C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Probe ordered into booking of plots
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 22
The SSP, Ropar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, has ordered an inquiry into the alleged booking of plots by property dealers here for the proposed township announced by the Dubai-based Emaar-MGF company.

The company was issued a notice by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) yesterday for flouting provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Regulation Act, 1995, by issuing advertisements for booking of plots before the company had been given a promoters’ licence.

While the property dealers had, on condition of anonymity, stated that the company had given them the go-ahead to book plots, the company’s Director, Mr Sudhir Sareen, had gone on record saying that no such authorisation had been given.

The SSP has asked the SP, Mohali, to look into the matter and file a report. The SP, Mohali, Mr Varinderpal Singh, said in case it was found that the bookings were done with the permission of the company, action would be initiated against the company and in case the contention of the company was found to be correct that the property dealers had given the advertisements on their own, action would be taken against the property dealers.

Meanwhile, some of the “investors” who had booked plots with the company following these advertisements expressed anxiety about the fate of the money that they had handed over to the property dealers. “I have paid Rs 6 lakh as cheque in the name of the company to a property dealer here. This amount is 20 per cent of the total amount that I would be paying for buying a 300 square yard plot in the township,” said a caller from Chandigarh.

Advertisements issued by property dealers for booking of plots in the MGF townships had appeared in various newspapers on November 19 and 20. The company had announced its projects on November 18 during a press conference.

The PUDA notice had directed the company to withdraw the advertisements “by declaring that you have not launched such a scheme by putting in a conspicuous notice in the newspapers,” PUDA has asked the company to “simultaneously refund the amount if received from the public within 24 hours from the receipt of this notice.”



UT’s commitment on link road to Baddi
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The Chandigarh Administration has committed construction on the Chandigarh-Baddi link road as soon as Punjab and Haryana complete work on their share of roads. The commitment to upgrade the existing single patch to a two-laned road stretch has been communicated by Mr S. K. Sandhu, the Finance Secretary and Mr V. K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, at two separate meetings held at the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, New Delhi, recently.

Chandigarh will be one of the major beneficiaries on the new route. A large number of industrialists based in Baddi have their headquarters or their residences in the city. The new route will be a great saver on their time for travel and also for transporting the raw material and the machinery. The route could also be a venue for a Pragati Maidan for the city, near Mullanpur, feel the officials.

Residents of the city have for long felt the need for alternative route to Himachal Pradesh as the heavy traffic led to numerous traffic blockades, particularly in the township of Pinjore. An alternative route will also mean lesser traffic from different parts of Punjab who had to travel through the city earlier to reach Shimla. The distance to the capital of the hill state will be shorter by about 20 km on the new road. The respite from heavy traffic needs a special mention.

Senior officials of the UT are working out the details of adjusting the inflow of heavy traffic on city roads on the new route. Traffic from Shimla and other parts of HP will enter the city from the new route through Mullanpur near PGIMER. Under the existing conditions the traffic will enter the Madhya Marg which is generally saved from the heavy traffic for public convenience during the normal day hours. One of the possibilities could be marking an alternate route avoiding rush on the major city roads. The other possibility was allowing heavy traffic only during the night.

The link road will also be the direct route to earlier lesser accessible towns of Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh.

The city has officially communicated that a two lane road will be constructed as soon as the road components of Punjab and Haryana were complete. The component of the road which falls in Himachal Pradesh is already complete. The road from Chandigarh which will connect with the main highway is about 8 km and the road already exists. “The road only needs widening”, a senior official said.

The road under study consists of a road tract of 5.23 km in Punjab which will get an estimated Rs 8.42 lakh. Expenditure of a road tract of 4.85 km in Haryana has been put at Rs 2.82 lakh. Chandigarh is also likely to work out the details of the project implementation including the expected cost once the project got underway on the sections in Punjab and Haryana, the sources said.



CBI help sought to nab kidnap mastermind
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 22
The search continues. Two days after it claimed to have unraveled the mystery shrouding the abduction of Nikhil Joshi, the Chandigarh Police today sought the help of the CBI in nabbing the unidentified “mastermind”.

A senior police official investigating into the case said the police had written to the CBI and the authorities concerned to help them nab Aman Verma, believed to be the “mastermind” of the abduction-for-ransom case.

He said letters had been written to the authorities concerned to issue “Red Corner Alert” notice. He added the arrest warrants of the “mastermind” had also been procured and efforts were on to nab him.

Although a special investigating team is making efforts to seek help from international agencies in nabbing the accused, his identity continues to be a major obstacle in the process.

The police has not been able to make any headway in that regard as yet. In charge of the crime branch and member of the SIT Inspector Satbir Singh asserted the photograph of the accused was a real one.

The “mastermind” was trying to get another passport issued and had furnished false details for the same. He had applied under the name of Abhishek, claiming himself to be a student and resident of Bathinda. A police team visited the address mentioned in the application and found that the details were false.

The police officials also claimed that another car (Hyundai Accent Viva) had been recovered from Chandigarh. The police said Aman had used that car for reconnaissance.

Besides, the police was verifying the call details and had been questioning people. The officers also refuted the reports about the involvements of girls in the case. Even the call details had failed to provide clues in making a breakthrough so far.

However, senior police officials said they were sure of establishing the identity of the accused in a day or so.



Industrial Area scrap dealers’ paradise
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Hundreds of entrepreneurs of the Industrial Area(Phase I and II) are a harassed lot. With scores of scrap dealers(kabadis) mushrooming in the Industrial Area, thefts are on the rise, putting industrialists to huge losses.

Industrialists alleged that thefts were the order of the day and the stolen items were sold in the Industrial Area itself.And what is worrying the industrialists is the fact that both the Estate Office and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) have been turning a blind eye to the “kabadi” menace.

Mr Rajiv Gupta, general secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industry (FSSI), who had been representing to the authorities concerned for years now, regretted that no sustained campaign had been launched by the Administration to reclaim the prime commercial land encroached upon by the scrap dealers.

“They are a big nuisance and the authorities are not doing anything to make the area safe for the entrepreneurs. The adjoining colonies only ensure that the crime graph goes up,” complained another industrialist.

Sources said since a majority of the factories had iron and steel as raw materials, stealing had become a lucrative business. Since thieves did not have to travel far to sell the stolen items, “kabadis” were mushrooming with each passing day, alleged Mr Gupta.

The industrialists’ grouse is that while any encroachment by them is punished with heavy fine by the authorities, the scrap dealers are not being touched.

The administrative inaction only encouraged them to encroach upon public land worth crore, an industrialist alleged.

Meanwhile, sources in the Administration informed that the authorities had been launching repeated campaigns to reclaim the public land. However, shortage of staff with the enforcement wings of the MCC and the Estate Office came in the way of removing encroachments from the Industrial Area.

The Administration was toying with earmarking a specific area for the scrap dealers, an official added.



Rajiv Gandhi Chair at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Panjab University is one of the 10 universities that have been selected by the Government of India to establish the Rajiv Gandhi Chair. It aims at recognising the contribution of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The University Grants Commission has sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the purpose for 2005-2006.

These Chairs will be established in contemporary studies at selected centres and state universities on the theme of Panchayati Raj system and local government, women’s empowerment, impact of technology on society, eco-systems and sustainable development, livelihood and food security, nuclear disarmament and peace studies, tribal development, protection of children’s rights, social justice and secularism and nation building.

Panjab University, will, however, be following the areas of studies: Impact of Panchayati Raj system and local governance, Impact of technology on society, nuclear disarmament and peace studies. In the first instance, it will be adopting “Impact of technology on society” as an area of study for the Chair. The other topics will be adopted later.

The objective of the Chair is to create national centres for academic deliberations and action-oriented research in the frontier areas of contemporary relevance for improving the quality of life and life management system. The Chair will have one professor in the grade of professor in national institutes, one post-doctoral research associate, three junior research fellowships with provisions for upgrading to SRF as per the UGC norms and two technical assistant-level positions.

The PU Syndicate gave the go-ahead to set up the Chair in its last meeting.



Give quota to Dalits in Army: Bhan
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 22
The Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Dr Suraj Bhan, today stated that a majority of the Dalits in the country were not aware of their rights and powers. Dr Bhan was speaking at a seminar on the reservation Bill, 2004, organised by the Department of Social Security, Punjab, here today.

“I receive around 100 complaints from Dalits every day from across the nation, 99 per cent of which are from government Dalit employees. Does this mean that the Dalits living in villages in India do not have any problems and only Dalit employees have problems?

No, the reason is that the Dalits in the villages do not know that they can complaint to the commission,” he said.

Dr Bhan, a former member of Parliament for four terms and former Governor of three states, said the commission had sent recommendations to the government and was waiting for it to implement these. “There should be reservation for Dalits in the Army and the Judiciary. If the Army can be divided into regiments on the basis of regions, why not have a regiment of Dalits,” he asked.

Dr Bhan said the reservation Bill, 2004, had been introduced in Parliament. “Though the Bill had been introduced in the Rajya Sabha and not the Lok Sabha, it is important that the Bill be discussed,” he said, adding that the reservation law should be in place as soon as possible in order to secure the rights of the Dalits in the country.

Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, Punjab, who came in place of the Punjab Chief Minister, who was to be the chief guest on the occasion, said reservation for Dalits was an important issue. “But more important is the need to help Dalits have an equal status in society,” he said, adding that only education could alleviate their status.

More than a thousand delegates from across the state participated in the seminar that deliberated on various aspects of the Bill and the country’s reservation policy.



Local issues raised at open darbar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 22
The removal of encroachments from the market places, changing of PVC water supply pipelines, cleaning of road gullies and fencing of HUDA land to prevent stray cattle from grazing were some of the problems listed by residents in an open darbar held by the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, today.

These problems were highlighted by the residents, during the open darbar organised at the Sector 9 Community Centre. Officers including the SDM, Mr Virender Dahiya, DSP Prerna Puri, and officers from the electrical wing of HUDA were also present.

Ms Jalmegha Dahiya, councillor, said that though HUDA had approved that the PVC water pipeline be replaced, it had not done so for several years. “As a result there are frequent water pipeline bursts,” she said. Ms Dahiya also complained that the site for government dispensary was being used as a garbage dump.

Mr Suresh Kaushik of House Owners’ Welfare Association of Sector 9, too, pointed out about the poor condition of parks and repair of roads. Some residents also demanded that the shops rented out from the Pracheen Shiv Mandir premises in Sector 9, be closed.

Mr Chander Mohan promised to look into their complaints and issued directions to expedite development works. He also held open darbars in various villages of Morni earlier in the day.



Arjun Singh discharged from PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, who was admitted to the PGI yesterday and diagnosed with ‘fatigue’ and ‘exhaustion’, was discharged from the hospital today.

According to PGI sources, he was released around 9.30 am in stable condition. Shortly afterward he was flown to Delhi. He has been advised rest for the next few days to overcome his fatigue.

Mr Arjun Singh (75) had arrived here on Sunday evening for the inauguration of a building of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) at Panchkula yesterday. He complained of uneasiness soon after his arrival here and was taken to the PGI.



Sambar strays into Sector 6
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 22
A sambar today strayed from a forest in Chandi Mandir to a plot in Sector 6. Having lost his way, the young sambar tried to hide itself behind bushes, till it again managed to scale the boundary wall and disappear into the Chandi Mandir cantonement area.

The incident took place around noon. As the antelope scurried for cover behind the bushes in the plot, someone informed the cops on duty near Hotel Red Bishop.

Within no time, a small contingent of cops reached there and tried to catch the sambar. Frightened at the sight of so many humans, it scaled the wall and tried to cross the road towards the cantonement area. As it tried to run, it was hit by a speeding car, and fell. But even as the cops tried to save it, it ran away inside the cantonement area.

The Wildlife Inspector, Mr Sada Ram, was then called. He searched for the sambar, but it had gone back into the forest.



Rendering yeoman service to society
Arvind Katyal

Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba is perhaps the longest living godman of the 21st century. He will turn 79 on November 23. Sai Baba, a household name in India, is a god for his crores of devotees spread all over India and abroad. For some, he is a miracle man.

Sai Baba has done a lot for the uplift of society.

In schools and hospitals being run by the Sri Sathya Sai Trust in various parts of India, education and healthcare are provided free of cost. Even coronary byepass surgeries and other costly treatment are done free of charge by reputed doctors in the Sri Sathya Sai superspeciality hospitals at Puttaparthi and Whitefield (Bangalore).

Over 10 lakh people from all over the globe are expected to converge Puttaparthi (Prasanthi Nilayam) in Andhra Pradesh, the hometown of Sai Baba, for his 80th birthday celebrations.

Sai Baba has always asked his devotees to strengthen the foundation of all religions. He says if one is a Hindu, one must become a better Hindu, if one is a Christian, one should strive to be a better Christian and so on.

Sai Baba has rendered yeoman service for the uplift of humanity. He has created many schools and colleges, the most prominent being the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning at Prasanthi Nilayam which is also a deemed university. He has started a programme of providing water to 700 villages in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. His spiritual teachings are being spread through Sathya Sai centres all over the world.

Born on November 23, 1926, at a small backward village called Puttaparthi, it was at the age of 14 that he disclosed that he was an incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. When villagers asked how he could prove his claim, he asked for some flowers and threw them up into the air. When they fell on the ground, they formed the letters SAI RAM.

To those who believe in him, Sai Baba is the descent of the divine principle in human form, a form with normal physical limitations (recently he had his hip fractured and had to undergo a surgical operation) but still manifest with divine powers.

His teachings are on practical lines. Sai Baba says: “You cannot always oblige but you can always speak obligingly.” Soft speech adds sweetness to life. It adds beauty to our life while bringing happiness around. Language is God’s greatest gift to man; hence words used must be full of love; they should perfume the environment instead of polluting it. “It’s easier to recover from a slip of the foot than a slip of the tongue.”

He says, God has, in His wisdom, given man one mouth but two ears. “So, let’s talk less and listen more for speech is silver, silence golden. Jesus says we can have no peace without constant war against such evils as greed, anger, jealousy, envy and pride that are obstacles to friendship. So, let us control our mind. Thoughts, words and actions all emanate from the mind and follow one another. What we say and do spring from a thought wave. If the mind does not generate bad thoughts, the tongue won’t speak harsh words.”

He says: “There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity; there is only one religion, the religion of love; there is only one language, the language of the heart; there is only one God and He is omnipresent.”



16 Infantry Division win cup
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The Army's 16 Infantry Division based in Western Sector has won the Army Adventure Challenge Cup for 2005. Its team, led by Capt Akant Kumar, was adjudged the best in rafting and hill running during the event.

A total of 32 teams representing different formations and establishments of the Army, the Navy, Coast Guard and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force had participated in the competitions, held at Raiwala near Rishikesh from June to November.

The cup was instituted in 1998 after being de-linked from the Four Square Company Trophy and comprises three events - 9 km mountain cycling, 11 km hill running and 16 km white water rafting.

The cup is also the first trophy to be won by South-Western Command since its inception earlier this year.

Felicitating the team members for their success at a function held at the Division Headquarters, the General Officer Commanding, Major-Gen A.S. Lamba, highlighted the importance of adventure activities and stressed on inculcating qualities of leadership, camaraderie and espirit-de corps. 



Children’s date with Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
It was a rare exciting and learning experience for nearly 600 children from distant rural and urban parts of Punjab, who thronged the lawns of Punjab Raj Bhavan here today.

The children presented a cultural show featuring giddha, bhangra, group songs and poetry recitation competitions, organised by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, Punjab, on the theme of national unity, dedicated to the memory of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

This memorable occasion also provided an opportunity to young people to meet Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues, the Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, and Mrs Jean Rodrigues, who spent two hours enjoying the colourful cultural bonanza and mingling with them.

General Rodrigues, in his brief address on the occasion, exhorted the children ‘to put India first’ and to inculcate the values of love for motherland and unity and integrity of the country. He told the children that “you are the instruments of change and engines of growth. We have to act in partnership. We will provide you the opportunities to develop your potential and in turn you will have to put your zest, exuberance, commitment and dedication to achieve your goals”.



Replace electronic meters: federation
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 22
The Citizens’ Welfare Federation has appealed to the Punjab Government to stop installing electronic meters in the state, saying these move faster than mechanical ones.

In a letter sent to Mr Lal Singh Minister for Power, today, the general secretary of the federation, Mr Albel Singh Shyan, said the electronic meters, that had been installed, should be replaced by mechanical ones. The excess charges paid by the consumers for the installation of electronic meters should be refunded.

He said the governments in Haryana and Delhi had stopped installing electronic meters but the Punjab Government had failed to take any action even though various welfare bodies brought the resentment of consumers to its notice.



Field staff observe fast
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 22
Members of the Punjab Field and Workshop Union sat on a 24-hour fast strike in support of their demands outside the office of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) here today.

The protesters demanded that service rules should be framed for Class III and IV employees working in the field for the past more than 25 years so that they could be promoted, allowances that were withdrawn by the authorities concerned be released and pension scheme be introduced for PUDA employees.



BJP celebrates Bihar poll win
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 22.
The local unit of Bharatiya Janta Party celebrated their win in the Bihar Assembly elections by distributing ladoos.  A small function was held at the state BJP head office, where local leaders including Mr Ravinder Sehgal, Mr V K Sood and Mr Gian Chand Gupta were present.  The BJP leaders said that it was because of the BJP policies they were able to win the elections and throw the Lalu Yadav-led RJD.



Fire incident

Chandigarh, November 22
Wild bushes along Dakshin Marg were destroyed in a fire that broke out this afternoon.
According to information, the fire broke out around 2 pm near The Tribune office. Three fire-engines from the Sector 32 fire station and the Industrial Area Phase I and II were rushed to the spot to control the fire. It took around one-and-a-half hours to extinguish the fire. No loss of life or property was reported, sources said. TNS



Police clueless on handwriting on “suicide note”
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Even though nearly a week has elapsed since the bodies of two brothers and their mother were found in a Sector 15 house under mysterious circumstances, the police is still not sure whether the handwriting on the “suicide note” is that of “one of the victims”.

Though senior police officers refuse to comment on the issue, sources in the Police Headquarters assert that the police did little to get the handwriting verified.

The sources said the police had now written a letter to the bank, where the family had an account, asking for the handwriting samples of the family.

The police should have gone in for handwriting verification immediately after the incident came to light because it would have told them whether the note was planted, they added.

The bodies of Madhur Bala, Pyuesh and Anupam were first spotted by a rickshaw-puller on Wednesday. He had reached the residence to pick up Madhur Bala for her office.

The police also took their own sweet time to send the viscera to Patiala for a chemical examination though it would have proved their theory of two victims dying because of poisoning.

The case, the sources added, had been shrouded in mystery since the very beginning. In the absence of a scientific approach, the police still did not know for certain whether the weapon found in the house was actually used by one of the brothers to kill himself.

So far, the police has not even been able to explain the presence of an illegal weapon in the residence. It has no theories as to why the three had left the doors open before ending their lives. Or why two consumed poison, while the third shot himself.

The sources admit that the police is not the best when it comes to solving murder cases. Quoting figures, they say it has failed to solve at least seven murder cases in the past two years.

In 2004 alone 20 murder cases were registered by the Chandigarh Police. Out of these, three remained unsolved. In the previous year, 21 murder cases were registered by the police. Again, of these four remained unsolved. Fifteen murder cases had been registered between January and September. Of which some of the cases are yet to be solved.



Thieves decamp with mobile phones
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 22
Goods worth about Rs 50,000 were stolen from a shop dealing in mobile phones in Phase III-B2 here last night.
The owner of the shop came to know about the theft in the morning when someone informed him on the telephone that the lock on the door of his shop had been broken.

He found that thieves had decamped with several sets of mobile phones, some accessories and about Rs 1,000.

It has been reported that the thieves were not able to break the internal lock of the door. As such they entered the shop by removing a window pane.



Car, scooter stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 22
A car and a scooter were reportedly stolen during the past 24 hours. The police has arrested two persons on the charge of theft, while in a separate case, a theft of 60 kg of brass was reported to the police. Besides, the police has arrested a person on the allegation of indulging in gambling.

Mr Surinder Kumar of Dadu Majra Colony reported to the police that his Qualis (HP-34-A-9990) was stolen from his residence on Monday. In another incident, Mr Sadhu Ram of Daria village filed a complaint with the police alleging that his scooter (CH-01-W-0426) was stolen from the parking lot of the NAC, Mani Majra, on Monday. Two separate cases of theft have been registered.

Held for stealing

The police has arrested Ravinder Singh and Pankaj, both residents of Burail village, on the allegation of committing a theft in a shop. Sources in the police said Mr Amrik Singh of Sector 20, in his report to the police, alleged that the suspects had stolen Rs 10,000 from his shop during Sunday night. A case has been registered in this regard in the Sector 19 police station.


Mr Anil Kaushal of Phase II, Industrial Area, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that 60 kg of brass was stolen from his plot during Sunday night. A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 31 police station.


The police arrested Sunil Kumar of Janta Colony, Sector 25, from Dadu Majra Colony on Monday for indulging in gambling at a public place. The police recovered Rs 405 from his possession. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.


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