoption of new technology.

In the second part of the programme, a national symposium on " Cooperation as a tool for social change in India"saw participation by Prof S.L. Goel, UGC Professor, Panjab University, and R.L. Bhatia, Director of HARCOFED, and Mr S.S. Channy, Managing Director of MARKFED.



Surkhab dedicates photo gallery to city
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Surkhab Shaukin
Surkhab Shaukin

Chandigarh, December 30
Surkhab Shaukin has come a full circle. Starting off as a budding photographer some years ago, the 23-something artist today paid a befitting tribute to the city of his belonging by dedicating the permanent gallery of his works to it.

The first of its kind in this region, the gallery features the recent works of Surkhab Shaukin, currently studying advertisement photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology at USA. Although involved in the mechanics of the art which may well yield outstanding results, Surkhab has managed to retain the element of innocence, which is the quintessence of any artist.

In the city on a break from his tight academic schedule in the US, Surkhab Shaukin thoroughly lived the joy of the occasion which was as special to him as to the city. With the inauguration of the Surkhab Shaukin Photo Gallery in Sector 11, Chandigarh becomes the first city in the region to have one such space where permanent display of artworks will be possible. Opened by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the gallery features 100 best works of the photoartist, to begin with. The works capture the most beautiful manifestations of God and nature — from people and landscapes to leaves and flowers.

For once, the artist has not tried to feign knowledge of the medium. His works testify his passion for the art which he seems to pursue without much concern for commercial success. “If success comes, it is welcome. Otherwise, recognition is enough,” chuckles the young photographer who is now straddling the world of commercial photography. More at home with portraits, some of which stand out for their brilliance in his new gallery, Surkhab Shaukin says he is learning to shoot products for clients. “The shift has been interesting for me,” admits the photographer who has also been decorated with the State Photography Award by the Punjab government.

Commercial calculations and techniques of the trade apart, Surkhab Shaukin draws most from his own instincts. That is perhaps why his play of light adds a unique flavour to the seemingly similar frames portraying similar moments. He has shot several favourite landscapes including the Highest Salt Lake in Ladakh — the Pangong Tso. But even in this mundane shot which one has seen several times from several lenses, Surkhab has managed to trap some mystery which stems from his own imagination.

His works are located all over the world from Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Ladakh to Santa Barbara, California and Rochester, the place where he is learning to understand art! As for the gallery, Surkhab promises a regular rotation of works lest routine mires the concept.



Big IT firms entered city in 2004
Tribune News Service

What residents are still waiting for …...

  • Re-carpeting and widening of roads in the southern sectors. This is a promise pending since September, 2003.

  • More road links to Panchkula. The existing road link is overused.

  • Better lights on roads leading to Mohali.

  • A practical set of need-based changes.

  • Decision on the status of about 6,000 MC employees.

  • Conversion of society flats.

What happened in the 12 months….

  • The new Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, took over from Justice O.P. Verma.

  • The Congress retained its seat as Pawan Bansal was re-elected.

  • It was the year of IT as some IT firms started their projects.

  • The e-governance project took off with a bang.

  • Prices of property saw an unprecedented rise.

  • The Administration finally notified property tax on commercial buildings.

Chandigarh , December 30
The year gone by can be described as the year of change. The year 2004 saw many unprecedented changes in the short history of “City Beautiful”. From every aspect, may it be social, administrative or political, there were many changes. The administration, too, likewise saw wholesale changes in the form of a brand new team of officers, pushing the city into an e- governance mode.

It was also the year of the information technology. The promised e-governance project took off with a bang while Infosys arrived in the city to make its presence felt. Infosys is building its biggest campus outside its headquarters in Bangalore. BPO giant Convergys has also applied to set up a large facility at the IT park. Wipro Spectramind has helped design the course of the computer skills training programme, thus positioning Chandigarh a knowledge hub and not just a bureaucratic city.

The estate which is jumble of files had started it’s computerisation project to put about 15,000 files online which will ease the hassle for buyers and sellers.

The administration won allocades for its crackdown on illegal guesthouses. People living next to the guest houses were fed up of the nuisance. The start of the second grain market in Sector 39 was well received. Officials bend their backs getting extra money for buying power at higher rates. The demand was accepted. The sales tax compliance was very good and revenue collection in the city was on healthy note.

The administration issued notices to schools running from residential areas but will face an uphill task in removing these schools by April, 2005.

In October, the Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, was replaced along with a slew of appointees of the previous BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The former Chief of Army Staff, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, replaced him. Justice Verma will be best remembered in the city for ordering the removal of more than 10,000 jhuggis.

Apart from this, the major change was the bureaucratic reshuffle. The new Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, replaced Mr Raminder Singh Gujral. The Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, replaced Mr Karan Avtar Singh. Mr P.S. Aujla replaced Mr M.P. Singh as Municipal Commissioner. Mr S.C. Poddar replaced Mr G.K. Marwah as Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board and also Citco. The Managing Director of Citco, Mr S.P. Singh was transferred.

Still other critical problems remain unattended or have been caught in red tape. The city is still searching of a lasting solution for the menace of stray cattle. Last year, the cattle were being sent to gaushalas in Delhi. However, stray cattle still continue to haunt two-wheeler riders.

Caught in red tape is a workable formula for need-based changes. The administration allowed just one little room in the backyard. This was far removed from the reality and even criticised by members of a committee which had originally made more than 20 suggestions. The promised alternative routes between Chandigarh and Panchkula did not take off. These are more then 10-year-old proposals which have not been through. And residents of southern sectors are still waiting for the promised re-carpeting and widening of roads. Running from the south of the city to the north.

Still missing was a regular interaction between Municipal Councillors and officials of the Administration which would help solve problem of the communication gap and also meet the demands of members of the public, who do not enjoy easy access to all senior functionaries of the administration.



Tibetans on a peace mission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Out on a World Peace Mission, a dozen odd Tibetan students arrived in the city today, riding motorcycles and spreading the message of love and harmony. Moving in the form of a rally, these students started their journey a month ago from New Delhi.

These Tibetan students, from different educational institutions in Delhi would travel 8,878 kilometres, passing through 28 major cities, including Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Besides their peace mission, the motorbike rally also aims at highlighting the cause of Tibetans, especially political prisoners like Gedun Choekey Nyima (world’s youngest political prisoner), Lama Tulku Tenzin Delek, held by the Chinese and sentenced to death for allegedly triggering a bomb blast.

The students want to build international pressure on China so that it concedes “right to self determination as recognized by the UN General Assembly Resolution 1723 (XVI) of 1961” for the Tibetan people.

Through spread of leaflets, the students are highlighting what they termed as “marginalizing of the Tibetan population and sterilization of the Tibetan women”.

Moving under the banner of Tibetan Students’ Alliance (TSA), these bikers received a warm reception on reaching the city. Besides others, the local members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC) gathered at the Punjab Kala Bhavan, where local Tibetans offered them khatta (white scarf) as a mark of respect and honour.

The President of Tibetan Students’ Alliance, Mr Tashi Gyamtso, thanked the Indian Government and Indians for providing them a second home for the last 45 years. According to him “kind generosity by Indians has allowed the Tibetan identity to remain intact”. The rally would be flagged off tomorrow morning for Delhi.



Women’s desk in police station inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
Women victims of crime need not hesitate now while complaining to the police as there will be a woman police officer in every police station of UT to take care of their woes. The UT has 11 police stations.

The wife of the Governor, Mrs Jean Rodrigues, today inaugurated a Womens Desk in the Sector 17 Police Station. Such desks have been created in all police stations of the city. The women’s desk will exclusively, entertain complaints from women.

Speaking at the function, Mr Rajesh Kumar, IGP, said the women’s desk would function round-the-cloak in all police stations. This desk will be headed by women police officers of the rank of either a sub-inspector or an assistant sub-inspector. A team of constables will be assisting the women police officers. The IGP said the present women police personnel from 250 will be increased for the purpose.

Mrs Rodrigues also paid a visit to the Woman and Child Support Unit (WACSU) of the Chandigarh police in Sector 17, near the Sector 17 Police Station, and interacted with women police officers on duty.

Mayor Ms Kamlesh, SSP (headquarters) Varinder , SSP, Gaurav Yadav, SP Traffic, Security and IG Jails Amitabh Dhillon, Councilors Ms Harjinder Kaur and Ms Shyama Negi were among those present on the occasion.



Unity among ex-servicemen not possible: Sehgal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
There can be no unity amongst the ex-servicemen as the rank structure after retirement was the main hurdle. Persons below Officer ranks are shabbily treated by the high-ranking retired officers even after retirement. This has been communicated by Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, Chairman of the All-India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association to Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, S.F Rodrigues.

Mr Sehgal has in a letter has mentioned the discriminatory treatment meted out to them by serving and high rank retired officers manning the offices of Director-General of Resettlement, Kendriya Sainik Board, Director Sainik Welfare and Sainik Welfare bodies, which primarily are meant for resettlement, rehabilitation and welfare of ex-servicemen. The same is also true of military hospitals and canteens.

The association also apprised the Governor that Brig J.S Jaswal, Director Sainik Welfare, Punjab, is an employee of the Punjab government and would not be acceptable to them.

They have also conveyed their decision not to join any coordination committee or unite under one roof and would prefer to retain their independent status as this is the only body which represents personnel below officer ranks and their families.



Poor, disabled given blankets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The society for social health (SOFOSH) organised a programme at Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Colony, Sector 52, here to distribute woollen blankets among the poor, disabled, old and widows.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, Director, Social Welfare, Chandigarh Administration, was present on the occasion to distribute the blankets among the identified beneficiaries. He congratulated the society for working for the welfare of the poor and needy.

He suggested that there was a need to work for creating awareness among the people to benefit from the schemes of the Social Welfare Department.

Ms Kamaljeet Saini, president of the society, assured that the volunteers of the society would identify eligible beneficiaries for the pension schemes of the department and help them submit their applications.

Dr Nareshanand, Director, SOFOSH, gave a detail of the welfare activities being done by the society. He said the society distributes blankets every year among the poor and needy in slums and colonies. He said blankets would also be distributed in other colonies.



New Year’s feast on DD Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Doordrashan Chandigarh will telecast a special musical programme on new year’s eve from 8.30 pm onwards.

According to a press note issued by Mr Mahesh Chopra, assistant station director, DD Chandigarh will telecast the programme for all terrestrial viewers.

Besides, the programme will be available on different cable networks of the city and around.

A myriad of pop and folk singers will perform during the show.



Body of baby girl found
Our Correspondent

Lalru, December 30
Body of a six-month-old baby girl was found in Lalru village along the Kalka-Ambala Railway line this afternoon.

A passersby noticed the body which was covered with woollen cloth on the railway line. He informed the Railway police personnel at Lalru police post. A team of Railway police personnel reached the spot and removed the body from the track.

According to the Railway police, the body had injury marks on its face and clothes were also found along the railway line nearby. The girl was either thrown from a running train or had accidentally fallen from some train leading to her death.

The police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital at Rajpura for a post-mortem examination. Inquest proceedings have been initiated.



Former Electricity Dept employee found dead
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, December 30
Ashok Kumar (53), a former employee of the Electricity Department, was found dead at his residence in the Power Colony in Sector 15 under mysterious circumstances, this afternoon.

According to the police, Ashok was residing in the colony alone while his family was putting up in Chandigarh. It is said the man died due to a heart attack.

The police is working on various theories and did not rule out the possibility of a murder.

2 women arrested

The police has arrested two women of Mauli Jagran Colony of Chandigarh for committing theft at the shop of Mr Pradeep Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar, Chandigarh.

A press statement issued by the police claimed that the stolen goods worth Rs 1,500 were also recovered from the women. The police had earlier registered a case of theft on the complaint of Mr Pradeep Kumar.

The accused were later produced before a court and were remanded in judicial custody.

2 booked for stealing power

The police has booked two persons — Ramu of Panchkula, and Mohammad Yaqub of Praid Mohalla in Kalka, for pilfering power.

According to the police, the duo were caught, by the Sub-Divisional Officer of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, Mr P.K. Goel, pilfering power by putting a kundi connection.

The police has registered a case against them and started investigating into the issue.

Girl injured

A young girl travelling on a kinetic scooter was injured when her vehicle was hit by a Maruti car. The driver Sandeep was travelling from Sector 70 to PCL while the girl was driving in the opposite direction.

Whisky seized

The police here today recovered 9000ml of Rum and Whisky from Shatarpal a resident of village near Kurali that was sale in Chandigarh only. The police has registered a case under various sections of the Excise Act.

Documents snatched

Mr Kirandeep Singh a resident of Sector 8 Chandigarh has complained to the Mohali police that some of the vital documents that he was carrying were snatched by Naveen Grover a resident of Pinjore along with two unidentified persons. According to the police the incident took place near the YPS school here.



Two houses burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 30
Two houses were reportedly burgled in the city during past 24 hours, the police said here today.

Mr Nishad of Sector 22-C reported to the police that Rs 27,000, seven shawls, five saris and one leather jacket were stolen from his residence, yesterday. A case under Section 380 of the IPC was registered by the Sector 17 police station.

In another incident, Mr Sohan Lal of Sector 39 a complained to the police that one telephone set and eight silver tumblers were stolen from his residence after breaking locks, yesterday. A case under Sections 380 and 454 of the IPC was registered by the Sector 39 police station.

Scooter stolen

Ms Manjit Kaur of Phase III Mohali reported to the police that her Kinetic Honda scooter (PB-65-4163) was stolen from Sector 35 market, yesterday. A case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC was registered by the Sector 36 police station.


Mr Kulwant Rai of Sector 19 a complained that his moped was hit by a Maruti car (CH-03-N-7879) near Sectors 7-26 crossing, yesterday. He received injuries and was admitted to the General hospital. A case of negligent driving under sections 279 and 337 of the IPC was registered by the Sector 26 police station.


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