C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


43 mm rainfall & city infrastructure fails
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

A mother helps her daughter wade through water to reach home after school in Sector 45.
A mother helps her daughter wade through water to reach home after school in Sector 45.

Chandigarh, August 3
The city witnessed a virtual blitzkrieg of rain today. Typical of rain in this area, the “switch-on, switch-off” mode the downpour displayed had everyone surprised.

The rain seemed to travel sector by sector with residents rushing back to their homes and finding their sectors totally dry, only to get caught in a shower a few minutes later! Ironically, Mohali and Panchkula just had a drizzle while the northern sectors in Chandigarh received a barrage!

Chetna Sethi, a housewife living in Mohali, decided to rush home as soon as it started to rain. However, on reaching Sector 35 a couple of minutes later, she found the roads completely dry.

The city seemed ill-equipped to deal with the 43 mm rainfall it received till 5:30 pm. The roads were clogged with water. There were traffic jams and mayhem. Ankle-deep water jammed all roundabouts where traffic jams lasted over an hour. Pooja Shah, a student of Panjab University, took 45 minutes to traverse the distance between Hotel Aroma and Tribune Chowk.

Ramesh Singh, a resident of Patiala, who had come to the city regarding his sister’s delivery, was caught in the rain for over three hours.

He was en route to the Government Hospital in Sector 32 and was pleading with traffic policemen for help but in vain. His sister got to the hospital barely in time to make it to the delivery room. “I had the most harrowing experience today. I did not expect the traffic police to behave in such an irresponsible way,” he said.

The traffic police remained helpless in the face of the jams. With the weather humid and warm over the past few days, residents did not expect today to be any different and most of them had not even carried umbrellas with them.

While the traffic snarled through the roads, with some cars and three-wheelers breaking down, children revelled in the deluge. Splashing around, pulling each other and gurgling with joy, the children got caught while coming out of schools since the showers started at lunch time.

Vikas, an 11-year-old, said, “If my mother had been around, she would have caught hold of me and would not have allowed me to play. Now, I can wade through this water and play with my friends, and just tell her I got caught in the rain!”

Mumbai received a record-breaking 944 mm of rainfall in 24 hours recently which caused the city infrastructure to break down. Chandigarh, with its advanced drainage system, could not sustain 43 mm of rainfall in just over two hours.

The Meteorological Department has forecast one or two showers for the next 24 hours.

The maximum temperature for today was 34.2°C while the minimum was 26°C.

13-year-old drowned

Thirteen-year-old Pawan Kumar, a resident of Burail, drowned today while playing with his friends in a waterlogged open area near Sectors 33 and 45. A student of Government School, Sector 32, Pawan, like other boys and girls his age, decided to take advantage of the collected rainwater and splash around and have some fun. Since the water had collected in most areas, his friends did not realise when he waded into a wider pool of water and slipped under.



Ugly side of City Beautiful
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The ugly side of the City Beautiful came to the fore at noon today. The rain that started around 12.30 p.m, caused traffic jams in almost all parts of the city. Total chaos was visible on roads.

As it was closing hour for most schools in the city, school students were among the worst sufferers. The waited endlessly outside their schools for buses stuck up in traffic jams. The big brats were seen deliberately driving vehicles through the rainwater in a manner that made life hell for other commuters. They took sadistic pleasure in the exercise, especially targeting women and girls on two-wheelers.

Despite being a modern city, it took just an hour for the system to break down.



Need for links between school buses, authorities
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, August 3
Today’s downpour, coinciding with the closing time of schools, has underlined the need to have a proper system where the school authorities and parents could be in constant touch in case school vehicles carrying their wards are stuck in traffic jams.

Mr D.S. Bedi, Director Principal of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, has introduced a system that facilitates a closure contact with parents and the school authorities through GPS, which works through satellite. Mr Bedi said only a few days ago they had got the system installed by TACO Mobiapps Telematics Limited where bus personnel had been provided with mobile phones, having direct link with the school.

The system has the provision of flashing SMS to as many as 5,000 parents, he added.

In Panchkula, the Mobile Radio trunk system, installed at Hansraj Public School, Sector 6. The same kind of system was launched on a trial basis by the Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula. The school is awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Communications for the same.

According to Mr Sanjay Thareja, Director of the school, in this system there is a base station established at school and the school management is constantly in touch with drivers of school vehicles. The drivers have been provided with wireless phones.

Mr Tharaja said when a bus left the school premises in the morning and after school hours, there could be several instances when bus might stuck in traffic jams. When a parent calls up the school office enquiring about a particular bus or route, the driver concerned is contacted and the parent can get the required information.

Mr Ravinder Talwar, Principal of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, said in today’s tension-ridden world, every one is in hurry. The technology is also advancing day by day and every school would not mind switching over to the system.

Ms Kamaljit Kaura, a housewife who stays in Mohali, said it had been a tense wait for around two hours when finally her daughter’s school bus reached home at 4 p.m.

She said as Mohali did not experience any rain today, she could not anticipate the cause of delay in the arrival of the school bus. She suggested that there should be a constant contact between the school management and bus operators so that parents did not get anxious in case of any problem.



Hawara back in Burail Jail
Saurabh Malik and Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, August 3
Eighteen months after tunneling his way out of Model Jail in Burail village, the Babbar Khalsa International’s alleged chief Jagtar Singh Hawara returned to the prison after being remanded to judicial custody till August 17 by a local court. For preventing “further attempts to escape”, security in and around the jail premises was beefed up soon after his arrival.

In fact, the jail was converted into a fortress as cops on horseback patrolled the area around the prison’s outer walls till late evening. Leaving nothing to chance, the men on the watch towers were reportedly asked by the jail authorities to maintain extra vigil. Besides, the visitors to the jail premises had to undergo “thorough frisking”.

Escorted by over 30 commandos in about seven vehicles, Hawara — accused in the assassination of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh — was brought to the jail premises at about 4.45 pm under the direct supervision of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) B.D. Bector. The entire process of sending him in did not last for more than 15 minutes.

A senior official of the Chandigarh Police said they were not taking any chances with Hawara. As such, round-the-clock patrolling was being carried out by the personnel in the vicinity.

He added that the antecedents of persons visiting the jail premises under suspicious circumstances on one pretext or the other were also being verified by the police.

Though senior jail officials refused to divulge details, sources in the prison said Hawara was rushed to a separate cell and was not allowed to meet other inmates. The assassination trial is likely to resume soon with his return to the jail, the sources said.

Earlier during the day, the request of the Punjab Police for Hawara’s transit remand was turned down by UT Chief Judicial Magistrate Neerja K Kalson. The Punjab Police was seeking Hawara’s custody in connection with a blast case that took place in January this year. The explosion was allegedly aimed at eliminating a senior religious leader Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala.

The Punjab Police personnel from Kharar and Ropar were present in strength both inside and outside the court premises in anticipation of getting Hawara’s remand.

Talking to the media outside the court premises after the alleged militant was remanded to judicial custody, DSP Bector said Hawara would now be taken to Delhi on Thursday for being presented before a court there in connection with the twin cinema hall blasts case.

Meanwhile, the sources added that the Chandigarh Police had managed to extract vital information from Hawara in the jailbreak and other cases. As such, they were not really interested in seeking Hawara’s further police remand. They added that the police had managed to prepare a foolproof case against Hawara and other accused.

The Chandigarh Police has reportedly decided to proceed against some of the accused in the jailbreak case registered in January last year after Hawara and others escaped from Burail Jail. The police has decided to present supplementary challan against them and seek the cancellation of their bails.

The charges of waging war against the state and criminal conspiracy were earlier dropped against as many as 13 accused, even as charges were framed against them under Sections 217, 222 and 224 of the IPC, which were bailable offences.



Officers on deputation stay put despite rules
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Though senior officers in the Chandigarh Administration do not admit to flouting rules in accepting officers on deputation from other states or giving duty charge to its own officers, the situation prevailing in the UT offices, particularly in the engineering wing, seems to be otherwise.

Despite clear rules, some officers on deputation for 15 to 18 years managed to got promoted here. Giving details of the rules, sources in UT Administration said the policy of giving current duty charge (CDC) was framed by the Administration only last year. According to it, the charge may be handed over only if the need arises and that too to the senior-most person for three to six months.

The Administration had directed that the deputationists who had superceded their seniors by getting promotions through the CDC be repatriated to their parent states.

Surprisingly, the orders were complied with only in the Chandigarh Housing Board. In the rest of the departments, the orders were not implemented since they were against the “favourites of the top bosses.”

The worst hit was the engineering wing. The sources claimed that it was a practice to give the CDC charge to officers of technical and other ministerial posts in the department.

In an attempt to adjust its favourites in case of a controversy, the officer was shifted from one department to an equally important post in another department. Quoting an example, the sources said a junior engineer in the UT Engineering Department was given the CDC charge even though he superceded many seniors.

Later, he was sent to the Estate Office.

A senior official of the Administration, when contacted, said he was not aware of the matter and would look into it.

Regarding rules governing deputationist, almost all rules are being ignored. Taking into account the CAT decision of 1987, the Administration had decided that if the officers in the UT cadre were eligible for promotion to a particular post, officers would not be sought on deputation.

It was also decided that an officer taken on deputation for any post should have an experience of five years on that post.

The sources said a Chief Engineer of the Administration and an Executive Engineer of the Municipal Corporation won a case in the Supreme Court on the basis of a CAT order. The issue of getting a deputationist from outside was stayed then.

Even though Mr S.P Arora was eligible for the post of SC (Public Health) of the Engineering Wing, Mr M.P Singh was brought on deputation from Haryana last year.

While Mr M.P Singh has been repatriated to his parent state, the Administration has again sought a panel for this post from Haryana, ignoring the seniority of its own officer. Mr Arora has reportedly knocked at the doors of the court.

As far as the five years’ experience rule is concerned, an officer is on deputation from Haryana for almost two decades. He went back to his parent state for just a day to get promotion and was back on deputation on the elevated post the next day.

Another officer came to the PGIMER from Himachal Pradesh on deputation and later came to the Chandigarh Administration from there, without going back to his parent state. The Administration once again flouted the rule of five years’ experience on a post.

The Central Vigilance Commission had ordered that no officer be allowed to occupy an important post for more than three years, nor be kept on deputation.

The Administration made several lists, issued orders, but the fact is that many senior officers, junior engineers, ministerial staff and even executive engineers from other states are still here and same on the verge of retirement.

A senior official said the exercise of sending back the deputationists had already begun and all important posts in the Engineering Department were being manned by UT cadre officers.

The Administration had recently on the basis of a CAT decision decided to keep junior officers in the Municipal Corporation and senior in the Administration, but it was facing stiff resistance from the employees.

They had moved the court against this decision. The matter was pending in court. They were demanding that deputationists be repatriated so that their own employees did not become “surplus” and lose jobs.



SI nabbed taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
A team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials today nabbed a Sub-Inspector of the Chandigarh Police while allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a person in Sector 3 police station here.

Sources in the CBI said SI Jaswant Singh was today nabbed by CBI sleuths red-handed while allegedly taking the bribe.

Following a complaint by Mr Rajesh Verma, the CBI laid a trap and arrested the SI Jaswant Singh under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.



Prosecution witness fails to appear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Prime prosecution witness in general court martial trying Brig Iqbal Singh in the Tehelka case, Mathews Samuel, today failed to appear before the court. He had been being cross-examined by the defence for the past four days.

The prosecution told the court that the witness was unable to appear due to some important professional engagement. The court, however, pulled up the prosecution for letting the witness going away.

Prosecution counsel, Arvind Moudgil said the former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, Lieut-Gen J.S. Verma was expected to depose before the court on August 8, when it re-assembled.

General Verma was posted as the Deputy Master General of Ordnance at Army Headquarters when tehelka.com had carried out the sting operation in 2000 to expose corruption in defence deals. He was Brigadier Iqbal’s immediate superior in the ordnance branch.

He would be the third lieutenant general to depose before this court. Earlier, former GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S.S. Sangra, had deposed before the court in regard to his recommendations on the findings of court of inquiry conducted into the matter.



Passing Thru

What brings you to Chandigarh?

Ms Navjeet Brar, Assistant Dean, California Polytechnic University Library, and alumna of Panjab University
Ms Navjeet Brar, Assistant Dean, California Polytechnic University Library, and alumna of Panjab University

I visit India every summer and I always bring my kids along so that they could get the feel of Punjab and get acquainted with its culture. I settled in the US in 1986. I have spent my student years in Panjab University and today I am here to deliver a lecture at AC Joshi Library. I want to suggest some useful strategies on maintaining a library which have been very successful in the US.

What is the difference between the US and the Indian system of libraries?

The connectivity is very fast in the US and the library there is student-oriented. Here it is more bureaucratic. But, I must say that the reference system in India really helped me in the US to make the things simple.

Any suggestions to improve the working of AC Joshi Library of Panjab University?

I will definitely do something. As I am specialised in Information Technology and I will give some useful tips which may help officials in their day-to-day activities. 



PSEB ignores Zirakpur, Lalru areas
Residents reel under unscheduled power cuts
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, August 3
Loosely hanging electricity cables and naked wires in pole junctions are waiting for a tragedy to happen in various colonies in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru and adjoining areas. The problem is more pronounced in unauthorised colonies in the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat limits.

The PSEB authorities have hardly given any attention to repeated representations by residents for the replacement of damaged electricity wires and the installation of new transformers so that they can get regular two-phase power supply.

In Shalimar Enclave, Dhakauli village, high tension electricity wires carrying 11 KV current have been hanging precariously as the electricity poles are bent at an angle of 45 degrees. At some places, the wires are just at a height of over four-five feet.

Residents of the colony said the loose electricity wires had not been repaired for the past over 18 months. The high tension wire poles were shifted to the boundary wall of the colony almost one-and-a-half years ago.

Over five poles bent soon after their installation. The residents have repeatedly complained to the PSEB authorities in this regard, but to no avail, said Mr Omvir Singh, a resident of the colony. He said naked wires on the pole junctions continued to pose a risk to residents’ lives.

Mr Nitin Sood, a resident of Lohgarh village, alleged that the government had done nothing to improve the electricity situation for the past many years. He said the PSEB had not set up any complaint centre in the area.

He also lamented that frequent unscheduled power cuts and low voltage had crippled life here. “Though the PSEB has been charging electricity bills without any delay, it has failed in providing them with adequate power supply,” added Mr Sood. Repeated representations to the board authorities have disappointed him, he claimed.

Mr Gurcharan Singh, Executive Engineer, PSEB, Zirakpur, said the loose wires would be repaired soon. He also added that some residents have been shifting electricity poles without informing the officials concerned, leading to the problem.

He said they got orders from the headquarters for power cuts at the eleventh hour.



Workers of telecom companies damage footpaths
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 3
Workers hired by various telecommunication companies to carry out digging work to lay cables in parts of the town here are damaging footpaths and road berms, while the Municipal Council turns a blind eye to the damage.

Complaints have been received that workers are carrying out the digging work in Phases IIIB1, IV and V and damaging council property, apart from causing inconvenience to residents. Rains have made matters worse, with water in the dug-up portions. It is reported that a water supply pipeline was damaged during digging in Phase IV.

Mrs Inderjit Kaur, a municipal councillor, said in Phase V the workers had damaged footpaths constructed last year. Even if the tiles that were removed were put back after the completion of work, it would adversely affect the level of the footpaths as freshly laid tiles would cave in due to the rains.

She said in sectors that were yet to be developed by PUDA, proper planning should be done in advance in this regard. A duct should be provided by PUDA so that cables could be laid without damaging council property.

When the matter was brought to the notice of the council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, today, the digging work was got stopped for a period of two months.

Mr Tarsem Singh Rai, Municipal Engineer, said the work had been stopped till September 30. He said the council staff today confiscated tools of the workers. The civic body had given permission to carry out digging work only in unmetalled portions. Workers had dug up even footpaths in violation of the directions by council officials. He said they would be allowed to carry out work in October only after they set right the damage that was done now.



1,000 acres needed for IT services
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 3
At least 1,000 acres would be required in and around Mohali to cater to the demand put forth by various IT-companies across the nation for establishing IT and IT related services in the area.

How the government intends to meet this demand and other vital issues related to infrastructure and connectivity in Mohali and surrounding areas for the IT sector would be discussed during a high-powered meeting to be held in Chandigarh tomorrow.

The meeting called specifically to discuss Mohali would be chaired by Finance Minister Punjab Surinder Singla and issues regarding up-gradation of infrastructure and maintenance by the various government agencies and details of works to be executed for the area at a cost of Rs 172.5 crore be discussed.

Focus would be on sector 75 Mohali (Phase VIII A and B Industrial Area) where Quark City has been given 50 acres followed by TCS that is to be given 20 acres. Wipro has demanded 40 acres, which is yet to be finalised.

Other than the areas identified in the Mohali Master Plan for the IT industry, Quark City is developing up to 5000 acres for development of industry in general and knowledge industry in particular. This area is expected to be beyond Mullanpur on the Kharar side and Banur on the Rajpura side. Similarly, a biotechnology park is expected to come up around Dera Bassi.

The major works that the government intends to carry out in this pocket at cost of Rs 172. 5 crore include shifting/relocation of jhuggis, external peripheral services, internal services and augmentation of city level infrastructure.

A large part of the meeting’s agenda pertains to discussions on various bottlenecks that are expected to come in the way of these developments. Other than the availability of land, the need for reliable power supply from more than one source is being felt. Adequate availability of high-quality manpower resources would also be discussed.

Mohali would need more linkages with Chandigarh, strengthening of the Kharar-Banur road, strengthening and widening of the Kharar-Mohali road, construction of a four lane bypass from Sector 39 Chandigarh to Kharar, strengthening of the public transport system, development of commercial pockets, heath facilities and hotels. These are some of the points that would be brought up during the meeting. 



Sikh bodies threaten to intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
The local wings of various Sikh organisations and the Lawyers of Human Rights International (LHRI) today threatened to intensify stir against the “callous and indifferent attitude” of law-enforcing agencies regarding the alleged kidnapping of a Sector 34 resident, Manjot Kaur.

The representatives said they would organise a candle march tomorrow to impress upon the Chandigarh police to register a case of kidnapping in this regard.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Ravinder Singh of the Khalsa Panchayat, Ms Harjinder Kaur of the Sikh Nari Manch, Mr Navkiran Singh of the LHRI and Mr R.P. Singh of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha alleged that the Punjab Police had illegally picked up innocent Manjot Kaur from her Sector 34 residence on July 26.

They alleged that Manjot Kaur was falsely implicated in an Explosive Act case.

Alleging that the Chandigarh Police had acted in connivance with the Punjab Police, they threatened that in case the local police did not register a case of kidnapping, they would intensify their stir. They said they had made a five-member action committee to chalk out further plans for the release of Manjot Kaur. 



Benefits elude Territorial Army officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Eight months after the government announced the implementation of the A.V. Singh Committee recommendations on re-structuring the army’s officer cadre, the much awaited benefits continue to elude Territorial Army (TA) officers.

The benefits include faster promotions up the chain of command and time-scale promotion to the rank of colonel, with consequential financial gains and allied facilities.

While eligible officers in the regular Army (except Army Medical Corps) picked up their next rank months ago, TA officers have no clue as to when orders in their case would be issued. According to sources, there are about 280 officers in the TA, out of which the promotions of over 150 officers are held up.

Sources said there had been several instances in the past where the files pertaining to the issue had been returned to Army Headquarters by the Defence Ministry after raising objections.

The implementation of the A.V. Singh Committee was announced by the Defence Minister on December 16, 2004, and orders in this respect were issued by the Military Secretary’s (MS) branch on December 21, 2004.

A TA officer recalled when the Army had reduced the minimum service required to be promoted to major from 11 years to 10 years some time ago, it had taken the TA Directorate over two years to issue orders in this regard.



ESI scheme extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has extended the ESI scheme to five new centres in Punjab. The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the ESIC regional board held here.

The Regional Director of the ESIC, Mr T.R. Gautam, said additional 7,247 employees would benefit by the extending of the scheme. The scheme would soon be extended to adjoining areas of Ropar and Patiala districts, he added.

During the meeting, the board members were informed that a few posts of doctors were lying vacant and there was a need to improve the working of ESIC hospitals.



UT signs lease deed with Chandigarh Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
In an important development, the Chandigarh Administration today signed a lease deed with Chandigarh Club Limited showing an agreement on a monthly rent of Rs 1,08,208. The five year lease ends in July, 2010. The original lease deed had expired in 1982 and the matter over revised rates lay pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the club and the administration to sign a lease deed within a week. Today was the last day of the given time. The decision is important because at one point of time in 2004, a vacation order by the administration had sent disturbing signals to more than 11,000 members of one of the most prestigious institutions in the city which had representation from all strata of society.

The matter had come before the high court because of differences between the club and the administration over the rent amount. The lease of the club had ended in 1982 when the club was paying only Rs 8,000 per month. The club paid the same rent till 1992.

Sources said that in 2000, the administration wrote a letter to the club seeking a revised monthly rent of Rs 2,08,000 per month which was strongly opposed by the club. In 2004 the administration said the lease deed had been cancelled and the club was asked to vacate the premises.

The club and the administration agreed upon a rent of Rs 1,08,208 and the club has already deposited nearly Rs 1.15 crore on this account. Mr Mukesh Bassi, president of the club, said “the court in a non-partitioned manner had asked us to sign a lease deed. The development is important because it affected more than 11,000 members (all categories) members who were virtually shown the door in 2004 with the vacation orders”.

The club is now required to pay the amount by the tenth day of a month following which a penalty of 10 per cent will be levied on account of delay. The lease for five years will be reviewed with an option of 5 per cent increase with the club. The club will be required to pay Rs 3,24,624 as security deposit.

The administration will appoint three members out of whom the Finance Secretary will have the power to veto club decisions in building matters. The lease will be terminated in case the rent is not paid for a continuous period of three months.

The club cannot sublet the land. No constructions can be carried out without prior approval of the Chief Architect.



Estimates for maintenance works cleared
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 3
Estimates for maintenance works worth over Rs 1.5 crore were unanimously cleared at the General House meeting of the Municipal Council here today.

The estimates for works include maintenance of streetlights, providing and fixing of curb channels, development of green belts, laying premix on roads in various pockets and construction of footpaths.

A proposal to approach PUDA for allotting land to the council for the construction of a residential colony was put up at the meeting. Long time back PUDA had allotted a site to the civic body in Phase V where a colony had been constructed.

The staff strength of the council had increased over the years and more land was needed to expand the colony.



Readers Write
Level crossing, road are sore spots

This is with reference to the report “Manimajra overbridge hangs fire” (Chandigarh Tribune, July 26). I wish to convey my appreciation on behalf of commuters residing in Manimajra for highlighting the problem.

It is a nightmare to get stuck in traffic jams, especially during peak office hours. This is worsened by some of us who are habitual traffic violators and form multiple queues. Ironically, we are literate and have a relatively high awareness level.

The Chandigarh IT Park with SEZ status is in close proximity to this level crossing which remains closed frequently, with increasing number of trains on this route. Does the Administration think that IT employees would remain confined to the park premises?

The level crossing in its present form and the dilapidated road connecting Manimajra with Chandigarh are ugly spots of the area. The Administration and the municipal corporation would do well to widen and repair the road and build dividers in the meantime.

Dr I.M. Joshi, Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, Chandigarh

Parking blues

We had written a letter to the Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Chandigarh, regarding the problem of parking and met the Executive Engineer ( B & R) in this regard. We were told by the office of the SE (B & R) that the development of Sector 34-A and B was under the jurisdiction of the CHB and we should take up the matter with the housing board authorities.

The present parking lots are not sufficient as there are almost 200 multi-storeyed buildings with 50 to 100 persons each.

A number of SCOs do not have approach roads and several blocks do not have entry from the front. There is no parking even up to 100 m in front of some SCOs.

Parveen Gupta, President, Sector 34 Trader Association, Chandigarh

A job half done

The authorities have done a fair job of cleaning and landscaping the surroundings of the General Hospital but wild growth and congress grass have started growing again due to the rains.

The authorities should have removed the growth by digging out the roots mechanically and sprayed the area after consulting Haryana Agriculture University, to contain the problem for long. Even now it is not too late.

Also, the road in this area is in a bad condition and needs immediate attention.

Dr Harish Khanna, Panchkula



Thieves decamp with jewellery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
Thieves decamped with gold jewellery from a house here during day time today. In two other incidents, two persons were arrested for gambling.

Ms Basanti Devi of Sector 39 complained to the police that one gold chain, two gold bangles and Rs 12,000 were stolen from her residence. A case has been registered.

2 held for gambling

Sanjay Kumar of Kumhar Colony in Sector 25 was arrested from near Peer Wala Gate, Sector 25, while gambling at a public place. Karan, alias John, of Sector 20-C was arrested from Sector 20-C for indulging in gambling. The police seized Rs 715 and 145 from Sanjay and Karan respectively. Two separate cases have been registered under the Gambling Act.

Cyclist hurt

Mr Sherien of Sector 20-A sustained injuries after his bicycle was hit by a car near a mosque in Sector 20 on Tuesday. He was admitted to the GMCH 32. The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the car driver, Dalip Kumar, a resident of Charan Singh Colony in Mauli Jagran.

In another incident, an unidentified motorcyclist was injured after being hit by a Santro car near Sector 39 crossing. He was taken to PGI in an unconscious condition. The car driver fled from the spot. A case has been registered.



Two held with fake currency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
They used to make real money after promising counterfeit currency.

Two youngsters, arrested by the Chandigarh Police late last night, would allegedly accept money from residents on the grounds of giving them counterfeit currency of double the amount.

After accepting half the amount from gullible residents, the duo — Satish Kumar and Rajesh Kumar of Mauli complex — would hand over wads of blank notes with real money on either sides.

Taking cognizance of the alleged offence, the police laid a trap and associated an independent witness. An Assistant Sub-Inspector, dressed in plainclothes, allegedly caught them red-handed and seized nine such wads in a briefcase. They were, subsequently, booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.

Going into the background of the matter, the sources said the two were arrested by the police in 2004 also on similar allegations. A number of cops were also proceeded against at that time.



Five booked on charge of raping minor
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 3
Five persons were booked by the police on the allegation of raping a minor girl. The case was registered following information forwarded by the Mohali police.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh police said Ram Kesh, alias Panch of Nadha village, Gurdhian Singh and Kesar Singh, both residents of Badi Karoran, Ramgir and Sham Lal both of Kansal village, were booked under various sections of the IPC for abduction, rape, attempt to rape of a minor and of criminal conspiracy.

The case was registered following a report forwarded by Inspector Mohali circle Harbans Singh. A case was registered by the Mohali police in this regard in 2003.

Sources in the Chandigarh police said during investigations carried out by the Mohali police, it was found that the accused had taken the victim, a resident of Baltana, to a house in Sector 37-C and raped her.

They added that the victim had developed friendship with Ram Kesh, alias Panch. She has alleged that Kesar Singh had allegedly taken her in his Zen car along with other accused from near Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, on the pretext of arranging her meeting with Ram Kesh.

According to the complainant, Kesar Singh took her to a house in Sector 37-C where he, along with others, raped her. She was raped repeatedly thereafter, she alleged.

The Mohali police has already arrested Kesar Singh, Ramgir and Sham Lal in this connection. However, the other two accused are still at large.


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