C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rodrigues hints at new power tariff policy for UT
Also suggests water regulatory panel
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 28
The power tariff for the bulk and heavy power consumers like industries and commercial consumers may soon go up substantially and marginally for the domestic consumers in Chandigarh as part of the rationalisation of power tariff plans of the UT administration.

An indication in this regard was given today by Chandigarh Administrator and Punjab Governor General (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues while speaking at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting held here today.

“The new tariff policy will ensure that consumers pay for the actual cost of electricity in the next three years. Our new tariff policy aims at reaching break-even stage in the next three years, without putting any extra burden on the poor and middle class of the society,” he said, indicating that power tariff would be rationalised for the bulk and heavy power consumers.

The Administrator added that the new policy would aim at transparency, supply of 24 hours quality power and “our commitment to bring down transmission and distribution losses to 16 per cent from the existing 24 per cent.

Stressing the need for setting up a regulatory mechanism to price power and water, General Rodrigues said that the electricity tariff structure should be rational and at par as far as possible in respect of all the categories of the consumers.

He suggested that a special water regulatory commission be constituted, for revision of water tariffs on the pattern of Electricity Regulatory Commission functioning in various states.

“It should be mandatory for the board to revise the water tariffs,” he said, giving enough hints that water tariffs in the UT may also go up in near future.

He said that the Chandigarh Administration had instituted a system of rural health care within a 20 km radius of Chandigarh and the emphasis is on early diagnosis of serious problems like cancer, osteoporosis and the best treatment is available to the patients at the PGI and other main hospitals.

He announced that the UT Administration had planned a comprehensive programme to rehabilitate 80,000 slum dwellers in 24,000 flats that would be offered to them on rent.

He said that the Chandigarh Administration had instituted a comprehensive programmes for the 18 gram panchayats in the city so that these villages became model villages which could set an example for the whole country.

General Rodrigues further said that through 11 Mission for society the efforts are to ensure that the poor sections of society benefit from the e-Governance Programme of the Administration. “Our aim is to provide integrated, transparent, single window online services in all areas of the Administration, round the clock. A special project, known as e-Jan Sampark, envisages the setting up of 50 manned Jan-Sampark kiosks in the city, providing information related to health care.

He further said that 25,000 jobs are being generated for youth in the IT City and Technology Park, which has been approved as an SEZ for IT. He said that it would lead to an investment of at least Rs 1000 crore by the private sector in the next 3 years and thus help in increasing the growth rate in the region in the remaining period of the 10th five year plan.



Excessive quarrying threatens bridges
Tenders for repairing 3 bridges being floated
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
The excessive quarrying of minor minerals from the river beds of Ghaggar and other rivulets is now threatening the safety of bridges in the region. The foundations of bridges and culverts have been exposed because of mining operations, causing a threat to the structures.

At least four bridges in this region are facing a threat because of excessive mining of river bed material. So even as the mining contractors in the region are running to the bank, giving a damn to the rules, National Highways Division of Public Works Department (PWD), Haryana, is being forced to shell out Rs 1. 045 crore to save their bridges.

While the National Highways division of PWD, Haryana, has already repaired a bridge across Roon rivulet, on National Highway (NH)-72 (Ambala- Kalaamb) at the cost of Rs 15 lakh, the tenders for repairing three other bridges, damaged by excessive mining, are being floated.

The bridge on NH- 73 (Panchkula- Naraingarh highway) near Mankya village , too, has been damaged and the estimates for repairing the bridge are pegged at Rs 10. 67 lakh. Tenders for restoring a bridge on Sukhna rivulet on NH-22 (Panchkula- Kalka highway) at the cost of Rs 28. 13 lakh, and another bridge on Pinjore- Baddi highway (NH-21-A) at cost of Rs 50. 70 lakh are also being floated.

Officials in National Highways division say that the river bed level in various rivulets and Ghaggar river has gone down over the years. “The river bed level has gone down by 10 feet to 15 feet in various rivers/ rivulets during the past year.  

Since mining operations are carried out right near the bridges and culverts, the foundations of the structures are exposed. As the water comes gushing down during the monsoon season, the bridges face risk of being washed away”, informed a senior official.

It may be noted that mining of River Bed Material is allowed at upstream distance of 250 metres and downstream distance of 125 metres from a small bridge, and at 1 km upstream distance and half-a-kilometre downstream distance from a big bridge. The mining contractors allegedly flout these rules and mining is carried on right under the bridges/ culverts. Sometimes, JCB machines are used to remove the minor minerals in quarrying operations under these bridges.

Meanwhile, officials say that a sum of Rs 14. 35 crore has been sanctioned for repair of four National Highways - NH-73, NH-21-A, NH-22 and NH- 72. The work on recarpeting and strengthening of roads has started.



PGI gets land for health centre at Mani Majra
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The Municipal Corporation has decided to allot one acre land for an urban health training centre to the PGI. The centre will be located at New Indira Colony in Mani Majra.

The centre will be designed specially for out-patient services, ante-natal check-ups, immunisation and implementation of national health programmes. A special reference has been made to programmes regarding tuberculosis control and national vector-borne disease control in the original proposal sent by Dr Rajesh Kumar, Head of the Department of Community Medicine at the PGI.

The centre is seen as an important alternate venue for health care service near the home for people of Mani Majra who otherwise had to travel to PGI and other hospitals even for minor ailments.

“A large number of people, particularly the poor, can now avoid travelling long distances to reach PGI and other hospitals”, a councillor said.

The proposal had been originally mooted by Mr Surinder Singh, a Congress councillor, in the corporation house. The proposal did not get the nod of the house because the letter was signed by the head of the Community Medicine Department instead of the PGI director. In the latest communication Dr K.K. Talwar, Director of the PGI, has written to Mrs Anu Chatrath, Mayor, seeking land for the institute’s centre.

The corporation has decided to allot one acre land at a nominal lease amount of Rs 1 per square yard for 99 years, it is reliably learnt. The land will be allotted in the name of the director of the research institute.

The centre is currently working from a building owned by the Social Welfare Department. The building space of the centre is shared with the aanganwadi centre. The centre asked the MC for land in new Indira Colony for a health centre after accessing the availability of space and feasibility of the centre.

Mr Surinder Singh said: “The PGI was overburdened with patients from all over the region and not merely the population of the city. There is a need to develop more health care centres which can be connected to the PGI at different locations to reduce the pressure. He said that the PGI will make the entire expenditure in setting up the centre and its functioning”.

The department has already pointed out that “adequate funds were available with the PGI in the form of a grant”.



Migrant labourer crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 28
One person died and five others sustained serious injuries in two separate accidents on the Dera Bassi-Dappar stretch of the ‘killer’ Kalka-Ambala highway here today.
Shabir Ahmed, a migrant labourer, was crushed to death while his three relatives Aslam, Munim and one other person were critically injured when a truck hit into them from behind in Devi Nagar village, this evening.

Mr Shabir Ahmed died on the spot while the injured were rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh.

The truck driver reportedly fled from the scene leaving behind the truck. The body would be sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for post-mortem examination tomorrow.

In another head-on collision involving a motor cycle and a scooter at the Toll Plaza, Mr Surinder Singh, the motor cyclist, sustained serious injuries. The motor cyclist was taken to the GMCH-32, while the scooterist was discharged after first aid at local Civil Hospital.

The police has impounded the vehicles involved in the accidents but no case had been registered till the filing of report. 



Buy CD of ‘Yakeen’ before its release!
Gagan Randhawa and Deepti Verma

Chandigarh, June 28
Anti-piracy laws not withstanding, Bollywood movies are freely available in the city prior to their cinema releases. Not only one can take home CDs of movies running in the local cinema houses, but also of those movies yet to be released. Stolen from Mumbai, the prints are smuggled to Dubai from where these find their way back to places such as Chandigarh and other boom towns of the region. Incredible, isn’t it?

These correspondents procured a copy of “Yakeen”, starring Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra. The flick is scheduled to be released in India on July 1. The twin CDs cost a mere Rs 40, even though the cover mentions a maximum retail price of Rs 99 on it. The CD, when released by the production house, would be available for Rs 150. The movie pirates are so blatant in their endeavour that the cover even mentions the CD’s origin: Kings Videos, Dubai.

Despite claims of a crackdown by the authorities concerned on pirated CDs throughout the country, many Bollywood film CDs are available in the market and that too prior to their formal release.

Mr Pawan Valecha, proprietor of KC Cinema, Panchkula, says that pirated CDs are procured from abroad. “Some unscrupulous cinema hall owners, too, help in pirating CDs, as they help in making CDs of a new movie, within hours of the movies’ release. A recording centre was unearthed in Ludhiana recently, where the cinema hall management itself was found pirating CDs”.

A Shreya Creations’ movie, directed by Girish Dhamija, ‘Yakeen’, starring Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal, is due for release in July, The CD of the movie can be procured from the market today. The music of the movie has already been released. The CD is available at most of the movie shops in Sectors 22, 40, 27, 20, 37, 11 and 15.

It is not the first time that the CDs of a movie are seen in the market before its release. Earlier, too, another movie, “Moksh”, starring Arjun Rampal and Monisha Koirala, was available one month before its scheduled release.

The sources in the local police assert that the main source of pirated CDs is Ludhiana from where these are brought to the City Beautiful. They add that a large number of video parlours in the city are committing two offences — firstly they are renting out/ selling pirated films. Secondly, they are not supposed to rent out the licenced CDs, these are meant for private use only. This, the sources say, is in blatant violations of the Copyright Act of 1957. The law says that a CD cannot be sold in the market till a minimum period of one month after its release. The offender can also be booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.

Infringement of the provisions makes an offender liable to punishment extending from six months to three years under Section 63 of the Copyright Act. The fine can range anywhere from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

The cinema hall owners feel that though the movie is available in the market, it won’t affect the multiplex crowd. “Multiplexes like Fun Republic are not really affected by pirated movies, as people fond of watching flicks on big screen, will watch there anyway”, says Ms Chaman Bedi, working with Fun Republic.



Passing Thru

Chinese Ambassador
Chinese Ambassador in India, Su Yuxi

Do you see India as a competitor?

Yes, if the competition is healthy and is for the development of both the countries. We are always keen to promote friendship and cooperation through bilateral trade.

How should be the population explosion viewed?

Overpopulation has both its advantages and disadvantages. At times, it is symbolic of the strength of a company, but at times it is a sheer burden on the country’s resources.

What do you have to say on the Indo-China relations?

The relations between the two countries have been by and large cordial. Both the countries have decided to observe 2006 as year of friendship. The focus will be more on cultural exchanges and promoting tourism to start a new era of cordial ties.

What brings you to Chandigarh? How do you view the city?

The objective of my visit was to discuss the trade potential that exists between the two countries with a governments of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal and a five year plan was formulated in this regard.

It’s my first visit to the city, and it is beautiful and a modern one.

— Poonam Batth 



Directive on pension to retired UT staff
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today directed the Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, to pay pension benefits on the basis of notional pay fixed on the basis of the Punjab pattern to the UT employees, who retired between January 1986 and March 1991.

The Secretary has been asked to comply with the orders, failing which he has been asked to appear in person or file an affidavit for non-compliance of the orders.

It may be mentioned that the tribunal while hearing a bunch of applications in the past few years had ordered the Chandigarh Administration to pay the pension benefits to the employees. In some cases the relief was given, while in other cases the administration refused to pay the relief and the applicants filed contempt cases in the tribunal against the Finance Secretary, Chandigarh, Mr S.K.Sandhu.

There were around 200 employees of Chandigarh Administration, who retired between January 1986 and March 1991.

When the cases came up for hearing before Mr L.M.Goyal and Mr Jasbir.S.Dhaliwal, Vice- Chairman and Member (Judicial) , respectively, of the tribunal, the Finance Secretary through an affidavit stated that the Chandigarh Administration had no powers to extend such benefit and it was the Central Government which could grant the sanction as was done in H.S.Dogra’s case. He stated that Ministry of Finance vide letter dated January 11, 2005, had advised that in such judgments writ petitions be filed.

In the light of the advice of the Central Government, the Chandigarh Administration had been filing SLPs in such cases.

The applicants stated that the tribunal directed the Union Government and the Chandigarh Administration to pay arrears of such pension and other benefits, depending upon re-fixation of their pension with effect from April 1, 1991, onwards.

The applicants further stated that under a notification January 13, 1991, the administration gave them an option for pay scales other than pay scales on Punjab pattern. In case of failure to exercise the option, it was deemed that they accept being placed under scales of pay as available to employees of Punjab.

It was specified in the notification that if by revision of pay scales from January 1986, they were shown to be getting higher pay and allowances as already received by them between January 1986 and March 1991, their pay was only to be notionally fixed on the revised scale of pay but actual benefits in form of arrears of difference of pay and allowances were not be extended to them.



Traffic violators make hay during lunch hour
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Habitual offenders in the city are giving two hoots to the traffic rules during the lunch hour daily without the fear of being fined for violations. For, a majority of traffic police personnel all over Chandigarh are absent from duty every day for an hour from 1 pm.

Any doubts? Just drive down the city roads and streets. You will not find even a single cop on so many freeways, despite heavy lunch-hour traffic. Even the ones lurking behind the camouflaging bushes throughout the day — waiting for the preys to fall in their net — tend to disappear during the lunch hour.

A survey of the city carried out this afternoon revealed the cops were not present on a majority of busy intersections and crossings, including the ones between Sector 14 and 15, Sector 15 and 16, Sector 23 and 22, besides the one within Sector 22.

Though senior police officers refuse to comment on the issue, the sources in the headquarters claim that the men-in-white have to report at the traffic lines in Sector 26 at about 1.30 pm daily. The sources, however, fail to explain the rationale behind the reported move.

Whatever the reason may be, the result is disastrous. The sources in the local police admit that a large number of accidents, involving schoolchildren, could have been avoided had the authorities deployed adequate number of cops during the lunch hour.

Giving details, the sources assert that 186 accidents were reported to the police till April 30 this year. A substantial number of these were caused directly or indirectly due to flouting of traffic rules by schoolchildren.

The sources agree that underage driving is a major cause of concern for the traffic policemen in Chandigarh and the problem can be largely solved by deploying policemen outside the schools during mornings and afternoons.

But the same is not being done because there are not enough policemen to spare for deployment during the morning hours. As far as the afternoons are concerned, they tend to simply vanish, the sources say.

They assert that in the absence of police personnel to check their movements, a large number of youngsters tend to ride bikes and scooters at break-neck speeds and that also without wearing safely helmets.

They add that the incidents of students recklessly driving cars and ramming them into the outer walls of houses located in the vicinity of the schools is not entirely unknown, the sources admit.

Offering a solution, the sources say instead of deploying several police personnel at one place, they can be divided into separate teams and positioned at different hours throughout the day.



MLA pulls up officials for power, water cuts
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, June 28
Mr Bir Davinder Singh, Kharar MLA, pulled up employees of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for a major cut in power and water supply in Zirakpur and its surrounding areas on June 24.

The MLA called an emergent meeting of officials of the different government departments and officials of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat over the issue this morning.

Coming down heavily on the officials including the Executive Engineer, the Sub Divisional Officer, of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, and the Sub Divisional Officer of the PSEB, the MLA questioned them about the arrangements made by them to provide relief from the cuts. He asked the Nagar Panchayat officials about the alternate arrangement made to solve such problems.

Mr Bir Davinder Singh also called up the Patiala Deputy Commissioner from the spot and directed him to give a complaint in writing against the officials responsible for not informing the higher authorities about the cuts in the power and the water supply which had brought misery to over 25,000 residents of the area for over 30 hours.

The municipal councillors and the residents also complained to the MLA against unauthorised construction in low lying areas which have blocked the natural course of water at many places.

They complained that the constructions had come up right under the nose of the Nagar Panchayat officials.



MC directive to parking contractors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The municipal corporation has asked the contractors to ensure that all the employees on duty at the sites for paid parking in the city are dressed in proper uniform. The contractors have been given the time till July 5 for compliance with the order.

The Commissioner said the office had received complaints from different quarters regarding flouting of paid parking bye-laws. The corporation has asked the contractors to ensure that they employ the required number of employees to tackle parking problems in the area.

The tokens will be issued only for the cars and scooters which can be parked in the space available at the site. Contractors have been asked to issue parking slips to those having stickers of ‘pass parking’.



Withdraw hike in petrol prices, demands CPI
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 28
The local unit of the Communist Party of India and other organisations have demanded that the Central Government should immediately withdraw the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel.

Following a call for a protest by Left parties, the CPI and others held a dharna outside the office of the SDM here today. The protesters presented a memorandum of demands at the office.

The memorandum said the rise in the prices of petrol and diesel should be curbed and the suggestions made in this regard be considered by the Central Government. The Punjab Government should withdraw the hike in the power tariff and put an end to the unannounced power cuts in the rural and urban areas. Adequate supply of power should be given to the industrial and agriculture sectors.

The illegal lockout and retrenchment of employees of the ESPL should be stopped and the factory should be made functional as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Punwire factory, which was lying closed for many years, be started once again and employees be taken back on work and the Punjab Recorders factory should be closed and employees be given their pending dues.

The protesters also demanded that the residents of Guru Nanak Colony, who were shifted to a new place, be provided with basic facilities. Government Elementary School, which was functioning in the colony should also be shifted to the new site as children of that colony studied in the school.



Issues of special children in focus
Haryana remembers Helen Keller on her birth anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Among the many things one encountered during a function organised to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Helen Keller, the best had something to do with Master Puninder.

Seated in the least significant of slots at Haryana Niwas, Sector 3, where people of eminence were in full presence, Puninder commanded everyone’s attention when his turn came.

Until then, he had waited in silence — the only constant in his life. With him sat other special children of his kind, who reminded us of the indomitable Helen Keller and the way she changed the world with the power of her will.

Away from the heavy political rhetoric Haryana’s Social Welfare Minister Kartar Devi doled out while presiding over the north zone conference of the deaf, dumb and blind today, Puninder chose to charm tha gathering with his simple, lucid style of presentation.

As he sang prayers to God, he paid the best tribute anyone could have paid to the immortal Helen Keller. Later during the function he was honoured with Rs 500 by the dignitaries in presence, even as the attention gradually shifted from special children to “issues concerning them”.

An attempt was made by heads of organisations for special children to seek out their rights from the government. A charter of 10 demands was presented to the Minister who seemed eager to help. She started out by listing the generosities of the Congress Government in Haryana.

“Haryana Social Justice and Empowerment Department has allocated Rs 492 crore for the implementation of various schemes for the disabled during the current financial year as against Rs 385.34 crore spent for the purpose during the last financial year,” she said, adding her government would soon constitute a committee headed by the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, for the welfare of the handicapped in the state.

Punctuating her speech were repeated assurances regarding the implementation of reservation policy for the disabled. One good announcement she made was that the Haryana Government had increased the retainership allowance from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 for visually impaired canners in the state. “About 113 blind canners have been benefited from this scheme,” she said.

The government has also sanctioned 19 posts of blind canners, she said. It was also news that the unemployment allowance for the disabled had been increased from Rs 400, Rs 500 and Rs 600 to Rs 1000, Rs 1500 and Rs 2000, respectively, under different categories for the special people.

The Congress Government, the minister said, had also increased the scholarship for the blind, deaf, dumb, mentally challenged and persons with 100 per cent disability from Rs 300 to Rs 600. “We are committed to the betterment of disabled. The disabled are an integral part of our society,” the minister signed off, even as representatives of various organisations for the disabled handed over a charter of 10 demands to her.

The convener of the conference, Mr S.S. Shukla, requested the minister to consider the demands generously.

The only point missing in today’s conference was an atmosphere where those affected by disability could voice some of their woes. The needful was, however, done by Secretary, National Handicapped Welfare Council, Punjab, Mr Raj Kumar Lamba, President, Haryana Deaf, Dumb and Blind Association Mr A. Jagga and President, National Federation of Blind, Haryana, Prof Jage Ram, who ensured full representation of the people to whom the day is dedicated.



Now cyber kiosks at post offices
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
After the success of the e-post, a facility to send and receive e-mails at post offices in the city, the postal department is all set to introduce the concept of cyber kiosks in the city.

The new facility is also being seen as an effort to offset the loss due to decline in the volume of the traditional mail. The users would have the advantage of using the cyber kiosks while visiting the post office for other works, this was stated by the Chief Post Master General, Punjab circle, Mr L.K. Puri.

Already sanction to set up two cyber kiosks, one each at Sector 17 General Post Office and the Sector 16 Post Office, has been given and work was in progress to establish the facility. Having advantage of space on its side, the department has decided to provide one terminal each at the two places. The number of terminals would be increased depending upon the demand, said Mr Puri.

To provide fast connectivity, the department would provide dedicated broadband lines. Sources in the department said a survey had been carried out in the city to study the viability of giving the facility to the residents. It was found that there were a few cyber cafes in Sector 17 and Sector 16 and the rate was Rs 20 for an hour of surfing. The department is seeing a number of offices of government and private companies located in the shopping centre as potential customers.

However, the charges for surfing could not be ascertained. The case has been approved by the finance department which takes into account the manpower required for each kiosk. “The pricing would have to be competitive if the facility has to be made acceptable”, said an employee of the postal department.

Once successful in the city, the facility could be introduced in different district headquarters in Punjab.



Phase III of Rock Garden to be interactive
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 28
The Phase III of the Chandigarh Rock Garden will now be connected directly to an independent exit. Stating that now visitors have to take short distance from the phase II for the exit, the creator of the Rock Garden Mr Nek Chand today pointed out that the Phase III of the garden was designed to be more visitor interactive.

“Visitors are not allowed to touch and sit on the various statutes that we have made in the garden but now towards the exit of the garden I intend to have statues on which children can sit and play around.” said Mr Nek Chand.

Stating that two of his projects on Rock Gardens in Delhi and Rajkot were in a state of limbo due to the lack of interest of the governments, Mr Nek Chand added that his projects were being received very well internationally. “I already have rock gardens in Germany, the USA and London. Now in November I am leaving for Switzerland for the release of a book on Rock Garden brought out by a Switzerland museum in collaboration with UNESCO. Work on a rock garden in Switzerland has already begun and during the book release, discussions would be held with Belgium, Italy and Russia for starting a similar project in these countries,” he said.



Control rooms to deal with flood situation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
Control rooms have been set up at block, tehsil and sub-division level as well as at the district headquarters of Panchkula to deal with any emergent situation in case of floods.

Stating this here
today, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh, said four flood control rooms had been set up in the offices of block development and panchayat officers in the four blocks of the district.

Control rooms have also been set up in the offices of tehsildar in Panchkula and Kalka whereas these had also been set up in the offices of Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) in Panchkula and Kalka.

A control room had also been set up in the office of Additional Superintendent of Police.

He said the officials of the Forests Department would also be deputed with wireless sets in the hilly area of Morni.

They would provide information regarding torrential rains and soil erosion in the area to the control rooms.



Federation hails PUDA’s move to shift colony

Mohali, June 28
The Citizen’s Welfare Federation has hailed the move of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) of shifting the illegal Guru Nanak Colony from Phase X here.

Mr A.S. Shyan, secretary-general, said here today that the federation had been making efforts for the past 10 years to get the colony shifted as it had become a nuisance for the residents of the area. Moreover, land worth crores of rupees had been occupied illegally.

Mr Shyan said that similar action should be undertaken by PUDA authorities in the case of other illegal colonies like the jhotekut colony in Sector 71 and the meat market in Phase I. OC



Residents demand civic amenities
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 28
Residents of a pocket of 10-marla houses in Sector 68 here cry for civic amenities in the area.
Mr Balwant Singh Adial, speaking on behalf of the residents, complained that heaps of cow dung were lying at various points in the area and congress grass was also growing in abundance. Complaints to the authorities concerned failed to yield any results.

He said that nearly 50 per cent of the streetlights were not functioning ever since their installation in September last year. This had led to tension among the residents.



Interviews for translators’ posts on July 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) will conduct interviews and personality tests for recruitment of Junior Hindi Translators on July 12.
According to Mr Naresh Virdi, Deputy Regional Director of the SSC Regional Office here, call letters have been issued to the candidates who were successful in the test conducted on April 24 this year.

The candidates, who do not receive the call letters by June 30, should contact the office of the Deputy Director General in the Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9, after June 30, Mr Virdi added.



3 booked for duping finance company
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 28
The local police has booked three city residents for duping a finance company of Rs 2.5 lakh by raising a loan on the basis of fake documents.

In another incident, a house was reportedly burgled and gold ornaments were stolen in the city. In two theft cases, a car and a scooter was stolen from the city. Two persons were injured in two separate road accidents.

A case of cheating has been registered on the basis of a complaint made by Mr Sham Sunder Sharma, owner of Anukirti Leasing and Sports, Sector 35. Mr Sharma had alleged that Rupesh Kumar and Jasbir Singh, both residents of Sector 56 and Shiv Prashad Joshi of Sector 33 had raised a loan of Rs 2.5 lakh to purchase a Qualis Jeep. They allegedly submitted fake documents.

Mr Vidagar, a resident of Sector 43, lodged a complaint with the police saying that a gold necklace, a gold chain, two pair of gold ear rings, a gold set, a pair of gold lockets, 40 silver coins, and some other articles were stolen from his residence during daytime on Monday. He reported that the thieves gained entry by breaking open the locks. A case has been registered.

About the thefts of vehicles, the sources in the police said Mr Gurcharan Singh Gandhi of Sector 46 has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-J-8128) was stolen from Sector 35 on Monday. Similarly, Mr M.P. Singh of Sector 55 filed a complaint to the police that his Vespa scooter (HR-02-9310) was stolen from his residence during the night of June 26. Two separate cases of thefts have been registered at the various police stations in the city.

A cyclist, Mr Vikas Pandey of Kajheri village sustained injuries after being hit by a motor cycle near Water Works in the same village on Sunday night. He was shifted to General hospital, Sector 16. The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the driver of motor cycle, Captain Singh of Sector 61.

In another incident, scooterist, Bansi Lal, suffered injuries after his scooter was hit by a scooter near Sector 55 and 56 dividing road. He was rushed to the General Hospital in Sector 16. Meanwhile, a case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the unidentified scooterist.



Another flesh trade racket busted
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 28
In its drive against the flesh trade, the Crime Branch of Chandigarh police today busted another racket of flesh trade operating in the city.
The sources said the police received information about a gang that was operating their activities from a Maruti Zen car (CH-03-M-6439) from near Saupins School, Sector-32 in Chandigarh. Accordingly, a trap was laid in which a decoy customer was sent with the marked currency notes to strike a deal with the operators. A shadow witness was also sent to hear the conversation of the “deal”.

The raiding party requisitioned the services of one member of social welfare advisory board who has been designated to act as a witness in cases relating to offences of Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

The decoy customer went near the spot where two “pimps”, who were also working as a delivery boys for the prostitutes, were found luring the customers for offering the prostitutes.

When the decoy customer approached the pimps, namely, Sanjay Verma alias Shammi of Kalifa State mohalla in Sangrur district and Subhash Khanna of Sector 33. Khanna originally hails from Santoshi Nagar in Jalandhar district.

The accused allegedly offered the decoy customer one girl in exchange of money. The decoy customer asked for another girl which they promised to bring shortly. The deal was struck for Rs 3000.

The six marked currency notes of Rs 100 denomination were delivered to the accused as an advance.

After some time, Shammi and Khanna brought one girl of Dusanj Kalan village in Jalandhar. Acting upon the pre-fixed signal of the decoy customer, the police party of crime branch headed by DSP Om Parkash and Inspector K.I.P. Singh swooped upon them. The search of the girl and the pimps led to recovery of the marked currency.

The sources further added that Shammi and Khanna were living on her earnings. The above said persons have been booked Under Sections 4, 5, 7 and 8 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. A case has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

The sources also said that the accused are being interrogated to find out their network in the city.



Property worth Rs 2 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 28
Property valued at around Rs 2 lakh was stolen from a house in Sector 71 here while the occupants were out of town.
The theft came to the notice when the family returned from Amritsar today. They had left Mohali on June 26.

Property was also stolen from the premises of a tenant who lived on the first floor of the house and had left for Chenai, also on Sunday.

Mr H.S. Sodhi, the house owner, said that he lost Rs 30,000 in cash, at least 5 tolas of gold jewellery, a CD player, watches and some foreign currency. He said his son, who worked in Hyderabad, had come home for a short period had earlier handed over the money to his mother.

Mr Sodhi said the thieves broke the lock on one of the doors to gain entry. The lock on the gate of the house was intact. The almirahs in the main bedroom and the store had been ransacked.

He said his tenant, Mr P.K. Venkateshwaram, who was a production manager in Sigma, lost jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh. The intruders broke a door latch to gain entry into the first-floor accommodation. The members of the family of the tenant had earlier left for Chennai. The tenant had not yet returned and his colleagues in the company visited the house.



Youth killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
A 25-year-old youth, injured after his scooter hit a stray cattle, succumbed to his injuries at PGI, Chandigarh here. The youth, Lalit Bakhshi, was a stenographer with Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation.

The victim was driving down on his scooter along with his brother from Sector 15 to Mansa Devi Complex on the night of June 25. As the scooter entered Sector 7, it ran into a stray cattle. Both the riders were injured, and Lalit received head injuries.

Lalit was rushed to PGI, Chandigarh, where he died today. Stray cattle problem in the town has led to many accidents and deaths. Though the Municipal Council has recently awarded a contract for rounding of stray cattle, the problem seems to be far from over. 



11-year-old boy held on charge of stealing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 28
An 11-year-old boy was arrested on the charge of stealing from the Mansa Devi complex this morning.
Sources in the police said the suspect stole a grinder from a shop in Motor Market in Mani Majra late last night. He was caught by Mr Surinder, shopkeeper and the complainant, when the accused was going to a junk dealer to sell the grinder.

Mr Surinder, complainant, told the police that the theft came to light when he opened his shop this morning and found that a grinder was missing. He went out to look around and saw a boy carrying a grinder near the Mansa Devi complex. He caught the suspect and handed him over to the police. A case has been registered in this regard at Mani Majra police station. Later in the day, the police produced him before a local court, which released him on bail. 



VAT discrepancy hits pharma trade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The non-implementation of VAT in Chandigarh is having an adverse affect on pharma trade in general and pharma wholesalers in particular.
In a press note issued here today, the Chandigarh Chemists Association stated that VAT has been implemented in the neighbouring state of Punjab and Haryana, where medicines are taxed at 4 per cent VAT, whereas in Chandigarh the tax is 8.8 per cent.

Due to this disparity, medicines are being smuggled into Chandigarh region from Punjab and Haryana. As a result of the variation in the tax rates, huge losses have been caused to the government exchequer, this has also increased the possibility of selling duplicate and counterfeit medicines. The general secretary of the association, Mr Vijay Anand, has said the wholesale chemists were losing their legitimate sales to the tune of lakhs of rupees every month.

They have urged the authorities to look into this issue and ensure the implementation of VAT in Chandigarh at the earliest in order resolve the issue.



RBI offices closed on July 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The offices of the Reserve Bank of India will remain closed on July 1 for public transactions due to annual closing of its accounts, according to a press note of the RBI.


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