C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SC continues ban on all constructions near Sukhna
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 27
The Supreme Court today continued the ban on any type of construction activity in the protected forest area around Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake, imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court last year, which would have been otherwise rendered non-operational from May 6 in view on a new direction issued by the high court recently.

The high court had imposed the ban on construction activities around Sukhna Lake in the order passed on March 19 and July 16, 2004, by describing it as the “heart and soul of Chandigarh.” But a Division Bench of the high court had issued fresh directions on April 8 rendering its two earlier orders “non-operative and non-enforceable from May 6”, special leave petition (SLP) challenging the latest order of the high court said.

Taking cognisance of the SLP, the apex court Bench of Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice Tarun Chatterjee said “the interim orders, which are directed to be continued by the high court in terms of the impugned order (of April 16), shall continue till the matter comes up for hearing.”

The SLP, filed by B. Singh, said if the ban on construction in the area was lifted, it would not only destroy the forest area around the lake, but also affect the flow of rainwater to it as the Haryana Government was planning to build another water body near the lake.

“The entire forest area in the territory of Haryana will be urbanised by implementing the Low Volume Habitational Schemes (LVHS) of the state government, especially when the high court had restrained the government from implementing these schemes vide order of March 19, 2004 order,” Singh said.

The petitioner said that the latest order of April 8, 2005, by a Division Bench of the high court, making the previous two orders “non-operational” from May 6, was passed due to “false and non-factual” representation of the situation by various authorities of Union Government, Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh, which have been named as respondents by him in the SLP.

While passing the latest order, the High Court had “erred” in taking into account the implications of various provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, Union Environment and Forest Ministry’s notifications of July 7, 2003 and June 7, 2004, issued under the direction of the apex court regarding preservation of the protected forest areas in the country.

The authorities of the Centre, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Administration, had placed “non-existent and non-applicable” ground for seeking amendment in the earlier orders of the high court, the SLP alleged.

The high court in its April 8 direction had said that the interim orders continuing in the proceedings on the related for long , would only continue for four weeks. The petitioner said it would amount to virtually vacating the stay on the ban on construction activities in the protected forest area around Sukhna.

In the July 16, 2004 order the high court Bench had said, “we ban the construction activities in the area concerned since it falls within the forest area subject to further orders of the court,” the petitioner said adding that in the March 19, 2004 order, the high court had restrained Haryana from implementing its LVHS stating that it would affect the Sukhna Lake, which is the “heart and soul of Chandigarh”.



Displaced orphans find new haven
Smiles back on their faces as Guru Aasra Trust adopts them
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
Tears rolling down the cheeks of nearly 40 orphans displaced yesterday from the gurdwara demolished in Dadu Majra gave way to smiles today. Happiness of the poor children knew no bounds in the new haven at the Guru Aasra Trust in Palsora village.

The impeccant smiles had returned on the tender faces and games of fun and frolic could be witnessed on the trust compound when the Tribune correspondent visited them. A sevadar said, “They appear like tender lambs. I wish I could say with guarantee that they will forget all their troubles and take on challenges of life without any fear, at least for their home”.

Rajbir Kaur, who was totally shattered yesterday, looked composed today. “I want to leave the past behind me and prepare myself for a better future”, she said.

Kuldeep Kaur was all smiles when she said, “I thought I will not get another nest when we sat unattended on the pavements yesterday. I thought my future now lay on the roads. The boarding facility now comes as a great help. The struggle in life till date has only made me stronger. I will always keep lives of parentless children in my mind when I grow up and will like to dedicate my life for their welfare”.

The Municipal Corporation authorities sent in supplies of sugar and flour. An offer of giving five seats to the orphans in the Bal Niketan was also extended.

Bhai Kanwar Singh Dhami, an office-bearer of the Guru Aasra Trust, said, “The trust here has sufficient place to house these children. The Administration can help the children in their education and other ways. I have convened a meeting of the trust members tomorrow. I am likely to resign from the trust because of differences over taking care of these children. I might start another trust.”

Bhai Dhami said, “I will like to clarify one thing. Certain people were saying that the children were transported to the gurdwara in Dadu Majra only a few days back to get publicity. This is absolutely incorrect. Newspaper clippings will show that Alka, the invalid bedridden girl, is staying there for the past more than two years. Reports have also been published about the activities of other students over a period of time”.

A sevadar said, “The first aim of the authorities should be to rehabilitate these children. Instead of going into the trust politics the Administration should respond to the needs of the children. Isn’t it strange that the Administration always comes forward with schemes to rehabilitate the slum dwellers? Can nothing be done for these children just because they don’t have any strong voice to back them?”



Labourer beaten by kin dies
Our Correspondent

The four accused charged with murder in the custody of police in Sector 31 police station I, Chandigarh
The four accused charged with murder in the custody of police in Sector 31 police station I, Chandigarh on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 27
A 21-year-old labourer from the Dadu Majra Milk Colony, who was beaten on March 28 allegedly by his inebriated brother-in-law and his three friends when Kumar objected to their remarks against his sister, died today.

Kumar, who was lying unconscious in the PGI since March 28 when he was beaten up, this morning succumbed to injuries, the police said.

The sources said the incident took place on the day of Holi when Kumar visited his sister.

Kumar, the police claimed, today regained consciousness and told his father that he was beaten up by his brother-in-law Sulinder and his Ram Darbar resident friends - Vipin, alias Kanochi, Ajay, alias Tinku and Suresh, alias Pappu on March 26. Kumar, however, immediately died after informing his father about the incident.

Holes in the police claim

SHO Kewal Krishan claims the man regained consciousness today while SI Ram Singh had taken statement of the injured man and sent the report to the Sector 31 police station after making a DDR entry in Sector 34 police station last week.

Police seems to be hiding the fact that it might have been informed about an unconscious person coming to hospital to the police station concerned. Hospital authorities are bound to inform the police station concerned of a medico-legal-case.

The police control room team that picked up an injured person and took him to hospital will try to identify the person and inform the police station concerned about the incident.

Invoking Section 302 (murder) also seems to be questionable as the incident suggests that it was a culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

When asked about the delay in the registration of a case in this regard, the SHO of the Sector 31 police station, Mr Kewal Krishan, said the victim remained unconscious during the period and it was only today that Sanjay Kumar regained consciousness and told his father Surjan Singh that he was attacked. He said there was no complaint in this regard.

Surjan Singh, the father of the deceased, informed the Sector 31 police station about the statement of his son. The SHO said by the time the police reached PGI to record the statement, the victim had died.

The police while quoting the father of the deceased said on March 28, Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, paid a visit to his sister Maya’s house in Ram Darbar. There he along with his brother-in-law and the other three accused consumed liquor. After that they went to a liquor shop on the Sector 31 and Industrial Area dividing road and purchased liquor. Then they went to an abandoned place near the CII in Sector 31 and started drinking. During that time, one of the accused allegedly passed a remark about his sister which he protested and it led to a bloody fight.

Sanjay received internal head injuries and was later thrown by the accused near the Sector 32 fire station along with the scooter. A PCR vehicle got the information about it and took injured Sanjay to GMCH-32. The doctors referred him to the PGI, where his treatment was going on.



Satish Chandra takes charge as new IGP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The Joint Commissioner (Security) of Delhi, Mr Satish Chandra, here today joined as Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of the city in place of Rajesh Kumar, who handed over his charge.

Mr Chandra handled the security of General Pervez Musharraf when the latter was in the Capital recently.

Mr Chandra promised, in a brief introductory press conference, to bring about people-friendliness, effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency in the force. The Joint Commissioner (Security) of Delhi, Mr Satish Chandra, here today joined as Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of the city in place of Rajesh Kumar, who handed over his charge.

Mr Chandra handled the security of General Pervez Musharraf when the latter was in the Capital recently.

Mr Chandra promised, in a brief introductory press conference, to bring about people-friendliness, effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency in the force whose welfare, he said, was also a priority. The new IGP said he would try to remove complaints that certain senior officials were not accessible beyond office hours to mediapersons.

He would look into the aspect of sending FIRs through post to the complainants and stolen vehicle’s untraced reports in a stipulated time frame, he promised.

The IGP said he would see to it that FIRs were promptly registered in all cases.

A mathematics postgraduate who worked as a teacher in Allahabad University, Mr Satish Chandra joined the IPS in 1978 and served the CBI as SP and DIG, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) in Delhi, Joint Commissioner of Police (Security) and South Delhi. He was DIG (Headquarters) in Itanagar and Superintendent of Police of Aizwal.

Mr Chandra is a recipient of the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Services and President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Services.

Meanwhile, the outgoing IGP Rajesh Kumar sought to steer clear off controversies of his period on the recruitment of constables, ASIs, Cossets case and charges of corruption against the police, saying he had tried his best to tackle these issues.

Mr Rajesh Kumar said he got the Cossets case re-investigated after it was closed in the files.

The outgoing IGP said efforts to send FIRs to the complainants by post could not materialise during his tenure. He said that he could not ensure weekly off to the staff because of policing pressures.

When Satish Chandra was asked what he would do about the police staff merely getting 65 paise a day as conveyance, the IGP said he would look into the matter.

Mr Rajesh Kumar denied that he had taken policy decision of transfers and promotions despite his transfer orders being passed.

Earlier, the outgoing IG got emotional after he delivered his farewell speech at the police lines, where he was given a formal send-off amidst the presence of all senior officers, DSPs and Inspectors. The farewell parade was led by DSP S. S. Randhawa. Rajesh Kumar met all officials and employees.

Mr Rajesh Kumar, in his speech, said a pilot project for quality improvement in police services with the assistance of the Quality Council of India was underway in Chandigarh. It was a novel project which the Chandigarh police had chosen to undertake to improve the quality of policing and law enforcement.

SSP (Headquarters) Virender Singh has been replaced with a 1993 batch IPS officer Dinesh Bhatt. Virender Singh has been transferred to Delhi.



Woman decides to divorce HIV man; gets acid attack in return
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Sunita Sharma
Sunita Sharma

Chandigarh, April 27
Life has dealt her a double blow. First misled into marrying an HIV+ man and then left to reel under a brutal acid attack perpetrated by the same man, Sunita Sharma can barely digest the crude reality of her life.

In less than two years of her marriage to a Nawanshahr- based doctor who allegedly concealed his infection from her, Sunita is a shattered woman. Her marriage fell apart the day she discovered her husband was carrying the deadly virus which he could well have transmitted to her.

Sunita after the acid attack
Sunita after the acid attack

He had long been lying to her about his status until one day she got a call from an anonymous lady who urged her to get the man tested for the virus. The results confirmed Sunita's fears. But her woes did not end at that. Though she thought she could end her suffering by filing for divorce, her trauma was only beginning.

The decision to severe ties was followed by a spate of threats, often received from the mobile number of the man in question. So serious was the situation that Sunita had to bring the matter on record at Balachaur police station in Nawanshahr, where she even appealed for protection but to no avail. Hardly had she known that her worst fears were about to come true.

While the police remained missing in action, Sunita was attacked by three motorcycle-borne youth on April 16 this year. The accused threw acid on the woman's face, severely damaging her left eye and left ear. And though the hapless woman and her brother Pawan Sharma were prompt in getting an FIR under Section 307, 120 B and 34 IPC (attempt to murder) registered at Balachaur police station, the police is yet to effect arrests in the case. Till date, the investigating officer has not even bothered to record the statement of Sunita Sharma.

While the police cools its heels and allows asylum to the victimised woman's husband whose name clearly figures in the April 17 FIR, the woman is still battling for restoration of health at the PGI in Chandigarh. Operated upon yesterday, she is far from normal. There is little hope she will ever see from her left eye which bore the maximum brunt of the acid attack.

On top of it, she runs a high risk of contacting HIV/AIDS infection. She lived with an infected man for a few months, and doctors don't rule out the chances of infection having travelled to her. They tell, "The incubation period of the virus is from six months to 10 years. She may well end up as a carrier."

But that seems to be of little significance to the Nawanshahr police which is yet to arrest those responsible for Sunita's condition. Inconsolable, the woman told The Tribune today, "I am tired of appealing for justice. No one is interested in helping me. I am a victim of circumstances. Tomorrow, anyone can be in my position. I only hope God gives me the strength to live this nightmare. I can't even begin to think what my life will be like."



UK refuses disability pension to World War veteran
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
Over six decades after lakhs of Indians took up arms for a cause during the Second World War, a large number of them continue to wage a seemingly losing battle for a different cause -- their disability pension.

Post-independence, payment of pensions and grants is no longer the responsibility of the British while the Union Government is apparently turning a blind eye towards them.

In one such recent case, the British Government has expressed its inability to render any financial assistance to a disabled ex-serviceman who had fought across two continents during the war.

An 84-year-old resident of Ropar, ex-gunner Bachan Singh, had written to the British High Commission in this regard. Citing the High Commission's letter received by him a few days ago, he said the British Government had maintained when India attained Independence, the Indian Government assumed responsibility for payment of pension and other grants to those who served in the armed forces before as well as after Independence.

Bachan Singh had been seriously injured after an artillery shell exploded near his vehicle while he was deployed in Libya. He had also sustained injuries during the Burma campaign, though these were not of a permanent nature. He was discharged from the Army on November 1, 1947, and was entitled to disability pension.

He received this pension for two years when it was abruptly stopped without any reason being conveyed to him. He took up the case for the restoration of his pension with the Army authorities and 56 years later still has no sign of getting it.

He wrote numerous letters to the authorities concerned, but things made no headway. In February, 2002, he got a letter from the Artillery Records that his service file had been destroyed on expiry of its stipulated retention period of 50 years. Then In June, 2002, he received another letter stating that his case could not be considered as he had been silent since 1949.

Bachan Singh, however, maintains that not only had he written letters to the authorities, but they had also responded by stating that he should appear before a re-survey medical board for assessment of his disability. These letters are on record. Why the re-survey medical board was never held is not known to him.

"We continue to get similar cases where pension has been stopped or dues are long pending," Brig Sant Singh, a member of the governing council of the Indian Ex-Services League, (IESL), said. The IESL receives a grant from the British Government to pay financial assistance to World War veterans.

"If Bachan Singh was receiving disability pension at the time of Independence, there was no reason to stop it," Brig Sant Singh said. "There are also cases where ex gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh entitled to those who left service prior to August 15, 1947, has not been paid," he added.

He cited an example where the IESL helped restore the pension of a soldier of the erstwhile Faridkot State Forces recently.



Row over payment keeps station powerless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
In a case of government carelessness, a Rs 7-crore 66-kv power substation in Sector 47 is ready but cannot be energised as various wings of the Chandigarh Administration cannot decide who will make the pending payment of Rs 4 crore.

The Chandigarh Administration is yet to pay Rs 4 crore to the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) which constructed the substation. The BBMB has said without the money it will not allow the substation to be energised though it has been ready for the past 15 days.

The Administration says the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has to pay for the substation as it caters to the power needs of Sectors 46 to 52 which are to be developed by the board.

The issue assumes importance as summer is approaching with the demand for power rising.

Sources in the power sector said high-tension lines run all the way from Sector 32-A (near the GMCH) to feed areas in Sectors 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50. Some of these places are about 4 km from the source of power. Since most power lines are running parallel to the tree line in Chandigarh, the risk of a breakdown is aggravated whenever there is a storm.

Meanwhile engineers have projected that the power demand will rise as new areas in Sectors 50 and 51 have been developed and families are moving in the flats.

Giving reasons for this bureaucratic hold-up, sources said the previous Joint Secretary Finance, Mr Dalip Kumar, had raised an objection as to why expenditure certificates were not issued for the work being carried out. Following this, the CHB stopped payment. Now a clarification has been given by the Administration to the CHB that money should be paid to the BBMB as the CHB had charged development charges from residents of these areas.

Officials said the money for upgrading power supply has been sanctioned and will be released soon. They admitted that a dispute over payment had led to the delay. The foundation stone of the substation was laid in April 2003 and it was projected it will come to use in the summer of 2005.

The BBMB, a Government of India concern under the Union Ministry of Power, had bid in the tender process.



Lake near Dadu Majra planned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
Announcing steps to save the Sukhna Lake and also to have another lake near Dadu Majra village, the Chandigarh Administration said today that this year the Forest Department would construct six silt retention dams, construct three new silt retention dams and raise the already existing 10 water bodies in the catchment area north of the lake.

About 50 per cent of the work of constructing retention dams will be completed before the onset of the monsoon.

Also the Chandigarh Administration is thinking of having another lake in the southern sector. It is proposed to be along the Patiala-ki-Rao choe near Dadu Majra village, the planning of which is being done by the Engineering Department and the Department of Urban Plannning. This year before the monsoons the embankments of Patiala-ki-Rao will be strengthened and also the bed of the choe will be deepened so as to channel the flow of water. The hydrological data and the behaviour of water during the monsoon will be observed and thereafter the pitching of embankments, check dams, etc. will be planned. It is proposed to construct this lake in about 100 acres along Patiala-ki-Rao. The water will be diverted to the proposed lake. It will be a most modern lake having the facilities like ferrying, boating, fishing, water sports and restaurants. The site of the Lake has been selected keeping in view the maximum discharge of water flowing into Patiala-ki-Rao.

For the Sukhna lake indigenous saplings of spices, trees and shrubs will be planted in the wild life sanctuary. The work of desiltation at the confluence of Nepli and Kansal choe and at the regulator end will be completed by the Engineering Department before the onset of the monsoon and about 30 lakh cubic feet silt will be removed. This will help in restricting the flow of silt from the catchment area of the lake.

After the monsoon, the Engineering Department will construct sedimentation tanks at the confluence points, which will be completed by March 2006. By constructing the sedimentation tanks at the confluence point, most of the silt particles will be retained in these tanks and remaining silt particles if any, will be arrested at the decantation tanks already available at the regulator end.

The Chandigarh Administration is also establishing an aquatic park in and near the Sukhna Lake by acquiring 450 acres of Kaimbwala village. This will not only increase the forest cover but also help in reducing soil erosion from the catchment area of the Sukhna Lake.



Scrap free economic zone concept, say architects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
Concerned over the increasing violation of the Periphery Act, the Chandigarh chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects in a presentation before the UT Administrator and Punjab Governor has sought that the present ad hoc system of granting change of land use should be stopped.

The forum, which has government and private architects and town planners on its panel, has suggested to the Governor that concept of free economic zone (FEZ) should be immediately scrapped in order to save larger area from further mutilation by unplanned industrial growth.

Mr J.K. Gupta, chairman of the forum, said the states must put in place a joint strategy for combating the menace of haphazard and unplanned growth in periphery with the help of effective and efficient enforcement machinery. Setting up of special courts or tribunal for trying offences committed under the Periphery Act would help in minimising the violation.

Making unauthorised construction a cognizable offence would act as an effective deterrent to stop these constructions. All unauthorised constructions must be immediately identified and demolished without delay, said the members of the forum. It was further suggested that unauthorised division of land needs to be stopped with no registration allowed for areas which are likely to be misused for urbanisation and construction purposes.

All sale and purchase of land within periphery should be subjected to close scrutiny by the revenue authorities with prior NOC obtained from the competent authorities.

The other members who gave a presentation of their suggestions were Mr Aditya Parkash, Ms Sumit Kaur and Mr Raj Wadhawan.

The forum has advised that the available infrastructure in the periphery, including road network, water supply, sewerage should be upgraded. An effort should also be made to upgrade the available skills in these villages in order to increase productivity of these centres. and improve their economic status.

However, farmhouses have been advocated within the periphery with small built up area. It has also suggested that a comprehensive development proposal needs to be prepared and implemented for a restoring the lost glory of Shivalik foothills, comprising of area under the Indian Forest Act and the Land Preservation Act keeping in view the fragile nature of the area.

It would be in the best interest of the states to maintain the sanctity of the periphery area in order to minimise possibilities of unauthorised, haphazard and sub-stand development coming up around the planned urban centres of SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

The Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act., 1952 envisioned the creation of a periphery around Chandigarh to achieve the objectives of promoting healthy and planned development of the new capital by preventing growth of slums and ramshackle constructions and to make available land free from all encumbrances and unauthorised constructions for future expansion of the city.

The extent of periphery which was initially placed at 8 km around the capital city subsequently increased to 16 km in 1963, considering the rapid pace of urbanisation. With only 44 sq km of periphery left, the Chandigarh Administration used the area partly for urbanisation and partly for rehabilitation of the migrants to the city.



SEZ status to be exclusive to Quark City: govt
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 27
The much-touted Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status for the industrial area in Mohali will be exclusive to Quark City. The Punjab Government is all out to help the IT company-turned-infrastructure developer get the coveted status.

With the SEZ status in place the Quark City owners will have income tax exemption under Section 80 I A of the Income Tax Act and scores of other exemptions like sales tax, octroi, mandi tax etc. However, no other industrial venture in Mohali will be covered under the Special Economic Zone, which will be restricted to 46 acres of the Quark City industrial park.

Confirming that the SEZ status is going to be only for Quark City, the Principal Secretary, Industries and commerce, Punjab, Mr S.C. Aggarwal, said, “The Punjab Government simply does not have the money to invest in an SEZ for its own industries. In Mohali it is going to be for Quark and in Amritsar we are looking for private partnership,” he said.

Mr Aggarwal added that although a conditional status of SEZ to Quark City had been given by the Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of India, the final approval would be given within a month. “The final approval has been objected to on two grounds. One, we have been asked to formulate an SEZ policy for the state. Second, a particular report is pending from the Central Government,” he said.

Mr Aggarwal said the draft SEZ policy had been sent to various departments for comments and the Chief Secretary would be holding a meeting shortly to finalise the same. “Following the Cabinet approval, the policy would be in place,” he said.

The Quark City industrial park will have, other than industrial units specific to IT, housing facilities, clubs, malls, recreation clubs, swimming pools and muliplexes. While the Quark City developers stand to earn large profits from the sale/leasing out of these facilities to IT companies and other private contractors, the entire project has not earned much for the Punjab Government in monetary terms. Happy with having been able to attract an IT giant to Punjab even at the cost of losses in terms of granting them land at half the going rate, the Punjab Government is playing the role of the facilitator to the core.

According to the rules laid down by the Central Government in granting the SEZ status, the state government has to commit that the area incorporated in the proposed Special Economic Zone is free from environmental prohibition. However, Quark City is still to comply with the Central Government’s notification regarding environment impact assessment.

The units under the SEZ are allowed generation, transmission and distribution of power within the SEZ and full exemption in electricity duty and tax on sale of electricity for self generated and purchased power is given. For units inside the zone, the powers under the Industrial Disputes Act and other related Acts are delegated to the Development Commissioner. The zone is also declared as a public utility service under the Industrial Disputes Act.



Mohali MC to clear building plans
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 27
For the first time in the town, the Municipal Council will clear plans in the case of new buildings instead of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), adding lakhs of rupees to the revenue of the civic body.

Though building plans were cleared by other civic bodies in the state earlier, the work here was being done only by PUDA, adversely affecting the income of the council.

In a recent letter from the Department of Local Government (Town Planning wing), Punjab, received by the council here, it has been stated that “the government had observed that a large number of buildings had been constructed in the colonies carved out within the municipal limits under PUDA license without taking prior approval of the municipal corporation/ council concerned on the pretext that permission from PUDA had been obtained.

This practice needed to be deprecated firmly as not only the department lost in terms of revenue in the form of building application fee but the threat of the violation of building bylaws also loomed large.”

The letter further stated that “it may be ensured that no building activity was permitted in the colonies carved out within the municipal limits under PUDA license unless the person obtained prior permission of municipal corporation/council as required under the relevant provisions of the act and building bylaws.”

A copy of the letter was forwarded to the Chief Administrator. PUDA, Mohali, with the request that appropriate instructions on the subject may be issued to all concerned so that a planned growth was ensured and there was no loss of revenue to urban local bodies.

Reacting to the letter, the council president. Mr Kulwant Singh, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the decision would help increase the revenue of the civic body. He said at present the main source of income of the council was octroi.

The civic body had been urging the authorities concerned to hand over the work of clearing building plans to the council as was being done in other towns of the state. But in Mohali, building plans were cleared only by PUDA. He said the council had also been demanding that PUDA should give 75 per cent of the extension fee earned by it to the council but nothing had been done so far.

Mr Kulwant Singh said the council would write a letter to PUDA to transfer all cases of building plans lying with it to the council so that clearance in such cases could be given by the civic body. It would also be requested in the letter that in future PUDA should stop taking any cases related to the clearance of building plans within municipal limits.

The executive officer (EO) of the council, Mr H.B. Garg said since the local council did not have any building bylaws of its own, it would have to adopt the building bylaws of another civic body.

The building bylaws followed by PUDA would also have to be studied and there was a possibility that some part would be incorporated in the municipal bylaws.

When asked about the increase in income as a result of this decision, the EO said that nothing could be said right now as the council was not even aware of the number of such cases approaching PUDA for clearance of building plans.

He said that clearance was given in the case of residential, commercial and industrial building plans.



Houses outside lal dora constructed with permission: residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The joint action committee of residents living outside the lal dora in the 18 UT villages today alleged that the Chandigarh Administration had projected a wrong picture about the status of houses outside the lal dora.

Members of the committee said as per the consolidation of the village, done between 1952 and 1960, a number of houses had come up outside the lal dora, including those in the extended abadi. The figure of such houses was much more than disclosed by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr S.Regupathy, in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Jagtar Singh Benipal and Mr B.S. Rawat, president and general secretary, respectively, of the association said it was wrong to state that the houses outside lal dora had been constructed without prior permission as relevant permission had been given by the concerned authorities from time to time.

The association said action should be taken against those sold land. It may be mentioned that as many as 2,659 houses in Chandigarh have been built without any prior sanction or approval. These houses fall outside the lal dora of the villages in the Union Territory of Chandigarh and are out of the municipal limits also.

As the figures quoted by the committee, around 35,000 families were living outside lal dora in UT villages.

The members of the committee apprehend that the structures would be demolished in light of the Periphery Control Act. They argue that the Chandigarh Administration has itself violated the provisions of the Act by raising structures in Mani Majra.



Improve sanitation, say councillors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 27
Six councillors have demanded that the Municipal Council should make some alternative arrangements to improve sanitation conditions in the town till the work was allotted to a private contractor.

The councillors said that on April 4 the sanitation contract for a part of the town had been cancelled by the civic body as the contractor had failed to give satisfactory performance. Garbage had started piling up in parts of the town and the sanitation was in a state of neglect.

The council had employed its own safai karamcharis to take care of the work but they were unable to bring the situation under control. The councillors said out of 146 safai karamcharis with the council, 46 were working in the houses of senior officials of the department. The president and the executive officer of the council were unable to call the 46 employees back to the town even when the salary to these employees was paid by the civic body.

They said that kerb channels had also not been cleaned for the past many months and patchwork was not being done on the road cuts in various areas.



Naurang elected council chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 27
Mr Naurang Singh has been elected the president of the Citizens Welfare Council, Phase 10, here. According to a press note issued by the press secretary of the club, Mr Satwant Singh Rangi,on Monday, Mr Ripudaman Singh Roop will be the Chairman while Mr Randhir Singh has been elected senior vice-president. Mr Harcharan Singh will be vice-president and Mr Nirmal Singh general secretary. While Mr Arvinder Pal Singh will be joint secretary, Mr Avtar Singh Pardesi will be the organising secretary. Mr Gurcharan Singh will be finance secretary. Among those who were elected to the executive include: Mr Bachan Singh Gill, Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Gurinderjit Singh, Mr Daljit Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh Thekedar and Mr Harbans Singh Dhillon.

Mr Rangi added that the new team went to meet the Estate Officer, PUDA, today and apprised him of the lack of cleanliness in parks in Phase X. The EO assured them that all parks in the area would be cleaned up as part of a special drive.



DCC elections ‘soon’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 27
The organisational elections of the Panchkula District Congress Committee will be held shortly. This was stated by Mr Ashok Kumar, who has been appointed Returning Officer for Haryana.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Ashok Kumar said he met the office-bearers of various committees of the Congress today and was taking their suggestions as to how to strengthen the party further. “There is a lot of enthusiasm among party workers after the Congress won the elections in Haryana. I will appoint the returning officers at the district and block level so that elections can be conducted peacefully,” he said.

Mr Ashok Kumar said he had covered nine districts of Haryana — Panipat, Karnal, Ambala, Hisar, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar, and found that during the past nine years, a large number of Congress men had been booked because of political vendetta.



Dead phones irk users in Industrial Area, Phase I
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The BSNL telephone users in Industrial Area, Phase-I, continue to face problems as more than 25 telephones are dead for more than one week. This is the second such incident in the area in the past two weeks.

Senior BSNL officials, however, alleged that the damage was done courtesy the private telecom companies, who damaged the underground cables of the department while laying their own cables for landline connections.

“The frequent damage to our cables by the private companies is turning out to be a big problem for the department as the users are put to a lot of inconvenience and department looses out financially in repairing the cables. Though the problem is currently confined to Industrial Area Phase I, but it would soon spread to other parts in the city as these private companies would start laying their cables all over the city. We meet their officials almost everyday and tell them about the extent of damage they are doing to our services,’’ said a senior BSNL official on the condition of anonymity.

Sources in the department add that once the cable is damaged, it takes three to five days to restore the telephone connections.

Meanwhile, the businessmen of the area say the frequent breakdown in the connections is posing great difficulty in executing their business deals. “One entire pocket of traders is affected since April 21 after telephones went dead due to the damaged cable. It is a set back to our business since bulk of the business is done through phones,” said Krishan Kumar Gupta, a businessman.



140 jhuggis razed in Sector 14
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 27
In the first concerted effort to remove encroachments from the city since the Congress came to power in the state, the Haryana Urban Development Authority kickstarted its 10-day offensive by removing 140 jhuggis here today.

With the focus primarily on Sector 14, the drive, which lasted for over two-and-a-half hours, saw the demolition of jhuggis, removal of rehris, clearing of market corridors and the issuing of a warning to the encroachers.

Conducted under the supervision of Junior Engineers the drive began from the parking area along the road dividing Sector 14 and 15 where 40 jhuggis were demolished. Another 60 were removed from near Little Flower Convent School, while a few others were removed from the market of the sector.

The owners of the temporary motor market behind the Sector 11 main shopping complex were warned to shut shop by tomorrow evening failing which the Enforcement Staff would be pressed into service. In this market, the enforcement staff seized items displayed in the corridors and demolished 45 jhuggis also.

The JEs, Mr M.P. Sharma, Mr J.S. Beniwal, Mr Ram Phal, Mr Jasbir Singh and Mr Ajay Bansal, carried out the anti-encroachment drives in different pockets. While they were accompanied by the enforcement staff alone, the department has asked for the deployment of police during the drives in the coming days.

An official of HUDA said that encroachments in the city would be targeted in an organised manner to ensure that the violators don’t return to settle at the same place. Supposed to continue for 10 days at a go, the drive would be intensified in the coming days if violators do not pay heed to the warning of the department.



Help poor lead decent life, Rodrigues tells Rotarians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
The UT Administrator, Gen S F Rodrigues (retd), today called upon Rotarians to actively involve themselves in governance and help in providing the 'have nots' with the basic facilities for a decent and dignified life.

In an interaction with the heads of Rotary Clubs of Chandigarh and Mohali here today, General Rodrigues emphasised the need for effectively integrating the health and education infrastructure available in the Union Territory and ensure its optimal use by creating 'centres of excellence' to provide necessary facilities to the needy segments of society. The Governor suggested that the Rotary set up a 'mini employment exchange' for ensuring the placement of people in vocational ventures in the field of industry and other business establishments. He said that the employment of destitute women and their empowerment to make them self-reliant and economically independent needs emphasis. He said that other NGOs must also emulate this example and contribute in this sector.

Mr. R.K. Saboo and other Rotarians gave an account of their plans of social agenda covering different fields of endeavour, including vocational courses, empowerment of women, healthcare projects, educational programmes, water management, adult literacy and other general awareness campaigns. All these programmes were designed to complement, or, in some cases, to supplement governance. General Rodrigues further said that the Chandigarh Administration has chalked out an ambitious plan for upgrading rural life by converting all the 18 villages into model villages with provision of all basic modern civic amenities. He said that a team of architects who have offered voluntary help in this venture is already at work and the implementation of this plan will be undertaken soon. 



Jail inmate dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 27
A 45-year-old Burail Jail inmate, Ram Singh, today died following a suspected heart attack.

According to information, he was lodged in jail since April 3 after he was booked for a scuffle that happened on April 1. He was rushed to the GMCH this morning where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The police said a post mortem would be performed tomorrow.



Burning of leaves has residents fuming
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 27
Members of the HM Houses Welfare Association Phase IV here have complained that the municipal council is acting blind to the growing problem of burning dry leaves in the township.

According to a press note issued by Mr C.L. Garg, President of the association, the smoke being caused due to the burning of dry leaves was causing havoc with the life of asthma patients.



12 hurt as CTU bus rams into tree
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 27
At least 12 persons were injured, two of them seriously, when a CTU bus carrying over 40 passengers from Kharar to Chandigarh met with an accident. The bus on route number 20 hit a tree when a car coming from behind was trying to overtake it.

The accident occurred this afternoon near Chappar Chiri village. The 10 passengers, who reportedly received minor injuries, were discharged from the hospital after first aid while the two seriously injured were rushed to the PGI.



Bhugra gets extension

Panchkula, April 27
The Engineer-in-Chief, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Mr K.K. Bhugra, has been given a one year extension by the Haryana Government.

Mr Bhugra was due to retire from HUDA on May 31, 2005. — TNS



2 two-wheelers, car stolen in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 27
A car and two two-wheelers were reportedly stolen from the city, the police said here today.

Mr Dalip Singh of Green Enclave Colony, Daun, in Ropar district reported that his Maruti Car (PB-65-C-4104) was stolen from the parking lot of Shastri Market, Sector 22 on Tuesday.

Mr Jatinder Kumar of Sector 41-A filed a complaint to the police that his Hero Honda Passion motor cycle (CH-03-K-0691) was stolen from the backside of Police Headquarters in Sector 9, yesterday.

In another incident, Mr P.R. Kedi of Mamta Enclave Dakoli, NAC, Mani Majra, lodged a complaint with the police that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01-F-0436) was stolen from Sector 41-B on April 22.

Three separate cases of thefts under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.



Fake currency seized
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 27
The police has arrested two persons on a charge of possessing fake currency.

According to the police, the arrested persons were Rakesh Kumar alias, Vicky, a resident of Adhera village, and Hardeep Singh, a resident of Goslan village, and at present living in Ward No IX, Kurali.

The police said both persons were arrested from Kurali on the basis of secret information and Rs 29,500 in fake currency was seized from them. The fake currency was in the form of Rs 500 notes. A case under Section 489 A of the IPC was registered against the two.

Attempt to theft

One person was nabbed when he entered a house to commit theft. It is learnt that four persons entered a house in Sector 70 around 11 a.m. when there was no one at home.

However, no sooner had they entered the building that the owners of the house turned up. While the three thieves managed to flee, one was nabbed by residents. He was later handed over to the police.



Rs 20,000, mobile snatched from woman
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 27
A resident of Phase 3B1 lost Rs 20,000 and her mobile phone when her purse and the polybag she was carrying were reportedly snatched by two scooter-borne youths here tonight.

The incident occurred near her residence opposite Sacha Dhan Gurdwara in 3B1 while Ms Satwinder Sodhi was returning on foot from her father’s place at about 9 pm. According to a family friend, Mr Harpreet Singh, two youths on a blue Chetak came from behind and snatched her purse and the carrybag containing clothes. Mr Harpreet added that the police was immediately informed but appeared on the site only after an hour.



2 chemist shops broken into
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 27
Thieves broke into two chemist shops in the booth market of Sector 12-A and decamped with Rs 4,000 cash, last night, from one of the shops. Though they managed to break open the lock of the other shop as well, they could not open the glass door to get in.

The owner of Amit Medicos said he found the broken locks lying in the corridor and the shutter lifted when he came to the shop this morning. Later, he found that the money box had also been broken open and Rs 4,000 in cash was missing. While the locks of the adjoining Panchkula Medicos were also broken, the glass door at the entry was intact.

The police is investigating the matter.



Stolen property recovered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 27
The police today claimed to have solved two cases of thefts and recovered stolen property worth Rs 13,500 with the arrest of one Harvinder Singh, alias Sonu, of Maloya village.

According to the police, the accused was arrested from near Kachha Rasta turn in Dadu Majra village. According to the crime branch of the Chandigarh police, the accused was roaming in the area under suspicious circumstances for the past two-three days in order to commit thefts.

The police apprehended Harvinder Singh and subjected him to preliminary questioning during which he disclosed that he had committed the thefts in a shop Romy Electronic, Maloya village, and from a house in Sector 40-C.

His disclosure led to the recovery of two stolen gas cylinders and one VCD, which were reportedly stolen in the above said cases. One gas cylinder and five bicycles were also taken into police possession (suspected to be stolen property) from him, said the police.

He was produced before a local court today, which remanded him to one day police custody. The police said more recoveries are likely from the accused during further interrogation.



3 booked for trespass
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 27
In connection with the case of the 88-year-old widow of Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh being thrown out of her house, her adopted son Col M.S. Bains (retd) today filed a case in a local court against three persons for trying to take possession of his house in Sector 3 here.

Colonel Bains (retd) complained that he along with his son Vikram Singh Bains were in possession of the house. Regarding the title of the property, there is litigation with Ms Satwant Kaur, pending in the court of Civil Judge (Jr Division), Mr Sudeep Goel.

Colonel Bains (retd) has stated that Mr K.B. Singh, Ms Kalpana Ghai and Ms Chetna Bhatti, committed trespass with an intention to cause hurt to him and his family. He lamented that he has run from pillar to post seeking action against the three persons, but the Chandigarh Police has failed to act.


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