C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Survey begins for Maloya slums’ relocation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
In light of the proposed move by the Chandigarh Administration to rehabilitate the inhabitants of major slums near Maloya village, a survey of slum areas has been initiated by the Estate Office.

The survey of Colony Nos. 4 and 5, Nehru colony and some other settlements was being undertaken to ascertain the number of inhabitants.

Sources in the administration said the previous Estate Office in a note to the Administrator had suggested that about 200 acres of land near the village could be used for raising a multi-storey project.

The land under occupation by slums was worth crores of rupees.

As per the previous survey, the total number of dwelling units in Colony No. 5 was around 6,400 with a population of around 22,000. The tentative cost of 60 acres of land under the colony was worth over Rs 175 crore.

The note mentioned that the illegal colony was a serious roadblock in the growth of third-phase Sectors and it affected the adjoining areas.

The only option in face of the ground reality was to relocate the existing colony. But the existing rehabilitation policy entailed rehabilitation of those who figured in the voters’ list prior to December, 1996.

In case of administration proposing to rehabilitate the colony, the Estate Office had suggested that the project of the Chandigarh Housing Board to raise single-room tenements in Sector 56 could be the guiding force.

For relocating Colony No. 5, the total requirement of land was about 65 acres and the cost could come to around Rs 162 crore.

It had been proposed that the entire money along with the cost of capital could be recovered from the beneficiaries, leaving little scope for their resale.

A similar scheme could be extended to Nehru colony and Colony No. 4, which are spread over 70 acres of land with a population of about 30,000.

Proper transport linkage had been proposed to make the scheme viable.

Villagers, however, alleged administration’s indifference towards them. Those living outside the “lal dora” lamented that while the administration had been acting tough on them, it had been proposing relocation of slum-dwellers by providing them with alternative dwelling units.

They rued that while they had paid registration fee for their land, slum-dwellers had paid nothing to squat on the government land.



Accused in Nayagaon rape case held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
In a major breakthrough, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab Police probing into the rape of a minor girl at Nayagaon three years ago today arrested Gurdhain Singh, one of the five prime accused in the case. Gurdhian, a resident of Karoran village, was arrested from Mora village, near Ambala, late this evening.

According to sources in the SIT, Gurdhian had given the slip to the police on August 5 when he along with three of his associates — Sucha Singh, Ram Singh and Rajwinder Singh — was travelling in a Scorpio. While the police nabbed Gurdhian’s associates and impounded the car, Gurdhian slipped away shortly before the car was intercepted. A mobile phone being used by the car occupants was also seized by the SIT, which was later found to have been bought on a fake address.

Interestingly, according to the SIT sources, Gurdhian along with his associates had stayed at Kisan Bhavan in Chandigarh the night before where accommodation for them had reportedly been arranged by a Punjab minister.

Gurdhain, husband of the Nayagaon-Karoran Sarpanch, was one of the five persons named by the rape victim to have committed the crime in her statement to the PGI police after she was admitted to the hospital for the delivery of her child in March, 2003. The others, Kesar Singh, Kanwar Inder Singh, alias Rinku, and Avtar Singh, alias Tari, were arrested by the SIT on July 20, 2005 and Ramkesh, alias Panch, was arrested by the SIT recently. Gurdhian Singh, brother of Kesar Singh, also named by the victim, had been on the run ever since.



MLA’s gunman held for rape bid
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
The police today arrested a gunman of Haryana MLA on the allegations of attempting to rape and threatening a woman.

Sources in the police said Haryana Police Constable Raju, gunman of Mr Sukhbir Singh, MLA from the Hasanpur constituency in Faridabad, was arrested this morning from Chandigarh. He has been booked under Sections 376, 506 and 511 of the IPC.

Giving details of the incident, sources said the victim, a resident of Sector 7, had alleged in her complaint that Raju, who is also a distant relative of her, came to her residence on the night of September 18. She said her husband, a peon posted at the Haryana Raj Bhavan, was away on his night duty at that time. Taking advantage of her husband’s absence, the accused came to her residence and stayed there. During the night, he tried to rape her.

She reportedly told about it to her husband on his arrival on September 22. They brought the matter to the notice of the police and a case was registered.



Class XII girl ends life
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
Depressed over her failure in a mathematics examination, a 17-year-old girl hanged herself to death at her Sector 36 residence here, this afternoon. Though no suicide note was recovered, the police said “math mein fail” was written on the hand of the deceased.

Giving details of incident, sources in the police said the suicide came to light when the elder sister of Neha, returned from her tuitions at around 4.15 pm and found Neha’s room bolted from inside. When her repeated knocks at the door went unanswered, she called her parents. Neha’s elder sister climbed on a car to look through a window. She found Neha hanging from a ceiling fan with a “dupatta” in her room.

They broke open the door and took Neha to the General Hospital in Sector 16, where doctors declared her brought dead. The police was informed about the incident at around 5:15 pm.

The father of the deceased, Mr Raghu Nath Singh, a supervisor with the BSNL, told the police that Neha, a Class XII student at Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 40, was a brilliant student and did well in her exams throughout her studies. She was a non-medical student and took coaching from an institute.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard.



City Beautiful crumbling!
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Chandigarh and peripheral towns of Panchkula and Mohali are on the threshold of a major infrastructural, social and cultural transformation.

After the influx of migrants, which played havoc with the city’s infrastructure, the advent of IT revolution and industrialisation is set to further strain the existing infrastructure.

A city originally planned for a population of six lakh is already burgeoning at its seams with a population of over 11 lakh.

The increase in population is causing strain on its resources — land, power and water. No wonder that the real estate prices are at their highest in the country. The periphery of the city — a 10-mile cushion around the city — is seeing rapid violations and haphazard construction.

With the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab Government having given a go-ahead to the Apartment Act, the skyline of Chandigarh and Mohali, too, is set to change.

Traffic jams, unheard of a few years ago, are now the order of the day on Madhya Marg, which leads to Panchkula, and Dakshin Marg, which leads to Mohali, besides traffic intersections near bus stand and other commercial places.

The number of vehicles in the city alone is estimated at over six lakh. Envisaged as a modern city, the Nehru’s dream of Chandigarh is beginning its journey to the end.

Slum colonies have multiplied and an estimated 35 per cent of the population lives in these.

The original residents of Chandigarh are now expressing grave concern over this architectural and cultural transformation.

Mr M.L. Sareen, a local advocate, and a group of some other residents have now decided to take up the matter with the Prime Minister.

“We are deeply concerned at the changes being envisaged for the city. Haphazard construction is witnessed everywhere. The Northern Sectors, which used to have small houses with wide open spaces, are now being turned into concrete jungles as these are being demolished to make way for bungalows. This is certainly not what either Le Corbusier or first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had in mind when they had thought of the first planned city — Chandigarh. We hope to meet the Prime Minister in October and raise our objections,” he says.

Ms Kanta Saroop Krishen, another resident, too, feels that the strain of infrastructure has increased because of approval to vertical growth, by introducing the Apartment Act.

“With IT corridors being set up in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, the population is further going to increase, and so will the need for additional housing, water, power and wider roads,” she says.

However, Mr M.N. Sharma, senior architect involved in the planning of the city, feels that change is the need of the hour. “I feel Chandigarh is progressing in a balanced way; the development is being done keeping in mind the aesthetics and infrastructure.

The UT Administrator deserves kudos for this. The IT park will bring in new architecture and a new socio- economic order. The aesthetics of architecture in Chandigarh has made it famous all over, but change is required to serve the needs of people. Residents should not be demanding, but should contribute towards the welfare of society. I am concerned about the high-rise buildings coming up, but proper civic amenities and planned growth will ensure that the city does not stand transfixed in the sands of time, rather it grows,” he says.



Be sensitive, Bansal asks bureaucrats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Urging the bureaucracy to shed its “mai baap” image, the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, today accused it of being “insensitive” to the genuine demands of residents.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Bansal, however, came against the constitution of a state Assembly for the city, terming it as “ impracticable and too expensive”. He favoured the setting up of a state council with councillors having executive powers over matters of public importance.

Elaborating on the functioning of the state council, the MP said under this system, legislative powers would continue to be vested with Parliament and the people’s representatives would have “functions, finances and functionaries”.

Saying that “there is something amiss with the functioning of the administrative system in the city”, Mr Bansal alleged that the building bylaws had failed to evolve with the changing times. The issues of having three-feet cantilevers and alleged encroachments by house owners, which had been hanging fire for several years, would be taken up at a meeting of the Home Minister’s Advisory Committee to he held in New Delhi tomorrow, he added.

Listing his achievements, the Congress leader said the Rs 298-crore tender for the four-laning of the Chandigarh-Ambala highway had been awarded to a construction firm. However, there was needfor setting up a science city and the mass rapid transport system for Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

To a question on the contribution of Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) in the setting up of the Chandigarh Technology Park, Mr Bansal claimed that the project was conceived during the tenure of Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) in collaboration with the Software Technology Park of India. However, it was to the credit of the Chandigarh Administration that it persisted with the project till its launch yesterday, he added.

On the Chandigarh Administration-Chandigarh Press Club spat over the misutilisation of funds released from the MPLAD Fund, Mr Bansal claimed that the funds had been used for library purposes. “I have received no complaint regarding the misutilisation of funds under the MPLAD scheme so far,” he added.

Flanked by the Mayor, Ms Anu Chatrath, and three former Mayors — Ms Lalit Joshi Bhardwaj, Mr Subhash Chawla and Ms Kamlesh — today’s press conference turned out to be a show of strength by the Bansal faction.

However, Mr Bansal downplayed differences with the president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), Mr B.B. Bahl, saying that the differences only showed a “spirit of democracy.”

Prominent among those present were Mr Pradeep Chhabra, Mr Bhupinder Badheri, Mr H.S. Lucky, Ms Harpreet Kaur, Mr D.D. Jindal, Mr D.S. Babla and Mr Pawan Sharma.



UK compensation sought for Indian PoWs
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Army Headquarters has taken up the matter concerning grant of compensation to Indian soldiers who were held prisoners of war (PoW) by the Japanese during World War II, with the Indian High Commission in London.

The Adjutant General’s Branch at Army Headquarters has written to the High Commission in this regard earlier this month. The Defence Adviser in the High Commission is expected to take up the matter with the British War Office and obtain the necessary legal and technical details pertaining to grant of compensation.

In the wake of the British Government paying compensation to Indian Army Gorkha soldiers who had been taken PoW by the Japanese, Indian veterans wanted the case of similarly placed Indian PoWs be considered afresh by the British. President of the Chandigarh chapter of the Indian Ex-services League (IESL), Brig Sant Singh (retd) had written to the Army Headquarters last month.

A copy of the letter written to the High Commission, received subsequently by Brigadier Sant Singh here last week, states that Indian soldiers who suffered similar torture and deprivation as Gorkha soldiers, also deserve compensatory grant. Since such soldiers are repeatedly representing for the same, the letter has requested the High Commission to look into various aspects of the issue.

In 2002, Britain had decided to compensate all PoWs held by the Japanese and had announced a grant of £ 10,000 to each PoW. This was initiated after reports said that the services of the Far Eastern Prisoner of War (FEPoW), which included several thousand Indian soldiers, had not been recognised.

A large number of Indian PoWs, including the Gorkhas, had applied for compensation. They were, however, later excluded from the ambit of the scheme. Thereafter, Nepal-based Gorkha Army Ex-servicemen’s Association had moved a London court, which ruled that Gorkha PoWs were very much entitled to compensation. Even Gorkha soldiers who are settled in India were eligible for the compensation.

Veterans say that excluding Indian soldiers was totally unjust on part of the British Government, especially so when it has received compensation from Japan for all PoWs who fought under the British flag. Stating that compensating to a section of Indian Army PoWs and ignoring others was highly discriminatory, they added that it was not only the PoWs who faced indignity, but their families too suffered untold hardships.

The British Government had been giving different reasons for denying compensation to Indian PoWs. These included the stance that some soldiers had joined the Indian National Army or were from the Indian Corps of Signals.

Later the British Government said that India had signed a separate peace treaty with Japan in the 50s and therefore, Indian PoWs were not entitled to compensation.



Punjab, Haryana Ratan for 13
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Thirteen renowned persons were honoured with the Punjab and Haryana Ratan at the 24th All-India Conference of Intellectuals (AICOI) held at Panjab University today.

While presiding over the function, the Governor of Haryana, Dr A.R. Kidwai, congratulated the awardees and appreciated the services rendered by them for the betterment of society.

He said if the country explored its natural resources to the optimum and continued with its progress in the field of science and technology, it would soon emerge as a leading country in the world. He opined that if the country continued with its progress it would become the third major power in the world in the next 50 years.

He said efforts were needed to achieve the target of becoming a developed country for which there should be improvement in the education system and the country should produce technically skilled youth to meet the needs of industry.

The state Education Minister, Mr Phool Chand Mullana, who was also conferred with the Haryana Ratan said the principles of intellectual conference like humanism, nationalism and peace were essential for the all-round development of humanity.

The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University, Dr K.N. Pathak, spoke on the need for second green revolution as propagated by the Indian Prime Minister recently. He said the gesture of the organisation to honour intellectuals would encourage them to work with more vigour.

The national secretary of the AICOI, Mr B.N. Sharma, said the objective of the organisation was to promote awareness on the protection of human rights through peaceful action. He said the organisation was responsible for starting lok adalats, which had proved beneficial for all sections of society.

He said so far more than 600 intellectuals had been honoured by the organisation.

Talking about the benefits of green revolution ushered in the country by farmers of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Sharma said it had gone a long way in making our country self-sufficient in the food grain.

Those honoured with the Punjab Ratan were: Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalkat, agriculturist; Dr Sanjay Chaturvdi, Principal Investigator of India’s Antarctic and Ocean Policy Research Group; Prof R. Rama Rao, Director, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research; Dr P.K. Vasudeva, Principal College of Communication and Management, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; Dr Uttam Chand Banerjee, Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology (Biotechnology), Mohali; Mr Rajendra K. Saboo, businessman and Rotarian of Chandigarh; Mr Sushil Kumar Malhotra, social worker of Ludhiana.

Those honoured with the Haryana Ratan were: Mr Ranjit Puri, CMD Saraswati Sugar Mills Ltd., Yamunanagar; Major-Gen Rajendra Nath (retd), chairman Institute of Blind; Mr S.K. Arya, CMD, Jai Bharat Maruti Udyog Ltd., Gurgaon; Ms Vasundhara Nath, founder, Bal Vikas School, Panipat; and Ms Kalpana Ghai, general secretary of Bal Sadan Association, Panchkula.

Other present on the occasion were Dr Suraj Bhan, former Governor of Himachal and Uttar Pradesh; Mr R.C. Dikshit, former DGP and national general secretary and president of AICOI (UP); and Mr Raza Ali Khan, national secretary, AICOI.



City to host Bridal Asia exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The City Beautiful will witness Bridal Asia, an event that will bring unimaginable range of trousseau to the region next month. Started as a ‘dream project’ six years ago, Bridal Asia has come to be known as a trendsetter in the wedding industry and the city will host this annual Bride Asia exhibition, spread over three days from October 8.

Disclosing this here today the founder of Bridal Asia, Ms Diivyaa Gurwaara, said several top designers were expected to participate in the show. These include Satya Paul, Mandira Wirk, Rocky S.Rina Dhaka and Preeti Meshram from Delhi. Suma Nathwani (Lingerie). Kiran Uttam Ghosh, Shamlu Dudeja, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Shantanu Goenka from Kolkata. Hemant Trivedi Bhairavi Jaikishan, Payal Singhal, Moksh Jewellery from Mumbai and Suhani Pittie and Vinita Pittie from Hyderabad.

Addressing a press conference here today Ms Gurwaara said the event would provide a platform for display of original creations for brides and grooms, Bridal Asia showcases a range of categories in apparel, accessories, jewellery and everything else required for an unforgettable wedding. It is also a platform for services provided by planners, designers, florists and others.

This year the event will bring together 85 participants offering a collection of uniquely exquisite products spread over 30,000 sq ft in a rich display of stylish wedding ensembles that include leading names from the Indian fashion design industry.

The event will also witness leading international designers showcasing their collection in the exhibition and also walking the Indian ramp for the first time. This would include designers like Imrana Ahmad, Gul Ahmed, Nilofer Shahid, Soniya Battla, Hina Waquar, Saadia Mirza and Zara Shahjahan from Pakistan and Aneela Haque from Bangladesh.

Prior to the exhibition, Bridal Asia for the first time will organise three fashion shows from October 4 to 6.

This year the Bridal Asia 2005 encompasses several categories like apparels and accessories like jewellery, watches and bags, assortments like chocolates and a host of other elements.



Passing Thru

Ashok Chauhan
Ashok Chauhan, coach, British Army Hockey team

Tell us a little about yourself?

My family originates from Rajasthan. Though I was born in Kenya and have been living in England, yet I feel very strongly for India as part of my family is still here.

How often do you come here?

This is my fourth visit to the country. Since I have married an Indian girl, I come to visit my parents-in-law who also stay in Rajasthan.

Tell us something about your role in the British Army?

Being an Asian, I am responsible for selecting people of this region who wish to enroll and be a part of the British Army. Besides this, I also impart training in hockey to the Army hockey teams. I am team manager of the Combined Services' Hockey Team (Under 23).

What is the purpose of your visit here?

Besides playing the exhibition matches, organised by the Indian Hockey Federation, I was keen to expose my boys to the rich Indian traditions, values, customs, culture and the life of the people here. This is not a professional team. This was merely an interactive experience designed to give exposure to the game and the country. The next time I come, it will be with a specialised Army team and we hope to put up a tough competition.

— Akash Ghai



Historic Nehru Park set for makeover
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The historic Nehru Park in Sector 22, from where India’s first Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru reportedly announced the creation of the modern architectural marvel, City Beautiful, is set for a makeover.

The park, which has been at the receiving end for years now, is finally getting its due share from the authorities, thanks to the relentless efforts of area councillor and former Senior Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) Pradeep Chabbra.

In fact, the development works were set in motion on September 23 with Mayor Anu Chatrath switching on the new floodlights, costing about Rs 3.26 lakh.

A water connection had been provided to the park for its upkeep, a corporation official said.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Chabbra claimed that the installation of the floodlights was first in the series of development works planned for the park, a favourite haunt for political parties and social organisation for holding rallies and other functions.

The work on the installation of new railings, costing Rs 2.5 lakh — which had been released by local MP Pawan Bansal from his MPLAD Fund — will get under way next month, he said.

Meanwhile, residents have welcomed the move to spruce up the historic park.

Mr Walia, a resident, fondly remembered the day when Pandit Nehru announced the creation of Chandigarh. “At that time, we did not expect that the city would burst at its seams in a span of 50 years,” he added.

Complimenting Mr Chabbra for his efforts for the park, Mr O.P. Sobti, president of the Citizens Welfare Council, urged the authorities to develop other parks and greenbelts.

Besides, other basic amenities needed urgent attention of the MCC, Mr Sobti felt.

“Our effort is the development of the park on the pattern of Parade Ground, Sector 17, so that it becomes a hub of political, social and commercial activities. Its central location would go a long way in making it a sought-after venue for all kind of activities,” Mr Chabbra added.



INTUC poll under a cloud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Elections to the post of president of the local unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress(INTUC) have come under a cloud following differences over results.

Dr Subhash Sharma, president of the INTUC (Punjab) who was the election observer, said Mr Ram Pal Sharma would continue as president as he enjoyed the support of majority of the INTUC delegates whom he interviewed during the elections. Mr Kulbir Singh, one of the candidates, claims that he had the support of 16 delegates of the 24, and so Mr Ram Pal Sharma was not the president. He wants the intervention of the party high command. Mr Ram Pal Sharma said he respected the word of the election observer.

Dr Sharma said Mr Ram Pal Sharma would continue as INTUC president and he would submit the election report to the party high command.

Mr Kulbir Singh said,” Due to the unwarranted and uncalled intervention by certain local leaders of the Congress, who wanted Mr Ram Pal Sharma to be the president of the local unit, the elections could not be held. The observer left the venue abruptly without holding the elections”. His supporters claimed that they were informed that the elections were postponed.

Dr Sharma said,“ There was no question of postponing the elections. I had a round of talks with all delegates and found that Mr Ram Pal Sharma enjoyed the majority”

Mr Janak Raj Khillan, a spokesperson for INTUC, in a press note has attached a letter signed by 19 delegates of INTUC showing their ira over elections. “In case Mr Ram Pal Sharma was re-elected, why was it not announced on the floor of the house?” a senior INTUC worker asked.



Cinegoers make exit from “No Entry”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Around 150 cinegoers who had come to watch the matinee show of movie “No Entry” at Neelam cinema, Sector 17, today left harassed as the movie they were watching would stop after every half an hour for about 15 minutes due to alleged power failure.

The agitated crowd finally decided to leave the hall and sought an explanation from the cinema staff. On learning that there were power failures and that the generator installed there was not working, the crowd got agitated and demanded that their ticket money to be refunded.

The authorities, though earlier not willing, refunded the money.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Varinder Pal Singh, a resident of Sector 70, Mohali, said within 30 minutes of the movie having started, the light went off. The picture began again after five minutes. The same was, however, repeated after 20 minutes. “There were five power failures. The first two times, the movie started within five minutes. However, the later breaks extended to about 20 minutes each.”

The viewers were also agitated over the lack of amenities available in the cinema. The authorities, however, claimed they had no prior information about the power cuts, thus the problem.

In December last, the licence of Neelam Cinema was suspended for a few days on the orders of the District Commissioner. The action was taken after the cinema authorities did not reply to a show-cause notice issued to them regarding the lack of amenities in the cinema.



Plea to implement report of Standing Committee on Defence
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
Members of the All-India Defence Brotherhood here have demanded the implementation of recommendations of the 20th report of the Standing Committee on Defence.

The report was tabled in both Houses of Parliament in December, 2003, and its recommendations addressed most of the problems of working and retired defence personnel.

According to a press note issued by Brig Harwant Singh (retd), president of the organisation, restructuring of the officer cadre to make the Army an attractive option for the youth was one such recommendation.

Some of the measures that could be taken in that regard included additional deputation vacancies and ‘lateral absorption’ in other organisations, tenure outside the Army, exit through the Voluntary Severance Scheme, making of additional appointments etc, he said.

He supported the recommendation that there should be job guarantee up to 60 years of age.

The organisation demanded the filling of ex-servicemen’s job quota, jobs to the wards of the deceased soldiers, ‘non-classification’ of defence widows and uniform compensation to all.

“At present, widows of the defence personnel are classified as war widows and others. Certain benefits extended to the former are denied to other widows. This is a cruel provision. A widow is a widow, irrespective of the date and circumstances of her husband’s death, and deserves full support of the state and society. Therefore, all widows be called ‘defence widows’ with equal monetary and other benefits available to all of them. The compensation to defence widows/wards should also be uniform in the country and must not vary from state to state,” added Mr Harwant Singh.

The organisation also made some other demands.



Walk contest for senior citizens
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
The Chandigarh Police, in collaboration with the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, will organise a brisk walk competition for senior citizens at Sukhna Lake on September 27.

A spokesman for the Chandigarh Police said the competition for men and women in different age groups would be held at Sukhna Lake on September 27 at 6.30 am. UT Inspector-General Satish Chandra would flag off the walk. Participants shall have to bring proof of their age with them.

Veteran athletes, who have participated in state and national-level competitions, would not be allowed to participate in the competition. However, a separate walk would be held for them. The IG would hold an interactive session with senior citizens followed by the prize distribution function. Participants are required to reach Sukhna Lake at 6 am.

Age groups:

Men: 60-65 - 3.5 km

65-70 -  3 km

70-75 - 2.5 km

75 and above  - 2 km

Professional - 3.5 km

Women: 60-65 - 2 km

65-70 - 1.5 km

70-75  - 1 km

Professional - 2.5 km



Deep Complex residents on relay fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Residents of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, today decided to sit on a relay fast to protest against the move by the Chandigarh Administration to acquire around 33 acres of land on which the complex is located on the outskirts of the village.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the residents of the area.

Member of the Deep Complex Resident Welfare Association B.S. Rawat said the decision had been taken after eliciting no response from the officers. Villagers had recently met the Prime Minister on the issue.

Panchayat Samiti chairman Didar Singh said it was wrong on part of the administration to destabilise the needy people.

He said the administration should not have done this after sitting on the issue for over seven years. The administration had been given representations from time to time on the issue.

Constructions in the area had not come overnight and it had taken years to construct houses, he said adding that there had to be an alternative arrangement for the evacuees.



Residents’ memo to PM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A deputation of members of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations, Chandigarh, submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, yesterday, demanding need-based changes in building bylaws.

Stating that the present bylaws, framed nearly five decades ago, had become obsolete, the memorandum said the Administration should provide a one-time relaxation in building bylaws to regularise “violations.

The members also demanded greater representation of sector welfare associations in ward committees and four-laning of the national highway from Chandigarh to Ambala and laying and electrification of the rail track form Chandigarh to Ludhiana.

The problem of insufficient parking space in markets and residential areas was also highlighted by them.



Dalit advocates seek quota in private sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A meet of Dalit advocates on “Proportional representation in private sector and judiciary” was organised by the Buddha Smriti Sansthan, New Delhi, at Dr Ambedkar Bhavan, Sector 37, here today.

Addressing the meet, Dr Mahendra Pratap Rana, Director of the sansthan, demanded reservation for the Dalits in the private sector and the judiciary.

He alleged that members of Scheduled Castes were being discriminated against by those belonging to upper castes.

Speakers came down heavily on political parties for their alleged failure in “forcing” the private sector to reserve jobs for the SC community.



Onam celebrated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
Members of the Sree Ayappa Seva Samiti today celebrated the Onam festival at the Sanathan Dharam Mandir, Phase IV, here today. Dr John V. George, ADGP, Haryana, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The programme began with a prayer. Ranga pooja, a classical dance Thiruvathira and group dances were performed as part of the cultural programmes.

Members also handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh as insurance amount to the wife of member K. Pushparajan Pillai who had died in an accident in January this year.

According to Mr V.K. Chandrashekharan Nair, president of the samiti, five children were given scholarships for their performance in Class X and XII examinations. These students include Anisha Chandrahasan and Anoop Kumar of Class XII, Drishya and Jincy Ranjan of Class X and Akhil Raj of Class IX.



Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 25
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Residents’ Welfare Society, Ekta Vihar (Phase II), Baltana, Zirakpur: president — Maj R.L. Verma (retd); vice-president — Mr Roshan Lal; general secretary — Mr P.S. Chandel; secretary — Mr Lalit Sharma; joint secretary — Mr I.J. Chabra; asstant. secretary — Mr S.K. Singh; finance secretary — Mr K.L. Chopra; property secretary — Mr B.S. Bajwa; press secretary — Mr S.D. Jasoria; and auditor — Mr Kuldeep Sharma.



A clarification

Chandigarh, September 25
In response to a news item, 'Labourer killed, 3 hurt in mishaps', published in Chandigarh Tribune dated September 25, the Subdivisional Engineer, Roads subdivision No. R-2, Chandigarh, clarified that Banwari was killed in the accident and Veeramuttu was seriously injured.

In the news it was wrongly reported that Veeramuttu was killed in the accident and Banwari was injured. The error is regretted. TNS



Cops ‘assault’ man for not giving bribe
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
A Kalka resident today had a brush with the Chandigarh police when they allegedly hit him with a baton on his hand after he allegedly refused to give bribe. The matter was sorted out when the representatives of a local unit of the BJP intervened and blocked the road making senior officers of assuring an “appropriate action.”

It all started when Mr Rohan Sharma, who was coming from Kalka on his motor cycle, reached near a police beat box in Colony No. 4, three policemen — Head Constable Rajbir Singh and constables Dal Singh and Mukesh — stopped him. They reportedly told Mr Sharma that he had violated a traffic rule and should be challaned for the same.

Mr Sharma alleged that the cops later demanded money from him to let him go.

When he told them that he was unable to meet their demand, the cops said he would be challaned and his bike would be impounded. He entered into an altercation with them and the policemen hit him on his hand with a baton.

The cops later issued a challan to him and also impounded his motor cycle.

Mr Sharma then went to his acquaintances in the locality and asked for help. Irate over the police action, local unit representatives of the BJP blocked the road for about one-and-half-hour. The cops reportedly fled from the spot. It was only after the intervention of senior officers the jam was lifted.

When contacted, the senior officers denied the incident terming it as a minor issue.

They added that there was a small problem and the road was blocked only for few minutes. They, however, assured that the matter would be looked into and appropriate action would be taken against those found guilty.



Servant decamps with gun, valuables
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 25
A servant decamped with a gun and cash from a dhaba in Sector 26 here. Two other cases of theft were also reported in the past 24 hours. In a separate case, the police arrested a Sector 56 resident on the allegation of assaulting a woman.

Mr Maman Chand of Haryana Dhaba in Sector 26 timber market filed a complaint with the police alleging that his servant, Raju, had stolen a single-barrel gun along with its licence, a mobile phone and Rs 1,700. Some other articles were also stolen. The incident took place on the night of September 23.

The dhaba owner said two unidentified youths had come to meet Raju on that day. A case has been registered.

Mr Rajesh Chaudhary, Regional Manager of Sector 9 ICICI Bank branch, had lodged a complaint with the police that his laptop was stolen from the bank premises on Saturday.

In a separate incident, a Sector 19 resident, Mr Amit Passi, has reported that his Hero Honda CBZ (HR-03-D-3883) was stolen from market of Sector 43-A on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the police arrested a Sector 56 resident on the allegation of assaulting a woman. Guddi, a resident of Sector 56, has alleged that Sajjan Lal forcibly entered her house and assaulted her around 10.20 am on Saturday.

The police has registered a case and arrested the accused.



3 injured in clash
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
At least three persons were injured in a clash between a landlord and tenants here last night.

According to the police, Rameshwar Goel and his son, Gaurav Goel, who run a kiryana store in Phase 10, and their landlord, Darshan Singh Matharoo, were injured when they clashed over the proprietary right of the shop.

While the Goels were admitted to a private hospital in Phase 10, Darshan Singh was taken to the GMCH, Chandigarh. The police has booked Darshan Singh.


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