C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Regularisation  in periphery proposed
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Major recommendations

Preparation of a comprehensive “land use plan” for the entire periphery controlled area.

Pockets for housing/residential use in the periphery area be earmarked to be developed by the private parties or government/semi-government agencies.

Sub-divisional magistrates and their staff, besides PUDA officers, to be involved and held accountable for further unauthorised construction in the periphery.

Fine for unauthorised construction to be increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 5,000 presently and in case of continued violation a fine of Rs 5,000 per day instead of the present rate of Rs 500.

Setting up of an ombudsman vested with powers to ensure that there is no intervention in matters relating to the hearing of violation cases

Construction of institutions be permitted in free enterprise zone (FEZ) near Dera Bassi

Future expansion of municipal limits of the existing periphery towns of Kharar, Banur, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi be frozen until their master plans have been finally notified.

Total repeal of the Periphery Act not recommended.

Mohali, November 17
In a set of recommendations likely to raise a furore, the committee, constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Punjab, to suggest a policy framework for the periphery, today proposed the regularisation of all unauthorised structures constructed within the periphery controlled area before November 1, 2005.

According to a rough estimate more than 1500 such unauthorised structures, including palatial farmhouses owned by VIP bureaucrats and politicians, exist within the periphery.

Earlier, the Akali government had permitted a similar regularisation of all unauthorised constructions, which had come up within the periphery up to and including December 7,1998.

This proposed move would give relief to those who have, over the past few years, constructed farmhouses or carried out illegal colonisation within the periphery of the city in violation of the provisions of the Punjab Capital Periphery Control Act.

However, the committee has recommended the payment of a "composition fee" towards this regularisation.

Sources added that this composition fee would be around Rs 100 to Rs 150 per sq yard.

The committee has also "permitted" planned and organised residential, institutional, industrial and recreational development in the periphery.

Other than normal plotted development, high-rise apartments and group-housing have been permitted in areas of over 100 acre.

However, the developers would have to pay conversion charges to the government towards a 'periphery development fund' specially created for the purpose. The committee has "allowed" construction of farm houses in at least 2.5 acre of land. Earlier, this limit was 5 acres.

The committee has recommended that the ban on construction within the sacrosanct 8-km radius around Chandigarh should be done away with.

The committee has recommended an extension of the village "abadi" area by 60 per cent subject to a minimum of 50 m and maximum of 100 m in radial length from the 'phirni' keeping in view the change in character of villages near Chandigarh.

According to the report approved by the Cabinet today: "With a view to prevent large-scale demolitions and consequential human problems, the Committee recommends a strictly one time regularisation of unauthorised constructions. The committee recommends that such regularisation, with a cut-off date, should involve the imposition of reasonable composition fees and land-use conversion charges on a pre-defined scale.

"However, no such regularisation should be permitted in areas prohibited for development by virtue of being covered under the Indian Forest Act, 1927, the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 or the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 or in areas where construction is not permitted under any other law."

Planned residential development would be permitted in the periphery only in an area of more than 100 acres delineated as "residential" in the outline master plan or at least 500 acre beyond 10 km of the Chandigarh boundary. Within Municipal Limits of the periphery, these colonies can be on areas smaller than 100 acre, it added.

However, colonisation of land under the various forest acts would not be allowed. The developer would also have to obtain a regular licence from the competent authority and pay the External Development Charges (EDC), conversion charges and licence fee as per the approved rates, the report said.

Regarding extension in abadi deh, the area in the extended abadi deh would be exempted from the provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995. However, charges for change of land use would be levied on prescribed rates, except in the case of bonafide residents, the report said.

No industry would be permitted in such area. Similarly, formal colonisation would also not be permitted in the extended 'abadi' area.

Setting up of farmhouses, institutions, infrastructure relating to recreational and leisure activities, including sports, would be permitted in the periphery, except in the areas covered by the outline master plan or areas notified for compulsory land acquisition or notified under the various forest acts, it said.

The institutions would include institutions medical education, research, art and culture, sports infrastructure, confined to recognized games and sporting activities, and recreation and leisure infrastructure including amusement parks, open-air theatres, theme parks etc. but not shopping malls, cinema halls, multiplexes and the like which would form part of the commercial component of the residential colonies, the report concluded.



Robbers’ gang busted; three held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Police today claimed to have arrested three members of a gang of dacoits. The three were reportedly armed with a country- made pistol and sharp-edged weapons and were nabbed from jungle area near Colony Number 5.

The police maintained that while three persons had been arrested, two other members of the gang, including the kingpin, gave a slip to the police during the raid.

Giving details, the Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police (DSP), South, said a police team had apprehended the accused from the jungle area near the Colony Number 5 where they had assembled to plan a dacoity in the city. The police arrested Ranjit (22), Baiju Mukhia (22), both hailing from of Madhubani district in Bihar and Raju Kumar (19) of Kushinagar district in Uttar Pradesh. However, Parmod Kumar (27), belonging to Merrut district in Uttar Pradesh, and Baseet managed to run away by taking advantage of thick vegetation in the area.

The police claimed to have recovered a loaded country- made pistol along with four cartridges, a knife and one small sword from the possession of those arrested.

After interrogation of the arrested persons the police has so far claimed to have solved two incidents of robberies. On October 18, the suspects had stolen bag of a Sector 46 resident, Mr Barahm Parkash, while he was going on a rickshaw. The bag contained Rs 1100 and other articles. In the second incident on November 13 the gang had robbed a newly wed Delhi-based couple on knife point. The couple was also going on a rickshaw when they were stopped in Sector 37. The robbers took away gold chain, Rs 500, two mobile phones and a bag containing documents and other belongings from the couple. The police is yet to recover the mobile phones and gold chain of the victims.

He added that during the preliminary questioning the suspects had disclosed that their gang consisted of five-six persons, and was headed by Baiju Mukhia and Parmod Kumar. The gang members were involved in several robberies and burglaries in and around the city in the past.

Parmod Kumar was earlier involved in several cases of robberies and burglaries and was facing trial in the different courts.

About the modus operandi of the accused the DSP said they usually struck early morning as the police patrolling was less during those hours and their targets were generally those travelling in slow moving vehicles.



No-frills bank accounts by next month
Minimum balance could be zero as per new RBI norms
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
The minimum balance in your savings bank account, be it a private sector or public sector bank, could now be zero. And, a poor person can open an account without having to provide identification documents.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed all banks in the country to introduce no-frills accounts, where the minimum balance could be zero or a very nominal amount. The aim is to ensure that banking services are extended to the poor.

These accounts may not have the customary free facilities, but will help the banks touch the lives of a wider section of population.

It is estimated that there are over 100 million households who are not availing themselves of the banking services, and simplifying the procedures would help them come under the organised banking system.

These no-frills accounts would be opened for persons whose balance would not exceed Rs 50,000; and, credit would not exceed Rs1 lakh.

The cheque book facility would be available to a limited extent only (if anybody is maintaining pension account/salary account, he can withdraw only to the credit extended to his account).

Generally, all banks require that a minimum balance of Rs 500 to Rs 5000 (including private banks) is maintained in the saving bank accounts, and charges are levied on the account holder (Rs 20-500), if the minimum balance in not maintained. The directions issued by

the RBI say that this practice acts as a deterrent for a sizeable section of the population from opening or maintaining bank accounts.

All banks have been asked to take immediate action in introducing no-frills accounts within a month.

The nature and number of transactions in a no-frills account could be restricted, but made known to the customer in advance in a transparent manner.

The banks will also be required to publicise these no-frills accounts on their websites, including the facilities and charges.

All banks have been asked to report to the RBI on a number of such deposit accounts opened on a quarterly basis.

These directions by the RBI come in the wake of reports that some private sector as well as foreign banks have collected Rs 100 crore as penalty charges, from customers for maintaining a minimum balance.

These directions also say that the "Know Your Customer" (KYC) guidelines should not be an excuse for banks to keep the poor away from the banking system.

Though these guidelines require an individual opening a new account to produce a number of documents for identification, these procedures could be done away with for the lower income group.

"The banks must ensure that the inability of the lower income group to produce documents for establishing their identity and address does not lead to their financial exclusion, and denial of banking services...," say the new guidelines.



Man found dead in Sector 50
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
An unidentified man in his thirties was found dead here under mysterious circumstances from a building under construction in Sector 50 early this morning. Though no visible fatal injury marks were found on the body, the police did not rule out foul play.

Giving details of the incident, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 34 police station said the police received information at around 8:30 am. As a residential colony was under construction, the death came to light when the labour reached the spot early in the morning.

The body was lying near a two storeyed structure and the buttons of the man’s shirt were open. There were some injury marks on his chin and abrasions on the side of his neck. Blood was still oozing out of his mouth and rigor mortis had set in. Except for a Punjab Roadways bus ticket worth Rs 3, the police could not find anything else, which could establish the identity of the deceased.

There were no signs of struggle on the spot and the shoes and socks of the deceased were lying near his head. He was wearing grey trousers and a shirt. The body was covered with dust.

The abrasions were old as they appear to be in healing mode. Moreover there no blood stains were found on the clothes, said Deputy Superintendent of Chandigarh Police (South) KIP Singh. He also added that the no other visible fatal injuries were found on the body, but the police is working on several theories.

The police kept the body at the spot for about an hour, but it could not be identified. The staff of the construction company told the police that the man was not working with them and they did not notice him moving at the place till midnight as construction work was in progress late in the night. The body was shown to the labourers working in the nearby colonies, but they also could not identify the deceased.



Triple suicide highlights smuggling of weapons into city
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Illegal weapons continue to be smuggled into the city. Nothing else can explain the presence of so many country-made pistols in the city, despite special anti-weapon-smuggling drives launched time and again by the Chandigarh Police.

Though senior police officers are maintaining silence over the issue, sources in the police headquarters say that Pyuesh of Sector 15 — who shot himself after reportedly entering into a suicide pact with his mother and brother — was not the only one in possession of an illegal weapon.

Quoting figures, the sources assert that the local police has registered as many as 72 cases under the Arms Act from January 2000 till September this year. In 2005 alone, over 17 cases were registered by the police. All cases pertain to the illegal possession or illicit carrying of arms, the sources assert.

They add that until a few years ago local criminals, along with politically motivated students, were the ones possessing a majority of illegal weapons. But now a large number of city residents, including small-time businessman, are keeping the weapons in their strongboxes for security purposes.

The sources add that a simple country-made weapon can be procured for as less as Rs 500 from several cities in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. One can even buy sophisticated weapons like AK-47 assault riffles manufactured by illegal factories there.

According to sources so far the cops have not been able to unearth any illegal-arms manufacturing factory in and around Chandigarh, though they have caught several persons trying to bring arms into the city.

They add that taking a serious view of the matter, senior police functionaries have now decided to update the data regarding the possession of weapons by the city residents. Advising the residents to keep the weapons in safe custody of the authorities concerned in case of low threat perception, a senior officer says storing arms at one’s house can be ‘‘dangerous’’ if the weapon is not required. 

The Chandigarh Police continues to grope in the dark and even after 24 hours, the cops are still not certain whether two Sector 15 youngsters and their mother had committed suicide or it was a case of murder. According to sources the position will become clear only after receiving report from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) experts.



Passing Thru

C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA)
C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA)

What is the extent of non-performing assets (NPAs) of the public sector banks?

The NPA’s from 13,000 defaulters, of Rs 1 crore and above, are pegged at Rs 96,000 crore. If the overdue interest is included, the total dues will be more than Rs 3 lakh crore.

How can the banks reduce the NPAs?

The default on repayments to the banks should be made a penal offence and the defaulters should be made accountable by attaching their personal properties.

Why is AIBEA against the privatisation of banks?

Because lending to the priority sectors, such as the agriculture, which constitutes 40 per cent of the public sector bank loans, would be adversely affected due to “privatisation” of the banks.

Will the merger of banks and allowing 74 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in them make any difference?

Even after merger into five or six big banks, the 27 public sectors would be marginal players in the international financial market. Moreover, India accounts for only about 0.75 per cent in the global trade and the merger and FDI would make no difference to the profitability of the banks.

— Pradeep Sharma



Rodrigues calls for holistic approach on security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Gen (Retd) S.F. Rodrigues, the Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, called for a seamless tri-service integration of the armed forces, from within as well as with the higher politico – military decision-making establishment, to cope with the emerging security challenges.

“Our armed forces, the entire national security establishment, defence and IT companies have to work closely in unison and leverage their military capability and defence network by using all technological advances,” he said while addressing security experts at the College of Defence Management after inauguration of a seminar on “Strategic Challenges in Management of Network Centric Environment ” at Secunderabad , today,

General Rodrigues emphasised the need of creating a network centric warfare capability by adopting a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach.

He said the concept of network-centric warfare required the development of matching doctrines, matching infrastructure, the restructuring and even re-engineering of military and non-military organisations.

The concept demanded a qualitatively higher knowledge and skill threshold amongst military men and their leaders, he added.

It also demanded the transformation of minds and the current military hierarchical culture, which might undermine our effectiveness in a network centric environment, he stressed. The Armed Forces, therefore, had to take a hard look at all these issues and needed to give impetus to this process through a well thought out plan, Gen Rodrigues said.

Emphasising the need of networking different censors, weapons and command and control systems, General Rodrigues said with the rapid advances in information and related technologies, it had become possible for the military forces to detect, identify and track a far greater number of targets, over a larger area, for a longer period of time than ever before.

He said an increasingly powerful information processing and communication system resulted in a dramatic improvement in the quality & quantity of information for the modern military organisation.

He said networking long-range sensors and weapons allowed us to concentrate fire from dispersed platforms on a common set of targets.

The networking centric warfare concept was, therefore, very helpful in generating a very high degree of operational responsiveness and was applicable to all levels of warfare, resulting in the synergy of strategy operations and tactics, Gen Rodrigues stressed.



Stress laid on cultural diplomacy to building ties with nations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Geopolitics has acquired a new importance in understanding international relations and is a guiding factor in determining them. The communication network and information technology have changed the global mindset.

The opinion emerged during the inaugural day of a two-day international conference on ' India-Eurasia: The way Ahead - with special focus on Caucasus ' which began at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here today.

In the new political and economic scenario in the region, cultural diplomacy now called soft diplomacy had become an important factor to understand the behaviour of nations and as well as building ties through people-to-people contacts.

No international relation can last till it was imbedded in its people. Like the Silk Route which brought people together, culture would again continue to connect people.

The conference began with a welcome note by Mr Rashpal Malhotra, Director General of CRRID. Mr P.S. Sahai, a former diplomat, briefed about the objectives of the seminar.

In the inaugural remarks, the Ambassador of Republic of Armenia to India, Dr Ashot Kocharian, talked about the cooperation between Caucasus and India.

Ms Reena Pandey, Ambassador-Designate to Armenia and Georgia, emphasised the need to cultivate relations between India and the Caucasiasn region.

Mr I.P. Kholsa and Mr TK Banerjee, both diplomats, cited the need to increasing the level of interaction between the academia and bureaucracy so that the reality could be balanced with available options.

In the first session, the issue of globalisation was discussed. Mr Artak Shakaryan from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oriental Studies, Armenia, discussed various development versions, coming up in the globalised world.

Professor Andrei G. Volodin from the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow, introduced a new idea of Russia, India and French cooperation.

In the second session, Mr S.K. Sharma, a member of the National Security Advisory Board, presented an informative paper about the energy scenario in India. Russia and Caucasus.

A paper was also presented by Dr Kuldeep Singh and Dr Prabhjot from GND University, who discussed the Indian economy and foreign policy and aspects on Iran-Pak-India gas pipeline.



Trade with India has soared, says Armenia envoy
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, November 17
In the wake of the improving Indo-Armenian relations, bilateral trade has this year touched $ 17 million compared to $ 9 million last year, said Dr Ashot Kocharian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to India.

He was in the city today to attend a two-day international conference on 'India-Eurasia: The Way Ahead' being organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), here.

Talking on the bilateral relations between the two countries, Dr Kocharian, who is former Press Secretary of the President of Armenia, said since the diplomatic relations between the two countries were established 13 years ago, the import of commodities from India was much than that being exported.

Since the signing of the inter-governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technological, cultural and educational cooperation, the information technology (IT) sector has emerged as a key area of cooperation between the two nations.

Training of Armenian students in India, study of more than 600 Indian students in Yerevan Medical University and cultural exchange were the result of the commission.

The Ambassador said the Armenian Government supported the Indian Government at various international forums on issues like permanent seat in the United Nations.

On being asked about the resumption of direct air connectivity between the capitals of the two countries, he did not rule out the possibility.

He acknowledged that the resumption of the Silk Route could make the movement of freight easy and cheap between the two countries.

He said the overall approach of Armenia-India relations was connected with the historical presence of the people of Armenian origin in India.

They came, traded and settled, he said, adding that though the origins of Armenian settlements in India go back to centuries, the present Armenian community was residing in small numbers in Kolkata.


Park societies sans payment for eight months
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
The payment to be released to park maintenance societies, formed for the maintenance of neighbourhood parks, has not been released for the past eight months.

Though the Urban Development Deptt had allowed for the payments to be released last month, the Municipal Council has now sought clarifications.

In a letter to the Director, Urban Development, Haryana, the Executive Officer of the MC has said that the MC had resolved to get the parks maintained through contractors, on certain terms and conditions, to be approved by the Council, Deputy Commissioner or Director, Urban Development.

He has sought clarification if the payment of pending bills, submitted previously by the park maintenance societies, (from April to July 2005) can be released now.

He has further asked for directions on whether certificate from the welfare association of sectors or the park societies is required.

It may be mentioned that the alleged bungling of funds by the committees formed by the MC for maintenance of parks had forced the Urban Development Department to order an inquiry into the matter.

People’s Voice God’s Voice — an NGO — had alleged that while no money was spent on the development or upkeep of parks it was siphoned off by the committee members in collusion with certain Municipal Councillors, who were heading these committees.

Though the public parks in the township were transferred to Municipal Council, the latter had no staff for their upkeep.

Thus, it was decided to form committees of residents to maintain the parks after Municipal Council paid them some money.



Mascot for Chandigarh Carnival released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Administration today finalised the mascot for the Chandigarh Carnival scheduled to be held on November 26 and 27.

The unnamed mascot shows a young child holding the open hand, which symbolises the architectural design of the city.

The mascot has been created by Rasleen Ahluwalia and Harveen Ahluwalia, both students of second year of Bachelor of Fine Arts at Government Arts College. The creators are twin sisters.

Mr Vivek Atray, Director of the Tourism Department, announced a cash prize of Rs 5000 for the creators of the mascot. Mr Brahm Prakash, Principal of the college, said the college would be starting classes in art appreciation and photography shortly. Entries will be open to all interested.



Chandigarh Carnival from Nov 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
“Fun, Frolic and France” will be the theme of the two-day Chandigarh Carnival to be organised on November 26 and 27 at Leisure Valley, Sector 10, an official press note.

The entire ambience in the carnival village will be erected around this theme only. A decision with regard to the carnival theme was taken at a meeting chaired by the Director Tourism, Mr Vivek Atray. Others who attended the meeting included Mr V.N. Singh, Director, Museum, Mr Aditya Prakash, chairman of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, and Mr Brahm Prakash, Principal, Government College of Art, besides others.

The scope of carnival activities will be enhanced to make it more lively, attractive and full of fun and frolic. Besides the activities of previous years, it has also been decided to set up a French villa.

The senior citizens corner will have a number of activities, which would involve more children and families. A special children’s corner will also be set up adjoining the senior citizens corner. Costume characters on the theme of the carnival will make it more attractive and vibrant. Puppet shows, comedy and magic shows, folk songs and dances will also be held.

Similarly spot painting, mask making and the clay moulding competitions will also be held to encourage children. Canvas painting, poetry and creative writing events will also be organised.



MC meeting to focus on upkeep of parks
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
The maintenance of streetlights and neighborhood parks will be main items on the agenda for the Municipal Council General House meeting to be held here tomorrow.

This will be the second meeting to be held under the presidentship of Mr Tarun Bhandari. The first meeting of Mr Tarun Bhandari as President was held in July, amidst a total boycott by the Congress and BJP Councillors.

For the past over one month, the contract for maintaining streetlights has been cancelled. The issue of giving a new contract and its terms and conditions will be discussed tomorrow. The terms and conditions for the maintenance of public parks, which will now be given on contract, will also be discussed.

Other than this, the works done by MC, which had been started earlier, will be regularised after a formal approval of the House. 



Admn’s gift to slum dwellers
Licences of tenements renewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
There is good news for thousands of slum dwellers with the Chandigarh Administration renewing the licences of thousands of tenements in certain rehabilitation colonies of the city. The decision of the Chandigarh Administration, besides putting uncertainty over the renewal of licences to rest, will bring huge revenue to the Estate Office, Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) and Chandigarh Housing Board.

The Finance Secretary in a communication to the Estate Officer, said the “licences may be renewed, subject to the rider that no conditions of allotment had been violated by the allottees” in various colonies, including Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran and Sector 52 and 53.

The tenements were allotted under the Licensing of Tenements and Sites and Services in Chandigarh Scheme, 1979, for an initial period of five years.

Earlier, the MCC had written to the Secretary, Local Government of the Administration, pleading for the renewal of the licence fee. It was also observed that the authorities stood to lose huge revenue as the licencees had stopped paying Rs 100 per month licence fee. In fact for the past over one-and-a-half-years the issue had raised a lot of dust at the general house meeting of the MCC and other forums.

Last year, a Congress councillor, Mr Balraj Singh, who represents Mauli Jagran and Vikas Nagar areas, had specially raised the issue in the MCC House, arguing that the slum dwellers were in a fix over the inordinate delay in the renewal of the licences. Meanwhile, expressing happiness over the Administration’s decision, Mr Balraj Singh said the renewal of licences would benefit thousands of the slum dwellers, who had been at the receiving end of the Administration officials.



Councillors for change in delimitation draft
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 17
Eight municipal councillors today appealed to authorities concerned to reconsider the draft prepared to delimit wards in connection with the forthcoming elections as it had not been notified as yet.

The councillors, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Manmohan Singh Lang, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, Mrs Harbans Kaur, Mr Sham Bansal, Mrs Manmohan Kaur, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari, said that the draft had been prepared in such a way so as to suit the interests of certain councillors. They said that if the required changes were not carried out in the draft that was cleared at the meeting of the delimitation board on November 11, they would be compelled to go to court. They alleged that the draft had been prepared on the directions of Mr Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Government, to protect the interests of the council president.

The councillors said that objections in connection with the delimitation draft had already been given in writing to the Principal Secretary, Mr B.R. Bajaj, and the Chairman of the Delimitation Board by them.

Mr Sethi said that the council had constructed a building in Sector 68 and the area at present was out of the municipal limits. Even though there was a plan to get the building inaugurated at the earliest, completion certificate had not been obtained so far by officials concerned. He said that the amount being spent on the construction of the building was much more than what had been cleared by the General House.

The councillors alleged that corruption was going on at a large scale in the council. They had filed a PIL in the High Court in this regard and a hearing was fixed for December 20.



Relief material sent to J&K for quake victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Mr S.K. Sandhu, finance secretary-cum- vice- president of the UT Red Cross Society, yesterday flagged off a truck-load of relief material for earthquake victims of Jammu and Kashmir at Karuna Sadan, Sector 11, here.

Mr R. K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner-cum-chairman of the Red Cross Society, Ms Swati Sharma, SDM (East)-cum-secretary, Red Cross Society, alongwith various NGOs and donors of relief material were also present on the occasion. The relief material consisted of quilts, tents, blankets, woollen clothes, bed sheets.

The relief material would first be handed over to the Red Cross branch, Jammu and then would proceed to Red Cross branch, Srinagar for the purpose. The Red Cross here is still in the process of receiving the relief material as well as donations by way of money for onward transmission to earthquake victims of Jammu and Kashmir.



CPI seeks supply of good quality fertilisers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 17
While demanding adequate quantity of good quality DAP fertiliser for farmers, the tehsil committee of the Communist Party of India said strict action should be taken against traders found selling but standard fertilisers and indulging in black marketing.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Inderjit Singh Gadana, tehsil secretary, and Mr Jaswant Singh Mattaur, district council member, alleged that spurious fertilisers were being sold by traders in connivance with officials of the Agriculture Department.

The leaders also demanded that adequate supply of power be provided to farmers. They said party workers would take part in the national rally to demand withdrawal of anti employee policies of the central and state governments.



Assessment system ‘defective’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Income Tax and Sales Tax Bar Association today termed the existing system of assessment in the Excise and Taxation Department of the Chandigarh Administration as “defective”.

A press note issued here demanded that all information relating to the “daily collection register” should be made available through computer floppies and CDs which would save time of the persons concerned.

In the absence of the floppies and CDs, the association members and dealers were inconvenienced and the state exchequer lost revenue.



Motorcyclist dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
A 25-year-old motorcyclist was killed and his employer, riding pillion, was seriously injured in an accident near Ramgarh. The victim, Rahul, was killed on the spot, while his employer, Ashok Singla, was injured, when the front portion of a JCB machine fell accidentally on the mobike. The JCB machine was travelling behind them.



Man killed as truck rams into scooter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
In a hit-and-run case, a Maloya colony resident coming from Mohali died after a truck rammed into his scooter on the road separating Sector 55 and 56 this evening. The deceased has been identified as 30-year-old Vishal Sharma. His three-and-a-half year-old daughter accompanying him escaped unhurt.

Giving details of the mishap, the police sources said Vishal lost consciousness as a result of the accident. He was rushed to a hospital where he breathed his last.

The sources added that a massive combing operation had been launched to nab the truck driver. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent had been registered under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code.



Mobile phone snatched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
Snatching continues to haunt the Chandigarh police as two unidentified scooterists made good their escape after snatching a mobile phone in Sector 10 this evening.

Giving details, sources in the police said two lawyers, Mr Karamveer Singh and Mr Rajesh Bansal were walking down a road in Sector 10. Two unidentified scooterists came near them and the pillion rider snatched the mobile phone and vanished in no time. The victims told the police that things happened so quickly that they failed to jot down the number of the scooter. A case has been registered in this regard.



Khuda Lahora identified for rural tourism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Administration has identified Khuda Lahora village for promotion of ‘rural tourism’ in the Union Territory. The village has been selected as a part of the national policy of the Ministry of Tourism where each state is expected to develop at least one village as a pilot project for promoting tourism and which could be implemented elsewhere.

A detailed plan has been worked out details of which will be revealed tomorrow when Mr Amar Nath, Director of Rural Development, along with Mr Vivek Atray, Director of Tourism, visit the village and give details of the Draft Action Plan for developing Khuda Lahora for promotion of rural tourism.

Representatives of the village panchayat will also be present on the occasion.


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