C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU BDS course from this session
Entrance test scheduled for June 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Panjab University is starting a four-year self-financing course of Bachelor of Dental Sciences (BDS) from the forthcoming academic session 2005-06. Offering 100 seats in all, the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences would be set up in Sector 25 where the building has already come up. The Institute is expected to start functioning from October 1 (the date approved by the Dental Council of India for starting the session) and the entrance test is scheduled for June 30.

In this self-financing course, each student will have to shell out close to Rs 1 lakh as fee every year. Out of the 100 seats, 83 seats are in general category which would be open to the students from all over the country. Two are reserved for the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge (who alone donated Rs 2 crores for the institute) and 15 seats would be for the NRI-sponsored category students.

“A dental institute is the need of the hour for Chandigarh, where there is no such Institute, even in the private set up. Cities like Patiala and Ludhiana have dental institutes running for several years,” says chairman of the committee Dr Akhtar Mahmood while talking to The Tribune today.

Other members of the committee included Dr Krishan Gauba of Oral Health Centre, PGI, Dr R L Jain, former principal of Dental College, Patiala, Dr J C Joshi of CMC Ludhiana and Prof B.D. Gupta, Emeritus Professor, PGI.

As many as 26 faculty posts have already been advertised for the Institute and the selection interviews would continue till the end of June.

Talking about the collaborative efforts of the PU and the PGI in starting the Dental Institute Dr Mahmood says that the Department of Anatomy, PGI would provide dead bodies to the BDS students for experimental work.

After the recently introduced self-financing courses in the form of University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and the five-year integrated course of BA LLB, the self-financing BDS is seen as the next popular move by PU to generate maximum income by charging high fee from the students.



11 cabins gutted in Sector-22 fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
In a major fire, at least 11 cabins in a showroom on the first floor in Sector 22 here were reduced to ashes in the wee hours today. Fire department sources have estimated a loss of approximately Rs 15 lakh.

Sources said an explosion was heard in the showroom before the flames spread at about 3 a.m. The explosion was so powerful that all windowpanes were broken and scattered on the ground floor. ACs in the cabins were also burnt. Owner of the adjoining Gurbax Dhaba is said to have first informed fire station officials.

As many as six fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took nearly two hours to extinguish the fire.

A woman and her three children had a providential escape in the fire. Poonam, along with her three children, Renu (1 year), Rajesh (12 years) and Brijesh (7 years), were sleeping on the second floor when they realised the heat. She was badly trapped. Poonam’s brother-in-law Moolchand is said to have saved the family.

The victims were rushed to the PGI and discharged after the first aid.

At least two labourers were injured when the glass from the first floor fell on them while they were sleeping on the ground floor. Their injuries were minor.

In another fire, smoke continued to emanate from the dumping ground in Dadu Majra throughout the day. It had started yesterday morning. Sources in the fire department said since the fire spread over a vast area in the dumping ground, it was difficult to extinguish it. Residents of the area are complaining of discomfort.



Project for watershed development in Ropar
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
The Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh, in collaboration with a Hyderabad-based firm would undertake a project for watershed development in Ropar. The pilot project aimed at recharging of ground water in over 2500 acres of land in the kandi area in the district would be funded by the Central government.

Giving details of the project the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr H.I.S. Grewal, said the district had been specifically chosen for the project following the remarkable success of the World Bank-assisted Integrated Watershed Development Project (IWDP) phase II in the district. Mr Grewal was talking to mediapersons during a visit to the township today.

The project proposal is likely to be put up before the Ministry of Rural Development Government of India before July 31 following which the project would be launched in the district on August 15, said Mr Grewal.

The project submitted by Speck Systems Limited, Hyderabad, to CRRID would be implemented on a turnkey basis in Ropar. According to Dr S.D. Tripathi, Gead, Natural Resources and Rural Development at Speck Systems Limited, the project would entail identification and assessment of watersheds, the geological and hydrological set up, water demand analysis, a study on the quality aspects of groundwater, site selections for the erection of harvesting/water recharge structure, structure design estimations, monitoring programme and web enabling of the study results and public hearing.

Stating that the company had implemented a similar project on 2500 hectares of land in Chattisgarh, Mr Tripathi added that the company had been granted permission to extend the project in another 7500 hectares in Chattisgarh.

“The project would not be overlapping the ongoing World Bank IWD Project since the CRRID project would undertake work in the areas that had not been covered by the World Bank project,” said Mr Grewal.



“Centralise” paid parking system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Residents of the city are a peeved lot at the increased number of paid parking in the city from today onwards. Besides the existing paid parking in Sectors 8, 9 and 17 the city started the system in Sectors 22, 34 and 35 from today onwards.

The biggest grievance is not over making payments for the parking but over absence of a centralised system to avail of different parking facilities in the city. There are four parking in Sector 17 alone and more than one in all other sectors. This means a customer, in case travelling around, pays the amount separately at all places.

Mr Surinder Singh, a store owner in Sector 35, said “the corporation should immediately respond to the grievance of the people by centralising the paid parking system. The corporation should start the facility of purchasing a common pass which can be used at all the parking lots in the city. The amount due to different parking lots should be handled by the corporation.”

Mr Ravinder Pal, a shopkeeper in Sector 22, said the contractors should be asked to sell tickets in bulk to different stores. Store owners could give tickets to the customers along with their purchases. This will save them a lot of inconvenience.

Mr Surinder Singh said “customer behaviour had changed these days. They were looking for comfort. In car parking customers first have to stand in queues waiting for their turn to make the payment for the parking slip often searching for change. The system will be improved in case of a common pass or allowing the shopkeepers to make the payments.



Water woes likely to persist till monsoon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Residents of the city are facing shortage of water supply in different parts of the city, particularly in the belt of the southern sectors. The problem is very pronounced on the second and third floor quarters.

It is officially accepted that residents staying on the second and the third floor are likely to face the problem till the onset of the monsoon. The city has a supply of 64 MGD of water against the requirement of about 110 MGD. The problem assumes greater proportion during the summer because of the increased consumption.

The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 45, said “ residents of Sector 45-C are facing acute shortage of water supply, particularly on the upper floors of the Chandigarh Housing Board houses. We have contacted the MC officials but to no avail”.

The Residents Welfare Society, Sector 45, in a separate press note has also highlighted the water problem. Residents of the PGI have demanded more water supply. Mr Amit Saini, a resident of Sector 29, said the water pressure had been low for the past several days.

Mr Gurjit Singh, a resident of Sector 38 (West), said the water problem could be solved in case the Phase IV of Kajauli Water Works was completed soon. He said the programme had already been hanging fire for a long time now.

The corporation official said that the city needed to immediately respond to the requirements of the future. Each year the water consumption was increasing substantially so the future planning should keep the expected growth rate of population in mind. Instead of looking for solutions, proper planning was needed.

He was of the opinion that Phase IV which would supply only about 14 MGD additional water will not be sufficient to meet the future needs.

With soaring temperature, the water supply in the villages has been deteriorating. Complaints of low water pressure has started pouring from Kajehri, Dhanas and Halo Majra villages. An official of the UT Public Health Department said erratic water supply was responsible for low water pressure in some of the villages.

Due to flat rate the water wastage is more in villages.



Sameer tops AIEEE in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Sameer Madan of Bhavan Vidyalaya topped the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) conducted by the CBSE in the city here today. He is placed eighth on the all-India merit lest.

Harmeet Singh of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, was placed second in the city while he is 13th in the all-India merit. Movin Jain of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School came third.

The results of the AIEEE examination were declared this evening. It was celebration time at the residences of the three toppers though they are away to appear for Olympiad tests in physics, chemistry and maths being held in Mumbai. Their first preference will be computers.

Sameer’s tutor, Sangeeta Khanna, said he had passed the National Olympiad in chemistry and would go to Spain for the International Olympiad. He scored 89 per cent in the CBSE Class XII examination. “The Class XII examination was not his aim. His only aim was to get a seat in a good engineering college,” she said.

While the family members of all three were enthused with the performance of the children, they are keeping their fingers crossed for the results of the IIT examination which is likely to be declared in a fortnight. However, the parents of the toppers, encouraged by the AIEEE results, are expecting their wards to secure a seat in the best IIT. All three of them appeared for the AIEEE and IIT examinations only.



Dry the lake, desilt in one go: panel member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Mr S.P. Malhotra, a member of the committee formed to give suggestions on de-silting of the Sukhna Lake, said there was no need to spend Rs 80 crore on wet dredging at the lake. He suggested that the entire lake should be dried up in one go and a massive de-silting operation be launched.

The entire process would not take more than three months and not cost more than Rs 3 crore, he added. He had retired as Engineer-in-Chief, Haryana.

He said the Rs 80-crore scheme for the desilting the Sukhna lake in five years without emptying it first was surprising. First, there was no need to prolong the work of desilting for five years as it could be finished in less than three months if carried out in an empty lake. Besides saving of time, it would save more than Rs 77 crore of public funds. The ideal time to start this massive desilting work was from April onwards. The lake would fill up again in June when the monsoon started. This would mean the lake would be empty only for three months whereas in case of wet dredging the process would carry on for five years and the machines would be stationed inside the lake.

As second part of the plan Mr Malhotra said desilting would treat only the symptoms and not the disease itself, therefore, such schemes would have to be repeated again and again which would make Sukhna a white elephant. This could be prevented by not allowing any silt to enter the lake in future.

To avoid this there was need to determine the quality of the unwanted silt in the lake which was interfering with its day-to-day functioning. After emptying the lake for a couple of months an embankment should be constructed with its top at 1165 elevation feet. The present embankment was 1163 elevation feet. The right abetment of the regulator with dry land at 1165 elevation feet. This would help divert the incoming water to the regulator.



Garbage being burnt in violation of court orders
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 1
In violation of the Apex Court’s orders, banning the burning of leaves and other waste, the sanitation contractors in the township have found an easy way of disposing the garbage by burning it.

Everyday, this indiscriminate burning of waste resulted in increased levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the air each morning. It was not only the dry leaves, but also the garbage, including, plastic and paper bags that could be seen on fire by the sanitation workers on almost all roads in the town.

Though most of the internal roads in the township were generally not cleaned by the sanitation staff, a visit to various parts of the township today revealed that the garbage on Sector 17- 18 dividing road, Sector 17- 16 dividing road, Sector 16- Industrial Area dividing road, and Sector 8- 9 dividing road, in Sector 4 and in Sector 6 had been gathered in small piles, and later set on fire.

The Municipal Council officials said that they had asked the sanitation contractor not to burn garbage and the contract terms specifies that fine would be imposed on the contractor, if he was caught burning garbage. “I will personally look into the matter and ensure that burning of waste is stopped,” said the Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Mr J.L. Batra.

Other than this, burning of dry leaves and vegetable and fruit stubble left behind at various sites for Apni Mandis, in different parts of the township everyday had even led to rise in the Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) levels in the air. This was not only damaging the air quality but also posing major health hazards. While particulates reduced visibility and got lodged in the lung tissues and respiratory tract, damaging the respiratory system carbon monoxide molecules could enter the bloodstream. There these prevented the delivery of oxygen in the body. High concentrations of carbon monoxide could be fatal.

Carbon dioxide, emitted during the course of burning of garbage, was an asphyxiating gas which, if inhaled, could be toxic in high concentrations, causing an increase in the breathing rate, unconsciousness, and even death. Even the Municipal Corporation Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000, the MC was also required to frame bylaws to check the hazardous practice.

The authorities had been on the look out for a suitable site for solid waste disposal. Till date, there is no systematic disposal or treatment of solid waste in the township. This was simply being dumped in vacant plots on the periphery or reportedly in the Singh Nullah, passing through various sectors in the township.

According to a survey conducted by the Municipal Council, 400 gm of solid waste was generated by a single person in a day. With a population of around 2.5 lakh, as much as 100 tonnes of solid waste was being generated in the township per day. 



Residents rue poor sanitation services
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 1
The sanitation services in the township have failed to show any improvement. Though the amount spent on sanitation services has increased, the workforce and the services have decreased.

The sanitation contract for the sectors falling within the Municipal limits of Panchkula has been awarded an astounding Rs 13.30 lakh per month. This is about Rs 1.50 lakh more than the tender allotted last year. “But the hike in the contract of Rs 9.50 lakh in just two years, has failed to get the desired response,” says Mr S.K. Nayar, president of the Citizen’s Welfare Association. There is more than what meets the eye, as such hike in contract every year cannot be granted, he said.

The services in the township have been divided into three zones and tenders for all these zones were allotted to different contractors. A fourth contractor has been hired for lifting garbage from various locations in all sectors. The MC had earlier floated the tenders by dividing the total area under two zones, but there were no takers. Hence, the area was divided into four zones — as during the previous year.

It may be noted that last year almost 417 sanitation workers were supposed to be hired for ensuring cleanliness. This year, the contract money has increased and the workforce has decreased by almost 100 persons. Ms Vibha Sharma, a resident of Sector 8, rues that the sanitation services have gone down over the past one year. “The park adjoining our house has been converted into a garbage dumping ground, but no one seems to be bothered,” she said.

Residents also complain that malba extracted from the side berms is also dumped along the roads, which also defaces the township. Mr Nayar has urged the administration to intervene and ensure that the township is cleaned and spruced up daily.



Just 15 and fending for his family
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh: Earning for the family is a priority with Ravi Kant Yadav. His young shoulders have been burdened with the arduous task of fending for his family at the tender age of 15 years.

His father, who works as a daily-wage earner when his health permits, is ailing with some sickness and his mother is not able to do physical work on account of failing health.

And despite this Ravi, a student of Government Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra Town, has scored 81 per cent in class X Central Board of Secondary School (CBSE) examination.

While he is passionate about his studies, Ravi gets up early to distribute newspapers in the morning and make money and spends his evenings as a salesboy in a shop.

“There is no source of income for my family. I just can’ let that be. All of us need food to live and with my baba not keeping good health, the onus lies on me.

I want to earn enough to provide meals for my family and that is my priority. In class XI I will opt for any course that can earn me a decent living in the future,” he says.

Son of a Bihari migrant and staying in a one-room tenement, Ravi scored 86 per cent in class VIII examination conducted by the UT Education Department and won a scholarship from the department.

The teachers vouch for his hardwork and say he has a desire to learn and succeed in whatever he undertakes. Remarks the Principal, Ms Kamla Bains, “The boy stands out in his class and we were expecting him to do well.

He works in the day, spends his evenings earning money and studies at night, cutting down his hours of sleep. He is the blue-eyed boy of the teachers who are forever ready to help him, be it books, uniform or any other need.”

An all-rounder, he won a prize in the youth parliament where he played the part of a prime minister. His model was also selected to represent the city in the science fair in Delhi. 



Funds given for development
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
Two cheques of Rs 35,000 each were given for the development works in schools of Kurdi and Gharuan villages by Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to Capt Amarinder Singh, to the school heads and village panchayats.

Mrs Garcha said the Punjab Government was trying its best for the development of this area since the area, being near Chandigarh, had always been ignored. She said plenty of funds had been allotted by the Punjab Chief Minister that was being dispersed to the villages. She said that cheques worth Rs. 20 lakh had been distributed to the villages of Mohali subdivision.

Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi, president, Block Congress Committee, Mohali, Sarpanch Kurdi, Mr Chhajja Singh, Sarpanch, Dharamgarh, Mr Raghvir Singh, Sarpanch, Jheurheri, Mr Prem Singh, Sarpanch, Gharuan, Mr Bhag Singh were also present.



Steps to check cattle menace
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 1
The Municipal Council yesterday awarded a contract for rounding up of stray animals. The contractor will be paid at the rate of Rs 70 per animal rounded up by him.

The stray animal population in the township had increased manifold ever since the previous contract was cancelled in July last year. Though the MC had even proposed to round up the stray cattle on its own, the proposal was later shelved.

Cattle menace here is responsible for many a road accidents, spreading of litter on the roads and also spoiling the aspect of the place. Dairy farming being an important avocation, stray cattle is found in abundance, especially in sectors adjacent to villages and slum and labour colonies.

It is estimated that there are about 240 dairy farms and over 1500 cattle heads, in the township, including Mansa Devi Complex and the 13 villages of this town. The MC officials concede that of the 1500 cattle heads, atleast 500 have been abandoned by the owners.

The new contractor will now keep these animals at the cattle pound in Old Panchkula for seven days so that the owners can deposit a fine and take away their animals. In case of failure to do so, these animals will be released outside the municipal limits of the city.



Conversion rate proposal “unpractical”
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 1
After the local industry welcomed the move by the Administration to allow conversion of trade in plots in the industrial area, the proposed conversion rate of Rs. 25,000 per sq. yard have come as a “shock.”

The president of Industries Association of Chandigarh, Mr Arvind K. Mehan, today said in a reaction that the new conversion rate would amount to an astronomical sum of Rs 5 crore for a 4-kanal plot.

He said this kind of thinking by the Administration reminds one of the era of the sixties when the tax rates were 95% and hardly anyone paid them. “The government could rake in much more funds if the conversion rate was limited to a maximum of Rs 1000 per sq. yd. with added benefits. For example, when trade would shift to a service-oriented industry, there would be lower power requirements, cleaner environment, higher value addition and higher level of skill deployment in the city.”

He strongly urged the Administration to take associations into confidence and not take a unilateral decision on conversion rates.



Villagers decry poor civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 1
The residents of Abheypur village have decried the poor civic amenities in the village and sought the help of the Deputy Commissioner for the improvement of the village.

The residents have alleged that while most of the roads in the village were repaired in December last year, some streets were left after the model code of conduct for the Vidhan Sabha elections came into force. “Since then, these roads have not been repaired and we are facing a lot of inconvenience,” says Mr Jagir Singh.

Residents have also alleged that the sewerage system in the village needed repair as the waste was not being disposed of properly and sewerage remained stagnated on roads. They have also demanded that streetlights should be repaired and a community centre be set up.



Bhattal inaugurates workshop
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, June 1
The Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today inaugurated the summer workshop for children and the table soccer sport at the Chandigarh Press Club here this morning.

More than 100 enthusiastic children had a feel of table soccer for which the table was donated to the Chandigarh Press Club by the Table Soccer Federation of India.

Ms Bhattal said such workshop during vacations developed overall personality of children. She said more indoor games could be organised in the club. Mr Balwinder Singh Johal, President of the Table Soccer Federation of India, said they would provide coach to train the youngsters during the workshop which will continue till June 15.



Sonia’s re-election welcomed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
Ms Lakhvinder Kaur Garcha, officer on special duty (OSD) to the Punjab Chief Minister and former general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) yesterday welcomed the re-election of Ms Sonia Gandhi as the president of the All India Congress Committee.

In a press release, she said this would lead to further strengthening of the party. She also welcomed Ms Gandhi’s plan of bringing new faces in the Youth Congress.

Ms Garcha further said the PPCC would work according to the directions given by Ms Gandhi and the party’s various polices and programmes would be taken to the grassroots.



Raising Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Army Educational Corps (AEC) celebrated its 58th Raising Day at Western Command Headquarters, Chandimandir, here today.

A social get-together was organised to mark the occasion, which was attended by senior officers posted at Chandimandir as well as serving and retired officers of the AEC.

In his message, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S Pattabhiraman appreciated the contribution of the corps in training and imparting education to the rank and file of the Army.

He also lauded the AEC’s association in imparting quality education to army personnel through various degree and certificate courses under the IGNOU Army Educational Project.



ESPL employees stage protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
Employees of the ESPL staged a protest outside the factory here today against the alleged illegal retrenchment of workers by the management of the factory.

The protest started on a call given by the ESPL Workers Union against the illegal lockout and retrenchment of 25 employees. The protesters said the management had deliberately retrenched employees. They said the move of the management was unjustified as the company was earning profits.

Union leaders said they would intensify their agitation and fight till the demands of the employees were accepted. 



Hardev elected SD Sabha chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
The following have been elected office-bearers of Shri Sanatan Dharm Sabha, Phase 9, Mohali: president — Mr Hardev Singh Rana; general secretary — Mr Sat Pal Sharma; and cashier — Mr Ram Kumar.



Readers Write
Examination blues at UBS

This letter is an effort to bring to light various flaws in the examination system of MBA course offered by the University Business School (UBS), Chandigarh. The flaws became apparent to all during the financial management paper of the second semester examination. The examination was completely in contrast to the earlier trend. The question paper had also got leaked. The pattern of the question paper earlier had been different from what appeared on April 16. Thus, when we got to know about the problems the night before the exam, we simply did not believe it. We held it as rumour and continued with the preparation. But to our dismay we found the same questions in the paper that we did not expect to come due to our faith in the system.

Also, the subject knowledge provided to us by our faculty concerned had been inadequate and completely out of line with the questions asked in the exam. None of the theory topics had been covered satisfactorily. We were completely on our own at the eleventh hour before the examination.

To top this, there was mass cheating during the examination and honest students faced the brunt. Around 10 of our hapless seniors, who were reappearing for the financial management examination, did not have a clue as to what was happening and performed miserably.

When we appealed to the UBS chairman the next day, requesting him for a re-examination, we were given a cold response. The chairman asserted that it was possible only if the paper was set from topics outside the syllabus.

Although our appeal for a re-exam still stands, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Thus we now have no choice but to highlight the issue through “The Tribune” as we want to keep the image of our institute (UBS) from being tarnished.

We are withholding our names for the fear of a backlash.

Second semester students (MBA), UBS PU, Chandigarh

Stray cattle

Just a few days ago a death was reported in Panchkula in an accident caused by stray cattle. Accidents due to stray cattle and dogs happen frequently, but only fatal ones are reported by newspapers.

Human lives are important, much more than politics of “squabble”, which is rampant not only in Municipal Corporation but in all public institutions. Do these politicians not have even a little concern or conscience for those who give them power to rule?

Harish Khanna, Panchkula

Cruelty to animals

This refers to the news item, “Calf gets MC blow before birth”, published in Chandigarh Tribune on May 14 that reported the death of a cow and another giving birth to a calf despite serious injuries in a hospital. Just as every human being has the right to exist, so do animals. It is inhumane to punish stray animals. Animals cannot be kept tethered for 24 hours. Is it not the duty of human beings to allow animals to move freely? If at all MC wants to impound animals, there are civilised ways of doing so. MC employees treat stray animals like garbage and dump them in vehicles in the most cruel manner. Higher authorities are equally responsible for this cruelty. I wish they get more sensitive to stray animals.

Anand Prakash, Panchkula

Old is gold

This is in reference to the news item in Chandigarh Tribune (May 17), “Merchant of old world charm”. It is a pleasure to read about Capt Satinder Sharma’s glorious endeavour of assembling and selling gramophones. Although gramophone records have been replaced by compact discs, there are so many music lovers preserving their collection of EP/LP records along with players with pride, adorning the corners of their living-rooms. Some of them are even keen to procure new record players. Apparently, changing technology has failed to drown the sound and charm of gramophone records.

Jagtar Singh, Mohali

Narrow bridge

The narrow bridge on the Bhakra canal, near Ganda Kheri village (Rajpura), on the busy Patiala-Chandigarh road has become a traffic hazard. This bridge, built a long time ago, has iron guard rails on its sides. Though the traffic has increased over the period, the width of the bridge has remained the same. An accident had taken place way back in 1982 in which a bus fell into the canal near Sirhind due to the narrow bridge and many people lost their lives. But a new bridge was constructed. One fails to understand how the PWD authorities have overlooked this serious subject. I request the PWD (Roads & Bridges) authorities to take notice of this hazard and construct another bridge over the canal or widen the existing bridge.

Jaswinder Mohan, Patiala

Railings missing

A Sumo packed to its capacity rammed into railings on a median on the road separating Sectors 52 and 53 around two months back. The damaged railings were removed by the authorities or stolen by bad elements, the next very day. People living in the vicinity further made a passage for scooterists/pedestrians to cross over to the other side. This has made it an accident-prone area, as the flow of traffic to and fro from Chandigarh/Mohali has increased. The authorities have not paid attention to the repair of the damaged railings. Will the authorities do the needful before a mishap takes place?

V.M. Wadhwa, Mohali

Unlawful ministers

It happened for the first time in the history of Independent India that a Finance Minister of a state encouraged his colleagues to travel without a ticket. Jagjit Singh, a senior minister in Capt Amarinder Singh’s Cabinet, was caught while travelling without a valid ticket on the New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express a few days ago. He had to pay a penalty in addition to the fare for illegally travelling in the train as attendant of another Punjab Minister, Surinder Singla. If a senior minister can take to trickery for just Rs 880, how can one hope of his doing justice to the office holds. How can the finances of a state be safe in the hands of a minister who allegedly encourages his senior colleagues to travel without a ticket. These two ministers should not only be removed from the office but the Election Commission of India should bar them from contesting election in future.

Dr Naresh Khan, Patiala

Bumpy ride

There is no denying the fact that a lot of effort has been put in by the Patiala administration to spruce up the town by widening roads, constructing flyover and beautifying garden. But no attention has been paid to the road leading from Sanouri Adda to Kumar Sabha school. This road is full of potholes and is at many places broken. People prefer this road to go to the bus stand or railway station and avoid the crowded bazar. But the condition of the road causes a lot of inconvenience to the people. The authorities concerned should get this road repaired at the earliest.

J.S. Thind, Patiala



Hotel owner dies in road accident
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 1
Owner of a Pinjore-based Hotel Batra died when the car he was driving had a head-on collision with a truck on the busy Kalka-Ambala highway near Saket Hospital in Chandimandir here this morning.

The hotelier, Mr Sunil Kumar Batra (42) was on his way to Pinjore from his residence in Sector 17, Panchkula, when his Maruti car (CHF-3699) collided head-on with the truck (PB-11Q-7198) approaching from the opposite direction.

Motorists and the passersby assembled at the spot and extricated the injured by breaking open the mutilated car. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6. The doctors referred him to the PGI in Chandigarh after his health deteriorated and the later died.

His body was handed over to the family after post-mortem examination this evening.

The police has impounded the vehicles involved in the accident and started investigating the case.



Man held for duping 2 banks
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 1
The police today arrested a man, wanted in two cases of cheating for duping two banks. He was arrested from Hallo Majra village here. He used to submit forged high salary pay slips to raise loans from banks. He had duped two banks like this to the tune of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 45,000, respectively.

According to the police, Sohan Bir, a resident of Bhagpat district in Uttar Pradesh was arrested after he remained at large for one year. He was booked in a cheating case for duping HDFC Bank by submitting forged high salary pay slips in connivance with an agent of Kumar property dealers. A case was registered in this regard in 2004.

In another case, Sohan Bir, in connivance with another accused, Sunil Sethi, adopted the same method and duped Punjab National Bank of Rs 45,000. A case of cheating was registered in this regard in 2003.



Man caught breaking locks of garage
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 1
Kuldeep Singh of Sector 3, Panchkula, was caught breaking locks of the garage in a house in Modern Housing Complex in Mani Majra yesterday.

A resident of the house, Mr B. K. Sood, handed him over to the police. A case has been registered.

Contractor held

The local police has booked the contractor of a Sector 17 parking lot, Amrinder Singh, and his employee after a car was stolen from his parking lot during daytime yesterday.

Mr Jatinder Sharma, resident of Sector 44, complained to the police that he had parked his Hyundai Accent car (CH-23-T-9393) in a parking lot near BSNL office.

Mr Sharma claimed that an employee of the parking lot had also issued him a token for the same. When he (Mr Sharma) came back after sometime, he found his car missing. A case has been registered.

House burgled

Mr Parshotam Dass of Sector 44 lodged a complaint with the police that Rs 8,000 were stolen from his residence on yesterday. He reported to the police that the thieves entered his house by breaking open the locks.



Undertrial escapes
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 1
An undertrial reportedly ran away from the custody of a Head Constable of Himachal Police from ISBT Sector 17. The matter came to light when the local police registered a case yesterday.

According to the police, Head Constable Bhupinder Pal Singh of Police lines, Nahan, Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh reported to the police that accused Ashwani Kumar of Sudan village in Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh ran away from police custody on May 24 from ISBT Sector 17.

Bhupinder Pal told the police that they were on their way back from Kullu, where they had taken the accused in connection with a case on May 23, when the accused made an escape.



Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 1
A 30-year-old married woman today allegedly ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan with a dupatta at her Sector 38-West residence. The reason behind the death is still not known, a police officer said.

Kirti, alias Manju, wife of an advocate Ajay Kohli, was found hanging at her residence this evening. Kirti leaves behind a five-year-old daughter. The police, while ruling out any foul play during the preliminary investigation, said that domestic problem could possibly be the reason behind the extreme step taken by the deceased.

On the basis of a statement given by the father of the deceased, Mr Jagannath, the police has arrested Ajay Kohli and his mother, Swarn Lata under Section 306 IPC.



Spurious soft drinks’ unit seized
Our Correspondent

Lalru, June 1
The police today raided a house in Lalru Mandi and found a spurious soft drinks manufacturing unit allegedly being operated by a local shopkeeper for the past couple of months.

Acting on the complaint of Mr Abhi Shekhar Chandra, Customer Relation Executive Officer of the original soft-drink company, a police team led by ASI Amrik Singh, raided the house and nabbed Mohan Lal, besides seizing bottling equipment, empty bottles, lids and some other items used in manufacturing process.

The police has also seized 36 crates of bottles of different brands of soft drinks and three cylinders of carbon dioxide.



Doc’s house burgled
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
Thieves decamped with gold jewellery and other items from the house of a doctor working in the PGI, Chandigarh, in Phase IIIA here.

According to the police, the family of the doctor had gone out of station when the theft took place. The crime came to the notice of a neighbour, who informed a police patrolling party.

The doctor, Mr Anil Grover, came back to the town today and told the police that two gold sets, some medals and a few important documents were stolen.

The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.



One killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 1
An old man was killed and eight persons were injured when a bus and a tractor-trailer collided at the Kumbra chowk here late last night.

According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Karam Singh (70), resident of Makhanmajra village. Five of the injured persons were taken to GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, while the other three to General Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh.

Persons travelling on the tractor-trailer were, coming from the Sohana village side after attending a samagam at Sukhgarh village and the bus was coming from the Phase VIII bus stand side when the accident took place.

The driver of the bus, bearing registration number of Himachal Pradesh, fled.


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