C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Punjab minister’s remark causes stir
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
What happens when politicians make cursory remarks while speaking at workshops meant to address serious issues? Well, serious participants react seriously.

Just as Ms Rajinder Kaur, general-secretary, Janwadi Istri Sabha Punjab, did today.

She got up from her seat and interrupted the flow of the Punjab’s Women and Child Development Minister, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur’s speech which was loaded with a “moralistic” dose.

Several participants at the two-day workshop, held at the CII to discuss issues concerning NRI marriages, felt the Minister had asked for it. Interestingly, the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, rushed to the defence of Ms Gurkanwal Kaur during his speech later.

The remark that sparked off the controversy was — “Women are the enemies of women”.

The fact that Ms Gurkanwal Kaur made the statement in the presence of women engaged in supporting and rescuing NRI brides was painful to some, though others felt it was made as a passing reference.

A debate ensued nevertheless. Ms Rajinder Kaur shouted from the midst of the gathering, two social workers rising in support: “It is wrong to pass such generalised and clichéd remarks. If a minister talks in such a tone, what betterment can you expect?”

As the situation turned embarrassing, a member of the National Commission for Women (one of the organisers of the workshop) took charge and silenced the critics of “sacred political rhetoric”.

“You will have a chance to speak, but I request you to maintain the decorum of the house,” she declared, while Ms Gurkanwal Kaur ate a humble pie.

The Minister, however, got support from a quarter she would have least expected.

The Haryana CM spoke to vindicate her stand: “Her remark invited the wrath of some sisters in the gathering. What she meant was that we should assume collective responsibility for the state of women in our country. Instead of reacting, we should strive for attitude change.”

Ramoowalia adds fuel to fire

Former MP B.S. Ramoowalia could not help getting emotional when it was his turn to speak on the issue of women trapped in NRI marriages. In his patent tone, he first pinpointed the loopholes in the system and then suggested solutions to deal with them.

His first solution however came as a great embarrassment to some. “Scrap all the women's cells,” declared the well wisher of NRI brides.

“I know what they do. They drain the women and dissipate their energies. They do more harm than good,” he thundered.

Mr Hooda offered a clarification here as well: “Scrapping women's cells won't serve a purpose. You will see more problems arising if that is done.”

Mr Ramoowalia however stuck to his guns!



NCB officer in CBI net over graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
An Intelligence Officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Chandigarh Zone, was caught red-handed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) while accepting a bribe of Rs 40,000 from the brother of an accused booked in a narcotics case.

Giving details, a CBI official said Ravikant Panwar, Intelligence Officer of the NCB, was caught red-handed while allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe from Mr Devinder Kumar, a Kulu resident.

The officer was nabbed from a confectionary shop in Sector 15, where he had called the complainant to hand over the money.

An operation was planned by the CBI, on a complaint by Mr Devinder Kumar this morning, following which the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the CBI swung into action constituting a team under the supervision of the DSP (ACB), Mr S.S. Sandhu, and laid a trap.

Ravikant was booked under Section 7, 13 (1)-D of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Sources in the CBI said Ravikant Panwar, who was on deputation from Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), had been investigating a case in which the complainant’s brother, Narinder Kumar, was caught by the NCB along with two foreign nationals from Chandigarh on February 9, 2005, and 155 kg of heroin was recovered from their possession.

The seizure was made from a furniture export unit in Industrial Area, here.

The sources added that as the case was pending trial, Ravikant had demanded favours from Devinder to help his brother during the investigation by allegedly tampering with evidence.

He also promised to change his own statement along with that of the witnesses to weaken the case against him.

Besides this, Ravikant allegedly threatened to seize properties of Narinder and his brother in case they failed to meet his demand.

A senior officer in CBI said raids were also conducted at the Sector 2 based-Zonal office of the NCB.

He added that they tried their best to contact the Zonal Director of the NCB, Mr Srikant Jadav, but he was not available.

After failing to contact Mr Jadav, the CBI sleuths searched the premises of the NCB in his absence.

He added that certain incriminating documents, along with records of property belonging to the accused, were found from the premises.

The sources also said Ravikant was not the first case in which an Intelligence Officer in the NCB on deputation from RAW was arrested for seeking gratification.

They said about a month ago, the CBI had arrested another RAW officer on deputation in the NCB while taking bribe in Jammu and Kashmir.

Till the filing of the reports, the CBI sleuths were carrying out raids at the Sector 37-based residence of Ravikant. 



UT gears up to tackle monsoon fury
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
With the forthcoming monsoon season just a couple of weeks away, the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation are carrying out last minute brushing up on different projects for keeping the city roads free from standing water pools.

Officials say that the rains will not have any impact on the repair work. However, the repair work does need to be speeded up in certain areas. The road dividing Sectors 29 and 30 has berms lying in the middle of the road for the past several days. The road dividing Sectors 21 and 34 is full of mud splattered at places which can be dangerous during rains. The road dividing Sectors 31 and 32 is closed to the general traffic till October because of cement carpetting.

The roundabouts of Sectors 32-33-30-20 and 33-34-20-21 are dug up because of laying slip roads. Water pipes are lying open on the road dividing Sectors 19 and 20. The mud is likely to slush the roads in case of rains.

The road dividing Sectors 46 and 47 is another potential trouble area. The road collapsed within a month of recarpetting last year. It was pointed out that the road was not meant for heavy traffic. The route was opened as a temporary arrangement to take the burden off Dakshin Marg, officials confirm.

The department has prepared a list of roads, their condition and the tentative dates of completion of repair work. At least 37 works have been listed under different heads. Certain roads on Udyan Path showed as “very poor” will be completed by the end of June and the rest by November. The Sukhna path will be completed by October, Chandni path and Dakshan path by September and Madhya Marg by July end. Certain portions of these road stretches have been timed differently.

The number of road gullies have been doubled by the Engineering Department and designs have also been changed. Earlier the water flow stopped when leaves blocked the way. The “postbox” type of gully allows a continuous flow. The gullies have been aptly linked to the storm water pipelines, a senior official said. MC officials also claim to have cleaned the storm water drains.

It was pointed out that “cement carpetting is being tried out as a pilot project on the road dividing Sectors 31 and 32. In case the project is successful here, it will be repeated in the city. Another potential trouble spot was a stretch of road near the airport chowk which accumulated very heavy water during rains. The department has raised the level this year.

It will not be possible to handle all the roads needing repairs this time. The stretches of road dividing Sectors 16 and 17, Sectors 51 and 52 and the Paschim marg are under preparatory stage of estimates.

Chandigarh Administration has already spent more than Rs 5 crore on the recarpetting of city roads this year. “We are sticking to the planned date schedule which carries on till the year end”, a senior official said. Replying to a question of the repair work getting affected because of the rains, he said? “The rains will have no impact on the repair work. The work lost during rains will be duly compensated. The road material does not suffer any loss”.



Victims of NRI marriages bare their wounds
Naveen S. Garewal and
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Battered and dumped, these women may be dejected but they are certainly in no mood to relent. Having mustered the strength they are now ready to fight the injustice meted out to them by some of the NRI husbands.

They are telling their stories without any shame, not out of vengeance for men who deserted them but with the sole objective to educate their sisters who, they feel, should not meet the same fate as they did. The message they give out is unambiguous -- "It is more important to seek emotional support out of marriage than pursuing dollar dreams through it."

Seema was barely 22 when her relatives brought what seemed to be an irresistible proposal. Within matter of days she would wake up in her California home, surrounded by golden beaches, she had dreamt. Her dream was shattered even before her honeymoon was over when 20 days after her marriage her NRI husband shocked her by disclosing that he was leaving for the United States, promising that he would take her with him. Two years later, Seema is yet to hear from the man, who has since stopped responding to her calls. It took her family a while to realise the harsh reality. They have now registered an FIR registered against Seema's husband.

The story of Gurmeet Kaur is no different; the only dissimilarity being that she managed to step on the alien land, only to be brutalised for dowry by her husband and in- law. So she was conveniently sent back to Ludhiana. Despite strong sentiments to avenge the wrong, Gurpreet and her father have not been able to achieve much in terms of justice as the Indian law is not strong enough to undo injustice to an Indian national on foreign land. The girl's husband has moved residence from his earlier home in a London suburb, and Gurpreet's attempts to reach him are hitting a vacuum.

But that did not keep Gurpreet from telling her story at the concluding session of the two-day workshop on NRI marriage issues organised by the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MIOA). Looking at her cases, and that of Ramanjt Kaur and Sneha Singh, both of whom were married and abandoned within months following the revelation that their grooms had misstated facts before tying the nuptials, the NCW and MIOA have come up with recommendations to prevent fraudulent marriages and duping of innocent, unsuspecting women nurturing a desire to get married and live abroad.

Main recommendations are - amendment to the Passport Act to include a statutory page mentioning name, details of spouse of a married NRI passport holder. In case of a prospective NRI groom, these details must be furnished within 30 days of marriage. To prevent frauds, the groom should furnish an affidavit (in notarised form) mentioning place of residence, social security number and name of employer. There has also been a proposal to set up a central agency on the lines of the Central Adoption and Resource Agency.

Sneha Singh, a victim of fraud, is hopeful of justice as she tells her story, "My husband was broke when he advertised for marriage in a newspaper. He, however, mentioned that he was drawing a hefty salary in the USA. Also, he concealed his schizophrenic status. My family fell for the bait and two days after the wedding, I discovered the truth. When I distanced myself from him, he took me to court. After a lot of struggle the case was nullified and I got exparte divorce." Sneha now runs an NGO to help other victims.

But Ramanjit from Chandigarh is still waiting to hear from her husband in Nigeria, who married her and took her abroad stating that he was all alone. Back home the boy's parents started harassing Ramanjit's parents for dowry. Finally, Ramanjit was also sent back. She has not heard from her husband since January this year. She was married only last year.



NRI weddings: NCW to draft legislation by Nov
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The National Commission for Women chairperson Ms Girija Vyas has called for the establishment of women’s cells in Indian High Commissions abroad to tackle the offences in NRI weddings. She has also highlighted the need to enhance support structures for women trapped in distress situations in alien lands.

Not just that, the NCW has committed itself to preparing the draft for a comprehensive legislation to tackle offences in NRI marriages by November this year. The same will be done after two three more regional workshops to be organised in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi. The state governments have also been asked to send contributions for suggested changes in the laws which are a must to protect abandoned women both in India and abroad.

On her recent trip to the UK, Ms Vyas was shocked to learn that 1200 women from Punjab were living in shelters across the country. The situation was no good in Amsterdam, where religious bodies like temples and gurdwaras have now committed their support to the NCW in the fight against injustice meted out to women.

In Chandigarh to assess the situation in north India and recommend measures to stem the rot, Ms Vyas today admitted to the laxity of private international laws which makes it impossible to fix responsibility in cases where NRI marriages end up on the rocks. Aware of the deepening crisis - underlined by the fact that 30,000 Indian women have been abandoned by NRI husbands - Ms Vyas said a comprehensive legislation on the subject was an absolute necessity.

“We are in coordination with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the NRI Ministry to address the issues involved. We suggest amendments to the Passport and the Extradition Act to help us bring offenders of such crimes to justice. At the Commission we are handling 20 cases where women have been left in lurch by NRI husbands. We have at least 50 internet registrations on the same issue. The problem is particularly grave in Punjab where there are 12000 cases of NRI marriages having gone wrong. Haryana is better placed with only 10 such cases being reported in the last three years. But the problem in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh has assumed the form of trafficking mainly for labour” said Ms Vyas.

On behalf of the NCW, she has also touched base with the European Union (EU) at Vienna. “They have agreed to have a dialogue between the government and the people involved in such cases. The idea is to build linkages so that fruitful strategies can be worked out soon. While we develop partnerships abroad, it is very important to have meaningful changes in legislations in India.

Support for Sawant

Supporting the case of Rakhi Sawant, Ms Vyas said Mika had assaulted her sexually and that the NCW would back the girl in her fight for justice. “It is not a question of who were involved in the case. The case itself is a direct assault on the dignity of a woman. Such an act of commission at a public place in full view of people cannot be tolerated,” said Ms Vyas.



passing thru

Gurinder Sandhu
Gurinder Sandhu, a taxi driver based at Sydney, Australia 

What do say about Radio Taxi Service recently started in Chandigarh?

It is wonderful to see the new Radio Taxi Service in Chandigarh. Since the city is emerging as the hub of the IT sector, leading to more IT-related activities like hotel industry, tourism etc, this kind of service was desperately needed.

How do you compare it with Sydney’s Radio Taxi Service?

Here, cars are quite comfortable and the operators are providing reasonably good service given the price they charge for it but the service you get in Sydney is far better.

The cars there are gearless, very comfortable, conforming to all safety norms and well-equipped for the convenience of passengers. But all this comes at a price.

How do you look up at the life of a taxi driver in Sydney?

It has been almost eight years since I started working as a taxi driver in Sydney. Though, it is profession entailing good earnings, with meter starting from $12, yet it is somehow not safe for the Indian drivers as there are instances of being looted in late evening hours. But Chandigarh is quite a safe place.

What are the qualities a driver should possess?

A driver needs to be humble, cooperative and should keep up a rapport with the passengers. In Sydney, I have a clientele which always looks for me only. There are some Indian oldies who call me up to have a joyride just to ward off their loneliness as they love to talk to me in Punjabi or Hindi.

— G.S. Paul



Big cats are fed well, says zoo chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Reacting to two news-items “Big cats forced to diet at Chhat Bir” and “Chhat Bir zoo loses its ‘green’ glory” in The Tribune on May 26 and June 8, the Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Punjab, Dr Kuldip Kumar, has clarified that the “big cats” are being given normal diet. Besides this, green trees have not been felled for constructing new enclosures or parks.

In a communication to The Tribune, Dr Kumar said one of the news-items gave a wrong impression about the big cats in the zoo being given less diet. Compared to buffalo meat, less quantity of chicken or goat meat was offered to lions and tigers as the bones, being small and soft, were also chewed, thereby eliminating wastage.

Referring to the other news-item about the zoo losing its “green glory”, Dr Kumar said landscaping had not been carried out at the cost of the forest cover. The lawns had been developed on barren and waste areas for the convenience of the visitors.

Developing and providing facilities to the visitors was in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Zoo Authority and the national zoo policy. Huge amounts had not been spent on building activity and only “petty maintenance” of zoo buildings had been carried out with the available funds, which were “quite meagre”.

Dr Kumar added that the green cover in the “Lion safari” and the “Deer safari” was the same. As far as the drying up of “Shisham” trees was concerned, it was “a nation-wide phenomenon” and not just limited to the zoo.

He claimed that the number of visitors to the zoo had registered a gradual increase over the years. Last year alone, the number had increased by 8000. The contractors of the eating joints and “Lion safari” were also paying more rents to the zoo compared to the previous years.

Describing the news-report as “totally biased” and “motivated”, Dr Kumar said there was no political interference in the affairs of the zoo.

The Tribune Correspondent adds: I stand by my stories. Expressing annoyance at the irregular supply of meat to the animals, Punjab Forest Minister Hans Raj Joshan pulled up the zoo authorities for the poor state of affairs during a visit to the zoo. The minister’s comments, along with Dr Kumar’s version, were carried in a news-item.

The zoo management has changed the topography of the area by developing parks, planting hedges and by carrying out landscaping. All this while, the authorities have made no efforts to ensure the provision of additional green cover to the animals in the enclosures.



Adopt yoga in totality for good health
Geetu Vaid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Guruji, that is what his disciples call him and “there is no better word to describe me”, admits Swami Lalji Maharaj, noted yoga teacher, president, Mukti Marg Mission, and Pradhan Yogacharyadev, Chandigarh Yog Sabha, while telling about his deep passion for teaching yoga to people.

Thousands of persons, who are attending the eight-day-long yoga camp being organised by him in the city these days, will gladly vouch for his teaching prowess as he guides them towards a healthy and stress-free lifestyle.

With almost 50-year-long association with this ancient Indian art, his zest and enthusiasm for yoga is highly infectious. His dedication to yoga and teaching, though, is not a surprise as he tells that he sort of inherited this love from his father, Swami Devi Dyal, who was a renowned yoga master of his times, and established 40 yoga training centres all over the country.

Like a true teacher his chief endeavour has been to make his knowledge of ancient classical yoga more relevant to the modern day requirements. For this, he has created several new exercises adapting various asanas to suit the needs of a particular person. By prescribing the most suitable kind of yog to each individual as per his age, capacity and specific health problem he has helped millions of patients, including doctors, from India and abroad in leading healthier and contented lives.

In due course he has also formulated simplified yoga courses against stress related problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, chronic back pain, spondylitis, sciatica and joint pains, common cold, sinusitis, migraine, etc.

But doesn’t this tinkering adulterate the asanas? “Not at all. Actually this adaptation makes the asanas more effective, especially in the present day context. Yoga is a dynamic science and there is no place for rigid or conservative attitude. There are as many asanas as there are living organisms. Asanas are difficult but I mould them keeping in mind the age, capacity and physical problem of a person,” he tells while telling about the modified “makar asana” that is very effective for giving instant relaxation.

Teaching from his personal example, this 63-year-old powerhouse of energy claims that he works for almost 20 hours a day without feeling tired and “disciplined yogic lifestyle is the secret of this energy”, he says.

“Deep breathing increases the capacity of lungs and helps the body to utilise the oxygen more effectively. Normally we use only 4 to 5 per cent of the capacity of lungs and because of this different organs become sluggish and disease prone. Pranayam maximises the utilisation of oxygen in blood and fights all sorts of physical disorders.”

‘‘Breathing exercises have to be done gently as vigorous ones will cause more harm than good.”

A lifestyle more in harmony with nature and “antar yatra” (meditation) is what he prescribes for leading a fuller and meaningful life. “Adopt yoga in totality and not in fragments,” is the mantra given by the guru.



Dhaba owners demolish objectionable structures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , June 21
Three days after certain violations of the building bylaws in a utility booth (No 1121 D, Sector 22) was highlighted, the occupants of the site have begun demolishing the objectionable sections of the structure.

A room constructed on the roof top of the building was partially removed. Some part of temporary structure on the ceiling was also removed at the site. The demolition was being carried out at the instructions of the officials of the Estate Office.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer, Mr R.K. Rao, said those violating the building bylaws would not be spared. Action would be taken as per the law.

The site allotted for dhaba trade houses a restaurant, Tehal Singh Chicken Corner. Three dhaba sites have been clubbed in one to make space for the restaurant. Sources disclosed that though the resumed site (1121 D) was restored by the previous Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) on January 20, 2006.

After cancellation of the lease of 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 non-sanctionable violations and had asked the owner to submit revised building plan for sanctionable violations.

The site was restored in January last on the basis of a compliance report given by the office of the building branch. The name of the officials who inspected the site could not be ascertained. The aspect was also being inquired by the Estate Officer.

The other two dhaba sites are No. 1121 A and No. 1121 B. While in one of the case, a court case was going on and there was little violation. The occupant of the dhaba site has raised a mezzanine floor. There is a restaurant on the mezzanine floor and another restaurant has an entrance from the side corridor (near the public toilets). The occupants of the adjoining dhaba site have also erected a room on the rooftop.



Ajay does city proud
Tribune News Service

chandigarh, June 21
It was a proud moment for Chandigarh-based Ajay Sethi, when Dubai’s crème de la crème and Bollywood stars attended the post-IIFA award party hosted by him.

The IIFA awards were held at the Airport Expo and the party at Grand Hyatt brought the IIFA event to a conclusion.

Ajay went to Africa as a 21-year old. Overcoming challenges, he made a mark for himself in the auto industry and relocated himself in Dubai. There has been no 
looking back for Ajay Sethi who established the Channel 2 Group Corporation and then launched a 729-television channel, the first Hindi channel, in Dubai. Recently, Channel 2 Group launched Channel 2 Movies in Kenya, in association with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.



Promotions sought for UT staff

Chandigarh, June 21
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has demanded that promotion of the UT cadre employees should be done instead of bringing employees on deputation from Haryana or Punjab.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the NCP under the chairmanship of Principal Gurbachan Singh. The NCP has urged Gen S.F. Rodrigues for implementation of required promotions. TNS



Mohali civic poll between July-August
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 21
The Department of Local Government has ordered the holding of elections to the local Municipal Council on any day between July 30 and August 6. The actual date will be fixed up by the Punjab Election Commission.

A notification issued today stated that in exercise of the powers vested by sub-section (I) of Section 13-A of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, the Governor of Punjab was pleased to direct that general election to elect members of the two urban local bodies of Bhogpur and Mohali and byelection to seven wards of various other local bodies shall be held between July 30 and August 6.

A copy of the notification has been forwarded to the State Election Commissioner, Punjab, for information and taking necessary action for the holding of the general and byelection to the urban local bodies.

Even though the date of holding the municipal elections to local civic body has not been announced yet, the election scene is beginning to warm up in a part of the town with prospective candidates and their supporters going from door-to-door to woo voters.

Several former members of the previous civic body intend to contest once again. However, there is every possibility that the council may see many new faces after the poll.

In at least two wards former municipal councillors will be fighting the elections against each other as the new delimitation of wards has changed the earlier plan of the wards.

In ward no 2, it is reported that at least 10 persons were interested in contesting the polls, two of them, Mr Sham Bansal, and Mr Rajinder Prasad, had remained councillors in the previous elected body. Similarly, in ward no 6, Ms Manmohan Kaur and Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, both former municipal councillors, would be contesting elections apart from at least four others persons.

However, it is reported that election activity has not picked up much in Phases IX, X and XI.

Earlier, votes for the municipal elections were made by employees who went from door-to-door. The draft electoral rolls for the elections were displayed at the office of the SDM in Phase I and the office of the civic body in Sector 68 on June 15. The voters were asked to file their claims and objections at the office of the SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, Mr Sandeep Hans, in person till June 30 after which the final draft would be published on July 15.

The term of the elected body had expired on November 23 last year.



Dharna by Forest Dept staff
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 21
To press their pending demands, members of the Forest Department Labourers Union, Haryana, staged a dharna in front of the building of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana, in Sector 6 here yesterday.

The protesters were demanding filling of 195 vacant posts sanctioned by the government besides lifting the ban on new recruitments, implementation of the Labour Act, and other schemes like ESI, gratuity, provident fund.

They were also demanding reinstating of the retrenched employees of the department and regularisation of contractual workers. The union president, Mr Anand Sharma, alleged that the department had been unnecessarily delaying the recruitment of employees at 195 posts sanctioned by the government. 



Verka staff protest milk supply by pvt unit
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 21
Members of the Ropar Cooperative Milk Producers Union and workers of the Verka milk plant held a protest late this evening against the supply of milk to consumers by a private contractor which was allegedly leading to its losses.

They alleged that the agreement entered by the Verka authorities with a private milk distributor was illegal and against the interest of the milk plant. The protesters said the plant was losing crores of rupees by this arrangement. Milk was being provided by the distributor in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

There are 12 directors on the board of Verka milk plant , three of whom were present at the time of the protest. The protesters closed the gate of the plant and prevented the movement of vehicles.

Mr Parminder Singh, a director, said that the Verka authorities had given the work of supplying milk to a private contractor, Vaishnav Entreprises, in 2001 for three years. He alleged that the contract to supply milk was given at the rate of Re 1 per litre even when the Verka authorities were themselves supplying milk at the rate of 88 paise per litre.

After three months, the contractor was given an additional incentive of 20 paise per litre. He said that 1.80 lakh litres of milk was being supplied by the private contractor in 2001.

He said that the agreement with the private contractor was again extended after the period expired.

He said that at a board meeting held on June 6 it was decided that Verka would be taking the work of supplying milk in its own hands from June 15. However, the date was extended to June 21 as the distributor had approached a court. The work of supplying milk was to be taken up by Verka at midnight today . However, the court gave a status quo order which was received by the General Manager, Mr D.D.Maini, this evening without consulting the directors of the board, he added.

Mr Maini said that he could not refuse the court orders as it would have been amounted to contempt of court. Moreover, the Verka authorities had gone to a court in connection with the distribution of milk. 



Patrol along Morni road intensified
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 21
The shocking incident in which a semi-naked body of a Mauli Jagran-based woman was found dumped in the forest area in Nada village on June 18 has forced the district police to reactivate naka at the intersection of the Panchkula-Morni road and the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway.

The police has deployed additional police force at the naka, apart from intensifying patrolling along the road leading to Morni. The registration number of vehicles would be registered at the naka.

The police can also frisk suspects and detain unmarried couples if found roaming or sitting under suspicious circumstances, a senior police officer claimed. The police had also formed police teams to curb crime in other peripheral areas of the city.

A senior official of the Haryana Tourism pointed out that incidents of theft, robbery and murder in and around Morni would hit tourism.

Meanwhile, the postmortem of Sapna, a resident of Mauli Jagran, was conducted at the General Hospital here last evening. Doctors found multiple injuries on her head.

Three burns — someone had stubbed a cigarette on her hand — were also found. Multiple fractures indicated that she was either beaten to death or was thrown from a moving vehicle.

Meanwhile, the body of a woman that was found on the Ghaggar bank 10 days ago has been identified as Ramandeep Kaur, a resident of Barnala. The woman was putting up as a paying guest in a house in Sector 22, Chandigarh, the police said.

The body of Ramandeep was dumped in Sector 27 along the bank after she was strangled by some unidentified assailants on June 10.

Her mother Amarjeet Kaur, a widow, told the police that Ramandeep had been pursuing an English speaking course. She was engaged to an NRI.



Pkl MC chief gheraoed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 21
Residents of Sector 19, today gheraoed the Panchkula MC chief, Ms Manveer Kaur Gill, when she had gone there to review the development works taken up in the past couple of months here.

The residents complained of the hardships being faced by them. They demanded completion of work. The residents alleged that use of substandard material for re-carpeting had resulted in peeling off of the surface of the road.

Ms Gill asked the HUDA Subdivisional Officer to ensure construction of road and the gullies shortly.



Train timings changed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
From July 1, the Chennai-Chandigarh-Dehradun-Link Express ( 2687/ 2688) will not touch Delhi. It will be diverted to run via Hazrat Nizamuddin-Gaziabad section.

The timings of the train ( no. 2687/2688 ) over the diverted route will be as under: The 2687 Chandigarh-DehraDun-Chennai Express 2687, will arrive at Hazrat Nizamuddin at 8.30 pm and depart from there at 9.10 pm while on its return service the Chennai-Chandigarh-Dehra Dun 2688, will arrive at Hazrat Nizamuddin at 2.30 pm and depart from there at 3.15 pm on its onward journey. The train will leave from Chandigarh on Monday at 7.35 am and arrive at Chandigarh on Saturday at 4.45 am. Earlier the express train arrived on Sunday.

This means that train will run at a faster speed and the unnecessary time wasted at Delhi station will be avoided.

Besides, the number and schedule of the Chandigarh-Lucknow (Sadhbhawna Express) has been changed to allow the train to travel between the two destinations in lesser time. Now the Chandigarh-Lucknow train (2232) will leave Chandigarh at 8.30 pm and the reverse pair (no. 2231) will arrive at Chandigarh at 9.55 am.



Jewellery worth Rs 3.5 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Thieves decamped with gold jewellery worth Rs 3.5 lakh from a house in Sector 49 here.

Mr Atul Vij of Sector 49 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that ornaments worth Rs 3.5 lakh were stolen from his house between June 19 and June 21 when he was away to Solan. He told the police that the thieves gained entry by breaking open the door. He said his in-laws had paid a visit to the house on June 20 and things were alright then. He alleged that the house was ransacked. A case has been registered.

Smack seized

The police today arrested Darshan of Bapu Dham Colony from Shashtari Nagar in Manimajra and Kuldeep of Pipliwala Town from Manimajra while carrying smack.

Two cases under the NDPS Act have been registered.


Ms Dikki of Sector 15 has reported to the police, alleging that two motorcyclists snatched her bag containing Rs 20,000 and a mobile phone on Tuesday from the Sector 15 and 16 traffic light point. A case has been registered.

Scooter stolen

Mr Parveen Kumar of Sector 41 has filed a complaint with the police, alleging that his scooter was stolen from Apni Mandi in Sector 43 on Tuesday. A case has been registered.



Two arrested for rioting
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 21
The police has arrested two persons on charges of rioting and causing hurt to some persons in Phase IX on June 6.

The arrested persons are Devinder Singh and Manjot Singh. The police said they, along with a group of persons, attacked Sonu and had allegedly injured some of his relatives. The police registered a case under Sections 307, 452, 324, 323, 148 and 149, IPC.

Raids are being conducted to nab the others.

One injured

The police has booked three persons of Chandiala Sudan village for injuring a man. Those booked are Avtar Singh, Kikky and Happy.

Mr Darshan Singh had complained to the police that the three persons had injured him over a property dispute. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital in Kharar.



Biz Clip
Trial date advanced

Chandigarh, June 21
The trial/interview date for issuance of sports gradation certificates has been advanced from June 29 to June 26.

The Sports Department of the Chandigarh Administration has asked all eligible sportspersons to submit their applications on prescribed proforma in the office of the Director, Sports (Hockey Stadium, Sector 42, Chandigarh) by 1 pm on June 23. TNS


Carrier unveiled: Mahindra & Mahindra on Wednesday unveiled Champion Alfa 0.5 tonne three-wheeler cargo carrier here. Mr Yogesh Naik, Brand Manager, said it was developed keeping in mind latent customer needs. — TNS



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