C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn pulls down 50 structures
Move uncalled for, say shopkeepers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

In a significant decision, the Chandigarh Administration has given the go-ahead to the demolition of houses outside the “lal dora” in some villages. Sources in the Administration said a major demolition drive to bulldoze a number of structures in Hallomajra and Kajheri villages was on the cards. The newly built houses outside the “lal dora” in Raipur Khurd village and some other villages could also be demolished.

The Administration has also decided to register FIRs against persons selling land illegally in violation of the Periphery Act in the villages. 

Chandigarh, September 15
Acting tough on shopkeepers doing business along the Chandigarh- Zirakpur road, a demolition squad of the Chandigarh Administration today bulldozed over 50 structures in 30 acres in Raipur Khurd and Behlana villages here.

No major untoward incident was reported during the day-long drive which ended at about 7 pm. A majority of the temporary structures demolished were housing marble shops, junk dealers and shuttering material. Encroachments by an STD booth and a liquor shop were also removed.

An officer supervising the drive said the marble owners had been given two days to remove their material, failing which it would be confiscated. Four truckloads of marble was confiscated from the spot.

The president of the Chandigarh Marble Traders Association, Mr Hemant Garg, told Chandigarh Tribune that the action of the Administration was uncalled for. “We were forced to sign an affidavit that we would evict the place within two months,” he said

Traders lamented that due to panic, there stock got damaged and they were forced to sell the material at half the price. “ It is very difficulty to transport the material to neighbouring areas in Ziarkpur at such a short notice,” said a shopkeeper.

When the structure of Shiv Shakti Mandir was being pulled down, a number of residents of the adjoining residential area protested against the demolition. They lamented that the temple had been raised on land donated by a resident of the area. “We were not even given time to remove the property of the temple,” said Mr Sanjay Singla.

As the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO), Mr S.K.Setia, was about to leave the site, a number of residents of the area wanted an assurance from him that the residential structures would not be demolished. The enforcement squad was escorted by a police force.



Charges force Housefed to cancel scheme
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
In the wake of the alleged favouritism in the acceptance of application forms for the allotment of six-storeyed flats in Ludhiana, Housefed, Punjab, today cancelled its ambitious scheme and decided to allot the flats through the draw of lots.

In fact, the functioning of Housefed came in for severe criticism from scores of applicants, who were allegedly not issued application forms by its Sector 34 office. Not only that, the forms of certain prospective applicants were not allegedly accepted by the staff.

In an advertisement issued in a section of the Press, Housefed had come out with 90 six-storeyed flats in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the Pakhowal road in Ludhiana on a first-come-first-served basis.

High drama was witnessed at the office with prospective applicants alleging irregularities. Mr Ravinder Goyal, a Panchkula resident, alleged “mala fide intentions” of the management in denying applications forms to him.

Mr G.B. Sindwani, a resident of Kaithal, alleged that he was told by the reception staff around 10 am that the requisite forms had already been received for the allotment of flats.

Mr B.L. Bansal, a Sector 22 resident, alleged that Housefed officials made all-out efforts to dissuade the public from submitting applications. The Superintending Engineer, Mr Amarjit Gupta, “misled” the prospective applicants claiming that the allotment had been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Bansal alleged. However, Mr Gupta denied the allegations. On the other hand, certain applicants, including Mohali-based Raminder Singh, had a harrowing time as their applications were not accepted.

Meanwhile, a senior Housefed functionary said since the allotment was to be done on a first-come-first-served basis as per a Punjab Government policy, the required number of applications were received by 10.20 am. The price of Rs 17.95 lakh was fixed on the “higher side” and such an overwhelming response was not expected by us,” he said.

The government had decided to invite fresh applications for the flats to be allotted through the draw of lots. The money deposited by the applicants would be refunded by Housefed.



LPG-leak blast leaves 3 hurt
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 15
An explosion caused by leakage in an LPG cylinder at Mani Majra left three persons injured including one seriously, this morning. The explosion at a jewellery shop in the main bazaar was so powerful that it threw the victims about 12 ft away and ripped apart the shutter, the police said.

The police has arrested Mr Krishan Lal, owner of Krishan Di Hatti, on the charge of endangering the life of others under Section 336 of the Indian Penal Code. He was later released on bail.

The blast occurred in a small room being used as a workshop, where the cylinder was kept. Luckily, the cylinder did not burst, otherwise it could have caused a lot of damage, said a police officer investigating the matter.

A large number of onlookers gathered at the spot. Soon senior officers of the Chandigarh Police and the UT Administration, including the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Satish Chandra, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Gaurav Yadav, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, reached the spot.

Police sources said the explosion was caused by leakage in the gas cylinder. The blast might have been triggered by a short circuit. Mr Suresh Kumar, son of the shopkeeper, who was also injured in the accident, told Chandigarh Tribune at the PGI that his friend Shakeel Ahmed, who noticed the leakage, informed him on his mobile phone. He immediately went to the shop and when he, along with his servant Dullar, was about to open the lock of the shutter, the explosion occurred.

Dullar was critically injured and fell unconscious after the blast. They were shifted to the PGI. Suresh and Shakeel escaped with minor injuries, said the SHO of the Mani Majra police station.



Stars pitch in for film city in UT
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The whisper for a film city and acting institute at Chandigarh has started gathering momentum with several noted names in Bollywood coming openly in support of the proposed work here.

The voice of Yash Chopra, the noted film-maker who has already conveyed his interests of working on a project, being supported by Harry Baweja, a noted producer, Preeti Sapru, an actress and a producer, Manjit Mann, a producer, and Ravinder Peepat, a noted producer.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation(CITCO) has returned back to the city following his visit to Mumbai and Pune with regard to preparing a background material on the proposed project on a film city and an acting school in the city. Aruna Irani, a noted actress, during her recent visit had already expressed her willingness in helping the project. Mr Bir said he was given assurance of contributions from may other stars, including Anupam Kher.

Mr Jasbir also travelled to the Film and Television Institute in Pune. “One common thread of thought in the feedback that I got from experts at different places was that the institute should not be run by the government. The work needs to be given to professionals and leading names from the world of film and television. “Managing good faculty is not feasible for the government. At the same time no good teachers will naturally mean poor pass-outs. The running of the institute should be given to professionals.”

Mr Bir said one big reason for feasibility of a filmcity in the region was that film-makers were travelling regularly to North India, particularly parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. The place has plenty of talent as was evident from the talent visible on screen in the Bollywood and television. “I have been told that if processing units, technical labs, sound recording units and editing machines were available here, the city could emerge as an alternate venue for quality work in films and television.”

Mr Bir said he will meeting senior officials and briefing them about his visit before any further action plan is initiated. Mr Yash Chopra has expressed his eagerness in attempting to seek an appointment with Gen S.F.Rodrigues, Chandigarh Administrator, later this month. He has shown his interest in constitution of a board comprising the administrator, certain UT officials and film makers to work out the details of the project.

It has also been pointed out that the site selection for the project should be neatly worked out by the administration. The administration will have to plan its layout, roads, service and development of the technical supporting units. All production related departments need to be assembled on the complex failing which the project will lose its viability. 



Passing Thru

Sandip Mukherjee
Sandip Mukherjee, president, Coffee Day Xpress. 

Why is Chandigarh so important to the expansion plans in the country?

After an initial slow start, in October 2004, there has been a tremendous growth in the past few months. We now hope to launch a kiosk a month, through franchisees, by the end of this fiscal year. Currently, Chandigarh has eight Coffee Day Xpress kiosks across the city.

What is the difference between Café Coffee Day and Coffee Day Express?

We cater to the popular, ‘value for money’ conscious customer, while Café Coffee Day is a premium brand. In fact, the prices of our beverages in Chandigarh are five rupees cheaper than Delhi too.

What are the most popular food and beverage, in your menu, in the city?

The Strawberry Shake and Coffee Shake amongst the cold beverages, while it is the ever-popular Cappuccino in the hot beverage segment. The Nimbu Tangri Sandwich too is popular here.

Does your menu cater to different regions?

To a certain degree it does. We do introduce certain eats which we know will work better in a particular region like the fish roll which is popular only in Kolkata or the burger, a spin-off from the vada-pav, for Mumbai.

The rest of the menu remains the same and is overhauled every 15 days with new additions.

— Gayatri Rajwade



Traffic cops plan ‘Monday morning surprise checks’
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
It’s a surprise which is going to be far from pleasant, at least for the law breakers in the city.
In an attempt to check traffic violations in the early hours, the Chandigarh Police plans to carry out special “Monday morning surprise checks” in different parts of the city every week.

The intention: To keep the motorists alert for the next six days by using “psychological pressure tactics”.

Sources in the Chandigarh Police say “from experience” that the motorists tend to drive more carefully throughout the week if they get to see men-in-white maintaining vigil on the Monday mornings.

“Perhaps, the motorists get the impression that the police has launched a special week-long drive to check traffic violations in the city. Or else, they think that the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police is getting more and more active.

It’s not very clear. But the fact is that the motorists tend to go easy on the accelerator, and stop at the red signals, for the next six days,” a senior officer says.

He adds, again from “experience”, that most of the motorists, specially the bus drivers, tend to drive faster than usual and break rules on Monday mornings. “Again, the reason is not clear. Perhaps, they give vent to their unhappiness, over going back to the office after a weekend, by stepping on the accelerator pedal,” analyses the officer.

Giving details of one such check carried out by the traffic police on a Monday morning last month, the officer says the cops posted themselves at five different locations in the city during the early hours.

“As many as 123 traffic violators were caught unawares by the police in a span of just one or two hours,” the officer says. “Among the violators were under-aged school children and drivers of 23 school buses. Out of the total, 67 offenders were challaned for driving beyond the prescribed speed limit”.

The officer adds that such challaning drives are important otherwise also as overspeeding during the morning hours, specially by the school buses, is resulting in a substantial number of road accidents in the city.

The menace of overspeeding is evident from the fact that nearly 12,000 offenders were challaned for overspeeding between January 2004 and July 2005, the officer says.



Police announces reward for rescuer
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 15
The Inspector General of Chandigarh Police today announced a commendation certificate and a cash prize of Rs 1,000 for Kirandeep Kaur for rescuing a boy from drowning in Sukhna Lake last evening.

It was her timely intervention that saved the life of the boy. Sources in the police said the IGP announced the commendation certificate and the cash reward of Rs 1,000 to Kirandeep Kaur for the act.

They further added that senior police officers had also decided to recommend her to the UT Administration for a Presidential bravery award.

Kirandeep Kaur, a BA final year student of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, had rescued 18-year-old Baljinder Singh, a student of Shri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, who had accidentally slipped into the lake while trying to pick his fallen pen.

She was at the lake for jogging and practising for her rowing competition.



Parties demand Vidhan Sabha for city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Local political parties today demanded the revival of the post of the Chief Commissioner and the creation of the Vidhan Sabha for the city.
In a representation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Home Ministry, the Samajwadi Party, the CPI, the CPM, the NCP, the BSP, the SAD, the RPI, the Janata Party and the JD(U) demanded the immediate revival of the post of Chief Commissioner. Also, the creation of Vidhan Sabha would provided an effective way for the redressal of the grievances of the common man, a press note said.

Meanwhile, the BJP also reiterated its demand for the Vidhan Sabha for the city. The demand was raised at a press conference by the former MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, here today.

Coming down heavily on the functioning of the Congress-dominated Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) and the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, Mr Jain claimed that only the Vidhan Sabha could reflect the aspirations of the people in a better way.



PUDA to construct Mohali city centre
Chitleen K Sethi

Mohali, September 15
After almost a year of inaction, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) would now be undertaking the construction of the city centre in Phase VIII here. A decision regarding the agency that would take up the construction of the world class city centre had been hanging fire almost ever since the first set of designs had been finalised by the renowned architect B.V. Doshi.

While initially it was decided that global tenders be floated to shortlist international companies to construct and market the city centre, sources in the authority said it had now been decided that PUDA take up the work itself and go about it in a phased manner.

This would be PUDA’s largest project ever and at least three committees have been constituted in order to initiate the process. A coordination committee that would monitor the work has also been formed and would be meeting shortly, said sources.

The city centre here projected as the proverbial jewel in the crown has been designed as a conglomerate of buildings set in a remarkable natural surroundings. Keeping in line with Chandigarh’s Sector 17, the Mohali city centre is, however, an intelligent mix of architectural controls and freedom, said Mrs Namrita Kalsi, senior architect, PUDA.

The city centre would be constructed in phases. The first phase would include 80 acres of land in the area surrounding the Cosmo Hospital, opposite Phase VII. The first set of buildings to come up would be a mega shopping area with spaces for large shopping malls and smaller shops and showrooms. A multiplex and corporate office spaces would also be constructed in the first phase.

Though PUDA officials were not sure when construction for this part of the City Centre would begin, sources pointed out that the first set of tenders would be out by next month.



MC staff protest against councillor’s misbehaviour
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
A dharna was organised by the Joint Action Committee of the local Municipal Council here today in protest against the behaviour of a municipal councillor.
Condemning the behaviour of the municipal councillor, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, the protesters raised slogans against him.

They said that the protest would go on till Mr Sethi apologised for his behaviour. Officials as well as employees from almost all branches of the council participated in the protest.

Mr Avtar Singh Kalsia, general secretary of the committee, alleged that Mr Sethi had abused a sanitary inspector, Mr Harbant Singh, in the office on September 13. This had led to resentment among employees. Mr Kalsia said that the committee demanded that municipal councillors should meet the president and the Executive Officer of the civic body in connection with their problems instead of directly interacting with the employees.

Interestingly, the Municipal Engineer, Mr Tarsem Singh Rai, who had been asked to inquire into the matter and submit a report within seven days by the EO, Mr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, also sat on dharna.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari, vice-president of the council, said that the employees had staged a dharna only to divert the attention of those concerned from the issue of corruption that was raised by Mr Sethi. He said that Mr Sethi had pointed out that certain employees, including the sanitary inspector, were allegedly taking money from a sanitation contractor for not pointing out the drawbacks in sanitation work. This was not liked by employees who staged a protest and only condemned the behaviour of Mr Sethi failing to talk about the issue of corruption that was raised by him.



Streamline migration of labour, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Global demographic data indicates that India will have a much younger workforce long after working populations in other countries has declined and the present trends in migration can be linearly extrapolated into the future. In this backdrop Secretary, Ministry of Oversea Indians Affairs, Mr S. Krishna Kumar stressed upon an urgent need to develop a macro-economic perspective on migration of workers from India.

Considering the intense competition from other countries for unskilled, low-end jobs, he recommended that India could think in terms of repositioning itself as a supplier of skilled workers. He was speaking at the ILO National Workshop on Protecting the Rights of Migrant Workers from India, organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here today.

Equally important, he said, was the need to develop a micro-economic view of migration, to describe how economic agents, like migrant workers, recruiting agents and the foreign employer would respond to incentives put forth.

Unemployment and poverty at home and the prospect of a job with a few silver coins drive migrant workers to compromise their own safety and welfare, where an unskilled worker becomes a “killed” worker while trying to clear his debts.

He suggested that the two economic agents in India, the worker and the recruiter, must be made to realise that along with the government they can become stake holders in creating much larger opportunities for the country as a whole in the years to come.

Stating that in India there were 4,200 agents registered with the Protector General of Emigrants, Mr Kumar added that the Emigration Act did not address the issue of how unregistered agents should be dealt with. The industry itself, he added, was not averse to using unregistered agents for booking workers.

Senior specialist on workers activities at the International Labour Organisation’s sub-regional office in New Delhi, Mr Pong Sul Ahn discussed out-migration from South Asia and related labour rights, while Professor Irudaya Rajan from the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum delved upon the benefits and challenges of overseas migration from India. A multilateral framework for right based approach to labour migration, involving the ILO was presented by Mr Piyasiri Wickramasekara, senior migration specialist with the ILO at Geneva.

The director, emigration in the ministry, Mr M.C. Arora, evaluated the effectiveness of national laws and policies in India in protecting the interests and rights of migrant workers. Lessons to be learnt from the Malta boat tragedy were discussed by Mr Balwant Singh Khera.



Spare a thought for senior citizens: seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association organised a seminar, “Towards a Caring Society,” today as part of their month-long celebrations to commemorate Senior Citizens’ Day on October 1. The association has been active this month, setting up medical camps, organising gala entertainment events and bringing together that intrinsic part of our society, without whom, we would not be here.

The theme, given by the president of the association, Mr P H Vaishnav, is to bring attention to the senior citizens and their value in society. “There is a general feeling that there was no need to compromise for those who have no future left. But this is not true. All senior citizens can still contribute and play a larger, productive role amongst those less fortunate than themselves.”

The seminar also dealt in earnest with the need to protect the rights of senior citizens who face abuse and pain and the need for an association to come together to identify and provide succour to those who need it.

Sterling speakers like Dr Rajesh Gill, Professor of sociology, Panjab University, A K Umat, Chairman Sathya Sai Trust, Maj Gen I J S Dhillon, former Director-General, Helpage, and Radhika Singh, a 19 year old student from GCG-11, spoke from their heart, highlighting the problems and the solutions facing older people.

Dr Gill attributed the changing value system towards the elder people on the redefinition of the modern family. She advocated a return to old values where the senior people in the family had a definite role. “We have to inculcate changes within the smallest unit, that of a family. We have become such a closed society that we do not know or care what is happening behind closed doors. Pressures need to be built up and these pressures have to be used.”

Major Gen Dhillon spoke of isolation, abuse, health and low income being the primary problems amongst the elderly. He stressed on a “correct and positive attitude wherein time should be spent in the service of others in the form of seva.” He also spoke of the benefits of yoga and meditation in nurturing a healthy mind and body. He also talked of the need to create a pressure group through the media and associations to safeguard the rights of senior citizens. “There is a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. What of the elderly?”

A K Umat spoke of the facility for old people at the Sathya Sai Home; of the experience of fulfilment one gets caring for the old and infirm and providing them with a secure ‘home’ in which to live the last years of their lives.

Radhika Singh spoke of a need for caring by the older and younger people, towards each other. Her beautiful poem, specially recited for the occasion, brought tears to many eyes. The poem dealt with life from the beginning to the end.

At the twilight of life, when an old man trudging along a road, alone, sits down, a Good Samaritan passing by stops. Said the old man, “I do not know when the road will end and what my purpose in life is.” The Good Samaritan replied, “Your existence proves your purpose so give back the road its due.”



Riding his way into nature’s lap
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Jatinder Bali at Thiksey monastery in Ladakh
Jatinder Bali at Thiksey monastery in Ladakh.

Chandigarh, September 15
Lure for adventure, coupled with love for nature has brought this man back to India time and again. And because he does not want to miss out on anything, he travels in the lap of Mother Nature at a slow pace - actually peddling his way through the Himalayas on his bicycle. Sleeping in hutments, eating ‘dhaba’ food and in the process achieving what most people would yearn for - rising in their own esteem. But that is not all, Jatinder Bedi, born in Chandigarh and now an Australian national, has achieved the distinction of peddling all the way to the world’s highest pass Khardung-la.

Nothing can describe his action better than sheer love for adventure. This year he has ridden his Australian-made alloy frame 21 speed Avanti (Mountain Bicycle) from Nubra valley to Khardung-la top and then crossed the five high passes Tanglang-la, Lachung-la, Nakeela, Baralacha-la, finally crossing into Rohtang and ending in Manali, riding over 850 km in high altitudes

For those who tend to believe that the sophisticated bike with a gear ration ranging from 13 to 34 has made his task easy, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Whatever the intricacies of the bike, peddling at these heights takes super-human effort and high fitness levels.

He has endured it all, to fulfil his passions, when in 1992, as a student at the Regional Engineering College (REC), Jalandhar, he cycled all the way to Khardug-la on an ordinary Hero cycle.

His cycling expeditions have taken him into the Markha valley in Ladakh all the way to the Zanskar valley, even exploring the Parbati valley in Himachal with equal ease, as he crossed the Pin Parbati Pass across into the Spiti valley.

He is as much at ease in the mountains as well as in the deserts of his native South Australia. “Going back to nature rejuvenates me. I take every expedition as a challenge and after I accomplish what have I envisaged, there is a great sense of achievement”.

Jatinder says once you have pushed yourself and seen how you succeed, you can take these lessons to other things in life like your relationships, your job and turn these into successes. “Adventures such as this one have taught me different meanings about life. After I stayed with a very poor farming couple in their mud hut, I look at my riches with a new meaning”, he says understanding that materialist wealth is not what life is about.

He is not in the least boastful about his achievement, not because he is unaware of his achievement, but because of what he has seen and experienced during his travels. He recalls how a paraplegic Scottish girl, half a day behind him on the excursion reached Khardug-la with sheer determination. “While she travelled in her recumbent bike and hand-pedalled it, many able-bodied persons I met on the way asked me if I was of unsound mind to be travelling on a cycle in the Himalayas all by myself”.

Jatinder plans to share his experience with the world by writing for a blog. But his message is simple. “All those who live simple lives and seek refuge in nature live healthier and happier lives”

He intends to share more of the travel stories when he heads back home on www.khardung-la.blogspot.com. 



Homage paid to martyrs on Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A solemn wreath laying ceremony to pay homage to martyrs marked the 58th Raising Day of Western Command at Chandimandir near here today.
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman paid floral tributes at the Veer Smriti War Memorial. A large number of officers and men posted at Chandimandir attended the ceremony. A ceremonial guard reversed arms while buglers sounded the Last Post followed by the Rouse.

Several rock edifices, commemorating important victories, including the capture of Haji Pir, Battle of Shakargarh and the operations at Dera Baba Nanak, have been installed in the gardens of the war memorial.

In his Order of the Day, General Pattabhiraman reaffirmed Army’s commitment in providing all possible help to its veterans and stressed that the path shown by them would be the driving force in all future ventures.

Several functions had been planned to commemorate the Raising day, but these were cancelled as a mark of respect to 34 Army personnel, including two officers, who were killed after the bridge they were reconstructing over the Sutlej in Kinnaur district collapsed.

Raised as Delhi and East Punjab Command on September 15, 1947 with its headquarters in Delhi, it controlled all formations with an operational role in the territorial jurisdiction of the present day Western and Northern Commands. It was re-designated as the Western Command in January 1948. In 1954, the command headquarters moved to Shimla.

After the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the command was bifurcated and Northern Command, headquartered at Udhampur came into existence to look after Jammu and Kashmir. In 1985, the headquarters were re-located at Chandimandir.

Western Command went in for re-organisation this year, with a reorientation in its areas of responsibilities and changes in formations under its control. It has also been actively engaged in aid to civil authorities during natural calamities.

General Pattabhiraman also presented the GOC-in-C’s Unit citation to 118 Engineer Regiment for its performance during Operation Parakram. The unit’s Commanding Officer, Col Manoj Bhatnagar and senior JCO, Sub-Maj J.K. Tiwari received the award. 



Graft in defence deals disastrous: GoC-in-C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Terming the reported instances of corruption in defence deals as “disastrous” for the modernisation of the armed forces, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman said several projects were pending with the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for approval.

Referring to the recent Denel deal exposure, General Pattabhiraman, in response to a question said such incidents affected modernisation and a lot of time was lost. “We have gone to the government, urging it not to let such developments hamper the modernisation process,” he said.

Speaking to media persons at Chandimandir today, he said modernisation of the infantry was Army’s top priority. “The thrust being given to modernise the infantry will take us qualitatively ahead of our adversary,” he said. Infantry units in the Northern Command, he added, were at present better equipped than those in other commands due to operational requirements of this area.

Thermal imaging and night fighting capabilities for tanks, which was long pending, had also been incorporated. Pakistan was also reported to have improved the night fighting capabilities of its armour, but, General Pattabhiraman added, intelligence reports indicated that they were facing problems.

Improving communication was another area of priority. Most of the Army’s communication equipment was indigenous. General Pattabhiraman said the Army was awaiting the approval of the CCS for implementing its tactical communication system. This system is meant for forward area and will greatly enhance communication capabilities.

On the recent bridge collapse over the Sutlej at Kharo in Kinnaur district, he said there could be a couple of days additional delay in the work schedule. The regiment that had lost 34 of its men, including two officers, was insistent on carrying on the task itself rather than hand it over to some other regiment. A replica of the bridge was being built at its location in Zirakpur as a training exercise he added.

Army Headquarters, he said, had agreed to treat the men lost as battle casualities and their families would get the requisite benefits.



Sector 6 roads a motorist’s nightmare
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
The Municipal Council can actually earn revenue from motor companies by leasing out road stretches in Sector 6 for their use as “shock absorber testing tracks”!
Once regarded as the VIP Sector of the town, where former and present ministers, top retired defense officials and former and serving bureaucrats had their houses, the Sector today is a scene of utter neglect when it comes to the civic amenities.

The roads have not been repaired for years, making driving a harrowing experience. Cow dung and stray cattle are everywhere and garbage lays strewn across the road.

Residents say they have made numerous complaints to the administration and MC authorities, but all their requests seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Mr R.C. Bector, a retired Chief Engineer, says all roads that lead to the market are full of potholes. “It is virtually impossible for vehicles to move on this road. Some of the pits are more than three feet wide and deep enough to cause a serious accident. There is garbage strewn all over, making it difficult for passersby to go without covering their nose,” he says.

Residents say the situation deteriorates during the monsoons season. The road is often inundated with water and it gets difficult to judge deep potholes.

Heavy downpours have washed away portions of the road and what is visible are pebbles and uneven, bumpy stretches.

Ms Sushma Nayar, another resident, says she had to get the suspension of her car repaired twice as her car had taken a beating negotiating potholes.

“We cannot walk on the road for the fear of tripping and the stray cattle that roam freely in the Sector. The authorities must take immediate action,” she says.



Help empower have-nots, Governor asks Infosys
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, while interacting with a delegation of Infosys, led by its Senior Vice-President, Mr H.R. Binod, here today, called for making Chandigarh Technology Park a research laboratory for the development of innovative techniques in the fields of education, medicine and the social service sector and their subsequent application for reaching the have-nots.

General Rodrigues impressed upon Infosys IT professionals the need for utilising their expertise in evolving suitable strategies for empowering the have-nots and upgrading their quality of life.

General Rodrigues briefed the delegation about the programmes the Chandigarh Administration has already launched through e-governance and by establishing jansampark kendras for meeting the day-to-day needs of the poor and the downtrodden. He urged the Infosys management to participate in this endeavour and adopt the remaining schools for e-education programme.

Mr Binod, while appreciating the initiatives taken by the Administration, offered the active partnership of Infosys in meeting the social objectives in the relevant areas. He said his company would depute a team of experts to study the situation in consultation with senior officers of the Administration to prepare an action plan for giving practical shape to the programmes.

Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, and the Director IT, Mr Vivek Attray, were also present on the occasion. 



Applications invited under PM Rozgar Yojana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Chandigarh Department of Industries has invited applications under the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) from unemployed youth, who are between the 18-35 age group. The minimum academic qualification is Class VIII. The scheme also has 10 years relaxation for SCs, STs, Ex-servicemen, physically handicapped and women candidates, for financial assistance in the form of loan and subsidy on easy terms and conditions.

An official press release said that the applicant should have been a resident of the UT from the past at least three years and income of the beneficiary, along with income of spouse and parents should not exceed Rs 40,000 annually. Financial assistance up to Rs 2 lakh for individuals and up to Rs 10 lakh for a group of persons is available under the PMRY scheme.

The prescribed application forms, along with a sample project report, is available at the single window cell of the District Industries Centre, Sector 39, Industrial Area, Phase-II, and Regional Employment Exchange.



Bir Devinder reviews development works
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 15
The MLA, Kharar, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today took a round of the township to review the various development works being carried out by various agencies. A team of government officials from PUDA and the Municipal Council accompanied the MLA while he visited the various parks and public offices in Mohali.

He pointed out to the officers concerned that the various green belts in the township, roads, markets and parking places should be better maintained for the convenience of the residents. Later, the MLA also held a meeting with representatives of resident welfare associations who apprised him of their problems.



Meet-the-Press on Sept 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Mr Kuldeep Kumar, Minister for Industries and Co-operation, Himachal Pradesh, will address a Meet-the-Press programme on September 17 at 11 am at the Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh.



Love for luxury landed them in jail
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
A management graduate, a law graduate, a former Mr Punjab (body building and modelling title holder); and a car mechanic have landed in the jail. After stealing cars from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, the foursome’s fancy for “living it up” finally landed them in the police net.

Together, Tejinder Singh (an MBA), Balraj Gupta (a law graduate), Gurinder Singh (former Mr Punjab and a postgraduate in History), and car mechanic Chanchal, have so far confessed to stealing eight luxury cars. These cars were later sold off to unsuspecting customers at a car bazaar in New Delhi, after they procured fake documents of these luxury vehicles. These facts came out during the interrogation of the accused by the Special Staff of the Panchkula Police.

The police said that this was certainly not the first brush with law for Tejinder Singh, Gurinder Singh and Balraj Singh. The trio had been booked earlier and had served time behind bars on different offences. Chanchal, a mechanic, had joined them recently, and was adept at breaking locks of cars.

Their modus operandi was simple. They would target mid segment cars like Accent and Indigo or lower segment cars like Zen and Indica, parked outside hotels/ marriage palaces or cinema halls. While Gurinder would follow the owners and keep watch and at the same time giving warning to his accomplices through a mobile, Balraj and Tejinder would wait outside, while Chanchal would open the cars locks.

Interestingly, Chanchal had met Tejinder in Amritsar. Both of them were keen on going abroad, and had paid Rs 4 lakh each to an agent there. The agent had later run away, and they had lost their money. The Police said that Chanchal had mortagaged his ancestral land for paying the agent, and was desperately in need of money to get this land back. When Tejinder offered him “easy money” by joining his gang, the latter agreed.

The foursome were caught by the police at Ludhiana last month, while they were driving a Zen car stolen from Panchkula. They were brought to Panchkula on transit remand last month. Together, they had stolen five cars (Accent, Indigo, Scorpio, Zen Diesel and Zen petrol) from outside KC Cross Roads hotel and Pallavi hotel here, a Zen from outside Fun Republic, and an Accent and Indica car from outside marriage palaces in Zirakpur. All these cars have been recovered by the police. One of the cars was recovered by the police from Kottayam in Kerela. 



3 booked for taking loan on fake papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Acting on a complaint forwarded by the Delhi Financial Corporation, the local police has booked three persons on the allegations of obtaining a loan of Rs 10 lakh by producing fake documents.

Besides this, the police registered an assault case against a Kumhar Colony resident. Two persons were arrested in separate cases for allegedly indulging in gambling and carrying liquor illegally. The theft of a Maruti car was also brought to the notice of the local police during the past 24 hours.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh Police said accused Tejinder Singh Lamba, Gurmeet Singh and R.K. Hans were booked by the police in a cheating and a criminal breach of trust case under Sections 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Delhi Financial Corporation’s Deputy General Manager A.K. Sehgal. In his complaint, Mr Sehgal had alleged that loan for cable business was procured after the production of fake documents.

Mr Saurav Kumar of Kumhar Colony claimed that Naveen Kumar, also of the same colony, stabbed him in his back as a result of which he was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

A Khanna resident Jaskaran reported to the police that his Maruti Zen (PB-26-B-6033), parked in front of a Sector 22 house, was stolen.

The spokesman added that Rasheed Ahmed of Colony Number IV was arrested from the Industrial Area here on the allegations of gambling at a public place. He added that Rs 300 was recovered from his possession.

Ram Surat Darshan of Sector 52 was taken into custody from the Labour Chowk near Sector 44. As many as 28 quarts were allegedly recovered from his possession. In all the cases further investigations were on. 



Pak national held for illegal stay
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
Poverty in his motherland has forced a Pakistani national to risk his life and stay on in India illegally, and earn a livelihood.
The Pakistani national, Shauqat Ali, has been arrested by the police from Khangesara village. He has been arrested for illegally staying in the country without valid documents.

Police sources say the man was working as a driver, and for the past couple of years was travelling in Ambala, Karnal, Panipat and Delhi.

A resident of Gujjaranwala in Pakistan, Shauqat had reportedly entered into Punjab a few years ago and was caught by the BSF. He was handed over to the Punjab police, who framed a case against him under the Foreigners Act. He was imprisoned for a year and a fine of Rs 500 was imposed.

When he failed to deposit the fine, his punishment was extended by another year. After he was released, the police wanted to deport him, but he somehow ran away. Since then, he had been staying on in India. 



2 power theft cases in Ind Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Enforcement Wing of the Electricity Department of the Chandigarh Administration today detected two cases of power theft in a surprise raid carried out in the Industrial Area here today.

Sources said the team constituted by Mr V.K.Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, detected the cases of theft in plot 734 in Industrial Area, Phase II, and plot 157 in Phase I. The electricity meters of the defaulters were removed and sealed.

The sources said a penalty of Rs 1 lakh was levied on the defaulters. A police complaint has also been lodged to this regard. 



One held on rape charge

Mohali, September 15
The police here has arrested one person on the charge of rape. The accused Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Siau village was “caught” with a girl of the same village yesterday. The neighbours raised an alarm and the parents of the victim lodged a complaint with the police following which the boy was arrested.

The accused, however, told the police that he was having an affair with the girl for the past two years.

However, the parents of the victim told the police that the boy had forced himself on the girl. The accused was presented before a Kharar court today and sent to judicial remand till September 29. — TNS



Woman looted
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
A woman was looted in her house in Sector 66 here.
According to reports, a man, claiming to be from a courier company, called out the name of the woman on reaching her house. The woman opened the door after which the man forced his way in and looted whatever he could.



Biz Clips
Watch care centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Titan Industries Limited today opened its first service boutique — Watch Care Centre — in the city.
Talking to mediapersons after inaugurating it in Sector 17 yesterday, Mr Sandeep Kulhalli, Business Head, Retail Services Group, Titan Industries Ltd, said it would help in meeting the service and repair needs of customers, all under one roof.

Scooterette Kine launched: Kinetic Motor Company on Thursday launched a gearless scooterette in Chandigarh — Kine. Conceptualised as “the small kinetic’’, Kine brings together cool looks, high comfort and convenience and powerpacked performance in a lightweight and easy-to-handle package.

The kine was launched by Ajinkya Firodia, General Manager, Marketing, Kinetic at Amar Motors, the company’s new dealership on the Madhya Marg. It is now available at a reduced price tag of Rs 28,042.

Amar Motors is Kinetic’s new retail face offering complete sales, service and spare solutions.

Launched: Blaupunket, a car stereo manufacturing company has launched ultra-thin thinline amplifier and speaker series designed to provide a powerful in-car sound experience.


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 |