C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bhandari voted out as MC chief
Accuses Chander Mohan of stalling development work
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 11
In less than a year after having taken over as the President of the local Municipal Council, Mr Tarun Bhandari was unanimously removed from the post today.

In the 11 months, since he took over as the MC chief, he faced three no confidence motions. Two councillors, Ms Seema Chaudhary and Ms Anita Aggarwal, besides Mr Bhandari were not present at the meeting. However, remaining 28 councillors and the local MLA and Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, voted against Mr Bhandari.

Other than the councillors owing allegiance to the Congress, three BJP councillors and eight INLD councillors voted against Mr Bhandari in the meeting chaired by the SDM, Mr Virender Dahiya.

The proceedings of the meeting were videotaped, and all members were asked to cast vote. The meeting lasted for over one hour.

Just hours before he was to face the no-confidence motion, Mr Bhandari had submitted his resignation to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brijendra Singh. He demanded that the meeting of the council, called to move the no-confidence against him, be cancelled. “However, since there is an option to withdraw the resignation within a week, Section 20 (ii) of the Haryana Municipal Act says that the a no-confidence motion is not affected by the resignation. So, we allowed the MC meeting to take place later,” said Mr Brijendra Singh.

Earlier, Mr Bhandari called a press conference and accused Mr Chander Mohan of stalling the development works in order to settle political scores. “He did not want a parallel political power, so he did not allow the council to function properly. All ways and means were used to win over the councillors against me”, he said. 



Clear the air, Bahl asks Lucky
Dy Mayor faces another complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Mr B.B.Bahl, has asked Mr H.S.Lucky, Deputy Mayor, to clarify his stand on the controversy surrounding his alleged role in the case of theft of clothes from a garment store in Sector 17 in which the name of his wife and car figures.

Mr B.B.Bahl has written that “I am constrained to write to you after having gone through media reports during the past fortnight about your involvement in an alleged theft case. The electronic media has also highlighted the issue to a great extent, thus, bringing a bad name to the party.”

“It has also been reported that your personal car has been impounded by the police which is alleged to have been used for the purpose. You have been directed to report to the crime branch of the police for further interrogation.”

Mr Bahl said his being the Deputy Mayor was adding fuel to the controversy which was being cashed in on by Opposition parties.

The letter adds: “Before I proceed further in the matter, you are requested to clarify your stand in writing by 12 noon on May 12 failing which disciplinary action may be initiated against you.”

Mr Bahl is currently camping in Delhi in order to take up the matter with the party high command. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Bahl said: “I have not been able to meet senior party leaders over the issue. I expect a response from the party high command tomorrow.”

In his reply, Mr Lucky said: “The FIR in question was registered on April 18 by Mr Alok Jain against his employee Raju. Nowhere in the FIR my car number or anything against me has been mentioned. I have come to know that the complainant has again written a letter to the IGP and the SSP saying he was satisfied with his FIR registered earlier and action taken thereof and all reports appearing in the media were just to unnecessarily highlight the issue for political purpose.”

“Yesterday, I was requested by the crime branch to appear before it which I did. If you want to further discuss the matter, please call a party meeting which you have failed to call earlier on various important issues. Please put on agenda the issues which you had earlier said will be taken up and also put on agenda the earlier controversies and the action taken report.”

The reply added: “Sir, the irony of the situation is that persons who are bringing bad name to the party are sitting next to you and hatching conspiracies against devoted and loyal partymen.”

Meanwhile, Mr Ajay Gupta of Ambala contacted Mr Satish Chandra, Inspector-General of Police, Chandigarh, today and filed a complaint against Mr Lucky. According to Mr Gupta, he, along with his family, shifted to Sector 8 and got acquainted with Mr Lucky’s family about two years ago. He alleged that Mr Lucky instigated his wife Anu Garg and mother-in-law against him (Ajay) and led his family to separation.

He also charged Mr Lucky with getting a false case registered against him. Demanding prompt justice, Mr Gupta urged the IG to take action on his complaint.



Plea to quiz Raju to be heard today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 11
A local court today adjourned hearing on an application moved by the Chandigarh Police seeking permission to interrogate Raju, the salesman involved in the infamous case of theft of expensive garments from an exclusive ladies garment showroom in Sector 17, in Burail Jail till tomorrow.

Sources in the crime branch said the police had identified the second woman allegedly involved in the theft along with Harneet Kaur, wife of Deputy Mayor H.S. Lucky. The sources added that the woman had been absent from her school after the issue was highlighted by the media.

It is also learnt that investigating officials have gathered some vital clues linking the persons involved in the theft. police officers, however, refused to divulge the details of their findings, saying that the investigation was at a crucial stage and disclosing facts at this stage could hamper the investigations.



BJP men burn Lucky’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
BJP activists of Ward No. 11 today held a demonstration and burnt the effigy of Congress councillor HS Lucky at the light point of Sectors 20 and 21. BJP spokesperson Kehar Singh Koundel said that today’s demonstration had exposed the corrupt face of a public figure. He further demanded that a enquiry should be conducted about the property and other sources of income of the Congres leaders.

The BJP activists said that when the representative who had been elected from Ward No. 11 was involved in such crimes, how could he then expect to set an example for the people. The activists demanded that an enquiry should also be marked into his wife’s involvement in the alleged theft. 



AC taxi service for city flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The city from today onwards has an airconditioned taxi service on its roads. The new cab service was flagged off by Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator, at the Rock Garden here today.

The cab service related ‘Tourist Guide Services’ were also launched on the occasion. The UT will have the cheapest metered taxi services in the country. The cab will charge Rs 15 for the first kilometer and Rs 12 for the subsequent kilometers traveled. This rate is lower than the one already fixed in the year 2001 for all-India tourist permit holders.

In Delhi, metered AC taxis charge Rs 15 per kilometer while in Goa it is Rs 16 per kilometer. As many as 40 cabs of two companies, including the Mega Corporation Limited and the Indus Travels and Logistics, have come on roads. Carzonrent will start its services by May 15.

The cabs will be charging Rs 5 for every three minutes they have to wait at a stop in the process of a journey. The existing cabs in the city will continue their services, till further orders, a senior officer said.

All the taxis are brand new and airconditioned/air heated. They will be driven by uniformed drivers. The taxi services will be equipped with GSM/CDMA/landline network in order to facilitate the communication between the driver and control room of the operators. To ensure proper security and safety of the service users, the taxis will be working on Global Positioning System (GPS), whereby their locations will be monitored by their respective control rooms.

The cab services will be available 24x7 (24 hours and all seven days of a week) to the public. The services can be availed of by calling the respective telephone number of the company or by hiring the taxis from the designated locations. Thirtyone locations have been identified and marked, which are spread all over the city. The taxis can also be stopped on the road if they are vacant and are not being used by any other tourist.

Tourists can dial 4141414 or 4646464 to avail the taxi services. Today, the taxi services were provided free of cost. Many foreign and Indian tourists from Canada, Mexico, United States, Germany, Holland, Croatia and different parts of the country enjoyed the free ride and visited various tourist spots of the City Beautiful.

Initially, nine trained tourist guides have been inducted, who have been trained from the local Food Craft Institute. These guides are well versed with the tourism sites and requirement of the tourists. The guides will charge Rs 100 per hour, Rs 300 for half day (four hours) and Rs 500 for full day (eight hours). Tourists can avail the services of trained tourist guides by contacting the Tourist Information Office on telephone numbers 2704614 and 2703839.

The Adviser also interacted with the foreign and Indian tourists, who were present on that occasion. He also distributed ‘Chandigarh Tourism T-Shirts’ to the tourists. Mr Kishna Mohan, Home secretary, Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr R.K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner, Mr P.S. Shergill, Secretary, Secretary Transport Authority, and Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Tourism, were also present on the occasion.



Court stays occupation of land worth crores
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, May 11
A Rajpura court has finally come to the rescue of the Municipal Council. In a significant decision, Mr A.P. Batra, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), has stayed the alleged illegal occupation of prime land worth crores in the Municipal Council limits by one Hem Raj.

With this, the tug-of-war between Hem Raj and the Municipal Council seems to be heading towards its logical conclusion.

The ADC and the Deputy Director, Local Bodies are visiting the town tomorrow for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

In fact, the dispute about the land measuring about 13 bighas in Mauza Madhopura in Dera Bassi goes back to last month when attempts were allegedly made to grab the prime property and sell it off.

Though the Municipal Council put up a spirited defence to save its land but the attempts seemed to be defeated in the wake of little help from the local administration and the police.

Expressing happiness over the judgment, Mr Amritpal Singh, Municipal Council chief, alleged that the civic body received little help from the administration and the police.

“Exhausting all channels, the council had approached the court and the judiciary has helped us in saving the prime public land from illegal occupation,” he added.

He said the civic body would put all records before the visiting officials tomorrow for a thorough probe into the matter.

He warned that encroachers on the public property would be dealt with sternly.

It may be recalled that in wake of the recent real estate boom, the property prices have shot up in Chandigarh's periphery, including Dera Bassi.

The illegal occupation of the prime public land is a routine affair. In fact, in some cases, the role of the police and the local administration has come under a cloud for being partisan.



Schoolboy drowns in PCA pool

Mohali, May 11
A 12 -year -old schoolboy drowned in the swimming pool of the prestigious PCA Club here this evening.

The boy, Gaurav Sharma, was taken to the Fortis Hospital here soon after he was taken out of the pool. He reached the hospital about 8 p.m., but by that time his condition was reported to be critical.

It is learnt that the boy, who was a student of Class VIII at the local Sant Isher Singh School, had gone to the swimming pool of the club along with a friend. When he reportedly dived into the pool, his head probably hit the bottom. It is reported that nobody at the pool noticed that the boy had got injured. It was only after about 15 minutes or so that the friend of the boy told others present that Gaurav was missing.

Soon, a search for the missing boy started. When he was traced, he was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

It was a big shock for the family which received a telephonic message at their home in Phase X. The father of the boy, Mr C.L.Sharma, rushed to the hospital. The mother of the boy was not told about the tragedy till later.

It is reported that there was no lifeguard on duty at the swimming pool when the incident took place. Moreover, the water in the pool was also not very clear and as such it took extra time to locate the boy. The PCA management claimed that an attendant was present at the pool. The coach was, however, on leave. The management also claimed that the water in the pool was filled about a month ago.

A postmortem on the body is expected to be conducted at the Civil Hospital tomorrow.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, said that the police was investigating the matter and strict action would be taken in case some negligence was found.

The SDM, he said, would be asked to check whether or not all swimming pools in the area, including the one at the PCA stadium, were following the safety measures and norms. — OC



Passing Thru

What does the World Press Institute (WPI) do?

Mr John H. Ullmann
Mr John H. Ullmann, Executive Director, World Press Institute, Minnesota, USA

The WPI is committed to promoting excellence in international reporting and to fostering understanding about the role and responsibilities of a free Press in a democracy.

The WPI has coined the term “transparency reporting”. What does it mean?

It is something broader than investigative reporting. People have a right to know what is going on in the financial world. “Transparency reporting” is about bad things, not bad people.

How do you find Indian newspapers?

Indian newspapers are obsessed with the government — elections are covered like a horse race, predicting who is ahead and who trails. Journalists need to do stories people care about; there should be stories that people are interested in and stories that affect their lives.

What qualities should a good journalist have?

You have to be inquisitive and you have to understand how the system works. In daily journalism, you only know the question. It is in investigative journalism that you get the answers.

Are ethics important in journalism?

Journalists should maintain very high standards of ethics. Stories must be found in the most ethical way.

— Naveen S. Garewal



‘Open house’ at CSIO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here today organised an “open house” for the public as part of celebrations for the National Technology Day. A large number of visitors, including college and university students, visited the campus and they were shown around various laboratories. The day is observed to commemorate the 1998 nuclear tests at Pohkaran.

The students also interacted with the scientists and were told about various ongoing projects and technologies developed by the CSIO. They were also given demonstrations about the working of some of the gadgets.

Later, speaking on “New concepts in pulse power technology, the Director of Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Dr V. S. Sethi, said that modern research was focused on the innovation of such weapons which meet the objective of defeating the enemy without inflicting permanent injury or loss of life.

High, power microwave and electromagnetic pulse weapons may be some of these kind of weapons, he said. He said that the success of many scientific and engineering challenges lied in the generation of high energy—high current pulses.

Earlier, the CSIO Director, Dr Pawan Apur, highlighted contribution of CSIO in different areas, including medical and defence sectors. In his address, he called upon scientists of CSIO to make a concerted effort in research and development in areas related directly to the common man, thereby improving the quality of their life.



Gurneet Tej felicitated
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 11
The Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat today honoured Gurneet Tej, daughter of Mr S.S. Tej, Chief Sub-Editor, Punjabi Tribune, who bagged the second position in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) examination, results of which were declared recently.

A special function was organised at the house of Gurneet Tej in Sarvmangal Cooperative House Building Society Limited, Lohgarh Road, where a former Punjab Finance Minister and Banur MLA, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, and the president of the nagar panchayat, Mr N.K. Sharma, presented her with a memento. Members of the nagar panchayat were also present on the occasion.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh hailed Gurneet’s achievement which, he said, had brought laurels to Punjab in general and Zirakpur in particular.

Mr Sharma said Gurneet’s achievement showed that students of the fast-developing township of Zirakpur were second to none in various fields, including academics. Her achievement would provide inspiration to students of small towns to excel in various fields, he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Parbodh Lamba, president of the society, also hailed Gurneet’s success, adding that it was a great achievement for a local student.



Mohali murder: illicit relations may be motive, says police
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 11
The police suspects illicit relations to be one of the reasons behind the stabbing incident of a Godrej employee near Sector 71 here last evening.

A seriously injured, Jatinder Singh, was found lying on the roadside in the area. He was taken to the local Civil Hospital where he was declared as having been brought dead.

The employee had sustained four stab wounds. While three of them were on the thighs, the fourth one was in the stomach.

It is learnt that the deceased was staying on rent but belonged to a village in Kapurthala district. It is alleged that he had illicit relations with a married woman in the area.

It is reported that he had a quarrel in the factory with another employee. Maybe he had been stabbed out of revenge. 



3 snatching incidents in one day
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 11
Snatching incidents continue in the city. In the past 24 hours, there were three incidents of snatchings, however, in one case; a snatcher was caught red-handed in Sector 15.

Ms Monika Batra of Sector 19-C alleged that a man attempted to snatch her gold chain near the Kisan mandi in Sector 15, late last night. She raised an alarm and the snatcher was nabbed on spot. He was later handed to the police.

Ms Rachna Singh of Sector 15-B reported to the police alleging that two unidentified clean-shaven youngsters, who were on a scooter, snatched her purse from near her residence yesterday. The purse contained Rs 2500 and a mobile phone, she told the police. Similarly, Ms Ashu Sindhu of Dadu Majra Colony reported to the police that two unknown scooterists snatched her bag near the government school in Sector 40, late last night. She told the police that she was going in a rickshaw when the miscreants came from behind and snatched her bag containing Rs 1700, two silver bangles and other articles.

Three separate cases were registered in this regard in various police stations.



Schoolgirl dies after being hit by truck
Our Correspondent

Mohali , May 11
A class VII student got seriously injured while going to school when she was hit by a truck near Chapparchiri village here this morning. The student later succumbed to her injuries.

According to the police, Rupinder Kaur, a resident of Santemajra village, was going on a bicycle to her school in Landran village when she was hit by a truck. She got seriously injured and was taken to the local Civil Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

The police has arrested the driver of the truck and impounded the vehicle.

The police has registered a case against the truck driver in this regard. 


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