C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


School sites on sale
Sanjeev Singh Bariana and Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/ Mohali, July 19
The UT Estate Office and the Punjab Urban Planning Authority (PUDA), Mohali, are unaware of the shady land deals involving sale of school sites here. Re-sale of school sites is not allowed by these authorities that allot sites to educational societies on a lease hold basis in UT and freehold basis in Mohali.

An offer regarding the sale of existing schools and school sites in Chandigarh and Mohali has been advertised in newspapers for the past over a month.

Ms Veena Malhotra, Principal of Lawerance Public School, Mohali, who has been demanding a school site from PUDA for the past many years, contacted the dealer on the mobile phone number given in the advertisement. The dealer reportedly offered her three school plots for sale in Sectors 19 and 20 Chandigarh for Rs 2.40 crore each. In Mohali, he offered a 2.5-acre school site in Sector 69 for over Rs 8 crore.

“He told me that he had already accomplished one such deal,” Ms Malhotra said.

Posing as potential customers, when The Tribune team contacted the dealer, he repeated the sites and the rates adding that his commission was 1 per cent. “As far as my role is concerned, I am only the middleman of the prospective buyers and sellers”, he added.

When questioned about provisions in the allotment rules that clearly state that the party concerned (school site allottee) “will not sell the institution, transfer, mortgage or alienate the property in any manner”, the dealer, however, assured that the sale deal would be legally sound.

“The change in the ownership of the school site would mean only the change in the members of the education society that has been allotted the land. You and your partners would be made members of the school society while the original members would be made to resign,” he said.

However, when contacted as calling from a newspaper, the dealer denied that he was dealing in the sale of any school site in Chandigarh or Mohali. “All I deal in is schools sites in nearby villages of Chandigarh and Mohali. I was contacted by a school site owner in Mohali to sell his site but I refused since PUDA does not allow it,” the dealer said, adding that he was a civil engineer-turned property dealer and had now also decided to give up dealing in property.

Mr R. K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer, UT, said he was unaware of the school site allottees hoodwinking the system to re-sell their sites. Nor was any complaint pending on this account, he said. The schools were governed by a set of rules and the system had inbuilt checks which were followed, Mr Rao added.

The Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan said: “Although no such case has been brought to my notice till now, if re-sale of schools sites is being done in this manner then it defeats the entire purpose for which the land is allotted. We would have the matter legally examined and bring the violators to book by invoking the penal provisions in the law and terms and conditions of allotment.”

Under the given circumstances it is clear that the rules laws governing the allotment conditions are being flouted by the allottees who have offered their school sites and even running schools for sale through property dealers.

The existing rules provide that “the Estate Officer will invite applications by publishing notices in newspapers and the allotment of the sites will be made by the administration. The rules also point that “the lessee will not be entitled to transfer the site or building in any manner or by way of general power of attorney”.

If at any stage it is found that the allotment of a site has been obtained fraudulently, its allotment will be cancelled. 



Sukhwinder’s husband not allowed to attend cremation
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, July 19
Her last wish was fulfilled. Before breathing her last on Sunday morning, Sukhwinder Kaur had clearly stated in her suicide note that her body and that of her son should not be handed over to husband Amarjit Singh Benhiwal.

The cremation of both mother and her son was carried out in the absence of Behniwal. Even though the retired merchant navy officer had moved an application in a local court seeking permission to attend the cremation, the same was declined by the court today.

It was a heart-rending scene at the cremation ground this afternoon, as the relatives and friends of the family gathered there. The mother and brother of Sukhwinder Kaur and other close relatives were inconsolable due to the intensity of the tragedy. A close relative of the family said the entire family was destroyed and Behniwal was punished for his act.

Sources in the police said Behniwal moved an application from the custody of the police. The post-mortem of Sukhwinder was conducted yesterday and today the bodies were handed over to the parents of Sukhwinder following the post-mortem examination of her son Navjot Singh.

The sources further added that the post-mortem reports confirmed that both mother and son died due to hanging. However, to ascertain the exact cause of death, doctors have sent the viscera of the deceased for chemical examination.

Police sources further added that Amarjit Singh was today produced before a local court today, which remanded him to two days’ police custody.

When asked about the reports published in a section of media that Sukhwinder Kaur had approached the Woman and Child Support Unit (WACSU) of the Chandigarh Police complaining against her husband, the SHO of the Sector 34 police station Inspector Ajaib Singh Somal, while denying the reports, said they had contacted the WACSU in this regard. Inspector Somal said the police officials told him that they did not have any complaint from Sukhwinder Kaur registered with them.



Work yet to start on city-Baddi road 
Centre’s nod needed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Work on a direct road link between Chandigarh and Baddi, an upcoming industrial township in Solan district, has not started as the Punjab Government is yet to get clearance from the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment.

The proposed road, which will reduce the distance between the two places to around 25 km from the present 50 km, has to pass through an area which is protected under various provision of the Forest Act. The road will also provide an alternative route for the Shimla-bound traffic from Chandigarh and towns of Punjab.

Before starting work on the road, the state Public Works Department has to get permission for laying the road.

Sources in the state government reveal that the case was being sent by the state Forest Department to the Union Ministry for clearance. The Animal Husbandry Minister, Punjab, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, has been pursuing the project.

In February this year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had approved a direct road link between Chandigarh and Baddi. Since the Baddi township is a favourite destination for multi-nationals, the road link could boost the economic development in the surrounding areas of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Entrepreneurs in the Baddi township have been demanding the road for a long time.

A number of ancillary units in the adjoining districts of Punjab are feeding the bigger units at Baddi. The industrial hub of Punjab, Mandi Gobindgarh, will also get a direct link with Baddi and beyond via Kurali. As per the proposed alignment, the road would touch the PGI, Mullanpur and turn right from Majri and then join the Nalagarh-Pinjore road. A 16-km stretch of road linking Majri with the Chandigarh-Ropar highway at Kuarli already exists.

The new route will also provide a direct link between the Ambala-Kalka highway and the Ropar-Chandigarh highway. It will also join the Ludhiana-Morinda road section at Kurali.

Approving the project under the Economic Importance and Inter-State Connectivity Scheme, the ministry had sanctioned around Rs 8 crore to the Punjab Government.



Undertrial’s escape
 5 cops suspended
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 19
Less than 24 hours after an undertrial escaped from the custody of five Chandigarh police personnel, they were placed under suspension by the Senior Superintendent of Police today.

The cops today had to be told how to go about performing their job following the incident.

In a press statement issued by the Chandigarh police, the SSP said action had been initiated against the police officers against whom a case has been registered under Sections 223, 224 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code in Rangar Nangal police station in Batala district police yesterday.

A team comprising Assistant Sub-Inspector Salwinder Singh, Head Constables Mahavir Singh and Balwinder Singh and Constables Baldev Singh and Pagga Singh, had reportedly gone to produce the undertrail in a murder case, Kulbir Singh, in a Batala court.

The SSP, while ordering immediate suspension of the police officers, said a departmental inquiry had been initiated against them. The police officials concerned were being dealt with in a stringent manner so as to set an example.



Doctor, not police, competent to declare person dead
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Dr Christian Barnard would not have been able to perform the first heart transplant had he been living in this part of the region. He was passed by his assistant Hamilton Nacky the heart of a brain-dead woman run over by a speeding bus. Had he been here, the police would have simply declared the woman dead without even taking her to the hospital for hours together — at least this is what legal luminaries, even retired policemen, assert.

They say in so many cases the police in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh “declare” a person dead even before doctors examine him or her. This, they assert, is a “fatal mistake”.

The experts claim that the police may in fact be facilitating death, while following the set procedure. Giving details, they say that victims of road mishaps, even suicides and other offences, are often given up for dead, without even checking the signs of life in them.

In any case, the police is not competent to tell whether the victim has made his exit from the world, or still has a weak pulse, the experts assert, adding that the policemen are not even trained to do so.

City-based criminal lawyer Anil Pal Singh Shergill adds, “The law does not specify it in certain terms. Yet, it is clear that doctors are the only ones competent to declare a person dead. The legal process begins only after the doctor holds the victim lifeless”.

He adds: “You see, a person is declared dead only after his brain stops functioning. As such, there is no way policemen on duty can say whether the person has breathed his last”.

Quoting an example, other legal experts say Sukhwinder Kaur and her seven-year-old son, Navjot Singh, were not removed to the hospital from their Sector 45 house for over four hours after receiving the information about the alleged suicide on Sunday night. The doctor was reportedly not called to the scene by officers of the Chandigarh Police.

Sukhwinder Kaur had first killed her son and then had ended her life due to alleged differences with her husband. Though the police was informed about the incident at about 11 pm, the bodies were shifted out of the house only after 3.30 am.

Another lawyer Raman Sharma agrees that in the dual-death case, rigor mortis could have warned the police that the two had been dead for long. But in several other cases, the policemen are worried only about taking the photographs of the scene and completing other formalities.

He adds that in Punjab on an average 2,200 commuters die and another 10,000 are injured annually in road accidents. In a substantial number of cases, precious human lives could have been possibly saved had the police shifted the victims to the hospitals immediately, instead of leaving them for dead, before completing the formalities.

Offering a solution, he says, “The police should be told in clear terms that the victims’ lives are their top priority and it is their moral, if not legal, duty to save them. Other things can wait.”



Tehelka case: Minister seeks explanation
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Defence Minister has sought an explanation from the Army’s top legal officer, a major-general posted at Army Headquarters, over advice rendered by him in the matter pertaining to tampering of certain documents in the Tehelka case, it is learnt.

Sources said whereas a proper investigation was warranted into allegations of altering statements given in the additional Summary of Evidence (SOE), the Judge Advocate General, Major-Gen Nilendra Kumar had reportedly advised to the contrary. The SOE is a crucial document containing evidence against the accused and it is on this document that the decision whether to convene a court martial to try an accused or not, is based.

The alleged tampering had come to light on June 16, during the deposition of former tehelka.com staffer Aniruddha Bahal. The general court martial trying one of the officers accused in the Tehelka scam had directed that the documents be forwarded to the court’s convening authority to be sent for forensic examination.

The next day, a meeting was held at Army Headquarters to examine the matter. The meeting was also attended by, among others, a representative from the Ministry of Defence. During the meeting, the Judge Advocate General had taken the view that the Army should not go in for getting the said documents examined forensically. The opinions expressed during the meeting, according to sources, are on record. The Army had nevertheless, sent the SOE for forensic examination to the Government Examiner of Questioned Documents. Orders seeking explanation from the general were issued a few days ago.

During his deposition, Aniruddha Bahal, who had been in charge of the sting operation which had caught senior officers, politicians and bureaucrats on a video tape allegedly demanding and accepting bribes, said that certain words and sentences had been added to his answers. He stated that the answers had only been “yes” or “no”. 



Passing Thru

H.R Binod
H.R Binod, Senior Vice-President, Infosys

Does Chandigarh have the required infrastructure to market the city as an IT destination?

Chandigarh has become overcrowded and does not have the infrastructure to coop with the increasing workforce likely to come in with the setting up of more IT companies in the city and satellite townships. But it has the potential and it should start preparing now.

What should be the role of the government?

The government will have to work towards upgrading infrastructure so as to lure big multinational companies to come and invest here. To begin, with connectivity to Delhi and other places in the country will have to be improved. There should be more flights to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, besides Delhi.

What does Chandigarh really lack?

To begin with grossly inadequate facilities at the Chandigarh Airport. If someone visits the public toilets at the airport, he is bound to lose his faith in this country. A rapid transit system for the benefit of commuters and growth of industry is a must.

Poonam Batth



MC chief introduces new schemes for civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Panchkula MC House meeting in progress at Panchkula on Tuesday
Panchkula MC House meeting in progress at Panchkula on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, July 19
Amidst a near “boycott” by councillors owing allegiance to the Chander Mohan faction of Congress, Mr Tarun Bhandari’s maiden Municipal House meeting as president went off peacefully. Only 15 councillors in the 31-member strong House were present in today’s meeting.

Aiming to improve the civic amenities in the township, the young MC chief introduced new schemes for improving sanitation, maintenance of streetlights and neighbourhood parks and steps to check the stray cattle menace. The House passed all nine proposals listed on the agenda.

The House today dismissed the contract awarded for the lifting of garbage from various parts of the township, as the contractor’s work was found to be lacking. Instead, it was decided to introduce a dustbin-free system of sanitation, on the pattern of Chandigarh. “We will first introduce the system in one sector, and after its successful implementation, it will be replicated in all sectors. The rehris will collect the garbage from each house in the morning and trucks will collect the garbage and dispose this of at the dumping ground,” said Mr Bhandari.

A budget of Rs 6 lakh was also passed for contracting out the services of maintaining the 200 odd parks in various sectors. The contract would be awarded from August 1, where a contractor will maintain the parks and payments would be disbursed to him only after the park maintenance societies approve the maintenance works carried out.

It may be noted that the MC had earlier privatised the maintenance of public parks. Park maintenance societies, with residents of the area as members were formed, and MC would pay them at the rate of Re 1 per sq m for maintenance. However, with the overpayment and embezzlement of funds by several committees, the MC has decided to hire a contractor for the job.

The House also approved the automation energy efficiency system for streetlight maintenance by a Bangalore-based firm, Elpro Energy Dimensions. Under this system, switching on and off streetlights will be done through a central computerised panel. The computer would also show if the streetlights are defunct and need replacement. The streetlights would also be dimmed around midnight to save on energy consumption. Officials of the company, who gave their presentation to the MC House, said the system would reduce power consumption and help save 30 per cent on power bills.

The House also passed the proposal to request HUDA to grant 5 acres near the Saketri gaushala for setting up a cattle pound. The existing cattle pound at Old Panchkula was too small in size, and had a holding capacity of 150 cattle.

Meanwhile, the media was kept away from the MC House meeting today. Mr Tarun Bhandari, when asked about why the media was not allowed, said this was done following suggestions by certain councillors. He, however, said that the decision would be reviewed again. On factionalism within the Congress and his party councillors choosing to keep away from the meeting, he said he would initiate a dialogue with all councillors.



Has city police become complacent?
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Though the Chandigarh Police claims specialisation in investigating cases, they could not lay their hands on the murderer of 23-year-old Simranjit Kaur. Her body was found in her Sector 22 residence on July 17, 2003.

Similarly, the cops could not arrest the murderers of Sector 21 resident Sundri Agnihotri. She was killed on December 25 last year. In Mainpal’s case also, the police was still groping in the dark. He was murdered on August 14, 2003.

Chandigarh, July 19
You just cannot give Chandigarh Police the credit of tracking down accused. Over the years the cops have simply proved they are good only at encouraging parties to strike compromises. As far as tracing accused is concerned, they just know how to make futile attempts.

In so many instances they simply wait for the accused to surrender — like in the case of Chandigarh’s former Chief Engineer. Or else, for the accused to surface — like in the case of Samidha Bansal.

Accused in Chandani-abetment-to-suicide-case, Samidha is likely to surface on Friday after the grant of anticipatory bail by a local court. Her father Pawan Kumar Bansal today said Samidha would also address a press gathering soon after coming out in the open.

For nearly a month, the Chandigarh Police had tried to trace her. After failing in their attempts, the cops had reportedly gone upto the extent of laying a trap to get hold of her.

Giving details of the procedure adopted by the police, the sources said on the one hand they issued press statements claiming Samidha was wanted just for questioning. On the other hand, the cops issued “look-out notices”.

The intention, sources in the police headquarters said, was to make Samidha walk into their trap. Referring to the press statement, the sources said it was “cleverly worded”.

A senior Chandigarh Police officer had asserted that she was not wanted at the current stage. In fact the officer had stated that there was incriminating evidence against Samidha on record, but it was not sufficient to warrant her arrest at the stage.

He had added that Samidha was required for establishing her involvement or innocence in Chandani Bansal’s death. “She has been asked to join the investigation… after she joins the same the entire evidence available on record would be evaluated”. The sources said the cops had left enough scope to take her in custody after talking to her.

They added that Samidha was not the only one the cops could not lay their hands on. Though alleged assassins of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh — Jagtar Singh Hawara, Paramjit Singh Bheora and Jagtar Singh Tara — had tunnelled their way out of Burail jail in January last year, the cops could not trace them.

Citing the example of the former Chief Engineer’s case, the sources said for over a year the cops kept on looking for him after registering cases against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Rather, the cops initiated proceedings for declaring him a proclaimed offender. But the accused simply walked into a courtroom and gave himself up one fine morning.

Otherwise also, the Chandigarh Police failed to solve almost 19 per cent of the murder cases registered by it. In 2003 out of 21 cases registered by the police, four could not be worked out. Next year, the cops could not solve three out of 20 registered cases.



Seminar on Urdu poet Hali today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Before the Haryana Government fulfils its promise of opening a museum documenting the life of Urdu poet Altaf Hassain Hali, the Haryana Urdu Akademi is doing its bit in introducing Hali to the region.

For the first time in ages, the legacy of Hali, a contemporary of Mirza Ghalib, will be brought alive when eminent scholars from India and Pakistan will recall his genius at a seminar to be held tomorrow.

For years Hali placed himself under Ghalib’s tutelage after which he went to Lahore and finally came back to the place of his belonging in India. He died in 1914 in Panipat, unsung, uncared for.

But now the Haryana Government is working to revive the glory of Hali by recalling his memory in many ways. The most important project at hand is the restoration of Hali’s haveli in Panipat, where he spent the last days of his life.

As a prelude to the restoration work, the Haryana Urdu Akademi is organising a day-long Indo-Pak seminar on Hali - his relevance in the world of contemporary Urdu literature, his style and technique, his thematic indulgences and his rebellious streaks.

Hali, the first Urdu critic, was also a trendsetter when it came to radical writings. He demanded rights for women in an age when women were, at most, treated as “showpieces in houses”.

Being organised under the care of Dr K.L. Zakir, in charge of affairs at the Akademi, the seminar, to be held in the ICSSR complex, Panjab University tomorrow, will bring together a motley group of scholars from both sides of the border. The Akademi is getting Lahore University’s Dr Salim Akhtar to deliver the keynote address. There are many senior poets and journalists crossing the Wagah tonight to reach in time for the seminar that starts at 10 am tomorrow.

After academic deliberations on Hali, the Akademi will also organise an Indo-Pak poetic symposium which will be attended among others by Shaista Nuzhat, Azhar Javed, Tahir Taunsvi, Munavvar Sultana, Farooq Geelani, Nilima Durrani and Shahnaz Muzammil. The Indian brigade will be represented by Dr Shaheryar, Dr Manzoor Ahmad, Dr Muzaffar Hanfi, Bekal Utsahi, Adil Lakhnawi among others.

The symposium will be held at the PGI’s Bhargava Auditorium at 7 pm tomorrow.



Nari Niketan home gets functional
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Responding to the dire necessity of providing a shelter home for women in difficult circumstances, Gen (Retd.) S.F.Rodrigues, UT Administrator, has approved immediate operationalisation of a Home in Block II of Nari Niketan, Sector 26, an official press note said here today.

The Centre had recently granted approval for the proposed shelter home under ‘Swadhar Scheme’. The Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation (CCWDC) shall be the implementing agency for this scheme.

The target groups include widows deserted by families and relatives left uncared at religious places where they are victims of exploitation; women prisoners released from jail and without family support; women survivors of natural disasters rendered homeless and are without social and economic support; women and girls rescued from brothels; women victims of terrorist violence without family support, mentally ill women without support and women with HIV / AIDS deserted by their families.



Enforcement staff comb sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation undertook a major drive to check the growing menace of encroachments in markets and parking areas, including Phase I and II of the Industrial Area of the city, here today.

Nine teams comprising the enforcement staff were given six sectors each while one officer headed two teams. They combed the sectors for encroachments in open areas, corridors and parkings.

At the end of the day, they came back with 24 truckloads of goods confiscated during the drive. As many as 300 challans were issued while vendors operating from parkings and road berms were asked to clear the place.



Probe into panchayat land sale
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Director, Rural Development and Panchayat, Chandigarh, Mr Amarnath, has said in the alleged case of illegal sale of panchayat land of Mauli Jagran Gram Panchyat the SDM( South) has been asked to hold a full-fledged inquiry into the role of the members of the panchayat who were under suspension.

He said yesterday that complainants wanted the imposition of penalty on the members of panchayat without following the due procedures.

The three members of the panchayat — Om Parkash, Kesar Singh, Darbara Singh and Rulda Ram — have challenged their suspension in the court of the Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats.



Birth anniversary of Sixth Guru
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The birth anniversary of the sixth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind, was celebrated at the Khalsa Mohalla in Patiala on July 17 and 18. More than 1000 dovotees from all over the city participated in the celebrations with enthusiasm. The function was organised by the Patiala unit of the International Kirtan Council.

Besides other ragi jathas, there was shabad kirtan by noted ragi Bhai Sukhbir Singh of Ludhiana.

Langar was also served on the occasion. The newly elected main sewadar of the Sukhmani Sahib Sewa Society(Patiala unit), Mr Surinder Singh Sunny, was also honoured.



Readers write
One-way traffic system

It is good to see the signpost of one-way traffic in Sadar Bazar, Ambala Cantt. This was in force earlier too. It is a temporary measure and hardly serves any purpose.

The main problem in the area is not of regulating traffic alone. It is also about encroachments that have come up in Sadar Bazar by shopkeepers, rehriwalas and pavement hawkers. These prevent the smooth flow of traffic. The markets have a primitive look and are chaotic.

Mr Devinder Bansal, MLA, should look into the matter.

Col T.S. Kalra (Retd), Ambala Cantt

Need to metal road

Maharana Pratap Hostel is located on plot no. 454 in Sector 23 (west), Chandigarh. Its construction is going on and it has been partially occupied. The road in front of the main gate is still to be constructed. To avoid thorny bushes, an unauthorised gate has been erected (and objected by the Estate office) opposite the entry gate of Jawahar Navodaya School. The road between the school and the hostel is low-lying and unmetalled causing the rain water to collect and creating problems for residents.

The hostel management has been writing to the authorities concerned since the past year, but nothing has come of it.

All-India Rajput Students Aid Society, Chandigarh.

MA (Fine Arts) faculty needed

I was shocked when my friend told me that there was no faculty of MA (Fine Arts) in Panjab University though the Department of Fine Arts exists. After graduation, students from city colleges have to go to other cities or universities to get admission in a postgraduate arts course. Panjab University is the oldest university of this region and should have MA (Fine Arts). Even Chandigarh Art College doesn’t have MA classes. I wonder why the Department of Fine Arts was established. Is it just to show that the department is there to conduct exhibitions only and has no relevant faculty to teach the subject.

Inderpal Singh, Mohali

Unplanned traffic lights

Traffic lights in Panchkula are not too many, but even these have not been installed keeping in mind the volume of traffic on the main road or the intersections, which have to be the basis for evaluating the timing or frequency of indicators.

Equal weightage has been given to the traffic on the main road, which caters to 90 per cent of traffic volume and on the link roads. Normally a vehicle, on getting a green signal, should get a green signal on the next point.

The authorities should take steps to rearrange the traffic lights

J.K. Mago, Panchkula

Time to wind up MC

Not that HUDA was any good but with the coming in of the municipal corporation, things have worsened. Why waste tax payers’ money when councillors, instead of working in the interest of the public, have no time for the public. It is time to wind up the municipal corporation and save the public.

Dr Harish Khanna, Panchkula



Water supply panel meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
A water supply committee meeting of the Municipal Corporation today approved laying sewer lines in houses of the economically weaker sections in Sector 37, here.

The committee gave its nod to providing a sewer lines to the Bharat Petroleum depot in Sector 25 as also the shifting of road gullies along V3 roads of the city. The shifting of road gullies will be undertaken at the roundabouts of Sectors 31-32-46-47; Sectors 32-33-47-46; Sectors 19-27-20-30 and Sectors 29-30-27-28.



SC youths finish drivers’ training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The first batch of SC/ST youths attending the driving training programme initiated by the UT Social Welfare Department in collaboration with Maruti Udyog completed their course today.

The test is being held at Joshi Autozone driving school and is meant to financially empower weaker sections.

Present on the occasion was Mr R.R. Gill, non-official director of Chandigarh SC/BC Corporation of the UT Administration, who interacted with the passouts.



Rs 5 lakh grant for CAT bar panel

Chandigarh, July 19
Local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal has announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for upgradation of infrastructural facilities in the office of the CAT Bar Association here. The MP was speaking at a ceremony organised by the CAT Bar Association at the CAT Complex in Sector 17 here.

Mr Bansal said with increasing litigations of service-related matters, the role of the tribunal had become important. Allaying the fear of advocates on the abolition of tribunals, Mr Bansal said he would raise his voice in support of the tribunals in the session of Parliament. 



Reebok showroom burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 19
Thieves decamped with goods worth Rs 4 lakh from the Reebok showroom in Sector 17 late last night. In separate incidents, the police arrested one person on theft charge and two others for indulging in gambling. Besides, a motor cycle was reportedly stolen from the city.
Giving details of the theft, the franchisee of the Reebok showroom in Sector 17-E, Mr Ankit Jain, alleged that the thieves gained entry from behind the showroom. He said the roof had a weak point, which the thieves were possibly aware of.

The theft was detected at 10.30 this morning, when Mr Jain opened his shop. The cash box was lying on the floor and approximately Rs 30,000 were missing. Besides, shoes, goggles and apparels worth Rs 4 lakh were stolen. Mr Jain informed the police. The police inspected the spot and registered a case of theft following a complaint filed by Mr Jain.

Meanwhile, Parmod, a resident of Burail, was caught from the Sectors 25 and 38 dividing road while stealing six metres of electricity cable. The arrest was made on a complaint filed by Mr Tulsi Ram of Sector 43-A.

In separate incidents, the police arrested two persons on the charge of gambling

Police sources said Vinod Kumar of Mauli Complex in Mani Majra was arrested from Mauli Complex and Rajinder Kumar of Phase II, Ram Darbar, was arrested from Kachha Rasta in Ram Darbar on Monday. The police recovered Rs 200 and 240 from their possession, respectively. Separate cases under the Gambling Act have been registered in different police stations in the city.

Meanwhile, Mr Daulat Singh Negi of Sector 28-B lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his motor cycle (CH03-E-7358) was stolen from his residence during the night of July 17. A case has been registered in this regard.



Woman booked for abusing govt employees
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 19
A woman was arrested by the police from the office of the Managing Director, Haryana Power Generation Corporation, Mr P.K. Das, when she allegedly abused and manhandled some of his staff members.

The incident took place this morning, when Ms Varsah Rani, a lower division clerk at Faridabad Thermal Plant, went to meet Mr Das over a mutual transfer case. The woman first went to meet the Chief Engineer (Administration) and after a heated discussion, he asked her to meet the Managing Director.

The woman reportedly went to meet Mr Das and pleaded her case for a mutual transfer to Panipat. When the MD expressed some difficulty in ordering the transfer, she got agitated and started hurling abuses. The personal staff of the MD tried to intervene, but she allegedly abused them and even manhandled one person.

The police was called in and the woman was arrested. She has been booked under Sections 332, 353, 186 and 504 of IPC. She will be produced in a local court tomorrow.



Suicide at Sukhna: girl identified
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 19
A young woman who allegedly jumped to death in the Sukhna Lake last evening has been identified as 16-year-old Shelly, a resident of Sector 27-D, here. Though the police is looking into the reasons behind the extreme step, her family says she was under depression.

The in charge of the Sukhna Lake police post said the father of the victim had ruled out any foul play behind the death. A shopkeeper in the Sector 19 Sadar Bazar, Mr Ashok Kumar told the police that Shelly had left home around 7.30 am. She had demanded Rs 10 from her grandmother. She had left her home after getting the money and did not return.

Her family came to know about the tragedy this morning following reports and photographs appearing in the media. They contacted the Sukhna Lake police post and identified the victim at the General Hospital, Sector 16, where the body was kept.

Sources in the police, quoting the elder sister of Shelly, said the deceased was depressed and nurtured late for her mother who had left them about 15 years ago.

Shelly, a matriculate, quit studies about two years ago and had joined a sewing centre.

The postmortem was conducted today. However, the exact cause of the death could not be ascertained. The doctors have sent the viscera of the deceased for chemical examination.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard.



IAF Junior Warrant Officer dies in accident
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 19
A Punjab Roadways bus on the busy Zirakpur-Patiala highway this evening crushed a 40-year-old Junior Warrant Officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to death. The accident occurred in Chhat village.

Posted at 12 Wing of the IAF at Chandigarh, Mr Anant Kumar, a resident of Sector 31-D, Chandigarh, was going on a motor cycle (GJ-10J-4351) towards Rajpura. The roadways bus (PB-11Z-5614) approaching from the opposite direction collided head on. The motor cyclist died on the spot.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the Chandigarh-bound bus from Talwandi Sabo fled the scene after the mishap.

On receiving the news of the mishap, officials of the IAF reached the spot and regulated vehicular movement on the highway. They informed the police at the Lohgarh police post. The police reached the site and took the body to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for post-mortem.

The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving causing death under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against the bus driver.



Balongi resident found dead
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 19
The body of a 55-year-old resident of Balongi was found hanging from the ceiling of his house here this evening. The victim, Gulzar Singh, working as a security guard and an alcoholic, is believed to have committed suicide. 

According to the police post in charge, Balongi, Mr Barma Singh, the body was found hanging with a piece of cloth from a wooden girder in his house in Ambedkar Colony.

His wife, daughter and son had gone to the market when the incident took place. When they returned, they found Gulzar Singh’s body hanging from the ceiling. The body has been sent for postmortem.



One held for gambling
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 19
One person was arrested on charges of gambling here today. The accused, Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Nayagaon, was arrested and Rs 1500 recovered from him.

Yesterday, three persons were arrested for indulging in satta here. The accused, Milap Chand of Palsora, Rajinder Singh of Chandigarh and Rajesh Kumar of Mohali, were arrested from the Phase I booths. They were booked under Sections 420 and 120 B of the IPC and Sections 7, 3 and 8 of the Lottery Act, 1998.



New marketing mantra of BSNL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Over nine lakh cellular and about one lakh more broadband connections by the year-end, besides two new tariff plans for landline customers in Punjab and Chandigarh — Bharat Sanchar Nagam Limited (BSNL) — are set to ring in a new marketing mantra.

The Plan 199 with Rs 199 monthly rental, 90 free calls and thereafter calls at Rs 1.20 each — has been introduced for small towns with telephone exchanges of less than one lakh capacity. These include Mohali, Panchkula, Bathinda, Ropar, Mansa and Sangrur to name a few.

The other scheme, Plan 1399, offers the subscriber 1500 free calls at a monthly rental of Rs 1,399 for heavy users of basic telecom services. After the free calls, each additional call would be charged at Re 1.

The reason behind the new marketing strategy is not hard to see. With more and more private operators offering “more for less”, the number of people surrendering the landline connections is on the rise.

Another reason is the increasing popularity of mobile phones. Nearly 69,000 landline connections were surrendered last year and 30,000 this year in the Punjab circle.

Principal General Manager of the Punjab Telecom Circle, Mr G.S. Bhatia, attributed this to the non-availability of fixed wireless landlines last year and said the same were available in plenty now.

While 23,000 gave up their landline connections in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, 15,000 connections were further added.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Bhatia said the number of mobile phone subscribers in the state had crossed 4.3 lakh customers and 9 lakh more connections would be provided by March next year.

“We would be putting up 176 additional towers, (some of them have been already commissioned), to enhance connectivity and provide better services in the region,” he added. Edge facility would also be provided to the subscribers shortly to make the services internet-enabled.

Elaborating on the recently introduced broadband facility, Mr Bhatia said one lakh connections would be provided in the current year. The target was to provide 4.6 lakh additional connections in the circle during the next two years.

While the service had already been commissioned in Amritsar, Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Ferozepore, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Pathankot, services were being commissioned in Patiala. The remaining cities would be covered in a phased manner. Nearly 1,000 connections had been provided in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula through 21 exchanges and 1,000 others in the rest of Punjab Circle, he said.

Giving figures, Mr Bhatia said 1.35 lakh BSNL connections were provided last year and 30,000 new connections provided in the circle from April to June. Nearly 75,000 WLL connections were also given.

The BSNL planned to add 60,000 new Internet customers this year and 1.8 lakh connections during the next two years. The BSNL already had one lakh customers on its dialup Internet service.

The BSNL had decided to release 51,000 connections of its WLL Tarang service in 11 towns of the state. Two plans — Rs 100 and Rs 799 monthly rentals — had been introduced. The 11 towns were Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Mohali, Khanna, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Amritsar, Rayya, Patiala, Rajpura and Mandi Gobindgarh.

Answering a query, he admitted that Sectors 48, 49, 50 and certain pockets of Sector 51 in Chandigarh and Sectors 66 and 67 in Mohali were yet to be get the BSNL landline connectivity but cable was being procured to provide the same. However, there was no waiting list for mobile connections now. 



Conference at CII tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
To give an impetus to public-private partnership in urban development, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Punjab State Council, in association with PUDA & IL and FS, is organising a conference on sustainable urban development through public-private partnership here at the CII Northern Region Headquarters on July 21.

The conference will focus on managing sustainable urban development, good governance for sustainable urban development and infrastructure development and challenges for developing viable public-private partnerships. The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will be the chief guest.


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