C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT move to recover rent arrears of ministers’ houses
Asks Punjab to pay 60 lakh, Haryana 50 lakh
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The endless dispute over payment of rentals for palatial houses of Punjab and Haryana ministers has taken a new turn. The Chandigarh Administration last fortnight shot off an ultimatum asking Punjab to pay Rs 60 lakh and Haryana Rs 50 lakh as arrears of rent of houses for their ministers in Sector 2 and 3 here.

The houses are one of the most expensive pieces of property in Chandigarh. Each of the ministers’ houses is spread across six kanals (3,000 square yards). In this unique landlord - tenant dispute the ownership is not clearly specified and property is valued at crores of rupee. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which is the controlling ministry for Chandigarh, has been informed about these arrears.

The “landlord” that is the Chandigarh Administration says tenants that is Haryana and Punjab are not paying rent arrears. The tenants occupying the houses say there is no tenancy involved and the landlord has no right to collect rent. Rental arrears are running into crores of rupees.

Interestingly, the governments of Punjab and Haryana are not paying rents for palatial houses occupied by their respective ministers for the past three decades.

The catch lies in the ownership. Under the Reorganisation of States Act,1966, the Chandigarh Administration is the custodian of the property in Chandigarh. In the past, Punjab and Haryana have repeatedly told Chandigarh that it is not the owner of the properties and is just the custodian while the states are the ultimate owners.

Under the rules, the cabinet ministers are entitled to “rent free” housing. This means no rent is deducted from their salaries. However, the governments of Punjab and Haryana are supposed to reimburse rent arrears to the Chandigarh Administration. The rent is fixed as per the size of the house. Sources say the rent for the ministers’ houses is between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000. This varies according to the year of construction.

Even as a decision on the future of Chandigarh is a political issue, sources say the thinking of the Administration is to write to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and seek some kind of compensation for this.

Interestingly in May, 2002, the Administration had got rid of a major expense running into crores. It handed over the maintenance of government houses allotted to the Punjab Chief Minister and members of his Cabinet to the Punjab Government. However, the rentals had not been waived.

Actually in the past the Administration had refused to pay for the power bills of about hundred newly installed air conditioners in the MLA hostels, saying a new transformer and cables have to be set up for this. Officials see no reason as why the rent should remain outstanding.



29 LPG cylinders ‘seized’ from showroom of PPCC member
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
Officials of the Department of Food and Supplies raided a showroom owned by PPCC member, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, in Industrial Area, Phase I, here today and seized 29 empty LPG cylinders stored “illegally”.

The raiding team was headed by Ms Rajwant Kaur, District Food and Supplies Controller (DFSC). Despite being told by the staff of Mr Sidhu that the cylinders were empty, she asked the officials to prepare the necessary documents for taking legal action. Among others who accompanied Ms Rajwant Kaur were Mr Satish Rattan, DFSO, Mr R.K. Mann, AFSO, Mr Gurcharan Singh, District Level Coordinator, Oil India.

Mediapersons were told that the cylinders would be handed over to the police and a case registered.

However, the raid soon turned out to be a dump squib. The same officials, who had been busy getting the relevant documents prepared, changed their line of action. Mr Satish Rattan said no action could be initiated against Mr Sidhu because the cylinders were found empty.

Ms Rajwant Kaur was not available on the phone for comments throughout the evening.

Mr Sidhu, who reached the venue after some time, told mediapersons that he owned an LPG gas agency at Kurali. The empty cylinders had to be sent to a godown there.

He said at the time of Shivratri some residents of Mauli Baidwan village had taken cylinders from his agency for preparing langar. After using the gas they sent the empty cylinders to his showroom.



City to emerge as coop management studies centre
PG diploma course to kick off in July
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
After Pune, Chandigarh is all set to emerge as a major centre of the cooperative management studies. Come July, the Regional Institute of Cooperative Management (RICM), Sector 32, will start a new course — postgraduate diploma course in business management.

To be launched in collaboration with the Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM), Pune, the course will be equivalent to the MBA course awarded by the Association of the Indian Universities (AIU). The admission to the two-year full-time residential course will be done on the basis of an all-India test conducted on February 13.

In fact, the RICM has added another feather to its cap with VAMNICOM according it the status of its sub-centre. Under the new course, 20 of the 60 seats have been allocated to the RICM and it would be for the first time outside Pune that such a course would be offered, the RICM Regional Director, Mr Niraj Pasricha, told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

Detailing the benefits of the new course, Mr Pasricha said it would help bridge the gap between demand and supply of the cooperative professionals in the North India. Already, there is an acute shortage of trained manpower in the region for the cooperative sector.

Terming Chandigarh as the ideal place for starting the course, Mr Pasricha said the RICM could draw on the experienced faculty available in the city. Besides, the VAMNICOM and RICM faculty, the faculty from the University Business School(UBS) of Panjab University would teach the students. Similarly, experts from various banks and financial institutions and other organisations would help students hone their skills.

Officials highlighted that the new course was the part of an RICM project aiming to “diversify” the cooperative management education in the region.



4 youths rob city resident
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 19
Four youths, riding two motor cycles, robbed a city resident at the gunpoint in Sector 38, opposite the Dainik Bhaskar office, late last night. They were also carrying a sword.

The police, however, passed off the incident as a mere snatching case. According to a press note issued by the police, a case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr Sarwan Singh, a resident of Sector 38, told Chandigarh Tribune that he was coming from Delhi. He alighted at the Kisan Bhavan Chowk and boarded a rickshaw from there. As the rickshaw reached near a turn in Sector 38, four youths on two motor cycles intercepted it. They asked Mr Sarwan Singh to hand over his belongings to them. When he resisted, one of them took out a revolver and another youth hit him with the hilt of the sword. He further added that he and the rickshaw-puller got panicked and he handed over his mobile phone, his wallet containing Rs 400, a driving licence, an ATM card and his briefcase containing clothes to them. The youths sped away, leaving them shell-shocked.

Mr Sarwan Singh is working with the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur in Chandigarh. He said three of the robbers were wearing helmets.



Admn hikes minimum wages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Monthly/daily minimum wages for daily-wage earners in various departments of the Chandigarh Administration for 2005-06 have been hiked. Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar has allowed an increase of 7-8 per cent on the prevailing minimum wages from April 1.

The Deputy Commissioner said the hike had been made keeping in view the inflation, rise in cost of living and to improve the quality of life of the low-paid employees.

The new rate fixed for masson grade-I and carpenter grade-I is Rs 5,478, while for fitter, blacksmith, painter/polishman, plumber, driver, masson grade-II, carpenter grade-II, steno typist, mechanic, electrician, borer, turner, mistri, firemen, bhisti or kahar, head mali and boatman is Rs 3,509.

For mali, peon, sweeper, chowkidar, porter and khalasi survey, cycle-post runner, skinman, store-porter, helper/store boy, waterman etc. it is Rs 2,900 and for cycle mistri, diesel pump attendant, cook (desi), welder, tailor with machine, barber with kit, labour semi-skilled, conductor, adda-conductor, barber, salesman, dairy man, manager-milk, security guard it has been fixed at Rs 3,070.

The Deputy Commissioner said the persons employed on a monthly basis would be paid above monthly wages irrespective of the holidays and weekly rest and people engaged on a daily basis shall be given rates which shall be 1/30th of the monthly rate.



70-year-old, student die in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 19
Hardeep Singh (70), a resident of Phase X in Mohali was killed early this morning when a speeding Toyota Corolla car hit his scooter from behind near the Sectors 45-46 light point. He died on the spot.

The car was being driven by Shiv Kumar Behal, a resident of Sector 15 and General Manager and Liaison Administrator of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Mohali.

The impact was so powerful that Hardeep Singh was thrown more than five feet above ground before he landed on the bonnet of the car. The car dragged him along with the scooter for some distance before coming to a halt. The man suffered severe head injuries and a fractured foot in the accident. He was rushed to the GMCH-32, where doctors declared him brought dead, said Mr Jasjot Singh, a relative of the deceased.

Mr Jasjot Singh said that Mr Hardeep Singh had left home, saying he would be back in 10 minutes. According to the police, Hardeep Singh, was coming from Mohali and the car was coming from the Colony Number 5 side. A case was registered under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC in the Sector 34 police station. The car driver was released on bail. The body was handed over to the family members of the deceased after post-mortem examination.

Hardeep Singh is survived by his wife, son and a daughter. Both his children are married. He retired as Superintendent from the Punjab Civil Secretariat.

ROPAR: A student of Shivalik Public School, Vipul Dutt, was killed in an accident while two other students sustained serious injuries here today. The mishap took place early in the morning when the three Class XII students were on their way to attend coaching classes in the city.

The three were on a scooter when it was hit by a truck near the railway crossing. Sixteen-year-old Vipul Dutt died on the spot while the other two, Ankur and Danish, sustained serious injuries. A driver of a tempo passing by admitted them to the Civil Hospital, Ropar. Later, Danish who had sustained injuries on his eyes was referred to the PGI.

Pawan Kumar, a relative of the injured said Ankur had left for coaching classes at 5.20 am along with his two classmates. “All three were non-medical students and had been preparing for the engineering exams. For the past two months it was routine for them to go together to attend the classes at Giani Zail Singh Nagar. We came to know about the incident when Ankur called from a mobile phone informing us that they had met with an accident. Thereafter we rushed to the hospital,” he added.

The police has arrested the truck driver and registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against him.

The deceased, Vipul Dutt, was only son of his parents. The mother of the deceased was in shock and fell unconscious after the incident. “The untimely death of Vipul came as a great shock for us,” said the principal of the school, Ms Gurpreet Mathur.

MOHALI: A middle-aged woman residing in Phase V was killed after being hit by a truck last night. Surinder Kaur was reportedly returning from a gurdwara when the accident took place. She was admitted to a private hospital in a serious condition. However, she died later. The police has registered a case against the driver Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Haweli Kalan village under Ropar district.



New command 9 Corps formed
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The raising of an army corps in the north-western sector opposite Pakistan finally got off ground with the Army appointing a corps commander to take over the reigns of the new formation.

Designated as 9 Corps, this is the second corps to be raised by the Army in the past five years. Following the Kargil conflict, 14 Corps had been raised at Leh in 2000 to manage the Line of Control, east of Sonamarg.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman, under whose command the 9 Corps would fall, said here today Lieut-Gen Anup Jamwal was the corps' first GOC. Prior to this, General Jamwal was the GOC 4 Corps in the Eastern Sector.

The Corps, which will comprise 26 Division and 29 Division besides a few independent brigades, will be responsible for 200-250 km of the international border, north of Pathankot. It is expected to be headquartered at Mamun near Pathankot. Other options like Yol and Palampur in Himachal Pradesh are also being considered as there is adequate accommodation available in these stations. It will be some time before the corps is fully operational and all its establishments and assets are in place.

The formation of 9 Corps is part of the massive restructuring of Army commands, resulting in the formation of a new command, the South Western Command. The new command, with its headquarters at Jaipur, will comprise 10 Corps, which is presently part of the Western Command, and 12 Corps.

General Pattabhiraman said the South Western Command would be operational in about three months. He added the Army Headquarters was of the view that a lieutenant-general who already had some experience as an Army Commander would head the new command rather than elevate a corps commander because raising a new command was a mammoth and complex task.

The new command is formed to rationalise the Army's strike capability in the western sector and align its reserve and strike elements in a more meaningful manner.

The creation of a new command and a corps has also resulted in new vacancies being created in the top echelon. This includes three lieutenant-generals, over a dozen major-generals and a large number of brigadiers. This will have a "little" effect on offsetting the stagnation at the level of colonel and above. After the implementation of some of the recommendations of the A.V. Singh Committee in December, 2004, promotion of officers became quicker up to the rank of colonel, but thereafter, it became a bottleneck as recommendations pertaining to officers of the rank of brigadier and above are still awaiting the government's approval.



15 nurses commissioned into Army
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Fifteen Probationary Nurses joined the ranks of the Military Nursing Service (MNS) as lieutenants at a commissioning ceremony held at the Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, near here, today.

The nursing officers were "pipped" by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S Pattabhiraman, and the hospital Commandant, Major-Gen S K Kaul. They belonged to the 36th batch of the hospital's School of Nursing.

Addressing the newly commissioned nursing officers, General Pattabhiraman said nursing was a noble profession which embodied the qualities of humanism and empathy providing selfless service in alleviating the sufferings of the wounded and sick soldiers. He stressed that excellence in healthcare also depended upon the quality of nursing care provided. Hence, it was imperative that all young nursing officers keep abreast of the latest trends in healthcare to ensure the well-being of the clientele.

The Army Commander also gave away prizes to Lt Patra Deb, Lt Ramya Raveendran and Lt B Sharda who bagged the first three positions, respectively, in the overall merit list.

Besides senior officers from Western Command and the hospital, parents and relatives of the nursing officers were also present on the occasion.



Passing Thru

Pooja Chopra
Pooja Chopra, national technical adviser, L’Oreal

What does a technical adviser with L’Oreal do?

We are creative people with a background in hairstyling. We train stylists and invent different techniques to use our hair colours. We advise people on the total “look” for hair.

What is this visit for?

I am here to train the stylists at a partner salon on what our new colours and styles for the summer are. This year softer effects, subtler shades, thin streaks-sober reds and bronze, soft gold and mixes of any two colours — are what we recommend. Our colours are the same except for one new shade ‘Aqua Chic’.

What would your tips for hair care be?

Be adventurous with the colours and styles that you choose. It can change your personality and good hair will always attract attention. Keep your hair clean with shampoos and products that suits your hair and scalp. There is one myth that I would like to remove is that oil is good for hair. It nourishes the scalp and not the strands of hair. When you wash your hair with oil, you need to do a harsh shampoo which removes the natural moisture in the hair and makes hair lackluster.

— Gayatri Rajwade



Central Govt Depts told to rework backlog of vacancies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Dr G.S. Somawat, Regional Director, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, said today that the commission had directed various departments of the Central Government in the city to rework the backlog of vacancies under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category for direct recruitment and the promotional posts.

Pointing out that the instructions also apply to the Chandigarh Administration as it was a centrally administered Union Territory, the Director said there has to be reservation for Scheduled Tribes candidates as per the existing provisions.

Similar instructions had been passed by the commission to the Central Government offices located in Punjab and Haryana. The fresh instructions have been issued in light of the May 16, 2005, deadline set by the Centre to fill the backlog of vacancies under the ST category.

On a visit to the city to ascertain the implementation of the guidelines for reservation in posts and services, Dr Somawat said since the work of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes was bifurcated from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes in February 2004, many people were not aware of it. The Jaipur-based regional office of the Commission looks after Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttranchal, Daman and Diu.

On being asked about the erring department or institutions, he said except the banking sector many departments had already identified the backlog. “But we have asked the department to rework the backlog as in case of promotion post, most of the department exchanged the posts under the ST quota with the SC quota. They did not maintain the vacancy based rosters as per the July 1997 guidelines of the Department of Personal,” he added.

As a result, the reservation in the Class A and B posts being filled through the UPSC was being implemented. But the same was not the case with the Class C and D posts.

He also informed that under the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2004, introduced in the Rajya Sabha in the last winter session, there was provision of Rs 50,000 fine and five years of imprisonment to the officer who issued a fake Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate. The punishment was also for the beneficiary.

He said it had come to the notice of the commission that officers in the states were not adhering to the format prescribed by the commission for issuing ST category certificates. Many persons requiring such certificate faced a lot of problem as the officers were reluctant to issue the certificate on the prescribed format.

The commission had also objected to certain organisation in the Insurance sector attaching the condition of five year domicile while inviting applications from ST candidates.



Denial of visa to Modi “unfortunate”
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Most of the local residents contacted for reaction over USA refusing diplomatic visa to Mr Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister, have called it unfortunate. There are, however, mild murmurs justifying the US action.

Prof R.D. Anand, Director (Research) of the Association of Indian Universities, said: “Denying diplomatic visa to Mr Modi was against international norms. The act is against the principle of globalisation, a cause being championed by the USA. Such an unfortunate act has put globalisation in the reverse gear.”

Professor Anand said in case Mr Modi was convicted he would not have been issued even the passport. To make matters worse, even his business visa has been revoked. One might, personally, not agree with belief of another individual. However, such an action at an administrative level did not speak good of a nation that sets parameters for other countries to follow.

Mr Ravi Sharma, a Panchkula-based astrologer, said: “Mr Modi should have been given visa by the USA. Mr Modi has not been convicted on any charge in connection with the Godhra riots. His name has been cleared by the Indian Government by giving him a passport. Denying him a visa was a statement against the Ministry of External Affairs.”

Dr Rakesh Khullar, a medical practitioner, said: “The USA is not what it projects itself to be. Instead of condemning China for what happened in Tiananmen Square, the super power was on very friendly terms because it suited the business interests. There are glaring examples of gross human rights violations in the Gulf where the US forces interfered while searching nuclear weapons that never existed.”

“The USA should first put its own house in order. Instead of accusing others for human rights violations, can there be any explanation as to why it never had a lady or a black President till date? I just want to say that everyone, including self, needs to put on the same platter while judging societal behaviors”.

Mr Amarjit Singh Ladhar, Additional Advocate General (Punjab), said USA should immediately review its decision and offer an unconditional apology for the unwarranted act of refusing visa to Mr Modi. Such an act was an embarrassment for the country. “The US refusal for visa came after Ms Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, visited Delhi. If such a strong statement was to be made, the USA should have tried it before she landed here”, Mr Ladhar added.

Prof Charanjit Chawla, a former fellow of Panjab University, said “USA was justified in denying visa to Mr Modi. Mr Modi’s state could not ensure safety of the common man. Hundreds of Muslims were slain in his state and he did not own responsibility by stepping down.”

“USA has made a very bold statement in denying Mr Modi visa. In fact such people should be removed from the office in the interest of society”. Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, a resident of Mohali, said denial of visa to Mr Modi was not an immediate reaction of the USA. Great care must have been taken in perusing his case of alleged involvement in the Gujarat riots.



800 delegates for CPI congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
As many as 800 delegates from various parts of India and 50 delegates from abroad will take part in the national congress of the CPI scheduled to be held here from March 29 to April 5.

Stating this, the Chairman of the reception committee and secretary of the Punjab Unit of the CPI, Dr Joginder Dayal, said today there would be a debate on political resolution, political review report and organisational report of the party during the congress.

On the first day of the congress, a rally would be held at the local Parade Ground. There would be a seminar on important topics such as future of socialism, globalisation and agriculture.

Eminent persons such as former Prime Minister, V.P. Singh, General Secretary of the CPI A.B. Bardhan economist H.S. Shergill and experts Vandna Shiva and Medha Patkar would speak at these seminars.



Seminar on VAT organised
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 19
The Chandigarh branch of Northen India Regional Council (NIPC) of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India organised a seminar on Value Added Tax (VAT) in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in Sector 35, here today.

Mr Alok Krishan, a chartered accountant, addressed the seminar which was attended by about 200 delegates.

Mr Krishan elaborated on the major provisions contained in the recently promulgated Punjab Value Added Tax Ordinance, 2005. The change in the system of charging tax was welcomed. He discussed at length the rules regarding the availing of input tax credit during the VAT regime.

He, however, lamented the delay in formulising the rules and forms which play a major role in the smooth implementation of VAT. The other points, which were highlighted by him during he deliberations, were provisions for two different types of invoices — input tax reversal on material sent on job work. Provisions of deduction of tax at source on works contract, he said, goes against the principles of VAT. The twin arrangement of controlling inter state transactions ie. Introduction of Form 36 (EXIM Forms) and ICC’s were not called for. Citing the Haryana example, he stressed that they have successfully implemented VAT without barriers.

Mr Yudhvir Singh, Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Haryana, who was the chief guest on the occasion, stressed that VAT brought simplicity in the system of administration of tax on sales of goods. He further emphasised that this system reduced the interface between the tax payer and the tax administrator. Haryana VAT, he said was a much simpler form of VAT.



Drive to popularise pasteurised milk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Pasteurised milk is 90 per cent bacteria free, is healthier and unlike raw milk does not carry the risk of causing tuberculosis, typhoid, dysentery and other diseases. Yet more than half of the total consumption of milk in the city is of raw milk, coming straight from dairies against the packaged pasteurised milk. While the UT Health Department is working towards making Chandigarh, “100 per cent pasteurised milk consuming city”, the small dairy owners cry that they would be the worst hit financially.

Emphasising on the consumption of pasteurised milk, the UT Health Secretary, Mr S.C. Poddar, has given two weeks’ time to the residents concerned to submit their point of view for the consideration of the administration. Speaking at a seminar organised on ‘raw milk versus pasteurised milk’ today the Health Secretary sought the cooperation of the city residents to increase the consumption of pasteurised milk. Mr Poddar also laid stress on creating awareness over the advantages of pasteurised milk over raw milk.

Highlighting the drawbacks of raw milk, the UT Director Health Services, Dr C.P. Bansal, said, “On many occasions, the raw milk is contaminated after the cattle is milked, which in turn causes diseases in human beings. The raw milk is also laden with bacteria and can be hazardous to health”. Similar views were voiced by the Mr R.K. Sharma of Verka milk plant.

However, Mr Sukhpal Singh of Baba Dairy, Sector 21, supporting the supply of raw milk said that with the introduction of milk machines and other techniques the animals were being milked under hygienic conditions. He added that bacteria were killed by boiling of raw milk. “The employment opportunities generated by the small dairies would totally vanish if the raw milk is stopped.” Mr H.S. Talwar of the Talwar Dairy also spoke in favour of raw milk.



Readers Write
Residents’ poser to Admn on building bylaws

There is a lot of talk about encroachments and violation of building bylaws in Chandigarh. Are building bylaws not applicable to government houses/quarters and government office buildings or only applicable to private houses?

Are the occupants of government houses not required to pay fee for additions made in the quarters as the private owners are paying Rs 100 per sq feet? If not, why?

Challans against the private owners are issued. Whether any action has been taken against the occupants of government houses for additions/alterations in the quarter?

No allotment of government houses has been cancelled due to violation of the bylaws. There are violations in more than 50 per cent government houses.

— Residents of Chandigarh

Electric crematorium

The public should be aware that the cremation ground in Chandigarh has been provided with an electric crematorium for almost quarter of a century, but it has been rarely used. The Administrator of Chandigarh has assured its proper functioning. The charges for using the electric crematorium is Rs 30 per body and the charges for cremation using wood is Rs 900.

We are thankful to the Administrator that he has ensured the disposal of the bodies in a pollution-free manner.

— Air Marshal P.K. Jain (retd), Chandigarh

Unhygienic conditions

Garbage everywhere, roads crying for recarpeting, stray cattle roaming on roads and abundance of mosquitoes and files, this is how one can describe the scene at Housing Board Colony, Sector 11, Panchkula. When the municipal council was formed two years ago, residents had heaved a sigh of relief, but their hopes were shattered after a short interval. They pay hard-earned money as house tax for maintenance of their sectors, but all in vain. Road sweepers come rarely and inner streets are breeding place for mosquitoes.

— Aarti Deogan, Panchkula

Vehicles’ registration

The registration of vehicles in Panchkula these days has become a difficult task. At present, those who deposited the papers in last week of December 2004 are being issued the registration books/cards. The people are made to visit the SDM office three to four times for the collection of registration book. They have to stand in a queue for long hours and after that they have to go empty-handed. I am sure that the authorities are well aware of this fact. They should come forward to clear the backlog on an emergency basis and streamline the system. I will further request the authorities to clearly indicate on the counters in writing that there is a separate queue for women and senior citizens because in the absence of this, women/senior citizens on many occasions are not permitted to form a separate queue.

— R.K. Aggarwal, Panchkula

Stray dog menace

Fifteen cases of dog bite were reported in an hour in Sector 6, Panchkula, recently. The residents of the area have been highlighting for quite a long time the menace of stray dogs, stray cattle, bad roads, particularly in Sector 6, where the hospital is located. The stray dogs besides being nuisance, are a cause of rabies and accidents.

The councillor of the area at least should personally see the condition of roads, stray dogs and cattle. The hospital waste is another attraction for dogs.

— Dr Harish Khanna, Panchkula



Cancel ITIs proposed fee hike: manch
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
The Dalit Chetna Manch, Punjab, has demanded that the proposed fee hike in case of government industrial training institutes should be cancelled.
In a press note issued here, Mr Shamsher Purkhalwi, president of the manch, said a deputation had met the minister concerned in this regard. The minister said he would ask the government to review the proposal.

He said brilliant students had to take training at ITI’s because of shortage of money. But after acquiring the necessary training a person was able to get a job and look after his family. In case the fee structure was raised, it would adversely affect a large number of youth who would not be able to bear the financial burden which would ultimately lead to unemployment.



Fee regulation issue: BJP to stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The local unit of the BJP has decided to stage a dharna in the Sector 17 Plaza on March 24 in protest against the non-implementation of a judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by the Chandigarh Administration regarding the regulation of fee structure in private schools.

According to a press note issued here today, the February 14, 2005, judgement of the court on the issue of 25 per cent reservation for students of the weaker sections of society in private schools had not been implemented by the Administration despite repeated reminders by the party.



Protest march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The Joint Action Committee of villagers living outside the lal dora will held a protest march tomorrow.
Beginning from Hallo Majra village, the march would end at the residence of the Member of Parliament, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal. The MP would be handed over a memorandum of demands, said Mr B.S. Rawat, general secretary of the committee. He said hundreds of people were living outside the lal dora in 18 UT villages.



525 boxes of liquor seized near Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
In a major catch the police seized 525 boxes of liquor being illegally smuggled into Punjab at a naka laid near Sohana in the wee hours today. Two persons were arrested in this regard.

On getting a tip-off the police laid a naka near the bus stand at Sohana village under the supervision of SI Bhupinder Singh. Around 2 am a truck was seen coming from Chandigarh side and the driver was signalled to stop. On being searched the police found it to be loaded with boxes of liquor.

Mr Devinder Singh, SHO, Sohana, told Chandigarh Tribune that the liquor which was meant for sale only in Chandigarh was being smuggled to Rajasthan. He said the police was able to arrest the truck driver, Angrej Singh, and the cleaner, Shankar. While the driver was a resident of Shambu, the cleaner belonged to Kosi village on the Mathura road, Delhi. One person, however, managed to escape.

Mr Devinder Singh said the police recovered 10 boxes of MacDowell, 90 boxes of Bagpiper, 40 boxes of Blue Diamond, 60 of Officer’s Choice and 145 of AC brand. In addition to this 120 boxes of quarter bottles of Officer’s Choice and 60 bottles of Blue Diamond were also seized.

A case under the Excise Act was registered against the arrested persons who were produced in a court at Kharar today. They were remanded in two day’s police custody.

The SP, Mr Rakesh Agrawal, said the truck, in which liquor was being carried, was covered with potatoes. On searching the vehicle liquor was recovered. He said liquor in such huge quantity had never been seized from this area for the past quite some time. He said he would be recommending the names of the police officials for commendation certificates to the Punjab DGP.

The Sohana police had seized 59 boxes of liquor even yesterday and arrested two persons. The liquor was being carried in a jeep from Chandigarh.



6 stolen vehicles recovered

Chandigarh, March 19
The local police has recovered three Maruti Zen cars and as many Toyota Qualis vehicles following the interrogation of four car thieves brought here on production warrants.

Police sources said the Chandigarh police got the police remand of the accused, Surjit Singh, alias Makhan and Lakhwinder Singh, alias Lakha, both residents of Kaku Wala village in Ferozepore district, Kulbir Singh, alias Kali, alias Harpal Singh of Bhadur Wala in Ferozepore district and Anurag Sharma, alias Gaggi of the same district, who had been lodged in Ambala Jail, till March 19.

Surjit Singh, the king-pin of the gang, told the police that, he along with his accomplices, would committed the thefts between 1 am and 3 am. They used grill machines to break the locks.

The police has recovered three Maruti Zen cars (CH-03-J-5791, PB-15-E-0004, CH-18-(T)-9554) and three Qualis vehicles (CH-03-M-3573, CH-03-J-2246 and CH-02-1331). The vehicles had been stolen during 2003 and 2004. OC



3 scooters stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 19
Three scooters were stolen in the city while four youths riding on two motor cycles snatched a bag in Sector 25, the local police said here today.
Mr Sat Pal of Sector 20 reported to the police that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-O1-R-7108) was stolen from Sector 22 market yesterday. A theft case has been registered.

In another incident, Mr Suraj Kumar of Sector 19 filed a complaint with the police that his LML Vespa scooter (CH-03-N-1193) was stolen from his residence during March 15 night. In a similar incident, Mr Rajiv Kakkar of Sector 38 reported to the police that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-03-N-7788) was stolen from his residence on March 17. Cases have been registered.

Bag snatched: Mr Sarwan Singh of Sector 38 filed a complaint with the police that four youths riding on two motor cycles snatched his bag containing an ATM card and a mobile phone from Sector 25 yesterday. A case has been registered.

Liquor seized: Sunil Kumar of Colony Number 4 was arrested with five bottles of Gulab country wine yesterday. A case has been registered in this regard.

Held for gambling: The local police arrested Suresh Kumar of the Charan Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran, for gambling at public place yesterday. A case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.


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