C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No to HUDA move on draw of lots in
Mansa Devi Complex
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 22
The state government reportedly has turned down Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) proposal for holding a provisional draw of lots for residential plots in Sectors 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex.

It is learnt that the proposal to hold provisional draw has been turned down on grounds that the option of holding the provisional draw was not mentioned to applicants when the housing scheme was floated in April last year. The legal experts have opined that this proposal could invite litigation from unsuccessful applicants in the provisional draw.

A fortnight ago, HUDA officials had proposed to hold a provisional draw in the ratio of three allotees for each plot. The proposal was mooted so as to shortlist applicants for 537 plots in Sectors 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), and thus reduce the interest burden on the Authority. It will now be a long wait for the thousands of applicants till the draw is finally held.

HUDA has been unable to hold the draw of lots because of two applications filed by HUDA in Punjab and Haryana High Court, in the Save The Sukhna case. HUDA authorities have sought permission from the Court to hold the draw and seek exemption for HUDA land reserved for Sector 2 and Sector 6 of MDC, that it does not fall in the catchment area of Sukhna.

A Naya Gaon resident had filed a petition “Save The Sukhna” in the High Court, restraining HUDA and Chandigarh Administration from any urbanization in the catchment area of Sukhna. It has been almost 10 months since this case is pending before the Court, and the next date of hearing has been fixed for March 4, 2005. HUDA is supposed to hold the draw for plots within six months of floating the scheme. In case it fails to do so, it has to pay interest earned to the applicants once the draw is held.

HUDA officials say that they had not given an option for provisional draw when the scheme was floated as there was no litigation involved with the land reserved for Sector 2 and 6 of MDC. As many as 33,793 applicants had applied for these residential plots, by investing Rs 465.103 crore with HUDA. Over 5900 applications were received for residential plots in Sector 2 MDC, and 27, 850 applications for 372 plots in Sector 6 MDC.

The earnest money received from applicants is getting HUDA monthly interest of around Rs 2. 60 crore (at seven per cent rate of interest, Rs 31.90 crore is the collective annual interest). So far, HUDA has earned over Rs 28 crore as interest on earnest money of the applicants.

The provisional draw proposal was mooted so as to reduce the interest burden on HUDA. It was proposed that money would be refunded to the unsuccessful candidates in the provisional draw. About 1600 applicants were to be short listed in the provisional draw.

HUDA had also decided to allow applicants to withdraw their money in November last year, pleading that the draw could take a long time to come through. But so far, only 118 applicants (from a total of 33,793 ) have withdrawn money. 



Register paying guests with police: DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
District Magistrate Arun Kumar has ordered a mandatory registration of paying guests with the police within one month of their taking an accommodation amid fears of anti-social elements breaching peace in the city and immoral trafficking spreading its tentacles in the city.

The District Magistrate, in an order under Section 144 of CrPC, said that a number of persons were living in the city as paying guests and not strictly as tenants.

As they were not tenants, they were not expected to be registered with the police till now.

This situation might have allowed anti-social elements to reside in the city as paying guests. As the arrangement did not strictly fall in the category of tenancy or even the premises not in the category of guest house or hotel, at present, this category of residents were not being accounted for.

There were also reports that immoral activities were taking place in some of the guest houses. In view of this, all persons who intended to offer accommodation to ‘paying guest’ had been directed to inform in writing the particulars of such guests to the Station House Officer concerned in whose jurisdiction the premises fell, within one month from the issue of these orders, failing which 
they would be liable to be prosecuted under Section 188 IPC, an order from the District Magistrate said.



Suicide by MC employee in temple dharamshala
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, February 22
Mr Naveen Kumar, a Chandigarh Municipal Corporation employee committed suicide by hanging in a room of Lajwanti Dharamshala in Mansa Devi Temple area, late last night.

A resident of Sector 20-B, Chandigarh, body of Mr Naveen Kumar (27) was found handing from the hook of a ceiling fan in room No 102 of the dharamshala when father of the deceased Mr Hari Kishan along with his elder son Mr Praveen Kumar, reached the spot early this morning.

According to neighbours, instead of returning home from office Mr Naveen Kumar went to Mansa Devi Temple for offering prayers, last night. After parking his scooter in the market he got a room booked in the dharamshala. He made a phone call to his elder brother Mr Praveen Kumar and asked him to look after their parents and two sisters. Before switching off his mobile phone Mr Naveen Kumar in a choked voice also told his brother that he was going to die, the family friends said.

The family members of the deceased got suspicious and contacted the mobile company which helped them in identify the location from where Naveen made his last call. The parents reached the identified location “Mansa Devi” and found his scooter in the market. They however, failed to locate Mr Naveen Kumar, last night.

Continuing search for Mr Naveen Kumar, both Mr Hari Kishan and his son Mr Praveen Kumar reached the area this morning and visited various places including dharamshalas. In Lajwanti Dharamshala they found that room No 102 was booked by Mr Naveen Kumar. They found the room locked from inside and no one was responding their knocks, informed Mr Mange Ram, in charge Mansa Devi police post. With the help of the dharamshala management they broke open the door and found the body of Naveen Kumar hanging from the ceiling fan. Subsequently the police was informed.

Besides a suicide note, the police has also found a pen, a mobile phone, a pair of shoes and offering (parsad) from the room of the dharamshala.

According to the police, Mr Naveen Kumar was under depression following dispute with his wife Anuradha, an employee with the Canara Bank. His marriage was solemnised on August 21, 2004.

In a complaint to the police, father of the deceased alleged that Anuradha had been putting up with her parents in Kashi Nagar locality in Model Town, Ambala city, after she left her in-laws house on January 8, 2005 on some disputes with Naveen.

Mr Hari Kishan also alleged that Anuradha’s parents (father Mohinder Singh and mother Mohinder Kaur) asked them to break the marriage of Naveen and Anuradha and demanded Rs 6 lakh in lieu of it as their daughter was not happy with her married life. Their demand for such a huge amount had disturbed Naveen Kumar which forced him to take the extreme step, the complaint said.

The body was cremated in Chandigarh this evening after a post-mortem examination at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula.

The police has booked Anuradha her father Mohinder Singh and her mother Mohinder Kaur, under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.



Rose Garden being spruced up for festival
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 22
Preparations are on full swing for the forthcoming Rose Festival to be held from February 25. The garden is all spruced up. Blossoming flowers have enhanced its beauty.

Booths are being set up and tents being pitched outside the garden boundary adjoining the entry from the Sector 17 side.

A site for joyrides has been established opposite the garden in Sector 17. Along with riots of flowers, other bonanza for visitors includes a lot of cultural activities, musical nights and many other competitions. Nearly 300 stalls will be set up and each stall owner will be charged from Rs 6,600 to 7,100 for three days.

Mr A.K. Malhotra, General Manager, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO), said, “The stalls are being set up. Nearly 500 entries have been received for the flower and potted plants competition and judges are finalising the contestants. Their names will be announced before the start of the festival”.

“The search for the best roundabout of Chandigarh is also on and results will announced soon. Results are also awaited for the best garden in the one-kanal house and two-kanal house categories in the city. A flower arrangement competition will be held on February 25 said.

Mr S.C. Poddar, Chairman, CITCO, said, “This three-day festival attracts a lot of crowd every year. It begins on the last Friday of February and concludes on Sunday. The total expenditure on the festival is expected to be more than 20 lakhs.

A photography competition was held on the theme “spring in the gardens of Chandigarh” today. There were two categories — amateur and professional — in the competition. In the professional category the first prize went to D.P. Rayat. The consolation prizes were given to Pradeep Tewari, photo journalist, The Tribune, and K. Sethi, photo journalist, Amar Ujala.

In the amateur category, Sanjay Kumbhakarni bagged the first prize of Rs 3,000 and second prize of Rs 2,000 went to Sanjay Kumar. Neeraj got the third prize of Rs 1,000. Nearly 70 photographs will be displayed in the Rose Festival.



Another hero who got Lior re-arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 22
The man whose heroics had once ensured the arrest of a Nigerian drug trafficker in 1994 paired up with a lawyer yesterday to nab the Israeli drug smuggler who had fled from the NCB custody. His previous heroics had gone unrewarded.

Mr Harbhajan Singh Bhatti, a clerk in the PGI and a resident of Sector 56, assisted lawyer Rajneesh Sharma in overpowering Lior Avi Ben Moyal.

Rajneesh Sharma had, during a press conference, talked about a Sikh gentleman who had helped him grapple with the fugitive. But a self-effacing Mr Bhatti had left the scene once the police arrested Lior.

Mr Bhatti came forward today after he saw newspapers going gaga over the valour of Rajneesh Sharma.

A few other claimants of bravery — a mechanic, Happy; a security guard of the Panjab University, Ranjit; and a barber — also came forward today.

They, however, said they had not nabbed the fugitive for any reward or recognition but for sense of duty.

Mr Bhatti visited the NCB official today and Zonal Director of the NCB Shrikant Jadhav assured him of dividing the reward between him and the advocate.

Mr Bhatti said in 1994 he had helped the local police arrest a Nigerian drug peddler in Sector 37 but was not reward by the local police.

Narrating the incident, Mr Bhatti said when he joined the struggle to nab the fugitive yesterday he was unaware of the fact that the man they were after was an international drug trafficker.

Mr Bhatti was going to his office on road separating Sector 14 and 25 around 9.30 am when he saw an advocate chasing a man and shouting: “This man has been absconding from police custody.”

Mr Bhatti got off his cycle and joined the pursuit on foot. He said he trusted his call for help because he was a lawyer.

He overpowered Lior from the front and grabbed him by his hair. Lior tried to attack him but he along with the advocate grappled him down to the ground. They even had to slap Lior a few times following resistance from him. Interestingly, he said, Rajneesh advised him to be on guard as Lior knew martial arts.

Mr Bhatti said they had to wait for at least 15 minutes before the police and the NCB officials arrived and that “those 15 minutes were very long”.

After tackling Lior down to the ground, the advocate asked him to take out his mobile phone from the pocket and redial the last number that he had dialed, which he did.

By that time, passersby had started to converge on the spot. A roadside cycle mechanic came to their aid and the advocate asked him to dial 100 to call the police.

He said he only left the scene after the police came and arrested Lior.



Passing Thru

Rakesh Agarwal
Rakesh Agarwal, Managing Director, Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training, Mumbai

Why more and more youngsters these days prefer a career in the aviation industry?

A majority of them seek a lucrative salary, perks and glamour. Besides this, they also feel that this is the easiest way to meet celebrities, from artist to players. But they should not forget that a lot of hard work is required in this profession.

What is your suggestion to those who are keen to join this profession?

Before choosing any institution they should check its authenticity. Most of the students believe that to become an airhostess they should know a foreign language. But the fact is that no international airlines make such a demand. They prefer students who have good command in the regional language and in English. However, knowing a foreign language is definitely an additional qualification.

What is the state of affairs of the aviation industry in India?

Aviation industry is witnessing a boom these days. The demand for manpower is much higher than the availability. This is because the institutes are not producing the required number of candidates demanded by the market.

— Swarleen Kaur



Malik for greater role by states in case of calamities
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
A former Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V. P. Malik, today emphasised on district administrations and state governments playing a greater role in the task of rebuilding at times of major disasters like tsunami. More civil works pertaining to repair of roads and bridges should be executed by them so that the Army has more time to concentrate on search and rescue operations, besides making supplies to the affected areas.

The General was deliberating on the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster in India and the neighbouring countries at a seminar on “Disaster management and the role played by the armed forces in the tsunami disaster”, organised by the Chandigarh Management Association here.

He called for an institutionalisation of linkage of all stakeholders like governments, general public, NGOs, funding agencies, the rehabilitation authorities and the armed forces, to prevent major disasters as the Tsunami in the near future. “The district administration needs to have better liaison with the armed forces and should be better equipped to handle the calamity by reaching the victims at the grass-roots level,” he said.

The country is among major disaster-prone areas of the world. On an average 3,500 lives are lost annually in such calamities. It is vulnerable due to very fragile eco-system, wide variation of terrain and climatic conditions, developing industry, increased developmental growth (like construction activities) and poor warning capabilities.

General Malik said disaster management was a national endeavour and that the armed forces were committed to creating the required mechanisms and institutions to address the entire gamut of issues connected with an effective disaster management.

A lot needs to be done in terms of reconstruction for the Centre can only provide assistance but it is the state government which has to be geared up and motivated to swing into action once the calamity happens. The use of the armed forces should be made judiciously, he stressed.



Snow brings death in J&K, hope in Punjab, Haryana
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
If the record snowfall in the Kashmir valley and other parts of the Himalayas has brought misery in its wake, it has also brought happiness and hope for millions living in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and elsewhere.

Snow is a big factor in influencing the agricultural economy of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and even Uttar Pradesh. It is a different matter that the focus has ever remained on the monsoon and not on the snow. But what is tragic at the moment is that it is proving a killer of a large number of persons in south Kashmir and around.

Officials of various government agencies engaged in the measurement and monitoring of snowfall in the Himalayan ranges starting from Kashmir to Uttaranchal confirm that there was a record snowfall till the third week of February compared to the corresponding period up to 1981-82. But it is not, they add, the end of the snow season. It could continue till March-end. They say that roller coaster variations have become the norm rather than an exception in the weather.

In the Kashmir valley, snowfall in the past two days was is in the range of 15 ft. Already around 14 metre of snowfall has been recorded in that area. It is about 30 per cent more as compared to that in the past 10 years. The maximum snowfall recorded in the Kashmir valley was 17 metres long ago. This figure is expected to be surpassed this year.

Snow in Himachal ensures better availability of power and water for irrigation to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Last year, snowfall came to an abrupt end in January. It started melting in February. Resultantly, there has been a big fall in the level of the Gobind Sagar at the Bakhra Dam and also of the Pong Dam. But this year Punjab Irrigation Department officials are expecting a complete turnaround in the situation when the melting of snow in May-June will be at the peak. At that time the water flow in the Gobind Sagar from the Himalayas may cross even 20 lakh cusecs.

Mr V.K. Mant Rao, Chief Engineer (Canals), Punjab, said: “After analysing the prevailing scenario, I can assure farmers that they will get plenty of canal water at the time of cotton sowing. Farmers should be ready to sow cotton and they will get the canal water they require.



Russian expert for cultural ties with Punjab
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
For the past 10 years Natalia Ryabova has been engaged in the revival of folk traditions back home in Moscow. As the spirit behind Russian Federation’s International Children’s and Youth festival, she has been promoting performing arts by way of competitions between children and youngsters in Russia.

But now, she is looking for cultural links beyond the boundaries of her own land. And her very first choice is India. Though upbeat about the future of Russian folk traditions, Natalia, at present Director-General of Russian Ministry of Culture’s, festival programme, is quite smitten by the richness of Indian performing arts.

Not surprising then that she is in India, particularly in Punjab, to build links in the field of art. Her only condition is involvement of children and youngsters. The links are being sought to popularise genres of arts like music, dance and theatre in which both India and Russia boast of a glorious heritage.

Arriving in Chandigarh today, Natalia Ryabova spoke to The Tribune about the Russian Federation’s interest in inspiring Indian participation in the children’s and youth festival held every year in Moscow. Apart from that, the Russian Federation, she said, was keen on exchange of folk traditions between Russia and India, particularly Punjab, which has a celebrated folk dance and music tradition.

“Our Moscow festival is unique insofar as the profile of contestants is concerned. We believe that children, if trained in preservation of old dance and music traditions, will always safeguard them. We now want children all over the world to come together and perform from a common platform,” she said.

Ryabova also talked about the popularity of Indian dances in Russia. “Many of our children are learning your dances by way of your films. There is no literature to teach them, no books, and no visuals that can throw light on the nuances of Indian folk and classical traditions. We are thus keen to invite Indian instructors who can hold dance and music workshops in Russia. We also want groups of young artists from India to participate in our festival which we formally call Roza Vetrov,” Natalia said.

So far, Ryabova has held discussions with Prof Rajpal Singh, the spirit behind Heritage Institute for Art and Culture, which has been a regular participant in international festivals held annually in England. Natalia said, “The Russian Federation has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding with Professor Rajpal’s society, to begin with. We are also looking forward to support from the Punjab government.”

Once the understanding is reached, it will facilitate cooperation in areas like exchange of soloists, exchange of specialists for realizations of workshops and seminars, exchange of training appliances between Punjab and Russia and joint seminars on children and youth arts.

For his part, Professor Rajpal, who is also secretary of Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, has offered to generate more support for cultural collaboration with Russia.



HCMSA plea to govt on drugs
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 22
The Panchkula unit of Haryana Civil Medical Services Association (HCMSA) has urged the state government to reconsider its policy of prescribing drugs by generic names.

In a representation made to the Civil Surgeon, Dr Satvir Chaudhary, which has also been forwarded to Commissioner and Secretary, Health, the Association has decried the charge sheets being issued to doctors, who prescribe medicines by their brand names.

The Association says that they have already decided at a general body meeting of the Association that drugs supplied within the hospital are supposed to be written in brand names, and those which are not available in the hospital stock are to be written by salt (generic) names.

HCMS doctors claim that the policy was not serving objectives as the chemists , who were supposed to sell generic medicines at reduced price, are selling these at full prices. Quality of drug is also being compromised, as the chemist provides drug of a company which offers more commission, rather of a reputed company. They have also pleaded that many medicines, like cough syrups wax was not available in generic form.



Man alleges fraud by estranged wife 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Mr Tejinder Singh, a Rajpura resident, has alleged fraud by his estranged wife in the preparation of passport of his minor son and accused the police of inaction in the case.

Taking cognizance of Mr Tejinder Singh’s complaint, the Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that the mother, Luckvinder Kaur, had forged the signatures of the father and obtained the passport of the boy — Harshdeep Singh —without his consent. “Caution card has been kept against the child and impounding circular has been issued,” a ministry circular says.

On the other hand, Mr Tejinder Singh has again urged the local IGP to register a case against his wife and guilty officials of the police and the Regional Passport Office (RPO).

In his complaint, he alleged that Luckvinder Kaur got the Passport No E-1898334 issued from the RPO in the name of Harshdeep Singh by forging his signatures in the application form. An affidavit was also given stating that Tejinder Singh was out of India whereas he was in police custody in a dowry case filed by his wife at that time.

The connivance of the police and passport officials is evident as the passport was issued in violation of all rules without getting the copy of my passport, he alleged.

Moreover, in a fresh application before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Tejinder Singh alleged that the police was trying to hushup the case. Giving details of the case, he informed that he had complained to the police regarding cheating and forgery on March 21,2003.

However, the police was trying to hush up the case, Mr Tejinder Singh, alleged while urging the NHRC to issue appropriate directions to the police.



2 arrested for robbery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 22
The police has arrested two youths from Sector 42, yesterday, involved in incidents of snatching and robbing.

According to the SHO of Sector 36 police station, Mr Jagbir Singh, both the accused, Wasim Ahmed of Phase I, Industrial Area, and Naushad Mohamad Sharif of Maloya, snatched the bag of person traveling on a rickshaw near Burail village during the night of February 20. On the same night they also snatched Rs 3,500 and a mobile phone from a pedestrian from near Kajheri village.

A case has been registered against them.

Bid to snatch mobile phone

Two unidentified motorcycle borne persons made an unsuccessful bid to snatch a mobile phone from Mannu Bakshi, a resident of Sector 41-B, from near the Sector 36, 37, 41 and 42 chowk, last evening. When the victim raised an alarm they fled from the spot leaving behind their motorcycle which had a fake registration number (CH-03-U-0137). A case has been registered.

Held for stealing iron

The police has arrested four persons accused of stealing 80 Kg of iron tikka from plot no 827, Phase II, Industrial Area on the night of February 20. The accused — Sushanto, Sikanto, Anoop Mayati and Raju — all residents of Burail village, were arrested from near Hallo Majra village last night. The police has recovered the stolen property from their possession. A case has been registered.


The police has booked a school bus driver who injured a scooterist by hitting him and also assaulted a home guard volunteer, who was on duty, yesterday.

According to the police, Vinod Kumar, a home guard filed a complaint that Randir Singh of Bainsa Tiba village hit a scooterist Om Parkash, a resident of Mani Majra, near the railway crossing. The scooterist suffered minor injuries in the accident. The bus driver later manhandled Vinod Kumar and caused injuries to him. A case has been registered against the bus driver Smack seized

The police has arrested Suresh Kumar of Daddu Majra Colony from near PAB, Sector 38-West, with two grams of smack, yesterday. A case under Section 21 of NDPS Act has been registered .



Sawaan Jewellers raided, Rs 4 lakh seized

Chandigarh, February 22
The Income Tax Department today raided the premises of Sawaan Jewellers in Sector 35 here. The IT officials were trailing him following purchase of commercial property by him in Chandigarh and Patiala. Rupees 4 lakh was seized as unaccounted cash.

The properties were valued at Rs 1.5 crore. The property in Chandigarh alone was valued at Rs 1 crore and the one in Patiala was at Rs 50 lakh. Income tax officials said tonight that some documents had been seized and these were being checked if all the money used to buy properties was the jeweller’s or not. TNS



6 market panel members for no-trust vote against chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Six members of the Market Committee of the city have proposed a vote of no-confidence against the committee Chairman.

As per bylaw 4 of the committee, the letter has been addressed to the Chairman to requisition an emergency meeting. Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, Chairman, said “ I have come to know of the development and am making contacts with all members to know their point of view.” A two-third majority is needed in the House to get their motion approved. Six, out of nine elected members, have signed so the Chairman seems to be in difficult position.

Mr Badheri said, “ I cannot comment on the matter at the moment. I need to go into details of the case before taking any decision.”

The letter has been signed by six members, including Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Bhajan Singh, Mr Deshraj, Mr Sitaram, Mr Anand Singh and Mr Ranbir Singh.

Interestingly Mr Badheri was also removed as the Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti in December 2004 on a vote of no-confidence.

All efforts to contact the signatories of the memo proved futile. Mr Badheri said, “I have 24 hours to take an action on the memo. I will call a meeting tomorrow and announce a date for the meeting.”


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