C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bribery charge against surgeon
CDs of patients released
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
Barely had the dust settled over the corruption charges levelled against a surgeon and an anaesthetist at General Hospital, Sector 6, last week, that video CDs of patients claiming to have paid bribe to the surgeon, Dr Vivek Bhadoo, were released today.

Dr Bhadoo, along with an anaesthetist, were exonerated of corruption charges levelled by two patients on December 5, by the inquiry officer, Dr Shail Gupta, yesterday. Relatives of two patients had alleged that they gave money to the doctors, thinking that their kin would be properly operated upon. Mr Ramesh Kumar, a relative of Mr Ram Singh, who was operated upon for piles, alleged that the surgeon demanded Rs 2,000 from him for buying medicines at wholesale price. Another patient accused the surgeon of demanding Rs 2,500 from him.

However, the inquiry report stated that the patients had withdrawn their charges. The report is now submitted to Director General, Health Services, Haryana, Dr Sushma Madan, for further action.

The CDs, which were screened before a gathering of mediapersons today, showed relatives of two patients showing admit cards in the hospital, and claiming that they were forced to shell out Rs 1,600 and Rs 2,500, respectively, to Dr Bhadoo. They allege that Dr Bhadoo asked them to pay the money, while their relatives were in the operation theatre, on the pretext of getting medicines at wholesale prices.

Mr Vishnu Gautam, a resident of Sector 12-A, alleged that his sister, Khema, was to be operated upon to correct the malformation of artery in her left leg. “The operation was performed on December 1, and Dr Bhadoo demanded Rs 1,600 to buy medicines at wholesale prices for my sister. I paid him the money because I was afraid that he would not take proper care of the patient,” he alleged.

The other complainant, Mr Satnam Singh of Mani Majra, alleged that Dr Bhadoo had demanded and accepted Rs 2,500 from him, for buying medicines for his wife Kiranjit. She was to be operated upon for removal of stones from her gall bladder on November 26.

“I only had Rs 1,000 to pay for the medicines. So, Dr Bhadoo asked me to pay the entire amount of Rs 2,500 at his residence in Sector 11 here the next day, and I did the same,” he alleged in the video CD.

Dr Bhadoo, when contacted by TNS, denied the allegations levelled against him. “This is a conspiracy by my professional rivals to defame me. They tried to harm me last week, and after I was exonerated, they have come up with a new plan,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Health Services, Haryana, Dr Sushma Madan, informed TNS that she would first see the CDs and talk to the complainants herself, and then institute another inquiry against the surgeon. She said he had been relieved from the General Hospital here after corruption charges were levelled against him last week. “I have not gone through the previous inquiry report. I will go through the CD and order another inquiry, if the CD is found to be original,” she said.



Two held for murder of unidentified man
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 11
The Chandigarh police today claimed to have solved the case of murder of a man whose unidentified body was found last Sunday in the jungle near Maloya village. While the cops claimed to have nabbed the alleged killers, they were yet to find the identity of the murdered. Illicit relations were being cited as the motive behind the murder.

The victim was stabbed to death by sharp-edged weapons and his trousers and shoes were missing from the spot. Except ‘Raju’ tattooed on the right hand of the victim, the police could not find anything which could lead to the identification of the victim.

Giving details, the UT DSP (South), Mr K.I.P. Singh, said an investigation team was constituted to solve this blind murder case. The missing trousers and lowered underwear of the victim indicated that illicit relations could be the reason behind the murder. Information was gathered by the police in this regard.

He added that acting on the theory, the team managed to apprehend two persons, Mewa Ram (40) and his nephew Sucha (24), both “Sansi” by tribe, on Saturday night from Maloya village. During the interrogation, these persons confessed to having murdered Raju. The other members involved in the crime were identified as Darshan, Meshi and Raj Kumar, who were still at large.

The accused had taken the mango orchards in the village and were living in a joint family along with other members. They had raised their hutments in the orchard and were living there along with their families. They also used to sell the produce in the various “mandis” in the city.

The accused told the police that the deceased, named Raju, used to visit their orchard to buy the produce and developed illicit relations with Sucha’s wife Rita (21), which continued for the past several months. When Sucha came to know about this he reportedly bashed up his wife. She reported the matter to the police and they later reportedly reached at a compromise.

Giving the sequence on events on that fateful night, they told the police that on December 3 at about 9 pm, Raju came to Sucha’s hut in his absence. Sucha happened to come there before his scheduled time and found Rita in a compromising position with Raju. Infuriated at the sight, Sucha called his family members and they thrashed up Raju and gagged him. Raju fell unconscious and they took him to the jungle of Maloya village and stabbed him to death.

Police sources said Rita and Sucha were married about two years back. They had no child, which was being as explored as the reason behind the illicit relations.

About the identity of the victim, the DSP added that the police was making efforts in this regard. He added that the accused did not know much about the victim. Rita told the police that Raju belonged to Himachal Pradesh. They were produced in a local court today, which remanded them in police custody till December 15. 



Sukhvinder could have been alive: psychiatrists
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 11
As the Punjab police continues to dig out personal details of the lives of Sukhvinder Singh, his wife Neki Nalwa and her alleged paramour Brandy, the murder of the 35-year-old QuarkCity engineer has kept city residents in a state of shock and awe for the past one week.

For city-based psychiatrists, while Sukhvinder’s murder could have been avoided had he and his wife realised their problems and taken psychiatric help, the incident should be taken as a trepidation call for many other such couples whose story was no different.

“I realise that nobody wants me around. My parents told me to get out of the house. My husband does not bother. He and they pushed me to the point of no return. I am fed up of their wrong allegations. If I die, my husband and parents will be responsible. Only my son will be affected,” says a note scribbled by Neki to herself some months ago recovered by the police from her house yesterday.

A letter Sukhvinder wrote to his father-in-law some months ago says, “You could not teach your daughter to respect her husband? Why is she scared to use my name with her name? Have you ever made an effort to teach your daughter what marriage is all about? All you taught her is that my dear girl, if someone says a word or two to you, let me know and I would be there for you. If that is the way to settle, no daughter could ever have settled in her-in-laws’ house. I got a prostitute in the house last time. I thought maybe when she would sees another woman in the house, her behaviour might change. Would you have survived five years without a physical relationship and not going out of the house?”

“It is not just the story of Neki or Sukhvinder. Many other rich and educated couples find that they have reached a point of no return in their personal relationships. They do not want to get professional help,” said Dr Savita Malhotra, Department of Psychiatry, PGI.

“What shows up as marital discord can be an underlying personality defect, attitudinal problem, interfering families or status differences. While such cases are increasing, there is no increase in the number of those coming to psychiatrists for help. It is still considered a stigma to contact a psychiatrist,” she added.

“From whatever I have made out from the newspapers, there was a 99 per cent chance given the circumstances, that psychiatric intervention would have helped the couple,” said Dr Harjeet, a city-based consultant psychiatrist.

“Neki was not satisfied in her married life and she found a physical and emotional anchor in Brandy, who came across a typical psychopath. Had he been Neki’s friend he would have helped her patch up rather than using her and getting rid of her husband for her,” he said.

“Extra-marital affairs should be dealt with maturity by the couples concerned. Patience and the desire to find a solution can help. Sukhvinder and Neki seemed to be justifying their behaviour to nullify their guilt,” he said.

Dr Hardeep Singh, a consultant psychiatrist, said, “The institution of marriage is breaking up. Couples are busy and marriages are not bonded well. People are not ready to give up anything for something better if it means getting paid less or losing monetarily. Marriage therapies help and so do divorce therapies, provided the couple is ready to get help,” he said.



Chennai girl threatened
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, December 11
The Chennai-based girl who had been sexually abused by a Punjabi youth today alleged that the accused had threatened her through a common friend to withdraw the complaint. She also expressed apprehension that the accused could go abroad to evade arrest.

Determined to bring the accused to book, the victim today said she would not go back home until she got justice. The victim went to the Sector 22 police post this morning with her lawyers to inform the cops that the accused, Dildar Singh, alias Garry, had a Canadian visa and could slip to foreign land to evade his arrest.

At the same time, she received a call on her mobile phone from a Chennai-based common friend, who allegedly threatened her on behalf of Dildar with dire consequences in case she did not withdraw her complaint. The caller told her that Dildar had asked his brother Harry to contact their common friend to convey his threat to her.

The lawyers who had helped her in filing the complaint provided her shelter. The victim further alleged that Dildar had also taken her jewellery worth Rs 20,000.

When contacted, the in charge of the Sector 22 police post, Mr Dilsher Singh Chandel, said efforts were on to trace the accused. Police parties had been dispatched to various suspected hideouts of the accused. A police party had also been sent to Amritsar in search of the accused.

The police had contacted the father of Dildar Singh, an Assistant Sub-Inspector with the Punjab police, who told the police that he had disowned his son. He assured the police that he would cooperate in the investigation.



Garments worth over Rs 10 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 11
Thieves reportedly decamped with garments worth more Rs 10 lakh from a shop in Sector 11 this morning. A scooter was stolen from the city while in a separate case one person was held on the charge of indulging in gambling.

The owner of a Sector 11 based garments showroom, Mr Ashwani Sehgal, lodged a complaint with the police that thieves decamped with clothes and readymade garments valued at more than Rs 10 lakh from his shop today. A case has been registered in this regard.

Mr Sehgal alleged that the theft came to light when his employee opened the shop this morning at about 10 am. They opened the shop today following a request made by the delegation of Judges from Pakistan who wanted to buy garments. When the employee entered the shop from the other entry, he found the shop ransacked. During the inspection they found the latches on the front shutter broken.

Mr Sehgal added that a shopkeeper in his lane told him that his employee saw a Contessa car parked outside the shop and some people were loading clothes in it at around 6 am.

Scooter stolen: Mr Arun Sood of Sector 37 reported to the police that his scooter (CH-01-R-9537) was stolen from Sector 26 grain market on Saturday. A case of theft has been registered.

Gambling: The local police arrested Satinder Singh of colony number 4 from Phase I, Industrial Area on Saturday on the charge of gambling at a public place. The cops recovered Rs 205 from his possession and registered a case.



Civil vehicle-hiring scam in Army
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Army is investigating into instances where civilian vehicles have been hired by its formations for official purposes at highly inflated rates, it is learnt. Besides this, the distance shown to have been travelled by the vehicles has also been exaggerated.

Highly placed sources at Headquarters Western Command revealed that several discrepancies had been noticed in details of payments released by Army formations in Ambala during October. The amount, which pertains only to hiring of trailers, runs into several lakh rupees.

The contracted rate for hiring a trailer as issued by the ASC Branch in Western Command earlier this year, is Rs 60 per km. Copies of signed bills shown to The Tribune mentioned rates varying from Rs 79 to Rs 119 per km, which is double the sanctioned rate.

The Army hires thousands of civilian vehicles every year to cater to its official and operational needs. In official parlance, these are known as civil hired transport. These include various categories of light vehicles, trucks, buses, tractors, trailers and other heavy vehicles. According to informed sources, the requirement for various types of civilian heavy vehicles alone for Headquarters 2 Corps in Ambala projected for this year is about 5,000.

What has also come to light, sources added, is that authorised contractors are being bypassed and ad hoc hiring of vehicles is being done from other transporters.

"The matter is in the knowledge of authorities here," a senior officer here said. "We are looking into it," he added. If the specifications of the items required by the Army change subsequent to the signing of the contract, it is the obligation of the contractor to make them available at a price mutually acceptable to both.

There have been allegations of instances where instead of asking the contractor for the same, some formations have directly approached other firms and hired vehicles at different rates.

A copy of one such signed bill shown to The Tribune claimed the distance travelled by a trailer truck from Ambala to Chennai to be in excess of 3,100 km. The Indian Distance Guide, referred to by the Controller of Defence Accounts and other establishments for verifying distances, mentions the distance between the two cities to be 2,286 km. "Deviation of a few kilometres can be understandable, but a difference of almost a thousand kilometres has, no doubt, raised eyebrows," an officer here remarked.

A functionary in the office of the Controller of Defence Accounts here, where all defence services' bills are sent, claimed that some of the bills pertaining to hiring of heavy vehicles are double of what they should have been under the terms of the contract. "For example, the Army paid about Rs 3.75 lakh for a trailer to ferry a tank from Ambala to Chennai," he revealed. Going by the terms and conditions of the contract, the cost should have been about Rs 1.50 lakh, he calculated.

According to sources, the Army hires a large number of civilian trailers every year to ferry tanks and other heavy vehicles to various places during exercises as well as for repair and maintenance.



Newborn girl’s body found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 11
The body of a one-day-old girl child was recovered by the police from Adarsh Colony, Nayagaon, here this morning.

The child, wrapped in a towel, seemed to have been abandoned by her family immediately after her birth yesterday and died of cold lying out in the open through the night.

The body was seen by Ravinder, a resident of the colony who them informed the police.

The body was sent for post-mortem examination and a case under sections 317 and 318 of the IPC registered.



Passing Thru

Rukhsana Begum
Rukhsana Begum 
Director, Business
and Consulting
Group, Denmark 

What does Danish education system offer to the Indian students?

The entire education system in Denmark is government controlled so one can expect a uniform conformity to the international standards. As part of the changed international scenario where student exchange and studies abroad have become a accepted norm, I am here to show to students the available courses in Denmark which could offer them good education making them better equipped for absorption in the job market loaded with the armoury of latest update in the concerned fields.

Which are the best courses in your country which might be of interest to the students?

The field of information technology is undoubtedly on top of the charts in Denmark where students can expect the best. The institutes there also have a high standard of courses to offer in the lesser attempted fields by students here including multi-media, fashion designing, leisure management and the service industry.

— Sanjeev Singh Bariana



Bus stand eludes Zirakpur even after years
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 11
Zirakpur may be one of fastest growing towns of Punjab, but basic amenities seems to be its Achilles’ heel.

Though situated on the strategic National Highway 22, the provision of a permanent bus stand has eluded the residents for several years, putting them to a lot inconvenience. There seems to be no plan in place for the setting up of a bus stand.

In fact, if sources are to be believed, there is no master plan for the fast growing township. While the Punjab Government and the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat earn crores every year by way of stamp duty and other taxes, the provision of a bus stand, a basic need of the residents, seems to be last on the agenda of the authorities concerned.

The authorities had only made only feeble attempts for the construction of the bus stand. The authorities once toyed with the idea of setting up a bus stand on “triangular area” near the road to Panchkula. That was several years back and the proposal never saw the light of the day.

Hundreds of buses bound for several important destinations halt on the highway near the traffic lights. Chaos rules the roost on the busy road throughout the day as buses are parked on the roadsides.

“Crossing the traffic lights at Zirakpur is a nightmarish experience as buses and other vehicles, which stop at the traffic lights, waste precious time,” says Mr Rakesh Malhotra, an industrialist, who commutes from Panchkula to Dera Bassi daily.

It appears that neither the previous SAD government nor the present Congress government seem to have paid any attention to the setting up of a bus stand. The area is now represented by SAD General Secretary Kanwaljit Singh.

Alleged encroachments on both sides of the highway have made the area accident-prone. Residents allege that Zirakpur is perhaps the only major township which does not have a proper parking place for buses.

Observers feel that with the proposed start of the flyover at Zirakpur in the wake of the four-laning of the Zirakpur-Ambala road, the authorities will have to earmark a specific area for the bus stand.

Its proximity to the residential area and accessibility from the flyover will have to studied before finalising the site for a bus stand.



UT ‘refuses’ to hand over Hawara to Punjab
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Efforts of the Punjab Police to secure the remand of dreaded terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara have come to nought. The Chandigarh Administration has refused to revoke a notification which bars the movement of Hawara from the high security Burail jail here.

About seven years ago the Chandigarh Administration had issued a notification under Section 268 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr P.C) which prohibits the movement of Hawara outside the Burail Jail here. To overcome this, Punjab had sent a written request to the Chandigarh Administration to revoke Section 268 imposed on Hawara and allow it to seek remand for cases pending in Punjab. Sources in the Chandigarh Administration said a request from Punjab had been turned down. Punjab's request could not be met as the consent of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was needed, said an official. The CBI was investigating the Beant Singh trial.

Section 268 empowers the Chandigarh Administration to stop any court in the country from summoning Hawara to answer a charge of an offence against him. Interestingly, Section 268 also stops the operation of Section 267 of the CrP.C which empowers the court to seek attendance of prisoners in pending cases. The Chandigarh Administration had imposed Section 268 keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the Beant Singh assassination trial. Even the court to hold the trial is held within the Burail jail premises.

This technical glitch is holding back the Punjab cops, who are wanting to question him in several cases. Senior officials in the Punjab Police confirmed that Hawara may never be handed over them. Or at best they may say that the questioning can be carried out within the Burial jail premises. This option cannot be ruled out, officials of the Chandigarh Administration confirmed.

An alleged human bomb assassinated Beant Singh outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat on August 31, 2005. Hawara along with others was arrested in the matter. Hawara had dramatically tunnelled his way out of the high security Burail Jail here in January, 2004, and was arrested by the Delhi Police in June this year.

So far only the Delhi Police - which arrested him on June 8 - and the Chandigarh Police have questioned him. Senior officials of the Punjab Police have been present during some of the questioning sessions.

The Punjab Police has been wanting to exclusively talk to Hawara about various developments like what contacts he had developed during his one and half years of freedom. Another question is the whereabouts of his associates, Paramjit Singh Bheora and Jagtar Singh Tara, who had escaped alongwith him from the jail. They are still on the run.



Stir threat by oustees of UT villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Oustees of 50 UT villages have threatened to shift to Punjab, due to the step motherly treatment of the Chandigarh Administration in rehabilitating them since 1966.

The villagers also threatened to launch an agitation if the Administration did not decide on extending the lal dora and approve a rehabilitation plan for the 5000 families who were evacuated from 11 villages in 1966.

The decisions were taken during a meeting of the members of the Welfare Society of Landlords of all 50 villages held at Shahpur Gurdwara, Sector 38 here today.

Mr H.S. Billing, general secretary of the association, said a rally would again be held in Sector 63 on January 27. He said while the administration had made plans to rehabilitate the slum dwellers, it had done nothing for the oustees.



Farmers’ body signs MoU with builders
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 11
Members of the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee, spearheading the protest against the acquisition of farmers’ land by the Punjab Government, today launched the kisan banega crorepati scheme.

The farmers whose land was slated to be acquired by PUDA today signed memorandum of understanding with private developers promising to sell their land to them for development.

Stating that this would ensure that the farmers got the amount that the land was worth, Mr B.S. Baidwan, secretary of the committee, today pointed out that this would bring PUDA’s loot of their land to an end.

The MoU was signed between committee president Tejinder Singh Jakhar and Mr Ajit Singh Dua, representative of Dynamic Paradise Town Planners Private Limited, New Delhi.

Mr Jakhar said the company planned to develop Sectors 85, 86, 97 and 98 into a housing complex.

According to the MoU, the company would provide 1,121 square yards of developed land to each farmer in lieu of one acre from the farmer in the shape of two residential plots of one kanal each and a commercial showroom plot of 121 square yards. 



Nair lays stone of Kerala Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 11
Mr T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Government of India, today laid the foundation stone of the Kerala Bhavan at Phase XI here.

Stating that his visit to Mohali was like “homecoming” Mr Nair who has served as Chief Secretary, Punjab, said Keralites and Punjabis had a lot of common traits which included the spirit of enterprise and the ability to mix well in the culture they are working in. “The fact that we come from a state where the employment opportunities are limited forces us to leave for employment outside. Today, Malayalees are present in every area of human endeavour and the fact that they can effectively merge with the local population while retaining their cultural identity is a quality that makes them outgoing and large hearted,” he said.

Exhorting the audience, which included a large number of Malayalees and local residents, to collectively make the Kerala Bhavan venture a success, Mr Nair said: “In unity lies our strength. If you are together there is nothing you cannot achieve. Everyone should be motivated to work towards this common cause which would help strengthen socio-cultural understanding. Learn to co-exist in a spirit of friendliness,” he said asking the authorities and forums to extend necessary help to the Samajam in the Kerala Bhavan project.

Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Punjab Government was the special guest and while addressing the audience expressed his happiness about the growth opportunities in the Mohali and also offered all possible help in the Kerala Bhavan project. He also promised to release immediately an amount of Rs 2 lakh for the Malayalee Samajam for the construction of the bhavan.

The guest of honour, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar constituency, while remembering his long association with Mr Nair said: “He is one of the few civil servants the nation can rely on. Honesty and impeccable integrity are rare commodities today but he combines both and is a great support to our Prime Minister,” he said. Mr Bir Devinder Singh committed to get an amount of Rs 5 lakh sanctioned from the CMs Fund and Rs 2 lakh from the Finance Minister, Punjab, towards the Kerala Bhavan’s construction. He also offered an amount of Rs 1 lakh as his own contribution every year till he is in the office in the capacity as an MLA of Kharar constituency.

Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha while appreciating the efforts of Malayalee Samajam, Mohali, emphasised the fact the Kerala Bhavan will be first one of its kind being set up in Mohali. She also offered an amount of Rs 1 lakh or more from the Chief Minister’s fund towards the construction of Kerala Bhawan to be released immediately.

Mr Benny Thomas, president of the Samajam, said they planned to construct the Kerala Bhavan with integrated facilities. “ The bhavan would be built at a cost of Rs 65 lakh on the two kanal plot allotted to Malayalee Samajam, Mohali, by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA). The two-storeyed bhavan would have an auditorium with a capacity of over 550 with a reasonably big stage and associated green rooms. The first floor shall have one big conference hall and rooms for various cultural and literary activities like music and dance classes, library and office room.

Mr K. Koshy, Haryana DGP (Vigilance), and Dr John V. George, ADGP (Law and Order) were also present on the occasion.



Protest against move to acquire Deep Complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Leaders of the BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party, CPI, CPM, Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party and Samajwadi Party today shared the platform with residents of Hallomajra to protest against the move of the Chandigarh Administration to acquire land of Deep Complex in the village. Senior leaders of the Congress were conspicuous by their absence.

The leaders said the move by the administration to acquire around 33 acres was against the interests of the common man.

The administration should not do this after sitting on the issue for over seven years. The administration has been given representations from time to time on the issue, said the residents of Deep Complex.

“There is no continuity in administration, officers come for short periods and do not go for long-lasting solution. Policies were never framed. There has to be holistic plan for development of the city,” said a political leader.

The constructions have not come overnight and it took years to build the houses, he said adding that there has to be alternative arrangement.



Tubewells for Kandi villages
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 11
With the commissioning of new tubewells for Jayanti Majri, Kasauli and Perch villages very soon, the residents of these Kandi area villages will have drinking water supply in abundance.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Cabinet Minister, Punjab, and Morinda MLA, disclosed this while addressing a gathering of Kandi area villages at Jayanti Majri village, near here, yesterday.

Mr Kang had called a meeting of district administration officers to redress the grievances of the public of the area. The prominent persons of villages Kanne ka Wara, Tanda, Tandi and Masol raised the issue of erratic and inadequate supply of drinking water, upon which public health officials present assured the residents that after changing and replacing the pipes, the water supply would be restored, but because of hilly terrain, it might take about seven weeks.

He further said administrative sanction for commissioning of new tubewells for Jayanti Majri, Kasauli and Perch villages has been received under the NABARD scheme and these would be made operational before June, 2006.

When the residents lamented that division and demarcation of land belonging to influential persons was being done on priority, while original inhabitants were being discriminated against by the revenue officials, Mr Kang instructed the SDM, Kharar, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, and the Tehsildar, Mr Baljinder Pal Singh, to earmark and make division of village common land as per share of the person.

He further added that no person of the villages would be denied his right and would be adjusted after demarcation.

Regarding old-age and widow pensions, Mr Kang said village panchayats had been given the right to verify and attest pension cases by calling general assembly twice a year.

The villagers pointed out that Route 70 of the CTU, which was earlier plying through their villages, had been stopped, due to which they were facing difficulty in commuting to Chandigarh. Mr Kang instructed the SDM to take up the issue with the CTU authorities.

Mr Kang said a lok suvidha camp of all villages of Majri Kanungoi would be held on December 22 at Majri block, wherein all problems of residents concerning different departments would be resolved.



Villagers taste success with ginger
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

(Dhaman) Panchkula, December 11
Development ceases to have touched the lives of 175 odd households located in this northern most tip of Haryana. There is no pucca road leading to the cluster of 16 hamlets here; residents have to walk at least 20 km to reach the nearest Primary Health Centre and a school at Morni; and, women have to walk long distances to fetch drinking water.

But even if consecutive governments in Haryana have been unable to do much to ensure that development reaches them, the villagers decided not to take things lying down. A belief that their own economic upliftment would also help in the social and community upliftment led the agrarian population of these hamlets to adopt cultivation of ginger. They began processing it into saunth (used as main ingredient in traditional medicines) , and now one of the best quality of saunth manufactured here is finding its way to Europe, China and other South Asian countries.

Their journey to success began almost six years ago when the Horticulture Department, Haryana, began giving subsidy to the villagers for buying ginger seed.

“Because of soil fertility, ginger grown here is of very high quality. Ginger was traditionally grown in these hills, but we were unaware that the crop could fetch good returns. We would sell our ginger crop in markets at Chandigarh and Panipat. Exporters from Delhi started approaching us directly, and told us to process the ginger for export,” says Prem Dutt of Chaplana village.

Most of the 175 households in this area have bought the machines for processing ginger into saunth. The men, women and young children in the village sun- dry the ginger and then process it in hand-operated machines.

“These machines operate with electricity. But all hamlets get single-phase supply, and the voltage is very low. So, we run the machine by hand,” informed Ms Lajwanti of Sug.

With their crop fetching them rich dividends, the villagers themselves cleared a kutcha road laid by the state Public Works Department several years ago, so that the road is at least motorable.

Says the former Sarpanch of Tipra Gram Panchayat (the panchayat of all 16 villages) Gulab Singh in Dhaman village, “We have to send our produce to Delhi, and a road was the need of the hour. We approached the PWD several times, and last year they cut the hills and created a kutcha road. After the rains follow landslides, and this road is blocked. So we ourselves clear the roads”.

Since there is just a primary school in Dhaman, none of the girls in these hamlets has studied beyond Class V. Raksha Devi, Sarpanch, says that they have made numerous representations that the primary school be upgraded to high school.

“Till the time the government acts, we have now started sending our girls to a school in a nearby village of Himachal Pradesh.

The nearest government high school is in Morni, which is 20 km away, so we cannot send our girls that far. Since education is vital for development, we now ensure that all children get educated,” said Prem Dutt of Chaplana.



Ground water not being tapped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Ground water in the city from the shallow semi-confined aquifer is not being tapped which is causing serious problems of water logging in the south western part of the city.

This has been revealed in a detailed study that has been carried out by the Engineering Department. The report submitted by Chief Engineer, reveals that there has been no substantial fall in water level in shallow aquifer system whereas there has been a decline in water level varying from two to four meters in deep aquifer system.

The sectors facing serious problems of water logging in the south western part of the city include Sectors 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51, besides certain others. It has been recommended that the water from this aquifer should be utilized by pumping.

The average thickness of semi-confined aquifer is 15 m, which extends down to maximum depth of 30 m. Hence a battery of 3-4 wells drilled about 10 m apart in a triangle and tubewells constructed to tap 10 m bottom part of the aquifer, has been recommended. These wells should be connected with “T” and pumped by using one common centrifugal pump.

The battery of such wells can yield 70-80 m /hour. Construction of such wells should be made mandatory for all the housing complexes, housing societies, government buildings, schools, community centres, government dispensaries and commercial buildings. The water pumped from the shallow unconfined aquifer should be used gainfully for the purposes other than drinking and bathing.

In order to make Chandigarh self sufficient with its own water resources and to solve the problem of water shortage in the city, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to explore the possibility of tapping the ground level water.

Water level fluctuation reveals that there is negligible withdrawal of ground water from shallow aquifers as domestic water supply is drawn from deeper confined aquifers besides canal-based water supply system. Decline in water table in deep aquifer system reveals ground water is being tapped by boring of deep tubewells. The number of tubewells in Chandigarh is 239 which includes those for rural and urban drinking supply and irrigation.

The annual water recharge to Chandigarh is 29.66 MCM which includes rainfall recharge of 14 MCM and the sub surface water inflow to Chandigarh is 15.66 MCM. Annual sub surface outflow of 3.20 MCM leaves annual retention of water in Chandigarh at 26.46 MCM. Constructing artificial re-charge structures can augment ground water reservoir. Runoff, which goes waste due to 60 per cent of the paved area of territory, can be utilized by rooftop rain water harvesting. Chandigarh has a large number of private and public buildings with considerable roof top area.

The water collected on the roof top of these buildings is nearly silt free and can be diverted to recharge the desired aquifer system through recharge well. Utilization of rain water will also help in checking overflow of storm water drains and flooding of areas which will lead to increase of life of manmade structures such as roads and drains will also check silting problems caused by heavy flow of rain water during monsoon.

The recommendations of the Engineering Department regarding ground water tapping or re-charging have been approved by the Administrator.



Forum for ban on death penalty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Punjab Rights Forum (PRF) recently organised a seminar here to deliberate on the issue of death penalty.

The participants, while welcoming the move of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, directing the Union Government to examine all issues relating to death penalty, welcomed the reported views of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) that death penalty should be abolished.

The PRF appealed to the CJI to take an initiative to ban death penalty. Pointing out that 111 countries had already abolished the death penalty, the participants said it was time India too took such a decision.

They sought a 10-year moratorium on death penalty as an interim measure till death penalty was abolished.



Gita Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 11
The local unit of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated Gita Jayanti at Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here today with religious fervour. A large number of devotees thronged the temple on the occasion, according to Akinchan Priya Dasa, a spokesman of local unit of ISKCON.

On this day Lord Krishna delivered the sacred message of Srimad Bhagvadgita to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Earlier the function began with ‘mangla aarti’ at 4 a.m. followed by Harinam sankirtan and discourse on Srimad Bhagvadgita.

After conclusion of “Gita path” devotees visited various schools, colleges and jail inmates.



A lot to learn from India, says Korean envoy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
A brief stop at Chandigarh and Mr Han Chang On, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, had already made up his mind to visit the city again, with everything official about it. From Juche philosophy to students exchange programme to trade ties, the ambassador’s passing interaction with the media on his way to Shimla included it all.

Firmly rooted in the tenets of Juche philosophy where man is the maker of his own destiny, Mr Han Chang On confirmed that developing educational programmes in association with Indian universities, was certainly a priority. With about 20 students from North Korea currently in India, the Ambassador stated that there was a lot to learn from India specially in the field of science, technology and IT.

Not forgetting to mention India’s support in developing trade links with his own country, Mr Han Chang On informed that agriculture, IT, pharmacy, steel industry and farm management were some of the areas, where he was looking forward to India’s cooperation. As for Chandigarh, be called it the young city.

Mr Han Chang On, will also inaugurate the Juche’s study center being run by the Himachal Pradesh Juche Study Society on Monday. In Chandigarh, the Ambassador also met Mr HS Ranauta, president, Chandigarh United Nations Associations.



Worker dies of electrocution
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 11
Kadar, an 18 year old daily wager worker from Bihar, died of electrocution at a construction site in Nayagaon last evening. The victim was working on the roof of a house with a metal pole when the pole came in contact with high tension wires.

Kadar was rushed to the General Hospital Sector 16, but he was declared brought dead. His body was taken to the phase VI Civil Hospital here for post-mortem examination. The police registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC. According to the police, the family of the deceased had not complained to them since the contractor who had given Kadar the job was a close relative and termed the episode as an accident.



Rickshaw-pullers attend camp
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 11
In the wake of rise in incidents of crime involving rickshaw-pullers, the local police today held a registration camp for rickshaw- pullers at the Sector 23 Children Traffic Park.

A spokesman for the police said that during the day-long camp 3738 persons attended the camp. The DSPs of three sub-divisions and the SHOs of all 11 police stations were present.

At the camp, the particulars of rickshaw-pullers like name, age, present and permanent address, rickshaw stands along with their photographs were obtained. The police had made announcements on the public address system asking the rickshaw-pullers to attend the camp.



Private firm builds room for school
Tribune News Service

Derabassi, December 11
Mr Avtar Singh, Executive Director of the Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection Limited (PCCPL), Bhankharpur, today inaugurated a room constructed in the memory of SD Shroff, a former Managing Director of the PCCPL, at Government Middle School, Haripur Hinduan, near here.

Besides this room, the company will also help construct rooms in other government schools in the surrounding villages to improve the standard of education, Mr Avtar Singh, who is also a trustee of the SDS Memorial Charitable Trust, said addressing a gathering on the occasion.



Youth sets himself afire
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
A newly wed 21-year-old youth tried to immolate himself at Budanpur village when his landlord accused him of having married a minor girl.

The victim, Ajit, poured kerosene and immolated himself after his landlord, Lala, accused him of having “kidnapped” a minor. The girl, Chandni, was also forcibly taken away to the Sector 16 police post.

Afraid that he would be beaten up by the landlord and others, Ajit immolated himself in a room. As some neighbours saw the fire, they quickly opened the room and doused the flames.

Ajit, a labourer, was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6. He suffered 30 per cent burns on the chest and face. He informed the police that he was originally a resident of Azad Colony, where he fell in love with Chandni. Both of them got married at the Mansa Devi temple on December 9 and then shifted to a one-room house at Budanpur village.

Later, the girl and her father, Raghbir, claimed that she was 18 years old and that they had not eloped and got married. However, the grandmother of the girl, Chameli, maintained that Chandni had been kidnapped by Ajit. The police has recorded the statements of both sides and investigation is on.



Notorious burglar held in Kurukshetra
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 11
The special staff of the Panchkula police have arrested a notorious burglar, Ravinder. The accused is alleged to have committed over 40 burglaries in Panchkula, Chandigarh and Mohali during the past two years.

Ravinder was arrested by a police party led by ASI Surjit Kumar in Kurukshetra. The police had received information that Ravinder would go to Kurukshetra to attend the wedding of his niece. ASI Surjit Kumar and Head Constable Jagdish laid a trap at the marriage venue and nabbed Ravinder.

He was brought to Panchkula today and produced before the duty magistrate. The police claimed that while he had committed over 15 burglaries in Panchkula from August 2004, he had committed 30 burglaries in Chandigarh and Mohali and nearly 15 burglaries in Kurukshetra. He has been remanded in police custody till December 21.

Ravinder’s sister and her son were arrested by the police here almost two months ago. They were arrested while they were trying to sell stolen goods. It was during their interrogation that the police learnt that Ravinder was the kingpin, and were on his trail since then.



Plea to implement VAT from April
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
The Chamber of Chandigarh Industries has appealed to the UT Administrator to implement VAT from April 1, 2006, and not to adopt VAT applicable in Punjab, in totality.

In a press note issued here, Mr Sanjeev Singla, general secretary of the chamber, said they would have to maintain different sets of ledgers for the last two months of this financial year, so VAT should be implemented from the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Faith zone: Tata Indicom has launched a faith zone for its subscribers, wherein they can listen to ‘Mukhvak’ – the divine recitation of one of the pages of Guru Granth Sahib; ISKCON Zone; Sri Sri Zone from Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living foundation, etc. This offer is valid for both Mobile and Walky subscribers in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

LG road shows: LG Electronics India today started a series of thrilling road shows, “LG Mobile Gaming Challenge 2005”. A road show was held in Sectors 11 and 15 today, in which mobile gaming enthusiasts got a chance to showcase their skills.

The championship will be played with LG laptops and mobiles. There will be three rounds of Blaster game on the laptop with six participants. Maximum scorer will be announced as the winner. 



Lobbying on for beopar mandal poll
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Lobbying for the prestigious post of the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), elections to which are slated to be held next month, has begun.

Though the date of elections is yet to be announced, prospective candidates have already started the “personal contact” programme with the representatives of various traders’ bodies, who comprise the voters for the elections.

In fact, the exclusion of certain market associations from the mandal had raised eyebrows recently with a section alleging favouritism in the selection, bringing the functioning of the screening committee under a cloud. Ultimately, a new committee was formed which included at least 20 new members to the 240-member strong beopar mandal.

A section of the traders felt that with Chandigarh emerging as a major trade centre, a number of market associations had mushroomed in the recent past. To be a truly representative body, the CBM had to expand with the addition of new members to give representation to the unrepresentated markets, Mr Charanjiv Singh, a founder-member, added.

The election to the mandal chief assumes importance in the wake of the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) slated to be held next year. It has been a long-pending demand of the traders that the CBM chief should be nominated councillor of the civic body. The traders have strong lobbies in all political parties and wield a strong influence in the political and social setups in the city.

The CBM spokesman, Mr JPS Kalra, said it was the endeavour of the screening committee to include “eligible and deserving” members to the beopar mandal. The beopar mandal, which is essentially a non-political body, has no place for “politically-active and bogus” members, he added.

Sources said a final decision on the inclusion of the new members would be taken at a meeting of the screening committee. The fate of the old members, who are no longer active in the local trade and have shifted to the other towns, would also be decided at the meeting, it is learnt.


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