C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Travel agency charged with duping youths
Over 120 complaints lodged with police
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Lured by dollar dreams, unemployed youngsters from the region, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, continue to fall prey to activities of unscrupulous travel agents.

And it is not just a group of 33 youngsters from Punjab arrested by the Delhi police from Indira Gandhi airport that handed over their hard-earned money to travel agents for greener pastures overseas.

Just 48 hours after the Chandigarh police arrested two employees of a Mumbai-based company, Dubai Tour and Travels, operating from its branch in Sector 17, over 120 persons claiming to be the victims of the travel agency approached the Sector 17 police station authorities, here, today.

Among the victims were not only unemployed youths, but also retired army men, aspiring to go abroad for a better life. Feeling betrayed, the complainants alleged that the company had not only shattered their dreams for a better life, but also caused a financial loss to them.

Almost all the victims belong to the not-so-affluent-class and have raised loans to pay the amount. Throughout the day, the victims kept on pouring into the police station and waited for hours to lodge their complaints.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, one of the victims, Dharminder Kumar of Rahimpur village in Hoshiarpur district, said: “The deeds of the company came to light only when some employee called up my friend Amrik Singh and told him about the company’s activities following a dispute within the office”.

Retired army man Ram Parkash Soni, putting up in Chandigarh, said he had handed over all his savings, including the pension amount, to the company for sending him abroad. “I am practically left with nothing,” he added.

The Chandigarh police had unearthed the alleged immigration racket on Saturday after arresting two employees, Shelly Sharma and Ravi Kumar, of Dubai Tour and Travels, operating from its branch in Sector 17.

It was alleged that the company had duped hundreds of youths from this part of the region and had in all taken over Rs 30 lakh from them by making false promises of sending them to Cuba and Dubai on work permits.

The local police claimed to have recovered 200 passports from the office premises of the company on Sunday. The police said more than 1000 youths suspected to have been duped by the said company.

Sources in Sector 17 police station said following the information provided by the local police, the Dehra Dun police also raided a branch of the company and registered a case. The company has an office in Dehra Dun also.

Sources added that the local police had also identified persons earlier working with the organisation and more arrests are likely to be made in coming days.

The police said the company’s management was taking Rs 20,000 from aspirants, along with Rs 15000 as a medical examination fee. The company had also associated a Sector 20-based doctor for conducting the medical examination of the applicants. As such, the police was also looking into his role.



Another false report on building bylaws violation
Now it’s Tehal Singh Chicken Corner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Giving a false report about building law violations appears to be a common practice with the officials in the building branch of the UT Estate Office.

Close on the heels of the case in which a junior engineer (JE) in the building branch gave a false report about a violation in SCO 142-44, Sector 17-C, another case of wrong reporting came to light in case of utility booth No. 1121-D, Sector 22-D. The site allotted for a dhaba houses a restaurant, Tehal Singh Chicken Corner.

Both cases date back to 2002 and concern the same set of officials of the building branch.

After cancellation of the lease of the site by the Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) in December 1999, the Chief Administrator had set aside the order of the Estate Office, subject to removal of the violations, and had asked the owner to submit a revised building plan. A JE, now posted as Assistant Engineer in the building branch, gave a report on August 14, 2002 , that all violation had been removed. This was apparently done to benefit either the owner or the occupant of the property as the violations still existed.

As per the record of the Estate Office available on the website, the above said booth (file No. CP-4011) figures in the list of resumed sites (as on January 12, 2006). Sources reveal that the case is being heard in the court of Assistant Estate Officer (AEO). The site still stands resumed despite the then JE, Mr Brij Mohan, reporting that violation had been removed in 2002. This raises questions about the state of affairs in the Estate Office.

To suppress the matter, the case was filed in January 2003. But the case file was moved when the owner of the site wanted an NOC from the Estate Office. In March 2005, the status of the cancelled lease of the site was asked. It was found that the orders treating the lease of the site as restored was obtained from the AEO on August 6, 2002.

However, the Executive Engineer (Building ) desired to get the building inspected again with a detailed violation report by a team of three JEs, Mr Brij Mohan, Mr Sudhir Batra and Mr Bipin Kumar.

But the perusal of the file revealed that the instructions of the Executive Engineer had not been complied with by the JEs and the case was filed on January 28, 2003.

The AEO had asked for an explanation from the JE concerned after sending the file to the establishment branch. And a fresh site inspection was proposed by JEs Ram Kumar and Rakesh Kumar on June 9, 2005. 



City to vie for world heritage status
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Archaeological Survey of India has asked the Chandigarh Administration to list its cultural heritage for placing its name on the tentative list of the Department of Culture for recommendation as a world heritage city status of the UNESCO.

The name of the city on the heritage list gains weight with the French Embassy and the Le Corbusier Foundation also evincing keen interest in details about city culture to make it a part of ‘transborder serial nomination for Le Corbusier Works’ to UNESCO.

The names of Mumbai, Pondicherry and Goa from India are also likely to feature separately on the tentative list.

A committee of the Chandigarh Administration under Mr Lalit Sharma, the adviser, is actively drawing up a detailed list of the Corbusier heritage with “information on nature of the city, its built heritage and outstanding universal value.” The committee members include Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, Ms Raji P.Shrivastava, the Director Tourism, Prof Kiran Joshi , Government College of Art, and Mr V.N. Singh, Director of Government Museum and Art Gallery.

The administration officials have already had detailed meetings with officials of the ASI and the French Embassy, separately. A special meeting was held with Mr Duport, a representative of the Le Corbusier Foundation. An important meeting of the Chandigarh Administration scheduled for June 7 had to be postponed and will be convened shortly, a senior official said.

With completion of the preliminaries, the committee is now working on the front of compiling the lists and maps for submission to the ASI.

A senior official said: “We are very hopeful of the city getting nominated on the world heritage list, at least as a part of serial nomination for Corbusier works all over the world. The city is old enough to vie for a heritage status because the creations have become an accepted fact of the world of architecture”.

It was pointed out that the city will have to incorporate certain legislative provisions to contend that certain architectural designs and original creations will be conserved in the times to come.

Certain institutions and artistic creations on the list of conservation are likely to include original ordinary buildings, Secretariat, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Panjab University, the current office of the Forest Conservator where the team of Le Corbusier, the city architect, worked during coming up of the city, parts of original tapestry and furniture, besides others.

The city might be adopted as a pilot project for carrying out a study on management of ‘modern heritage’. Once selected, the WHC offers financial and technical assistance for preparing a conservation management plan.



PU revives economics course after 20 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Panjab University has after 20 long years revived a course which was the brainchild of this university’s most illustrious alumnus Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

The course-a five year integrated honours programme in economics- was introduced in the Department of Economics in 1966 and was continued till 1986. From this session the department is reviving the course with 30 seats.

“The course was the idea of Prof. S.B. Rangnekar and Dr Manmohan Singh in 1966. The concept had generated from the Oxford and Cambridge tradition almost on the Tripos pattern and the aim was to inculcate more rigorous training in economics in the language of the day which was mathematics. Now we are starting with an augmented version of the course since the focus is once again on finance and academics,” said Prof Abnash Julka of the department who himself is from the first batch of this course.

The course intends to produce highly trained young professionals who can undertake teaching of, and research in economics, to enter the administration as economist and technocrats, to assume responsibility of managing the industry, agro-business, finance and banking, business and trade and insurance or adopt careers in economics journalism.

The course would include a three-year BA honours in economics with option to opt out of the course after graduation followed by a two-year M.A. (Honours) in economics.

“The BA (Honours) stream in the region in the quality of training at the under graduate level is not as rigorous as is required to accept new challenges, maybe in research or in the profession of economics itself. Even at the post graduate level we find since the focus has been on book-based learning the conceptual foundation of the student continues to be weak. In this course, we would be admitting bright students who have completed 10 +2 with at least 60 per cent marks. We intend to catch them young so that we can give them a new orientation that helps them to grapple with the fundamentals from day one itself,” said Prof. Julka who is also the coordinator for the course.

There are 30 seats for the course which include five seats reserved for foreign/PIO/NRI/NRI sponsored/industry sponsored candidates. Candidates who have passed 10+2 examination (or equivalent), from any stream, with a minimum of 60 per cent (55 percent in case of SC/ST candidates) marks in +2 examination are eligible. There will be no entrance test; admissions will be solely on merit (percentage of marks secured in +2 exam).



Child run over by uncle accidentally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
In a tragic incident, a man accidentally ran over his two-year-old nephew crushing him to death under his car in Sector 29, here, last evening. The incident took place when the child, visiting his grandparents was playing outside his house while the accused, on a visit to his in laws, was driving out of the house.

The shocked family rushed the child to PGI, where he was declared brought dead. Though in immense grief and not wanting any action against their own relative, the family went in for registration of a case after much deliberation, said the police since it was a case of accident.

Giving details, sources in the Industrial Area police station said Kamal Kumar of Sector 42 had gone to visit his in-laws in Sector 29. While leaving in his Indica car (CH-01-W-6116) he was unmindful of the fact that his nephew, Abhishek, was playing in front and he ran over the child.

The unfortunate incident did not end there. When shrieks of the child rented the air, shocked bystanders raised an alarm. A panic stricken Kamal instinctively reversed his car intending to save the child not realising that his car tyres were actually moving over the injured child’s body once again, killing him in the process.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against Kamal under Sections 729 and 304-A of the IPC.



Chandigarh Calling
On the other side of the wall

Photo: Karam Singh On one side of the wall, the privileged live in comfort and on the other there are the less privileged and leading a hard life. Tribune photographer Karam Singh brought us this very poignant picture of two school-going children sneaking a nap by the roadside in Sector 27. Their father is a rickshaw-puller and their mother works as a domestic help. They are working hard so that their children live a better life. So let us give a thought to such children and help them in their struggle for a better existence.

Hilarious tale

Panchkula-based artist Pimi Khanna has this hilarious tale to tell about her time spent sketching in Naggar. The little children in the village, avid with curiosity would sidle up to her while she worked and she gave them biscuits and sweets to send them on their way. However, three-year-old Golu would not be shaken off. He kept inching closer and refused to move away. When Pimi asked him why he was sitting so close to her, he winked and answered, “kya karoon main, kuch kuch hota hai, (what do I do, something is happening to me).” Their innate curiosity led to Pimi handing out paper and crayons for them to sketch with and the result has been two exhibitions of their works in Germany and a name to their creativity-The Tripura Sundari Arts Group, Naggar-based on the fabled temple in their region.

Homemade drink

Noon fun has succumbed before the blazing rage of the summer god. Outdoor activities at daytime are more out of compulsion rather than enthusiasm. New age colas have subjugated the markets and TV screens with our favourite superstars preaching what they certainly don’t practice. They are a readymade and thus a more preferred option to satiate our dehydrated souls. But the humble, homemade nimbu pani, aam ka panna and jal jeera instill deeper charms in them. Other than providing a lip smacking luscious taste, they rejuvenate our mechanism and help us to put up with the heat wave. This explains why our mummies pester us to have a glass of nimbu pani before we make ourselves detectable to the summer sun.

Crazy journos

Most persons flaunt their pictures clicked with celebrities or VIPs. Since journalists routinely cover celebrity and VIP functions, they should not be so crazy about them. But they too are human. At a function organised by the Haryana Patarkar Sangh at Haryana Raj Bhavan last week, it was a bit different. At the function, the Governor conferred upon best journalism awards. In the ceremony, a battery of reporters participated. When the Governor was giving awards, most of the journalists greeted the cameras with broad smiles rather than focusing on receiving awards from the Governor. Some of the journalists even requested their counterparts to click their photos in the right posture. Later during the tea, even the journos did not miss the opportunity to get close to the Governor for the photo session.

Solid waste

The armed forces are serious about their ecological responsibility. To help them understand how to get optimum benefits from the daily waste by using simple techniques, nearly 40 armymen of various units of Western Command recently attended a workshop on waste management on the campus of Commonwealth Youth Programme, Sector 12. They were educated on vermicomposting and medicinal plants. They were given saplings of various species, including rudrakash and camphor, to be planted in their units. The waste management will help in sustainability of environment and biodiversity, believes Mr S.K. Sharma, president, Environment Society of India.

Act of honesty

The other day a colleague, Sandeep Sharma (resident of Sector 48), an employee of The Tribune, gave an example of honesty. While heading home, he found a mobile set on the 46/47/48/49 light point. Thinking that its owner might be trying to locate the mobile, he did not switch it off. He was right in thinking so because the very next morning the lady owner dialled her mobile number and was pleased to know that it was in safe hands. The owner met Mr Sharma and thanked him for the noble act.

Contributors: Gayatri Rajwade, Vishal Gulati, Shreyasi Thakur, Akanksha Bansal, Tarundeep Aggarwal & Nirupama Dutt



Harassed couple gets police protection
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Chandigarh police today provided protection to a local boy and a girl hailing from Rohtak, who had married each other against the wish of the girl’s family. The couple, which was on the run since June 6, had lodged a complaint with the UT Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Gaurav Yadav, alleging that the Haryana police had been harassing them and the boy’s family after registering a false case of kidnapping, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy.

Poonam, the girl, claiming to be a major told the UT SSP that her family was against her marriage with Pawan, a resident of Sector 29 here. As she failed to convince her family, they decided to run away and got married later at a local temple here. She in her complaint alleged that the Haryana police had implicated Pawan’s family and had arrested his mother and brother without informing the local police.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Poonam, who is a relative of a Congress MLA from Haryana, said, “I have lodged a complaint with the SSP and told him that Pawan is innocent and the Haryana police is unnecessarily harassing my in-laws and their neighbours. I have also apprised the Chandigarh Police about the threat perception from my family and the Haryana police and have sought protection from the UT police for my in-laws and their neighbours”.

The couple further alleged that the local police had also sided with the Haryana police in the entire episode and did not take any action in this regard. However, the three friends of Pawan were let off by the police, later.

Adding to this, Babli, the sister-in-law of Pawan, alleged that despite the fact that Pawan had been disowned by his family last year, the Haryana police booked her mother-in-law and husband in the false case. As far as the action of the local police was concerned our family had lodged a DDR at the Industrial Area police station on June 8, reporting that Pawan had eloped with a girl and had nothing to do with it, she added. Even then the local police did nothing to stop the Haryana police from arresting them.

Fed up with the highhandedness of the Haryana police, the affected residents filed a joint complaint with the UT police at the Industrial Area police station on June 17.

Following the complaint, the local police has deployed policemen outside Pawan’s residence in Sector 29 and also asked the PCR to keep a vigil there.

The SHO of the Industrial Area police station, Mr Baljit Singh Chaddha, said they had deployed policemen after receiving a joint complaint from the residents of the area. About the arrest of mother and brother of Pawan, he said the Haryana police had arrested them, but added that he had no information about their whereabouts.



Youths’ problems vary from country to country: expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Commonwealth Youth Programme, (CYP) here will begin with a youth volunteer exchange programme among various commonwealth nations.

This was stated by Mr Raj Kishore Mishra who has been appointed the Regional Director for Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre here. An experienced IAS officer, Mr Mishra has replaced Ms Raka Rashid who completed her six-year tenure with CYP recently.

"I have been involved with the Commonwealth Youth Programme and have joined here after taking voluntary retirement from the IAS," said Mr Mishra interacting with newspersons at the centre today.

The CYP is an international development agency that works to give young people aged 15-29 years skills and avenues to create a better future for themselves and for their families and communities. The regional office of the CYP for eight Asian countries is at Chandigarh. As a Regional Director, Mr Mishra would be responsible for administering the CYP in countries like Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

"I intend to create a system of internship like the one that exists in the United Nations, as part of which CP volunteers from one country work as interns in another country. Though we have occasional exchange programmes, there is no institutionalised structure for a regular internship.

Mr Mishra has served in several State Governments, including holding the post of Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. "Though there is a lot that would be done to carry forward and strengthen the commonwealth youth programme, there are some priorities that I have set for myself. One is to bridge the information gap that exists among the youth of the eight countries that we deal within the Asia region," he said.

Stating that the problems and concerns of the youth vary from country to country, Mr Mishra pointed out that there were certain common concerns which the CYP would focus on. "These include youth health alike AIDS and unemployment. Other than Singapore and Brunei this is one of the main problems facing the youth of this region," he said.

Mr Misra said the CYP was operating in India mainly through the existing youth networks like the NSS and the Nehru Yuva Kendra but the CYP also chooses two or three volunteers directly to work on various projects. The CYP is financed by a special fund consisting of voluntary contributions from member governments. 



Develop Sec 5 on pattern of UT’s Sec 17: Chander Mohan
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
The Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, asked the Haryana Urban Development Authorities (HUDA) to develop Sector 5, Panchkula, on the pattern of Sector 17, Chandigarh. He was reviewing the working of HUDA and its projects launched in the city, here today.

He also directed HUDA authorities for ensuing potable water in colonies and bricklined the “nullaha” passing between Panchkula and Chandigarh. The HUDA officials were also asked to install traffic lights at Sector 7 and 18 round about for streamlining heavy volume of traffic on this road.

He said more link roads should be constructed between Chandigarh and Panchkula for better connectivity. Footpaths should also be constructed along road sides for the convenience of pedestrians. A civil dispensary should also be constructed at Sector 15 or 16 to provide better health facilities to the people. He also asked the HUDA officials to construct a “sarai” in Panchkula to ease people coming from all over the state to the cist in one pretext or another.

A delegation of the Citizen's Welfare Association, Panchkula, led by its president S.K. Nayar asked Mr Mohan and put up the various needs of the common people of the city to be redressed at the earliest.

Some serious issues he highlighted include, low water pressure in the township, misuse of multi-purpose-booths in various sectors, additional road-links between Chandigarh-Panchkula, additional road-gallies and periodically repair thereof and provision of sulabh-sauchalyas in all markets.

Besides, Ms Neelam P. Kasni, Administrator, HUDA, Panchkula, and various HUDA officials also attended the meeting.



Salwan heads PRSI's UT chapter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Ms Renuka Salwan, Deputy Director (PR), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), has been re-elected as the chairperson of the Chandigarh Chapter of Public Relations Society of India (PRSI), at the annual general meeting held at the Press Club on June 17.

The other office bearers are:

vice-chairman — Mr K.B.Sharma, Manager, Marketing and PR, Bharat Electronics Limited; secretary—Mr A. K. Sharma, Panjab Tractors Limited; joint secretary— Mr Deepak Rana, PRO, CEDT, Mohali; treasurer—Mr Manjit Singh, educational consultant.

Other members on the executive are:

Mr Dipin Preet Singh, Vice -President, PR, Centurion Bank of Panjab; Mr V.P. Sharma, Joint Director, PR, BBMB; Mr Roopesh Kumar, PRO, Chandigarh Administration; Capt B.S. Gurunay, management trainer, Mr H.S. Aulakh, PRO, PSEB; Mr J.S. Jogi, PR, manager (retired), NFL, Mr Charanjit Singh, Managing Director, Core, PR, and Mr Ashutosh Kapila, ETV producer, NITTTR, have been elected representative to the National Council of PRSI.

The Chandigarh chapter will be organising the first PRSI Awards to recognise the PR initiatives of the individual PR practitioners as well as the corporate representatives in different categories informed Ms Salwan. Some of the other programme on the anvil include a workshop on cyber security, PR management in IT, ITES companies, stress management, relevance of feedback from mass media and harmful impact of mobile telephones on human brain. 



Eminent architect to get ‘Bharat Jyoti Award’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
his meritorious services and excellent achievements, Mr Surinder Singh Sekhon, a former Chief Architect of Punjab, has been honoured with the Bharat Jyoti Award by the India International Friendship Society.

Presently working as Principal of Indo Global College of Architecture, Abhipur, near Chandigarh, Mr Sekhon will receive the award in a conference to be held in New Delhi on June 23.

The awards are given to extraordinary personalities for the yeoman services rendered in various fields like science and technology, education, industry, fine arts and social work.

The past recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, former Vice-President B.D. Jatti, governors like Justice M.Fatima Devi, General G.V. Krishna Rao, former Director of the CBI Joginder Singh, Dr Naresh Trehen and stars like Sunil Dutt and Dev Anand.

A renowned architect and alumnus of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Mr Sekhon is a committed protagonist of art, cultural and architectural heritage, environment, landscaping and village development.

He has participated in the designing of a large number of important buildings, museums, art galleries, tourist complexes and gardens in Punjab.

In 1969, a thesis ‘A Model Village’ was widely appreciated and earned him the patronage of Dr M.S. Randhawa, the then VC, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana.

A publication titled ‘Architecture-Ubharda Pendu Drishtikon’ authored by Mr Sekhon was published by the PAU and was sent to each village of Punjab and distributed to the farmers at agricultural fairs.

His talks on rural architecture were broadcast by the All India Radio. At his initiative, the PAU started a programme providing Architectural Design for houses in villages free of cost.

On account of Mr Sekhon’s interest in rural architecture and cultural heritage, Dr M.S. Randhawa assigned him the job of designing the museum of the Social History of Punjab at PAU, Ludhiana.

This museum was inaugurated by S.Khushwant Singh in 1974 and is fondly visited by all Punjabis.

In 1975, he prepared the architectural design of the Sikh Museum on the first floor ,at the left side of main entrance, of the Golden Temple, Amritsar, as an extension of the existing Art Gallery. 



No lighting facility for city cycle tracks
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Even though Chandigarh Administration has laid cycle tracks throughout the length and breadth of the city for ensuring the safety of cyclists, there is no light at the end of the trail. Almost all the tracks are rendered useless after dark due to poor-illumination.

Intriguingly, the use of tracks in the city becomes absolutely essential after sunset as a substantial number of accidents involving slow-moving vehicles, including cycles, take place in the dark.

The sources in the police headquarters assert that so far this year 250 persons have sustained injuries in road mishaps. Besides this, as many as 69 persons have till date lost their lives to road accidents in Chandigarh alone.

Out of the total, a substantial number of victims were cyclists hit by speeding vehicles late in the evenings or at night. Although the authorities concerned in the UT Administration and the Chandigarh Police are enlightened about the grimness of this dim reality, they have hardly done anything in this regard, except for asking the cyclists to fit reflectors.

If you are having any doubts about the gloomy truth, just cycle down the tracks running along the Vidya Path, Udyog Path, Himalaya Marg or just any other road in the city. You will find it almost impossible to paddle down the track due to the prevailing dark conditions.

“The situation is worse on the tracks running along the streets with lights in the middle, instead of the edges,” says young city-based advocate-cum-cycling enthusiast Raman Sharma. “Hardly any light falls on the track”.

The presence of potholes, and even ditches, at so many points along the track only worsen the situation. “In fact, you should consider yourself fortunate if you are able to pass through the track without hurting yourself,” the advocate adds.

The problem, he says, can largely be solved on several tracks by simply pruning the overhead branches of trees growing along the trail. “Though the move will allow the light to percolate, the horticulture wing has not done anything in this regard,” he asserts.

The sources in the local police say the decision to lay down the tracks throughout the city was taken by the Administration way back in 2004 on the basis of the city’s master plan as envisaged by Le Corbusier. In all, the city is to have around 106 kms of cycle tracks to be laid at a cost of around Rs 7 crore by the UT Engineering Department.

Though the work of laying down the tracks is over in most parts of the city, adequate steps have just not been taken to popularise them among the cyclists, or to even make them user-friendly, the sources admit, adding that appeals to use the tracks will continue to fall on deaf ears till all the obstacles are actually removed.

Quoting an example, the sources assert that on February 22 an appeal was issued by the Chandigarh Police to cyclists and riders of other slow-moving vehicles to use cycle tracks and slow carriageways to avoid mishaps. But the issue of improving the tracks was not taken up by senior functionaries with the UT Administration.



Lions Club members given tips to serve better
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Members of Lions Club International District 321-F attended district schooling ‘‘Gurukul 2006’’ at Hotel Shagun on Zirakpur road yesterday.

The function was presided over by the newly elected District Governor of District 321-F R.K Rana. The function was attended by the presidents, secretaries and treasurers of clubs from Mohali, Ropar, Ludhiana, Moga, Faridkot, Ferozepore, Bathinda, Ludhiana, and Sangrur.

Sushil Aggarwal, past International Director, was the chief guest who held an open session with the members. He asked the members to be more focused.

Mr Rana released his district directory in the month of June even though his tenure will start from July 1. He listed his plans for the projects to be taken up during his tenure. He said he would give first priority to the ‘‘Sight First’’ programme during which 10,000 operations will be carried out. Under TB and Aids awareness he set the target of reaching 1.5 lakh persons.

Mr K.S. Sandhu, Mr K.K Sawhney, Dr S.K Bhatnagar, Mr N.K Grover, Mr D.K Sood and Charnjit Singh were among those present on the occasion. 



2 ultra-modern bus stands for Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
Mr Bir Devinder Singh,MLA, Kharar, today announced that two ultramodern bus stands were being planned for Mohali. He was interacting with shop owners at the Phase V market here this evening.

He said a meeting between the urban planning minister and the transport minister would take place tomorrow to finalise the sites for the bus stands. “Various officers concerned would also attend the meeting,” he added.

“These transit bus stands for long-route buses would be located on highways around the township. These buses then will not pass through the township,” he said.

Mr Bir Devinder also visited the market following complaints and representations by shop owners regarding the sorry state of the market. The shop owners showed the MLA the broken pavements and pot holed parking lot that was causing inconvenience to the customers and causing loss of business to the shop owners.

He was accompanied by the MC Executive Officer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, and the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr M.S. Narang. Assuring shop owners of an early redressal of their grievances, the MLA directed the two officers to start repair of the parking lot and pavements at the earliest.

“The parking area of all markets right from phase I onwards would be given a facelift. It has also been decided that the greenbelts that were not being properly maintained would be used to augment the parking area in some of these markets,” he said.

He added that toilet blocks would be constructed in various parks in the townships.



BJP protest against price rise
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
In protest against the rising prices of commodities in the state, the local unit of the BJP held a protest and blocked the road at Sector 7-8-17-18 round about for over one-and-a-half hour here today.

Raising slogans against the government, workers and leaders of the BJP from the district assembled at the roundabout and criticized the government for its anti-people policies. The protesters also flayed hike in prices of petroleum products.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Ravinder Sehgal, district president of the BJP also criticized the Hooda Government in the state for allotting 1700 acres to the Reliance group in Gurgaon. Mr Sham Lal Bansal, a senior BJP leader, flayed the government for ignoring the common man and giving benefits to big industrialists and traders.

The protesters alleged that the Congress government had failed on every front. The sky rocketing prices had disturbed the budget of the common man. Various municipal councillors and local leaders also addressed the rally.

Coming down heavily on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) had already organized a protest on June 12. While addressing the gathering, Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, spokesman of the INLD, had demanded that the President of India should dissolve the UPA government for its failure on every front.



BJP memo against price rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Bhartiya Janata Party led by Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president of the local unit and Mr Satya Pal Jain, national convener of the legal cell, today presented a memorandum addressed to Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, through Mr R.K.Rao, Deputy Commissioner, in connection with the “unprecedented” price hike.

The memorandum was submitted as a part of the decision taken by the NDA for staging ‘dharnas’ and holding demonstrations at all district headquarters. It was pointed out that during the Congress rule there have been at least three hikes in prices of essential commodities.



Youth Cong celebrates Rahul’s b’day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
Members of the Youth Congress here celebrated Rahul Gandhi’s birthday today by serving sweet water to the public in phase VII here. “We wanted to celebrated this day by getting together all our honest and credible party members and re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of serving the nation,” said Mr Aman Johar president, Youth Congress, Mohali. On this occasion, the district president, Mr Kamaldeep Singh, an general secretary, Mr Vijay Kumar, were also present.



Prominent social worker dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Darshan Mehan, a prominent social worker, died here today after a prolonged illness. She was 78. She was the wife of Mr B. K. Mehan, Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, Chandigarh, and a pioneer industrialist of the city.

Mrs Mehan was a long-time resident of Chandigarh,having moved to the city when it was just developing in 1954. She was an active member of the Rotary Inner Wheel Club. She was also involved in other philanthropic activities.

The funeral will be held at Cremation Ground, Sector 25, Chandigarh, at 12.15 p.m.

Mrs Mehan is survived by her husband and three sons. 



City police holds meetings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The police yesterday carried a public contact programme in the city. All Station House Officers, In charge of police posts and other beat staff took part in the programme.

Meetings were also held with the resident welfare and market welfare associations.



Get-together of ex-officers of Rajput Regiment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Members of the Chandigarh chapter of the Rajput Regiment Officers’ Association organised their annual summer dinner 2006 here last evening, which was attended by a large number of serving as well as retired officers along with their wives.

The get-together gave old comrades-in-arms an opportunity to come together on a common platform to share old experiences, relive memories and bring each other up to date on regimental and personal matters.

Among those who attended the get-together were Lt Gen Bhopinder Singh and Lt Gen D.P. Singh, both of whom hung up their uniform recently. The association’s patron is Lt Gen R.S. Dayal (retd), who had captured the strategic Haji Pir Pass in 1965, while Col Gurdial Singh, who was awarded a Maha Vir Chakra in 1962, is the eldest surviving Rajput officer and the association’s vice-president.



Fauji Beat
How to make Army attractive?

According to the figures given by the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, in a written reply the Rajya Sabha the other day, there was a shortage of 11,256 officers in the rankin Lt-Colonel and below on January 1, 2006. The main reason for the shortage, Mr Mukherjee said, was the non-availability of suitable candidates who could meet the laid down criteria for selection. He also said that constant efforts, including image projection campaign, were being made to make the Army an attractive career.

There are no conceivable measures, including increasing the intake into the training academics, commissioning of suitable JCOs and Non-Commissioned Officers, etc. that have not be adopted by the Army over the years to knock off the shortage of officers. The last of these measures, adopted in December, 2004, was to give quicker promotions to the officers up to the rank of Lt-Colonel, besides taking out this rank from the selection grade and promoting Lt-Colonels, who do not make the grade to the Colonel’s rank, as time scale Colonels on completion of 26 years of service. This too has failed to improve the situation.

If the government is really serious about combating the shortage of officers, then only two measures will work towards success. One, a substantial improvement in the terms and conditions of service, beside enhancing the pensionary benefits. Two, lateral placement in other services and departments due to the large-scale supersessions in the Army. To continue with the already tried out measures, would amount to flogging a dead horse.

Pipping ceremony and after

The pipping ceremony at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) is a great occasion in the life of the gentlemen cadets (GCs) who turn officers after this ritual. The job that accompanies this momentous occasion could be seen from the spontaneous throwing up of their caps in the air after the passing out parade at the IMA on June 10. The message that a freshly commissioned officers carries from his training and grind a the IMA is: “The safety, honour and welfare of the country come first always and every time the honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next , your own ease, comfort and safety come last — always and every time”.

The question that is often asked these days is: Does this Chetwodean credo still holds good because it expects every officer to be selfless leader and a macro-model of soldiering? Without answering this question, we will go to one part of the credo: “The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next”.

No doubt, an officer is appointed to command his men, but he commands them better by serving them. General Patton once said that, “the rank that an officer wears on his coat is really a symbol of servitude to his men. It is this human aspect on which the officer-man relationship rests”. The educated and well-informed soldier of today is more responsive to an inspiring leadership. At the same time, he expects more from his officers than his counterpart of yore. He watches you very inquisitively and place his life at your disposal only if you prove to be a devoted and selfless leader.

MiG-25s laid to rest

It was a historic day for the Indian Air Force on May 1, 2006, because on this day the MiG-25 aircraft were phased out after a glorious service of 25 years. After their last ceremonial flight from Bareilly on this day, MiG-25 aircraft were laid to rest a the IAF Museum, Air Force Academy and Air Force Stations at Bareilly, Jodhpur and Kalaikunda.

It was in 1981 that 102 Squadron of MiG-25s was formed to play a significant role of strategic reconnaissance. But in 2003, these aircraft were transferred to 35 squadron in which they operated along side the MiG-21s.

Pritam Bhullar



3 held in PVC rolls theft case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The police arrested two employees of a Ram Darbar-based pharmaceutical company and a junk dealer and claimed to have recovered polyvinyl chloride (PVC) rolls worth Rs 1 lakh from their possession. These rolls are used for used for packing medicines.

Sources said Mr Sanjiv Aggarwal of GCM Laboratories Pharmaceuticals, Phase II, Ram Darbar, had lodged a complaint alleging that 27 PVC rolls had been stolen from his unit. He had expressed doubts over his two employees, Manjit Singh and Uttam Chand.

The police questioned both employees, who reportedly admitted to have stolen the PVC rolls. They said they had sold the same to a Ram Darbar-based junk dealer.

After raiding the premises of the accused, 23 rolls were recovered from junk dealer Prakash and two rolls each from Manjit Singh and Uttam Chand. They were booked in a case of theft and were produced in a local court that remanded them in judicial custody.

House burgled: Mr Mohammad Ramzan of Sector 42-B has complained that gold ornaments worth lakhs were stolen from his residence on Sunday.

He told the police that the thieves gained entry by breaking open the locks. A case has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Scooter stolen Mr Vijay Kumar of Sector 3 has filed a complaint with the police that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-03-F-2297) was stolen from the Sector 22 market on Sunday. A case has been registered.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested Bablu of Kumhar Colony from the road separating Sectors 24 and 25 and Harbans Lal of Attawa village from the same locality on Sunday on the charge of possessing illicit liquor.

The police seized eight and 12 bottles of country-made liquor from their possession, respectively. 



Body found in Nada forests identified
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
The semi-naked body of a woman with injury signs on its head, that was found in the forest area of Nada village along a road leading to Morni Hills yesterday morning, was identified today.

The deceased has been identified as Sapna, a resident of Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh.

Family members of Sapna reached the General Hospital, Sector 6, after the news regarding the body appeared in various dailies, and identified her.

Sources said Sapna had left home for market two days ago but did not return. She had been putting up with her parents in Mauli Jagran and was working in an industrial unit.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Balbir Singh, Superintendent of Police, said Sapna had been staying with her parents due to strained relations with her husband and in-laws.

Daughter of Roshan Lal, a porter by profession, Sapna was married to a Ambala-based man about four to five years ago and even had a kid from him, he claimed.

Sapna had left home to see her child at Ambala. A mobile phone had also been found from her possession that could prove helpful in investigating the crime, the SP claimed.

The police had also been working on various theories to ascertain if she was raped before her murder.

The exact reason of death could be known after post-mortem reports only, said Mr Singh.

The body was handed over to the family members after post-mortem examinations at the General Hospital, Sector 6, this evening.

The semi-naked body of Sapna was found in thickets in the forest area at about 6 am.

The woman was reportedly hacked to death and later dumped in the forests. The body had injuries marks on the head and body parts.

Meanwhile, the police is still groping in the dark regarding the identification of the bodies of teenaged girls, that were found along a bank of the Ghaggar river in Sector 27 on June 10, besides another body of a man found in Sector 7.

Two more unidentified bodies were found in the city on June 12.

Though the body found in Sector 7, near Shakti Bhavan, was identified all other cases are still to be solved.



Two girls hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
Two girls — Nidhi and Jaspreet Kaur — residents of Sector 19, were seriously injured when a scooter (Activa) they were riding collided with a truck at T-point on a road leading to the Mata Mansa Devi shrine here today.

Students of BSc-I year, the girls were rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6. The doctors referred them to the PGI in Chandigarh after their condition deteriorated. Their condition is said to be serious at the PGI.

The truck driver reportedly sped away with the vehicle. The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the truck driver. A hunt to nab him has been launched.

In another case a tractor-trailer driver had a narrow escape when his vehicle was mowed down by a vehicle on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway adjacent to the Mini Secretariat, this morning.

Loaded with paddy-husk, the tractor-trailer was badly damaged. However, its driver escaped unhurt. The police is investigating the matter.



Tap thieves on the prowl

Mohali, June 19
The Mohali police is faced with a new breed of thieves: those stealing taps from houses. These tap thieves struck at three different houses on Saturday and have stolen at least 30 taps.

According to the police, thieves struck at a house in Sector 70, broke open the lock and decamped with the taps and the toilet seat covers. The house belongs to the former DC of Ropar, Mr H.I.S. Grewal. A case was registered on the complaint of Mr Grewal’s gunman, Mr Jasvir Singh.

Thieves struck at another house in Sector 70 and this time, too, all they could find were taps to steal. The neighbours informed the police when they saw the house door locks broken. The police found that the taps from the kitchen, bathrooms and even outside the house were stolen.

In another incident thieves struck at a house in Phase VII. According to the owner, Mr Puran Duggal, he had gone to see his elder daughter at Delhi and when he returned he found the house ransacked and all his woollens and the house taps missing. TNS



Mobile phone snatched

Abrar Ahmed, a resident of Sector 42, has complained that three motorcycle-borne youths snatched his mobile phone on Friday. He was assaulted by the youths before they snatched his phone. The police has, however, registered a case of missing mobile phone at the Sector 34 police station.






2 held for not paying for diesel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The local police has arrested two residents of Sonepat district in Haryana, who sped without paying for diesel at a petrol station in Mani Majra this afternoon here.

The police said Manoj Kumar and Karamvir, both hailing from Pipli village in Sonepat district, came to Vanveet Service Station near Fun Republic in Mani Majra at around 2 p.m. They got their Indica car (DL-8CS-8208) filled with 32 litres of diesel worth Rs 1,090 and asked the attendant to make a bill. When the attendant went inside, they sped in their car.

The attendants at the service station raised an alarm and soon the nearby beat box policemen gave a chaser on their motorcycle. The police managed to intercept them near the Mani Majra police station. A case was registered in this regard.



2 killed, 5 injured in road accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
Two employees of a Baddi-based industrial unit were killed and five others injured, two of them seriously, in an accident involving a motorcycle, Tavera and a truck on the “killer” Panchkula-Kalka stretch of the Kalka-Ambala national highway near Surajpur near here, this afternoon.

The accident occurred when the Baddi-bound Tavera was carrying Sanjiv Chhabra, from Rohtak, Seny Raju, from Andhara Pradesh, Mohinder, and Dinesh when it collided head-on with a truck approaching from the opposite direction. The driver of the Tavera was reportedly overtaking a motorcycle at that time.

The victims had been putting up in House No 195, Sector 6 in Panchkula. After colliding head-on with the truck, the Tavera also rammed into the motorcycle from the side leaving the riders injured.

According to the police, one of the Tavera occupants Sanjiv Chabra died on the spot, while seriously injured Seny Raju succumbed to injuries on his way to PGI, Chandigarh. Seriously injured Mohinder and Dinesh were rushed to Fortis, a Mohali-based hospital. The driver was given treatment at a local clinic. The Motorcycle borne couple (Anil his wife Anita) and their daughter Shivani also sustained injuries. They were admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. According to eyewitnesses, motorists and passers by assembled at the site and managed to extricate the injured from the mangled remains of the damaged vehicle. Vehicular traffic was also disrupted on the highway for a long time following the accident. The truck driver reportedly fled from the scene leaving behind the vehicle.

The police has started investigating the case. 



3 booked on theft charge
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
The police has booked three persons of Rattewal village on the charge of theft.

Balwinder Singh, a resident of Sector 70 here, has reported that he had called three persons to clean his house. When they left, he found that an amount of Rs 15,000, a watch and two shirts were missing.

A case under Sections 380 of the IPC has been registered against Ram Vilas, Hari Ram and Lakshmi.



Sampark Centres to accept SPICE bills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Director of Information Technology, Mr Manjit Singh Brar, has announced that the e-Sampark Centres would also accept telephone bills of SPICE Private Limited from the general public.

The e-Sampark Centres located in Sector 10, 15, 18, 23, 43, 47, Mani Majra and Industrial Area, Phase-I, will start accepting telephone bills of SPICE Private Limited from the public from today onwards, an official press note said here today. Efforts are also being made to have a similar arrangement with Airtel, Reliance and BSNL.



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