C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IG Rajesh Kumar gets marching orders
Sanjay Sharma and Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Inspector-General of Police Rajesh Kumar has been replaced with an IPS officer from Delhi, Mr Satish Chandra, in an unprecedented way by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

As per the established procedure, the transfer order of an IG is communicated through either the Adviser or the Home Secretary, which in this case is not reported to have been followed.

The order has to go to an officer senior to the one who is being shifted. Sources in the police said the transfer order of the IG came through a fax message in the Chandigarh police control room late in the evening yesterday.

Adviser Lalit Kumar Sharma and Home Secretary Krishna Mohan, when asked at around 3 pm about the order, said they had not got any order in this regard.

The sources said they could not recall a single instance when the transfer order of the IG had come through fax at the police control room. As per practice, the order should either have come to the Adviser or the Home Secretary.

Mr Rajesh Kumar, when contacted on phone, confirmed that he had been transferred to Delhi. He also confirmed that Mr Chandra would replace him.

Mr Rajesh Kumar said there was nothing unusual in the order as the process of transfer of an officer starts as soon as one completes two years.

He has already left for Delhi but said he would finally shift after handing over the charge to Mr Chandra.

The sources in the police said even they could not believe that the order had not come to the Chandigarh Administration.

They said it had already reached the Chandigarh Administration before it was faxed in the name of Mr Rajesh Kumar to the control room.

IG Rajesh Kumar’s tenure saw efforts to improve police-public contact after Gen S. F. Rodrigues (retd) asked the police to do so. Mr Rajesh Kumar was known as a police officer who concentrated more on basic policing contrary to his predecessor Mr Bhimsen Bassi who was known as proactive on reaching out to the people.

Rajesh Kumar’s tenure saw the highest number of police officers being arrested by the CBI for allegedly accepting bribes. At least five police officers were arrested. 



Girls outshine boys in class VIII exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Girls once again outshone boys in the result of the middle standard examination declared here today. The examination was conducted by the UT Education Department. Out of 12,000 students who appeared in the examination 9,040 were declared pass.

An official in the UT Education Department said as compared to last year, there was a negligible fall of .03 per cent in the over-all passes percentage of both model and non-model schools.

As per the merit list released by the department, a number of girls have managed to secure 90 per cent and above marks. In the model school category, Swati Jindal of Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, has topped by securing 658 marks out of a total of 700. There are two students at the second position, Saurabh Prabhakar of Tribune Model School and Garima Negi of Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, both securing 657 marks each. With 654 marks, Gaganjot Kaur of Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, has been placed third.

In the non-model school category, Rashmi Kumari of SGGS Senior Secondary School, Sector 35-B, has topped by securing 644 marks. At the second and the third position are Raman Preet Kaur of Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, and Rosy Bhardwaj of Government High School, Sector 41-A, respectively.

The DPI (Schools), Mr D.S. Mangat, said this time the result gazettes of each schools were made available to the respective schools in deviation from the earlier practice of publishing a common gazette. The department saved around Rs 46,000 by not going for the common result gazette. Publishing around 200 copies of the common gazette could have delayed the declaration of the result, said an official.

An analysis of the subject-wise analysis of the result reveals that barring the subject of social studies (which has over-all pass percentage of 89.50), the pass percentage in all other subjects is 90 per cent and above. The subject-wise pass percentage was English (97.56), mathematics (91.96), general science (91.23), Hindi I (94.34), Hindi II (98.93), Punjabi I (99.73), Punjabi II (96.02), Sanskrit (99.61), drawing (99.94), domestic science (100) and music (100).

However, the school-wise performance, especially of the government schools, could not be ascertained as the joint gazette had not been released this time. It would take some days before the school-wise analysis was released by the department, said an official.

Meanwhile, in the result of the class VIII examination 2005 declared today, students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20-D, have secured maximum positions in the merit list released by the UT Education Department.

An official of the UT Education Department said Nayana of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20-D, has topped in the model school category of government schools in the city. At the second and the third positions are Shagun of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, and Government Model Senior Secondary 
School, Sector 20 D, respectively. Five students of Sishu Niketan School have secured the fourth, fifth, seventh, eight and ninth position in the merit list.

In the non-model school, category, Raman Preet Kaur and Rosy Bhardwaj of Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, and Government High School, Sector 41, have secured the second and the third position, respectively.

Three students of government schools in rural areas have also figured in the merit list.



CPI hardens stand on re-unification
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
With the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also talking in terms of unity of the Communist parties, the CPI today hardened its stand in a move to be in a better bargaining position.

Delegates at the 19th Party Congress were of the view that the “CPI should not get marginalised” while pursuing the idea of Left unity and reunification of the Communist movement.

This stand of the CPI clearly indicated that the party, which has been forced to toe the line of the CPM on several major decisions, including support to the UPA government from outside, wants to be relevant in the postreunification phase also.

While the CPI is hoping for the re-unification of the two main Communist parties in the near future, CPM General Secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet gave clear indications that there was no scope of the merger of the two parties.

The CPM leader had stated that “CPM-CPI cooperation is the heart of bringing about a higher level of Left unity. Our two parties share the common and glorious heritage of the Communist moment. We had to separate because of the political and ideological differences which affected the strategic perspective over a period of time.”

Communists in India must remain true to Marxism-Leninism and apply it creatively to the Indian condition. This is the way to resolve differences and strengthen the Communist movement in the country, he said.

When CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan was asked whether there was any difference between the two parties CPI and CPM as the Marxists have also practically started following line of “unity and struggle with the Congress” which was one of the main tactical reason for the split in 1964, the CPI General Secretary clearly hinted that there was no difference between the two parties.



Absconding cop dodges police in filmi style
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, April 1
An absconding robbery accused Punjab police constable made a great escape when he bumped into a police team from Ludhiana that spotted him outside the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The police team and the Chandigarh police pursued him hotly and almost closed in on him before he dodged them by removing his turban in the car.

The accused, Kulwinder Singh, who had been elusive for a year, outsmarted the Punjab police by getting out of his car by breaking the windscreen when his vehicle was sandwiched between two cars and the police was following him near the Dhillon traffic light point in Mani Majra.

The police suspects that he was being assisted by a woman in whose silver Maruti car (CH-03-E-4229), he fled from outside the court. The Ludhiana police had come to the court in connection with a separate case, not knowing that the man it was looking for would suddenly appear before it.

Inspector Navreet Singh, SHO of the Focal Point, Ludhiana, today told the Chandigarh Tribune on telephone that he was coming out of the court premises with other police officers, when he noticed a Maruti car being reversed so rashly that it hit another car parked behind it. It was then that officers accompanying him identified Kulwinder Singh in the car. They immediately alerted the local police which flashed messages about the car.

The inspector said the accused was wanted by the Punjab police in a robbery attempt made at UCO Bank in Ludhiana. A case had been registered against the accused and his other accomplices on February 20, 2004. The other accused were arrested after some time but Kulwinder had remained elusive.

The police was, however, under fire for allegedly illegally detaining his brother Harmesh Singh Kala for 10 days at the CIA here in March. The high court had ordered a CBI inquiry into the case on the petition of Kala’s mother. The Ludhiana police is in the process of challenging the orders, police sources revealed.

About the suspected involvement of a Mohali-based woman, Mr Navreet Singh said when he went to the Sector 3 police station to report the incident, he saw the woman in the police station. She was reporting to the police that her car had been stolen. When he asked her to produce the keys of the car, she said she had forgotten them same in the car. He added that they were awaiting a report from the Chandigarh police about the documents recovered from the suspect’s car.

A case has been registered under Sections 379 and 279 of the IPC against Kulwinder Singh.



Haryana Govt wants Arun Kumar back
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Haryana Government has asked the Chandigarh Administration to send back the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, to his parent cadre of Haryana. The DC is a Haryana cadre IAS official of the 1989 batch working on deputation in Chandigarh.

The Administration had asked Haryana to reconsider its decision. The Haryana Government in January had allowed the DC to stay on deputation in Chandigarh. Chandigarh had moved the case of seeking extension for the DC from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the permission is awaited.

Sources said local Congress leaders were behind the move. Haryana officials who moved the file had written on it that permission to allow an extension to the DC had been given in January and in these two months there had been no plausible reason to withdraw it. The office of the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, overlooked this and sent a letter to the Administration.

The DC and the Congress leaders had not seen eye to eye with Mr Bhupinder Singh Badheri, alleging partisan behaviour.



No exam in Punjab colleges today
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
There will be no examination tomorrow for undergraduate classes in colleges affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

The universities, in their official communications, have postponed the examinations slated for tomorrow. As many as 1.5 lakh students were to take examinations in 137 colleges of the state. Guru Nanak Dev University has resheduled tomorrow’s papers for May 7.

GNDU and PU have cited “administrative reasons” for postponement of the examinations. In fact the universities have been forced to postpone the examinations because the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) had announced that its members would not perform examination duties.

The examinations from April 3 onwards will be held as per schedule. The PCCTU has also threatened a lightning strike in case their demands were not accepted at the earliest.

“We are holding back the surprise to press the seriousness of the matter for the government to address,” Dr Jagwant Singh, PCCTU general secretary, told The Tribune.

PU officials spent the entire day in rescheduling the examination scheduled for tomorrow. These included B Com II (paper I), English (compulsory), BA III (vocational), B Sc II (chemistry), BA II (Geography and Sociology), BCA II and BBA I (paper I), besides certain others.

Dr Sodhi Ram, the Controller of Examination, said, “we are finding it difficult to find a date before May 10.” Prof K.N. Pathak, the Vice Chancellor, said the university was forced to take the decision to postpone the examination because of the teacher agitation. “We tried our best to resolve the issue and had parlays even at the higher level of the administration,” he said.

Dr Jagwant Singh said: “we have been forced to take the decision because no one heard us on the issue. We sent at least 10 reminders and at least three letters to the Chief Minister.” The biggest problem that colleges are facing is non-receipt of the government grant for the fourth quarter.

Dr Jagwant Singh said: “Teachers, in more than 100 colleges, have not been paid their salaries for over six months. There are scores of colleges who have not got their salaries for the past 10 months. Teachers in SKRM College, Bhago Majra, have not been paid from the past 14 months.”

The teachers demands also include the merger of DA in the basic pay. “The Punjab Assembly had made a provision of Rs 8.20 crore for this in the last budget, but it was not carried out,” he added.



Customs to set up post for PoK passengers
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Department of Indian Customs will set up a check post at Adoosa in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir to clear baggage of passengers for the Srinagar-Muzaffarbad bus service starting April 7.

All rules that governing the luggage of passengers crossing Attari and Wagah border posts will apply on the new bus service.

The Customs and Excise department has set up an office for the bus service here, said the Chief Commissioner, Mr S.S. Bedi. The Chandigarh office exercises control over Punjab, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.

Mr Bedi said the check post will be within the Army area. The immigration and customs officers would get Army protection. An Assistant Commissioner will head the check post and he will be assisted by two superintendent-level officials and six inspectors. The staff will stay at the post only on the day of the weekly bus service.

Women customs officers will deal with women passengers. These women officers were recruited locally some time back.

A machine to screen the baggage has been installed at Adoosa. Sniffer dogs would be deployed to help detect narcotics and contraband, said the Chief Commissioner.



MC chief gets reprieve; no-trust vote deferred
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
The Municipal Council President, Mrs Seema Chaudhary today got a reprieve for 12 days after the General House, which was to take up the no-confidence motion against her today, was deferred to April 12.

Even as 18 councillors owing allegience to the Congress and three of the BJP met at hotel Red Bishop to discuss the strategy to be adopted for the removal of MC President, a team of MC officials led by Executive Officer J.L. Batra arrived here and informed them that the meeting had been postponed.

The MC officials reportedly informed the councillors that Sub-Divisional Magistrate Virender Dahiya had ordered that in the wake of, the state mourning over the death of two senior Haryana Ministers today's meeting stood postponed to April 12.

Earlier, the councillors mourned the death of O.P. Jindal and Surender Singh.

Meanwhile, they said their only concern was to ensure that the no-confidence motion against Ms Chaudhary was successful. Other than the 21 councillors, the vote of the local MLA, Mr Chander Mohan, and Member of Parliament Selja Kumari, (both from the Congress) would ensure that the motion in the 31-member House (plus one MLA and MP) would be a smooth affair.

Mr Ravinder Rawal, secretary, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, and Mr V.K. Kapoor, leader of the Congress councillors in the MC, said they welcomed the high court decision to allow for voting through secret ballot.



No-trust motion by secret ballot, court told
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 1
The Haryana Government today informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the no-confidence motion against Panchkula Municipal Council President Seema Chaudhary and vice president Kuljit Kaur would be decided by a secret ballot and not by show of hands.

Appearing for the Municipal Council, a government official said that the meeting of the Municipal Council members scheduled for today had been postponed and whenever it is held, a secret ballot would decide the fate of the no-confidence motion.

Ms Chaudhary also appeared in person to argue her case. She termed the notice calling today's meeting to decide the no-confidence motion illegal. The petitioner had pointed out that the Deputy Commissioner had authorised the SDM (Civil) to convene a special meeting of all the members of the council under Section 21 (1) of the MC Act following the motion of no-confidence.

She further said that the SDM had not indicated any procedure for carrying out the proceedings at the meeting by a secret ballot despite demand made by the petitioner vide representation dated March 22. After the statement of the government official, the Bench headed by Mr Justice N.K. Sud disposed of the matter.



Passing Thru

What will be the effect of VAT on biscuit prices?

Mr B.P. Agarwal
Mr B.P. Agarwal,
Chairperson, Priyagold, and president of the Federation of Biscuit Manufacturers of India

The common man should be prepared to shell out more as the maximum retail price of a biscuit pack will go up by 5-6 per cent, as a direct VAT fall out. They will also have to look for cheaper substitutes like bhujia/namkeen as their tea and coffee accompaniments, which have lesser tax on them under the new regime.

What will be its impact on the biscuit industry?

The biscuit industry operates on very thin margins. It will find it hard to absorb the impact of VAT. Imposition of VAT will be a big setback for the industry and the loss would be around 8 per cent after including other taxes like the central sales tax (CST), octroi and entry tax.

What is your company planning to do to keep up its sales in the market?

We are launching attractive promotional schemes like "Priya Gold Khaao or Khelo'', in which those who buy biscuits worth Rs 50 would be given a coupon for participation in the contest beginning April 1.

What are your company's expansion plans?

The company plans to increase its turnover from Rs 300 crore this year to Rs 500 crore next year.

— Poonam Batth



Running creches in residential areas made easier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Administration today reiterated that certain relaxations in the use of residential buildings have been allowed to run creches.

A residential building up to minimum of 1,000 sq feet or 50 per cent of the total covered area in a house measuring 250 sq yard or above on ground floor may be used by the owners/occupant for running a creche and pre-school activities.

The building should have a proper boundary wall, gate and sufficient parking facilities.

The creche and pre-school activities may provide babysitting or childcare facilities for infants and children up to 6 years of age. Such creche/pre-school activities or babysitting facility will provide services for the full length of a working day.

In the covered area of 1,000 sq ft, the number of children allowed will be 35. For every additional covered area of 500 sq ft, the number of children allowed will be 15 with a maximum of 50 children in a creche etc.

Only a duly qualified and authorised person will be allowed to run such a creche or pre-school activities with the prior permission of the Estate Officer. The person will have to seek permission from the Estate Officer as regards the premises and the portion thereof to be used for the purpose or running a creche etc.

The Estate Officer may at any time have the premises inspected for the purpose of ensuring that the conditions prescribed for the running of a creche or pre-school activities are being complied with. 



Let down by father, children leave home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Mr Jasbir Jassi, an NRI living in Sector 17, Panchkula, found three children outside his home settling in for the night in a park.

When he quizzed the little ones, their ages between six and 12 years, he discovered that they had run away from home, as their father, an alcoholic, used to ill treat them. Their mother had died some time ago, and the father had remarried. According to the children, he did not want to look after them.

Mr Jassi called in some neighbours and they fed the children and looked after them for the night. The next day, they went to the police station in the Industrial Area where the father of the children was called for questioning. The police allegedly refused to do anything saying the case was not within its jurisdiction and that the children, their father and Mr Jassi should go to the Social Welfare Department in the city.

Ms Madhvi Kataria, Director for the Department of Social Welfare, spoke to the cops at the police station, but to no avail. “The cops do not even know how to handle a situation like this. The elder girl did not want to go back home,” she said.

When Ms Kataria spoke to the children, the younger children said they did not mind going back to their father. They said since their elder sister did not get along well with their father, she kept running away, taking them with her.

Even the father allegedly said that he could no longer be responsible for his children as they kept running away and that he could not keep an eye on them.

Mr Karam Singh, SHO at the Industrial Area police station, was clear in his approach: “If the father does not want to look after his children and wants them to be put into a home where they will be looked after and cared for, what do we do in this?”

The tale adds to the growing statistic of young children being forsaken in a society where the keepers of the law — the police — seem helpless to extend a comforting hand. 



Another hurdle in allotment of plots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The issue of allotment of residential plots in Sector 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex has hit yet another road block. The UT Administration today moved an application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking directions to Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to lay a sewerage system for Sector 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula.

Unless a sewerage system is established, the upcoming IT park in Chandigarh would be submerged during the ensuing monsoons, the applicant states, adding that HUDA should be allowed to lay the sewerage at the earliest.

Meanwhile, a fresh application has been filed by Dr. B Singh, the petitioner in the matter, praying that the issues that the Supreme Court is seized of should not be decided by the High Court at this stage.

He has, however, added that some outstanding issues, including collection of over Rs 465 crore by HUDA for the plots, should be decided by the High Court. It may be noted that 33,793 applicants have invested Rs 465.103 crore with HUDA for allotment of 537 residential plots in Sectors 2 and 6 of MDC since April 2004. Following a petition filed by Dr B Singh, that no development be allowed in the catchment area of Sukhna, the allotment for plots could not be held.

Saying that the action of HUDA was akin to committing a fraud on the gullible public, the petitioner has also stated that he has moved a contempt plea against Mr T.K. Sharma, Administrator, HUDA, for wilful and intentional violation of the High Court order of July 16, 2004. In this order the court had stopped all types of construction activities in the area.

Today the Bench adjourned the matter to April 7.



Draw of lots fair, says confederation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Confederation of Housing Societies has termed the cancelled draw of lots of the Progressive Housing Society ‘’largely fair’’ in the B and C categories.

The federation president, Mr S. K. Jain, said the alleged incident of so-called cheating was found only in a single case in the A category of houses.

He argued that the Registrar of Cooperative Societies should have heard the aggrieved parties before cancelling the entire allotment. He alleged that newspapers had presented a one-sided story.

He claimed that the observers had performed their duty well.

The decision of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies had put members of the B and C categories at a disadvantage.

The Tribune had quoted officials as allegedly having caught an office-bearer of the society with a fake chit on the basis of which the allotment was cancelled. It had also pointed out that the ‘’cheating’’ had come to the notice of a member and not any observer.



Vivekananda’s relevance in modern times stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The 10-day-long annual celebrations of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram in Sector 15 started today with a public meeting on the ‘Life and Teachings of Swami Vivekananda’.

The evening commenced with Vedic chants in front of an enraptured audience of more than 100 devotees and admirers of Swami Vivekananda.

Since the chief guest Dr A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana, could not attend the function due to the tragic demise of two Haryana ministers yesterday, Swami Girijeshananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, Jammu, graced the occasion as the chief guest for the evening.

In his address to the audience, Swamiji extolled the virtues of Swami Vivekananda and quoted him by saying that everyone must have an ideal to follow.

The ideals for the nation are renunciation and service. Selflessness with family and country and service to both is essential and these ideals must be implemented for the growth and development of the country, he said.

Mr Chandrashekhar Talwar, executive director, BACKFINCO, and co-founder of the Vivekananda Study Circle of Punjab, said the modern age was of openness and enquiry and Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna were prophets of the modern age because their message had a universal appeal.

He also said Swami Vivekananda could serve as an ideal for the youth of today as his teachings were relevant even in today’s world.

The function was presided over by Swami Shivamayananda, assistant secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission and Math.



Make healthcare affordable, says Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today called for a coordinated effort at all levels by the medical fraternity so that quick medical relief could be affordable to the needy.

Inaugurating the annual conference of the northern chapter of the Indian Orthopaedic Association at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, he said there was no organised, responsive and comprehensive healthcare network to meet the medical needs of 260 million people living below the poverty line in rural and semi-urban habitations.

He said another area of concern was inadequate trauma services due to which many lives were lost.

On the occasion, honorary fellowship was presented to Prof T.S. Mani, Prof Hardas Singh Sandhu and Dr S.M. Tuli for their contributions to the medical profession.



CRPF battalion celebrates Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Central Reserve Police Force’s 30th battalion celebrated its 37th Raising Day at its campus at Hallomajra today. A fete was organised to mark the occasion, in which all officers and men of the battalion along with their family members participated. Different games and entertainment programmes were organised.

In the evening, a bara khana for battalion personnel and their families was organised, which was followed by a cultural programme and distribution of prizes. A prayer meeting was held in the morning.

Presently commanded by Commandant Jag Mehar Singh, the battalion was raised on April 1, 1968 in Arunachal Pradesh. The unit has served in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura and Assam.



Protest against 85th Amendment
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 1
A protest was held by the General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, at the Matka Chowk today. Delegates from various states and Chandigarh took part in it. The protest was against the implement action of the 85th constitutional Amendment in Punjab which provided for accelerated promotion to employees belongining to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). The speakers highlighted that in the government and public sector SC/ST employees were already enjoying status for which they were not eligible.

Mr Shyam Lal Sharma, state unit president, while addressing the dharna said, “The benefits of reservation should only be given to real dalits who were below the poverty line without any consideration of caste. He also said the federation was not against Dalits but was opposing the wrong policies of the government regarding giving of benefits to a selected group of SC/ST.

Mr Sukhbir Singh, district unit president of Faridkot, unit alleged that in Punjab the SC and ST Atrocity Act, 1989, was being misused by a section of society members belonging to this category.

The protectors wore black robs and marched towards the Vidhan Sabha. They burnt effigy depicting reservation.



Please bear, roads under repair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Recarpeting of the roads is causing major traffic inconvenience to city residents. Long queues of vehicles on alternate routes opened in a number of sectors has almost become a common sight.

The road opposite the ISBT, Sector 17, witnesses massive rush throughout the day. The rush is more pronounced during the opening and closing times of offices. The road separating Sector 21 and 22 was closed to vehicular traffic in the evening today leading to a traffic jam.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, a local resident, said, “The corporation or any other authority should issue a schedule each day for the public about the work areas and alternate routes, if any”.

Mr Anjani Kumar, a student, said, “Just like the normal schedule published in newspapers about power shutdown, the corporation can send a pressnote about the work areas for public convenience”.

A senior official of the corporation said, “There was no need for any public notice because repair work was a routine affair. In case of repairs only one side of the road has to be blocked for some time. 



Move to privatise sanitation in more areas falls flat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Another attempt by the Municipal Corporation to privatise sanitation in certain new Sectors fell flat today due to a massive protest by the Sweepers Union. The union is opposed to privatisation.

The corporation planned to open the tenders for privatisation of sanitation in Sectors 30, 32, 47 and 51. The union was in possession of the tender box till about 5 p.m. when Mr Kulwant Kalson, Additional Secretary, arrived on the scene. He was handed over the tender documents.

It maybe remembered that Mrs Santosh Chaudhary, chairperson of the National Commission on Safai Karamcharis on March 29 had met the Commissioner and the Mayor. The corporation had revoked the privatisation orders for sanitation in Sector 17.

Mr Om Pal Chawar, chief adviser of the union, said: “We were assured by the MC that no more privatisation will be allowed. The corporation ignored the agreement and planned to go ahead with more privatisation which is not acceptable us. We will intensify our agitation unless heard”.

A senior official of the corporation said that the tender was supposed to opened at 4 p.m. When the union held the tender documents police help was sought.



Nodal cell on rights to continue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Chandigarh Administration has decided that it will continue to have a nodal cell to monitor the violation of human rights and not go in for full-fledged State Human Rights Commission.

Chandigarh has an area of 114 sq km and keeping in view the small size and small number of complaints pertaining to human rights violations, the cell, which functions under the Home Secretary, shall continue.

The IG the District Magistrate, Chandigarh, are its members and Senior Superintendent of Police is its Member Secretary. 



Zirakpur crossing to be decongested
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, April 1
The Patiala police will decongest the Zirakpur crossing under a community policing programme in coordination with the Dera Bassi and Lalru Industry Associations which have promised to give two motor cycles to the police for the purpose.

A decision to this effect was taken at a Police-Industry Interface held at a local resort yesterday. Zonal Inspector General of Police Rajinder Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police A.S. Rai interacted with members of the Industry Associations of both Dera Bassi and Lalru during the interface.

The Dera Bassi Industries Association general secretary, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, said even though industrialists of Dera Bassi were contributing Rs 250 crore to the state exchequer in the form of various taxes, the area still faced a number of problems. Mr Aggarwal said Zirakpur chowk had become very congested over the years and efforts should be made to ensure the proper regulation of traffic in the area. He said this could be done by making buses going to Patiala and Panchkula halt a little away from the crossing. He said besides this more police personnel should be posted at the site for better traffic regulation.



Property tax can be paid till April 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Assessees of commercial, industrial and institutional lands who opted for the Self Assessment Scheme are required to deposit property tax by April 30, an official press note of the Municipal Corporation said here today. The tax is for 2005-2006.

The assessees also have the option of paying the tax in two half yearly instalments. The tax can be paid at different branches of Oriental Bank of Commerce.

In case of the lumpsum payment, a rebate of 10 per cent is allowed by the corporation. In case of two payments a rebate of 5 per cent is allowed on both occasions. 



Fire in Mohali house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 1
Property was damaged when a fire broke out in a house in Phase VI here today. The fire apparently started due to sparking in a fridge lying in the kitchen on the first floor. An LPG cylinder in the kitchen was unaffected by the fire. 



One injured in accident
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 1
One person was seriously injured in a collision between a car and a scooter here this evening. According to the police, the accident took place on the dividing road of Phase VII and Sector 70. The scooterist, who was seriously injured, was taken to a private hospital.



Rarewala’s granddaughter molested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 1
The granddaughter of the late Gian Singh Rarewala, a former Congress Chief Minister of erstwhile Pepsu state and Punjab, was molested and chased by car-borne youths near Kaimbwala village before they tried to drag her into the car in broad daylight. The bid was thwarted when the girl raised the alarm and some passers-by came to her rescue.

According to the police, the 22-year-old NRI girl was going for a walk on the Kaimbwala road at around 4 pm yesterday when three youths who were in a silver-grey Santro car (HRG-1491), tried to drag her into the car. When she raised the alarm, some people came for her help. On seeing them, the accused sped away.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station said a case under Sections 354, 363, 364, 571 and 34 of the IPC had been registered. Police parties had been sent to Gurgaon in search of the accused as the car was from that district.

The father of the girl said he would bring the matter to the notice of the Home Ministry and the UT Administrator. He said liquor vends near Kaimbwala village were a source of nuisance for residents of nearby sectors.



Man crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
Om Prakash (45) was crushed to death by an unknown vehicle on the Ramgarh-Mankya road today. The victim was a security guard with a private security firm and was returning home after duty, when the accident took place.

His body was later spotted by a police patrol, who rushed him to a hospital, where he was declared as dead.



2 held for bootlegging
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, April 1
The police has arrested two persons for allegedly smuggling liquor from two different places on the Kalka-Ambala highway here, late last night.

Joginder Singh, a resident of Gianpura locality Sonepat, was arrested while he was transporting 170 cases (2,040 bottles) of country made liquor in a Mahendra jeep.

In another incident, Jai Pal, hailing from Uttaranchal, was nabbed while carrying 10 bottles of whisky.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, DSP, Dera Bassi, said Joginder Singh was ferrying the liquor in Mahendra jeep (HR-69-4865) from Chandigarh to Haryana while he was caught at a ‘naka’ at Dera Bassi bus stand on the Kalka-Ambala highway, last night.

The police has also impounded the vehicle used in smuggling the liquor, he said.

Jai Pal was arrested while carrying liquor at Panchkula-T point in Zirakpur.

The police has registered cases against them under the Excise Act.



Admn ‘deaf’ to shopkeepers’ woes
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Shopkeepers of the Sector 29-C rehri market, who have been displaced and shifted at least five times during the past 33 years, have not yet won the favour of the Chandigarh Administration despite having been depositing licence fee since 1991.

Their plight remains unmitigated despite the fact that there are built-up vacant booths in several sectors where these 79 shopkeepers can be accommodated.

The sources say the number of the real claimants for rehabilitation may now be less than the number earlier.

The cause of shopkeepers has been taken up by MP Pawan Bansal with Advisor Lalit K. Sharma and Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar but the hapless shopkeepers have not yet heard anything pleasant.

These shopkeepers have been waiting for the past 12 years in the Sector 29-C rehri market to get rehabilitated after failing to make both ends meet.

There business has been down in the dumps since they were shifted here as they have competitors in around 100 other shops in the same locality.

The sense of injustice amongst them is aggravated as they have seen shopkeepers of Bajwara market getting rehabilitated before their eyes and growing in prosperity.

Incidentally, these shopkeepers are from the oldest rehri market of the city.

These shopkeepers had been issued licences in 1972. In 1979, the market was shifted from Sector 27-C to Sector 29-D market, where they started making a comfortable living.

In 1980, they were shifted to Sector 29-A with a promise that they would be sent back to Sector 29-D and would be allotted concrete booths.

Again they were shifted to the Sector 29-D market in 1987. But only a year after, they were again shifted to the Sector 29-C market where already there were many shops existing.

According to the shopkeepers, there used to be 20 vegetable shops in the market then only to be reduced to three or four shops now.


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