C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Girls staying as paying guests go through ordeal
Find their belongings missing after vacation; floor owner held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
For six girls staying as paying guests (PGs) in a Sector 34 house, it was nothing less than an ordeal when they found their valuables dumped at two different locations by the owner of the top floor of a house late last night.

The girls are preparing for different competitive exams.

The girls, who had gone home to celebrate Divali with their families, were in a state of shock when they noticed that their rented premises had been sealed and their valuables were missing. The situation was brought under control when the SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Mr Ajiab Singh Somal, reached the spot and restored the possession of two rented rooms to the girls.

The owner of the top floor, Mr Anil Sharma, who had reportedly thrown the belongings of the girl, has been arrested and booked for trespass, theft and obstructing the way of the tenants.

Inquiry revealed that Mr Sharma had purchased the top floor of house (no. 1266) for Rs 22 lakh from the original owner, Ms Poonam Chadha. The girls were staying as PGs before the top floor was sold to Mr Sharma. There was an unsigned agreement between the buyer and the seller that the PGs would be asked to vacate the accommodation.

One of the girls, Ms Kiran, said the owner never asked them to vacate the house. But when they returned yesterday, they were in a state of shock to find their valuables missing. The girl was preparing for the MBA CAT examination and her admit card for the exam has also been lost. After arresting Anil Sharma the police recovered the valuables from isolated placed in Sector 31 and 45.



College lecturer commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 5
A college lecturer allegedly committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance in Sector 71 here.

According to the police, Amardeep Kaur (28), who worked as a lecturer at Punjab College of Education, Chunni, died at a private hospital in Phase III B2 today.

She was brought to the hospital last evening after she allegedly consumed poison. She leaves a son who is less than three-year-old. It is alleged that she took the extreme step as she was harassed by her in-laws in connection with dowry.

The police has booked four persons, including her husband, Ajit Pal Singh, under Section 304 B of the IPC. The others against whom the case has been registered are Charanjit Singh, father-in-law, Harinder Kaur, mother-in-law, and Jyoti, sister-in-law.

The police said that the case was registered on the complaint of the father of the deceased, Dr Balbir Singh, who worked as a professor at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

The father had alleged in the complaint that his daughter, who was married about three year ago, was harassed by her — laws who kept demanding dowry.

At one time the couple got separated and a complaint was made to the International Human Rights Organisation. After the intervention of the organisation, the couple again started living together after a compromise was struck. Ajit Pal Singh was reportedly working as a commission agent at Chamkaur Sahib.

The deceased could not give any statement before dying as she reportedly remained unconscious since last evening.

The body was sent to the Civil Hospital for a post mortem examination.

The in-laws of the deceased had reportedly fled and no arrests had been made by the police till the time of filing the report.



Two dowry cases registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Two cases of dowry harassment were registered by the Chandigarh Police during the past 24 hours. Besides this, the theft of two vehicles has also been reported to the police. A country made weapon was also recovered from the possession of a Janta Colony resident from near Panjab University’s gate number two. The accused was allegedly involved in incidents of snatching.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh Police said a case alleging criminal breech of trust and subjecting a married woman to cruelty under Sections 406 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered on the complaint of wife Geeta Singh against husband Yadvinder Singh of Sector 27 and others of his family.

In her complaint, Geeta Singh of Sector 19 had earlier alleged that her husband and in-laws were harassing and maltreating her on the grounds of bringing insufficient dowry.

The spokesman added that the other case was registered on the complaint of Sector 44 resident Mona Gupta. In her complaint to the police, she accused her husband Arvind Aggarwal and her in-laws of harassing and maltreating her on the grounds of bringing insufficient dowry. Both cases were being investigated by the Woman and Child Support Unit of the Chandigarh Police.

Regarding the recovery of weapon, the spokesman said Naresh Kumar of Janta Colony, was picked up by the police from a special naka set up by the crime branch of the local police.

He was reportedly riding a motorcycle without registration number. His search revealed a .12 bore country-made weapon. The accused was subsequently booked under the provisions of the Arms Act.

The spokesman added that the theft of a Maruti car bearing registration number PB-39-A-5963 was reported by Mohali resident Kirandeep Kaur. In her complaint, she alleged that her car was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 8.

Mr Krishan Kumar of Daria village reported that his three-wheeler was stolen from his residence. In both matters, cases of theft under Section 379 of the IPC have been registered.



Lake Club, Army tie-up on water sports facilities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Chandigarh Sports Council in its endeavour to encourage water sports entered into a five-year agreement with the Army, at the Lake Sports Complex here today.

Mr I .S. Sandhu and Mr J.P.S. Sidhu, Director and Joint Director, Sports, Chandigarh Administration, respectively, represented the Chandigarh Sports Council, while Brig Sharma and Col Walia signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of the Army.

The MoU stated that the Lake Club would make its water sports facilities available to the Army. It would be given an exclusive area near the swimming pool for carrying out kayaking, rowing, canoeing etc. The Army would have to pay a lump sum of Rs 3 lakh as membership fee and for the upkeep of the equipment.

Under this agreement, the Army would provide its own coaches, who would train the upcoming as well as general water sports fans.

“The training schedule for the keen Army persons, who have been stationed here, has been chalked out in accordance with several institutional teams like the Punjab Police, CRPF, Panjab University, who have already been availing the facilities in the Lake complex on a regular basis”, said Mr Reet Mohinder Singh, GM, Lake Sports Complex.

“It is also being understood that with this attempt, new ventures for the national-level players will come up for further recruitment in the Army directly as Subedars”, Mr J.P.S. Sidhu said.

For the passionate water sports fans, the Chandigarh Sports Department has sufficient number of imported and Indian boats for rowing, kayaking, canoeing and sailing. However, the department is in the process of procuring the latest equipment for these sports as well.



OuterBay office opens in technology park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park today started functioning with software development company, OuterBay, formally launching its operations in the DLF building located on its premises. While leading call centre IBM Daksh, has also moved in, few more top IT companies, including Virsa Systems and Infosys will be setting up their base shortly.

The new slick office premises of the company located on the third floor of the building was inaugurated by the UT Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu. Mr Manu Chadha, Director, Country Head of OuterBay, said the company which had only 10 employees on its rolls as of now was still hiring people. The recruitment process was very gruelling so as to hire the best, he explained while adding that the number would be taken up to 25.

The office space has tastefully done conference rooms, a brain storming room, besides the regular seating area for engineers designed in a way to foster collaboration. With adequate lighting arrangement and paintings displayed along side a vast white expanse it present a soothing look.

He said the focus of the company would be on application data management, software development, quality assurance, technological support and sustain product development.

The company has an impressive list of OEM partners, including HP, EMC, Sybase Inc, all compliance edition product, including an operational log for a complete history of all archiving activities, data integrity check such as EMC’s Centera.

“We’re seeing more and more customised applications in enterprises with large scale data bases, and we expect the market for managing data in these applications to continue to grow,” said Mr Chadha. OuterBay now provides high-performance, solutions to address very large databases (VLDB) with the highest level of audability and traceability for compliance.’’

IBM Daksh, which moved in three weeks ago with 200 employees will be increasing its strength to 700 in the next few months. Applications have already been received from IT companies in Delhi, Mumbai, California, England (also London) and Finland.

Mr S.K. Sandhu said the DLF building had space to accommodate as many as 25-30 buildings in its premises and would provide them the best of infrastructure to lure in more companies. He welcomed the company to the IT park and offered it a welcome cake to Mr Chadha on behalf of the UT Administrator, Lt-Gen (retd) S.F.R. Rodrigues.



Time stands still at Jagjit Singh’s concert
S.D. Sharma

Rarely there has been such a captivating session of inspired music as the delectable strains of soulful musical melodies wafted across the ambience at the ghazal concert organised by the Durga Das Foundation and the Spice Telecom at Nehru Bhavan.

It was indeed an entrancing musical bonanza which had the shades of classical light and film repertoire. The star performer, the invincible ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh, is a maverick musical genius who though trained in classical music, expands in all realms of the art, including film music, sufiana and ghazal.

Jagjit commenced the concert with an elaborate alaap before the soulful rendition of a ghazal “Tere aane ki jab khabar mahaki...”. He embellished the presentation with “alaap” in his baritone voice and delivered electrifying sargams. The audience frequently bursted into lofty applause as he started the next number, including “Kaun kahata hai ki mohabbat ki jubaan hoti hai..” giving true expressions to the lyricism of Sahir.

The impact of musical accompaniments, especially the sitar, had a hypnotising effect. Jagjit Singh induced the delicacy of thought and feeling in his rendition. “Hosh wallon ko khabar kya bekhudi kya chees hai” was the another entrancing ghazal. The maestro rendered it in his mellifluous voice, spiced with impulsive imagination. Laced with philosophical contents, “Ek lamhe me simat aaya hai sadiyon ka safar” was received in rapt attention. He was at his best with a “Kaagaz ki kashti” which depicted the childhood memories etched on his mind. So absorbed he was in the scintillating rendition that it seemed that the time had stood still. The concert gathered momentum as he presented “Jhoom ke zab rindo ne piladi...”. It intoxicated the audience.

The second half of the consert included light musical ghazals and the Punjabi numbers. He mesmerised the gathering with Sufiana kalaam from Baba Bulle Shah. It was “Hoton se chhoo lo tum” to which the audience responded whole heartedly.

On request, Jagjit Singh concluded the concert with Punjabi “tappe”, enrapturing a very receptive crowd. The brilliant musicians who accompanied him included Sunil Das on sitar, Peterson on guitar, Deepak Borker on percussion, Girish on dholak and Avinav Upadhyaya on tabla. Sukanya Balakrishnan of Delhi compared the programme.



Autorickshaws flout pre-paid facility norms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Due to the apathy of the Chandigarh traffic police, autorickshaws continue to operate in an illegal manner from Chandigarh railway station. Luring the prospective users to pay less, they bypass the pre-paid facility being run at the station by an NGO in coordination with the Chandigarh Administration.

To avoid detection, the operators park their vehicles near the exit of the station and try to lure the arriving passengers. An autorickshaw operator told the Tribune that there was a tendency among passengers to pay less fare and look for the service providers. Rush at the entrance to the station premises also delays the movement of the pre-paid autorickshaws.

Sources at the station reveal that at times, the autorickshaw operators pay service charges to the man manning the pre-paid facility. There is a word of caution for the passengers. “Those who get a pre-paid facility get a receipt, but those without it, travel at their own risk”, said an auto- operator.

“If you commit the mistake of sitting in an auto without fixing the price, especially from the bus stand or the railway station, chances are that you will end up arguing. For, so many auto-rickshaw drivers in the city simply refuse to reset the meters before picking up the passengers despite regular checks and special drives. Worse, they harass and misbehave with the passengers,” said a policeman.

Despite the police claiming that it conducts checks, everyday cops receive at least one or two complaints alleging over-charging, faulty meter, misbehaviour and harassment.

Many cases go unreported as passengers simply do not have the time and the inclination to complain. Those availing the facility are charged a nominal amount of Rs 3, which is charged from the passengers as service charges for meeting expenses incurred in running the pre-paid booths.



Lady officer faces court martial for seeking bribe
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
In perhaps the first instance of its kind in the Army, a lady officer faces a possible trial by court martial after a court of inquiry (CoI) held her blameworthy for professional impropriety while conducting courts martial, and recommended disciplinary action against her.

The CoI has reportedly held the officer, Major Dimple Singla, culpable of allegedly demanding and receiving about Rs 3 lakh from Army personnel in two separate courts martial to influence the trial in their favour, sources said. The CoI also held her blameworthy of coercing under-trial jawans to hire defence lawyers recommended by her and asking another officer, who was the defending officer in one of the trials, not to reveal certain information.

The CoI, headed by the Brigadier (Aviation) Western Command, Brig R. Chauhan, is learnt to have submitted its findings and recommendations to the authorities concerned at Headquarters Western Command today. Major Singla is serving with the Judge Advocate General’s Department, which is responsible for the administration of justice and rendering legal advice to commanders.

According to sources, the CoI had established her culpability last month and had decided to wind up after dispensing with recording her statements when she repeatedly refrained from giving her statements on some legal pretext or the other. Thereafter, she wrote to the Western Army Commander, seeking more time for giving her statements. Consequently, on the directives of the Army Commander, she was given a chance to get her statements recorded.

After the CoI re-assembled, Major Singla asked for eight defence witnesses to be summoned, but her request was turned down by the CoI on the grounds that they were not relevant. She also asked for five witnesses who had deposed before the CoI earlier to be recalled, but this request too was turned down.

In her statements before the CoI, she alleged that the whole issue was a conspiracy against her as she had earlier complained about the misconduct of a departmental officer. She also accused the complainant, on whose revelations the CoI was instituted, of sexual harassment.

The complainant’s relative, Rajiv Kumar, was tried for murder by a GCM in which Major Singla was the judge-advocate. She had allegedly demanded Rs 2 lakh from him for saving him, while her husband, a practicing lawyer, had coerced the accused into hiring a lawyer recommended by him.

Sources said that the clinching evidence that established her culpability was one of the witnesses producing a copy of the entire hand written record of the GCM proceedings. Such records are made by the Judge Advocate in their own hand during the hearings and are typed later.

In the second case brought out before the CoI, she was removed mid-way during the trial of an NCO charged with stealing Army rations after the unit conducting the trial reported actions on her part, which were deemed to be inappropriate. During the CoI, the accused as well as his defending officer, a captain testified that she was paid Rs 40,000 which, however, were returned by her later, sources said.

Further, the records of calls made from different cell phones belonging to her and her family members were also produced as evidence before the CoI.



Bitta opposes any leniency to ultras awarded death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Stressing that the death penalty awarded by the Supreme Court should be treated as “final”, the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman M.S. Bitta, today asked Parliament to bring in a legislation whereby terrorists cannot seek Presidential clemency.

“Parliament should enact a law wherein cases pertaining to terrorists, who have killed several persons and have been awarded death sentence should not be allowed to approach the President for clemency,” he told a press conference here today.

The death penalty awarded by the apex court should be considered “final” for “there is no guarantee that letting them off on humanitarian grounds will reform them altogether”, he said.

Bitta said an AIATF delegation would approach the President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, urging him not to show any leniency in cases of terrorists awarded death penalty by the apex court.

He also demanded setting up of anti-terrorist military courts at the earliest.

Mr Bitta said a six-member American team from the New York University School of Medicine Programme had recently conducted a study in Amritsar on 189 families of 756 cases of alleged human rights violations pending before the NHRC.

He demanded that “the Central and the state governments should clarify what was the real purpose of the team’s visit and did the team seek prior permission from them to conduct the study.



Rajput Regiment to hold reunion in Dec
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Rajput Regiment would be holding its reunion at the Rajput Regimental Centre at Fatehgarh (U.P.) on December 3 and 4. Reunions are held once in five years and a large number of serving as well as retired officers and other ranks of the regiment are expected to attended the event.

The reunion will also coincide with the regiment’s biennial conference. Besides regimental and personnel matters, the election of the new Colonel of the Regiment would also feature on the agenda. The present Colonel of the Regiment, Lieut-Gen Bhopinder Singh, will be retiring at the end of this month.

This was disclosed at the annual get-together of the Chandigarh chapter of the Rajput Regiment Officers Association, held here last evening. Retired officers settled in and around Chandigarh as well as those serving in units located nearby attended the get-together along with their spouses.

Among those present were former GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Lieut-Gen R.S. Dayal and former Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lieut-Gen H.R.S. Mann (retd), both of whom are closely associated with the regiment despite belonging to other regiments.



From hopeless past to respectable future
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
If you want to drink, it is your problem, if you want to quit, we have a solution. This Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) caption in a newspaper changed the life of Swadesh(not his real name) for better 11 years ago.

In fact, Swadesh is not alone, as there are hundreds of recovering alcoholics, who have emerged from the dark and hopeless alleys of the past to the hopeful present and future. All are members of a growing worldwide fellowship called AA, who remain sober and help other suffering alcoholics to stay away from drink “one day at a time”.

“Sober alcoholics” and their families assembled at a unique get-together to mark the 17th anniversary of the AA’s Welcome Group at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, this evening. With happiness on their faces and gratitude on their lips, the grateful members profusely thanked the God and the AA fellowship for keeping them sober day after day and making their lives better and manageable.

It is amazing to hear their unbelievable stories. Ramesh started taking liquor when in school. As his liquor intake increased, he began fantasising. He wanted to make it big like his uncle, who was an alcoholic and liquor contractor and had a big car. That was another matter that his uncle died a premature death.

Hopeless, he strayed into one of the meetings of the AA after being released from jail. The meetings and simple spiritual AA programme kept him sober and that was over 15 years ago. Life is perfect, he concludes with other members giving him a big applause.

The story of another AA member is no different. “Liquor had become my consort and I wanted it every night instead of my wife,” he says remembering bad old days. A divorce and repeated treatments at rehabilitation centres followed but once out of rehabilitation centre, I took to the bottle again. I wanted to quit but could not.

However, one fine morning, while still recuperating in the rehabilitation centre, I got the AA message from one of the members. Attending meetings regularly helped a lot and there is no drinking obsession now, he says with a smile.

It was highlighted that drinking has been declared a disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the cure primarily involved is in not taking the first drink.

The only requirement for the AA membership is the desire to stop drinking. There are no dues fees to be paid for membership. For any information the AA helpline — 9417037358 and Al Anon — 9815504686 — could be contacted.



Divali garbage becomes health hazard
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
In violation of the apex court’s orders, banning the burning of leaves and other waste, the excess garbage generated after Divali celebrations, is being burnt at various places in the township for the past two days.

This indiscriminate burning of waste in the township has resulted in increased levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the air. There is increased levels of pollution because of large scale bursting crackers on Divali night. Three days after the festivities saw smoke and suspended particles being released because of the mass burning of garbage, including cardboard boxes, plastic and wrapping sheets, on almost all sector-dividing roads, behind market places and near neighbourhood parks in the town.

This is not only damaging the air quality but is also posing major health hazards. While particulates reduce visibility and get lodged in the lung tissues and respiratory tract, damaging the respiratory system, carbon monoxide molecules can enter the bloodstream. There these prevent the delivery of oxygen in the body and high concentration of carbon monoxide can be fatal. Carbon dioxide, also emitted by the burning of garbage, is an asphyxiating gas which, if inhaled, can be toxic in high concentrations, causing an increase in the breathing rate, unconsciousness, and even death.

Most of the internal roads in the township were not cleaned by the sanitation staff for two days after Divali, owing to Vishwakarma Day celebrations. Since yesterday, garbage on roads dividing Sectors 17-18, Sectors 17-16, Sectors 2- 4, Sectors 16-Industrial Area dividing road and Sector 8-9 dividing road, was cellected in small piles in the morning and then set on fire. The excess garbage lying outside the garbage bins in most sectors was also set on fire by the sanitation staff.

Municipal council officials say that the total waste generated over the past two days was almost double the waste generated on an average each day. With excess waste generation, the existing garbage bins and small dustbins (about 63 garbage bins and 20 dustbins) in the town were insufficient. “However,” says the MC president, Mr Tarun Bhandari, “We have often asked the sanitation contractor to ensure that the waste is not burnt,” he said. He added that the terms of the contract signed with the sanitation contractors clearly specify that they cannot burn the waste. “We will take action against the contractor for violating the terms of the contract,” he assured.

According to the municipal corporation solid waste management rules, 2000, the MC is also required to frame bylaws to check the hazardous practice. But in this case the MC’s sanitation staff is itself violating the rules.

Till date, there is no systematic disposal or treatment of solid waste in the township. It is simply dumped in vacant plots on the periphery or reportedly in the Singh Nullah that passes through various sectors in the township. According to a survey conducted by the municipal council, 400 grams of solid waste is generated by a single person in a day. With a population of around 2.5 lakh, as much as 100 tonnes of solid waste is generated in the township every day.



Raipur Rani ex-SHO to head security branch
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
The former Station House Officer of Raipur Rani, SI Amar Singh has been posted as In charge of the Security Branch. He was sent to police lines on October 31 after the residents of Hangola alleged that he had taken sides wth the accused in the double murder case.

Mr Surinder Singh, who was in charge of the Security Branch has been posted as the In charge of the Ramgarh police post. ASI Balwant Singh has been shifted from the Sector 15 police post to Barwala while ASI Dyal Singh has been shifted to the Chandi Mandir police station.

ASI Narinder Singh has been transferred from Madanwala to Sector 15 while Mr Surjit Kumar will take his place as In charge of the Madanwala police post.



Employees of newspapers plan protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Confederation of Newspapers and News Agency Employees’ Organisations, comprising of The Tribune Employees Union, The Chandigarh Journalists’ Association, the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists, the PTI and UNI Employees Union, will observe November 7 as a black day. The confederation will hold a rally at The Tribune office gate the same day.

The protest is being organised on a call given by the Central Working Committee of the All-India Newspaper Employees Federation which has been demanding a new wage board for the newspaper industry.

The decision to hold the rally was announced at a meeting of the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees’ Organisation held here today. The statement of the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister to set up a media commission was hailed during the meeting.



Readers Write
Pitiable condition of road

The condition of the road between Mohali’s Furniture Market chowk and the crossing of Sectors 36, 37, 42, 43 is very bad. It is full of potholes and pits. The portion of the road, particularly between Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management and the above roundabout, is the worst. There is every likelihood road of an accident taking place anytime.

This is the second busiest road which connects the residents of Mohali with Chandigarh.

The memorial of the late Beant Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, lies on this road. Big dignitaries and other VIP’s visit the place to pay their homage. It is surprising that it has not caught the attention of the authorities.

Most of the students take the route as it is the straight road leading to various colleges on Sectors 42 and 11.

I hope the authorities will wake up and repair the road at the earliest to redress the grievances of the public.

B.S. Kaberwal, Mohali

Patiala MC, pull up socks

With great pomp and show, the Punjab Government established the Municipal Corporation of Patiala. The office of former Municipal Committee was in Dharampura Bazar and it was easily approachable from all parts of city.

The first burden which the corporation put on the people was to construct palatial building for itself near National Sport Complex which is one extreme corner of the city. It became very difficult for the people to approach the corporation office. Crores of rupees were spent and the taxpayer’s money was wasted.

Streetlights were maintained by the Punjab State Electricity Board and the system was working properly. With great fanfare, it was taken up by the corporation in the name of improving streetlight. It handed over the maintenance work to a contractor who employed a few electricians and helpers and purchased a few wooden stairs to climb on the poles. No improvement over the PSEB’s work was noticed.

The worst was yet to follow. In June 2005, the contractor was removed and the JE corporation started maintaining streetlights. Now the lights on main roads can be seen only. Most of the colonies are in the dark as the JE concerned does not bother about their maintenance.

Regarding water supply, the water hardly reaches up to the water meter level. It does not reach the ground floor, what to talk of the first floor. Of course, the authorities do not forget to assure that everything has been done to improve the supply of water.

Stray cattle can be seen wondering everywhere.

Bazars are very narrow and frequently there are traffic jams, putting the people to great inconvenience. Nothing is done to stop the movements of cars, trucks or three-wheelers by the corporation in the narrow bazars.

In most colonies, the roads are 20 feet wide. On both sides, every house has 2.5 feet width unauthorisedly occupied. Thus the colony roads remain only 15 feet wide. The municipality has taken no action. To add to the woes of common man, many people keep their cars in the streets.

While there is time limit for constructing houses in PUDA colonies, there is no such provision in colonies like Officer Colony, Malwa Colony, Good Earth Colony, Khakhar Complex, Doctor’s Enclave etc. People who purchased plots at throwaway prices, do not construct houses. Neither do they maintain these plots properly. The result is that these become dump houses. Two such plots are in front of 81-A in Good Earth Colony. On one side of these plots, a dirty rivulet flow which emanates pungent smell.

Just at a distance of half a km from the CM’s residence, there is a temple of Lord Shiva and other deities on Kheri Road main market. A local MLC has his property dealing business there. Previously, he was president of Patiala Municipal Committee. Neither the CM of Punjab, nor his wife who is MP from Patiala nor this gentleman MLC bothers.

K.K. Bhardwaj Patiala

Roadways staff need counselling

The write-up titled ‘Booming business for dhabawalas’ (October 21) has highlighted a problem that has affected a majority of the passengers travelling between Chandigarh and Delhi on Haryana Roadways buses. There is no denying the fact that Haryana has a very good fleet of buses, well furnished and well designed for utmost public comfort and convenience. Yet, its staff, that is conductors and drivers, consist mostly of uncouth and unsophisticated individuals who smoke bidis in running buses, make unscheduled halts and stoppages without even the basic courtesy of informing the passengers about the duration of the halt at a designated stand or a dhaba for their freebies.

They non-chalantly leave the bus for 20 to 30 minutes at some remote stop of their choice and disappear. They suddenly re-enter the bus and abruptly move the vehicle without any horn or caution to the passengers waiting for them outside. They, perhaps, treat the passengers as cargo or as chicken and broliers being transported by them.

They need some counselling in this regard.

It is time the Haryana Road Transport Department took suitable remedial measures to plug the loopholes in its otherwise enviable bus service- perhaps one of the few best in the country to earn the sobriquet, ‘Punjab’s envy, Haryana’s pride’. The journey time between Chandigarh and Delhi can perhaps also be reduced by about half an hour.

SP Singh Chandigarh

HDFC bank rule defies logic

I have a saving account No. 1161160002643 in HDFC Bank, Leela Bhavan, Patiala. In September, 2004, I was transferred to Chandigarh as DDPI (Colleges), Punjab in the DPI (Colleges), Punjab office. The pay of employees of the DPI office is deposited in their respective accounts in the HDFC Bank, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

On my new appointment, I approached the manager of HDFC Bank branch of Sector 17 to open my new account so that my pay could be deposited in that account. The officer concerned told me that as I had an account in Leela Bhavan, Patiala branch, I need not open a fresh account in the Sector 17 branch and my account in Patiala would be considered for all purposes. My pay for all those months was credited to my old account.

On my retirement in April, 2005, the various cheques pertaining to my retirement benefits were also deposited in that account by the DPI office, Chandigarh.

To my utter surprise, the HDFC Leela Bhavan branch has deducted thousands of rupees as service charges for those cheques, considering them out-stationed.

If the HDFC Bank Sector 17 branch can consider my saving account of Leela Bhavan, Patiala branch, as local account for all purposes, why it should not be considered for cheques too?

Dr P.S. Bhatti, Patiala



Car stolen, burnt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
Mystery shrouds the theft and burning of a car in Sector 11 last night. The Indica car (HR-03F-6848), belonging to Mr Vishal was allegedly stolen from outside his house in Sector 11 late last night. Mr Vishal noticed the theft only in the morning. As he walked out of his house, he noticed that the car was parked just a few hundred yards away.

The car had been completely burnt. Though the owner has said that he did not have any personal enmity, the police said other wise. A DDR has been registered in this connection.



10-yr-old domestic help steals Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
If you think your house is safe with a minor domestic help you may be wrong. For, a 10-year-old boy allegedly managed to steal cash amounting to Rs 2 lakh from the cupboard of a Sector 35 house where he was working as a domestic help with the help of his father.

Action has been initiated against both of them by the Chandigarh police.

Giving details, the sources in the local police said the boy, working in the house of a shopkeeper, managed to locate the keys of the cupboard, and took out over Rs 2 lakh. The owner had kept the money in the house after “dhanteras” for depositing it in the bank. But could not do so as he had misplaced the keys.

Out of the total amount, the boy forwarded approximately Rs 20,000 to relatives back home for reportedly repaying debt. The remaining amount was recovered from them.



Bank drive against defaulters
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
The State Bank of Patiala, Main branch, Kalka, has launched a week-long special campaign against the defaulters who are not returning their loan instalments.

The branch has shortlisted the names of defaulters and sent them notices. Mr S.C. Dhall, Senior Manager of the bank, said the bank would also initiate legal action and the FIR would be registered against defaulters who fail to deposit their monthly instalments by the end of November.


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