C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sector 17 shopkeepers down shutters
Protest against ‘picking up’ of fellow trader by Haryana Police
Tribune News Service

Deepa, wife of Pardeep Kinger, shows a copy of the complaint.
Deepa, wife of Pardeep Kinger, shows a copy of the complaint.

Chandigarh, January 7
Shopkeepers of the Sector 17 market today closed their shutters in protest against the “picking up” of a shopkeeper by the Haryana Police and his implication in a false case allegedly at the behest of a Haryana MLA.

The victim, Pardeep Kinger, who runs a shop — Shimla Book Depot, SCO 89-91, Sector 17 D — and a billiards centre in Sector 34, was picked up two policemen — SI Shiv Kumar and constable Joginder Singh — of the Kaithal police for his alleged involvement in a case of illegally sending people abroad.

The police had told the family of the victim that he had taken Rs 6 lakh from an unknown person on the pretext of sending him abroad.

The Haryana Police informed the Sector 34 police station about the arrest.

However, Deepa, wife of Mr Kinger, in a written complaint to the Beopar Mandal, alleged that she had received threats on the phone for vacating the shop in Sector 17, which the caller, who identified himself as Daler Singh, claimed had been bought by the MLA.

She alleged that some influential persons had bought the “benami” property and were trying to oust them from the premises.

While the shopkeeper was picked up on December 30, the family, after making futile efforts to get him released, approached the Beopar Mandal later.

“When the issue was brought to our notice, we immediately announced the bandh call and organised a rally,” said mandal officer-bearer J.S. Kalra.

In her complaint, Deepa said she had been left alone to fend for her aged mother-in-law and daughter.

She demanded security and action against those who were threatening her over the phone.

She claimed that though her husband had nothing to do with the case of illegally sending people abroad, they were being harassed at the behest of the MLA, Maj Nirpinder Singh Sangwan.

On being contacted by Chandigarh Tribune, Major Sangwan, MLA from Charkhi Daddri, said he had nothing to do with the property. He said he was being unnecessarily named in the episode.

The shopkeeper was wanted in a case of taking money to send a person abroad illegally and he had no links with it, he said.

The SSP, Kaithal, could not be contacted for comments.

The shopkeeper has been remanded in judicial custody, it is learnt.

Inquiries reveal that the shop had been sold several times and the last General Power of Attorney (GPA) had been executed in name of two persons.

The Beopar Mandal has demanded that the matter be thoroughly probed into by the Hooda government to bring out the truth.



Nod to angling at Sukhna Lake
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Good news for anglers and environmentalists. The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has finally given a green signal to angling at the Sukhna Lake.

This will not only provide recreation to the local inhabitants and tourists but also help in removing “unwanted” fish.

However, to finalise the modalities regarding the issue of angling licence and to check its misuse, a five-member committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the Joint Secretary, Finance, who is also the Director, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. The committee will meet on January 9 in this regard.

Biologists said it was a good step towards fish conservation. They said angling, to some extent, would help in removing the fish that had attained old age and stopped breeding.

The Administration stopped auctioning of selective fishing in 1985. Afterwards, angling was also stopped. This resulted in ageing of fish that started living at the expanse of small fish, creating food and space problems for other aquatic species. They said even generations of sub-mating had reduced the growth rate of the fish.

One of the members of the committee said angling would also help to document aquatic fauna, its growth rate, the impact of the exotic species on the native fauna and hydrobiological conditions of the lake.

He said fish less than 40 cm should not allowed to be caught. The Administration should form an association to regulate angling so that unscrupulous elements might not take advantage of the relaxation. Only the association members should be allowed to hook the fish. For angling, the regulator end is the ideal location.

Regarding the concerns of bird lovers that angling could create food shortage for birds, he said most of the birds, especially migratory, feed on minnows and minor carps. He said the Fisheries Department should promote minnows to minimise inter-species competition for food.



Delay in MC poll politically
motivated, say ex-councillors

Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 7
Resentment prevails among former municipal councillors and other residents over the government’s failure to ensure that the town gets a new representative body as soon as possible. The term of the Municipal Council expired on November 23.

Former councillors say it is surprising that though the draft of the ward delimitation board was cleared around two months ago, objections from the public have not been invited so far.

The council is at present being headed by the Kharar SDM, Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu.

Sources say the Minister for Local Government, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, has given the green light for inviting objections in connection with the delimitation of wards though the relevant file has now got held up at the office of the Director.

Former councillors have expressed doubt over whether there is a plan to delay the poll till certain political leaders are sure about their popularity with the electors.

Mr Kulwant Singh, former president of the council, says elections should be held immediately so that the democratic process is restored at the earliest. He alleges that elections are being delayed by certain political leaders who do not have a base in the town.

He says instead of looking for popularity with electors, political leaders should help residents in getting an elected body at the earliest.

Mr Harinder Pal Singh Bila, who remained president of the civic body from 1995 to 2000, says he is interested in early elections which should be held only after the delimitation of wards is done all over again. The draft was cleared without taking into consideration the objections raised by him and Kharar MLA Bir Devinder Singh, he says.

Both of them were members of the delimitation board, which was headed by the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma.

Mr N.K. Marwaha, former municipal councillor, says the delay is politically motivated. He says under the relevant Act objections to the delimitations of wards should have been called soon after the draft was cleared by the board. It was up to the authorities concerned to see later whether the objections from the public were to be accepted or rejected.

Ms Amteshwar Kaur, another former municipal councillor, demands that elections should be held at the earliest as residents are facing problems and want their own elected body to work for them.



Indian mission to moon by 2008, says scientist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
India's first un-manned lunar mission to moon would become a reality by 2008. Eminent scientists drawn from agencies and government departments were working in co-ordination with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to make the mission a success, said Dr K.Kasturirangan, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

Dr Kasturirangan, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha, was in the town to inaugurate the academic session of the PGI here.

The lunar mission would be undertaken by a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), equipped with imagery x-ray, spectrograph to carry out physical, chemical and chronological elements of Moon, said the senior scientist.

Talking to mediapersons, he said the country was in a position to take up the mission to moon. After the successful launch of series of geo-synchronous and polar satellite launch vehicles and their capabilities, India was in a position to play a major role in planetary exploration.

Not denying that foreign participation would be allowed to a limited extent, he said the mission would be in full command of the country.

A former Secretary in the Department of Space, Dr Kasturirangan, said the 21st century was the era of planetary exploration and the nation's scientific faculty had the capability to explore various planetary systems.

The time had come for cooperation between different nations in exploring the planetary systems.

On being asked about the hurdles in the country's progress by 2020, he said parity had to be brought among different parts of the country. Better management of water for irrigation, genetic engineering and horticulture could help in pushing up the backward areas.

Earlier, Dr Kasturirangan, addressed new entrants at the PGI during the inauguration of the New Academic Session. On the relationship between space and medicine, he said telemedicine in India had gone a long way because of the humane approach of the medical fraternity.

He said there were many advanced viable systems in space science like image processing technology and digital models that could be used in medicine.

"Our dream is to make the PGI a modern hospital in the public sector", said Dr K.K. Talwar, Director, PGI. Till date the PGI had awarded 3,700 specialty degrees and 1,100 super specialty degrees.

Dr Talwar also listed the areas for research in future like stem cell, tissue engineering technologies and molecular genetics, cyber knife, PET scan , a burns unit and liver transplant facility have also been listed.



Public Gas Service’s licence suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Department of Explosives has suspended the licence of Public Gas Service, distributor of LPG in Sector 20.

This has been done following the alleged incident of pilferage of LPG by staff of the gas agency. Following the incident, the All-India LPG Dealer Federation distanced itself from the incident.

General secretary of the federation Reet M.P. Singh said it was an isolated incident and the federation wanted the distributor concerned to take action to satisfy its customers.

Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), in light of the incident, has made alternative arrangements for the consumers who were earlier getting supplies from the erring distributor.

Chief Area Manager, IOC, R.K. Tiku said for consumers of Sector 20 and 21, the supply would be available from Bindlesh Gas Service, SCO 184, Sector 7 C (Phone Nos. 2793649 and 2790519) and consumers of Ram Darbar, Phases I and II, could get their supply from Capital Gas Corporation, SCO 88-89, Sector 8 C (Phone Nos. 588772 and 2781535).

In case of any complaint, the consumers could contact the IOC officials at toll free No. 1600-180-1005.



Gang of snatchers busted, four held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
With the arrest of four persons, the local police today claimed to have busted a gang the snatchers.

SP Balbir Singh, said the gang was busted by the special staff following a tip-off. Snatchings worth about Rs 1 lakh were worked out with the arrest.

The gang members included Ram Sabharwal, a resident of Baltana, and Manoj, Rahul and Nitish, all residents of Housing Board Colony, Sector 19, here.

The police was interrogating the gang members and further recoveries are expected, the police said.



Role of Right to Information Act highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
“Mature democracies provide information and the Right to Information Act constitutes pillar of democracy,” stated Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab, Rajan Kashyap while speaking at a presentation organised by the Association of British Scholars, Chandigarh Chapter, on “Right to Information” at a Sector 24 hotel today.

Speaking about the right to information, he said the problem with India was that people were still under colonial legacy where they withheld information.

He further stated that with the revolution in the field of Information Technology there was a need for instant communication and thus the Right to Information Act was not only timely but also much needed.

“The right to information always existed, but it was so through informal channels and under-the-table deals. The Act has only legalised the system and rendered the under-the-table transactions unnecessary.”

The Act, he added, was made with a lot of thought. However, like other countries, the Act in India too had been linked to many restrictions.

Mr Kashyap also said work was on to create the official website for Punjab and it was being undertaken by the National Informatics Centre.

He said a proposal to accept enquiries through e-mail by the post office was under consideration.

The talk ended with a question-answer round wherein he clarified and answered doubts of the audience regarding the Act.



SAD blocks traffic against custodial death
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, January 7
Demanding the registration of a criminal case against Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel for their alleged involvement in the custodial death of Gurmail Singh, a resident of Kakrali village, activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) blocked traffic on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway here today.

Led by former Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh, the protesters marched in a procession from a gurdwara to the local bus stand and later blocked traffic at the bus stand for some time to register their protest, causing inconvenience to scores of motorists.

Addressing the protesters, Capt Kanwaljit Singh came down heavily on the Punjab Government for its failure to check the rising crime in the state. The custodial death of Gurmail Singh was the latest case of human rights violation in the state, which showed no sign of abatement, he alleged.

General secretary of the Patiala district unit of the SAD Amrik Singh Malakpur demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and adequate security for the family, which was still receiving threats.

SGPC member Narmail Singh Jaula Kalan said the party would launch an agitation if the guilty were not brought to book.

Dera Bassi circle president of the party Baljit Singh Parkaur also addressed the protesters.



New section at British Library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Home-cum-Education Secretary Krishan Mohan today inaugurated a new section, “Biography and Indian History”, at the British Library. With more than 300 biographies and auto-biographies, the section offers 500 titles in the Indian history section.

The manager of the library, Mr Sushant Banerjee, termed the section as a New Year gift to the members.

Addressing the inaugural function, the Home Secretary described the opening of the new section as a pioneer effort by the library, which would immensely benefit the people of not only Chandigarh but also of the satellite towns of Mohali and Panchkula. The ambience and the variety of books offered by the library were unparalleled elsewhere, he added.

Expressing concern over the declining reading habits in people due to other means of entertainment, he said various measures should be undertaken to revert people back to reading books.

The section will enable the readers to have an insight into the lives and homes of the great personalities like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr Nelson Mandela, Mr Dan Brown, Mr David Beckham, and President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.



Workshop on technology management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Dr R.S. Khandpur, Director General of the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Jalandhar, today stressed the need for relating the technology to the management to make it people-friendly and more productive.

Inaugurating a workshop on technology management: prospects and profits here, Dr Khandpur said different systems needed to be simplified to make them quicker and effective.

In his welcome address, Dr V.S. Pandey, managing director of the North India Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited (NITCON), highlighted the fast pace of change in technology which had revolutionised common man’s life.

The Additional Director of Punjab Engineering College, Dr S.C. Dhawan, was upbeat about the prospects of a thriving IT industry in the tricity in the wake of the government agencies coming together.

Prominent among those, who spoke on the occasion included Dr Jyoti S.A. Bhat, Adviser to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), and Dr Vinay Kumar, a former DSIR Adviser.



2 hurt as car, JCB collide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 7
Two persons were injured in a collision between a car and JCB near Daon village here last night.

Mr R.S. Cheema, a resident of Sector 71, here who suffered a fracture in the arm, said that seven persons travelling in an Innova car had a narrow escape but vehicle got badly damaged. He said that his sister, Mrs Gurvinder Kaur, also sustained a fracture in her arm.

Mr Cheema said they were coming to Mohali when a JCB coming the opposite direction suddenly turned and banged into his car. He alleged that the driver of the JCB was under the influence of liquor .



Pak experts to meet the media

Chandigarh, January 7
The Chandigarh Press Club is organising an interaction of its members with a delegation of leading luminaries and experts from Pakistan in the fields of academic, agriculture, industry, trade, tourism, culture and media tomorrow. The event is being organised in collaboration with the South Asia Free Media Association. TNS



One held for stealing manhole cover
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 7
A person stealing manhole cover from Phase V was caught red-handed by the owner of the house here last night.

Mr Balwinder Singh said that he heard that the gate of his house being opened by someone after 10 p.m. When he went out he reportedly saw a person taking away a manhole cover from the courtyard. He immediately rushed outside and caught one person while the second one managed to escape. When he went outside he saw that a rickshaw was parked there in which more manhole covers were lying. The person was later handed over to the police.

The police registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC in this regard.



Goods worth 50,000 stolen

Mohali, January 7
Goods worth about Rs 50,000 were stolen from a shop dealing in watches in Sohana village last night.

The owner of the shop said thieves had taken away watches, CDs and two CD players from the shop after breaking the locks. He came to know about the theft this morning when a neighbour gave him information in this regard. OC



Apartment project to start in Feb
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
The Uppal group has started Marble Arch project in Mani Majra here.

Mr Manish Uppal, managing director of the Uppal Housing Private Limited, said here yesterday that the company had roped in the world-renowned architect Oru Bose of the Bose International, USA, for the luxury apartment project, slated to come up on a five-acre plot in Mani Majra, which the group purchased for Rs 108 crore recently.

The possession of the land is likely to be handed over to the group in February and the project would be completed in 21 months’ time, Mr Uppal said. The complex will have 175 to 200 three to four bedroom apartments with servant quarter, ultra-modern amenities, hidden air-conditioning in every room.


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