C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sectors 22, 34, 35 to have paid parking
Auction fetches Rs 2.17 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Residents in the city will have to pay fee for parking in Sectors 22, 34 and 35 from June 1 onwards. These were free parking areas and the move will bring new places under the paid parking scheme, besides Sectors 8, 9 and 17.

Besides the financial burden on the commuters, the move is seen as a necessity for streamlining the parking in these sectors which are a hub of the commercial activity in the city. The number of vehicles have multiplied manifold in these parking, particularly from the past less than 10 years.

The auction of seven parking sites in the city today reserve priced at Rs 1.32 crores fetched Rs 2.17 crores to the Municipal Corporation. The parking charges will be applicable on the commuters from June 1 onwards.

The sites that were auctioned included 30 Bay Building in Sector 17 and Sectors 35-B, 35-C, 34 (Phase I), 34 (Phase II), 22-B and 22-C.

The two parking sites in Sector 34 fetched a profit of more than 100 per cent to the corporation, official sources said. In Phase I of the parking site here was priced at Rs 13.25 lakh. The highest bid here was Rs 27.10 lakh. In Phase II, the reserved price was Rs 10.50 lakh. The auction fetched Rs 22.10 lakh.

The parking in the 30 Bay Building near the office of the Medical Officer Health of the MC in Sector 17 fetched Rs 16 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 11 lakh. The parking site in Sector 35-B fetched Rs 40 lakh and the site in Sector 35-C got a revenue of Rs 53.05 lakh.

A parking in Sector 22-B secured Rs 36.15 lakh and another one in Sector 22-C went away for Rs 24.15 lakh.

Mr O.P. Popli, Additional Commissioner, said that he had been approached by certain parties demanding a common entry pass for all parking in the city. The corporation could consider the proposal.

A councillor of the corporation said that “Sector 17 had five parking and same was the case in other sectors having paid parking. There were a sizeable number of commuters going to different markets in a single day. Since they park at different parking they were shelving extra money. The house should work out the idea of a common parking pass”.

The cars are expected to pay Rs 5 per entry in a parking and Rs 100 for a monthly pass in a single parking. A scooter owner is expected to pay Rs 2 per entry and Rs 50 per month. The Sumos are expected to pay Rs 10 per entry, Mini Bus will pay Rs 20 and the tourist bus will be charged Rs 40 per entry. Commuters are expected to pay Rs 1 per entry for keeping their helmets.



Mixed response to Admn decision on land use
Tribune News Service

“It is a positive step in liberating the plot owners from the clutches of a very strict regime of regulations to a more liberal policy,” Mr Arvind Mehan, president, Industries Association of Chandigarh.

“This move would push out small industry as the owners of the buildings will want to use their property for commercial purposes,” Mr R.S. Rathore, president, Chandigarh Screw Manufacturers Association. 

Chandigarh, May 17
Chandigarh Administration’s decision yesterday to allow commercial use of property in Industrial Area has drawn praise from property owners in the estate. But it has also raised questions on the implementation of the decision.

Defending the decision, a senior official said: “We have to compete with Gurgaon and Noida. The city cannot look like it is existing in a time warp. There is a shift in economic activity from manufacturing to service sector and we have be ready to take on the challenge.”

He said that the Administration planned to raise money for improving infrastructure, widening of roads and for creating new parking spaces. The issue of additional water supply will be taken up in right earnest shortly.

Praising the stance of the Administration, Mr Arvind Mehan, president of the Industries Association of Chandigarh, said “ It is a positive step in liberating the plot owners from the clutches of a very strict regime of regulations to a more liberal policy where some of the already sick units can now blossom in a legitimate manner into productive and tax paying units and probably shift to either a service industry or a trade”.

“In line with global and national trends, manufacturing has become unviable under the given circumstances of high real estate prices and such units can be accommodated further away in upcoming industrial areas,” he said

He, however, demanded that leasehold plots should also be converted into freehold plots and a conversion amount should be fixed to it.

On the other hand, the Chandigarh Screw Manufactures Association has voiced its concern over the new policy. It said there are about 450 machine screw units in the city and about 20,000 employees working in them. The president of the association, Mr R.S. Rathore, feared that this move would push out small industry as the owners of the buildings will want to use their property for commercial purposes. The association alleged that some property dealers are behind the move.

The General Secretary of the Hotel and Restaurants Association, Mr Ashok Bansal, said it was great move and would transform the huge properties that were lying vacant in Phase I of the Industrial Area. Speaking for the hotel like industry he said the Administration should allow only the banquet halls as at present all major functions and marriages are held in the adjoining Zirakpur as the city does not have a good marriage palace. However, there was no justification in allowing hotel with rooms.

Also, some norms will have to be laid down for size of plot and location before allowing activities like malls or banquets which will attract will large number of people.

Mr Arvind Jain, president of the Sector 22-D Market Association, normally a voluble critic of Chandigarh Administration, said “It is very bold step taken by the UT Administrator with courage. This will bring down property rates in commercial areas. It will also open up avenues for corporate showrooms, banks and automobile sector”.

Mr Rajeev Gupta, general secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industries, said that the policy was very good. However, the Administration needed to also allow transfer of plots in the name of allottees who are on leasehold basis. He said several local entrepreneurs were planning to shift to adjoining states due to paucity of space in Chandigarh. The conversion rates should be reasonable. He said that this would change the way business is done in the city.

Going one step ahead he said even the height restriction should be done away with and vertical growth should be allowed to accommodate more types of industry like IT and other service industry.

Echoing his stance, is Mr Sanjeev Singla, general secretary of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries said the new permission will have no meaning unless transfer of plots was allowed.

Meanwhile, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry termed the decision as “pragmatic and timely”. The Chairman of the Chandigarh committee of the PHDCCI, Mr Rajeev Bali said Chandigarh lacked developed land for the service industry and this new scheme would solve the problem.



Burnt by spouse, victim prefers to go to Nari Niketan
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
After days of painful recovery in the PGI’s Burn Injuries Ward, Meera, the victim of her husband’s wrath, took the bold step of making a home for herself, other than her husband’s. Given the strata of society she comes from, the decision makes her a role model.

Instead of going back to the Bapu Dham Colony, where she had nearly been burnt alive a few months ago, Meera preferred to place herself under care of the state. And in doing so, she did not mind offending several people in her family — the ones who cared little to enquire whether she was dead or alive as she battled 60 per cent burns in the PGI for all these months.

For Meera, nurses of the PGI have been the only family over the past few months which have tested her determination no end. But as she walked out of the hospital today, she knew exactly what she had to do — teach the criminal a lesson by rejecting anything and everything associated with him.

So she headed for her new home which UT Administration has given her, courtesy Ms Jean Rodrigues, wife of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator who followed up Meera’s case after reading about her in The Tribune. UT Social Welfare Department was immediately roped in to accommodate Meera in Nari Niketan in Sector 26 where she has a room to herself. Meera will be kept at Nari Niketan until she fully recovers from her burns. Even after the recovery, she will be free to stay at the home.

Delighted with the care being showered upon her, Meera could not help thinking about her three children who have also been housed at the Missionaries of Charity Home in Sector 23. The case of her children was taken up by the Chandigarh Children Welfare Committee constituted under the Juvenile Justice Act. The children were declared “neglected”, given their circumstances — their mother was recuperating in the PGI and their father was in jail. There was no one to take care of them, and so the state moved in to substitute.

Though distanced from each other, the mother and children are happy to be in safe and secure hands. The case, many counsellors point out, is a typical example of the state assuming its welfare role to the fullest.



12-year-old hit by bus, killed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
A 12-year-old-girl was killed on the spot when a bus hit her near Palsora village this afternoon, here. She was reportedly coming home from school when the accident occurred.

According to information, Navjyoti, a resident of Sector 56, and a class sixth student of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, was walking with her cycle when a Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation bus (PB-11-U-8707) hit her. The bus was coming from Faridkot district. The PCR vehicle was called at the spot, which rushed Navjyoti to the PGI, where doctors declared her brought dead.

The police has arrested the bus driver, Gurjant Singh, and registered a case of negligent driving against him in Sector 39 police station.



Sibal for setting up “medical kiosks” in the country
Tribune News Service

Kapil Sibal Chandigarh, May 17
The biggest challenge before the country is to provide healthcare facilities to common people who cannot afford to pay for their treatment. Emphatic that no “Bharat Nirman’’ could be possible until the health sector is strengthened, the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Ocean Development, Mr Kapil Sibal, while addressing the gathering at the PGI today, said India needed to find solutions to the diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and hepatitis, which were essentially the development countries’ diseases.

The minister had come to the PGI to inaugurate the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, which is the first such facility, North of India. The PGI has been granted an amount of Rs 25 crore for setting up the umbilical cord blood bank and an additional Rs 5 crore for the stem cell research.

Talking about the need for regulations in the treatment involving the stem cells, the minister said the Director-General, ICMR, Prof N.K. Ganguly, along with Prof M.K. Bhan had prepared the regulatory guidelines for treatment involving stem cell research which would soon be released.

Mr Sibal also threw up the idea of setting up the “medical kiosks’’ in the country, in which the use of the Information Technology could be made to reach out to the maximum number of people in the far-flung areas of the country.

“It is up to the hospitals like the PGI to think about setting up such kiosks so that people have an option to consult the doctors without actually coming to the OPDs here,’’ added the minister.

With the charge of Minister of State for Ocean Development, Mr Sibal said work for Tsunmai Monitoring system had begun in February this year after the disaster rocked the southern shores of the country. He added that the complete monitoring system would be ready by 2007.

Talking about synergy between various departments, the minister said the departments under the Science and Technology, Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) would work collectively for effective research. Later, addressing the media persons, Mr Sibal also said Punjab would get its Biotechnology Park soon.

Advocating a forward-looking approach, the minister said that the country should not resent “brain drain” as its own human resource became more trained in the process.

The PGI has started the bone marrow transplants for treatment of various blood disorders in the Department of Internal Medicine. So far four autologous stem cell transplants in multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer) have been done. The centre at the PGI is a four-bedded transplant centre with six-step down beds. The department initially plans to do autologous stem cell transplant and allogeneic transplants would be started later. The approximate cost of the process for adult patient is Rs 3 lakh for autologous transplants.



Passing Thru

David Hooker
David Hooker, Director of EP Managers, Canadian College of Business & Computers (CCBC)

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here to look at what we do and to make sure that students are getting good service from our partners. Yes, promoting CCBC as a quality education option is important but what is more important is promoting education correctly. In fact Punjab and Chandigarh are our most prolific areas. There are a lot of students who apply from here.

What does education mean to you?

Education is not what you learn but opening your mind to new ideas. It is about gaining confidence and experience.

What would your tips to be to students wanting to go abroad to study?

Students should analyse themselves why they want to go abroad? If it is about gaining international experience then yes it is a good idea. “Do not make your reason for going abroad to settle there. Come back and share what you have learnt. Let others who cannot get the same opportunities as you, learn from what you have gained”.

— Gayatri Rajwade



Farmers celebrate relay fast anniversary against PUDA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 17
Farmers who completed one year of relay fast organised in protest against the forcible acquisition of their land by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) celebrated the day as Kisan Ekta Diwas here today.

Farmers from other districts of Punjab joined the protest organised by the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee. Apart from giving long speeches, the protesters raised slogans against the government and the PUDA authorities. As many as 51 farmers took part in the relay fast today.

Addressing the gathering, Mr B.S. Baidwan, general secretary, said that farmers from all over the state had joined the protest against PUDA which was carried out in a peaceful manner during the past year. The dreams of PUDA of developing urban estates at eight places in Punjab fell flat due to the united protest of the farmers and the ongoing court cases. He said that the work of developing urban estates should be done by district planning committees or the municipal councils and not by PUDA.

Mr Ajaib Singh Rapri, organising secretary of the committee, said that it was due to the protest of the farmers that the market value of the land around Mohali had shot up to Rs 70 to Rs 80 lakh per acre. This was possible only because farmers had managed to stop PUDA from acquiring land for the expansion of the town.

Mr Pritam Singh Bajwa, coordinator of Gurdaspur district, alleged that the Housing and Urban Development Minister and his son had been making repeated efforts to forcibly get 25 acres of land at Sujanpur village causing resentment. He alleged that the minister was constructing a palatial house in the area.

Mr D.P. Singh, convener, highlighted the achievements of the committee during the past one year. He said that the existence of PUDA would be put in danger once the masterplan of Mohali was challenged in the court. He said that the protest of the farmers would go on till the demands were conceded to.

Mr Tejinder Singh Jakhar, president, said that the year-long protest had brought farmers from different areas of the state on one platform. The farmers were determined to get a share in the developed land under the land pooling scheme. PUDA would not be allowed to exploit the farmers anymore. He said that his organisation would expose PUDA officials who possessed benami property.



More powers for panchayats sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Even as Punjab has handed over the planning and implementation work of at least six departments to the panchayati raj institutions, decentralization of governance seems to a distant dream for the zila parishad, panchayat samiti and panchayats in the city.

The Chandigarh Administration has not been able to give the same powers to the panchayati raj institutions. The issue was raised during a two-day workshop for panches and sarpanches of 18 UT villages organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today. Panchayat members from the Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib also participated in the workshop.

Demanding more powers to the institutions, the Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad, Mr Darshan Singh and Mr Didar Singh, respectively, gave a memorandum in this regard to the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd).

During the workshop, a paper on the ‘Funds, functions and functionaries under the panchayati raj’ was presented by the faculty of the CRRID, which pointed out that the Central Government has stressed upon the Chandigarh Administration to transfer the powers to the panchayats.

Speaking at the workshop, the UT Administrator said the workshop had been organised to strengthen the democratic institutions at the grassroot level. He emphasised the need for the active involvement of panchayats in the development process. He said the villagewise action plan for all-round development of all villages had been prepared.

Offering partnership to village panchayats in accelerating the pace of development, Gen Rodrigues said the administration would provide requisite funds and technical support to the panchayats. He said the periodical performance audit of panchayats was necessary to identify the weaknesses in the system.

Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director-General of the CRRID, while giving an account of objectives of the seminar said the initiative had been taken by the Governor with a view to give more powers to the democratically elected institutions.

During the workshop, the participants discussed various problems being faced by panchayats.



Property prices crash in Lalru
Reaction to state decision to develop the area
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 17
Property prices in Lalru and surrounding villages have crashed following a decision of the Punjab Government to develop the area under a master plan.
To check haphazard urbanisation in the area, the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Board had directed the Department of Town and Country Planning to prepare a master plan for Lalru. The board had taken the decision in a meeting chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister on May 10.

Since this village has emerged as a township in the past over six years and unplanned and haphazard constructions by the property dealers have virtually converted the area into a “big slum”. In the absence of a master plan, a large number of unauthorised colonies have also come into existence.

Apprehending that the Punjab Urban Development Authorities (PUDA) would acquire the area and then develop it according to the master plan, the builders and property dealers have started withdrawing their earnest money from the land sellers.

The board’s decision to develop the area under a master plan has put the builders and property dealers from Chandigarh, Ambala, Mohali, Panchkula and others surrounding cities, who have purchased land at throw-away prices for developing colonies by carving out plots and construction of multi-storeyed flats, in a quandary.

The villagers and land owners of the area, however, have welcomed the board’s decision for developing the area as per a master plan. They feel that the area developed on a master plan would have all basic civic amenities needed by a common man.



Draft law debate fails to enthuse councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
A callous attitude was witnessed during the discussions over the draft model law held at the meeting of the municipal corporation here today. Members who have been pressing the need for giving more powers to the councillors for the past several years were absent during the discussion.

Majority of the members left the meeting hall without any decision. They were requested to come back in the House so that the quorum of the House could be met”.

Towards the end there were only nine members left in the House, including three nominated ones. Those present included Mr Subhash Chawla, Mr Pradeeep Chhabra, Mrs Lalit Joshi, Mrs Kamlesh, Mrs Pushpa Sharma, Mrs Geeta Rani, Mr P.C. Sanghi, Mr K.S. Raju and Brig Sant Singh.

Ms Kamla Sharma and Mr Rajesh Gupta, both BJP councillors, staged a walk-out at the beginning of the meeting. Ms Sharma said during the process of studying the issue of the draft law, no opposition member was taken into confidence. “We will send a separate draft to the Centre”, she added. Mr Jatinder Bhatia, Chandigarh Vikas Manch, voiced a similar opinion in the House.

Mr Chandermukhi, a councillor, made a point when he said: “The issue was no longer relevent. The matter has already emerged in form of a Bill at the Centre so that these recommendations have no relevance”.



Driver’s wife moves NHRC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The wife of a driver in the UT Social Welfare Department today moved the National Human Right Commission(NHRC) alleging harassment at the hands two senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Administration.

In a complaint to the NHRC under various provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, Ms Baljit Kaur, wife of a driver, alleged that the department officials were putting pressure on her husband to depose against a former official.

When he refused to toe their line, he was allegedly harassed and threatened with dire consequences. He took VRS under pressure from the department officials on May 5 this year, she alleged. Not only that, he was charge-sheeted by the department after May 5.However, on the charge sheet the date mentioned was May 5, she alleged.

Praying for the protection of life,liberty and honour of the family, the complainant demanded an inquiry by an independent agency into the whole issue.



JPMO demands regularisation of daily wagers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The Joint Platform of Mass Organisations (JPMO) today started a week-long dharna here today. The JPMO is demanding the regularisation of daily wagers and contractual workers. It was pointed out that a number of workers in this category were working from the past more than 15 years.

Mr Bhag Mal Rana, convenor, said jobs had been demanded on compassionate grounds for the dependents of departed employees. A demand had been made to stop privatisation and also to lift ban on recruitment.

Mr Balbir Singh, convenor, criticised the administration for not giving arrears of minimum wages to workers. Mr Chaman Lal demanded regularisation of all existing structures outside ‘lal dora’. The Centre was asked not to allow foreign direct investment in telecommunication, banking and insurance sectors.

The Federation of UT Employees and Workers in a separate dharna also spoke against the rampant privatisation. Mr Rakesh Kumar, general secretary, spoke against the purchase and plying of low floor CTU buses which were not safe and the illegal termination and the suspension of certain CTU employees. He also demanded the regularisation of daily wagers and contractual workers.



BSNL employees honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) awarded its employees for their exceptional services on 37th World Telecom Day. A function in this regard was held here today.
The Chief General Manager, telecom, Punjab circle, Mr G.S. Bhatia, was the chief guest and gave away prizes.

The Vashisht Sanchar Seva Medal was given to Mr Ravinder Kumar, Ms Anupama and Mr Mohan Singh; the Bharat Sanchar Shree Award to Mr Balkar Singh, Mr Kishori Lal, Mr Nur Chand, Mr Gurdev Singh and Mr P.S. Verma; the Sanchar Sewa Medal to Mr H.R. Teji, Mr Rajiv Verma, Mr J.S. Sahota (Circle Office), Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr Kulbhushan Goyal, Mr Jasvir Singh (Cellular Nodal Centre), Mr S.K. Chopra, Mr Chanan Singh, Mr Parveen Aggarwal (Cellular Punjab Circle) and Mr Rajiv Singhal (Chandigarh); and the Bharat Sanchar Sarthy Award to Mr Nanu Ram, Mr Jit Raj, Mr Angrej Singh, Mr Harsha Thakkar and Mr Gurmail Singh.

The exceptional sportspersons were also awarded on the occasion. They were Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, Mr Jatinder Mahajan and Mr Jyoti Saini. Winners of the Holi Hungama scheme were also awarded.



Workshop on adolescent problems held
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 17
Divergent views were expressed by experts on “Identity crisis” among youth. A parent-teacher workshop which involved young boys and girls was organised by the Panchkula chapter of the Family Planning Association of India on the office premises here.

The workshop on “Coping with the adolescent problems” was opened by the FPAI President, Ms Veena Monga. She said adolsence was a period when a person experiences many stresses and disorders shocks. The situation is aggravated by the fact that one hesitated to share these abnormalities.

Dr Poonam Bhargava emphasised on medical health, psychological change, nutrition, personal hygiene and unprotected sex. The chief guest, Dr Lalit Varmani, lauded the efforts of the association for their service to society. Parents, teachers and students too aired their problems and the experts offered clarifications and solutions.



MC warning to illegal vehicle repair shops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Motor mechanics running illegal repair shops in different parts of the city have been warned by the municipal corporation that the tools in use and the vehicles under repair by these motor mechanics will be impounded. This was stated in a press note issued here today.

The corporation has said that it was no longer permissible to carry out any type of motor vehicle repair work in the markets of Sectors 21, 27 and 28 (except the area under the Motor Market). The general public has been advised to visit the markets of Sectors 38 (West), 48, 43, 52 and 28 (Motor Market) instead.



Yoga workshop from May 20
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 17
A yoga workshop is being conducted by the regional chapter of the Art of Living society here at the Sports Complex from May 20 to May 24.
The workshop will commence at 5.30 a.m. on the opening day.

Addressing mediapersons Dinesh Kashikar, a senior AOL teacher from Mumbai and Ashish Nagrath disclosed that the registration for the five-day workshop at a nominal fee, provisionally aimed to accommodate 2000 participants, is open at various Sri Sri Yoga centers. Dinesh Kashikar, an M Tech is an alumnus of the IIT, Mumbai, and has trained over 50,000 persons.

Passes can be collected from Chandigarh and Panchkula and for further details may contact 2580009, 2556652, 9417037561.



Foreign object in soft drink bottle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Impurity in a soft drink bottle was discovered by a city resident who made the purchase from a shop at Burail here yesterday.

Babbi, a motor mechanic, said just when he was about to open the cork he saw a foreign object in the bottle.

“I cannot figure out what it is but it could have been unhealthy in case I had consumed it”, he said.

Soft drink companies should be made answerable for such carelessness, he said.




Water at low pressure on May 18, 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Residents in the city will have to put up with low water pressure in their taps on May 18 and 19, an official press note said here today.
There will be no water supply in the afternoons for rectifying the leakage at a junction handling supply from Kajauli to Sector 39. The water supply may be at low pressure. In a separate press note it has been pointed out that supply to Phases IX, X, XI, Sectors 48-C, 57 and 70 in Mohali will be affected on both days.



Daljit Singh Kohli Appointed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
Mr Daljit Singh Kohli, past president, Lions Club Chandigarh Vishal, has been appointed member of the district Cabinet in the capacity of District Chairman, Medical Projects, for the second term by Mr Kanwaljit Singh Sohal, District Governor 321-F, for the year 2005-06.



Case registered against Irma
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
The local police has registered another cheating case against Irma Bajwa for duping a jeweller of Rs 72 lakh by issuing cheques which later bounced. Irma Bajwa, a resident of Mohali, was arrested by the UT police on May 14 for duping a Sector 8 resident of Rs 8 lakh.

Mr Satish Chandra, the Inspector-General (IG) of the Police, Chandigarh, ordered investigation into the matter after the advocate and relatives of Irma Bajwa met him today and submitted a representation saying that Navdeep Gupta was misleading the police.

They told the IG that the complaint was filed by Navdeep Gupta to the CIA Staff of Ropar in this regard. The case had been closed after both the parties reached a compromise. They also produced the document of agreement to the IG.

The counsel of Irma Bajwa maintained that as the incident happened in Mohali, the Chandigarh police had nothing to do with it as the incident did not happen under their jurisdiction, said a police officer investigating the case.

According to the police, Mr Navdeep Gupta of Sector 18, in his complaint, alleged that Irma had bought gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 1.30 crore from his firm, Rashmi Jewellery World, on December 31, 2004. Out of this, she returned only Rs 58 lakh. She allegedly produced cheques for the rest of the amount drawn on IDBI Bank in Mohali. Mr Gupta alleged that when he produced the cheques in the bank, they bounced as the account was closed by her.

Mr Gupta further revealed that in order to build faith, Irma Bajwa paid a part of the amount. He also alleged that she raised the money to be paid through mortgaging the jewellery she had already bought from some other jeweller.

Irma Bajwa was in police custody till yesterday. The UT police produced her before a local court which released her on bail.

It may be recalled that Irma Bajwa used to defraud the jewellers by purchasing the jewellery on the pretext of selling it under a private chit-fund company.



2 held for wrongly identifying guarantor to loan
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
The local police today arrested a present and a former municipal councillor of Dera Bassi for wrongly identifying a person who had stood as a guarantor to a bank loan of Rs 6 lakh.

Police sources said Malkiat Kaur, present councillor, and Santokh Singh, former councillor, had identified Mokha Singh as Saroop Singh of Dhanoli village in Patiala district in the court of the Sub-Registrar. The fictitious Saroop Singh had signed as a guarantor for a loan in favour of Sukhwider Singh, a resident of Jalandhar district. Sukhwinder had sought the loan from Punjab and Sind Bank for building a restaurant in Panchkula.

The police has already arrested Mokha Singh, a resident of Patiala district, who impersonated as a guarantor in the case. Mokha Singh told the police during interrogation that he had accepted Rs 2,500 to impersonate as Saroop Singh.

Sukhwinder Singh, a Jalandhar resident, produced a fake guarantor to dupe Punjab and Sind Bank, Sector 34, here of Rs 6 lakh. The fraud was detected when a bank official sent a notice to Saroop Singh, the guarantor, after the loanee stopped depositing the instalments. Saroop Singh claimed that his name had been used to defraud the bank.

He produced Mokha Singh, who impersonated as Saroop Singh, guarantor to the loan who also submitted documents to mortgage land belonging to Saroop Singh. The bank official came to know of the fraud when Sukhwinder Singh stopped depositing the instalments. They ultimately sent a notice to Saroop Singh, whose land was mortgaged. Surprised at the notice from the bank, Saroop Singh in his reply to the notice informed the bank that he did not know anything about the loan and that his name had been used to defraud the bank.



No headway in robbery case
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 17
The Punjab police has failed to make any headway in the Dappar robbery and murder case in which a gang of armed robbers had hacked three persons, including two women, of a family to death and left seven others seriously injured on May 8.

Even after 10 days of this bloodshed, the police has not made any recovery of weapons used by the gangsters.

Though the police has rounded up a large number of suspects from their various hideouts but none of them was found involved in the robbery occurred in Dappar and Chaundheri villages.

Mr Manmohan Kumar Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police, claimed that the community policing (thikri pehras) have been restarted with the help of Punjab police commandoes in various villages in the area.

The police parties have been conducting night patrolling in different villages under the leadership of a senior police personnel, deployed by the Punjab Police on rotation wise, for close surveillance of the area.

A gang of robbers struck a house owned by Mr Rajeshwar Kumar, alias Lali, in Dappar village and hacked his mother Darshani Devi and wife Prakasho Devi to death. They also attacked his sons Sonu and Sanju , leaving them seriously injured.

In a similar incident, the gang struck at a tubewell, owned by Mr Jasmer Singh in Chaundheri village and killed Mr Indey Sharma, a migrant labourer besides leaving others critically injured on the same night. The labourers were asleep at the tubewell when the armed robbers attacked them with iron rods, sticks and batons. The miscreants also took away money and watches from them.



Two held, stolen goods recovered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
The local police today arrested two youths from near the Matour barrier while they were carrying stolen items in a rehri. Both accused are drug addicts, said the police.
Vipin Kumar (24) and Kamlesh Kumar (20), both residents of Burail, stole three manhole covers from Sector 52 last night. Two cases of thefts were registered.

The recovered items included three manhole covers, two folding beds, one gas cylinder, one fan and a stove. They will be produced in a court tomorrow.

Vehicle stolen: Mr Ankur Sharma of Sector 45-D reported to the police that his Yamaha motor cycle (HR-01-H-4647) was stolen from his residence on May 14. A case has been registered.

Heroin seized: The police arrested Dinesh Kumar of Dadu Majra colony from near Panjab University campus on Monday and seized five grams of heroin. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Paint stolen: Mr A.K. Dhir of Berger paints India Limited has lodged a complaint that 1,134 litres of paint was stolen from plot number 92, phase II, Industrial Area, on May 13. 



Girl commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 17
Daughter of a watch guard, Dropati (13), allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at her residence (215, MDC, Sector 4) here, late last night.

Dropati consumed the substance in absence of her father Dori Lal and mother. Her younger brother and sister started crying after her health deteriorated. Hearing shrikes of the children, residents of the locality assembled and the girl was taken to the hospital.



Car hits traffic cop
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
A speeding white Maruti Zen car hit a traffic police constable at the Sector 36 and 37 lights points, when the cop signalled its driver to stop the vehicle. The cop suffered minor injuries in the accident that took place, last evening. The police has impounded the car from Sector 20. However, the car driver is still at large, said a police officer.

The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the driver of the car under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, in the Sector 36 police station. The car bears a registration number of Delhi. 



Rise in sale of gold
Baisakhi scheme woos customers
Swarleen Kaur

Akhaa Teej , celebrated On May 11, is considered an auspicious day to buy gold. The day is celebrated with fervour in the South. This time it was celebrated with enthusiasm for the first time in the North. Jewellers of the region recorded their highest sales on the occasion. 

Chandigarh, May 17
The Baisakhi Gold festival’ scheme 05, launched in Punjab on April 23, has brought cheers for city jewellers. Launched in the month of Baisakhi , the scheme has the approval of the World Gold Council. The lucrative scheme targets customers for whom the charm of good-old gold was diminishing.The scheme will remain open till May 20. During this period, any customer on the purchase of gold jewellery over Rs 2,000 gets a lucky coupon. The coupon entitles one to win gold worth in lakhs. The lucky draws are held from time to time.

In all, 72 jewellers are offering the Baisakhi schemer out of which 32 jewellers are from the city. The final draw will be held on May 21 where the lucky winner will get one kg gold besides other prizes.

Mr Anil Talwar, President, Chandigarh Gold body, convener of the Punjab festival, owner Talwarsons, Sector 22 said, “The sale of the gold has certainly gone up and the scheme has ensured us a steady flow of customers. The sales have shot up to 30 to 50 per cent. The offer promises to give them the value of their precious money.Gold is perceived as an all-time investment in the country. Though diamonds are also ruling the scene in big way but gold can never go out of fashion”.

Mr Alok, Manager, Tanishq, also admits that the sales have gone up but these are not according to his expectations. The festival offer has increased the sale by only 5 to 10 per cent. He says a lot of customers who come to the store are not aware of the scheme. Of course there are a good numbers of customers who walk into the store to cash on the Baisakhi offer. But now people are not tempted by such lucrative schemes easily”.

Mr Jawahar Jain, Nikka Mal Babu Ram and JJ group said, ‘Our sales have gone up by 20 to 25 per cent. I think these kinds of schemes definitely help in the business”.

Ms Saroj Kapur, a resident of Sector 22 who has recently bought some gold jewellery, was one of the optimist customers, “I saw the advertisement in the newspaper and I immediately went to buy gold. But the scheme will prove fruitful to me only if it brings a half a kg gold to me’.


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