C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Site on potholes may herald smooth ride
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Ever heard about Chandigarhpothole.com? Chances are that you have not. However, it is worth knowing about it because some day it can come handy for those wanting to get their problems, like a potholed road in front of their house, solved.

This website has been developed by four self-employed young technocrats. One of them, Nakul Goyal now lives in the USA and other three—Sumit Bahl, Karan Goyal and Divanshu Bahl—are local boys. However, main role the development of the website has been played by Nakul and Sumit.

All these young technocrats have inspected most of the roads in the City Beautiful to collect information regarding potholes. And wherever they saw any pothole, they photographed it and put its detail on the website. By now, they have put information regarding two dozen potholes on the above mentioned site. There is complete detail about every pothole and in some cases, these details are accompanied by a photograph also.

The site is for the tricity-Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. ‘‘Anyone who finds any pothole anywhere in these three cities, can get the same photographed and send to the website through e-mail on infochandigarhpothole.com. and it will be put on the site immediately. Details can be sent without a photograph about the location of the pothole. We will be opening the site four times in a day and also check e-mail simultaneously’’, says Nakul, who is in the city these days to meet his parents.

When asked about the objective of creating this website, Nakul says that it has been created to provide an opportunity to people to share their jerky road experiences with others. ‘‘Now almost all young boys, girls and other citizens have mobile phones with a facility to click photographs. They can easily take a photograph of the pothole and send it to us. And from our site, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, Municipal Committee of Mohali and authorities concerned in Panchkula can gather information regarding the potholes to get the same repaired at the earliest possible’’.

He said ‘‘after carrying out repair work these government bodies can inform us and we would remove the information regarding the repaired pothole from the site. In due course, this site can prove very beneficial and serve many purposes. Even those coming from outside to Chandigarh can gather information from the site to find out which road is worth travelling on and which is not. Even advisories from the Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula police regarding traffic diversion during the visit of VIPs or major demonstrations can be put on the site. And information regarding any road to be closed for a few hours or more for repair on any specific day can also be put on this site’’, he added.

He said a similar site was being made in Bangalore by some public- spirited youth. The municipal authorities there download information from that site and inform the site managers after carrying out repairs of the damaged parts of the road.

Nakul, who had also developed a software for California police to flash information regarding missing or abducted boys to all policemen within seconds, says that Chandigarh and its surrounding areas were emerging as a major destination for Information Technology.

‘‘We want to do some creative things like the launch of this site to inform the world that Chandigarh really deserved to be such a destination’’, he adds.

He said he and his colleagues would welcome suggestions from technical minds to make this site more public friendly by making some more suitable additions.



Reunited with family after 2 years
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Rashid (right) is all smiles on being united with his father, Jahid, who went missing from Nagina, Uttar Pradesh, two years ago. He was found in a pathetic condition in Nayagaon, before being united with his family by an NGO.
Rashid (right) is all smiles on being united with his father, Jahid, who went missing from Nagina, Uttar Pradesh, two years ago. He was found in a pathetic condition in Nayagaon, before being united with his family by an NGO. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 21
Be it the chilly nights of December or the scorching sun of the summers. A dusty roadside in Nayagaon was home to 35-year-old band master Jahid for the past two years.

Suffering from loss of sense of comprehension and a partial memory loss, he was reduced to virtual wreck, abused by passersby and fed only by some good Samaritans. His unkempt hair, overgrown nails and tattered clothes had transformed his identity.

His family back home in Uttar Pradesh kept on searching for him in the nearby areas. Little did they know that he was hundreds of miles away from home struggling with life in a pathetic condition.

One day, a social worker on noticing the condition of Sajid, called up the UT Red Cross for help which found a home for him at Jai Durga Deaf and Handicapped Children Welfare Centre, Centre 27, here on December 4.

“All the man could speak was his name and the name of his two sons. It took a lot of hard work, persuasion and medical treatment to make his recall the place he belonged to”, said Dr P.D. Gautam, Chairman of the Centre.

“The day we brought him here, he consumed 35 chapatis. He had an erratic behaviour. We gathered hints from the inconsistent replies he gave and we managed to contact his family members. He is unable to explain how he landed in the city”, said Dr Gautam.

Due to efforts by the Centre, Jahid was finally united with his son, Rashid, who came from Nagina to take him home.

Thrilled on being united with his father, Rashid, told the Chandigarh Tribune that he had never given up hope. “The moment I got the call, I took a bus and landed in the city”, he said.

He recalled that his father went missing about two years ago and they searched for him in and around Delhi. Four years ago, he had gone missing but was traced in Punjab.

“We have spent the major chunk of family earning in getting him treated. But it did not help”, said Rashid.



Bansal supporters to go to Delhi today
Race for Mayor’s post hots up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
One group of the local unit of the Congress, owing allegiance to the Member Parliament, Mr Pawan Bansal, will be leaving for Delhi tomorrow . Since the party has failed to arrive at any consensus on the name of candidate for Mayor’s post, the elections for which are scheduled for January 1, they want Mr Bansal to intervene in choosing the candidate. The process of filing of nominations for the post of the Mayor will commence from December 26.

The local unit of the Congress, which is at present split into two groups, has four candidates in race for the coveted post from Mr Bansal’s group and two others from President of the local unit. B.B Bahl’s group. Mr Pradeep Chhabra, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr H.S Lucky and former Mayor Subhash Chawla are among the possible contenders from Bansal’s group, the names of Mr Chandermukhi and Ms Shyama Negi are among the contenders from the Bahl group.

Sources in the party add that while the Bahl group has almost decided upon to field Mr Chandermukhi as the mayoral candidate, there is a split in the Bansal group on the nominee. The fracas in the group came to the fore in the meeting of the Youth Congress yesterday when the President of the local unit of Youth Congress, Mr H.S Lucky, put forth a proposal of unanimously recommending his name for the post before the party high command. Even though Mr Lucky has denied the reports that have appeared in various sections of newspapers and has also refused to accept Mr Rajeev Awasthi and Mr Ashwani Kaushal, who had opposed him in the meeting, as vice-president and general secretary of the youth Congress. He has sent a press note denying yesterday’s incident by getting signatures of few party workers, but the same does not bear his signature.

Rumours of a split in the Bansal group a few days ago were also put to rest through a similar press note stating that they stand united. Mr Surinder Singh is staking his claim by saying that he will be the first Sikh to be nominated for the post and a representative of the villagers, Lucky is seeking support on the ground of having big plans for the Youth Congress. Mr Pradeep Chhabra has already started knocking at the doors of the party high command at Delhi. Even as Mr Chawla denies being in the race his supporters feel that the choice of the next Mayor of the city is crucial as elections to the civic body are due next year. He should not only see the party through an easy win but should also be able to keep pace with the Administration for carrying out various developmental works.

Mr Chandermukhi Sharma is banking on his goodwill at the Centre. He is also staking claim on the ground that at the time of the formation of the MC, Mr Bansal had assured that all Congress councillors would be given a chance to occupy one of the 15 posts at least once during the tenure of the MC. Hence, he is the right claimant for the post this time.

Meanwhile, Mr Bansal , who is pre-occupied with the inquiries in Operation Duryodhan and Operation Chakravyuh, is too busy to concentrate on the affairs of Chandigarh. Hence, his supporters have no option but to go and meet him in Delhi. What remains to be seen is that whether Mr Bansal himself chooses the next mayoral nominee or authorises Mr B.B Bahl to do the needful.



Admn seeks reply from MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
The Chandigarh Administration has sought an explanation from the MC officials as to why they have so far not got its prime chunks of land, which are under litigation, demarcated.

Sources say that the Administration has taken a serious note of the issue which was raised in the meeting of the MC House yesterday.

During discussions, it came to light that MC has still not got some of its land, cases regarding which are pending in the courts, demarcated till date. They do not have the required details of the land which is actually being occupied by the illegal occupants, who managed to get stay orders against land vacation from various courts, sources add.



Jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh stolen
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 21
Jewellery worth about Rs 2 lakh, Rs 50,000 in cash and watches were stolen from a house in Phase X here.

According to information available, the owner of the house was out of station when the theft took place. The thieves decamped with about 25 tolas of gold jewellery, diamond rings, 4 kg of silver, watches and cash.

It is reported that Mr Mohinder Singh Matharu had gone to Khanna along with members of his family as his father had died there. When his elder son came back on Sunday evening everything was alright. But when his son came back on Tuesday evening he found that the house had been ransacked.

The thieves had reportedly entered the house from the back courtyard and gained entry into the building after removing a window pane. They searched all the rooms in the house as things were lying scattered everywhere. The lock put on the main gate of the house was intact.

The police is investigating the matter.



Mutilated body found
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 21
The mutilated and decomposed body of a man was found near Mundi Kharar tonight. According to the police, the unidentified man was aged around 35 years.

The body was found lying in bushes in the fields and seemed to have been mutilated by animals. It was not immediately clear whether the man had been murdered or had met with an accident.

Information in this regard was given to the police by a woman. The DSP, Mr Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu, and the city police post in charge, Mr Ramesh Kumar, reached the spot. The body was sent to the Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination. The post-mortem is likely be conducted after about two days as the police wants the body to be identified.

This is the second case of a body having been found in the Kharar area in the past four days. On December 18, a 22-year-old resident of Badmajra village was found murdered and his body was recovered from bushes on the outskirts of the village. The victim was later identified as Harjinder Singh.



33 LPG cylinders seized
Tribune News Service

Ambala, December 21
Thirty-three LPG cylinders were seized from a shop in Mohra during a raid this morning. It is the second incident in which LPG cylinders were seized from a shop.



Over 50,000 Indians at Haj
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, December 21
Over 50,000 Muslims have reached the final stage of their Haj pilgrimage. According to official Indian Consulate spokesperson in Jeddah, out of a total of 53,617 pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia so far, 41,449 have reached Madina Munawwara and the remaining were now in Jeddah.

Giving out further details he said that the Haj operations were entering the fourth week and were going on smoothly. So far 181 special Haj flights had brought these pilgrims, 30961 of whom were currently in Mecca Mukarrama.

The pilgrims include five Indians over 100 years of age. These include Mr Hafizur Rahman (105) from Assam and Mr Chote Khan (106) from Uttar Pradesh. Four out of these five were taken for the Haj by the Haj Committee of India and one by a private tour operator.

He said about 1200 pilgrims had arrived in Azizia, where Indian pilgrims were being accommodated for the first time. For the Indian pilgrims the Indian Haj Mission Office, the Medical Mission Office and 10 branch offices and branch dispensaries were fully functional and are giving round the clock service to the pilgrims.

The spokesperson said that the Indian pilgrims had expressed satisfaction over the accommodation provided as well as the transportation arrangements made for travel to Haram Sharif from Azizia. He also disclosed that a toll free 24-hour helpline had been established for the benefit of the pilgrims. Its number is 8001160055.

For screening the pilgrims, new x-ray machines have been installed at the main Haj Hospital in Mecca and Madina that have so far examined 44603 pilgrims and cleared them for the final pilgrimage. According to the Indian Consulate spokesperson, health authorities at Mecca have expressed satisfaction over the medical arrangements made by the Indian Haj Mission and are considering suggesting to other Missions to replicate this experiment.



Man died accidentally, not murdered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 21
The Chandigarh Police said today that the Tuesday morning’s ‘murder’ was nothing but a case of an accidental death. The police said the victim was sleeping under a bus and was crushed to death when the bus was moved in the wee hours of Tuesday in Colony Number 5 here.

The police had recovered the body of Raju, a native of Bihar, lying in a pool of blood along the roadside in the colony. A case of murder had been registered in this regard on the basis of a statement given by one Kedar Nath, who runs a public call office there. There were injury marks found on the rear of victim’s head.

The DSP (South), Mr K.I.P. Singh, said the investigations revealed that it was not a murder as the police had earlier believed it, but was an accidental death. Even the post-mortem reports had not ruled out the possibility of the victim’s head being crushed under the tyres of the bus. He added that the injuries were not inflicted by a sharp-edged weapon as earlier believed by the police.

The DSP said during the interrogation, a priest of the Shiv temple in the colony, from where the body was recovered, told the police that he heard a roar of bus engine in the morning. The body was found later and was lying where the bus was parked. The police worked on the clue and impounded the bus (UP-44-C-9262) from a Manimajra workshop late last night, where it was taken for a routine maintenance. The bus belonged to Kedar Nath, who informed the police about the body lying in the colony. The police said the driver and cleaner of the bus did not care to see under the bus and moved the bus, resulting in the death of the victim.

The DSP added that the case had been amended to causing death by rash and negligent driving. The police had booked Om Prakash, the driver of the bus.

Earlier in the day, the police had called Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) experts to the scene to reconstruct the sequence of the event.



Board asks administration to help check noise pollution
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 21
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has requested the local administration to provide information in connection with persons who seek permission to run loud speakers at social functions so that noise levels could be monitored.

Noise pollution has become a problem in the town as persons holding marriage functions played at very high pitch even after the stipulated time.

The problem was discussed at a meeting held in the office of the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma. Others, who were present at the meeting, were Mr S.K. Sharma, SDO, PPCB, Mr Tarsem Singh Rai, Municipal Engineer of the local civic body, and Mr Rajesh Kumar, Accountant of the Secretary of the Kharar Market Committee.

It is learnt that the PPCB official requested the SDM to provide all information to the Pollution Control Board regarding persons who sought permission to play music at marriage or other functions so that a team of the PPCB could monitor the noise levels during surprise checks. The information gathered during such checks would be forwarded to the SDM for appropriate action.

According to pollution control norms, the noise level should not disturb people living around marriage palaces or community centres. People holding functions at places located near educational institutions and hospitals had to be more careful so that the noise level remained within the premises of the building where the function was being held.



PPCB ultimatum to industrial units
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 21
The Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, has given 15 days time to some electroplating industrial units here to install effluent treatment plants, failing which the units would be closed down.

The owners of eight industrial units set up in different parts of the industrial area were called for a hearing yesterday at the camp office of the PPCB located in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The PPCB had served notices last month to these industrial units for violating pollution control norms after it had found during a check that the effluent treatment plants had not been installed by some units while these were not functional in the case of other units.

According to sources, out of the eight industrial unit owners who presented themselves before the chairman, two of them said that they had set up effluent treatment plants after they were served notices. The owners of the remaining six units assured that these would be set up within the time period given to them.

It is alleged that these electroplating units were causing water pollution in the area as untreated water was being thrown into the sewer lines.

The industrial units that were inspected by officials of the PPCB were R.D. Industries, Arsh International and Power Magic, Phase IX, Metal and Metal, Phase VIII, King Forgings, New Age Metal, Super Industry and Continental Engineering, Phase VII and K.P. Industries, Phase V.



Construction of link road sought
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 21
A former municipal councillor has demanded that the link road between Sector 65 and Sector 47, Chandigarh, should be constructed on priority basis.

Mr Amrik Singh said in a press note here today that a deputation of municipal councillors had met the Punjab Governor on March 7, 2001, and requested that all link roads that connected Chandigarh to Mohali should be constructed soon. He said though a number of link roads had been constructed, PUDA had not bothered to construct the road linking Sector 65 to Sector 47.

He said he had requested PUDA officials a number of times in this regard but nothing had been done so far. In fact, an estimate for the construction of the road had also been prepared twice over the years but no work had started.

He said PUDA could not sell plots in the area reserved for the bulk material market because the link road connecting Chandigarh had not been constructed.



Rights panel seeks report from IG
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
The National Human Rights Commission has directed the IGP, Chandigarh, to take appropriate action in the case of inmates who were beaten up at Burail Jail by the jail staff in October last. The IGP has been asked to submit action taken report within six weeks to the commission.

Mr Arvind Thakur, general secretary of the Human Rights International, had alleged that the inmates were beaten up in the high-security Burail Jail here.

Rajesh, alias Raja, who was in judicial custody, was allegedly beaten up by certain jail employees, reportedly without “any provocation”. Rajesh, who was produced in a court, alleged that a jail official wanted him to change his counsels, Mr Amar Singh Chahal, and Mr Arvind Thakur.

“When I refused to change my counsels, I was mercilessly beaten up with belts,” Rajesh had alleged.

Then the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ms Neerja Kulwant Kalson, ordered that the medical examination of the accused be done at General Hospital, Sector 16. Rajesh was booked by the Chandigarh police for allegedly scaling the wall of the Burail Jail to meet his wife inside the jail complex.



Poor children get toys, clothes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
Mrs Jean Rodrigues, wife of the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, today visited Karuna Sadan and distributed toys, blankets and winter clothes among the under-privileged children of a colony in Sector 38 (West).

Small kids, learning with the efforts of an NGO under the project Pustak for educating and empowering slum children, were thrilled and excited to receive the gifts. Interacting with Mr P.H. Vaishnav, former Chief Secretary, Punjab, Col Ravi Bedi, Dr Tehal Kohli and other volunteers, Mrs Rodrigues emphasised that the sustainable, community development programme for empowering the poor children and upgrading their life had been an integral part of the UT endeavour and needed to be further stepped up.



Seminar on Right to Information Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
The local chapter of the Institute of Company Secretaries today organised a seminar on “Good Governance, Corruption and Right to Information Act”, according to a press note issued here today.

Mr Mukesh Sharma, General Manager of the FCI, Haryana and Punjab, said governance defines the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economy and social resources. He said the Right to Information Act had empowered the citizens to seek information from any public office, subject to the related provision in the Act. The Act ensures greater accountability and greater transparency.

Prof Veer Singh, Dean University, Instructions of Panjab University and Dr A.C. Vaid, Principal of GGDSD College, Sector 32, also spoke on the occasion.



Gold, cash stolen from car in PU
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 21
A bag containing gold ornaments and Rs 2500 was stolen from a car parked in Panjab University campus while in another incident thieves decamped with jewellery and cash from a house in Sector 41-D. Elsewhere, a motor cycle was reportedly stolen form the city. Besides this, the local police arrested two persons for allegedly indulging in gambling.

Mr Rajiv Bedi of Sector 38 (West) lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his bag containing a gold ring, a driving licence, a cheque book, a credit card and cash Rs 2500 was stolen from his car, which was parked near Ankur public School in the Panjab University campus on Tuesday. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.


Mr Ajay Kumar of Sector 41-D reported to the police alleging that two gold rings, two gold earrings, a gold chain and Rs 1350 were stolen from his residence during Monday night. A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Balwant Singh Rawat of New Indira Colony, Manimajra, filed a complaint to the police alleging that his Bajaj calibre motorcycle (CH-03-3470) was stolen from his residence on Monday night. A case has been registered in the Manimajra police station.


The local police has arrested Bittu of Sector 29 from rehri market in the same sector and Javed of Colony Number 4 from the same locality for allegedly indulging in gambling at public place on Tuesday. The cops recovered Rs 210 and Rs 205 from their possession.

Two separate cases under Gambling Act have been registered in this regard.



Sangrur resident held for cheating
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 21
The local police arrested a Sangrur resident on the allegation of cheating for appearing in a physical test in place of his acquaintance. The other accused managed to flee from the spot, said the police.

Giving details sources in the Sector 34 police station said a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 419, 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code has been registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr H.S. Kandola, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

It was alleged that Pargat Singh of Bhutian village in district Sangrur appeared in a physical test in place of his class mate Karamjit Singh. The test for the general category candidate was conducted for the post of fireman at the Sector 46 spots stadium on Tuesday. The accused was caught while taking the rope climbing test, when the examiner checked the photograph of candidate on the form. The police was called at the spot.

The cops took Pargat in custody while Karamjit managed to flee from the spot. Pargat was produced before a local court today, which remanded him to judicial custody till January 3, 2006. A senior police officer when contacted said efforts were on to trace the other accused.



7 parking zones fetch high prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21
As many as seven paid parking zones of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) in various sectors of the city fetched higher prices from the bidders during the auction held here today. The paid parkings of Zone-II in Sector 8 , Zone I and II in Sector 34 and 35 fetched almost double that of their fixed reserved prices. All the paid parking zones will function afresh from January 1, 2006.

Of the total 19 paid parking sites, seven were auctioned today, while the remaining would be auctioned tomorrow. The parking area in front of Sahib Singh Verma in Sector 17 was not included in today’s auction for the MCC is planning to computerise the paid parking here. To begin with this paid parking will be manned by the MC employees but once it becomes fully operational, there will be no need to for any manpower at this proposed automatic paid parking site. Sources in MC disclose that it would take time as at present a proposal is being formulated to study similar arrangements in some other parts of the country.

The paid parking Zone-I in Sector 8 in front of SCO 19, 20 and 21 fetched Rs 26 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 12.84 lakh, while Zone-II of Sector 8, in front of SCO 117-119 fetched Rs 11.30 lakh instead of RS 7.65 lakh. The parking site in Sector-9, in front of SCO 9 to 30 and 34 to 55 were auctioned for Rs 21.40 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 17 lakh.

The parking site in Sector 35-C, whose reserve price was Rs 44.20 lakh, fetched Rs 54.1 lakh. The Zone I and II of Sector 34 City Sub centre fetched a price of Rs 36.10 lakh and 26 lakh, respectively, against their reserved prices of Rs 23 lakh and Rs 18.80 lakh, respectively. The parking site in Sector 22-C went for Rs 13.95 lakh against a fixed reserve price of Rs 13.90 lakh.

The above mentioned parking areas were put to hammer today under the supervision of the Additional Commissioner, Mr O.P. Popli. At present paid parking system exists in six sectors, including Sectors 8, 9, 17, 22, 34 and 35. Four other paid parking areas are Sector 5 Lake Club, Shanti Kunj, Sector 16, the back of Neelam cinema, Sector 17 and Piccadily cinema in Sector 34.

As per the decision of the House, the contracts now on will be on calendar basis for one year from January onwards.

Meanwhile, car passes will be issued on a payment of Rs 300, while the charges for the two-wheelers will be Rs 150. Cyclists and rickshaw-pullers will be exempted from paying any parking fee.

The colours of the passes to be issued to mediapersons, gallantry awardees, handicapped persons, monthly city passes and sector parking passes will be of different colours to avoid any confusion. They will also have halogen marks to ensure that no duplicate passes are made.


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