C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Land-use bonanza for city’s Industrial Area
Height of buildings, floor area to double, plots to be amalgamated
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Major changes

  • Height of buildings in Industrial Area to double.
  • Two or more plots can be amalgamated.
  • The price of conversion may be near to Rs 25,000 per sq yard.
  • The covered area on the ground floor can be between 40 and 60 per cent of the plot.
  • Self-certification by architect on covered area. 

Chandigarh, May 30
In a first bold step of its kind since the inception of the city, the Chandigarh Administration will permit buildings in the Industrial Area to have double the existing height and amalgamation of two or more plots, thus paving way for full-scale use of the existing industrial buildings as commercial buildings.

The floor area ratio (FAR), which determines the area one can cover on a plot ,would be doubled from the existing ratio of 0.75 to 1.50 in the Industrial Area. The increase in FAR meat a person with a 2000 sq yard plot could have 3000 sq yard covered area (vertically) spanning all floors. The height of the building would naturally go up as the owner would cover more area. This meant, ideally a two-kanal plot holder could now have four storeys by using the entire permitted covered area of 3000 sq yards. Earlier this area was two storeys.

The parking, if constructed in the basement or any floor, would not be calculated in the covered area.

Also the Administration had allowed amalgamation of two or more plots to have one common plot. In another significant move the “foot print” of building (that is the covered area on the ground floor) could be between 40 per cent to 60 per cent of the total plot area. At present this was between 25 per cent and 35 per cent on plots bigger than two kanals.

These radical changes were part of the policy to allow conversion of industrial land into commercial usage. A source said all this was being done to attract more and more people to the Industrial area.

The Administration would permit hotels, guest houses, lodges, hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, banquet halls, shopping malls, retail outlet centres for trade and computer and education training centres in the industrial area. Anything that was commercial activity would be allowed thus opening up the huge potential.

Already several leading car companies have swank showrooms in the Industrial area.

The price of converting an industrial land into commercial would not be cheap. It would be fixed around Rs 25,000 per sq yard and was expected to bring in Rs 3,000 crore into the kitty of the Administration even if half of the plot owners went for conversion. Actually the conversion price was under final discussion if other things stand okayed. At this rate this would mean Rs 2.50 crore for a two-kanal plot.

A notification in this regard awaited the final approval of the UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd). A high-level team of the Chandigarh Administration visited the spot and made an on-the-spot assessment before the General signed it making it a policy. If this came into effect it would change the look of the Industrial Area in the city, spread across close to 1350 acres. It may be recollected that in a landmark decision, ten days ago Gen Rodrigues had approved conversion of industrial plots for commercial use.



Private colonisation in periphery may be okayed
Punjab evolving new policy for Chandigarh
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
The Punjab Government is considering allowing private colonisation in Chandigarh’s periphery. A proposal to this effect now forms a part of the periphery policy being evolved for the state by the high-powered committee headed by the Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill.

Following a meeting of the empowered committee held here today, sources stated that according to this new proposal added to the policy, the government would allow low-density residential colonisation within the periphery.

Private parties would be permitted to colonise chunks of more than 100 acres of land for residential purposes. Colonisation in area by those who own less than 100 acres would, however, not be allowed. Norms and conditions would also be laid down to limit the extent of colonisation within these 100 acre chunks. Only large plotted houses and low-density development would be allowed here, sources pointed out.

Other than this, the periphery policy is also taking into account the large amount of irregular growth that has taken place in Chandigarh’s periphery. Other than illegal group housing schemes, a large number of unauthorised private palatial structures, including hotels and resorts, have cropped up. Following the Chief Minister’s announcement in August last year that none of the houses in these illegal colonies be demolished, the committee members are expected to take a sympathetic view of these irregular structures. But sources added that the cut off date for the regularisation of the irregular structures in the periphery was still under discussion.

Sources added that the government did not propose to acquire land falling within the periphery and most of the development would be carried out by private developers. The government would, however, acquire land for infrastructural development of the area or for a specific facility.

It is learnt that the committee has proposed to divide the periphery into residential, recreational, institutional and industrial zones. However, eco-fragile zones in the periphery covered under the Forests and Land Preservation Acts would not be altered. Private farm houses on a minimum of 2.5 acres of land would be allowed. Educational institutions, hotels, resorts, golf courses, hospitals would be allowed to be constructed in the area.

The empowered committee constituted in 2003 following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had been asked by the Court to assist the Punjab Government in defining a comprehensive policy to streamline development within Chandigarh’s periphery and suggest a plan for its development in the future. The draft periphery policy evolved by the committee has been under discussion for the past one year and its finalisation is expected in the coming months.

Chandigarh’s periphery is governed by the Punjab Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952 that prohibited construction within five miles radius from Chandigarh. This limit was extended to 10 miles in 1962. Out of 1,362 sq km under the Periphery Act, 1,021 sq km fall under the periphery in Punjab. The area is covered by five towns and 336 villages.



New DC Rao to get work he wants
Admn undergoes change of heart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Two days after the stripping the new Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, of important charges, the Chandigarh Administration today had a change of heart, saying Mr Rao would be given whatever work he chose. This may soothe ruffled feathers in a section of the bureaucracy in Haryana.

The DC, who joined duties this morning, was told to assess the workload and see if he wanted to take on more work, sources in the administration said. Two days ago the Chandigarh Administration had stripped Mr Rao of the work of Estate Officer and also of the Commissioner, Excise and Taxation. The works were handed over to the Chief Executive Officer, Chandigarh Housing Board Mr Amarnath and the Municipal Commissioner, Mr P.S. Aujla, respectively.

A senior officer said, “Mr Rao has been given one week to assess the work for himself. If he feels he can handle more workload then the task of Estate Officer and Commissioner Excise and Taxation will be given back to him.” All this should not be tough for Mr Rao as he had worked as Deputy Commissioner in Chandigarh earlier when Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd) was the UT Administrator.

This morning when Mr Rao joined, he went to see the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd). Mr Rao was explained the priorities of the Administration were: Implementing the principles of Panchayati Raj Institutions; training of democratically elected representatives and development of villages.



SHO sent to Police Lines
Hallo Majra episode

Chandigarh, May 30
The Inspector General of Police, Chandigarh, Mr Satish Chandra, today in an order summoned the controversial SHO of Sector 31 police station, Mr Kewal Krishan, to the Police Lines with immediate effect.

Mr Kewal Krishan has been given the charge of Inspector (Lock Up), while Inspector Mani Ram Kadian, who was posted in the Police Lines, has been transferred as SHO of Sector 31 police station.

The transfer was done after an inquiry report submitted by the SP Headquarters, Mr Dinesh Bhhat, to the IG, in which Mr Kewal Krishan was found guilty of lack of supervision and picking up of Tejinder Singh, a former Sarpanch of Hallo Majra village from Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, on May 18.

Tejinder was reportedly tortured after he was initially picked from a picket point on May 17, had alleged Harinder Kaur, wife of Tejinder Singh, in a complaint to the IG and SSP, UT Police. The other allegations of torture levelled by complainant were still under investigation, said the police sources. The sources also said that the role of other policemen involved in the issue would also be probed.

Harinder Kaur alleged in her complaint that her husband was picked up by the SHO and his policemen on May 17 in the evening, when Tejinder Singh was on his way back home on his motorcycle. The SHO took him to the Sector 31 police station, took Rs 2.5 lakh from Tejinder Singh and thrashed him. She alleged that Tejinder was given third-degree torture and was inflicted injuries on head, neck and nose. The police later got admitted Tejinder Singh to the GMCH, Sector 32, it also did not allow the family members of Tejinder to meet him. Tejinder was then again forcibly taken to the police station next day on May 18 from the hospital and was kept in lock up.

Yesterday residents of Hallo Majra along with Parvasi Welfare Association, of which Tejinder Singh is a senior leader, held a protest demanding action against the SHO. The demonstration came to an end only after the senior police officers ensured the villagers of necessary action in this matter.



Rejection rate by banks very high
Loans under Swaran Jayanti Rozgar Yojna
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
If the abysmally low figures of the beneficiaries are any indication about loopholes in a self-employment scheme, more than 75 per cent cases approved by thze Municipal Corporation for loans under the Swaran Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yogna have been rejected by the banks.

Official sources maintain that “banks, by and large, are reluctant to sanction loan to the beneficiaries residing in colonies as recovery of loan is not very encouraging”. The corporation approved 1173 cases of loan till March 2005. Out of the total, only 282 cases were sanctioned by the banks. Out of the total number of beneficiaries, as many as 63 are women.

A majority of the applicants seeking loans are residents of labour colonies in the city. It has been found that the applications lack relevant data regarding residential addresses and other necessary details while seeking loans. Interestingly, the official data indicates that a population of 0.68 lakh out of the total 1.16 living below poverty line in the city, lives in unauthorised colonies on government land. A majority of the cases in this category are not entertained.

Councillors feel that when the target population was largely settled in the labour colonies, the planners should keep in mind all the handicaps, particularly providing proof for returning the amounts, the people faced.

“When the economic criteria of only Rs 300.91 per month had been fixed earlier as the pre-requisite for the benefit, on what basis are they seeking a proof like a residential quarter?” a Congress councillor said.

Mr Pardeep Chhabra, a former Senior Deputy Mayor, said that the entire ‘yogna’ needed to be restudied. Firstly, the economic limit was very low. He said the corporation could study the proposal of the councillors standing as guarantee for the loan beneficiaries. He said it was also very difficult for this category of people to maintain any definite statements of monthly income.

The corporation is conducting the second round of house-to-house survey through Directorate of Economics and Statistics, UT Administration, on the basis of a revised economic criteria of Rs 432.09 per month.

Mr O.P. Popli, the Additional Commissioner, gave details of the project. He said “financial assistance is provided to beneficiaries, ‘Below Poverty Line’, upto a limit of Rs 50,000 for setting up petty business services or a micro-manufacturing unit; the administration will give a subsidy of 15 per cent subject to a limit of Rs 7500; the beneficiary will contribute 5 per cent as margin money; and loan will be 80 per cent of the project cost” Mr Popli said that the corporation organizes regular training programmes for the families living below poverty line. “There is a substantial number of beneficiaries, particularly women, who received their training here and instead of taking any loans they started their own works. Beauty saloons and stitching centres in labour colonies are a couple of success stories for others to emulate”, he said.

Mr Popli said “since we do not have the infrastructure of our own, training is being imparted along with NGOs, including Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Lions Club. Training has been provided to more than 2500 individuals in tailoring, radio-television repair, AC-refrigerator repairs, beauty culture, computer application, purse and bag making and toy making, besides certain others.



Panjab varsity declares CET results
Our Correspondent

Divya shines

City girl Divya Sharma has brought laurels by not only topping PCM group but also securing second rank in mathematics. She has also appeared in IIT, AIEEE and has taken various other competitive tests.

She cleared Class XII from SD Public School, Sector 32, by securing 89 per cent in non-medical group.

A beaming Divya said she had also received a scholarship of the National Talent Search Examination.

Chandigarh, May 30
Panjab University today declared the results for Common Entrance Test (CET) held on May 24.

Ankit Goel bagged first position in law group by securing 91.25 per cent whereas Mayank Sardana stood first in physics, chemistry, biology group (PCB) by securing 310 marks.

Divya Sharma stood first (280 marks) in physics, chemistry, maths (PCM) whereas Sandeep topped mathematics group by securing 89 per cent.

In the physics, chemistry and biotechnology group (PCT), Nishant Deep Singh Ranaut secured the first position by obtaining 264 marks, whereas Shashank Gupta topped the physics, chemistry, Biology and Computer Science stream (PCS) by securing 208 marks.

Law group positions: Karan Sahgal (second), Sayan Das (third), Abhishek Goyal and Simrandeep Singh Sandhu (fourth), Kanisth Ganoriwala (sixth), Swati Chauhan (seventh), Harpriya Khanoka and Dhananjaya Singh Mankotia (eighth) and Divya Sharma (10th).

Mathematics group: Divya Sharma (second), Sanjeev Kumar Goyal (third), Manoj Garg (fourth), Anjali Gupta (fifth), Varinder Singh (sixth), Mayank Tayaj (seventh), Himani Singla (eighth), Sandeep Chahal and Sakhshi Jindal (ninth).

PCT group: Bhawana Rastogi (second), Pardeep Kumar (third), Sahil Dhillon (fourth), Shivani Kothiyal (fifth), Hemant Sahni (sixth), Mukesh Kumar Sharma (seventh), Karanvir Singh (eighth), Sanjam Kaur Vilkhu (ninth) and Renu Kumari (10th).

PCS group: Himanshu (second), Manu Sharma (third), Sandeep Kumar Sharma (fourth), Rishav Sharma (fifth), Himanshu Mehta (sixth), Puneet Khurana (seventh), Sheffali (eighth), Puneet Gujral (ninth) and Shivani Attri (10th).

PCB group: Kanish Mirchia (second), Ritwik Das (third), Kirti Puri (fourth), Vandana Bhardwaj (fifth), Shivani Garg (sixth), Sonu (eighth) and Jasmine Sethi (10th).

PCM group: Varinder Singh (second), Sandeep (third), Himani Singla (fourth), Akansha Garg (fifth), Mayank Tayal (sixth), Tushar Bhayana (seventh), Nalin Goswami (eighth), Manav Bector (ninth) and Sandeep Chahal (10th).



Chandigarh Calling

The city is facing the hydra of encroachments not only on vacant plots but also in different markets. In most of the major markets the shopkeepers consider it their right to expand their shops on to the corridors meant for the convenience of shoppers. The shoppers have either to squeeze through the corridors or move out and bear the scorching sun. The ‘cleaning up drives’ have failed as the ‘extension shops’ return the very next day. As soon as the MC team enters one end of a market the word of ‘lifting squad’ travels faster than the fire in forest and the experienced staff gets busy picking up the wares displayed in the corridors. Some even have counters with wheels that are swiftly pushed inside leaving the corridors and passages clean by the time the team reaches other shops in the area. This cat and mouse game has been continuing since long and one wonders why the anti-encroachment squad doesn’t take some smart steps to outsmart the encroachers.


The monkey menace in the Union Territory Secretariat in Sector 9 is growing still. The administration may be quick in dealing with men but they seem to be helpless in gaining control over monkeys. Tribune photographer Manoj Mahajan took the picture of the main gate of the secretariat with the monkey firmly perched there. A formidable gatekeeper indeed!

Give us light

The crossroads on the Vikas Marg linking Sectors 47, 48 and 49 have seen many accidents after dark in the absence of traffic lights. People, who use this road to go to the society flats in these sectors as well as for entrance to Mohali, have been crying themselves hoarse for traffic lights at this juncture. It is time that the authorities started the process for even after an approval is given it takes some six months for the project to be finalised.

Melody magic

Jagdish Kumar has been sitting opposite the Bata Showroom in Sector 17 for 34 long years selling his precious, handcrafted flutes. For this indomitable man who does his riyaaz at 4:30 pm every single day, Jagdish believes music is in his soul for his father, Ram Swarup, was a classically trained singer. The motley crowd that gathers to hear him play every day is treated to tales of his muse Madhubala while he enthrals with the lilting Ik ladhki bheegi bhaagi si… “I have the number one stall at the Rose Festival in the city each year,” is the self-assured communication. “I have also released a cassette of tunes played by me. It has sold millions of copies all over.” We offer to buy one but alas — the cassette is sold out! However, what remains is the earnestness of one who knows his worth, of a man who makes soulful music sound more beautiful.

Climatic project

Prof B.K. Das of the Centre of Advance Studies in Geology, Panjab University, has been given a sanction by the German Research Council to work on a project, “Reconstruction of Holocene climatic history and its relevance to climatic changes”. Two scientists of the Institute of Bio-geochemistry and Marine Chemistry, University of Hamburg, Germany, are working with him. They are investigating core samples of higher Himalayan lakes to reconstruct climactic history and its relevance to climactic changes. Professor Das has been working on various aspects of Himalayan lakes for the past 10 years. He believes the sedimentation in lakes is much more affected by regional tectonic and climatic processes than the sedimentation in oceans.

Saying it with a song

At a recently held workshop in the city on the vagaries of using tobacco, a song written and sung to a typical filmy tune by Sardar Attar Singh, brought the point home more effectively than any lecture demonstration could. A carpenter with the Command Hospital, Attar Singh believes he is God’s own person. He has composed several dozen songs on social issues like AIDS and the plight of the girl child. For this simple man, who adores his city, this is the one way he can think of contributing to society and country he loves so dearly. He wants, desperately, to get involved with some NGOs but laments that no one wishes to use his skills. The sole breadwinner of his family, Attar Singh has faced some trying times himself. His wife and two children all have IQ levels below 65 per cent but he himself keeps his spirit going by looking after them and working on songs and ditties to raise the awareness levels.

Sweet as you

The Stevia plant made is presence felt in the city last week. Grown in the city climes by a local agriculturalist, this innocuous ‘leafy green’ had the city scrambling to ascertain its exact location, where it grows, how it survives in the agonizing heat of Chandigarh when larger, less green humans can barely make it from one point to the other! The Stevia has a reputation to protect. The plant extract is supposedly 300 times sweeter than sugar but without the additional calories! What’s more, it is considered to be the ideal alternative for diabetics craving those sugar syrup soaked gulab jamuns. It is also believed to be the safer answer to the aspartame-based sweeteners in the market. The patent is in the offing and research is on to bring it into the mainstream. Hello mithai shops here we come!

Parivar ya Patrakar?

The city artistes have coined a new phrase of ‘Ya Parivar ya Patrakar’. The provocation for this coinage the nominations as members to the city’s arty akademis. The Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi inductions, in particular, seem to have left many unhappy. The chairman has put in a lot of pretty and cultured ladies of the newspapers taking care of equal representation from the important dailies. Then there are some ladies from his own family and little wonder for what can anyone do if all the talent is there within the family. Charity anyway should begin at home.

But disgruntled artistes continue to chant the new slogan.


Chai-pani is a convenient code for taking or giving a small bribe and associated more with the lowly police officials. With the school results out, students are having a great time playing around with this phrase. An SMS doing the rounds of the city mobiles tells us that when a Punjab police constable chides his son for faring poorly, the boy pulls out a fifty-rupee note and tells his dad: “Papa yeh lo chai-pani aur case rafa dafa karo!” Would one describe this as a kickback effect?

— Sentinel



City should lead by example in safety: Pant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
“Chandigarh being a planned city has the potential to include all safety measures and also implement these as per the bylaws and guidelines. Chandigarh can take the lead in providing safer human settlement and also setting up examples for others to follow.”

This was stated by Mr K.C. Pant, Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, while inaugurating a two-day national seminar on “Safety in construction” being jointly organised by the Safety and Quality Forum, the Punjab State Centre, the Institution of Engineers and the Central Board of Irrigation and Power.

Over 250 participants from all over the country are taking part.

Mr Pant highlighted the need for making safety as a culture and not just a word of caution. Relying on the ILO figures in their report of 2004, he mentioned that some 6,000 workers died of occupational accidents and diseases worldwide everyday. These work-related accidents and illnesses caused more deaths than war.

Mr Pant emphasised that close coordination amongst government agencies, academics and public and private industries was necessary for ensuring high productivity along with safe construction practices.

This would no doubt call for top management involvement, but make Indian construction industry globally competitive, he quipped.

Mr Pant suggested that the Institution of Engineers should launch awareness programmes on safety issues; training programmes for skills building for technical personnel; dissemination of information on best practices in safety and on quality. “Engineers should play an important role in the reconstruction phase after disaster,” he added.

Mr Pradeep Chaturvedi, Chairman, Safety and Quality Forum, emphasised that the construction sector, being the largest employer of uneducated and unskilled labour only next to agriculture, needed special treatment at all levels of activity.

The organised sector had over 1,40,000 civil engineers employed in government departments and client organisations, and over 40,000 civil engineers employed in the private sector. Only 27 per cent of the employment was of skilled manpower, he explained.

“Studies after the Bhuj earthquake have focused on safe constructions and incidents of fire have focused on making fire-proof environment. The city can still build an example of clean city-safe city by creating safe structures, through retrofitting wherever feasible and making all fire-proof arrangements at least in the part of Chandigarh controlled by the UT administration,” he said.

Mr Rakesh Nath, Chairman, Bhakra and Beas Management Board, the guest of honour on the occasion, emphasised the need for safety in all walks of life, especially in hydropower project construction.

He talked about the issue of safety in the Bhakra Project raised in certain quarters and assured participants of its safety.

Mr Jagman Singh, former president of the Institution of Engineers, said safety and quality both went together and that the Safety and Quality Forum of the Institution was dedicated to providing all inputs.



Anti-theft device that alerts you on cellphone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
This young man lives to invent and what’s more, his ‘thingamujigs’ are about to reach a wider audience! An anti-theft device developed by 26 year-old Mu Uma Magesh was spotted by a local firm, Sri Ganesh Electro Tech, on SUN TV in their Tamil programme, “Our Hometown Scientist” which featured this innovation. Yesterday, this earnest inventor was in the town to promote his “GSM Detective System” built to safeguard homes, vehicles, and lockers.

This simple device is based on the GSM or CDMA wireless security system. This system gives immediate information to you on your mobile phone if anyone enters your home, office, shop or vehicle without your knowledge.

The process is straightforward. The device is fitted with a SIM card which can be procured from your telecom service provider and is fed with the numbers you wish to be contacted on in case of an attempt of theft or break in. Nine numbers can be fed in the SIM card. The GSM system is triggered through the passive-infrared (PIR) sensor in the device which discerns any ‘undesirable’ activity. The device keeps calling until you respond and can also capture video clips if your phone is MMS-enabled. The patent for this security device has been applied for in 2001 and will be available in the city in the next 15 days.

Mr Magesh works on innovations that he hopes can benefit people at large. Although his earlier invention, a wireless meter-reading system, which sends readings automatically (giving accurate information and not susceptible to tampering) to the mainframe of the electricity board, has elicited a lukewarm response from the Tamil Nadu Government, but that has not deterred this young man from pursuing his mission. For, what has inspired this trendsetter is President Abdul Kalam’s appeal to the youth to dream big, no less! He hopes to meet his idol soon, for, “Keep in touch” is the message the President sent this young inventor on hearing about his novel creations.



Meat scam: Saharanpur MC asked to verify facts
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chandigarh, May 30
The Punjab Forests and Wildlife Department has written to the Saharanpur Municipal Commissioner and the Department of Animal Husbandry, Saharanpur, asking them to monitor the supply of meat of dead animals to the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park (Chhat Bir) inmates.

Mr A.S. Dogra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Wildlife, Punjab, has directed the Chhat Bir Zoo Director, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, to ask the authorities at Saharanpur to investigate the facts of substandard buffalo meat being supplied to the carnivores in the zoo by the meat contractor.

Mr Dogra also disclosed that he had not received the report of a fact finding team that was sent to Saharanpur for verifying the facts that the meat of dead buffaloes was being supplied by the contractor after skinning the carcasses in a filthy and makeshift slaughterhouse in Kolagarh locality adjacent to the Kawela Colony.

The fact-finding team comprising a zoo veterinary doctor was dispatched to Saharanpur by the zoo Director after The Tribune highlighted the “meat scam” at the Chhat Bir Zoo.

When contacted telephonically, Dr Ravinder Kumar, Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry Department, Saharanpur, held that he had received some representation from the Chhat Bir Zoo authorities. “The zoo director has asked us to monitor the meat supply for the Chhat Bir carnivores. In the letter, the director has also expressed this satisfaction over the meat being supplied to the zoo. Giving reference of some adverse reports published in some newspaper, the Director has sought our assistance,” claimed Dr Kumar.

Dr Kumar also admitted that following a complaint of Mr Rashid, a resident of Chowki Sarai, Saharanpur, he had directed Dr RK Kaushik, Chief Veterinary Officer, to constitute a team of veterinary officers to verify the facts. The team had raided the suspected slaughter house on the complaint of Mr Rashid. “I have not received the report from Dr Kaushik as yet,” he claimed.

Dr Kumar also claimed that the sample of the buffalo meat could not be taken for laboratory tests as the complainant had failed to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) with the police.

Action could have been taken against the defaulters had the complainant lodged an FIR with the police and the meat sample taken in the presence of the police for medical examinations, he added.



Demolition of Guru Nanak Colony put off again
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
For the nth time today the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) postponed indefinitely the demolition of the Guru Nanak Colony in Mohali. The unauthorised colony, one of the largest in the township, is home to over 3000 persons and has a cluster of at least 700 houses.

The demolition operation scheduled from tomorrow morning was postponed reportedly following a communication from the SSP Ropar stating that requisite police force for the operation could be arranged. The enforcement wing of PUDA had asked for 300 policemen to carry out the demolition drive. However, the SSP Ropar informed the PUDA authorities that such a large number of policemen were not available with the Mohali police and force would have to be arranged from outside the township.

Other than the police arrangements, PUDA had organised a virtual army of men, including members of the enforcement team and PUDA security. Five earth movers and eight tippers had been prepared to carry out the drive.

Sources added that residents of the colony too had been running from pillar to post to get the demolition drive cancelled. A group of residents were to meet the Minister for Urban Housing and Development, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri. Members of the Bhartiya Janta Party, Mohali unit, had also demanded that the residents of the colony should first be rehabilitated before being rendered homeless.

The demolition drive was planned reportedly following a note received by PUDA from the Minister of Housing and Urban Planning ordering immediate demolition of the colony. This is, however, not the fist time that the demolition of the decades-old unauthorised colony has been ordered and later stopped at the last minute.



Miss India Earth coming today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Miss Niharika Singh, the new Femina Miss India Earth, will be visiting the city tomorrow on her maiden visit after winning the coveted title. She will be giving away diplomas to students of the National Institute of Fashion Design at the institute’s annual convocation here tomorrow.

Niharika, who is also the brand ambassador of NIFD, is all set to take part in the Miss Earth pageant to be held in the Philippines. She also has to her credit the subtitles of Miss Beautiful Hair and Miss Photogenic.

In the past crowned beauties like Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Neha Dhupia, Nikita Anand, Shruti Sharma, Tanushree Dutta, Sayali Bhagat, Jyoti Brahmin, Celina Jaitley, Madhu Sapre, Manpreet Brar, Gul Panag, Aditi Govitrikar and Annie Thomas have graced NIFD functions.

At the convocation the toppers of all the streams of NIFD would be specially honoured.



Fauji Beat
Settle Kashmir problem to stop killings

IF after two great wars the warring countries could come together, then there is no reason why India and Pakistan after three short wars and Kargil conflict cannot find a lasting solution to the Kashmir problem.

Since 1947 October our Army is committed in Kashmir. And from 1989 onwards counter-insurgency has become its unending commitment. This has robbed the Army of much of its poise and elan. Not to talk of training, which has become a casualty. We have lost more manpower in the ongoing militancy than all the wars since 1947. The only way to stop these killings is to find a political solution to the vexed Kashmir problem.

Never before have India and Pakistan come so close to a solution as they are now. Nor has General Musharraf been in such a conciliatory mood as he is now. Being the President and the Army Chief, he has the advantage of having the Army on his side, which is the deciding factor in Pakistan. Besides, never before has people-to-people contact been so close and intimate as it is today. All this does not mean that a solution is in the offing. But then there is no problem that has no solution.

General Musharraf’s proposal of finding a solution to Kashmir on regional basis is in skeletal. It should be examined, clarifications asked and then discussed. What is essential is to continue moving forward in a give and take mood and a solution will come sooner than later.

Army service unattractive

Has the Army service become so unattractive that an officer with an excellent record of service thinks nothing of it? Major J.S. Boparai of 4 Engineer Regiment had completed his Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) course in April 2004. Being among the first few in the merit list, he was posted as Bridage Major (BM) of a brigade, which is a very coveted appointment.

From DSSC, he came on two months leave to Chandigarh in April 2004 and within a few days left for Canada without seeking permission from the higher authorities. He is still absent from duty. He, being an immigrant, is said to have taken up a job in Canada.

It is learnt that he was doing exceptionally well in the Army where he had a very bright future. Why should an officer who had a bright future desert the Army for a greener pasture? Because he knew that the Army would not release him. This is one of the rare examples that needs a case study. All the measures adopted in the past 15 years to make the Army attractive have not borne fruit. No wonder then that the shortage of over 12,000 officers is continuing for the past several years. It is time to make the terms and conditions of service more lucrative so that the promising youth start opting for it as a career. The pensionary benefits should also be substantially enhanced.

Recruiting medical officers

After the recruiting organisation had become notorious for corruption a few years ago, the Army authorities stepped in to plug all the loopholes in the selection system. This has improved the situation to a considerable extent. But you still find a number of physically and medically unfit candidates reporting to the training centres for recruit training. Some of them are found to be below physical standards or having physical deformities. Defective vision or hearing and colour blindness are some of the medical defects.

Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), on checking up the records of various training centres has noticed this serious irregularity. This has caused a loss of Rs 2.63 crore to the exchequer. He has also mentioned in his report that the medical officers at the recruiting organisation are selecting physically and medically unfit candidates.

The only way to stop this corrupt practice is to make the defaulter medical officers pay the financial loss that they have caused to the state.

— Pritam Bhullar



Readers write
Kudos to Admn

With reference to the case of filing a false affidavit by a lawyer to get a housing society flat, (Chandigarh Tribune, May 5) a clear case of perjury; one must add that even if he has not filed an affidavit it cannot be assumed that the lawyer was unaware of the Administration’s terms and conditions for getting such a flat. Affidavit or no affidavit, all such persons should be punished as their illegal act has denied many genuine and needy residents from acquiring flats. And this needs a high-level probe into this large-scale bungling that has been responsible, to a large extent, for a steep rise in the prices of real estate in the city. The Administration deserves kudos for initiating action in this regard.

Balvinder, Chandigarh

Clinical tests

A news item appeared in the Chandigarh Tribune regarding variation in the results of clinical tests done by different laboratories in the city. One such laboratory is Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Diagnostic Centre, Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24. As a matter of personal knowledge, this laboratory has been working on a no profit no loss basis for the past about 15 years so that even the poorest of poor also can avail themselves of this facility. Bharat Vikas Parishad is an NGO doing this social work.

The results of this laboratory are accepted by the PGI, Medical College, Sector 32, General Hospital, Sector 16, and all government dispensaries in the city. At times, for tests which take a long time in the hospitals, patients are recommended to this laboratory which is cheap.

I would like to bring to the notice of all concerned that a variation in results is a matter of debate for doctors. The results do vary without any explanation. But this charitable diagnostic centre makes all out efforts to give very accurate results with strict quality control and seriousness.

S.K. Aggarwal, Zirakpur

Diagnostic test

Apropos of the news report “Same diagnostic test, different results” (Chandigarh Tribune, May 2), being a scientist with bio-medical sciences background, I find the report lacking in seriousness and diligence. The reporter ought to have consulted some experts before jumping the gun to file the report. Subscription to scientific and statistical methodology in bio-medical sciences, of which medical diagnostic technology forms an important part, is a sine qua non pre-requisite for exactness, reliability and reproducibility of results. Therefore, it becomes mandatory that before hasty conclusions are arrived at pertaining to variation in results from different laboratories, the same sample be divided into at least three parts and distributed among different labs, where they may then be subjected to same tests using same techniques, under the same conditions.

Vivek Khanna, Department of Microbiology, PU, Chandigarh

Drinking water

Visitors are facing the problem of drinking water at the Floral and Sculptural garden of Sector 15, Chandigarh. The visitors, mostly senior citizens, visit the garden in the morning, afternoon and evening for walking. For their comfort, the provision of drinking water is most urgent. The park also lacks toilet facilities. These facilities can also be utilised by thousands of people who visit Kisan Mandi held on every Wednesday adjoining the park. We appeal to the Mayor to intervene personally and to get these facilities installed at the earliest.

Antar Singh Kohli, J.P.S. Dhami, Chandigarh



Apathy towards Rock Garden resented
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Mr Nek Chand, creator of Rock Garden, expressed displeasure at the apathy of the administration towards the upkeep and utilty of government assets. “A new truck, bought to speed up the development at Rock Garden at Rs 7 lakh has been lying redundant for the past 15 months and has not been put to use due to the slipshod approach of the administration.”

The Society for the Maintenance and Development of Rock Garden wanted to have a new truck to carry stones and rocks from the Ghaggar and because the truck has not been used, the progress of the work has slowed considerably, said Mr Nek Chand.

He also said this fact had been brought to the notice of the admistration many times but to no avail. “It is pathetic that the administration is not ready to make any effort despite the abundance of funds lying with the Rock Garden society. This is a sheer wastage of public money and the administration should act responsibly.”



Farmers’ conference from June 5
Tribune News Service

O.P. Dhankad
O.P. Dhankad

Chandigarh, May 30
The All-India Kisan Morcha of the BJP will organise a two-day conference on the “failure of the first Green Revolution” from June 5 at Kisan Bhavan here.

Giving this information at a press conference here today, Mr O.P. Dhankad, general secretary of the morcha, expressed concern at the plight of farmers in the country in the wake of mechanisation.

The “packaged technology” in the wake of the Green Revolution of the sixties has proved to be a bane for the marginal farmers with the result that the farming community was in the vicious circle of debt. Hundreds of farmers had been committing suicide all over the country as the farming was not a remunerative business.

The former Agriculture Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, will inaugurate the conference on June 5 while the former BJP chief, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, will address it the next day.



Local leaders congratulate Sonia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Leaders of the local unit of Congress, aligned to the group of Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local MP, today called upon Mrs Sonia Gandhi, President of the All India Congress Committee in New Delhi, to congratulate her on unopposed election as the President of the AICC.

The group included Mrs Anu Chatrath, Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, Mrs Lalit Joshi and Mrs Kamlesh, all former Mayors, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, a former senior Deputy mayor and Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the local unit of the Youth Congress.

Sources said the group expressed to her dissatisfaction over working of Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit.



Protest against hike in cable rates
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
Members of the People’s Welfare Association, Sector 71 here today protested against the sharp increase in cable TV rates by M/S New Cable Network and other cable operators. According to a press note issued by the general secretary of the association, members condemned the attitude and behaviour of the cable operator during the general house meeting of the association held today under the presidentship of Mr Sukhjinder Singh Nat.

The house unanimously resolved to boycott M/s New Cable Network who had according to them, monopolised the business in the area and was allegedly arm twisting the residents to pay hefty sum of Rs 250 per month. The members also sought strict action from the administration against the cable operator.



Residents forced to sweat it out
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 30
Following a major power shutdown in the township, residents were forced to sweat it out. This also led to a severe water shortage in most sectors of the township.

With the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam today replacing the 11 KV bulk oil circuit breaker with vacuum circuit breaker at the Industrial Area sub-station, in order to minimise faults at power sub-stations, the residents were left high and dry.

Power supply to Sectors 10, 12, 12-A, 14, 15, 20, BEL factory and Industrial Area Phase I remained shut from 9 am to 12.30 pm. Residents of Sectors 11, 14, 16, 17, 19, Industrial Area I and II, Abheypur, Budanpur, Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony had to suffer “powerless” in the sweltering heat. 



Residents’ body holds meeting
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
Members of the Citizen’s Welfare Council, Phase X, today met under the chairmanship of president of the council Kirpal Singh Lalpura.

The members felt that residents of Phases VII, IX, X and XI were facing difficulty in travelling by buses since many buses coming from far off place did not stop at the Mohali bus stand. It was decided to approach the Transport Department for a solution to the problem.

Members also demanded the starting of a bus service from the bus stand to the Chandigarh railway station via GMCH, Sector 32, and grain market, Sector 26.



Coop society members demand poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
A deputation of the Chandigarh City Beautiful House Building Cooperative Society, led by Mr GS Sindra, met Mr SK Setia, Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, here today.

According to a press note, the delegation demanded fresh elections and immediate audit of the society. Members will be mobilised to hold fresh elections.

After the elections, the issue of the allotment of a site to the society will be taken up with the Chandigarh Administration.



Joginder re-elected Gurdwara panel chief
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 30
Mr Joginder Singh Sondhi has been unanimously re-elected president of the local Gurdwara Coordination Committee for a period of two years.

Initially, the names of Mr Tarlochan Singh Loch and Mr Sohan Singh Sood were proposed at the election held yesterday at Gurdwara Amb Sahib. But efforts were made to maintain the previous practice of having a unanimous election. When no decision could be taken on a single candidate, a few more names started coming up for the contest.

Mr Hardeep Singh, SGPC member, who acted as the returning officer for the poll, appealed for a unanimous election. Ultimately, Mr Loch and Mr Sood withdrew their names in favour of Mr Sondhi.



Water panel meeting postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The meeting of the Water and Sewerage Disposal Committee of the Municipal Corporation was postponed today because of lack of quorum.

Four members out of the seven-member committee were absent. The absentees included Mrs Geeta Rani, chairperson. Other members who were absent included Mr Subhash Chawla, Mrs Pushpa Sharma and Mrs Lalit Joshi.

All the absentees were away New Delhi to congratulate Mrs Sonia Gandhi on her unanimous election as the president of the AICC.

Those who came for the meeting today included Mr Sohan lal Vaid, Deputy Mayor, Chandermukhi and Mr Jatinder Bhatia.

A member who came for the meeting, said “it is strange that when the city was facing the problem regarding the water committee members were in Delhi. It is strange that the chairperson who called the meeting was herself absent”.



No shramdaan this year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The annual shramdaan (the voluntary manual desilting work) at the Sukhna Lake is not to be carried out this year. The shramdaan was launched in 1987 but today it is seen as an exercise in futility with little actual gain, said sources.

Less than 0.5 per cent of annual desilting programme at the lake is met through manual operations. Last year, the shramdaan was curtailed to one week from its normal duration of about a month.



President’s medal for Sukhija
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 30
Mr Sanjeev Kumar Sukhija, an employee in the District Statistics Department, has been awarded President’s Bronze Medal for his commendable role in the Census 2001 operation.



Bride, groom kin clash; 10 held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 30
Unhappy with the marriage of their daughter, parents of a Hoshiarpur based girl today clashed with family members of boys on the Punjab and Haryana High Court premises.

The police arrested 10 persons belonging to both families, including the newly wed couple, for apprehension of breach of peace.

According to the police, Mr Ranjit Singh (30), groom, a resident of Kandiala village in Hoshiarpur district, had come for a hearing in the high court with his bride, Mrs Paramjit Kaur.

He was accompanied by his two brother-in-laws, Kuldeep Singh and Piara Singh. The father of Paramjit Kaur, a resident of the same village, Sarwan Singh, his wife Gurmeet Kaur and four others had clashed with Ranjit Singh and his brother-in-laws.

They reportedly torn clothes of each other and their turbans were also untied during the clash.

Ranjit Singh and Paramjit had married about two months back.

The police made preventive arrest of all persons for breach of peace and registered a case under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC in the Sector 3 police station.

The police confirmed that no weapons were found from the persons arrested.

They all would be produced before a local court tomorrow, said a police officer.



Head Constable held taking Rs 2,000

Chandigarh, May 30
The CBI today arrested a Head Constable in Sector 10 while he was taking Rs 2,000 as a bribe from a teashop owner.

This is the second instance in a month, when a Head Constable was trapped red-handed while taking bribe. Earlier this month, a Head Constable posted in the Mani Majra police station was nabbed while taking Rs 2,000 on behalf of a woman police officer for registering a case.

Sources in the CBI said Head Constable Nachattar Singh, posted at the Sector 3 police station, was trapped by a CBI team after a complaint was made to them by Birdeshwari Prasad Shukla, a teashop owner, near Hotel Mountview in Sector 10. The CBI laid a trap and caught him taking Rs 2,000.

The functioning of the city police comes under a scanner as earlier this year a Sub-Inspector was nabbed in the Sector 31 police station for allegedly accepting a bribe. About six months ago, the CBI had nabbed munshi Bhimsen for taking bribe. — OC



Two held for snatching mobile
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 30
Two youths were arrested for snatching a mobile phone, while two unidentified scooterists snatched a wallet from a man late last night.

Gopinder Koshan of Sector 23 and Deepak of Sector 22-D were arrested while snatching a mobile phone from Rakesh Kumar of Burail village from Sector 21 late last night.

A case has been registered against them in the Sector 19 police station.

In a separate incident, Mr Shashi Mehta of Sai Bagh in Fatehabad district, Haryana, reported to the police that two unidentified scooter-borne persons snatched his wallet containing Rs 4,000 and a mobile phone near Dev Samaj College, Sector 21, last night. A case has been registered in this regard.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Ran Sharma of Sector 7 lodged a complaint with the police that his Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle (CH-03-Q-5790) was stolen from outside his residence on the night of May 28. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

Charas seized

The local police arrested two persons accused of possessing charas from two separate places last night.

Suresh Kumar of Sector 20-A was arrested near Rehri Market in Sector 20 with 15 gm of charas. In another incident, Keshav of Sector 20-C was nabbed from Sector 21 and the police recovered 15 gm of charas from his possession.

Two cases under the NDPS Act have been registered in Sector 19 police station.



Body identified
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 30
The local police has identified the body found floating in the Sukhana Lake on Saturday morning as that of Rohit Arora (20), a resident of Faridkot district.

The police contacted the family members of deceased and they recognised the body.

Rohit Arora was living in Kajheri village in a rented accommodation.

His father Mr Vijay Arora, a bank employee in Faridkot, told the police that Rohit was taking coaching in a computer centre in the city.

And was also working in a private telecom company.

The police, however, claimed that they contacted the company and learnt that Rohit was not working for them.

The family members of the deceased also failed to give any reason behind the extreme step taken by the deceased.

According to Mr Janak Raj Rana, in-charge of Sukhana Lake Police Post, the police came to know about an unclaimed TVS Victor motorcycle (HR-24-F-5195) lying unclaimed at the Sukhana lake parking since Friday.

The contractor informed the police about the motorcycle.

The police after inspecting the documents found that the motorcycle was registered in the Sirsa District in Haryana.

The local police then called the State Transport authority office there and inquired about the owner of the motorcycle.

Following the information the police traced the owner of the motorcycle from Faridkot.

The police further said the post-mortem of the body will be performed yesterday.



2 held for carrying liquor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 30
The local police today arrested two persons for carrying 30 cartons of illicit liquor and impounded the car they were using to smuggle the liquor.

According to the police, on receiving information a police party consisting of Sub-Inspector Pritam Singh and ASI Amanjot Singh arrested Gurinder Singh of Sector 45 and Dinesh Kumar of Sector 12 Panchkula from Sector 48.

The search of Ford Ikcon car they were driving led to the recovery of 360 bottles of Officer’s Choice whisky from their possession.

They were reportedly coming from Shimla. The police said the accused were smuggling the liquor to the persons involved in illegal sale of the liquor in the city.

A case under Excise Act has been registered against them.



13-year-old dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 30
A 13-year-old child was killed in an accident near Kumbra village here today.

According to the police, Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Kumbra, who was riding a bicycle got seriously injured after a collision with a motor cycle. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared “brought dead.”

The person riding the motor cycle has been identified as Mr Hari Shankar Yadav, a resident of Phase I, here. He, too, sustained injuries and was taken to a hospital. The police has registered a case in this regard.



Protesters seek relief in VAT
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 30
Members of the Industrial Welfare Association of Phase IX here staged a protest in front of the office of the SDM today demanding relief in VAT for units.

The protesters raised slogans and blocked traffic for a short time. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, addressed to the Punjab Chief Minister in connection with their demands.

The association members demanded relief in VAT for electronic units having sales tax exemption under the Industrial Policy of 1996. They also sought a reduction in VAT from 12.5 per cent to 4 per cent for industrial units using non-ferrous metals and stainless steel as raw materials which were not available in the state. The association said the list of items falling under the schedule of industrial inputs should be made more broad-based to boost industrial production.

The association president, Mr Prabhjot Singh Sandhu, said there were 12 electronic units in Mohali alone with sales tax exemption. Nearly 2,000 workers were employed in the units. These units were now under threat of closure due to VAT.

Previously, the benefit of sales tax exemption for these units used to percolate down to dealers and further to customers, making their products comparatively cheaper. Now, 12.5 per cent VAT had been imposed on the sale of goods manufactured by the units having sales tax exemption. Against this, only 4 per cent notional input tax credit had been allowed. This meant that in the hands of the dealers these goods had been made costlier by 8.5 per cent. Besides, additional tax would be payable on value addition, ie the profit margin of the dealer.

The association demanded the removal of this anomaly to save these units from closure or migration to neighbouring states. The association said that the goods produced by manufacturers with raw materials purchased against CST from outside Punjab also became costlier because no input tax credit was available against the 4 per cent CST paid on procuring the raw materials. These materials included non-ferrous metals and stainless steel.

The association clarified that the use of these materials was on the increase and it was necessary to levy only 4 per cent VAT on these goods instead of 12.5 per cent to give further impetus to the growing industry.

All such goods previously attracted only 8.8 per cent sales tax. Now the manufacturers of goods made from these materials would pay 12.5 per cent VAT on the sale price which was inclusive of 4 per cent CST without any benefit of input tax credit.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |