C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali becomes district today
Our Correspondent

Preparations on for the formal launch of Mohali as a district on Thursday
Preparations on for the formal launch of Mohali as a district on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, April 13
Preparations went on at full swing throughout the day here today for the function being organised in connection with the formal launching of Mohali as the new district of the state by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, here tomorrow.

Hans Raj Hans will enthral the huge gathering apart from a comedian called for the function. Bhangra and giddha teams from Government College will perform to give a cultural touch to the function being held on the day of Baisakhi.

Seating arrangements for 4000 persons have been made. It is reported that showering of flower petals by an aircraft will be a part of the celebrations for the day.

The Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, had requested panchayat members from a number of villages to attend the function in large numbers in order to thank the Chief Minister for giving Mohali the status of a district.

While the SSP, Mr Naunihal Singh, and other police officials reviewed security arrangements, other senior officials like Ms Anjali Bhawra, Commissioner, Patiala, Mr Tejveer Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, today inspected all three sites to be visited by the Chief Minister tomorrow. They also visited the PUDA building in Phase I which would be housing the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, the SSP and other district level officials.

Capt Amarinder Singh will first lay the foundation stone of the 220-kv power substation in Sector 80 followed by the inauguration of Grecian Hospital in Sector 69. He will then reach Sector 62 to lay the foundation stone of the District Administrative Complex before addressing a public rally.

The Chief Minister will come here in a helicopter which would land in Sector 62. A helipad had been prepared for this. 



Students march against quota
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology and Punjab Engineering College took to the roads today in protest against the reservation policy of the government.

The students marched to the Sector 17 plaza where they formed a human chain to mark their solidarity against the move of the Central Government to extend reservation of seats in universities and elite colleges to OBCs.

Over 150 students gathered at the UIET on the Panjab University campus here this evening with about 100 PEC students joining them. The students then marched through Sector 15, Sector 16 and ended in Sector 17. The students carried banners and raised slogans against the policy.

“Ours is a totally peaceful campaign and we are not politically motivated either. We are protesting against the reservation policy of the government since it is breeding differences among the student community,” pointed out Sunny.

The students wanted the Prime Minister to break his silence and come out with a clear statement on his stand on this sensitive issue which had send shock waves across the country.

“I feel that the government had raked up the issue just before the Assembly polls in five stated with an aim to capitalise on the reservation issue for cheap electoral gains. It undermines the capabilities of a section of the community,” pointed out Sunny from UIET.

Teginder Kaleka from PEC said, “Reservation is not the solution to cover up for the deficiencies and the failure of the successive governments in providing the underprivileged sections of society with basic educational infrastructure. In today’s competitive and globalised world, it is merit and talent that count, irrespective of any community or caste.

Pawanjeet from UIET said, “In order to keep pace with the developed countries of the world we need more talented people. A reservation policy would do more harm than good.”

The students have also drafted an appeal for the President of India against the reservation policy and also started a signature campaign for the appeal. “What was introduced as a temporary measure to give the much needed impetus to the backward classes, SCs and STs at the time of Independence has been twisted and warped by people with vested interest to suit their own political agendas. What was meant to bring the lower classes to stand on their feet has become a crutch for them even after 60 years of Independence. All of this at the cost of merit which should be the sole criteria for the selection and promotion of an individual in any sphere of life,” states a part of the appeal.



Lady teacher, student go missing
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Monika Sharma
Monika Sharma

Rajan Dhiman
Rajan Dhiman

Dera Bassi, April 13
The family of Monika Sharma, a 24-year-old schoolteacher at Mirpur village, near here, is a worried lot these days. Almost one month after she went missing, there is no trace of the teacher.

Ditto for the family of Rajan Dhiman,a 14-year-old student of the same private school, who also went missing exactly on the same day. And now alarmed about the safety of their children, the parents have sought police help in tracing them.

According to sources, Rajan used to take tuitions from the lady teacher. On March 12, after Rajan went for the tuition to Monika’s house, he did not return. The worried family inquired from the teacher’s house and was told that Monika, who had a slight deformity in the leg due to polio, had gone to Panchkula for the issuance of a disability certificate.

The villagers launched an intensive campaign to trace them. However, their efforts proved futile. Both the families even gave an advertisement in a section of the Press about their disappearance from the village.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the brother of the teacher, Mr Dinesh Sharma, said both the families had been living under depression since their disappearance. He appealed to the public and the police to help locate the missing teacher and the student.

Meanwhile, the Dera Bassi DSP, Mr VS Brar, said the police had launched an intensive campaign to locate the duo. Promising all possible help to the families, Mr Brar said no effort would be spared to locate the missing persons.



City to have hi-tech vegetable market 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Agricultural Marketing Act to allow private participation in setting up and running of the South Asia’s first hi-tech fruit and vegetable market to be set up near Sector 39 here. A grain market already exists at Sector 39.

The earlier site of the market at Makhan Majra village has been changed to Sector 39 after carrying out various feasibility surveys for infrastructural linkage by road and rail.

Since UT follows the Agricultural Marketing Act, as applicable in Punjab, a proposal for amending the Act was forwarded by the administration to the MHA. The amendment would enable setting up of quality infrastructure, said a senior official. The city is one of the eight places selected by the Central Government for setting up of such markets.

Sources in the administration said change in location of the site was due to the financial liability of about Rs 35 crore for acquiring 120 acres of land of Raipur Khurd and Raipur Kalan villages.

At the new site, the administration had already acquired land in Maloya village. The location was ideal in the light of the proposed Chandigarh-Baddi road and proposed alignment of the Chandigarh-Kharar road which would have direct linkage with the market.

While the Chandigarh-Baddi road could be the corridor for the trucks bringing fruits and vegetable from Himachal Pradesh, the traffic from Punjab could directly come to the market. Sources in the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department said there were plans to provide an alternative bypass from Dera bassi to Kharar.

The market would cater to the needs of farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The market to be spread over 100 acres would be set up at a cost of Rs 54 crore.

The National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, has prepared a project report on the setting up of the modern terminal fruit and vegetable market. This terminal market will have the world’s best infrastructure to handle foods and vegetables. It will include ripening chambers and cold storage facility to stock up to 3,000 tonnes of material, electronic grading and sorting lines, pack house facility, quality evaluation station, underground conveyer belt-based movement and handling systems with pre-cooling facility.

Besides, the market will also have testing, labeling, certification facilities and on-line spot commodity trading and electronic auction facility.

The scientifically graded and packed produce will be sent to big markets, malls, hotels besides exporting to Middle East and European countries. 



Truck crushes woman cyclist
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
A 44-year-old woman was crushed to death today by a PRTC bus on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway near the Sector 20 gurudwra, here.
The police said the accident took place around 9.30 am when Shushma, a resident of Palsora village, was on way to her job on her cycle. She sustained serious head injuries which claimed her life on the spot.

The police has arrested the bus driver, Sukhwinder Singh of Sangrur district on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. According to the eyewitnesses, the bus ran over the victim, crushing her and her cycle. The body was found lying near the rear tyres of the bus.

As it was the office-hour, the traffic was held up for some time on the road. The body remained lying on the road which was closed for some time, leading to chaos on the road.

The police said Shushma was working in Durga Seeds, Phase I, Industrial Area. Her husband was informed about the accident and a post-mortem of the body would be conducted tomorrow. 



More qualified public health experts required
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Increased life expectancy, reduced infant mortality and improved lifestyle notwithstanding, India continues to face a serious health challenge because of an inadequate resource capacity and poor support systems in public health, says Mr Harpal Singh, a member of the governing body of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

The foundation, a large-scale uniquely designed, sustainable response to the severe shortfall of public health professionals, was launched by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on March 28 this year.

Talking to The Tribune here this afternoon, Mr Harpal Singh, who is also the Chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited and SRL-Ranbaxy Limited, said the flagship initiative of the PHFI would be to set up two new schools of public health - one each in northern and southern regions of the country. It would cost Rs 200 crores. Money is not a problem. “Fortis, Ranbaxy and others would contribute their mite to this important foundation,” said Mr Singh.

“No decision has been taken about the exact location of these institutes. The PHFI would transparentably announce the criteria based on keenness of the State concerned, availability of land and other related factors. One third of the total funds for the flagship initiative would come from government, one third from donations and the remaining third from the partner private foundations,” said Mr Harpal Singh.

The PHFI would be an autonomously governed public private partnership with the government support. It would be managed by a fully empowered, independent, carefully chosen, 15-17 member governing board that is represented by multiple constituencies.

“Strengthening of public health infrastructure would not only improve productivity and efficiency of society but would also lower burden on curative healthcare. As of now the government spending on public health — 1 per cent of the GDP — was not adequate. Now the government wants to raise it to 3 per cent in next five to six years. Unfortunately, we do not have enough qualified public health personnel. Though it is a part of curriculum in medical education, but not many medical institutes have qualified experts. Theoretically, every company should have a public health expert for health and safety of its staff. To meet the challenge, the country must have adequate number of qualified public health experts.

“The basic objective of the PHFI is to build a large-scale human resource capacity in public health through its three-pronged integrated charter of establishing a network of five world class India-relevant schools of public health besides establishing standards for public health education through the formation of an accreditation agency and serving as a policy shaping think tank to the government and private sector,” said Mr Harpal Singh.

He said the foundation besides support from the federal government, big institutions of the government, reputed international institutions, including School of Public Health of Harvard and Association of Institutions of Public Health of America has some visionary leaders represented on it.

“The response,” says Mr Singh, “has been overwhelming as 16-17 states have offered to have the PHFI institutes. We hope we generate large number of Indians, qualified, to help the nation. We want that the public health should become knowledge-based concern of an average Indian,” adds Mr Singh.



Interventional radiology medical boon of century
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Interventional radiology is the future of medicine as it involves minimal invasive surgery where specially trained radiologists use x-rays and other imaging techniques to “see” inside the body with the help of catheters. The blood vessels are used as a pathway to reach the site of a problem, helping treating a variety of medical disorders without surgery.

Disclosing this, India-born Dr Ajay Sood, currently Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine in the United States, said that interventional radiology had miraculously changed treatment of several conditions like uterine fibroids, stenting of blood vessels, vertebroplasty for spine fractures, liver and kidney diseases and several other medical conditions that hitherto required serious surgical procedures and days of hospitalisation.

Procedures performed by interventional radiologists are generally less costly and less traumatic to the patient, involving smaller incisions, less pain, and shorter hospital stays. Interventional radiology has been well accepted in the west, but it is still in its nascent stage in India. This technique is used in so many medical conditions that it is believed to be one of the biggest achievements of modern day science, Dr. Sood said.

An expert in the area, Chandigarh-born Dr Sood studied at St. John’s High School here and then the Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, and the PGI before going to the U.S where he was Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and received multiple national recognitions and awards, that includes the National Leadership Award from the American Medical Association, which is considered to be the ‘Oscar’ equivalent for medical leadership awards.

Currently on a private visit to the city, Dr Sood said that interventional radiology (IR) had been extremely useful in uterine fibroids, where hysterectomy through a major surgery was the only solution available earlier. But now with the help of IR the blood supply to the fibroid is stopped by injecting tiny plastic particles the size of grains of sand into the artery that is supplying blood to the fibroid tumor in a procedure that lasts less than an hour.

Similarly, among diabetic patients having atherosclerosis, IR has shown excellent results in implanting stents and improving blood flow to the legs. Also, in a procedure called vertebroplasty in the older population, whose vertebra collapse due to osteoporoses, earlier no minimally invasive treatment was available. But with IR cement can be injected into the vertebrae and near normal functioning restored, reducing excruciating pain to near negligible in a single procedure. IR techniques are also used for other common conditions like saphenous vein ablation for varicose veins in the legs, placing stents in liver, carotid stenting to prevent stroke, treatment of aneurysms (dilated blood vessels) and dialysis graft and fistula maintenance etc.

According to Dr Sood, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and CAT scans have become commonplace in the world of radiology, but IR techniques are still being explored in some countries. Some big hospitals in India have introduced IR techniques, but the technology is still very expensive and largely unavailable, due to lack of enough centers of expertise in this field. In the U.S too the cost is very high, but there are insurance companies primarily paying for the treatment. To make such expensive technique more available to the common man in India, there is need to involve insurance companies in a similar manner for medical treatment as it is done in the U.S.

Health policy, he said, needs to move to the center stage in the nation’s political debate. There is need to have more medical professionals in politics and decision-making bodies with a vision so that they can replicate institutions like the PGI and AIIMS and other prominent corporate hospitals at all levels, so that each graduating physician has the same guaranteed training.

He also suggested promoting medical tourism to India that he says will automatically contribute to improving the medical infrastructure in the country, as there would have to be parity with international standards to make this work.



Liquor Tamasha
Liquor vends’ location “inappropriate”
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Chandigarh Administration might have followed the rule books in identifying the spots for liquor vends. However, the location of a number of them right next to the roads carrying heavy volumes of daily traffic has led to a public outcry. "I don’t think any rule book can justify the vend in the corner road of Sector 38(West) which is at the intersection of traffic lights allowing traffic from Punjab,'' says Mrs Prabha Devi, a resident.

Not just here, there are at least three liquor shops right on the Chandigarh-Shimla Highway in Manimajra area and yet another one on the road leading to Mohali in the Industrial Area, Phase II. The public stops for liquor purchase on the Shimla highway, causing inconvenience to traffic on the road daily.

The vend in Sector 38(west) is right at the corner of the road adjacent to the traffic lights of Sector 39. The venue witnesses entry of traffic from Punjab through Mohali. It is located less than two metres from the road.

A liquor vend in the Industrial Area, Phase II, appears like another trouble spot for the daily commuters. Located not very far from the road, the route is serving as a very important alternate route for entry in Mohali, avoiding the traffic on the city roads. It enters from the side of Ambala and turns left from the Tribune Chowk.

A visit by Tribune correspondent showed that there was not a great rush. However, a number of vehicles can be seen parked right on the road in the evening. "The make-shift tin sheds give a very ugly picture. In case, the administration had opened more vends for public facility and to make the liquor availability a decent walk-in place for the city residents, allowing tin-shed vends and 'ahatas' on the roadside was definitely not a decent step in this direction", Mr Tej Pratap Singh Dhillon, a manger working in an industrial shed in the Industrial Area said.

Mrs Shruti Moudgil, a housewife, said:"I don’t find any change in the picture of the liquor vends under the policy, particularly in tin sheds. What decency can the liquor shops offer in rehri markets and what decency can one expect in the tin-sheds?"

Mr I.S.Sandhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said "there is a restriction of a distance of 10 metres on the inter-state highways for the location of the vends. We have taken care in the location of all vends in the city".

Mr Kehar Singh Koundel, the spokesperson of the BJP, said:"The issue needs to be understood in a wide perspective. There are certain vends located very near to educational institutes. Those on the roadside are potential areas for traffic inconvenience".



Custodial death: postmortem put off
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 13
The postmortem examination of Irfan, an alleged custodial death victim, was postponed amid high drama in front of the mortuary at the PGI in Chandigarh today.
Though the Ilaqua Magistrate, Ambala, visited the PGI for recording the statement of Usman, an alleged accomplice of Irfan, and the hospital authorities were all set to conduct the postmortem examination, members of Irfan’s family did not allow it.

Members of the family demanded the constitution of a panel of doctors for the postmortem examination and a CBI inquiry into the matter.

Hospital sources disclosed that the PGI authorities constituted a panel of three doctors for conducting the postmortem examination.

Meanwhile, the statement of Usman was recorded by the police in the presence of Capt Vinod Sharma, Tehsildar, Ambala, at the PGI in the evening.

Police officials from Ambala, including Deputy Superintendent of Ambala jail S.R. Bishnoi, were present.

In his statement, Usman alleged that the police picked them up from Panchkula on April 8 and gave them a sound beating after detaining them at the Sector 5 police station and again at the Ambala jail.

Police officials accompanying the body to the PGI said Irfan had been undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital in Ambala and doctors referred him to the PGI yesterday.

Refuting the police claims, members of Irfan’s family and Usman alleged that Irfan died due to police torture.

They claimed that Irfan was admitted to the Civil Hospital yesterday morning after he complained of vomitting and detecting a serious case, doctors referred him to the PGI.

Panchkula SP Balbir Singh said the cause of Irfan’s death could be ascertained from a postmortem examination report and the magisterial inquiry being conducted by the Ambala Ilaqua Magistrate.

Action would be taken against the persons guilty after the reports were given, he added.



IT Park zone cleared of encroachments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
In a major drive against the encroachments in the Information Technology (IT) Park zone, the enforcement staff of UT Estate Office today demolished at least 30 unauthorised structures in Mani Majra today.

Barring a stray incident in which the windshield of a JCB was broken by a stone thrown by an unidentified person, the eight-hour drive went off peacefully.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K.Rao, said the encroachments were an eyesore for the IT zone. The evacuees were given sufficient time to remove their structures after being served notices under Section 12 (2) of the Periphery Act.

The unauthorised structures were located along the road leading to Mani Majra from the St Kabir School, Sector 26, here. The unauthorised premises were mostly being used for manufacturing confectionery items. One structure was being used as a fodder shed. A PWD store was also removed.

A strong posse of policemen assisted the demolition squad.

Sources in the Estate Office said the road leading to the IT Park had been cleared of all the encroachments in the past. There were no plans to touch the farmhouses as the land was yet to be acquired. After failing to effectively check encroachments on prime public land in the past, the Chandigarh Administration has now worked out a new mechanism to deal with such violations on a daily basis.

A senior official said members of the task force, comprising officers of Estate Office, Engineering Department and Municipal Corporation, have been asked to keep a watch on the area so that the encroachments did not surface again.

The Deputy Commissioner has assigned particular areas to the members of the team who will be responsible for detecting and reporting encroachments.



Social security Bill to cover 30 crore workers: Malhotra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
It has been estimated that the total workforce in India is approximately 39 crore, of which nearly 93 per cent are in the unorganised sector, left to fend for themselves.
These were the views expressed by Mr V.K. Malhotra, Member Secretary of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) in his inaugural address during a seminar on ‘Issues relating to social security system of workers in unorganised sector’.

He said the objective was to share with stakeholders possibilities of providing social security and reasonable working conditions to workers in the unorganised sector.

He said of the total workforce in the country, the proposed social security legislation intended to cover at least 30 crore workers in the unorganised sector.

These workers were characterised with employment insecurity and having dismal working and living conditions.

He said the government constituted the NCEUS as an advisory body and a watchdog for the unorganised sector.

Focusing on the role of the NCEUS, he said it had been asked by the government to review and rationalise multifarious labour laws in the country.

The commission had done initial work on labour laws, in which it sought views of various stakeholders, including Central trade unions.

The commission had taken up a skill development initiative to target the workforce which could be employed by employers willingly.

He said a draft of the workers’ social security Bill for unorganised sector had also been prepared.

The main features of this draft Bill were that it would cover all workers in the unorganised sector with a monthly income of Rs 5,000 and below, he said.

This would include self-employed workers, including small and marginal farmers, wage workers and home-based workers, he said.

The Bill also provided for a national minimum social security cover, comprising health insurance, maternity benefits, life insurance and old-age pension, for all eligible workers, he added.



Markets told to take fire safety steps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A meeting of the representatives of various rehabilitated markets of the city has been convened to ensure proper fire safety arrangements.
Mr O.P. Popli, Additional Commissioner, and Mr H.S.Kandhola, Joint Commissioner-cum-Chief Fire Officer, asked them to adopt the following safety measures in this connection by April 19:

1. Shopkeepers of rehabilitated markets have been ordered to keep the entry and exit points clear. There should be no encroachment and all passages throughout the markets should be neat and clean. Electricity wires should be property arranged and they should not be loose outside the shops. Imposition of Major Circuit Brackets (MCB) should be compulsory in the markets, besides ABC type fire extinguisher at each shop, minimum 5 kg. Cylinder of fire fighting equipments should be installed at the every corner of the Markets.

2. the authorities have directed them to remove the tin sheds in the markets and make arrows to show the exit points at all the inside subways with reflected tape printing.

The shopkeepers of Sadar Bazar, Sector-19, Chandigarh, have also been directed to remove all kinds of encroachments from the public passages, streets, parking areas and open spaces, as per the instructions given on April 10. 



Baisakhi celebrated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 13
At least 250 members of the Senior Citizens Council celebrated Baisakhi with fervour at the Day Care Centre and Old Age Home in Sector 15 here today.
The senior citizens presented various cultural items, including songs, ghazals, couplets, giddha and bhangra.

The festive spirit made some members over 80 years of age participate in giddha and bhangra.

Zirakpur: The festival of Baisakhi was celebrated with great fervour at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air Force Station at the High Grounds here today.

Punjabi folk songs and a fusion of giddha and bhangra created an atmosphere of joy and gaiety all around. Students danced to the foot tapping beats of the ‘dhol’ and popular Punjabi numbers. The Principal, Ms S.K. Bhatia, blessed the students on the auspicious day which marked the new year in Punjab.

Senior teacher, Ms B. Sodhi, enlightened the students about the social, religious and historical significance of the day.



Governor greets people on Baisakhi, Ambedkar Jayanti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), in a message on the occasion of Baisakhi and Ambedkar Jayanti, today called upon our people to renew their resolve to further enrich India’s composite culture — a model of unity and strength for the rest of the world — despite our religious, cultural and lingual diversities.

In his message, the Governor said that the festival of Baisakhi has a multifaceted significance for different communities. It marks the ripening of the Rabi harvest and also the formation of the Khalsa Panth. This day also reminds one of the supreme sacrifice made by our martyrs in the Jallianwala Bagh.

Lauding the contribution made by Dr B.R. Ambedkar, he said that Dr Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution secured justice, social equality, honour and dignity for all. He worked tirelessly throughout his life to create a casteless and classless society.

General Rodrigues expressed the hope that these occasions will help foster fellow feeling and brotherhood among the people.



Mentally challenged children to get a home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A home for mentally challenged children will be inaugurated in Sector 15 here on April 27.
The UT Administration has allotted 30 rooms for the purpose at the International Students’ Hostel in Sector 15.

Of the 30 seats available for long-term and short-term purpose to house mentally challenged children, nine seats have been reserved for children coming from families living below the poverty line.

These seats will be free, funded by the National Trust under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

The other inmates will have to pay a fee of Rs 2,000 per month, which will be used for creating infrastructure as well as maintenance costs.

“We have only nine vacancies left. We will provide a full set-up, comprising a psychologist, a special educator attendants and a hostel warden”, says Ms Pooja, president of the Parent/Guardian Society of Children of Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32.

The home will also be open to children suffering from cerebral palsy, severely retarded children and those suffering from autism.

“Girls will be given preference since the city has no such facility for girls. The institute in Sector 32 has hostel facility primarily for outstation children”, she adds.



Allottees seek possession of plots
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 13
The Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Sectors 76- 80, has appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister to intervene and help allotees get possession of their plots which were allotted to them by PUDA five years ago.

Mr Sucha Singh Kalour, president of the committee, said at a meeting held recently Capt Mehar Singh (retd) had threatened that he would resort to self-immolation if PUDA failed to give possession of the allotted plot within a month. He said if any allottee took such a drastic step, the minister concerned and PUDA authorities would be responsible for it.

He said the court had granted a stay only on a part of the acquired land for the five sectors and the rest of the area was in the possession of PUDA. The allottees were passing through a lot of mental harassment because even after waiting for five years, they had not been able to get the possession of their plots. 



Ex-servicemen to distribute power bills
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 13
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has decided to rope in ex-servicemen for meter reading, distribution of electricity bills and cash collection.
The nigam had made an agreement with the Haryana Ex-Servicemen League in this context recently.

According to Mr V.B.S. Chauhan, Director, Operations, work had been allotted in Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar, Safidon, Narwana, Kaithal and Pundri subdivisions.

The ex-servicemen would also undertake other consumer-related services. The nigam would implement the scheme in others areas of the state if the performance was favourable, he said.



Death condoled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
A meeting of faculty, research scholars, staff and students of the Punjabi Department was held here today to condole the death of writer and novelist Dr Harcharan Singh.

A two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to Dr Harcharan Singh, according to a press note.

Writers’ workshop

The Population and Development Education Cell will organise a five-day writers’ workshop on female foeticide at the ICSSR Complex, from April 17.



Good Friday greetings from Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, General S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), today called upon the people to follow the gospel of devotion, sacrifice, love and compassion preached and practiced by Jesus Christ in his message on the eve of Good Friday.
He said that Jesus Christ laid down his life for mankind. This occasion reminds us of our glorious traditions of peace, harmony and forgiveness.



Free change of trade hailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13 
The Chandigarh Industrial Association in a press note here today welcomed the announcement made by the Chandigarh Administration for free change of trade from one industry to another. Mr M.P.S.Chawla, president, said, “Our main demands pertaining to conversion are still pending.”



Cops fail to nab golf range case accused
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 13
The Chandigarh police today carried out raids at various places, including Patiala, to arrest the persons accused of creating a ruckus at the golf range here recently, but failed to nab anyone.

The police party dispatched to Patiala to recover the Toyota Innova also returned empty handed.

A police party raided the house and the bank where Karan, an accused, had been working, but failed to trace him.

Bank officials told the police that Karan had not been coming to the bank for the past three days.

Police sources said the three accused, Mohali-based industrialist Sukhwinder Singh Mann, his nephew Karan and Magandeep Singh Mann had applied for anticipatory bail in a local court.

The court had sent a notice to the Chandigarh police to file a reply till April 15.

The Chandigarh police was planning to file an application to seek arrest warrants of the accused from the court.

Asked about the findings of the departmental inquiry marked by SSP Gaurav Yadav on April 11, DSP Vijay Pal Singh said he had submitted a report to the SSP, but refused to reveal its findings.

The SSP had said the inquiry would be conducted in a transparent manner and its findings shared with the media.



Murder case suspect held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 13
The Panchkula police arrested Surinder Kumar of Haripur village, a suspect in the Mamta murder case and her brother-in-law, a week after the incident here today.
Three other suspects — her father-in-law Takdeer Singh, mother-in-law Kamla and brother-in-law Satish Kumar — were still at a large.



Krishna Motors opts for conversion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
Krishna Motors became the third party which opted for the conversion policy in the Industrial Area of the city here today.
Pasco Motors and Meters and Instruments were the two parties which had earlier opted for conversion after the policy was announced last year. The proprietor, Mr Vijay Passi, went to the office of Finance Secretary S.K. Sandhu in the morning and the option was later submitted to Mr S.N. Sahai, Chairman of the CHB.

Consultant Amarjit Sethi said, “Rs 2.08 crore was submitted with regard to conversion today for an area span of 5769 square yards for plot Number 177E. The adjoining plot (177F) measuring the same, owned by Mr Jaspal Kandheri, will also join us for the new project.” A hotel, mall or combination is planned.


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