C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


250 docs get termination notices
Unfazed, protesters to continue stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Tempers soared at the PGI today when the Director of the institute, in a bid to discourage the striking senior residents, served termination notices upon them. The strongly worded notices, however, did little to dampen the spirits of the agitating doctors who reacted with a vengeance by first tearing the notices and then consigning them to fire.

* 250 senior residents of PGI served termination notices: docs burn notices.
* PGI faculty says it will not allow victimisation of doctors.
* GMCH-32 OPDs to be closed from 10 am to 12 noon.
* No routine OPDs or elective operating theatres in PGI till strike continues, says PGI faculty.
* Parallel OPD from 9 am to 1 pm at PGI.
* Mammoth rally by doctors at 5.30 pm (Sector 17).
* Rally by PGI faculty at 4.30 pm.

They did so in an ambience loaded with rebellion, and in the presence of about 300 students from the institute. Incidentally, the notices were served on a day when the doctors rolled parallel OPDs in medicine, surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology. They examined about 250 patients today. At the OPDs run by faculty, sponsored candidates and pool officers, 849 patients were seen today.

The parallel OPDs will run tomorrow also from 9 am to 1 pm, although the Faculty Association of PGI has decided to boycott all OPDs as well as general surgery tomorrow. The president of the association, Dr Ashok Gupta, today extended full support to the cause of protesting doctors and said they would take up the issue with the Director in case any senior resident is victimised in any way. Dr Gupta was reacting to the termination notices which stated that the doctors would be terminated without further notice if they did not join work by 4 pm today.

Ignoring the deadline and gathering at the institute’s upper café this evening, 250 doctors revolted against the system. Doctor representatives used the occasion to garner support for tomorrow’s mammoth rally to be held opposite Neelam Theatre in Sector 17 at 5.30 pm. They announced their intentions of nurturing the movement and taking it to the streets of the city. And as they announced their list of supporters, they were cheered with claps that made a larger statement. It said: “We are here to stay.”

Interestingly, private hospitals like Fortis, Mukat and Inscol, the National Institute of Nursing Education, the PGI and the Association of Basic Medical Scientists, some pharmaceutical companies, lawyers and the Trading Association of Sector 17 also pledged support to the protesting doctors today.

For their part, the doctors did not squander the heat generated by today’s developments at the PGI. They used it to strengthen the support base for tomorrow’s rally which will, for the first time, see participation from medical institutes of Rohtak, Jammu, Amritsar and Ludhiana, besides GMCH-32 and GH-16. Also present will be school students, private individuals and medical representatives.

Also marching in protest tomorrow will be PGI faculty members, who will walk from Kairon Bhavan to Sector 17 at 4.30 pm. Announcing the decision, association members today asked the striking doctors to refrain from sloganeering and march peacefully. They also admonished those holding parallel OPDs “not to use PGI’s official forms and cards” as it is illegal under strike period.

Meanwhile, traders of Sector 17 have agreed to keep their shutters half down during the rally tomorrow.



‘We’re fighting for social change’
Doctors spread anti-quota protest to houses
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
As the agitation against the Union Government's proposed quota policy prepares to enter its fifth day in the region, two senior doctors from the PGI are quietly charting the future course of action.

No OPDs, no general surgery today

Coming out openly in support of the striking doctors, the Faculty Association of the PGI today decided to boycott all OPDs tomorrow. The president of the association, Dr Ashok Gupta, said no routine surgical list would be put up in any operation theatre tomorrow which means only emergency surgery will take place. The faculty members will also conduct a rally in support of the strike tomorrow.

The faces of doctors’ agitation across the region— Dr Jaspreet Singh and Dr Anindya Banerjee, president and vice-president, respectively, of the Association of Resident Doctors, PGI — have a potentially challenging task at hand. On the one hand they must answer the call of conscience as doctors and on the other they must perform their duty in the larger social interest.

Small wonder that they, along with 248 protesting senior residents, remain unruffled by the termination notices which the PGI Director has served upon them today. They reacted by sharpening the tone of agitation which has spread beyond the premises of the PGI and the GMCH-32.

The strike now has the support of a cross-section as diverse as the general public, lawyers and school students on the one hand and doctors, private hospitals and medical representatives on the other. On the eve of the largest-ever rally to be organised on quota issue north of Delhi, Dr Jaspreet Singh and Dr Banerjee spoke to The Tribune about the urgency of the strike and the purpose of it.

For how long do you propose to continue the stir?

We will agitate as long as our demands are not met. We understand that political compulsions exist, but the government must make a commitment at some level. They are proposing an increase in seats, but this is viable only if adequate infrastructure is provided.

The Finance Minister has said money will not be an issue. What is your reservation then?

It is not about money alone. It is very difficult to set up super-specialty institutes like the PGI. In one term just about 60 students make it to this place. When the Eye Institute came up in the PGI, only four seats were increased. Increasing seats in such institutes means going into minute details like faculty-student ratio and bed-student ratio.

What do you think is a more practicable solution?

All doctors have discussed the issue and reached the conclusion that the government should rather set up exclusive institutions where heavy reservations can be introduced. Let them not target premiere institutes like AIIMS and the PGI. We have the example of the CMC, Vellore, where huge reservations are available to Christians and yet high standards are maintained. Such a plan is better.

As doctors you have a moral duty towards patients. How do you explain your stand on moral grounds?

It is always easy to get back to work than to continue the stir. But we have taken a stand on a larger social issue, and we are happy it has found support beyond medical institutions. We are working for social change. Tomorrow's rally in Chandigarh is a major step in that direction. For patients we are running parallel OPDs at the PGI. We examined 300 patients today.

How do you propose to keep up your agitation? There is bound to be burn out.

For the time being we are not going on hunger strike. Instead we have offered to support AIIMS if they need reinforcements for doctors on hunger strike. Also, we have conducted public campaigns to mobilise support. We are expecting over 2000 persons at tomorrow's rally.

What do you think can trigger an amicable solution on this burning issue?

First of all, the government must find out the exact numbers of OBCs in India. The Mandal Commission says it is somewhere near 52 per cent, whereas the National Samples Survey puts the figure between 32 to 35 per cent. The discrepancy is huge. No solution is possible unless you know the real size of your target population.



Remove encroachments by May 26, warns MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
According to a press release issued by the Municipal Corporation today, if the encroachments in Ram Darbar are not cleared by May 26, the Chandigarh Administration and MC would demolish the unauthorised structures.

Recalling the factual position regarding the removal of illegal commercial structures on road reservation areas in the Ram Darbar area, which were impeding the execution of developmental work amounting to Rs 55 lakh for the past one year, it was stated by the spokesperson that on V5 roads of Ram Darbar, Phase I and Phase II there were approximately 300 unauthorized commercial structures. These were removed on May 12.

The other nature of encroachments on public land in Ram Darbar, Phase I and Phase II is in the shape of toilets, stairs, rooms, and kitchen and boundarywalls constructed beyond the building line. A proper provision of WCs and bathrooms were originally provided in the sites. However, with the passage of time, inhabitants converted these WCs and bathrooms into habitable rooms and constructed WCs and kitchen on public land outside the original plotted area. Besides, stairs for access to the first floor have also been constructed in a few cases, boundary walls have also been extended beyond the building line to enclose road reservation area into individual houses. A survey has been conducted and it has been noticed that there are 544 houses where toilets/stores and 223 houses where rooms have been unauthorisedly constructed outside the building line on public land.

It was further clarified by the spokesperson that after the removal of unauthorised commercial structures on May 12 some inhabitants of Ram Darbar met Municipal Commissioner on May 17. It was requested by them that the inhabitants of the area may be given additional seven days to remove the encroachments on public land voluntarily failing which Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh and Chandigarh Administration may take appropriate action against the defaulters.



21-year-old youth falls to death
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
A 21-year-old youth was killed after falling from the top floor of his Sector 21 rented accommodation. The death came to light early this morning when one of his colleagues noticed the victim’s body lying in a pool of blood.

The victim, Devinder Singh, alias Kala, who hailed from Nar Singh Pura village in Fatehgarh Sahib district, was working with a parking contractor as a supervisor in the Sector 35 parking lot. He was unmarried and was living with two colleagues in the house.

The police, quoting the victim’s roommates, said Devinder had drinks with his roommates and had dinner with them at around 11 pm. After that they went to sleep and no one knew what happened thereafter. It was only in the morning that the death came to light, when one of them, who was going to a gym, saw the body lying in a pool of blood. He immediately raised the alarm and soon people gathered at the spot. The police was informed about the incident, which reached the spot.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhullar, said Central Forensic Science Laboratory experts and a team of UT Police’s forensic department were called for spot inspection. He added that on the basis of the statement recorded by the roommates of the victim and his neighbours, and the circumstantial evidence it appeared that it was an accidental death.

He added that the victim was suspected to be leaning over the parapet and accidentally fell from the top floor after loosing balance. He suffered grievous head injuries and also hurt his knee. The head injuries proved fatal. The victim’s family was informed about the incident and they ruled out the possibility of any foul play in the death.

Meanwhile, the police handed over the body to the family after a post-mortem.



Manvir Gill elected MC chief amid high drama
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
Allegations, counter-allegations and controversies marred the third elections of the Panchkula Municipal Council in which councillor Manvir Kaur Gill was announced to have been elected as president of the civic body amid high drama in the mini secretariat complex here this afternoon.

Attempts to lodge their protest with the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Brajindra Singh, yielded no results as the DC hardly bothered to attend them.

The division among the Congress municipal councillors in this election is a clear indication towards Chander Mohan’s losing popularity among Congress workers.

Out of the 30 municipal councillors, only 10 were present in a press conference addressed by Ms Gill soon after her “nomination” for the post of Panchkula MC chief.

The four-hour high drama was witnessed in the mini secretariat amid tight police security.

The political equation changed soon after Mr Chander Mohan left the meeting as the Congress municipal councillors got divided in two groups — the Bhupinder Singh Hooda group and the Chander Mohan group.

Municipal councillors belonging to the INLD encashed on the opportunity and joined hands with the MC of the Chander Mohan group.

The problem started when Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, who is also a nominated municipal councillor, asked the present councillors to favour his candidate and reportedly handed over an envelope, containing a slip in the name of his nominated candidate for the post of president, to presiding officer-cum-Sub-Divisional Magistrate V.K. Dahiya and quit the meeting.

Handing over the envelope to the presiding officer raised many eyebrows, following which a majority of the councillors belonging to the Congress, the BJP and some Independent councillor objected to it. The councillors opposed the procedure followed by the presiding officer.

The councillors then proposed two names — CB Goel and Mohinder Singh — for the MC presidentship but to no avail as Mr Dahiya had already declared Ms Gill as chief of the civic body.

Ms Gill along with 12 other councillors, some belonging to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and supporters came out of the SDM’s office, while over 18 councillors — associated with the Congress, the BJP and Independents — protested against the administration.

To lodge their protest the councillors shouted slogans against the administration as well as Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, whom they alleged had nominated Ms Gill without their consent.

Several councillors, including Congress city chief R.K. Kakkar, V.K. Sood from BJP, C.B. Goel and former Panchkula MC president Tarun Bhandari openly accused Mr Dahiya for having acted under the pressure of Mr Chander Mohan, who allegedly had given Gill’s name in an envelope to him.

While talking to media persons, the protesting municipal councillors held that the elections were unconstitutional and alleged that Mr Dahiya did not follow the proper procedure. They alleged that none of the councillors either proposed Ms Gill’s name or seconded it even though she was announced elected president of the municipal council.

Expressing their solidarity with Mr C.B. Goel, whose name was proposed and seconded by Jagdamba Gupta and seconded by Mr V.K. Sood, respectively, the rebel councillors have threatened to knock the doors of the court.

Mr Dahiya, however, denied the allegations levelled by the protesting councillors. He accused the rebel councillors of lying and said that 30 councillors, who were present in the meeting, had elected Ms Gill unanimously.

Mr Dahiya clearly denied that Mr Chander Mohan had given him any envelope naming Ms Gill as president of the civic body.

Interestingly, while Mr Dahiya claimed that Ms Gill’s name was proposed and seconded by the councillors for the post of president, Ms Gill, on the other hand, made it clear that she was declared for the post unanimously.

Ms Gill, who is also a close relative of former Rajya Sabha member Lachchman Singh who passed away recently, while addressing media persons in a hotel claimed that she would leave no stone unturned to fulfil the dream of Mr Bhajan Lal, father of Mr Chander Mohan, to develop Panchkula. She also claimed to take all the councillors along for taking up various development works in the city. 



150 km of city roads to be re-carpeted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor, has said nearly 150 km of city roads will be re-carpeted by the end of June, according to a press note issued here yesterday.

The new road for the Community Centre, high school and Dasehra Ground, all in Pocket VII of Mani Majra, will be completed within the next couple of months.



City records 2 mm rain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The city recorded a rainfall of 2 mm today. Although there was no significant change in temperature, the weather improved considerably as compared to yesterday.

The temperature in adjoining areas of the city also dropped. While Ambala recorded a four-degree drop, Ludhiana recorded a two degree drop. Day temperature also fell in Karnal and Amritsar.

As far as rain is concerned, Ambala received the maximum (27 mm), followed by Hisar (23 mm). Ludhiana, Patiala and Shimla received meager rainfall. 



Cable thefts give sleepless nights to BSNL
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, May 19
A series of cable thefts in the city and Mohali are giving sleepless nights to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) authorities here. Sources in the BSNL say that the theft of cable is not only causing financial loss, but more importantly it is weaning away subscribers from the telecom giant due to frequent disruption in services.

In the past two months over 24 incidents of cable thefts have been reported from the various parts of the city. The BSNL authorities suspect that the thefts could be a deliberated act by some private telecom operators to tarnish the image of the BSNL.

“No incident of theft of cable of private telecom companies has ever been reported in the past. This fact in itself strengthens the suspicion of a deliberate act to affect our image,” said a senior BSNL official who did not wish to be quoted.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune in this regard, Mr O.P. Sikka, Principal General Manager of the BSNL, said the matter had been referred to the police. About the possibility of a conspiracy behind the theft of cables, he said, “It will be difficult to say anything in this regard in the absence of evidence. However, I have heard things like that also.”

He further added that the matter was taken up with the Civil Engineering Department to work out a solution in this regard. The sealing of manholes could also be done as part of preventive measures, he said.

Recently, the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police had arrested two persons involved in the theft of these cables. They were residents of Colony No. 5. The in charge of the Crime Branch, Inspector Satbir Singh, said the accused had revealed names of some persons.

The sources in the BSNL said the thefts were committed during night and the cables were cut with specific instruments, usually used by experts to lay cables.

Giving details, the sources said in the past two months cables had been stolen from Sectors 23, 24, 25, 37, 38, 42 and Daria village. Similarly, services in Sector 45-A and C and in Sectors 46-C and D were hit after a 9 m cable was stolen from the road separating Sectors 45 and 46 on the night of May 16. Services to over 13,000 subscribers in Sectors 38, 39, 41, 55 and 56 were affected on May 4 because of a cable theft. Over 3,500 subscribers were affected because of a cable theft in Mohali on May 2. A BSNL engineer said 1kg of copper cable fetches anything between Rs 400 to 500 in the market. 



Problems galore for Sunny Enclave residents
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 19
Residents of the Sunny Enclave in Zirakpur are a harassed lot. Even after spending lakhs of rupees on buying plots and on the construction of houses, the residents are living with problems galore in the wake of the official apathy.

However, what has disgusted the harried residents the most is the fact that repeated representations to the authorities concerned have failed to improve the things. On the other hand, the residents have not resigned to their fate and have again shot off a representation to the Mohali DC hoping for some respite from the authorities concerned.

Perhaps the biggest problem facing the residents is the "illegal" parking of the trucks, rehras, tractor-trailers and tempos in the colony. The illegal parking blocks the passage and the parked vehicles and their drivers have become a source of nuisance, alleged Mr BL Sharma, a resident.

Not only that the proposed park in front of the colony, mostly inhabitated by the educated middle class people, has been encroached upon by the slum dwellers.

Closely following the "illegal" parking is the problem of noise pollution. As the colony is surrounded by certain marriage palaces on almost all sides, loud music is played whenever there is any function at these palaces. This besides inconveniencing senior citizens affects the students, complained Mr Harpal Saini.

Moreover, the polluted stream (ganda nullah), which meanders its way from the Colony No 4 in Chandigarh to the area is another sore point as foul smell has made the lives of the residents miserable.

The picture on the water and power supply front is also not that rosy, alleged Mr Sharma. Besides leakage of water at various points, the quality of the drinking water also remains doubtful with polluted water being reported from the colony several times, Mr Sharma complained.

Meanwhile, electricity wires and poles are in a dilapidated condition and a small current of wind plunges the area into darkness, the residents alleged.

The representation alleged that the recarpeting of the roads in the colony was at a standstill. Though concrete had already been laid yet the completion of the roads seemed to be nowhere in sight, the representation added.



Landlords refute lawyer’s allegation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Reacting to the news item, “Lawyers seek action against landlord”, the said landlords, Wg Cdr I.S. Sachdeva and his wife, Mrs Swarn Sachdeva, have refuted the charge of having being involved in the beating up a woman lawyer, Ms Anjali Kukar, as claimed by her.

The landlords have stated that there are some “landlord-tenant” litigations pending in the district as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court, because of which the woman lawyer was casting aspirations.

They have said that Ms Kukar took two rooms on rent in their house in April 2002, but in May 2004 she stopped paying the rent and filed a suit for injunction in a local court. These facts have been suppressed by her while seeking the support of other lawyers as well as in her report to the police, they said.

About the FIR registered by the Chandigarh Police under Section 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC, Wg Cdr Sachdeva said it was “totally false and mischievous as he and his wife were not present in Chandigarh on May 16, the day Ms Kukar claims that she had been hit by a rod causing injury to her”. They said on the day of the reported incident, they were not even in Chandigarh and there was documentary evidence to prove that they were in Shimla in an official capacity. They said the matter had been brought to the notice of the police.



e-filing of returns to take over manual mode
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The manual filing of returns under the Companies Act, 1956, will soon come to an end, said Mr Y.S. Malik, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Company Affairs, while addressing a seminar on “MCA 21 and e-filing,” organised by the PHDCCI here today.

The MCA 21 project, envisaging electronic filing of documents and paperless administration, pertains only to the Registrar of Companies’ offices as stipulated in the Companies Act. It is already in operation in Coimbatore and a few other centres while the entire country is scheduled to be covered by June end.

The Companies Act, which have been amended, allows individuals appointed as Directors in companies to sign up for a Director Identification Number (DIN). The amendments passed are meant to enable online processes, envisaged by the MCA 21 project, he said.

Mr Malik said companies had to apply for and obtain the DIN for all existing Directors and persons to be appointed as Directors. Legally it was the individual Director’s responsibility, but in practice the companies concerned would have to do the requisite paper work.

He informed that the office of the RoC (Registrar of Companies) would soon be shifted to Chandigarh and PFOs were already operating from Chandigarh and Baddi to facilitate the companies to file the documents through the electronic mode.



Industrial effluents play havoc with lives, crops
Farmers' SOS to Mohali DC
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Lalru, May 19
It is the dark side of the industrial revolution in the region. Polluted industrial effluents are allegedly playing havoc with human lives and crops in the Dera Bassi-Lalru industrial belt.

In fact, farmers of the Lalru region are up in arms against a Ludhiana-headquartered textile giant for its alleged discharge of polluted water into their crops. In a representation to the Mohali DC today, the farmers alleged that due to the discharge of the polluted water into their fields, the fertile land was turning into a barren stretch.

Over the years, the land produce had been going down in the wake of the discharge of the polluted water from the factory premises into the fields, Mr Jasmer Singh and Mr Sahib Singh, both farmers, alleged.

Apart from this, the industrial effluents discharged by certain industries of the Dera Bassi sub-division in the seasonal rivulets are also compounding people's problems. With hardly any effluent treatment plant(ETPs) in operation in the industries, including pharmaceutical units, a paper mill, a milk plant, the underground water is the first casualty of the polluted discharge with the result that potable water from the shallow water pumps had become "unfit" for drinking.

"Skin ailments and digestive disorders are common in the area and the animal and crop yields have been going down over the years. The water from the shallow water pumps is unfit for human and animal consumption," alleges Mr Nirmail Singh Malikpur, president of the Anti-pollution Society, which has launched a crusade against the pollution in the industrial belt.

Despite the fact that the society had represented to the Punjab Pollution Control Board(PPCB) several times nothing had been so far, Mr Malikpur alleged hinting at the official-industrial nexus. The only administrative action seemed to be the issuance of notices to the defaulting units with hardly any concrete action against them.

Several villages including, Haripur Kooda,Dandrala, Miyanpur and Tiwana are at the receiving end of the polluted discharge and the colour of the water in the tributories of the Ghaggar has turned black. An unbearable stench emanating from beds of rivulets made the passing through the area difficult, the residents alleged.

On account of spurt in the industrial activity in the Dera Bassi-Lalru belt, the problem of the discharge of industrial effluents has become a cause of concern for the local population. A substantial number of industries allegedly do not have the ETPs. In fact, the project to have dumping place for the industrial waste at Nimbuan village, near Dera Bassi, had been hanging fire for several years. 



Withdraw notice on back gates, urge residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 19
Residents of Phase XI here have urged the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to withdraw notices issued in connection with the closing of back gates of houses.

The Residents Welfare Association , Phase XI, said that PUDA would not gain anything by getting the gates closed but residents would be put to a lot of inconvenience. Vehicles could not be parked on the front side of houses due to inadequate space and had to be parked in the back courtyard. PUDA had not allowed construction of garages in houses below 10 marla. Moreover, the area at the back of the houses could be got cleaned only if the back gate existed. The association said that the genuine demand of the residents should be accepted by the PUDA authorities.

Residents said PUDA claimed that back gates led to accidents which was wrong. No accident had taken place in the area because of the back gates.

They argued that instead the main gates of many offices and institutions like PUDA Bhavan, Fortis Hospital, PCA Cricket Stadium opened on the main roads. Moreover, the owners of single lane houses had paid more as compared to others and as such why should they not get the additional facility.



Governor wants printing press modernised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
With a view to upgrading the infrastructure of Government Printing Press of the Union Territory and to ensure optimal utilisation of space on the campus, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, yesterday asked the Home Secretary and Controller, Printing and Stationery, to formulate a comprehensive action plan to modernise the facility with the introduction of latest innovative technologies.

The Governor said the printing press, the oldest in the city, must be equipped with state-of-the art facilities in printing and other related processes for producing quality published material as per the requirement of various government departments.

General Rodrigues today visited the printing press and went around various existing facilities on the campus.

He noted with concern that the huge infrastructure available in the printing press was underutilised due to obsolete equipment in this era of modern technology.



Panel approves 2.19 cr for parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Environment and City Beautification Committee has decided to provide benches and garden huts in all community centres and parks of the city. Besides this, estimates of Rs 2.19 crore for the works of beautification of city parks and green belts have been passed.

The meeting was chaired by Mrs Kamlesh, Chairman of the Environment and City Beautification Committee, here today.

The committee has accorded approval to various agendas, including the development of cremation ground, Sector 25, landscaping works in green belt of Sector 29 A and B and green belt of Sector 11.

The estimates of other works passed were: iron railing near H.No 2020-2022 and SCF 11-15, Sector 21, providing rain shelter with sitting facility in various parks/green belts in Sector 20 and 33, development of parks/green belt by providing CPE and benches in Sector 20 and 33, providing precast concrete reinforced benches for various gardens/green belts under the jurisdiction of the MCC.

Development of landscaping works at a park in front of slaughter house Industrial Area, Phase II, providing hut with benches and grassing in the green belt of the Bapu Dham colony, Sector 26, development of parks in front of Plot No 149, 192, to 196, Industrial Area, Phase II, development of various parks by iron railing, benches, etc in Sector 22, iron railing in various parks of Sector 20 and 33, hut with benches in parks of Sector 27 and 28, development of parks by providing iron railing, children play equipment and benches in Sector 15 and development of various parks in Sector 7, 8, 9 and 11.

Providing children play equipment and benches in parks of Sector 27, besides development of landscaping work in cremation ground Industrial Area, Phase I, purchase of two chainsaws and one Balero D-1-2-WD (7 seater) jeep for use in the Horticulture Division in the MC, providing hut and benches in Sector 34, 35 and 44, hut in park adjoining petrol station, Sector 22, development of various parks in Sector 36, 37 and 38 and development of a park in front of H.No 2129, Sector 38-C.

Development of a park near H.No 1196-98, Sector 19-C, huts with sitting facility near community centre in the green belt of Sector 19 A and B, rain shelter and benches in a park near H.No 3334-3335, Sector 46-C, development of mini rose garden in Sector 24 A and B, development of various parks by providing iron railing in Sector 35, development of road berm on V-5 road in front of H.No 287 to 133, Sector 10-A, rain shelter with sitting facility in the green belt of Sector 18-D and development of parks in Sector 18 and 19.

Providing rain shelter with sitting facility at a park in front of H.No 1927-1853, 1459-1434, Ram Darbar, Phase II, providing grassing in the green belt of Sector 34 and 35, providing iron railing and benches in parks of Sector 7 and 8, providing rain shelter in the green belt of Sector 42, railing and benches in general park near Shri Ram Mandir, Sector 47-D, providing hut with sitting facility in a park near H.No 1169, Sector 20-B, development of park facing H.No 2197-98 and 2248-2251, Sector 19-C, development/ landscaping works in parks of Sector 21, development of park near H.No 232-234 behind Environment Bhawan, adjoining community centre, Sector 19-B, providing ground cover features in Terraced Garden, Sector 33, Hibiscus Garden, Sector 36, green belt of Sector 42, development of park near H.No 3037, Sector 19-D and providing railing and garden hut in a park near H.No 1676, Sector 33-D.

Apart from this, the purchase of power tiller, tractors, power lawn mowers, etc, for the use in the Horticulture Division of the MCC also got approval. 



Triple murder case: police to take fresh blood samples
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
In the gruesome triple murder of a retired Group Captain of the Indian Air Force, his wife and sister in their Sector 34 residence on February 7, the Chandigarh Police will once again take the blood samples of the main accused, Pawandeep Singh.

Group Captain T.P. Singh, his wife Shibani and sister Ajit Kaur were done to death allegedly by Pawandeep Singh, the elder son of the slain Group Captain, who was accompanied by Ravikant Tyagi and Anil Tyagi. All the accused are in judicial remand.

The permission to take the blood samples has been allowed by the court of the Civil Judge, Mr R.K. Bhankar. The investigating officer has sought the permission on the ground that the blood samples of the main accused had to be matched with the traces of blood found at the crime scene.

The blood traces at the crime scene would be matched by forensic experts at the CFSL with the DNA of the main accused. The preliminary investigations conducted by the police had indicated that someone familiar with the family was behind the crime. Circumstantial evidence suggested that the assassins were looking for some important documents, as the cash and valuables were not touched. 



78 challaned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
The Chandigarh traffic police today held a specific drive against under-age drivers keeping in view the safety of school-going children and others and challaned 78 vehicles for various violations. Besides this, the traffic police impounded eight vehicle for lack of proper documents.

A spokesman for the Chandigarh traffic police said 39 two-wheeler riders were challaned for not wearing safety helmets, 16 motorists were challaned for being underage, seven for overloading, eight school bus driver and conductors were issued challans for not wearing uniforms besides, eight motorists were challaned for other miscellaneous offences.



2 held on murder charge
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
The police has arrested two persons allegedly involved in the murder of a 16-year-old boy of Dadumajra Colony, who died in the PGI on March 21. The victim, Manoj Kumar, was admitted to the PGI after he was seriously injured in a clash on March 17.

The police said Anil Kumar, alias Nanna and Rahul alias Monu, both residents of Sector 15, were arrested on Thursday after their anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by a local court on May 9. The other five persons involved in the case were earlier arrested by the police.

A case of rioting, murder and criminal intimidation had been registered on a complaint filed by Mr Ganga Ram, a resident of Sector 15-D. 



12 advocates booked in assault case
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
Taking serious note of an assault case in which a group of advocates had thrashed a Haryana Police personnel and a munshi of an advocate practicing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday, the police today booked 12 advocates practicing in the local court. The police has also booked a munshi of an advocate involved in the incident.

According to the police, five advocates — Satish Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Mukesh Kumar, Veer Singh and Harjinder Singh — along with six other advocates have been booked for assaulting Mr Roshan Lal, a resident of Kalka. A case under Sections 148, 149, 323, 506 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them at the Sector 5 police station.

A group of advocates had thrashed Mr Roshan Lal, munshi of Mr Sandeep Singh, an advocate, in the Bar room of the local courts and left him seriously injured. He was later hospitalised at the Sector 6 General Hospital. Mr Sandeep Singh had also sustained injuries in the brawl. The duo had come to the court in connection with some old litigation.

The advocates also beat up Mr Ramesh Kumar, an ASI posted at the Sector 5 police station, when he tried to intervene.

Mr Balbir Singh, Superintendent of Panchkula Police, stated that cross cases had been registered against both parties.

Meanwhile, Mr Satish Kumar, a resident of Ram Nagar in Kalka, has also given a complaint to the SP, alleging misconduct and use of abusive language by Mr Roshan Lal and Mr Ramesh Kumar with him in the court complex.



Shift in excise duty policy on MRP of medicines hits small-scale units
Units shift base to hill states
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The shift in the policy for levying excise duty on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of medicines (as against excise on factory price) has not only threatened the small-scale drug industry in the country, but also led to a sharp hike in the prices of medicines manufactured in states having a tax holiday.

Though the MRP-based excise was introduced last year to overcome evaluation disputes, it led to more and more drug manufacturers shifting to the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoy a tax holiday. Those who did not set up their own facilities in these states, are outsourcing their production to pharma companies set up in these hill states. It is estimated that by March 2007, more than half of the country's drug production is likely to be sourced from the exempt states. Thus, the revenue increase expected from the MRP-based excise regime, will not take place as the units are moving to states having a tax exemption.

These manufacturers in the exempt states have raised their MRPs several times over, to increase their own profit margins and margins to traders, and have thus captured a major portion of the drug market. For example, the MRP of a pack (10 tablets) of Amlodipine (for hypertension) manufactured in Aurangabad is priced at Rs 8.57, while the medicine manufactured in Solan ( Himachal) is priced at Rs 36.

So even as the common man suffers because of the hike in the prices of drugs, the small-scale drug manufacturers, too, are losing out on business. Talking to TNS here yesterday, Mr Jagdeep Singh, convenor of the Confederation of Indian Pharma Industry (Small Scale), said this disparity, wherein the manufacturers in tax exempt states were increasing MRP to capture the market, and the manufacturers (mainly small-scale units) in non-exempt states were forced to pay excise on the MRP, was detrimental to the interest of the latter.

‘‘The small-scale units were earlier burdened with the mandatory compliance to upgrade their facilities to international standards. The 5,000 small- scale drug manufacturers (in the non- exempt states) have been drained of finances. These units face eminent closure unless sops like the raising of excise limit of SSIs from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore and decreasing the rate of excise duty from 16 per cent to 8 per cent are implemented. Though the Government of India had announced these sops earlier, the matter has not been approved by the Finance Ministry,’’ he said. 


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