C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



CHB inks Rs 821.21 cr land deal
Project spread over 129 acres likely to take 3 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has signed a Rs 821.21 crore land deal with M/s Parsvanath Developers Private Limited for the development of residential, commercial and other related infrastructure facilities in the form of an integrated project at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park. Board officials claim that the cost of the project will be around Rs 1250 crore, which includes 30 per cent of the total revenue from the sale of residential plots to be given to the housing board.

The nearest rival, DLF, has been unsuccessful in its bid of Rs 567 crore (Rs 402 crore for residential and Rs 165 crore for commercial).

In a press conference here today, Mr S.N. Sahay, Chairman of the housing board, said the board had selected M/s Parsvanath Developers Private Ltd. He said, “Parsvanath bidders had quoted a price of Rs 821.21 crore for the project. Of the total, Rs 621.21 crore is for the residential area and Rs 200 crore for the commercial area”.

“The developers will also make the payment of the 30 per cent of the total revenue collected for the residential area to the board. By a decent calculation, it will total to around Rs 1250 crore, which will be among the highest in the country. The project is coming up through a public private partnership (PPP) mode,” Mr Sahay said.

The project is spread over 129 acres.

The selected bidder will be required to pay Rs 100 crore within 30 days and the remaining amount within 18 months. The project will be completed within three years.

Of the total residential quarters, at least 10 per cent will be reserved for IT professionals.

Mr Amarnath, Chief Executive Officer of the board, said the allottees would have the residential quarters on a freehold basis, while the rest of the area would be given on a lease of 99 years. The area would have at least 1500 dwelling units in the category of one, two, three and four bedroom types, besides the villas.

Mr Pardeep Jain, the CEO and chairman of the Parsvanath group, said, “It was difficult to say anything about the pricing of the houses at the moment”.

The project envisages 35-40 per cent of the total area as residential, 2.5 to 3.5 per cent as commercial, 10-12 per cent for public buildings and infrastructure and 15-20 per cent for recreation facilities or the green belt. The green cover has been given adequate importance in the project.

The housing board received 10 expressions of interest in the first stage out of which nine qualified. The eligibility condition included a minimum of Rs 500 crore turnover over the past five years and developing activities of at least 150 acres in the past seven years on similar projects.

Out of the nine pre-qualified developers, who were asked to submit separate technical and price bids, only three were selected. These included M/s DLF Universal Ltd, M/s Emaar Properties PJSC and M/s Parsvanath Developers. The technical committee evaluated the bids and excluded the Emaar Properties in the final selection.

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HC asks admn to submit report within 3 months
Illegal occupation by Kumhar Colony dwellers
High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 9
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given three month’s time to the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, to submit a detailed status report regarding clearing of encroachments from the Panjab University-owned land in Sector 25.

Almost 73 acres of university’s land in Sector 25 is currently under the alleged illegal occupation of residents of Kumhar Colony.

Passing this order on a petition filed by the university, a Division Bench headed by Mr Justice Viney Mittal adjourned the matter for further hearing to July 21.

In its petition, the university had stated that even though many years had elapsed since it was allotted over 200 acres of land in Sector 25 for expansion, the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation had not been able to hand over possession of the entire chunk of land.

Sometime back, the Municipal Corporation had filed an affidavit stating therein that efforts were on to get the land freed from encroachments and rehabilitate all genuine dwellers.

The affidavit also said alternative arrangements, including dwelling units, had been handed over to many residents of Kumhar Colony to make them vacate the land.

But in many cases, the residents did not vacate the land in Kumhar Colony despite receiving possession of the new houses.

It added that by its estimate, it needed at least three more months to reclaim the land.

In a related matter, the administration has also assured the court of its endeavour to clear all illegal encroachments from Colony No. 5 within six months.

The encroached land is part of Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh, and is to be handed over to allottees who have sought the intervention of the High Court against prolonged illegal possession by over 250 jhuggi owners as also nearly 150 shops on the land, which have been allotted to them.

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Parking lot users beware!
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Look for the parking lot attendant before leaving behind your vehicle, especially in the evenings, lest you end up paying 10 times the amount of a parking ticket, besides undergoing harassment and inconvenience.

It may sound incredible if so far you have not experienced it, but the modus operandi of parking lot attendants is not hard to comprehend.

In a novel way to make a fast buck, they tend to disappear at the entry points late in the evenings.

In the process, they give motorists the impression that the lot has been left unmanned, but ask for the ticket just as they are about to exit.

In the absence of a parking ticket, they demand 10 times the amount as fine, besides necessary documents like registration certificate to prove that the vehicle belongs to you.

Just in case you are not carrying the documents, they throw a scare by threatening to call the police.

If you are having doubts, visit Sector 17 around 10 pm and you will find many motorists arguing with parking lot attendants or looking around helplessly at exit points.

“To make matters worse, attendants not only misbehave and use abusive language, but loom around menacingly as if they are ready to bash you up”, says an elderly Sector 40 resident.

The fact that the victim is unwilling to be quoted in the matter speaks volumes.

Parking lot contractors state that the responsibility of taking parking lot tickets vests with motorists.

Attendants cannot be blamed for the failure of vehicle drivers to procure tickets, they add.

Denying allegations of harassing motorists or causing inconvenience to them, the contractors insist that they are not indulging in any illegal or nefarious activity as the clause pertaining to the payment of fine is clearly mentioned on tickets.

They refuse to say anything about the disappearance of parking lot attendants from entry points.

Though the activity has been taking place right under the noses of the Municipal Corporation  authorities, they deny any knowledge about it.

A senior corporation officer dealing with parking lots and contractors says he will look into the matter.

The police says it has not received any formal complaint in this regard so far, though a complaint of misbehaviour against Sukhna Lake parking lot attendants has been recently forwarded to it.

The police asserts that the parking lot staff were hurling abuses, consuming liquor and preventing commuters from parking vehicles around 5 am, though the paid parking system begins at 7 am.

A senior police officer adds that police personnel have now been maintaining a vigil at entry and exit points to prevent overcharging on the grounds of ticket loss. “Appropriate action will be taken against those caught cheating the general public”, the officer asserts.

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Only 2-wheelers now in Mehfil parking lot
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, June 9
It’s back to scooters and bikes in the Sector 17 Mehfil parking lot.

In less than 24 hours after the failure of Chandigarh police in checking illegal parking of cars in a lot meant for two-wheelers was highlighted in these columns, the cops today woke up from slumber and deputed a special team to prevent the irregularity from reoccurring.

Taking cognizance of the report, the team reached the spot soon after the pulling up of shutters and remained there throughout the day preventing motorists from leaving behind the cars and other four wheelers.

The development is significant as the parking of vehicles on the narrow strip was resulting in mishaps due to creation of bottle-necks and subsequent traffic jams.

In fact, traffic jams, lasting up to 15 minutes during the lunch hours, and again in the evenings, were not uncommon on the road cramped with vehicles.

Though the matter was brought to the notice of the senior police and Municipal Corporation officers time and again by several harassed commuters, action was not initiated by the powers-that-be.

So blatant was the violation that the contractor had allegedly installed a board displaying parking rates of not only two-wheelers, but also cars and other four-wheelers. This was despite the fact that the contractor had permission just to allow the parking of two-wheelers.

Interestingly, even after the matter was highlighted in these columns, the authorities concerned did nothing more than removing the board. The parking of four-wheelers continued against all norms.

After the matter was again brought to the fore, the police sprung into action and prevented the vehicles from being left behind. Surprisingly, the police did not proceed against the guilty for installing a board under Municipal Corporation’s banner.

Efforts were not even made to find out whether some corporation officials were also a part of the conspiracy to defraud the public exchequer by auctioning the lot for two-wheelers, but allowing the contractor to allegedly pocket money by permitting the parking of four-wheelers.

When contacted, a senior police officer said they were looking into the matter and action would be taken as per the law against those involved in the ‘fraud’ of installing the board.

Reacting to the clearance of the narrow stretch, a commuter said, “Ensuring the free flow of traffic is a basic responsibility of the traffic police. Moreover, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has also issued directions to the police to ensure free flow of traffic in traffic management and pollution control case”. 

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Football fever in city
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Football fever gripped the city today as the 18th soccer World Cup kicked off in Germany today.

Though India have never played in the World Cup and is obsessed with cricket only, for a month it seems people will eat, drink, live and dream football. The event, which comes once in four years and lasts one month, invites a lot of action outside the field also.

The Lake Sports Complex here has a lot to offer. It is for the first time that an eight into six feet screen has been installed at its party room for the mega event. This privilege will be for users only. Their guests will gain entry for a fee of Rs 25. “It was decided at a meeting with Director Sports, Mr I.S. Sandhu, that special arrangements for the football World cup would be made in the complex for a month. A giant screen has been installed and equipment worth Rs 1 lakh has been purchased which includes a projector compatible to cable TV, DVD and a paid channel dish antenna. We have attached the matches’ schedule with our circular and will show the matches being played between 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm daily. Our hall, where the screen is installed, can comfortably accommodate 100 to 125 persons. Special drinks and eating counters have been installed at one corner. We have also installed an additional air conditioner to make the stay comfortable.”

Another eventful place, is a restaurant-cum-bar at the Lake run by CITCO. The moment you enter the place, you have a feeling that the whole place has been hooked to the event. The waiters wearing white t-shirts with FIFA World Cup logo escort you to the table. The joint has also installed posters of football stars with their complete profile along with the description of the club they play for and their prominent moments. Just at the entrance is a huge hoarding depicting names of Golden Ball winners or the best players of the tournament from 1982 to 2002. Next to this is pasted the golden foot winners’ names from year 1930 to 2002.

Mr Daniel Banerjee, a CITCO Manager and the man behind this innovative idea of creating Germany in the city for a month, told The Tribune, “Actually, the idea was just to promote people’s interest in the game. A majority of the people are not aware about the tournament. Hence we collected the data from our sources, fixed them in our restaurant and bar in form of posters. Besides the regular menu, we have designed special menu for a month with the names related to the game. We are offering special mocktails with names related to the game — Free Kick, Pass and Move, Strawberry shot, Pink cooler and fruit punch et al. We have a television set in our bar, where our customers can enjoy their favourite delicacy while watching the action.”

The hysteria of the mega event has gripped some of hotels of the city too. At Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, you can watch the biggest action on earth on big Plasma LCD screen especially installed at its 24-hour coffee shop which offers a discount of up to 30 per cent on all bakery items from 5 pm onwards and another 25 per cent discount on food and beverages from 8 pm to 11 pm. “We are also offering mini meals which includes south Indian food too, at discounted rates. Our motto is to let the people enjoy the matches with fewer burdens on their pockets and make their visit more memorable one” said the GM, of Mountview.

Meanwhile, The Taj, is serving special German cuisines and beer, besides, a question hour session, where the winners will go home with prizes. To turn the action delicious, Maya Palace in Sector-35 has engaged a trained chef from Mumbai. You can try those special delicacies while watching the mega event on the big screen specially installed for the purpose.

Hot Millions has also installed a giant screen at its Panchkula outlet and are planning to install the same at its other outlets for the final leg of matches, but are yet to decide on discounts on food and beverages. Golfers-35 is also replacing projector screen with an LCD screen, besides coming out with some exciting offers from their kitchen. 

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YPS students share trekking experiences
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 9
Over 500 students of the local Yadvindra Public School are back from their annual trekking expeditions. These students shared their experiences at a media conference at the school today.

A week-long trek is a compulsory activity for students of Classes VI and above. Though it was optional for students of Classes X and XII, students of these classes joined the expedition with great enthusiasm this year.

Nine camps were organised for students of Classes VI, VII and VIII. Students of Classes IX and above went for high-altitude treks.

Back after treks to Carrignano, Kufri, Himri, Narkanda, Ekantbari, Tikker, Solang, Kothi, Brighu Lake, Daushar Lake, Baralacha La, Chandrakhani, Friendship Peak (all near Manali) and Milam Glacier in Uttaranchal, the students shared stories of scaling heights, walking over glaciers and thick ice, facing fear, living adventures, working in a team, etc.

Roohbir, a Class XII student, was among those who managed to reach Friendship Peak at over 17,000 feet.

“Only four of the total number of students were able to reach the peak. And at one point we thought we should return. I could not see the person in front as there was so much rain and snow when we neared the peak. But we made it and I even managed to call my father from there using my mobile,” he said.

While a group of students reached Dushar Lake at 14,000 feet after four years of attempt, an all-girl group of Class XI and XII students trekked up to Chandrakhani Pass at 14,000 feet.

“We lived in tents and cooked food. Sometimes in the night we would hear a bear and get very scared but it was an adventure that we would like to experience every year,” said Jairoop, Divya and Raman.

Some students of Class IX went up to Brighu Lake at 14,000 feet. “Out of the 15 students, 12 managed to reach the lake. The trek was heavenly and the lake itself was beautiful. We had to remove our shoes at the banks of the lake as it was sacred,” said Navtej Saini and Udit Vinayak.

“This year’s trekking has clearly displayed the capabilities of Yadavindrians,” said school Principal Dr Harish Dhillon.

Parents too are happy with such trekking expeditions. “Children learn independence, are more confident and when they come back are actually more disciplined,” pointed out Sunil Sehdev, whose twin sons Raghvendra and Siddhartha, both in Class VIII, went up to Kothi near Manali.

“We learnt how to bargain. Local people tried to sell us stuff at mind-boggling rates and we managed to get these reduced by more than half,” said Yuvraj, Noorveer and Rana, who were on the Kothi trip.

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Passing Thru

Ajinkya Firodia
Ajinkya Firodia, Vice- President, Marketing and Sales, Kinetic Engineering

Why have you chosen Chandigarh for the all- India launch of your bike Stryker?

Chandigarh is one of the first markets where we had launched our scooters and also one of the most successful ones. We have sold almost 45,000 Kinetic Honda scooters here till date and these scooters are still plying on the roads. From Chandigarh, we can easily control Punjab and Haryana markets, which are high-focus markets.

How has the motor cycle-manufacturing market changed over the years?

The market has changed completely from a manufacturers, market to a customers market. With 15 to 20 new bikes being launched each year, a customer now demands what he wants in the mobike, and the manufacturers are going all out to please him. The competition among manufacturers has been a boon for the consumer.

Kinetic has been a late entrant in the motor cycle market. How has it affected your sales?

Being a late entrant in the market has been a big advantage and not a disadvantage. While other manufacturers have learnt and improved on their machines after launch, we had a ready reckoner on what the customers were exactly looking for. We have thus introduced new features like hydro-shock absorbers for a smoother ride, and a hi- tech advanced oil filter for a longer engine life.

— Ruchika M. Khanna

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PGI, Rotary Resource Centre make mark in blood donation
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Chandigarh has reasons to cheer right before the World Blood Donor Day (June 14). Though it is yet to achieve 100 per cent voluntary blood donation target, the region is moving fast on the road to safe donation and collection of blood — the current percentage of voluntary donation being 75.

The challenge has been met by the combined efforts of government and private blood banks. Where PGI’s Department of Transfusion Medicine has earned accreditation for its blood bank and transfusion services under the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) Accreditation Initiative to ensure safe blood, the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre (Blood Centre-37) has achieved the target of 100 per cent voluntary donation.

Half of this is being issued as component — the latest big thing in the world of transfusion.

Instead of administering whole blood to patients, blood is now being separated into components to prevent wastage and overloading in patients’ bodies.

Blood Centre-37, like the PGI and GMCH-32, has component separation machines that segregate blood into components like RBCs and plasma.

As of now, Chandigarh has four licensed blood banks — PGI, GMCH-32, Blood Centre-37 and GH-16.

As a private blood bank offering sophisticated facilities, the 24-hour Blood Centre is filling existing gaps in the area. Supported by veterans Kanta Swaroop Krishen, Saudamini Bambah, Dr Manmohan Kaur, and volunteers Niti Sarin, Vanita Sahni among others, the centre collects 800 to 900 units of blood every month.

The PGI collects 36,000 units a year. This and the accreditation status of the Transfusion Medicine Department were confirmed today by a senior professor of the Department of Transfusion Medicine.

For its part, the Blood Bank Society, of which Blood Centre-37 is a part, has been motivating people to donate voluntarily for over 40 years.

In the runup to the World Blood Donor Day, its volunteers today distributed blood donor stickers and book marks all over the city.

Tomorrow is reserved for a banner display at petrol stations, besides distribution of key chains at important locations. The highlight of the event will be a function to honour blood donors of Blood Centre-37 on June 13.

The event will wind up on World Blood Donors Day with a free screening of “Fanaa” at Piccadilly and “Mission Impossible-III” (Hindi) at Neelam for all blood donors of the region. Busy preparing for the event, Ms Krishen, Dr Manmohan Kaur and Ms Bambah today spoke to Chandigarh Tribune about the challenges that lie ahead.

Ms Bambah and Ms Krishen called for interlinking of blood banks at local and national level, and their effective inspection by experts.

“Donor cards should be honoured at all banks, irrespective of the place of donation. Also there should be a central cell to monitor blood and oversee its replacement from one bank to another. We could do with a donor master card that is valid across India,” said Ms Krishen.

An argument was also built in the favour of effective inspection of blood banks by drug inspectors and doctors.

Ms Bambah pointed out: “The inspection should not be a planned affair. Surprise checks are better to ensure high standards.”

Volunteers also feel that the National Blood Transfusion Council should set up a cell to promote voluntary blood donation in urban and rural areas.

“Each blood bank should have a motivational body,” said Dr Manmohan Kaur.

Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology had prepared a module for training motivators. But it is yet to be implemented on a war footing.

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Passengers at sea following train cancellation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Confusion prevailed at the Chandigarh railway station after the railway authorities cancelled the Chandigarh-Lucknow train (Sadhbhavana Express) here this evening.

The train was cancelled following derailment between Bareilly and Shahjhanpur yesterday, a railway official said.

Due to the derailment, the reverse pair of the train (Lucknow-Chandigarh Express) ran late by at least 11 hours.

Passengers, some of whom had arrived at the station in the morning, waited till 6 pm as there was no information on the cancellation of the train.

The passengers who were to board the evening train lamented that they were forced to make alternative arrangements to reach Lucknow.

A large number of passengers queued up at the ticket counter as they opted for cancellation of their reservation.

Though officials manning the enquiry counter said the Chandigarh-Lucknow train would resume its journey from Sharanpur to Lucknow, a number of passengers opted to cancel their reservation and go by road.

Nilesh Kumar, who had to go to Lucknow, told Chandigarh Tribune that he had to reach Lucknow by tomorrow morning. “I would travel till Sharanpur and then board the train.”

Railway officials said a number of trains on the section had been delayed due to the derailment.

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Spice Telecom subscribers inconvenienced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Thousands of subscribers of Spice Telecom in certain pockets of Punjab and Chandigarh were inconvenienced this yesterday, when an optical fibre cable got snapped during digging work along the Chandigarh- Ambala Highway and Nawanshahr- Hoshiarpur highway.

Calls on the Spice network were disrupted after the optical fibre had been damaged due to the road widening works being carried on the two highways. “Although the cables are four feet under the ground, it is mandatory for the highway authorities to take due precaution while doing their work,” said a communication from Spice.

Though the company has in place technologies like fail safe ring and redundant loop technology, to deal with such exigencies, but the optical fibre was cut from both sides. “We have taken due care to avoid the situation in future like using high brandwidth wireless backbones,’ said a Spice official.

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Four-page IT form to cause problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Mr Bibek Debroy, Secretary General, PHDCCI said that the new four pages format – Form 2F for filing income tax return by individuals and Hindu Undivided Families for the assessment year 2006-07 would create unintended problems for the assessees.

It will be difficult for assessees to keep track of all the details required to be submitted under the new form namely household expenses, loans, gifts, interest paid on capital borrowed for the house, etc.

“An assessee will have to mention not only investments that are eligible for exemptions / deductions as at present, but also have to give details of all receipts and expenses culminating in a cash flow statement. To expect an assessee to prepare a cash flow statement, which is a technical job, is too much. This new Form will frighten away the assessees,” he said.

Criticising the new form, Mr Debroy said that to fill the new form, an assessee will have to take the help of a chartered accountant leading to additional cost for the assessee. Instead of simplifying and rationalising the system we are moving towards a complex and cumbersome system.

He said in case of salaried employees the scope for tax evasion is almost negligible as tax from income from salary is deducted at source by employer. The object of the income tax policy should be to improve the compliance and widen the tax base, he added. 

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640 kg of ice cream products destroyed
MC drive to check cholera
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Coming down heavily on vendors selling infected food products and drinks, the Municipal Corporation’s public health wing today destroyed 640 kg of ice cream and ice cream candies.

In an extensive survey of the city, especially colonies and slums, health Inspectors also distributed 37,000 tablets of chlorine to people living in vulnerable areas, besides spraying 620 kg of lime dust to disinfect the area under coverage.

As regards cut fruits and vegetables, the Municipal Corporation personnel destroyed about 185 kg, apart from seizing and destroying 13 kg of sweets and other eatables and 61 kg of sugarcane. About 48 locally filled bottles of soda were also destroyed to seal all sources of infection.

In addition to these steps, the public health wing also activated its garbage collecting tractor-trailers, which made eight additional trips to clear the city of garbage today. Fogging is being undertaken at a large scale, and the Anti Malaria Department has been told to spray pesticides all over to prevent flies from breeding and spreading the disease.

For its part, the office of the Director Health Services has deployed a team under the Medical Officer-cum-Local Health Authority, Dr Balbir Singh, to scout the city for possible sources that can spread infections. The team raided Colony No. 5, Sector 37 and 52, Maloya, Dadu Majra and Kajheri villages after 5 pm yesterday and destroyed 109 pieces of eatables, 14 kg of cut fruits and vegetables, 23 kg of overripe fruits and eight kg of rotten vegetables.

Working with the UT Health Department to fight cholera, the MC is also collecting water samples from the colonies. Today, it tested 19 samples and none of which failed. A major role in the collection and testing of samples is being played by the office of Director Health Services UT. 

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Filling stations’ employees allege govt apathy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 9
Coming forward to the rescue of over 11 lakh workers deployed with over 26,000 filling stations in the country, members of the Filling Station Workers Welfare Association have demanded job security and medical and life insurance facilities for the workers.

The association has also demanded safety kits, including masks and dresses, for the workers exposed to various toxic gases being caused by vehicles at the stations.

Interacting with the mediapersons, Mr Satish Chader Kaushik, national president of the association, claimed that neither of the state or the Central governments had given attention to this issue directly related with the workers deployed at the filling stations all over the country.

Many workers have been killed in various incidents, including robbery, fire, accidents and respiratory diseases. The deaths had gone unnoticed and no one came forward to the rescue of the bereaved families, claimed Mr Kaushik.

Mr Randhir Singh, general secretary of the association, disclosed that filling stations employees generally die due to TB, cancer and other diseases. The number of employees who died of these diseases was more in Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in the past couple of years.

The association claimed that the issue had been taken up with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the All India IOC Dealers Association, Filling Station Owners Association and the Members of Parliament but no to avail.

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Council to commemorate Kalpana’s anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Public Relations Council of India has decided to observe July 1 as “Happy Daughter’s Day” to coincide with Late Dr Kalpana Chawla’s birthday.

The national executive of the PRCI — a professional body of PR, advertising and communication professionals — has asked its chapters across the country to organise events on that day to bring pride to those families who have daughters so that others are also encouraged to have daughters in their families.

The PRCI is concerned with the falling sex ratio in the country, especially in Northern states even though the government banned sex determination tests way back in 1994. The government’s efforts needed to be supplemented and the PRCI has decided to chip in, said Mr Jatinder Vijh, member of the Chandigarh chapter of the PRCI.

The local chapter will hold contests and competitions for girls and honour those girls who have done exceedingly well in life besides organising talks on the day. It will also launch public awareness campaign on the issue and appeal to corporate bodies and NGOs to support the move.

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Army Intelligence units to be reorganised
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Army is restructuring the operational and field establishments of the Military Intelligence (MI). Besides some changes it their role and mandate, MI units will now have more manpower, especially in the officer cadre, and access to better technology.

Sources in the Intelligence said after reviewing the functioning of restructured MI units in the Northern Command, the Army was now set to introduce changes in other commands. These units were restructured on a trial basis.

According to the sources, the increase in officer strength at the command level will be as much as 30 to 35 per cent. Presently known as Liaison Units, these will now be rechristened as Counter Intelligence and Security Units (CISU). Each Army command has one LU with officer-headed detachments located at strategic places within the jurisdiction of the command. Their primary role is counter intelligence, though they may now get certain additional tasks.

Also coming up are CISUs at the Corps level. Western Command already has one CISU at this level when 9 Corps was raised recently. It was then decided to raise a CISU at the new formation rather than setting up an establishment on the old pattern and then restructuring it.

For catering to the increased number of vacancies for officers in field units, the MI will have to shed flab elsewhere, though there has reportedly been a slight increase in intake of officers recently. The strength of JCOs and other ranks in the MI, the sources added, is also being increased.

The Army has been, over the past few years, working and trying out various models for field intelligence units at different levels. It had earlier tried out the concept of Divisional Intelligence Units, but it did not work. Similarly, the concept of Brigade Intelligence Teams was found to be non-feasible and impractical, the sources said.

Another significant development is the go-ahead for setting up of Imagery Interpretation Teams (IITs) at the division level. Presently, IITs exist at the corps level. Their task is to interpret and analyse satellite pictures.

With network centric warfare being the Army's new mantra, a host of mobile equipment which can download and print satellite pictures in the field has been inducted. Installed in air- conditioned canisters mounted on 8-wheeler Tatra trucks, these are being disseminated down the echelon to aid the decision making process.

The sources said there was also a proposal to have only women officers in the IITs. Already a large number of women officers in the MI are manning IITs. A significant number of women officers in the Army, on getting their commission, opted for the MI.

As part of the ongoing restructure process, the number of vacancies at the level of Major-General in the MI was increased to three a few months ago. The new post in the MI Directorate at Army Headquarters (AHQ) is concerned with Intelligence and Field Security (IFSU). It is the MI’s most sensitive outfit, being responsible for gathering cross-border intelligence. In fact, Army formations depend on IFSU for the tactical intelligence inputs. Till then, there are two Major-Generals in the MI, one posted as the Commandant of the MI School and Depot in Pune and the other at Army Headquarters.

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Demolition drive in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 9
The enforcement wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) carried out a demolition drive at Amb Sahib colony here today.

Even though most of the slum dwellers of this colony were shifted to Jagatpura colony under a rehabilitation drive, about 100 persons were still living in Amb Sahib colony as PUDA authorities concerned had so far not taken any decision about their shifting.

Some resentment was witnessed when the drive started but people could not raise their voice due to adequate security arrangements.

Mr M.S. Narang, Additional Chief Administrator, said there were about 35 residents who were asked to shift from the colony as they had recently encroached upon the area and could not be rehabilitated at the Jagatpura colony. The area, worth crores of rupees, has now been vacated in a planned and peaceful manner. 

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Veteran journalist honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The number of value-based journalists is going down day by day in the scenario of market-dominated journalism, said Mr Sat Mahajan, Panchayat and Revenue Minister of Himachal Pradesh, at the Press Club here today.

The function was organised by ‘Manthan’ to honour Santosh Kumar, a veteran journalist, for his contribution to the field of journalism.

He also said that it needed to be understood that newspapers were not market products. They were a piece of information relating to problems of the common man.

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Clarification

In the news-item “Warning bells sounded on city infrastructure” published on Friday, the figures of Chandigarh’s population were inadvertently given in crores, instead of lakhs. The error is regretted. TNS

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Woman among five booked in cheating cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
At least three cases of cheating, including two against travel agents, were registered by the local police during the past 24 hours. In one of the cases, a woman was taken into custody on the allegations of duping a Sector 35 resident by borrowing money against a property which did not belong to the accused and her husband.

Giving details of the cases, sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) said, Joseph Eldridge of Sector 34-based CMRD and his employee Nagpal were booked in a case of fraud on a joint complaint filed by three nurses working in the PGI. It was alleged that the accused had taken Rs 11 lakh from the complainants on the pretext of getting them a US visa. Joseph was recently arrested by the Delhi Police on similar charges.

Ms Gurjit Kaur of Sector 60, Mohali, in her complaint alleged that she had given Rs 3.76 lakh to the accused along with her two colleagues, Rajpreet Kaur and Sukhdev Kaur, who had also given similar amounts in February this year for a US visa.

They were told that Joseph’s sister was settled in US and she owned a nursing home there. The deal was struck for Rs 11 lakh in which the complainants were promised a US visa along with permission to carry their families there. Besides this, lodging and boarding expenses were also included in the “package” offered for Rs 11 lakh.

A police officer said the complainants came forth after the arrest of Joseph was highlighted by the media. Joseph is now lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi. The local police has obtained his production warrants and would soon bring him to the city.

In a similar incident, the local police booked another travel agent, Shantharam of Sector 35, for duping a Mohali resident, Ms Lavleen Saini, of Rs 2.80 lakh. In this case, it was alleged that the accused had promised to send the complainant abroad for Rs 6 lakh. She had given Rs 50,000 to the accused of which Rs 30,000 were given through cheque in 2002. The police said it had no documental evidence about the rest of amount paid by the complainant. The accused, said to be hailing from Vijayawada in Karnataka, was still at large.

In the third case, in which a couple was booked for duping a Sector 35 resident of Rs 25 lakh, the sources said Mr Sanjiv Anand lodged a complaint with the police in April this year alleging that Tarun Seth and his wife Garima Seth had borrowed Rs 25 lakh from him for investing in their business.

He further told the police that the couple took the money in instalments and pledged a copy of agreement to a flat, which they claimed belonged to them. After sometime, when the accused failed to return the money, Mr Anand asked them to register the flat in his name to which the accused started dilly dallying.

Mr Anand reported the matter to the police and during investigations it was found that the flat was in someone else’s name. The police has arrested Garima in this regard.

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18-year-old youth commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
An 18-year-old son of a Fatehgarh Sahib-based Tehsildar allegedly hanged himself to death at his Sector 41 residence here this afternoon.

The reason behind the extreme step was yet to be ascertained and he held no one responsible in his suicide note.

According to sources in the Sector 39 police station, Balwinder Singh, a student of class XII, was found hanging in the drawing room of his second-floor residence by his father Rattan Singh, around 12:30.

The victim’s mother and sisters had gone to attend a religious function in their neighbourhood when he took the extreme step.

Quoting Mr Rattan Singh, the police said he came back home in the afternoon and found that the door in the common staircases was locked from inside.

When his repeated calls went unanswered, he gained access to his house from his neighbour’s flat and found his son hanging from a ceiling fan hook.

A suicide note was recovered from the spot, in which the victim held no one responsible for his act, but he did not mention the reason behind ending his life.

The police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard. 

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Agent held at licensing authority office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Officials of the Registration and Licensing Authority today caught hold of an agent who had sneaked into the premises of the Licensing authority office and was trying to apply for an NOC on behalf of an applicant.

The Registration and Licensing Authority has banned the entry of the agents into its office.

A senior official disclosed that on noticing the agent, Subhash Kumar, a resident of Sector 29, the Registration and Licensing Authority officials intercepted him and seized from his possession a file for seeking an NOC for vehicle No. CH 03 H 2272.

The vehicle is in the name of Lakhvir Singh, a resident of Sector 35.

Enquiries revealed that Lakhvir Singh, a Chandigarh Police personnel, was deputed in the office of the DSP (CID). However, Lakhvir Singh feigned ignorance about the ban of agents in the office of the licensing authority.

A case has been got registered against the agent at Sector 17 Police Station. 

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1 kg of ganja seized, one arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The local police has arrested a Burail resident on the charge of carrying 1 kg of ganja from Colony number 5.

Sources in the Sector 34 police station said Ashok Yadav of Burail village was arrested from Labour Chowk near Colony number 5 on Tuesday.

His search led to the recovery of 1 kg of ganja from his possession.

A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered.

Theft cases

Mr Laxman, a watchman working with the International Hostel in Sector 15, lodged a complaint with the police that a gold set was stolen from the hostel room between June 1 and 5.

He told the police that the thieves gained entry by breaking open a grill fixed in a window.

In another incident, Sector 16-based shopkeeper, Hans Raj Garg reported that Rs 10,000 was stolen from his shop on the night of June 5.

Two separate cases of theft were registered.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Harminder Singh of Sector 12 reported to the police that his Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle (CH-03-R3077) was stolen from the Sector 35 market on June 4.

A case of theft was registered at the Sector 36 police station.

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Officer’s husband booked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 9
The city police has booked Mr Vishwajit Arora, husband of a woman administrative officer in the city, in a case of fraud and breach of trust. The woman officer is a daughter of a top brass Haryana bureaucrat.

Mr Krishan, a resident of Kolekha village in Kaithal district, had alleged in a complaint to the police that Mr Vishwajit Arora cheated him of Rs 12.50 lakh in a land deal. The complainant had also alleged that after taking earnest money Mr Vishwajit Arora refused to sell the property to him.

The complainant also alleged that the former sold him a two-kanal plot in Haripur village, Sector 4, for the said money but refused to let him get the property registered in his name.

The police confirmed that a case under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC was registered against Mr Vishwajit Arora at Sector 5 police station on June 1. No arrest has been made in this regard even after over a week of the registration of the case.

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Theft at 2 houses

Mohali, June 9
Thieves broke into two houses in Sector 57 here and decamped with various items today.

According to reports, thieves also took away a bicycle and other items lying outside another house in the area.

Some employees of Quark complained to the police that after they had left for work in the afternoon thieves broke into their house and took away brass taps, mobile chargers and other items.

Mr Satish Kumar of the same locality said that thieves broke into his house when nobody was at home and decamped with cash, silver and gold jewellery. OC

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Diamond pendant winners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
As many as 11 city residents have won diamond pendants in the “Arrest Bubbly” contest organised by Pepsi, through Aradhana Drinks and Beverages. The winners of the lucky contest are Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Ishwinder Singh and Ms Parminder Kaur of Sector 21; Ms Paramjit Kaur of Sector 46; Mr Sandeep Wadhwa and Ms Gurcharan Kaur of Sector 35; Ms Sunita Bhatia and Ms Parul of Sector 44; and Ms Monika, Mr Pankaj Bajwa and Mr Micky Khindaia.

The winners won the gift after a team of Pepsi found the aerated drink in 
their house.

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