C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bedlam at MC House meeting
BJP-SAD walkout over hike in sewage cess
Tribune News Service

  • Sewage cess in commercial areas hiked to Rs 30 per seat per month.

  • Laying of additional storm water drain on V3 road from sector 2 to 11.
  • Granting of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to Technology park.

Chandigarh, June 27
Bedlam prevailed at the Municipal Corporation House meeting, here today, as councillors traded charges and levelled allegations of vested interest in projects against each other. It proved to be a divided House as marshalls were called in to restore some semblance of discipline even as the BJP-SAD councillors staged a walkout over the proposed hike in sewage cess.

Amidst the ruckus, the House approved an increase in sewage cess in commercial areas from Rs 10 to Rs 30 per seat per month, laying of an additional stormwater drain and adoption of Special Economic Zone status to the Chandigarh technology park among others.

The meeting started on a sour note when nominated councillor PC Sanghi pointed out that his views on participation of Congress councillor, Mr Surinder Singh, at the House meeting of February 6 found no mention in the minutes circulated subsequently.

Mr Sanghi, at that meeting, had pointed out that since Mr Surinder Singh was accused of having “vested interest” in a housing project in Mani Majra, he should not have participated in deliberations on the issue.

Taking exception to this accusation levelled against him, Mr Surinder Singh, sought an unconditional apology from Mr Sanghi in the House for levelling charges against him without actually verifying the facts in the case.

While he was supported by all Congress councillors in this demand, the Bharatiya Janta Party-Shiromani Akali Dal (BJP-SAD) councillors backed Mr Sanghi who clarified that he had not made any allegations against Mr Surinder Singh but had only brought the matter to the notice of the House after it was highlighted in a newspaper report.

Peeved at this stand of Mr Sanghi and with an apology that was not forthcoming, Mr Surinder Singh stated that during his term as Chief Engineer in Haryana, Mr Sanghi, too, was charge-sheeted though he didn’t want to go into the reasons for the same.

Mr Sanghi, then, reacted by demanding an unconditional apology from the Congress councillor. After a good two-hour debate between the two, the House decided that both of them should withdraw their respective statements and that all objectionable remarks be expunged from the minutes of the meeting to which they agreed.

Finally, things got moving and the House took up the matter of levying a hiked sewage cess in commercial and residential areas of the city. While they decided to exempt the residential areas from the hike, the sewage cess in commercial areas was hiked from the proposed Rs 20 to Rs 30 against the earlier charges of Rs 10. The Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) of the MC had, earlier this month, recommended a cess of Rs 20 per month for sewage.

Opposing this, the BJP-SAD councillors protested against the hike in sewage cess. When BJP councillor Kamla Sharma tried to lodge her dissent in the matter, former Mayor Subhash Chawla defended the hike, interrupting her in the process on a number of occasions.

Maintaining that it was an “Emergency-like situation” imposed by the Congress government in 1975 where all voices of dissent were crushed and leaders going against the Congress jailed, Ms Sharma maintained that, being in the minority in the House, they too, were not being allowed to express their views on any subject.

This caused an uproar from the Congress councillors who demanded that the SAD-BJP councillors be sent out of the House for their remarks. The situation got uglier as the two groups of councillors spoke in loud voices, leading to complete chaos. The marshalls were called in but the BJP-SAD councillors chose to stage a walkout.

Later, the House approved the laying of an additional stormwater drain at a cost of Rs 50 lakh from Sector 2 to Sector 11 on the V 3 road. Some councillors alleged that the storm water drain was being laid to “please” Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. However, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr PS Aujla, explained to the House that after last year’s monsoon, the MC had conducted a survey and found that an additional drain was required.

The Municipal Corporation also agreed to adopt the notification of the UT Administration conferring Special Economic Zone status to the Chandigarh Technology Park. This would exempt the companies coming to the Technology park from local taxes. A total of 14 items were passed by the House at today’s meeting.



Bansal-Bahl relations touch a new low
Babla issue carves rift in CTCC
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Internecine conflict within the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) has had a spurt with the supporters of its president, Mr B.B Bahl trying to oppose the move of Chandigarh M.P. Mr Pawan Bansal, to get some ‘expelled’ members re-inducted into the party.

The Bahl faction has reacted strongly to the letter by Mr Bansal to the Pradesh Returning Officer for Chandigarh rather than the party president for the re-induction/regularisation of membership of Davinder Singh Babla and others.

While, Mr Bansal claims that the ‘expelled’ persons are already in the party fold, Mr Bahl’s supporters describe the move as ‘circumventing the party constitution to get Mr Babla and others back into the party”. Claims and counter claims over the issue have brought all Congress activity in the city virtually to a halt.

In a letter to the Chairman, Central Election Authority, All-India Congress Committee (AICC), Mr Bahl has quoted Clause 8 of discipline rules saying that Mr Babla and others had been expelled for a period of six years and they had never challenged this decision. Now only the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi has the discretion to waive off this six-year period of suspension.

Mr Bansal, on the other hand, wrote to Mr Raj Bhadur Singh, Pradesh Returning Officer, in a letter dated March 10 saying that he has been compelled to write the letter “because of persistent statements of B.B. Bahl asserting that Davinder Singh Babla, a former member of the CTCC was not even a primary member of the party, I am sorry to point out that these statements of his are based entirely on personal grounds, tending to treat the Congress as a personal fiefdom, totally oblivious of the circumstances in which he was himself made President five years back”.

Giving out circumstances under which Mr Babla and others “had been got inducted into the party” with permission from the party High Command, Mr Bansal had sought that the names of Mr Babla and some others should be included in the membership list.

The supporters of Mr Bahl have reacted very strongly to the move and more so to the letter written by Mr Bansal mentioning that Mr Bansal was himself present in both the meetings in which Mr Babla and former Aviation Minister, Mr Harmohan Dhawan were expelled from the primary membership of the party in April and July 2001.

They say that after being expelled from the Congress, Mr Babla joined the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, a party floated by Mr Dhawan. Mr Babla was appointed its president. According to some local Congress leaders, Mr Babla and his men allegedly used “abusive language’’ against the party President, Ms Sonia Gandhi. They also publicly hurled party flags at the senior All-India Congress Committee leader Moti Lal Vora, at the Congress Bhawan here in the presence of Mr Bansal.

Congressmen have circulated Mr Bansal’s letter among the local leaders driving them mad as Mr Bansal has accused Mr Bahl of “sabotaging the elections” while heaping praise on Mr Babla. With vertical polarisation within the Congress, the matter is now before the party High Command to resolve as neither side seems to be in a reconciliatory mood.



Female foetus falls off garbage carrier
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
Early morning commuters were caught by surprise as a four-month-old foetus of a female fell off a garbage carrier on the road dividing Sector 55-56. The incident only confirmed the fact that illegal abortions were being carried out in the city in a clandestine manner after getting sex identification test conducted.

Giving details of the incident the sources in the police said Shiv Chandra, a road side cigarette vendor, and Ashok Kumar, a teashop owner, were the first who noticed polythene bag that fell from a municipal corporation’s garbage truck. They went to check it and were shocked after they found a foetus in the bag. They immediately informed the police about the incident and a police team from a Palsora police post came there within minutes and recovered the body. A small traffic jam was witnessed at the spot as the curious onlookers stopped there, which the police later dispersed.

Police sources further added that the foetus was sent to the General Hospital in Sector 16, where a postmortem was performed today. A case of concealment of birth under section 318 IPC has been registered against the unidentified person in this regard.

The in-charge of Palsora police post, Sub-Inspector Poonam Dilawari, said the police has questioned mid-wives of nearby colonies to inquire about the abortion being performed there. However, they failed to get substantial information in this regard.



Passing Thru

Jaspinder Narula
Ms Jaspinder Narula, Mumbai based playback singer.

How do you rate the aesthetic potential of aspirants from the region?

Not very encouraging. Lack of learning music and dedication to ‘riyaz’ is fairy apparent. Besides good melodious voice and sense of rhythm literary knowledge is very necessary. The singer must feel the emotional content of the lyrics and modulate his voice accordingly to do justice to the compositions.

Do you favour the ‘remix trend’ and distortion of Punjabi folklore to pop music?

After having experimented with remix process I have observed that there is nothing like originality and ‘remix’ music results remind of the old adage ‘kauva chalaa hans ki…’. Regarding Punjabi pop the fault lies more with its ‘lyrics’ and the nudity projected on videos is designed to promote the singers seeking instant stardom.

Trained in light and classical music and being daughter of a noted music director why the celebrity status in Bollywood has eluded you for so long?

‘Sehaj pake so meetha ho…’ or say, everything has its own time. With the blessings of Almighty I had proved my credentials of being a versatile artist with hit musical renditions in many films like “Pyar to Hona hi Tha”, “Pinjar”, “Virasat” and now “Bunty and Bubbly” besides scores of sufiana, bhajans, Gurbani, Punjabi and ghazal albums.

S.D. Sharma



Chandigarh Calling

It never rains, it pours. So it did pour in the early hours of Sunday morning bringing much relief to the city that had seen a long and tormenting heat wave. A friend who had spent several uncomfortable nights heaved a sigh of relief and woke up his elder sister, who was visiting the city from abroad, for a drive to Sukhna Lake. There to her amazement she found many families walking and skipping in the heavy downpour. So the brother-sister duo joined the fun. And thus the rain was celebrated early morning in a rain dance of sorts.

Jalebi time

No sweet in the world can beat our very own jalebi in its look, taste and art. In fact there is quite a lot of jalebi lore that can be found. One recalls a moral rearmament singer regaling the audiences in the eighties singing: ‘O’ jalebi, she’s my baby…’ And Punjabi folk has a boli rejoicing this delicacy_ ‘Tuttpaine ne jalebi maari, Akh vich tel pai gaya.’ So a jalebi wala pouring batter in a cauldron full of oil with a twist to give it shape on Sunday afternoon said, “Come rain and the demand for hot jalebis has increased. Otherwise we had stopped making them the past few days.”

Whale of a time

Braving the scorching Chandigarh sun, heat-drenched campaigners from Green Peace, an international NGO, launched a virtual march in Sector 17 to gather support to save the whales of the world to ensure a strong representation at the International Whaling Commission meeting held on June 20, in Ulsan, South Korea. Green Peace hoped to motivate the residents of the city to join thousands of others from around the globe to save the biggest mammals from extinction; However, the NGO’s spirits must have sagged when one curious visitor who was convinced to sign his name in support of the cause did so willingly only to ask one simple question while leaving the kiosk, “What exactly does a whale look like?”

Potty over Potter

The Harry Potter mania is overwhelming families out for the monthly book- shopping spree and bookshops are not about to be left out of the melee. With July 16, the launch date of the latest in the saga, ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ looming larger than life, children are getting wily in extracting promises from hapless mothers in ensuring the book lands in their lap on the due date itself. A little boy was seen arguing with his mother at a local bookstore in the city, demanding that the Rs 750 book be ‘booked’ in advance. The mother refused, appalled at the price! Not to be outdone, the child insisted on completing the collection, The harried mother agreed, believing she had won the round. The set of five prior books came at a whopping Rs 1,100 with the rueful mother holding her head in shock!

All for Miss India

Miss India World Sindhura Gadde’s visit to the National Institute of Fashion Design, Sector 8, created quite a flutter among the male students of the Institute. Eager to brush shoulders with the celebrity in the making, the boys were to be seen in the best of outfits and hair well jelled. Of course they had to wait many an hour because the Mumbai to Chandigarh flight was delayed as the flying machine had developed a snag that resulted in smoke in the cabin. But all was well that ended well and the boys got a chance to present her a gigantic good-luck card for the big event to be held in China later this year where she will battle with 127 contestants for the coveted title.

Goodie good

Ready to dip your spoon into a delicious peach pudding or chomp on a freshly baked whole wheat bread, then head for Zesty Bites, a new bakery that opened its doors earlier in the month in Sector 35 and hopes to entice ‘goodie lovers’ with delights. For local MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, who inaugurated the bakery, sugar, is anathema for health reasons. However, his pleasure was clearly apparent when he realised that the delicious creamy Kiwi cake, prepared for the occasion was baked keeping his ‘affliction’ in mind! Certainly this burgeoning club of puddings and pies augurs well for the city and one that specialises in some awesome sugar free goodies is certainly reason enough to rejoice. Let the sugar free and sweet times roll!

Dil da mamala

While climbing a staircase in shopping complex in Sector 35, one came across a heart painted on the wall. This heart did not have the fatal arrow that is so much a part of the graffiti culture. Instead it encased the enemies of the heart. Pray who are they? Listed there were the five prime enemies - laziness, alcohol, tobacco, hypertension and fats. This also is Dil da mamala although a little different from what Gurdas Maan had sung.

Vastu Vastra

Much ado has been made about architectural and interior design as per Vastu Shastra but very few know about Vastu Vastra. This is because garment makers probably don’t have much to gain from it as builders do. But different colours on different days of the week are recommended to turn the head of lady luck or lad luck as the case may be. The colour for Mondays is pure white, flaming orange for Tuesdays, beautiful blues for Wednesday, sunny yellow for Thursday, lush green for Friday and radiant red on the Sabbath!


Written on the rear screen of a car: No use honking…I am too busy sleeping!

— Sentinel



Zila parishad poll observers appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The State Election Commission, Chandigarh, today appointed the election observers and expenditure observers for the smooth conduct of Zila Parishad poll to be held on July 3.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, MD, CITCO, has been appointed as election observer, and Mr Satish Joshi, Finance and Planning Officer, as expenditure observer for Kaimbwala and Khuda Alisher; Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora and Sarangpur; Dhanas and Dadu Majra, and, Maloya.

Mr P S Aujla, Commissioner, municipal corporation, is the election observer for Palsora, Kajheri and Hallo Majra, while Mr R.S. Kang, Additional Examiner, MC, is the Expenditure Observer.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R K Rao, has been appointed as Election Observer and Mr Kanwaljit Singh,D.C. (F&A), Chief Accounts Officer, MC, as expenditure observer for Bahlana and Raipur Khurd; Raipur Kalan and Daira; Mauli Jagran and Kishangarh .

An official press note said that the expenditure observers had been authorised by the State Election Commission to check the accounts maintained by each contesting candidate. For the purpose, they can call any candidate to show accounts and to also check if the expenditure is being incurred by a candidate in excess of the maximum limit fixed by the Commission (Rs 15000 for each candidate). The observers will check violation of any direction issued to contesting candidates and report such cases immediately to the State Election Commission.

There are 10 constituencies in zila parishad and election will be held in nine constituencies. No election will be held in Ward No. 2 constituency (Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora and Sarangpur) as only one candidate remains in the election fray.



PUDA demolishes gurdwara, temple
SGPC member, others cry foul
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 27
An SGPC member, Mr Hardeep Singh, today demanded the immediate suspension of the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) and the Estate Officer (EO) of PUDA for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the people.

PUDA today demolished a gurdwara, a temple and a church located in the Guru Nanak Colony in Phase X. The demolition drive was started by the PUDA authorities on Saturday. The entire area has now been cleared of encroachments.

Mr Hardeep Singh, member, SGPC, at a press conference organised at Gurdwara Amb Sahib here today alleged that the EO of PUDA, Mr Dilraj Singh, had slapped a granthi of the gurdwara in Guru Nanak Colony and forced him to perform “ardas” even when an “akhand path” was going on in the gurdwara.

Mr Hardeep Singh further alleged that four “Birs” were taken to an undisclosed place. We were assured that the “Birs” would be taken to Gurdwara Amb Sahib but these were not sent here. He further alleged that the police in civil dress took charge of the gurdwara and asked all others to leave the place.

Many other religious leaders demanded an independent inquiry to find out the reason behind the demolition of the colony. They wanted to know whether the drive had been carried out in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court or for some other reason.

Mr Hardeep Singh said PUDA had not issued notices before carrying out the demolitions. Nor any meeting was fixed up with the managements of the religious bodies to find an amicable solution.

He alleged that PUDA do not want any place of worship in the town. Notices were issued to 36 religious places, including the ones in the Guru Nanak Colony. “We wanted to know the stand of PUDA in the case of remaining 33 places and how many gurdwaras were considered legal by PUDA. There was no place of worship in Sectors 66 to 69 and a demand to allot sites in the regard was made about five years ago but PUDA had not taken any action in the matter.

Mr Hardeep Singh alleged that PUDA had demolished the colony to benefit local Congress leaders. The land would be allotted not to residents of the town but to politically-influential persons for opening up a hotel or a shopping mall in the area, he said. He alleged that Congress leaders were hand-in-glove with the PUDA authorities.

The SGPC member demanded that the result of the Assembly elections should be cancelled as the local MLA, Mr Bir Deveinder Singh, had “won the elections” by getting votes from residents of the illegal colony.

Mr Dilraj Singh, EO, could not be contacted for comments despite many efforts. The ACA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, however, said all allegations levelled by the SGPC member were baseless. No official had slapped the granthi of the gurdwara and no one was compelled to perform “ardas”, he said the police personnel had not entered the gurdwara in the colony. The “Birs” were carried to Gurdwara Ravidass in Phase VII with due respect, he clarified.

He said there were strict instructions from the Supreme Court that no places of worship should be allowed to encroach the government land.

He further said Sectors 66 to 69 were not fully inhabited. He said sites for places of worship would be allowed in these sectors as per the policy laid down in this regard and the planning of the area.

Among those accompanying Mr Hardeep Singh were Mr Arjan Singh Shergill, general secretary of the Phase III B-I gurdwara, Mr Harminder Singh Dhillon, convener of the Phase VII gurdwara and Ms Paramjit Kaur, a municipal councillor.



Encroachments in Kharag Mangoli, Old Panchkula to be removed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
Thousands of illegal structures on Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) land in Kharag Mangoli and Old Panchkula will be demolished soon.
A team of HUDA officials today conducted a survey of the area, and found that other than 800 structures, including 20 odd shops, thousands of tenements and commercial establishments had come up on the HUDA land. HUDA proposes to get this land vacated and set up Sector 1- A here, including a Transport Nagar.

These illegal structures are spread over Kharag Mangoli village and the market in Old Panchkula, along the Zirakpur-Shimla National Highway. The market at Old Panchkula is almost 30 years old. Mr O.P. Katyal, president of the Motor Market Association, has demanded that HUDA should allot them alternate site for setting up the Motor Market, at a reserve price.

The illegal structures in Kharag Mangoli have come up recently, as residents of the village are allegedly selling off government land to labourers to construct jhuggis. Villagers staying near the phirni (outer ring road of the village), are allegedly selling off land for the construction of new jhuggis on the acquired land. Depending on the size of land that a person wants to occupy, he is ‘sold off ‘ the land for anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. Most of these encroachers have also set up kundi connections for uninterrupted power supply.

The local Municipal Councilllor, Ms Kasturi Devi, has raised this issue of illegal encroachments on several occasions, and urged the government to stop the spread of encroachments here.



DC’s permission to MC on streetlights
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
The Ropar Deputy Commissioner has given permission to the local Municipal Council to give the work of the maintenance of independent streetlights points on contract.
The directions in this regard were forwarded to the municipal engineer, Mr Tarsem Singh Rai, on the telephone by a staff member from the office of the Deputy Commissioner. The civic body would now give a work order in the next few days.

It is learnt that nearly 2000 streetlight points on the sector dividing roads were not being maintained by any agency for the past about three months as the term of the previous contractors had expired on March 31. The council was receiving a number of complaints that the streetlights were not functioning and there was darkness in many areas of the town.

The council could not make a fresh allotment for the work of maintenance of streetlights as the then Deputy Commissioner had put a stay on the resolution cleared by the general house in this regard at a meeting held on January 25.

In a letter to the Executive Officer of the council sent on April 19, the Deputy Commissioner had asked the civic body to provide information about the expenditure incurred on the work in the previous years. The reply to the letter was sent on May 9 in which it was stated that the cost of the work of maintaining independent streetlight points was about Rs 10 lakh and the contract for the work was given to private parties on February 12 last year. The work was allotted for a period ending March 21 this year.

Another letter was sent by the council on May 16 requesting the Deputy Commissioner to vacate the stay order as many areas of the town were plunged into darkness leading to accidents.



Lax patrolling behind rise in late-night mishaps
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Yet another late night accident, a car and a multi-utility vehicle collided head on the road separating Sectors 18 and 21.

Shattered pieces of glass were strewn over the road and blood was oozing out of the nostrils of one of drivers. No one fortunately sustained serious injuries. Chandigarh police officials, who rushed to the spot, said the absence of streetlights could have contributed to the mishap.

A file photo of a scooter crushed under a truck in Chandigarh after a late night accident
A file photo of a scooter crushed under a truck in Chandigarh after a late night accident.

Chandigarh, June 27
Even though a substantial number of road mishaps take place late in the evenings, the Chandigarh Police has done precious little to post enough men to control the traffic in the city after 8 pm.

Though data is not readily available with the authorities concerned in the headquarters here, sources in the local police claim that 186 road accidents had been reported till April 2005 this year. A majority of them had taken place much after the sun set.

Giving details, the sources add that four accidents, including three fatal, had been reported to the police during the past 96 hours. All of them had occurred late in the evening.

Regarding the reasons behind the late-evening mishaps, the sources assert that the non-deployment of adequate traffic cops at the intersections, and their failure to check violations, is doubtlessly encouraging the motorists to break the rules with impunity. Otherwise also, a majority of traffic lights all over the city are switched off between 10 pm and 11 pm.

Elaborating on their contention, the sources assert that many motorists do not think twice before getting on the road after having “one more for the road”, in the absence of policemen, thus causing almost all late night accidents.

The sources assert that a large number of two-wheeler riders also tend to avoid wearing safety helmets knowing that traffic policemen holding challan books will not be present to impose fine.

They add that the result of this is fatal specially at the unmanned intersections because the accidents invariably take place at an angle of 90 degrees. The impact is the maximum at that angle, sources maintain.

Refuting the claims of senior police officers regarding conducting late night checks on a regular basis, the sources say such drives almost all the time are launched on the weekends, especially on Saturdays.

Even the residents are aware of the trend and tend to be more cautious on these days. As far as the control room vehicles, stationed near the crossings, are concerned, the residents are least bothered.

The sources add that the Chandigarh Police personnel usually do not carry out balloon tests to detect the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood with the same vigour and zeal.

A senior Chandigarh Police officer says that they can hardly be blamed for the problem. “We are facing acute shortage of staff. Most of the men are off duty by 8 pm”.

He adds: “A proposal for increasing the police force is still pending with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.... Basically, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has recommended the sanction of 870 additional posts for the police stations, besides 143 posts for the traffic police, along with separate manpower for special units, including the economics offences wing. The bureau has also recommended the strengthening of police control room with the replacement of old vehicles. Yet, we have heard nothing from the authorities concerned”. 



Tired of MC promises, residents clear congress grass themselves
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 27
Residents of Phase X here have taken upon themselves to free their neighbourhood of congress grass. Following repeated but futile attempts to the municipal authorities to do the job, the residents today collected and removed congress grass from vacant spaces near their houses.

According to Mr Kulwant Singh Dhillon, founder president of the Residents Welfare Association, members of the association had been for the past four years working towards improving the quality of life of the residents of the area. “We are all retired and serving professionals and businessmen and have generally taken upon ourselves many tasks. We have been requesting the authorities to remove congress grass in the area but we did not get any response other than empty promises. Finally we decided that all able bodied men who are members of the association should launch a drive and remove the congress grass. Today we removed congress grass and wild growth along the berms, roadsides, vacant plots and particularly in the parks in shopping areas,” said Mr Dhillon.

Listing the various problems faced by the residents Mr Dhillon added that their area does not have a community centre or civil dispensary and the residents have to go to near by phases for these facilities. “We do not have a meeting place. We have been demanding from PUDA that gazebo, footpaths and garden lights should be provided in one of the bigger parks here. We have also requested the council to tackle the problem of stray cattle and dogs but it has failed to do so far,” said Mr Dhillon. 



Punjab lags behind Haryana on IT front
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Harjinder Singh Chandigarh, June 27
“ We are not focusing on the right areas to develop Information Technology IT industry in this region”, asserts Mr Harjinder Singh, Member of the Working Committee of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council. The council is an autonomous body that works directly under the Ministry of Communications and the IT.

To promote the small and medium enterprises( SMEs) will in the interest of the states concerned as it will create better avenues of employment for qualified youth. Of course, State Governments concerned should try hard to make big IT companies set their shop in this region but it should not be at the cost of the SMEs.

Compared to other states Punjab is for behind in the export of electronics and computer software and services is concerned. Export of electronics hardware and computer software and services from Punjab was worth Rs 190.75 crore in 2003-04, according to the council. Now it will be in the range of Rs 350 crore. And compare it with Haryana, the exports from which of these goods were worth Rs 5143 crore in 2003-04. This figure must have doubled by now.

Even West Bengal, the land of comrades, is doing well on this front. Its exports in 2003-04 were worth Rs 1705 crore, and Karnataka’s worth Rs 21,398 crore, Tamil Nadu’s Rs 8255 crore, Andhra Pradesh’s Rs 5695 crore, Delhi’s Rs 5469 crore, Maharashtra’s Rs 12107 crore and Uttar Pradesh’s Rs 4246 crore. Punjab was, perhaps, the only states of which electronic hardware export decreased from Rs 4.65 crore in 2002-02 to Rs 0.75 crore in 2003-04.

It was also ironic that bureaucrats were ready to attend conferences, seminars and meeting regarding IT industry abroad , but they were rarely seen on such occasions in India. He said that no officer of Punjab and from other states of this region was seen at” India Soft-2005” held in Chennai. As many as 155 eminent delegates from various countries had come to attend that exhibition.

Mr Harjinder Singh has urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to approach the Union Government to host the India Soft 2007 in Punjab.

He says that the Central Government has some good schemes to promote SMEs in the IT sector. The State Governments concerned should play the role of facilitator to help qualified youths to set up such enterprises. Loans worth Rs 25 lakh were given on easy terms and conditions, he added. Besides, those units which opt to handle work in Japanese and German languages are entitled to get Rs 25,000 per employee as financial help from the Central Government. Money is shared on 50:50 basis by owner and employees of the unit.

Mr Harjinder Singh says that if India was to achieve its ambition of a US$50 billion exports in software and services and US $10 billion in electronics hardware by year 2008, the ability to be constantly in step with the changing dynamics of different markets will have to be put on in over drive. The council is helping exporters to compete globally and to maintain their supremacy in the IT and electronics sector.



Written test drives licence-seekers away from traffic park
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, June 27
Incredible, but true. In Chandigarh, you have to take a written test in order to get driving licences issued from one place. But you can walk away with it without even answering a single question from another place.

Taking advantage of the discrepancy in the system, a large number of residents are getting the licences without going through the “hassle” of clearing the test.

The Chandigarh Traffic Police is taking a written test of the candidates applying for a driving licence in the Children Traffic Park (CTP) in Sector 23. On the other hand, the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) of the Chandigarh Administration is giving away the licences by only taking a driving test in Sector 17.

This practice is taking its toll on CTP as those avoiding a written test prefer to go to the MVI in Sector 17. After the introduction of a written test on April 20 this year the number of candidates seeking licences at CTP has been approximately reduced to 60 per cent. The Chandigarh Traffic Police has made it a pre-condition to clear a written test before going in for a driving test. The CTP is fully equipped with infrastructure of testing the driving skills as well as the knowledge of traffic rules of the applicants, but reduction in the number of candidates has had an adverse effect on this. The double standards of the Administration are taking its toll and interestingly, no senior officer of the UT Administration has taken notice of this practice so far.

Before the introduction of a written test, on the days of driving tests (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) on an average 70 to 80 candidates came to the CTP to take driving licence tests. Now-a-days, this number is fast decreasing. Today only 20 candidates came to take a test, out of which only nine had cleared the test. Several candidates, when come to know about the practice of a written test, “slip away” after registering their names, said sources in the CTP.

Even on the first day of the written test the authorities had to lower the bar as none of the participants could clear the test by securing 20 out of 25 marks. Considering the situation, the authorities had to reduce the percentage from 80 to 60 per cent same day. Now a candidate is required to get 15 marks out of 25 to clear the test.

The illiterate do not face any problem as they are provided writers to answer the questions posed to them. Interestingly, the questions are not written. An examinee is shown road sings on a big screen in the Children Traffic Park (CTP) and questions are asked. The written answer expected is either yes or no. This process eliminates chances of the illiterate people facing a difficulty in getting a licence.

The entire process of the examination is standardised to minimise arbitrariness in the examination. A Traffic Marshal has been asked to oversee the entire examination process to keep the process transparent.

Sub-Inspector Jaswinder Kaur admitted that number of candidates has reduced after the introduction of driving test, however, she added that the educated people prefer to take the test to know their level of awareness about road signs and various traffic rules. They also buy kit and traffic rules guide booklets and clear the test after going through them.

When contacted, the SP Traffic, Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, said he was taking up the issue with the MVI and making efforts to bring uniformity. He added that by raising the awareness of motorists about traffic rules they can make the city free of accidents.

He also added that they were not going to make the test difficult which may force people to go to Bathinda and Ropar to get driving licences. He said the city police was aiming on a “Model Driving Test” in the next six months.



Luxury coaches fail to cash in on heavy rush to Shimla
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
The super- luxury coaches manufactured by the Railways to run on the Kalka-Shimla rail section, failed to cash in on the heaviest-ever tourist inflow this year. With the railway authorities yet to notify the fare, these coaches manufactured by the Kalka workshop of the Railways in December last, still have to wait for some more time before their commercial utilisation begins.

Though officials in the Ambala Division of the Railways say that they have already sent three packages for these coaches to the Chief Commercial Manager, the fares have not been notified.

The Divisional Railway officials have proposed that these coaches could be chartered as a separate train for Rs 57,000 a trip, or booked as a single coach or run on a per seat basis. The fare for renting out as a separate coach and on a per seat basis have yet to be finalised.

Manufactured at the Railway Workshop here, the coaches have been designed on the lines of Railways' flagship tourist train "Palace on Wheels". These will be the first super luxury coaches to run on the narrow gauge section.

The target clientele for these coaches are corporates and foreign tourists, who have increasingly been travelling on this heritage rail section.

Decorated in rich white and gold hues, the coaches have a seating capacity of 22 (12 in one coach and 10 in the other). The seating arrangement is such that single seater cushioned sofas face each other and a glass top brass table is designed between the two chairs. Ornate electric fittings in glass (lamp shades, reading lights and side lamps) , electric fans and drapes in sheer add grace to the coaches.

A separate provision for storing snacks and a bar have also been included in the coaches and brass trolleys have been placed to carry the eatables and drinks for passengers.

The two coaches, interconnected through vestibules, have had successful trial runs between Kalka and Shimla and back since December last year, to check if the interconnected coaches could negotiate the sharp curves (there are 919 curves) on this rail section. The Railway authorities had hoped that these coaches would run during this summer tourist season, and help rake in moolah.

"The fare for these coaches would be notified soon, and commercial utilisation of these coaches would begin around the Durga Puja holidays in October," informed a senior official in the Railways.

Railway officials say that they had started an additional holiday special train-Duplicate Shivalik-to cater to the heavy tourist rush this year.

"There were 10,000 additional passengers this year as compared to last year- almost 21 per cent additional tourist traffic. This season, the Railways netted a profit of Rs 11.22 lakh on this section as compared to Rs 4 lakh profit earned last year," informed officials.



Hike in power tariff opposed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 27
Members of the Consumers Protection and Grievances Redressal Forum Mohali have protested against the increase in electricity rates announced by the state electricity regulatory commission.

According to a Mr N.S. Gill, the president of the forum, the Punjab State Electricity Board had taken no concrete steps to reduce wasteful expenditure. Its own house management needed improvement. If the PSEB puts its own house in order there will not be need to hike the rates, said Mr Gill. He added that a large number of government departments had not cleared their pending electricity bills and no measures being taken to recover these.

Col Angad Singh (retd), general secretary of the forum, stated that the PSEB had been promising that it would reduce transmission and distribution losses. However, according to the statistics available, these losses were the largest in the state. No effective measures were being taken to remove kundi connections in the slum colonies.



Unique cactus garden faces neglect
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
A unique garden created to preserve exotic varieties of succulents and cactii here is now a victim of official apathy. The National Cactus and Succulent Botanical Garden and Research Centre here, which brought Panchkula on the co-tourism map, somehow does not figure in the tourism circuit (local toursit bus service) of Chandigarh.

This is the only cactus botanical garden in Asia, but finds no mention in the tourist circuits of Chandigarh or Haryana. Being maintained by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Authority has made numerous representations to the Tourism department, Haryana, to advertise this garden, but to no avail.

Because of lack of awareness about this garden, there are hardly any visitors to the garden. In fact, there has been a drastic fall in visitors, to the tune of 55 per cent, in the past decade. Almost the entire cactii family is represented here.

The garden was set up in 1987, in order to protect the flora of the region. A brainchild of Dr J.S. Sarkaria (who passed away recently), the garden was set up with help from HUDA and exhibits over 3500 varieties of succulent plants found all over the world. The garden also suffers because of shortage of staff, and the small team of gardeners and a supervisor , are left only to water the plants. As a result weeds have grown at various places.

The garden is spread over seven-and-a-half acre expanse of greens, and was established while Dr Sarkaria, himself a connosieur of cactii, was trying to dispose of his personal collection owing to ill-health. It was then that HUDA offered to allot him land for setting up the garden, and besides infrastructural support, is also providing monetary aid for maintenance of the garden.

Other than the indigenous varieties of Caralluma Sarkariae and Caralluma Bhupindrian created by Dr Sarkaria, almost all known varieties of Caralluma, and over 70 per cent of the varieties of Haworthias and Genus Mamammillaria are represented in this unique garden.



Installation of mobile company’s tower opposed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 27
Residents of Sector 71 here have protested against the installation of a mobile company’s tower on top of a house in the neighbourhood. According to a press note issued by Mr Hardeep Singh a resident of house number 3024 Sector 71, a mobile company had installed a tower on the roof of a house in a neighbour’s house despite a protest lodged by the residents of the area.

Showing the complaint letter signed by many residents of the area, Mr Hardeep Singh pointed out that the installation of the tower was violating the building byelaws, besides being a potential threat to the health of those living in the vicinity. According to the press note, the residents had complained to the Estate Officer, PUDA, to take action against the mobile company. Though work on the installation of the tower was stalled for a while it was resumed and finished last week. The matter was also brought to the notice of the President Welfare Association, Sector 71.

Mr Hardeep Singh added that Sector 71 was within the air routes of the Air Force Station in Chandigarh and such towers should not be installed at all in these areas.



Registration for Amarnath yatra starts
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
Advance registrations for Amarnath yatra commenced at the Phase II branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank here today.
Mr Raman Koushal, Chief Manager, said that the advance registrations were started for the Baltal route and the registrations for the Chandanwari route would commence when the date was notified by authorities concerned. He said that this year the bank had been authorised to register 2, 25,000 pilgrims, a figure which was double than last year. The local bank branch would be registering 1350 pilgrims.

Mrs Sarita Koul, senior manager, said that the registrations would be done from 3 pm to 6 pm on all working weekdays and 1 pm to 4 pm on all working Saturdays. Each yatri would have to pay Rs 10 as registration fee. Arrangements were also made for issuing accidental insurance covers to those interested at a nominal payment of Rs 22.



Foundation stone laid for village road
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 27
To improve the inter-village road network, new link roads will be laid in the subdivision. The government has started working on projects in various villages. A sum of over Rs 50 lakh will be spent on three new link roads in Dera Bassi.

This statement was made by Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), who interacted with mediapersons after laying foundation stones for the Kheri Gujran-Samgoli village road, near here today.

Mr Dhillon claimed that the government, through the Punjab Mandi Board, would spent Rs 23 lakh on laying a road to connect Gulabgarh village with Behra village, Rs 20 lakh on the Kheri Gujran-Samgoli road and Rs 8 lakh on the Amlala-Kakrala village road.

He claimed that new roads (a total length of 110 kilometres) would be laid during this project besides repairing and raising the level of the old roads in these villages. The government has already decided to spent huge money on the Kishanpura-Chhat road, the Chhat Bir Zoo-Adda Jhungian road.

Several villagers, officials of the Mandi Board, Dera Bassi, and other prominent persons of the area were also present on the occasion.



Fauji Beat
Shady promotions create dissatisfaction in Army

Anteroom of Siachen Mess
Anteroom of Siachen Mess.

Almost every second year we hear of cases where some officers are granted promotions by holding special review boards. A negligible percentage among them is of those officers who cannot earn the requisite number of annual confidential reports (ACRs) before their selection board is held. A very few among them are those officers whose grievances have been redressed after their complaints were accepted.

But, by and large, special reviews are held to promote “special cases” in which the top brass is interested. No wonder then that such promotions have come to the known as “shady promotions” If there was fairplay in promotions, then such a large number of officers would not have taken their cases to the high courts and the Supreme Court to seek justice. That a sizeable number among them get their promotions through the courts should convince the Army top brass that the system urgently needs to be cleaned.

It is not the Army Headquarters alone that favours some officers with undeserving promotions. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) also steps in to promote politically well-connected officers to the higher ranks. Of the many such cases only one is quoted here. A few years ago, a Maj-Gen who was rejected even by the special review board, was promoted by the MOD to the rank of Lieut-Gen, thanks to the then Defence Minister.

Discrimination in liquor quota

It is not a matter of much concern that the liquor quota increased about four years ago has been reduced now by the Army Headquarters. But what pinches ex-servicemen is that for the first time they have been discriminated against in the fixation of liquor quota in comparison to their serving counterparts.

Never before the liquor quota in the armed forces was fixed by ranks. Very rightly, the Army Chief, Vice-Chief and the Army Commanders as well as their equivalents in the Navy and the Air Force never had any limit imposed on their quota. Nor do they have it now.

According to the latest orders, the retired Vice-Chiefs, the Army Commanders and their equivalents in the other services are entitled to draw 18 bottles of liquor per month. The retired Lieut-Gens and Maj-Gens are entitled to 14 bottles, while their serving counterparts’ quota is 16 bottles. This discrimination continues against the retired as compared to the serving officers till the rank of a sepoy.

Before the quota was increased a few years ago, all retired General officers were authorised 14 bottles per month. All other retired officers were entitled to 10 bottles a month. For JCOs and other ranks, the scale was five and three respectively.

Granted that the decision-making has never been our forte. But then such laughable orders only serve a negative purpose. Let us not point fingers at the ex-servicemen for liquor pilferage. The serving have been beaten them in this game.

Infantry school student messes

Mhow has always been known as a military station of instructional institutions. For the past many years, the War College, the Infantry School and the Military College of Telecommunications Engineering are located there.

The Infantry School was established at Mhow in January 1948. It trains a large number of officers. The heritage building where its three student officers’ messes i.e. Cariappa Mess, Sam Bahadur Mess and Siachen Mess, are located are known as Cavalry Lines as also Cannaught Barracks. While the first two names remind the students of our two Field Marshals, the third one focuses their mind on the highest battlefield in the world.

Ex-servicemen identity cards

A large number of ex-servicemen and defence widows have still not got the ex-servicemen identity cards made for them. This being an important identity document is required for entry into all military establishments and CSD canteens. You cannot book a car/motor cycle or a scooter through the canteen unless you are in possession of this card. This card is also required at the time of becoming a member of the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS).

Those ex-servicemen and widows, who are not in possession of this card, should approach the State Sainik Boards or Zila Boards depending on their place of residence.

— Pritam Bhullar



Residents sore at postal services
Our Correspondent

Dhanas, June 27
Residents of the Milk Colony in Dhanas village are sore at the callous attitude of the Postal Department allegedly not delivering their ordinary post as well as registered letters in time. Villagers have been facing a lot of problem for the past few months.

Villagers area complained that they had been receiving post, including cheques, receipts, drafts and other important documents in time. “Even job seekers have also not receiving their interview letters due to inadequate strength of postmen”, alleged Mr N.K. Sharma, a resident.

Residents claimed that a postman had been delivering the post (dak) in the village and surrounding areas for the past many years. With the increase in population the job of a postman had become more difficult. Villagers urged the authority to depute more postmen to ensure better postal service to the area.



NSSO training conference begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
A four-day training conference intended to impart training to the field staff of the National Sample Survey Organisation(NSSO) of Haryana and Chandigarh began here today.

Inaugurating the conference, Mr Harbinder Singh, NSSO Director, Chandigarh, laid stress on the importance of collecting reliable data in the unorganised manufacturing sector. “The data is required for estimating contribution of unorganised sector in the national income, number of enterprises, fixed assets, employment and the loans”, he said.

Mr DK Pathak, Joint Director, NSSO, Jaipur who attended the conference as an observer, emphasised the need for correct and reliable data.

The present 62nd round of the socio-economic data has begun. It will collect the data on unorganised manufacturing enterprises, employment and unemployment and consumer expenditure.



Use of sub-standard material in construction alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Certain members of the Ashiana Enclave in Sector 48 have alleged the use of the sub-standard construction material in the construction of flats in the society.
The members alleged a portion of certain staircases of a particular block could not withstand the heavy showers of June 26 night and collapsed raising serious doubts about the material used.

If this was the situation during the pre-monsoon showers, what would the fate of the building when the monsoon arrived, an irked member asked.

It may be recalled that the draw of lots for the society had been held and the possession of the flats is likely to be handed to the members by July 15.



Money order not received
Our correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
Mr Rajinder Kumar, a worker at Rama Flour Mill, Sector 30, has complained to the Senior Superintendent of Posts (SSPO), Chandigarh, against the non-delivery of a Money Order (MO) which he sent to his native village in Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh.

In a letter to the SSPO, the complainant said that he had sent a payment of Rs 2,400 by an ordinary MO in favour of Mr Ram Chabh, a resident of Govindpura falling under Rajapur post office in Gonda district on March 5 this year but he had not received it till date.

The complainant said that the money was sent to Mr Ram Chabh through Sector 30 post office vide MO number A 8881.



Cycle workers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Members of the Footpath Cycle Workers Union today held a demonstration outside the office of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) in support of their demands.

Addressing the protesters, various speakers came down heavily on the enforcement staff for challaning them. Demanding a fresh survey to enlist new footpath workers, they demanded the allotment of concrete booths to the members of the union.

Despite survey and repeated representations to the Chandigarh Administration officials, nothing has been done so far to redress their grievances, they alleged.



Hike in petrol, diesel prices assailed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 27
Members of the Mohali Mandal of the Bharatiya Janata Party have criticised the hike in petrol and diesel prices.
A meeting of the Mandal was held under the presidentship of Mr R.C. Jhingan, president of the Mandal, in which the death of a senior BJP leader and ex.-Governor Sunder Singh Bhandari was mourned by the observing two minutes silence.

The members also criticised the hike in petrol and diesel prices by the UPA government which would increase the burden of the common man. Prices of kerosene oil and LPG would also be expected to increase after the Bihar elections.

The members also criticised the role of the Left parties. Actually they were befooling the public. They should withdraw the support if they were genuinely fighting for the cause of poor, they added.

The Mandal would implement the decision of the high command to protest against the hike in the petrol, diesel and electricity tariff by the UPA government, said Mr Harcharan Singh Saini, general secretary of the mandal.



Fire victim seeks rehabilitation
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
Four months after a major fire gutted his shack in Sector 18 rehri market, the UT Administration has reportedly failed to rehabilitate Mr Ram Gopal, a victim of the fire.
The victim in a representation to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) had complained that the Administration has failed to fulfil its promises.

He said besides the UT Administrator, the Mayor, the then DC, the Finance Secretary and the Home Secretary had assured him to allot a booth but their promises had not been materialised till date.

The UT District Magistrate also had visited his house and granted a sum of Rs 5000 as relief fund. 



MC to construct additional manholes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
In order to prevent the accumulation of rainwater during the monsoons, additional manholes are being created by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh at shorter distances. Besides this, number of road gullies are also being increased to take care of the additional rainwater, a press note issued by the corporation said, today.

Also, vertical letter-box type road gullies are being provided, instead of horizontal ones provided earlier. This would increase the intake of rainwater in storm water drains.

Regular labour has been arranged at sensitive points to clean the manholes and road gullies. Storm water links are also being provided alongwith adequate number of road gullies, the note added.

In case of complaints, the residents can contact the maintenance booth, Sector 15, at phone number 2781156 and the fire brigade at 101.



Talk on accounting standards
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
The Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter of the Institute of Costs and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) organised a talk on “Accounting standards” here yesterday.
The key speaker was Mr Balwinder Singh, a chartered accountant.

Mr K.S. Tanwar, chairman of the chapter, apprised the members of the theme of the talk. Mr Tanwar said the accounting standards were mandatory and they were required to be followed in the preparation of financial statements.

Mr Rakesh Bhalla, secretary of the chapter, delivered the welcome address. 



Mango mela from July 2
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 27
The 14th mango mela will be held at Yadavindra Gardens, here on July 2 and 3. Mango growers from all over the region and the horticulture departments of various states are expected to participate.

The mela will be inaugurated by the Excise and Taxation Minister, Haryana, Mr Venod Kumar Sharma, on July 2, and Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda will preside over the concluding day function on July 3.

Various cultural competitions and fine arts competitions will also be organised during the two-day fair.



Tribune staff member bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Mrs Satya Devi, mother of Mr Om Prakash Sharma, a senior proof reader in Dainik Tribune, died at her native village, Bir-Baghera, in Hamirpur district this morning.
She was 70. She is survived by four sons and a daughter. 



Fire breaks out in factory
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
A minor fire broke out in an acid factory in Phase V industrial area here this evening.
It is learnt that a cable caught fire due to short circuit. The fire brigade was informed about the incident. The situation was soon brought under control.



20-year-old held for stealing three-wheeler
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
The local police today arrested a youth on the charges of theft minutes after he allegedly stole a three-wheeler in Sector 26. In four separate incidents of vehicle thefts, three scooters and a bicycle were reportedly stolen from the city. The police also arrested one person with smack.

The police sources said, Shagar (20), a resident of Gazipur village in Khushipur in Uttar Pradesh, allegedly stole a three-wheeler (PB-12-E-9288) from near SCO Number 26 in Sector 26 this afternoon. The owner of the vehicle, Mr Sube Lal, a resident of Indira Colony, in his complaint to the police alleged that he had parked his three-wheeler in front of the shop and had gone inside the shop for some work. Mr Lal transports goods on his three-wheeler. When he came back, he found that his vehicle was missing and he immediately informed the police.

The police flashed a message and within half-an-hour accused Shagar was nabbed from near Golf Club. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered in this regard.

About the vehicle thefts the sources in the police said, Mr Narpinder Singh of Mauli complex in Mani Majra reported to the police that his scooter (PB-59-3725) had been stolen from the Mauli complex on Sunday. Mr Vivak Kalia, a resident of Sector 37, filed a complaint to the police that his scooter (HP-09-0763) was stolen from his residence on Sunday. Similarly, Sukhwinder Singh a resident of Sector 11, had lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his scooter (CH-03-M-7926) was stolen from parking lot of Sector 8, yesterday.

In a separate incident, Mr Jam Kumar of Sector 10 reported to the police that his bicycle was stolen from his residence on Sunday. Four separate cases of thefts have been registered at the various police stations in the city.

Dimple, a resident of Sector 22, was arrested by the police for carrying 1.6 grams of smack from near the cremation ground in Sector 25 on Sunday. He was booked under the NDPS Act at Sector 11 police station.



Man held for outraging tenant’s modesty
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 27
A landlord was arrested by the local police on the charges of outraging the modesty of his tenant in Milk Colony in Dhanas.
The police arrested Vikas Sharma, a resident of Milk Colony in Dhanas village on Sunday evening following a complaint made by the daughter of his tenant. The victim reported to the police alleging that Vikas forcibly entered her house when she was alone in the evening and tried to outrage her modesty. The mother and sisters of the victim were away from home and her father had died earlier.

The victim alleged that Vikas also threatened her with dire consequences if she informed anyone about the incident. She also added that Vikas had earlier also made such advances to her and she had informed the mother of Vikas about his alleged behaviour, said the police.

The police has booked Vikas under various sections of the IPC for outraging the modesty of a woman, trespassing and criminal intimidation. He was today produced before a local court, which remanded him to judicial custody.



Body found
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 27
The body of an unidentified person was found by the police from outside Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Phase VIII here today.
The body was sent to the local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination. The police has initiated proceeding under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard.



Modalities for extended shopping hours in Sector 17 discussed
Traders demand extra security, more amenities
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
Various modalities for the extended shopping hours for city’s commercial hub — Sector 17 — from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.were discussed at a meeting between the Assistant Labour Commissioner (ALC) and the Traders Association.

According to sources, a delegation of the Traders Association comprising Mr Subhash Kataria, president, Mr J.P.S. Kalra, general secretary, and Mr Arun Talwar and Mr MP Sharma, both vice-presidents, called on the ALC, Ms Anuradha Lamba,and gave certain suggestions to give practical shape to the proposal.

The delegation wanted additional security for the safety of the shopkeepers as huge cash was carried by the shopkeepers after the closure of shops. Besides, plying of additional buses during the night and early morning hours was also sought for the benefits of the shopworkers and shoppers.

It may be recalled that the ball for the new timings was set in motion by the visit of the UT Administrator,Gen SF Rodrigues (Retd) , to Sector 17 on June 11. Subsequently on June 17, the association representatives met General Rodrigues in which decision regarding extended hours was mooted.

It was highlighted during the meeting that the Punjab Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, which has been extended to Chandigarh, will have to be amended to suit the needs of the female shop workers. Under the present Rules, the lady staff cannot work after 8 p.m.

Mr Kalra told Chandigarh Tribune that with a view to making Sector 17 a “happening place” a proposal to have cultural programme daily and install joy rides for children was also mooted. Mr Lamba assured the delegation that she would forward their suggestions to the administration for incorporation in the proposed notification.

If the Sector 17 experiment was successful it would be extended to other commercial areas, the sources informed. Currently, the shops in Sector 17 are open from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The sources said the decision to have extended shopping hours had been taken in the wake of the “multiplex culture” coming to the heart of the city. With at least four multiplexes slated to be operational in the sector in near future, the new economics seems to have convinced the shopkeepers to toe the administration line.

It may be recalled that the extension of the shopping hours was one of the initiatives of the Chandigarh Administration to make it a “happening place.” The provision of more amenities was in the pipeline to make the sector an attraction for the shoppers and the tourists.



Guess and win diamonds contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
It’s an anniversary bonanza at Sant Ram Mangat Ram Jewellers (SRMRJ), Sector 17, from today. Having completed 45 years of establishment this year, the jewellery store, one of the first in the city to have an exclusive store for diamond jewellery, it is offering a “guess and win diamonds contest”.

Addressing a press conference, here today, Mr Rajan Jain, said the contest entailed a mega draw and weekly draws spread over the next two months. While a customer would stand a chance to win diamond jewellery worth lakhs in the mega draw, a diamond ring could be won in weekly draws.

All the customers need to do is to buy jewellery worth Rs 20,000 and above from them. This would entitle them to guess the price of diamond jewellery displayed at the Win Window. On guessing the right price of the set, the customer can take the complete set displayed in the window.

During the two-month period, the customers will get a chance to see a wide range of exclusive diamond rings in the special “ring week”. Seminars on diamonds to check their authenticity and learn about the six Cs of Carbon from part of the bonanza.



Biz Clips

Hewlett Packard today launched its HP Compaq Business Desktop D260 microtower, a desktop PC for small and medium sized businesses, government and education segments that run basic office applications. It is based on Intel’s hyper-threading (HT) technology that enables users to run multiple applications. TNS


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