C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IT park hotel site goes to DLF for Rs 75 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9
The Chandigarh Administration recorded a major success in the auction of a five-star hotel site at the IT park, recording the final bid of Rs 75 crore in favour of the DLF company at Hotel Shivalikview here today.

The reserve price for the site measuring 4.0871 acres was Rs 43.56 crore. The auction for the site on December 3, 2005, had to be cancelled because there was no bidder other than the DLF-Hilton which had offered Rs 1 lakh more than the reserve price. It was pointed out that people wanted freehold land instead of leasehold.

There were four other major bidders for the site. These were Gold Resorts, AHL Hotels, Bharat Hotels and Stanfred. Gold Resorts made the first offer of Rs 45 crore and continued till its last bid of Rs 55.75 crore. Stanfred, in race on behalf of the Oberois, a leading hotel chain, stayed in the fray till the end. Representatives of the DLF sat quietly during the first half of the bidding and made the first offer at the price of Rs 65 crore.

Mr N.S. Brar, Assistant State Officer, said: “25 per cent of the charges will be made today while the remaining sum has to be deposited within 90 days. The lease amount payable for the first 33 years is 2.5 per cent, for the next 33 years it is 3.75 per cent and it will be 5 per cent in the last 33 years.” A sum of Rs 18.75 crore was deposited by the successful bidders.

The bidders felt that the Administration had bagged a very good deal. Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, said: “We were being asked to change the status of the property auction to freehold to ensure a good price.”

Mr Yogesh Verma, Managing Director, DLF Infocity Development, said: “We will be starting work on the project immediately and expect a total expenditure of Rs 250 crore to provide state-of-the-art facilities. In addition to an estimated Rs 800 crore at the special economic zone in Amritsar, the DLF is already a major player in the construction.



Monty’s relatives make their presence felt
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
It was a day for the family and relatives of English left-arm spinner Monty Panesar. They had come to watch Monty perform against the country of his father’s origin — India.

Paramjit Singh and Gursharan Kaur, father and mother of Monty, were praying that England wins. Paramjit attired in an English team jersey, was candid “England should win since we live there and Monty plays for that country”. Actually it should be a matter of pride for India that Monty had become the first Sikh to play for England.

The proud mother echoed the views of her husband, “I support the English team.”

His other relatives said: “It did not bother us who wins but just that Monty should do well.” The Panesar family comprised 35 persons, including his paternal and maternal grandparents, who live in Ludhiana and Yamunanagar, respectively.

This is the first time that Monty’s maternal grandmother came to the stadium to see the match. “This is the happiest moment of my life as my grandson has made the whole family members proud,” she said.

However, the family was also a little disappointed as they could not see Monty in action as England team chose to bat first after winning the toss.

“Coming here to see Monty in action is like a family function and we wish both teams best of luck,” said one of the relatives of Monty. His younger brother Ishar Singh will come to the city on March 11.



Panchkula MC passes 23.77 cr budget
Tribune News Service

Total budget outlay for 2006-07—Rs 23.77 crore

Money to be spent on development work—Rs 11.77 crore

Money reserved for contingency funds, establishment costs etc—Rs 8 crore.

Closing balance (estimated)—Rs 5 crore

Panchkula, March 9
The municipal council today unanimously passed a budget of Rs 23.77 crore for carrying out various development works during 2006-07.
The budget was passed by all 26 councillors. Though the MC had made a budgetary provision for Rs 18.77 crore for the coming fiscal, the councillors led by Mr R. K. Kakkar and Mr V. K. Sood reasoned that since no development work had been undertaken during the past year, the budget allocation should be increased by Rs 1 crore, especially for undertaking road repair work.

Last year, only Rs 2.5 crore had been spent, mostly as establishment costs, from a sanctioned budget of Rs 18.7 crore. Because of the near non-cooperation to the then MC president, Mr Tarun Bhandari, by the councillors, negligible development was undertaken. Also, because of a string of inquiries by HUDA and the state Vigilance Bureau, payments worth Rs 2.3 crore to various contractors had been stopped. As a result, no contractor was willing to take up development work.

As the issue of last year’s budget not being utilised came up for discussion, a war of words ensued between the administrative staff and the councillors as to who was responsible for the unutilised budget. Mr C. B. Goel, BJP councillor, said even the administrative staff should be made accountable in such a scenario.

As regards the contractors not willing to take up contracts, the councillors were unanimous that tenders should be allotted to contractors not listed by the government.

The secretary of the MC, Mr M. Dhiman, said they had an opening balance of Rs 14.06 crore this year and were expecting an income of Rs 11.09 crore this year.

During the meeting chaired by Ms Kuljit Waraich, acting president of the House, the councillors agreed that Rs 11.77 crore would be spent on development works and the remaining Rs 8 crore would be used as contingency fund, establishment cost and miscellaneous expenses. 



Father, son booked for duping bank
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 9
The police today booked two Mohali residents for allegedly duping the State Bank of Patiala branch at Mani Majra of over Rs 5.10 lakh by selling half of property they had mortgaged to the bank against a loan. Besides, two mobile phones and cash were stolen from a house in Sector 23.

Sources in the economic offences wing of the Chandigarh police said a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC had been registered against Rameshwar Goel and his son Gaurav Goel, both residents of Phase X, Mohali, on a complaint filed by the Branch Manager of the State Bank of Patiala at Mani Majra.

It was alleged that the father-son duo had taken a loan from the bank by mortgaging a 230-square yard piece of land in Zirakpur. Later, they sold a piece measuring 115 square yard out of it. 



Anti-Sikh riot victims cane-charged
Police prevents immolation bid by some protesters
Naveen S Garewal and
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9
With wounded spirits and battered egos, the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims from various parts of Punjab, descended on the Matka Chowk, some furious and even willing to take extreme steps to shake the conscience of the government, seeking justice.

The day's events could have turned tragic, but for the timely intervention by the police as some protesters sprinkled kerosene upon themselves. The police had to resort to a mild cane charge and at the end of the day, justice continued to remain elusive, while the protesters ended up with bruised bodies, deflated hope and mere assurance.

Harbhajan Kaur of Ludhiana echoed the sentiments of those present, claiming that every whack in the hand-to-hand combat by the police deployed "to keep them in control" came as a blow to the resilient Punjabi nature.

"The water cannons fired at us have drowned every ray of hope. We survived the riots and the aftermath but this is nothing short of insult," she said.

Members of the Danga Peerrat Welfare Society (Punjab) based out of Ludhiana that spearheaded the protest said they had been fighting for their rights for over 20 years, but all they had got so far were assurances. The office-bearers of the society said they would continue to struggle and even form some kind of a pressure group prior to the next general elections in Punjab.

Though, the police action prevented a repeat of the immolation in Patiala, but it has opened old wounds of injustice, said an old lady. The police action left some protesters with minor injuries. Those "picked up" by the police were released unconditionally later.

Seventy-six-year old Bhagat Singh Suri, a resident of Mohali, bleeding from the forehead after the "bashing up by the police", summed up the tribulation of the rest.

"This is the '84 riots revisited. Our turbans flew all over the road, our women were manhandled and shoved around, our men were pulled by their hair---the police attack was ghastly. The Congress government at the Centre, were trying to mend fences, while here the Congress government in the state is trying to afflict more pain on us," he rued.

Joining issue with him was 68-year-old Dugri (Ludhiana) resident Harbans Kaur who limped back from the barricades to a "safe place" at a distance after a sharp blow landed on her legs.

"We are only asking for what is due to us from the government, nothing unreasonable. However, our men tried to cross the barricade to hand over our memorandum to a government functionary. Before we knew it, a shower of blows and water had us running for cover. The police didn't seem concerned about who they were hitting and where the blow landed. It was downright callous," she emphasised.

Maintaining that theirs was an unending tale of misery and anguish, the riot victims said that the Punjab Government was dilly-dallying in the matter.

"The government itself admits that there are 22,000 families who have to be given compensation. The money has reached them but failed to make it to us, the real victims of the riots," says Vice-President of the society, Mr Harcharan Singh Channi.

"In Ludhiana, the Deputy Commissioner organised a special camp to redress our problems today. The last date for the same was February 22 all over the country. It was part of a larger conspiracy to prevent us from getting together. Also, we are not thieves on the prowl that they need to investigate," the President of the women's wing of the association, Ms Gurdeep Kaur, maintained.

By evening, the police not only organised a meeting of the union members with a government functionary to whom the memorandum was handed over but also let them off without pressing any charges against them. The riot victims were down but not out, hoping good sense would prevail eventually.



Admin for monorail

Chandigarh, March 9
The Chandigarh Administration is committed to pursuing the monorail project in the city, reliable sources said here today. This was in response to the reported comments by Mr E. Sreedharan, the man behind the Delhi Metro, at a meeting with Haryana government officials yesterday. TNS



Reckless drivers will have to pay for their ‘thrills’
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, March 9
Reckless riders, think twice before zigzagging your way away from traffic rules on busy roads during rush hours. If caught, you will have to pay fine for the 'thrills'. Also, make sure your bike's tail lamp is glowing while zipping down the fast track of life at night, lest the traffic police issues you a bill. For, the cops have resolved to enforce lane discipline and make night driving safer.

So far, the cops have challaned over 100 such violators during their two-day drive on the Chandigarh-Panchkula highway from March 2. Other busy roads would also be targeted. Similarly, they had issued challans to 53 cars for use of high beam and 10 two-wheelers were challaned for non-functional tail lights in a late evening naka on the Madhya Marg on day one of the drive on February 28. The sources added that the cops would be carrying out a concerted drive to check this violation of non functional tail-lamps under''operation tail-light".

The sources in the local police said out of 516 accidents reported last year, a majority took place between 7 pm and 5 am. In a substantial number of these mishaps involving two-wheelers, non-functional tail lamp was the culprit.

Changing lanes and overtaking from the wrong side to find way through the heavy rush was another reason."They were not only putting their lives in danger but also creating panic and confusion among the other motorists by overtaking from just any side," said sources.

Elaborating, the sources added that studies carried out by the research wing of the police had revealed that two-wheelers with non-functional tail-lamps were more prone to accidents, compared to other vehicles, due to poor visibility. Similarly, zigzagging drivers were bound to end up in hospitals sooner or later after skidding or ramming into other vehicles.

Giving details, the sources said those indulging in lane violations, especially zigzag driving on busy roads during rush hours, would be booked for "dangerous driving" under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The offence, they said, was compoundable. As such, the violator would have to pay fine of Rs 1000. They added that driving with a non-functional light is punishable under sub-Section 2 of Section 190 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and the offender has to pay Rs.1000 as fee for compounding of the offence.On the other hand, Mr Yogesh Tiwari, a government employee, said: "The Idea of making road safer by cracking down on bike riders, who indulge in zigzagging, sounds good. The point, however, is that it would be difficult for the cops to catch such reckless drivers during the rush hours and book them for violations. It seems a distant dream that the police would b able to catch them in action." 



SCO auctioned for over Rs 4 crore
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
Breaking all records in the auction of commercial sites in the town, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today auctioned one of its shop-cum-office site in Sector 70 for over Rs 4 crore.

This site, along with another 44 sites, which was auctioned today, fetched PUDA a whopping Rs 39 crore.

The record-making site, SCO 24, Sector 70, is larger than the other such sites in the area and was reserved for Rs 2.39 crore. Other SCO sites of Sector 70 also sold like hot cakes with each fetching almost double the reserve price.

Four sites of Sector 70 reserved for a little over Rs 1.2 crore each sold for an average of Rs 2 crore each.

Another four shop-cum-flat (SCF) sites in Sector 56 (Phase VI), reserved at Rs 90 lakh each, were auctioned for prices over Rs 1 crore each. The lone SCF site in Sector 65 (Phase 11), which was reserved at Rs 1 crore, was lapped up at Rs 1.7 crore while the lone SCF site in Sector 55, reserved for over Rs 2 crore, was sold for Rs 2.5 crore.

There were no takers for SCF sites in Sector 64 (Phase10).

The single-storeyed shop (SSS) sites put under the hammer also proved to be coveted. An SSS site in Sector 63 (Phase IX), which was reserved for Rs 1.2 crore, was auctioned for Rs 2.2 crore. Similarly, three SSS sites in Sector 60 (Phase 3B2), reserved at an average Rs 75 lakh, were auctioned for an average of Rs 1.5 crore each.

Twenty booth sites in Sector 70 were also auctioned. Each site reserved for almost Rs 9 lakh sold for an average of Rs 20 lakh each.

The booths and other sites at the Phase XI bulk material market also attracted bidders. The three booths reserved for an average of Rs 8.5 lakh were auctioned on an average Rs 25 lakh each. 



The Gurukul garden adjudged best
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 9
The stage is set for the 20th Spring Fest to be organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on March 11-12 here. As the Town Park in Sector 5 gets decked up for the festival, which is celebrated to welcome the spring, the various contests have already begun.

The gardens in the township and Chandi Mandir area were adjudged today. The following are the results.

Best garden in the cantonment area (Chandi Mandir): gardens in 2 kanal house and above: Lt G. Daljeet Singh, Brig P.R. Sharma, in 1 kanal houses: Major-Gen A.K. Bedi, Major-Gen A.K. Bakshi and Major-Gen Prithvi Raj Rao; in 14 marla houses: Brig V.K. Tiwari, Col Bipin Trivedi and Major-Gen Deepak Anand; in institutional areas (any size): Command Officer Mess and 676 TPT and Command Hospital and Signal Officer’s Mess; on school campus (any size): KV-2 Chandimandir .

Best garden in Panchkula: in 2 kanal houses and above: Ms Rekha Tayal, Mr Bhaiya Ram and Mr Algu Ram ; in 2 kanal houses: Mr Dwarka Prasad and Ms Anu Goel; in 14 marla houses: Col D.C. Katoch, Mr Sudershan Jindal and Ms Renu Aggarwal; in less than 14 marla houses: Dr Sood. on school campus any size (Group I): The Gurukul, Satluj Public School and Hans Raj Public School; institutions (Group II): HSIDC Officers Apartment and Venus Remedies Ltd .

Terrace garden: Dr Sanjay Kalra and Mr Bhupinder Jeet Madan .

Roundabouts (Panchkula) : Sector 11-14 and Swami Devi Dayal College.



Programme lays stress on women’s issues
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
As many as 40 persons, including self-help group members, participated in a programme on population and development education organised by the Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Mohali, at Balongi village, Kharar block, today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dildar Khan, director, JSS, Mohali, said nearly half of the Indian population comprises women and their participation in economic activities was essential for nation building.

Mr Anand Mohan Sharma, programme officer of the sansthan, said the programme sought to empower people through education and skill development.

Prof Asha Sethi highlighted the issues of women’s rights and empowerment. She said women had been continuously suffering from various kinds of atrocities and discriminations in terms of education, health, personal freedom and right to live with dignity. She also referred to the adverse female sex ratio and the problem of female foeticide in Punjab.

Professor Sethi called upon women to get educated as it was only the educated women who could fight against social evils and gender-based discrimination.

Mr A.K. Gupta, programme officer, dealt with the issue of HIV/AIDS. He discussed the precautionary steps to be taken against the spread of infection.

Earlier, Ms Darshan Kaur, CDPO, Kharar block, discussed the importance of a small family. She also explained various welfare schemes of the Department of Social Security, Women and Child Development, Punjab. 



Atrocities on women condemned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9
As part of the International Women's Day celebrations, the women cell of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation organised a seminar here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Oshima Reikhi, president of the Punjab Istri Sabha, condemned the atrocities being committed on women despite much progress made by mankind. She demanded strict laws to curb the female foeticide.

Mr S. Sree Rama Murthy, Deputy General Manager of the State Bank of Patiala, Chandigarh, stressed the need for women empowerment in the larger public interest.

Mr Davinder Singh,vice-president of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, asserted that concrete steps should be taken for the uplift of the women.

Ms Poonam Singh,Editor of Preetlari,while alleging that women faced discrimination in day-to-day life, demanded respect for women in the real sense of the term.Ms Sushma Thakur,Ms Neeru Sharma, convener and co-convener of the Women's Cell, also spoke.



SP (Traffic) may be repatriated to Haryana 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9
Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon, Superintendent of Police (Traffic and Security), is likely to be repatriated to Haryana, his parent cadre in the Indian Police Service. This follows refusal by the Ministry of Human Affairs to give any extension to his tenure in the city, sources said here today. There is no information about the status of the proposal to give an extension to the tenure of Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP.

Mr Dhillon had earned laurels for his dedicated services in streamlining the traffic control on city roads. He was behind the launching of the Chandigarh Traffic Police website.



Hoax bomb call in PGI
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 9
A hoax bomb call in the PGI this afternoon kept the police on its toes for about two hours.
The sources in the police said the PGI police post received information that a bomb had been planted in the office of the Director, PGI, in Kairon Block. Following this, teams of the dog squad and the bomb disposal squad were pressed into service.

The SHO of the Sector 11 police station said the teams thoroughly checked the office premises and normalcy was restored after the call was found out to be a fake one.

On Wednesday also the local police had received a hoax call that bombs were planted in the District Courts and in the Sector 19 market.



Pensioners to hold protest rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9
The local unit of the Punjab Pensioners Association has decided to join the Punjab Government Pensioners Joint Forum to hold a protest rally here on March 10.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the association held here recently under the chairmanship of Mr K.S. Naga, according to Mr S.P. Kakar, general secretary of the association. The demands of the pensioners include revised pension for pre-1996 retirees, rise in medical allowance, old age allowance and travel concessions.



5 held for stealing power
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 9
The local police has arrested as many as 5 persons from various parts of the city on the charges of stealing electricity through kundi connections. The police has booked in all 19 persons from various parts of the city.

The sources in the police said Manimajra police station had registered four cases under the Electricity Act and the Indian Penal Code against Harbans Lal, Pradeep Kumar, Tara Chand and Pawan Kumar of Pipliwala town, Manimajra, on Wednesday. The police managed to arrest three persons from among them. Similarly, the Sector 31 police station has booked 15 persons for stealing electricity and out of them three have been arrested.

The cases have been registered following a special drive by the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration against the illegal kundi connections by identifying the persons specifically indulging in the illegal practice. In three raids during the past couple of months as many as 65 FIRs have been registered against the offenders. The Chandigarh Police on a complaint of the Engineering Department has registered 19 FIRs against those indulging in theft of electricity in Ram Durbar Colony I, Bank Colony and Subhash Nagar areas in Manimajra here today.

In an important development, the Electricity Department this time has lodged complaints against the persons indulging in the theft of electricity. In a majority of the drives, during earlier times, the police only removed the kundi connections which left out the actual persons involved in the theft of electricity. A kundi removal action was taken by the department with the help of the police on February 10 at Bank Colony, Darshani Bagh, Pipliwala Town and Mauli Complex. As many as 24 premises were found stealing electricity. 



Scooterists snatch purse
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 9
Two unidentified scooterists snatched a purse from a woman travelling in a rickshaw on the Sector 14 and 25 divining road, this evening.
Ms Kavita Arora, a resident of Abohar, in her complaint to the police alleged that two unidentified scooterists snatched her purse lying in her lap. The purse contained an expensive mobile phone, cash and other articles.

She told the police that she was coming from the bus stand towards Panjab University, when the incident occurred. She had come to the university with her husband to attend a seminar. A case has been registered.


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