C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two private school buses impounded
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 12
Next time you want your child to go on school bus, be sure that it has all requisite safety measures. Amid reports of unauthorised school buses plying in the township, the District Transport Office (DTO) has tightened noose around these bus owners with two buses running on LPG impounded today.

Most of these unauthorised buses run on LPG kits, have been banned by the government because of these being unsafe. The LPG cylinders are kept beneath the back seats of the buses risking lives of school children.

Moreover, these school buses overload children. Often Maruti vans are used for ferrying children and these too are overloaded. It is mandatory for the school buses to be painted yellow, to have medical kits, and an attendant along with a driver.

Taking note of these violations, the DTO has initiated action against the defaulting school bus operators. A private bus running on LPG was impounded yesterday, while another school bus was impounded because the driver did not have any papers.

Mr Alok Passi, ADTO, Panchkula, says that parents should be cautious towards the safety of their children. “After we had impounded the bus yesterday, our staff visited parents of children being ferried in the bus and asked them to be sure that their wards travel safely to school,” he said.

He informed TNS that while authorised school buses are exempted from paying passenger tax and road tax, private school buses have to pay the same. “We are also checking these irregularities in paying taxes. Complaints of over-charging of school bus fees have also been received,” he added.



I-Day honour for four cops
Our Correspondent

Gurdarshan Kaur
Gurdarshan Kaur

Surinder Pal
Surinder Pal

Sat Pal
Sat Pal

Dilbag Singh
Dilbag Singh

Chandigarh, August 12
Four police personnel, including a woman Sub-Inspector, will be honoured on the Independence Day for their meritorious services.
Sub-Inspector Gurdarshan Kaur, in charge of the ISBT, Sector 43 police post, had joined the Chandigarh police in 1977, as a constable. She has won several medals at the national level in shooting. She has also been awarded 40 commendation certificates or cash rewards for her performances.

Head Constable Surinder Pal posted at the Sector 36 police station, had joined the Chandigarh police in 1979. Senior police officers said it was his dedication to work that resulted in the arrest of 10 proclaimed offenders. He had earned 54 commendation certificates and a cash reward worth Rs 8,320 for his sincerity.

Another Head Constable, Mr Sat Pal, had joined the police force in 1981 as a constable. He became Head Constable in 1993. He has been awarded 63 commendation certificates and a cash reward of Rs 4,490. A good shooter, Mr Sat Pal had bagged the 2nd position in a badminton meet held in Chandigarh in 1990.

Constable Dilbag Singh had joined the police in 1988. He has been awarded 123 commendation certificates and has received Rs 28,845 as cash rewards. 



10 to get certificates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
As many as 10 local residents excelling in various fields and employees of the Administration have been named for Commendation Certificates by the Chandigarh Administration for Independence Day function. The certificates are being awarded for outstanding services. The list includes Mr Karam Singh, a driver with the NCC directorate, who saved a number of lives in a fire that broke out in Mani Majra in January, 2004.

Karam Singh was on official duty when he saw smoke coming out from a house. “I was alone on duty at that time. I rushed to house No. 5144 which was engulfed in flames. I rushed to the kitchen and saw a woman along with her maid trying to escape the fire. I pushed them outside the house and rushed back into the kitchen to control the flames. I removed the LPG cylinder from the kitchen before certain others rushed in”, he said.

Mr Gurnam Singh, coordinator of traffic marshals, is being awarded for working as an interface between the police and the public in connection with the following of traffic rules. A retired official of the India Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Gurnam Singh, started working for improving the traffic flow on city roads when he retired in 1999.

The list of awardees includes Baby Pragati Trikha, a student of DAV Model School, Sector 15. She is a child artist who has done roles in at least six television serials and five movies. She has performed on the big screen in “Veer Zara”, “Nalayak”, “Dosti”, “Shortcut” and “Pind di Kuri”. Daughter of Mr Vimal Trikha, a government employee, Pragati says, “Rani Mukherjee is my favourite actress and I want to become an actress. Mr Trikha said, “My girl has been offered several roles but she likes staying here.”

Mr Sanjeev Kohli, a civil defence instructor in the Office of the Controller Civil Defence, has been selected for meritorious services. Mr Ranjit Singh, an assistant photo cinema officer in public relation is also being awarded for meritorious services.

Mr Satinder Sharma, a grade 1 hockey coach, is being awarded for outstanding contribution in sports. Mr H.C. Lakhmir Singh (meritorious services), Dr Brij Lall Manocha, a retired assistant professor from Punjab Engineering College (social service), Ms Shobha Koser (an outstanding artist) and M.L. Bansal, chief editor of the Current Medical Journal (best service in the filed of healthcare and medical journalism) are also being honoured.



Traffic restrictions
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 12
In the wake of the Independence Day function on August 15, the traffic wing of the Chandigarh police has imposed restrictions on traffic flow and has planned diversions from certain roads near the Parade Ground, Sector 17, and near Punjab Raj Bhavan.

The road from the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 to the rotary near the petrol station in Sector 22-A, and from the crossing of Sectors 16, 17 up to the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Jan Marg, besides that from the light point near Lyon’s Restaurant, Sector 17, up to Parade Ground, will remain closed from 7 am until the function at Parade Ground gets over.

Parking for the public in the area in front of shops in the Sector 22-A market will not be allowed from 7 am. The senior officers and those with authorised car parking stickers on their vehicles will be allowed to enter from the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Udyog Path and will be allowed to park the vehicles in the Sector 22 market.

The public will be allowed to park vehicles in Sector 22-B, near the Blood Disease Hospital, Sector 23-B, and the parking of the football stadium and the Circus Ground in Sector 17.

Long route buses from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other places would be diverted towards the ISBT Chowk from Bajwara Chowk and Piccadilly Chowk via Himalya Marg.

The road from the roundabout of Sectors 5, 6, 7 and 8, up to the T-point near the Golf Club and from the T-point near Punjab Raj Bhavan, will remain closed to the public from 2 pm until the function is over.

Vehicles with pink parking labels will be parked behind the Adviser’s residence. Self-driven cars of senior citizens with pink labels can be parked near the mini zoo.

Those with green parking labels can use the Sectors 7/8 road and can park vehicles in the area adjacent to the Adviser’s residence in Sector 7.



Passing Thru

Shinder Thandi
Shinder Thandi, Head of Economics Department, Coventry University.

Tell us a little about the workshop you have come here to attend?

I have been part of Prof Gurinder Mann’s study group from the University of California, Santa Barbara, on Punjab studies for four years. It is a fascinating workshop for there is something new to learn every time.

What is your area of specialisation?

I teach courses on developing economics, focussing on comparative study of South Asian development with East Asian development. During the workshop, I would conduct sessions on Punjab economy and diaspora and migration.

What kind of changes would you like to see as head of department at your university?

This is an enormous challenge for me. We are revalidating and revising the courses and I also want to bring my own dimensions into these changes. There is an attempt to emphasise on “employability” skills so that the market value increases and develop personal attributes of students.

I am also keen to encourage institutes here to collaborate more with foreign universities so that there are exchanges between students and faculty. I am also working on scholarships from the Punjabi community, organisations and individuals to that five-10 students who cannot afford education can come there and study.

— Gayatri Rajwade



Garbage plant mired in politics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The controversy surrounding the setting up of the Rs 15-crore garbage processing unit in Dadu Majra refuses to die with politics taking precedence over development.
The signing of an MoU by the municipal corporation with Jai Parkash Associate Limited (JPAL) seems to have stirred up a hornest’s nest. While the BJP has demanded a CBI probe into the matter, the ruling Congress is showcasing it as a “major achievement”.

At a recent meeting of the general house, the Opposition alleged that the JPAL had been awarded the contract by bending rules. Global tenders were not invited and the company did not have a garbage processing unit in India.

Mr Pradeep Chabbra, a former Senior Deputy Mayor, however, claims that it was a “big achievement as it would meet a long-standing demand of residents.

As per the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, all corporations having a population between 5 lakh to 10 lakh are required to arrange for the identification of appropriate technology, its provider and the award of contract by December this year.

On the basis of the presentation by JPAL, an MoU for setting up a processing unit by adopting “pelletisation technology” was approved. It is claimed that the pellet-making process would be in closed environment and no other industrial activity such as burning and power generation would be involved at the unit.

The annual turnover of the project developer is Rs 3,000 crore and the company plans to set up a plant out of its own resources and is not dependent on any subsidy.

Moreover, the processing of approximately 350 tonnes of waste would be ensured on a day-to-day basis. The plant would be integrated into its cement plant in Solan district and there would be a minimal possibility of failure, it is being argued.



Sector 44 pits being filled up
G.S. Paul

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Following a news item in Chandigarh Tribune, “ Pits left open after repair”, the work to fill up the pits along the roads in Sector 44-D has been started by the civic body.
A number of pits, had been dug up along the road and had been left open for the past six months. The road was full of potholes and uneven patches.

Today, workers of the department concerned were seen repairing the road. However, some of the residents were not satisfied with the work. “There is need to recarpet the entire road, patchwork is not a solution as the material would get washed away after heavy rain,” said Mr Swarn Singh, a teacher.

Mr K.K. Sawal, a retired lecturer, said, “ The roads in this area had not been repaired for the past two years and was often inundated. The rains had washed away parts of the road and what was visible were pebbles and bumpy stretches. The patchwork would definitely give some respite to the residents. Even the lid on the manhole was placed only today”.

A similar impact was seen on the road dividing Sectors 31 and 32. The condition of the road leading to Sector 47 was pitiable. Some of the pits were more than 3 feet deep.



HUDA organises open darbar for Sec-20 residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 12
The open darbar organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at Sector 20 Community Centre was chaired by the Estate Officer, HUDA, Mr S.P. Arora. It gave an opportunity to residents of Sector 20 to get their complaints redressed on the spot.

Residents complained about the enhancement charges imposed on them. They said the charges were too steep. Enhancement charges at the rate of Rs 812 per sq mts were imposed on residents in 2002. A large number of residents did not pay these charges, and now it was being recovered by imposing 15 per cent rate of interest.

Residents also demanded that the encroachments be removed from the Sector. They said dhobis and vegetable vendors were sitting on road sides, but HUDA was not removing them. The enforcement officials were asked to explain, and they said the residents themselves came to the vendors’ rescue whenever the demolition drive was launched.

Mr Aman Kataria of Railla village alleged that a religious structure had come up on the outer ring road of the village and as result of which the passage remains blocked

Residents also demanded that Congress grass in the sector should be removed by the Horticulture Wing of HUDA; traffic lights be installed on the National Highway, along Sector 20 to avoid accidents; provide public toilets in markets and, bus queue shelters. Mr K.K. Jindal, president, House Owners Welfare Association, also demanded a fire station in the sector.



Removal of councillor sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
As many as 13 councillors today sought the removal of the nominated councillor, Mr P.C. Sanghi, for his “continuous misconduct and misbehaviour” with councillors and officials.

In a communication to the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, the councillors alleged that Mr Sanghi had “vitiated the atmosphere of the corporation. It is, therefore, resolved to condemn the behaviour of Mr Sanghi to overawe his fellow councillors and officers of the corporation without any provocation.”

“It is unbecoming of a responsible nominated councillor and immensely harmful to the corporation. Consequently, the UT Administrator is requested to remove Mr Sanghi from the membership of the MCC under Sections 13 and 13-A of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law(Extended to Chandigarh) Act, 1994.

The councillors, who signed the representation, include Ms Kamlesh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Balraj Singh, Ms Shyama Negi, Mr Sohan Lal Vaid, Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, all Congress, and Mr Vijay Singh Rana and Mr Jatinder Bhatia of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch.

The nominated councillors, Major-Gen A.S. Kahlon(retd), Ms K. Atma Ram, Mr B.R. Verma and Dr K.S. Raju also sought his removal.

They urged the Mayor to decide the matter by secret voting.



Ex-servicemen seek parity in pension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Ex-servicemen settled in the city and around have demanded the removal of “serious disparities” in the pension regulations of defence personnel vis-a-vis civilian government employees.

According to the president of the All-India Defence Brotherhood, Brig Harwant Singh (retd), armed forces personnel have to serve for minimum 15 years to be eligible for the grant of pension, whereas civilian employees are eligible for pension on a pro rata basis after completing just 10 years of service.

He adds that while the Central Pension Rules provide for various kinds of pensionary benefits like premature retirement pension, invalidation pension, compensation pension, compulsory pension and voluntary retirement pension to government employees, defence personnel are denied any kind of pension if they seek retirement before completing 15 years of service.

The rules also provide that a period of up to six months can be condoned for defence personnel to be eligible for pension. However, no benefits are granted for the condonation period if defence personnel seek premature release. This, the Brigadier said, was despite a Supreme Court directive stating that there was no difference between a person who had retired after the expiry of the period of engagement and a person who had sought premature retirement on compassionate grounds.

He added that a naval sailor residing in Mohali, who had 14 years of service, was denied pension on the grounds that he got his discharge on compassionate grounds.



GPO ‘hides’ customer care centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
People visiting the General Post Office (GPO) in Sector 17 to lodge their postal related complaints are facing a lot of problems as the customer care centre of the GPO has been shifted.

Earlier housed near the main entrance of the GPO, now the centre has been shifted to the rear side of the building. But no indication marks has been put to inform the visitors about the new location of the centre. Mr Narinder Singh, a senior citizen, who had come to the GPO to inquire about the status of a money order sent by him, complained that he had to face difficulty in locating the centre.

The centre handles various types of customer related complaints and replies back to the customers. “At the earlier location a big sign board had been put to indicate the location of the centre. Now it has been adjusted at the remote corner of the building without any sign board. The entry to the centre is through a narrow door”, said another customer, Bhim Singh.

The complaints lamented that the importance of the centre had been negated by shifting it to another location. Sources in the Postal Department revealed that an outlet of the Western Union Money Transfer scheme had been located in the room previously occupied by the centre.



BJP workers stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
BJP workers today staged a dharna in Sector-17 in protest against the alleged “anti-Sikh” stance of the Congress-led UPA government in the action taken report of the Nanawati Commission.

Addressing the dharna, a former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, alleged that Congress leaders, who were responsible for the 1984 massacre had been rewarded by the party. The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, he alleged, had only apologised due to political compulsions.

Various speakers demanded registration of criminal cases against those guilty persons. Prominent among those, who spoke on the occasion, were Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, Ms Kamla Sharma, Mr Shingara Singh, Mr A.S. Barar, Mr S.S. Chawla, Mr Purshottam Mahajan, Mr P.D. Mongia, Mr Bal Krishan Kapoor, Mr Kewal Krishan Addiwal, Mr Davesh Moudgil and Mr Sachin Lohtiya.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the SAD today urged the Sikhs to boycott the Independence Day celebrations in protest against the “inaction” of the UPA government on the action taken report. 



Residents protest against hike in water charges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 12
Members of the Consumer Protection and Grievances Redressal Forum, Mohali, and the Mohali Citizens Welfare Council, Phase XI, have protested against the increase in water and sewerage charges by the Mohali Municipal Council.

In separate press notes issued by Mr Sohan Singh, president of the Mohali Citizens Welfare Council, and Mr N.S. Gill President of the Consumers Protection and Grievances Redressal Forum, they have urged the council to revert back to the old charges.

The members stated that the council should cut down extra expenditure rather than enhancing costs.



Readers Write
Illusion of check dams

According to the press reports, three more check dams are going to be constructed in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake (Chandigarh Tribune dated 31.07.05). An impression is sought to be created that these dams can become silt guards for protecting the lake from silting up.

The reality is far from it as the total silt being retained by these dams is no bigger than a drop in an ocean. Moreover, the desilted water after leaving these dams while travelling towards lake has plenty of opportunity for picking up fresh silt from the steep slopes of its channel. It is any body's guess as to what the quantity of silt in the water entering the lake is. Even if it is very small, it is enough to choke up the lake which is designed as a silt trap having only an inlet and no outlet for it.

Around 181 of these dams, which are there for the past several years, have not been able to prevent threat to this rare environmental feature and that is why the UT Administration is going to start a project for desilting the lake at a cost of Rs 80 crore.

Let the illusion of the check dams not slacken the efforts of the government for searching a scheme which can reduce the entry of silt in the lake to zero, freeze its present capacity and do away with the need for any massive desilting in the future.

S.P. Malhotra, Former Engineer-in-Chief, Haryana Irrigation Department


This is in response to the report appearing in Chandigarh Tribune dated 31.07.2005, entitled "Three more retention dams to help save Sukhna."

The above news has raised question among water resources experts as to "how far this mode would be effective and for how long?". The correct solution is that the building of check dams must be combined with building "grade-stabiliser" to reduce the bed-gradient, thus reducing the silt carrying capacity of the channel flows.

It may be mentioned that for the Kansal Diversion Channel reach of Sukhna model tests were done by the Irrigation and Power Research Institute, Amritsar, and a combined system of check dams with grade-stabilisers had been recommended, which is yet to be built?

Dr G.S. Dhillon, Chandigarh

City losing green cover

The deep concern for flagrant violations of the green belts in the city has been taken to be merely an outcry destined to die down with the passage of time or get silenced with an adverse court verdict. Such a situation spells doom for the green belts and a death-knell for their existence. Nothing can be called "planned" in a planned city when the administration wielding absolute power uses it arbitrarily in the name of public interest. Unfortunately, the whole exercise has been reduced to a show down ignoring the aesthetical aspects.

One wonders how can the welfare of any institute or some schools who have been allotted land out of these green belts get precedence over the welfare of the city. How can the custodians of the city make indiscreet allotment of the land and ravage the green belts even in response to a legal binding? It would always remain a debatable and vexed question whether the administration had any moral obligation to rehabilitate them in the first place. Why should the city buckle under the burden of this unwanted liability and in the process get chocked for all times? Certainly the administration is the victim of its own misfeasance and ill-conceived gratification.

This sinister shadow over the green belts has broken the myth of inviolability of the basic elements of the city. The unbridled authority to cut, alter or even kill these green belts remains undented even though the city is losing its identity. Surely, Le Corbusier did not make any cardinal mistake in planning this city as a living organism with green belts serving as the lungs of the city.

Dr H.M. Saroj, Chandigarh

Award for a price

Some news items have appeared in the Chandigarh Tribune (July 28 and 29) about a Reader and a Professor of Panjab University who were being honoured with Vijay Shree Award along with Certificate of Excellence by the India International Friendship Society, a voluntary organisation. The modus operandi of such organisations is that they collect biodata of persons excelling in their respective fields and choose names for conferring the awards and honours. Usually, they ask for a heavy sum as registration fee from the person to be honoured and invite him or her for the award ceremony. The very practice of asking a huge sum for the award makes the credibility of such organisations doubtful.

Kamlesh Uppal, Patiala

Sector 38 (West) 'unsafe'

Day in and day out we have been reading in the newspapers about the spate of robberies and chain snatching incidents in the city. One such incident happened with my wife recently when she was returning to our residence in Sector 38 (West) from the nearby market. Two motor cycle borne youths, who were wearing helmets and grey trousers, came from behind and snatched one ear ring of my wife and sped away. This is not the first or isolated incident that has happened with the residents of this sector, though such cases go unreported.

Gurbax Singh, Chandigarh

Nipping beggary in bud

This refers to the news item regarding the school for child beggars in Panchkula being run by Mr Mansa Ram Ahuja published in Chandigarh Tribune on July, 25. it is heartening to note that there are at least such people who think in their innovative way to help these under-privileged children. In my opinion this is the best option for dealing with beggary. This is the need of the hour that these child beggars and labourers are educated and taught self-respect. In this way the menace of begging could be eradicated. As well said: “A society is judged by the way it cares for its weakest and vulnerable members.” Therefore it becomes imperative for us as a community ensure that such schools are opened in every district. This will be a perfect social service not only to society, but to the Almighty as well.

Kanwar Raghbir Singh, Panchkula



PGI doctor’s house burgled
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 12
A scooterist today snatched a mobile phone from a youth in Sector 41. In another incident, gold ornaments were stolen from a house. Besides this a person was caught red-handed while stealing a music system from a house in Burial, last night.

A Sector 41-D resident, Mr Lokesh Gupta (26), lodged a complaint with the police that a youth snatched his mobile phone this afternoon. Mr Gupta said the scooter (CH-03-C-6339)-borne youth snatched his mobile phone from in front of his residence. A case has been registered in this regard and efforts are on to trace the suspect, the police said.

House burgled: Dr Saroj Parwaz, a resident of PGI, in a complaint lodged with the police alleged that gold and diamond jewellery was stolen from his residence on Thursday. He told the police that thieves entered the house after breaking open the locks. A case has been registered.

Held for stealing: The local police has arrested Rinku Sharma (27), a resident of Dhakoli village in Zirakpur on the basis of a complaint filed by a Burail resident, Ms Jaspal Kaur. She in her complaint alleged that Rinku was caught red-handed while stealing a music system from her residence this morning. She raised an alarm to which neighbours responded and nabbed the accused. He was later handed over to the police. The police produced him before a local court today. He was remanded in judicial custody.

In another incident, Ram Chandar, a resident of Sector 25 was caught red-handed while stealing manhole covers from Sector 11 on Thursday. A complaint was lodged in this regard by Mr Krishan Pal of Sector 11. He was later handed over to the police.

Minor girl abducted: The local police booked Hari Om of Phase I, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, on the charge of abducting a minor girl from the locality. A resident of the Bapu Dham colony, alleged that the accused had abducted his niece from residence on August 9. A case of abduction has been registered in this regard.



Offender held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 12
The local police today arrested a proclaimed offender (PO), Arvinder Pal Singh.
Sources in the police said the accused a resident of Mukerian in Hoshiarpur district, was declared PO in February 5, 2005.

Arvinder was wanted in a sensational case of kidnapping of a city-based bank manager, Mr Lakh Raj of Sector 15. Four other accused had already been arrested. The sources said the mastermind of the kidnapping Jaspal Singh, brother-in-law of the victim, was still absconding. He was said to be living in California (USA).



‘Mangal in Jungle’ contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Fun Republic, Mani Majra, is organising a six-day “Mangal in Jungle” contest as part of a programme to promote “Mangal Pandey” on its premises with effect from today. This was stated by Ms Chaman Bedi, team coordinator of the cinema house.

A contest form, containing seven questions, will be given along with every ticket of the movie. The customers will be required to fill it out and drop it into a box. Three winners will be selected through a lucky draw on August 18 and will be presented with the following prizes.

First prize: Three-day and two-night stay for a couple at Nainital; second prize: three-day and two-night stay for a couple at Chail; and the third prize: Three-day and two-night stay for a couple at York Hotel Resort, Nolta.

Apart from this, the longest-moustache contest will be held on August 15 in which a three-day and two-night holiday package to Goa will be given to the winner. 



Biz Clips

Ebony offer
: Ebony on Friday announced a discount of 58 per cent on selected products. Celebrating the spirit of freedom, the offer would be on for four days from today itself. TNS


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