C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Couple done to death in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Relatives of Raghubir Sharan and Shakuntala Devi, who were murdered on Wednesday afternoon, in a state of shock in Mohali
Relatives of Raghubir Sharan and Shakuntala Devi, who were murdered on Wednesday afternoon, in a state of shock in Mohali.
— Tribune photograph by Vinay Malik

Mohali, May 3
An elderly couple was done to death at a house in Phase IV here this afternoon, sending shock waves throughout the town.

The bodies of Raghbir Sharan (75) and his wife Shakuntala Devi (70), were found lying in different rooms of a 10-marla house which they had taken on rent. It seemed that a sharp-edged weapon had been used in the crime. There were injuries on the heads and a pool of blood was near the bodies.

A pall of gloom had descended on the home as relatives and neighbours reached the scene. The daughters of the couple and others cried inconsolably.

The police found that cupboards had been broken open and searched. It is suspected by the police that there was more than one assailant. There were some signs of struggle. A gold bangle was found lying under a bed. However, according to the police, there was no obvious sign of forced entry into the premises. It appeared to be a friendly entry from the front door and the assailants may have been known the couple.

Neighbours said the couple usually did not open the door to strangers. The corner house is located on a busy B road. Construction work is also in progress in a nearby house. No one seemed to be aware when the murders were committed.

It is learnt that Raghbir Sharan was engaged in money-lending and the police believes that the crime could be linked to money.

The couple is survived by six daughters and two sons, all of whom live in Mohali. One of the sons, Ram Kumar Gupta, a reporter with Ajit Samachar, had gone to Hardwar in connection with the immersion of the ashes of a friend's brother.

Gaurav, who was related to the deceased and was staying with them since March 26, told mediapersons that he had left the house at 1.15 pm for Sector 17, Chandigarh, where he was pursuing an English speaking course. He came back around 4.50 pm and on entering the house, he saw the bodies lying on the floor.

He informed a cousin and later the landlord who stayed in another part of the same house. Gaurav had come from Ludhiana to stay with the couple for some time.

Mr Shiv Raj Singh Gill, the landlord, told Chandigarh Tribune that he had talked to Lalaji (Raghbir Sharan) around 11 am and around 1.15 pm when his wife came back from a kitty party, she saw Shakuntala Devi standing near the door as if waiting for someone.

Mr Gill said his family did not hear any unusual noise in the afternoon. The couple had taken the premises on rent on June 1 last year.

The SSP, Mr Naunihal Singh, said no weapon had been recovered yet. A sharp-edged weapon appeared to have been used. There was a possibility of valuables having been stolen. He said fingerprints and foot marks might have been lost as a number of persons had gathered at the scene.

Among those who visited the scene were MLA Bir Devinder Singh, OSD to Punjab Chief Minister Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, Mr Kiranbir Singh Kang, SAD leader, and Mr Harinder Pal Singh Billa, former president of the local MC.



City leaders condole Mahajan’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The demise of senior BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan today has come as a great loss to not only the BJP, but also to other political leaders as well. Condoling the death here today senior politicians from various parties termed it as a “sad loss to the nation.”

A condolence meeting was held in the evening at the BJP office Kalams to pay tributes to Pramod Mahahjan. In the condolence meeting Yash Pal Mahajan, president BJP unit, Chandigarh, Satya Pal Jain, former MP, were present among others. Addressing the condolence meeting Satya Pal Jain said that the passing away of Pramod Mahajan was an irreparable loss not only to the party but also to the nation.

He said that Pramod Mahajan was a seasoned and far-sighted politician and was a leader at the grassroots level. Mr Yashpal Mahajan stated that Mahajan had worked effortlessly to make the party more active and united. “His death has come as a big blow to us” he stated.

Former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan and Sandeep Singh, gen secy Chandigarh Vikas Manch also condoled the demise of Pramod Mahajan.

Mr Harmohan Dhawan said that Mr Pramod Mahajan was a young and a dynamic leader who was an “icon” of future-oriented leaders in the country. “He was a fine statesman and a leader who was focusing on taking the nation forward in the new millennium.

Harmohinder Singh Lucky, Deputy Mayor, Subhash Chawla, former Mayor, Pawan Sharma and Devinder Babbla, senior Congress leaders also condoled Pramod Mahajan’s death. Terming it is as a sad and tragic end to a promising career they said that it was a national loss.

Condoling the death Charanjit Singh, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, said that Pramod Mahajan was one of the greatest leaders and would always be remembered as an energetic, intelligent and person of unmatched wisdom and skills.



Capt Kohli cremated, family angry over denial of state funeral
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The mortal remains of Capt Sumit Kohli were consigned to the flames amid heart rending scenes at the Sector 25 cremation ground today. The Army claimed that the 27-year-old officer had committed suicide at his unit near Kupwara on April 30.

Sumit’s wife Deepika, whom he married just seven months ago, broke down during the last rites. His mother Veena and sister Namrata were also inconsolable. A large number of people attended the funeral.

Later, Deepika said she did not believe that her husband could have committed suicide and demanded a high-level inquiry into the episode. The Army should come clean on this and even if it is a suicide it should let the family know the reasons behind it, she added.

Members of the family and others present also expressed anger over the attitude of the Army in not showing proper respect and courtesy due to a decorated soldier.

Though the body was draped in the Tricolour, there was no state funeral on the account of it being termed as a suicide. Relatives were upset over this, saying that Sumit had been awarded a Shaurya Chakra for gallantry during counter-terrorist operations just a few months ago and the Army should have recognised his services and accorded him full honours.

In fact, apart from a JCO, who had escorted the body to Chandigarh, no officer was to be seen at the funeral. While several local political leaders, including the Mayor, Mr Surinder Singh, were present, no representative from the UT Administration was seen either.

Sumit’s father Satish Kohli is still in the intensive care unit of the Command Hospital, where he was admitted after he suffered a brain haemorrhage on hearing about his son’s demise. His condition continues to be critical.

The pyre was lit by his brother Puneet Kohli, who, according to family members had been adopted by Mr Kohli’s brother.

Earlier, Sumit’s body was handed over to his family this morning at the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir. The body was brought to the Kohlis’ residence for a short while, from where it was taken to the cremation ground.

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, and the commanding officer of 18 Rashtriya Rifles, the unit with which he was serving.



Stone crushers bring misery to villagers
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Burj-Kotian (Panchkula), May3
Dust emitted by stone crushing units and the plying of heavy vehicles and other goods carriers on a kutcha road linking Morni with the Ambala-Kalka national highway-22 has virtually taken over the vegetation. Thick clouds of dust have brought misery to residents of over half-a-dozen villages and their livestock.

Spread over 105 acres in Burj Kotian village, about 30 crushers have functioning in the area that was declared the stone crusher zone by the state government in 1992 where. Throwing norms to winds, these stone crushers have been causing air and water pollution thus endangering the ecologically in the foothills of the Lower Shivaliks here for the past over two decades.

To add to the problem over a dozen more stone crushing units have allegedly been functioning along the Panchkula-Kalka national highway and the Pinjore-Nalagarh road in violation of the norms.

The Supreme Court had, in 1992 asked the state government to relocate these crushers for polluting air, proving a traffic hazard on the highway besides endangering human health.

“The level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the area is so high that even the Sun the Moon are partially visible many a times on windy days in the area”, the villagers lament. The villagers also alleged that the operating of stone crushers in the area has made their lives miserable. “Living within 3 km area adjacent to the Burj Kotian stone crusher zone is not less then life in hell,” lamented Mr Surinder Mohan, a local resident.

A survey by The Tribune team of the stone crushers zone revealed that a majority of the units had been lacking proper pollution control devices. Water sprinklers were hardly functional at some stone crushers.

There is massive increase in the level of suspended particulate matter (SPM), thus proving a major health hazard to the human lives and their cattle.

When contacted Mr Rajendra Gupta, president of the Burj Kotian Stone Crushers Association, claimed that the problem aggravated in summers and especially at the time when winds blow. He, however, denied violation of norms by the stone crusher owners.

Mr Gupta, claimed that the kutcha road was responsible for the air pollution in the area. He claimed that a 3-km stretch of the road was in a bad shape. Plying of heavy vehicles had damaged.



Rotarians leave on a medical mission today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
An 18-member team of Rotarians and their spouses is leaving tomorrow for Lesotho in South Africa for a 10-day medical mission. The Rotary medical team comprising 14 doctors and four volunteers from Rotary International Districts 3080 and 3130 will reach Maseru, the capital town of Lesotho on May 5, and stay on till May 16, to provide its medical expertise in tackling multifarious health issues.

Ten members, out of the group of 18, are from Chandigarh and Dehradun which are parts of Rotary District 3080, including Past District Governor Dr R.S. Parmar, general and laparoscopic surgeon from Ropar; Dr P.S. Chari, plastic surgeon; Dr Mrs P. Chari, ophthalmologist, Dr (Col) V.K. Kapoor, endo-urologist, Dr Ravinder Kumar ophthalmologist and Dr Mrs T. Patnaik, gynaecologist and obstetrician. They will be joined by six more medical experts from the Pune area, being part of Rotary District 3130.

The team is being led by District Governor Ranbir Singh from Mussoorie from this part and other volunteer members will be Mrs Raj V.Kapoor as also former Rotary International President R.K. Saboo and his wife Mrs Usha Saboo.

The team is carrying Rs 25 lakh worth of equipment, medicines, intraocular lenses, weighing over 300kg for this land-locked African country, Lesotho, which suffers from immense medical care inadequacies. Nearly 50 per cent of the population suffers from communicable and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Though they have reasonably equipped hospitals, they do not have medical experts, especially in the area of plastic surgery, endo-urologists and laproscopic surgeons etc.

The international medicare project was the brainchild of Mr and Ms R.K. Saboo, to extend services to humanity beyond borders recognising that we are all part of one human family.

In the past eight years, similar medical missions were initiated by Mr Saboo that visited various developing countries, including Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, Malawi and Madagascar. In February, Mr Saboo also initiated another medical mission team to Kalahandi, in Orissa, for seven days.

The Indian team of doctors, who are all busy and active are sacrificing their time and practice to serve humanity, and share their expertise with Lesotho doctor for post surgery care as well as in development of advance expertise.

Besides the humanitarian services, the medical mission will also help in significantly contributing to the international understanding and strengthening the ties between India and Lesotho.



Army gets tough on study leave
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Army officers who fail to make the grade in courses pursued by them while on a study leave will have up to give up their salary for the duration they were undergoing the said course. The directive comes after the Army found that it was unable to employ the supposed expertise the officers had inculcated after undertaking some professionally oriented courses.

Sources said a recent policy letter issued by the Directorate-General, Military Training (DGMT), has directed that officers taking up computer courses while on study leave should sit for and pass examinations conducted by DOEACC, failing which they should surrender the salary earned for the leave period.

DOEACC is an autonomous body functioning under the central government's Department of Information Technology.

The directives come in the backdrop of officers availing study leave, ostensibly to enhance their professional skills, but using the time for pursuing other agendas. Study leave is for two years, during which an officer is entitled to draw his full salary and other benefits.

"The Army found a number of instances where officers who had undergone professional computer courses were unable to carry out their tasks when placed in IT-related appointments," an officer said. "It was then learnt that they were able to procure certificates from some privately managed computer institutes without even attending classes," he added.

This problem is generally related to computer and IT-related courses as examinations for other courses like MBA and ME/M.Tech, which can also be pursued on study leave, are conducted by universities where there is no option but to study to pass.

The Army had introduced the concept of study leave over 20 years ago, with the thought that it would give deserving officers a chance to update their knowledge and professional acumen midway through their careers and raise the overall standard of the Army.

Quite to the contrary, this facility has been misused or employed as a means to sidestep a career phase. An estimated 1,000 officers avail study leave every year, and according to reports, most of them are those who do not have much of a future in the Army. Others use it as a means to avoid serving at a particular place or under a particular commander or to continue to be stationed at the same place for reasons like children's education or constructing a house.

The main reason for this is the existing system which has failed to give higher civil education any importance, especially for promotion to higher ranks, according to a earlier report.

"It should not come as a surprise to anyone that till today not a single Chief of Army Staff or Army Commander has ever availed of study leave. Probably, no other Lieutenant-General, barring those in the technical branches, has made use of it either," the report added.



Passing thru

Dr Asad Rahmani
Dr Asad Rahmani, Director, Bombay Natural History Society

What brings you to Chandigarh?

I am here to sign an MoU with the Haryana Government on the conservation breeding programme for vultures. The programme at the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre near Gurgaon, will now be run jointly by the BNHS and the Haryana Government.

The first vulture in captivity was to be born in the centre at Pinjore. What went wrong?

Yes, we were very hopeful of the birth of the first vulture in captivity. A pair of white backed vultures in the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre had laid two eggs. The health of the newborn birds would have also revealed the extent of physical damage caused to bird species by diclofenac drug (if the new borns are healthy, it means the reproductive system is not affected by the disease). Since, the vultures were first time parents, the eggs did not hatch. But the positive sign is that there is breeding, and next time round we could be successful.

What is the delay in banning diclofenac — the main cause of vulture deaths?

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, too had announced that the drug should be banned to save the vultures. However, we have to educate people about the alternative to diclofenac, and this alternative drug has to be readily available.

— Bipin Bhardwaj



Development projects await completion
665 acres of prime land encroached upon
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Delay in gathering public consensus is coming in the way of demolition of religious structures, which have stalled the completion of several prestigious projects in the city.

The Chandigarh Administration has identified about 20 such sites where religious structures were proving to be an impediment to the development works. The widening of the national highway No. 21 and another highway which passes along the Industrial Area, Phase II, has been affected due to encroachments at five different sites, said a senior official in the Administration.

A project of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) at Palsora village and the convention centre in Sector 31 has also been held up due to religious structures.

A report prepared by the Administration on the extent of encroachments states that about 665 acres of prime land was under encroachment, including those by religious institutions. It states that about 390 religious structures were existing in sectoral gird, colonies and villages. Of these 194 were in the sectoral gird.

Sources said in a recent survey it was found that 102 religious structures either existed since the inception of the city or came up without permission. During the past 12 years 17 religious structures had come up in certain areas which had been fully or partly acquired by the Administration.

To gather public opinion, the issue will once again be tabled in the Administrator’s advisory council meeting scheduled for May 9. The issue wasplaced in the January 2006 meeting of the council but no decision was taken then.

The sub-group on unauthorised religious structures and encroachments had in its recommendations stated that as a matter of policy the Administration should remove all encroachments without any discrimination. Priority should be accorded to areas where projects were stuck up because of unauthorised structures.

The sub-group had stated that in case of unauthorised religious structures a meeting should be held with the management of these religious places. In case the religious place which existed before the city was carved out, some alternative site should be offered by the Administration on reasonable rates.

Since the slum colonies were being shifted, the religious sites in the colonies would loose their utility after the shifting of the slums. The sub-group recommended that one site each should be earmarked in the area where labour colonies were being shifted. But the issue has not been resolved so far.



New taxi service from May 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The new taxi service in the city is likely to become operational from May 9, a senior official in the State Transport Authority, said here yesterday.

The State Transport Authority has cleared at least 25 cars of the Mega Group, a Delhi- based company. Another 25 odd of the Indus Travels and Logistics, a Mohali- based company, are undergoing the process of testing.

At least 45 cabs are expected to be on the city roads by May 9. The Hertz Group has committed to start its services by May 15. "We want to clear the last moment hiccups before a quality service begins on the city roads", a senior official said.

It was pointed out that the local cab operators in the city have been asked to pull out their taxis from the local roads. "They have an all India permit and were contacted at least four times before the services began. They had not even bothered to respond to the advertisements. They thought the services will never take off because of financial implications which they miscalculated", the official pointed out.

In a special mention, the STA has cleared the formalities for the cabs plying to the satellite towns of Mohali and Panchkula. "The cabs will be paying the annual or the six monthly charges to the states concerned before obtaining the valid permits for plying there.

Special care is being taken about the standards of the taxi services which are required to be at least 1000 cc capacity; be air conditioned; and have an electronic meter installed before the services commence.

The exercise of locating more parking stations for the cabs in the city is still continuing.



CTU cautious on starting AC buses
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Apprehensions about the success of the proposed AC bus service in the city by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has led to several amendments in the original plans, including sizeable cut in the number of routes and number of buses.

Instead of the original proposal of 64 air-conditioned buses, the CTU has decided to purchase only 14 in the first batch. Out of the total, two will be kept in the reserved quota. The orders for more buses will be formulated only on basis of the success of the original batch, said reliable sources.

The CTU had earlier decided to operate the buses on a grid system, introduced earlier this year. There were eight different routes planned. The buses would have to operate only on the V-5 routes which meant the inter-sectoral roads only. It has been learnt that the Administration now is introducing the buses only on three routes.

The proposed routes for the AC buses include Panchkula-PGIMER, Mohali-High Court-ISBT and ISBT-PGI. The fares of the proposed bus routes will be Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 20, depending on the distance. The buses introduced under the new scheme will be all 25-seater mini-buses. The buses will be operated by the CTU only.

Reliable sources said that the employees’ union of the CTU had earlier expressed its reservations about the new bus services. “One of the reasons was that the CTU had recently purchased more than 100 buses and that the traffic in the city buses was not really very welcoming for any new bus service,” sources said.

The matter had, however, been resolved for the moment, which was confirmed by Mr Ranjit Singh, president of the CTU Employees Union. Sources said that one of the major reason why the employees accepted the AC bus service was because they were convinced that in case the CTU did not accept the proposal it might be passed on to the private operators.

A number of CTU conductors were apprehensive that the ACs would not really be effective on small routes in the city which would have stops after short distances. They felt that point-to-point service on longer routes could be a better avenue. It was also felt that the expenditure on the public transport needed to be first studied in terms of the number of the daily travellers and the facilities already available.

Senior officials, however, feel that daily office goers in their private conveyances on long routes from Panchkula and Mohali could be persuaded to avoid travelling by their cars for a comfortable journey in CTU AC bus instead.



School bus drivers flouting court directions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
School buses continue to move towards mishaps despite a safety drive launched by the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police. In one such case, a school bus today pulled down an electricity pole in Sector 45 after it got entangled with the overhead wires. Fortunately, no one was injured in the mishap.

The sources in the local police said the accident occurred this morning after the bus had dropped the students. Eyewitnesses added that the problem was caused due to the failure of the electricity board to tighten the wires.

They add that in any case, the school buses are sill blowing the road safety norms to the wind even though erring drivers were challaned “in bulk” as a part of the drive.

A random survey reveals that contrary to the directions issued by Mr Justice Swatenter Kumar and Mr Justice Sat Pal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a civil writ petition number 7639 of 1995, so many drivers and conductors have not attended refresher courses. They are dressed up in casuals, instead of uniform.

In a large number of cases, the conductors do not possess driving licenses. Worse, in so many buses, the first-aid box is missing, or has medicines that have outlived their lives.

Giving details of the judgement, the sources say that the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while issuing directions in the traffic regulation and pollution control case, had directed that the school buses should not be allowed to “exceed the speed of 50 km per hour”. But little has apparently been done by the Chandigarh Police and the state transport authorities to check overspeeding and other violations.

The sources add that the result of non-compliance is there for all to see. Just a few months back, injuries were sustained by six school students. They were on their way to an institute in Sector 26 when the bus — being driven in a rash and negligent manner — turned turtle in Sector 11.

In July, 2003 also, as many as 23 young innocents were hurt in a collision between a senior Punjab Police officer’s car and an Army truck ferrying students to the school. At that time also, special challening drives were launched. Several drivers were fined. A number of vehicles were also impounded. But after a few day, the “policing was back to normal”.



Drive against sirens, hooters soon
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 3
The Chandigarh Traffic Police will launch a special drive against the use of hooters and siren. Besides this, in an effort to avoid accidents involving slow-moving vehicles, it will also launch a campaign to promote the use of slow-carriage ways among pedestrians, cyclists and rickshaw-pullers.

According to a press statement today, the drive against sirens and hooters is being launched to enforce the notification issued by the Home Department of the UT Administration in June, regarding the ban on hooters and sirens, except atop ambulances, fire brigades and Chandigarh Police vehicles.

Sources said the campaign to promote the use of slow-carriage ways among pedestrians, cyclists and rickshaw-pullers on some busy roads would also be launched.

The traffic police said it would divert pedestrians, cyclists and rickshaw-pullers towards cycle tracks parallel to Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg, Himalaya Marg and Jan Marg.



Blood cancer patient in search of messiahs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Parwanoo resident Yashpal has not known a moment’s rest since March this year. He has no time to grieve over fate’s “unfair dealings”. with no time to rest, he is on his toes practically all day, running around arranging finances to fund his son, Rishab’s, treatment for blood cancer at PGIMER.

A small-time operator in a private firm, he’s has had no time to recover from this shock while his wife and three-and-half year-old Rishab have moved out to a new ‘home’, the Hansraj serai at PGIMER, for his treatment.

“He was the apple of our eye, naughty like any other kid his age, and adorable. A quick learner, he fell ill sometime back and bruises appeared all over his body. The local doctor referred us to PGI. It numbed our senses when the doctor told us our baby had a dreaded disease like blood cancer. My wife almost fainted and I too was stunned. Since then our life hasn’t been the same,” he says.

Rishab hardly realises what he’s up against but his mother and grandfather’s body language tell him something is wrong somewhere. “He keeps very quiet for the better part of the day. It is painful to see him like that when you know there is an energetic child hidden inside somewhere, wanting to break free of the disease. His brother and sister too realise the enormity of the problem and try to manage themselves without troubling me for anything,” he says.

And to add to their woes, a financial crunch is already staring the family in the face. While they have managed to pay for the treatment so far, it’s unlikely to go very far. “Whatever money we have organised has primarily been through borrowing. We have spent nearly Rs 70,000 already and need Rs 70,000 initially and Rs 2000 per month (Rs 50,000 approximately) for the subsequent two years besides having to stay at PGI for a few months. Rishab’s treatment will take about two years and we need money urgently to continue his treatment. Now, all our sources and resources are exhausted,” says Yashpal.

Occupying room number 202 at the Hansraj serai at PGIMER, Rishab’s mother is only prayer is that his treatment should not be interrupted for want of money. “I hope he recovers and our family can be together again,” says the distraught mother.

Those interested in helping Rishab can send cheques in favour of the Director, PGIMER, or get in touch with the PRO, PGIMER, at phone number: 0172-2756003.



Functioning of gaushala comes under cloud
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, May 3
The functioning of a gaushala being managed by a mahant at Mukandpur village has come under cloud with six cows dying in the past three days.

The case came to light after Mr Suresh Gupta and Mr Satdev Bagi, presidents of the BJP unit of Dera Bassi Mandal, visited the gaushala and gave Rs 101 as donation to a worker over there. The worker allegedly made an entry of Rs 101 on the donor’s receipt but entered Rs 50 on the receipt which was to be kept with the management.

Noticing this, Mr Gupta and Mr Baggi visited the cowshed. They found three cows lying dead while two others were struggling for life.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Gupta stated that the cowshed was in a deplorable state. The animals were virtually starving and their health had deteriorated due to unhygienic conditions.

According to Dr Rajesh Kumar, a veterinary doctor, people often leave sick animals here. To look after them was tough and this led to death of many, he added.

Mr Kewal Garg, chief administrator of the gosala, claimed that he had been spending Rs 5-6 lakh on providing fodder to the cattle daily. He added that he would look into the matter if some employee had been cheating people in the name of donation for cows. He also said a news gaushala would be constructed at Mubarikpur soon.



Survey finds 24,000 slum dwellers eligible for tenements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The Estate Office yesterday froze the data of the bio-matrix survey of the 18 slum clusters in the city.

In the survey, which concluded recently, about 24,000 slum dwellers have been found to be eligible for getting tenements.

After holding a meeting with officials of the district administration, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, forwarded the data to the Chandigarh Administration for suitable action.

The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has to raise tenements for the slum dwellers under the rehabilitation policy.

Aimed at checking that the dwelling units offered under the slum rehabilitation schemes are not sold off by the original allottee for a small profit, the administration carried out the survey of the 18 slum clusters in the city.

The survey entailed taking finger prints of the beneficiaries, photographs of the allottee and their families apart from other personal details of the slum dwellers.

A senior officer in the administration said the specific survey covered all families which were going to be benefited under the ambitious plan to provide one-room tenements to all slum-dwellers in the city, existing as on date. The tenements would be given on rental basis.



Sewing machines distributed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The Handicap Welfare Association distributed sewing machines free of cost among the needy and handicapped girls in Palsora colony, here today. The chairman of the association and the chief guest, Mr Bahadur Singh, gave away the machines.

He was welcomed by Mr Ramesh Kumar president of the association. He said the association was helping handicapped children from time to time by giving them gifts. Mr Bahadur Singh said that the sewing machines would help them to be self-reliant and earn a living.

He stressed on the need of educating handicapped children and educated them about the various welfare schemes for the handicapped.



Advisory panel meeting on May 9

Chandigarh, May 3
The next meeting of the UT Administrator’s advisory council will be held on May 9 at the UT Guest House, a press note said here yesterday.

The recommendations of the sub-groups constituted on the education sector reforms and initiatives, e-governance and good governance and footpath workers will be discussed at the meeting. The sub-groups were constituted on various subjects by the Administrator and recommendations of a number of sub-groups have already been deliberated upon by the council in its earlier meetings.

The council will also discuss the matter regarding encroachments by religious institutions. — TNS



SDM takes charge
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 3
The local SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans, took over as Administrator of the Municipal Council here today. He replaced Mr Darshan Singh Sandhu, SDM, Kharar.

Mr Hans said the ongoing development works in the town would be completed on a priority basis, including the building of the Municipal Bhavan in Sector 68.

He said the naming of areas as sectors instead of phases would be popularised as the present system caused a lot of confusion. Appropriate signboards would be put up and traffic junctions would be provided for the smooth flow of traffic in the town.



Minister welcomes Miss India-Canada
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Miss India-Canada 2005 Shani Singh, hailing from Waterloo, was yesterday welcomed here by Mr Hans Raj Josan, Minister of State for Forest, Punjab, at his residence.

Ms Shani Singh said she would organise two charity shows in Punjab every year and the money generated from the shows would be donated to volunteer social organisations.

Ms Shani Singh, 21, is currently pursuing an under-graduate degree at the University of Waterloo.



Two arrested with stolen wires
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 3
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh police today arrested two persons and recovered 37 metres of stolen cable wire belonging to BSNL. The police also arrested a Badheri resident on the charge of carrying four bottles of liquor illegally. Elsewhere a car was stolen from the city and a tenant allegedly decamped with household items from a Sector 15 house. In a separate incident, a Mauli Jagran resident was held on the charge of indulging in gambling.

Giving details of the thieves held by crime branch, the police said, Shiv Rattan of Jagatpura village near here and Vishwa Nath of Colony Number 5, were arrested this afternoon from Sector 48 on the basis of secret information. Their arrest led to the recovery of 37 metres of cable belonging to BSNL. They had stolen the cables from two places in Sector 23 the last month. The police said both accused were earlier too arrested by the police on the charges of burglary. A trial was pending against them and they were released on bail by a local court.

Liquor seized

Deepak Kumar of Badheri village was arrested from road separating Sector 40 and 41 on Tuesday while allegedly carrying four bottles of liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

Car stolen

Devinder Singh of New Basti Store, Sector 71, Mohali, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his car was stolen from Shashtri Market in Sector 22 on Tuesday. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.


Mr Harish Charder of Sector 15-C reported to the police alleging that his tenant, Pal Singh of Khizrabad in Mohali district had stolen his refrigerator, a ceiling fan and other household goods during his absence between March 9 and March 14. The police has registered a case.


Vickey Kumar of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran was arrested from near government tubewell in the locality on the charge of indulging in gambling at public place on Tuesday. The police recovered Rs 220 from him. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.



One killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 3
A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a motor cycle on the road separating Sector 49 and 50, late last night.

Giving details about the accident, sources in the Sector 34 police station said, 45-year-old Manohar Lal, a labourer residing in the Custom Colony in Sector 49 was injured after being hit by a motor cycle. The accident took place on the road separating Sector 49 and 50, when the victim was crossing the road. He was shifted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where he died.

The police has arrested the motor cyclist, Jagdambe Prashad of Phase I, Mohali. He was later released on bail.



Decomposed body of man found

Chandigarh, May 3
The highly decomposed body of a man in his mid-thirties was found from his rented accommodation at Burail village here today. The police while ruling out any possibility of foul play behind the death said no external injury marks were found on it.

The police said the deceased has been identified as Mustaq Ahmed of Bihar, who was a diabetic patient. He had come to the city in search of job on April 26. The death came to light when his neighbours noticed foul odour emitting from his room, which was locked from inside. The police found the body after breaking open the door. The police also found medical reports of the deceased suggesting that he was a diabetic.

The police informed his local relatives about the incident and shifted the body to the Sector 16 General Hospital. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard. — OC



Youth thrashed, robbed in clash over parking
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 3
A dispute over parking place took an ugly turn when five unidentified occupants of a car allegedly thrashed a boy and snatched his gold chain before fleeing the spot. The incident took place outside a coffee shop in Sector 11.

Mr Nikhil Bedi of Sector 38-C in his complaint with the police alleged that five occupants a car (CH-03-F-8815) entered into a brawl with him following a dispute over parking space. The accused thrashed him and also took away his gold chain before fleeing the spot, alleged Bedi.

A case has been registered in this regard and efforts are on to trace the accused, said a police officer in the Sector 11 Police Station.



Biz Clips

Credit for development: State Bank of Patiala has decided to extend credit of Rs 10 crore for the economic development of Kalka subdivision. Mr S.C. Dhall, senior manager of the bank at Kalka said that the bank had constituted a marketing team, which would help in mobilising quality advances in large volumes. — TNS

Interest rates: Vijay Bank has revised the interest rates on domestic term deposits of maturity of one year and above. In a press release issued here today, the interest on deposits for a year have been revised to 6.5 per cent, between two years and three years to 6.75 per cent, and for deposits of three years and above at 7 per cent. — TNS


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