C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Admn revises ‘Save Sukhna’ plan
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration has recorded silt removal of 11.5 lakh cubic feet from the Sukhna lake this year, till date. The mechanical desilting process nears its end as the monsoon is drawing near.

Mr V.K.Bhardwaj, the Chief Engineer, said, “We had to do away with the manual desilting from the past couple of years because of no dry patches were available at the lake to facilitate the volunteers. The entire process this year was carried out mechanically by the Irrigation Departments of Punjab and Haryana and UT besides the Army.”

One of the prime objectives of the project was to retrieve the original depth of the lake. The original lake depth measured nearly 18 feet while the official data shows that the lake measured only 11.3 feet in 2002. He said that the deposits removed from the lake were transferred to the low-lying areas of the city and new areas under development, including Sectors 48 and 49. Mr Bhardwaj said the inflow of silt into the lake had decreased sizably, however, the first rains after summers carried along huge quantities of silt. The overall increase in the green cover in the catchment area by the Forest Department had proved to be an effective measure in managing the silt inflow into the lake.

To make the desilting more effective, the Administration has revised its ‘Save Sukhna’ plan, which has been forwarded to the National River\Lake Conservation Directorate under the Ministry of Environment.

Reliable sources sad that the Engineering Department had worked out an original estimate of Rs 25 crore for the desilting project which was later revised to Rs 73 crore. The revision followed clubbing of the desilting project with the beautification of the lake project.

The revision came following the Centre returning the earlier project of the Engineering Department. The original project plan dealt only with desilting of the lake waters. It was recommended that a combined project of the desilting of the lake with its beautification, as well, be drawn up.

Under the new plan the desilting process will be carried on at the Regulator end. The Forest Department has drawn up a detailed plan for a water aquatic park and provision for other water sports. The Forest Department has succeeded in a sizeable increase in the total area under forests, which also includes the catchment area of the lake.

“It is seen the lake waters are very muddy and also the waters smell at certain places which can be experienced during a casual boating expedition. The lake needs a greater cleaning effort,” a retired army officer said.

Under the project, a floating platform will be anchored to the ground at an identified spot. A pontoon connection will ensure the arrival of trucks to the spot. A crane will download silt from the lakebed on to the trucks, which will carry it to the shores.

The desilting this year began in second week of May.



MC, cops least bothered about parking violations
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Traffic violations continue in the parking lots across the city with the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and the local police showing little interest in initiating action against the erring contractors, their attendants and even against motorists for visible offences committed right under their noses. As a result, encroachments in the lots all over the city, and the menace of wrong parking with, and without, the active involvement of contractors, are flourishing.

A testimony to this effect is provided by the fact that challaning for wrong parking amounts to less than 5 per cent of the total challans issued by the Chandigarh Police annually, even though the gravity of the rampant problem is there for all to gauge.

Go to any parking lot in the city and you will find cars and other four-wheelers parked in a haphazard manner, even in places not meant for leaving behind such vehicles. “Though separate lots have been earmarked for leaving behind two-wheelers and four-wheelers, and road signs indicating the same have been installed at prominent places, the motorists seldom pay attention,” the sources in the police headquarters admit. “As a result, you find cars in a lot meant for scooters and vice-verse.”

The problem, they further admit, is particularly bad in the lots in front of hotels and restaurants in Sector 35, and even the lot in front of Mehfil in Sector 17. Interestingly, the lot in front of Mehfil is meant just for two-wheelers, but despite complaints and news-reports in these columns, the police have not done anything to prevent the parking of four-wheelers.

“A couple of cases against the contractors following the thefts of vehicles from the lots notwithstanding, the police, and even the corporation, have hardly taken any action against them for other offences. In fact the police have hardly done anything to prevent them from contributing to the obstruction of traffic,” says Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Anil Pal Singh Shergill. “This is despite the fact that the High Court, in traffic management and pollution control case, had clearly directed the authorities concerned in the Chandigarh Administration to ensure the free flow of traffic at all times”.

Elaborating, he says: “The failure of cops to prevent the conversion of roadside into a lot, and then its inability to check the parking of four-wheelers against all rules and norms in front of Mehfil, provides a testimony to their disinterest”.

Besides this, the authorities concerned, in both police and the corporation, have just not initiated steps to prevent encroachments from surfacing, and staying, in the parking lots, despite the fact that the matter was highlighted in these columns and was also brought to their notice from time and time by the residents and their welfare organisations.

A visit to the lots in Sector 25 and in Sector 17 is enough to reveal that the authorities have just not done anything to remove the structures made out of tin or plastic sheets even though these are smudging the city’s face at one end or the other.

“The corporation authorities are active in taking action against roadside vendors even if they are carrying their business late in the evenings,” comments Sector 36-based housewife Roma Gill. “But they will just not do anything to remove these cabins though they look out of place or have assumed the repute of blot on Chandigarh’s status of world class city.”



Woo the consumer — the new sales mantra
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Consumer has literally become king with manufacturers and retailers vying with each other to sell their products, offering heavy discounts, zero-interest instalments and hoards of gifts for products like refrigerators and air conditioners in the middle of summers.

Gone are the days when consumers had to wait for the off-season discounts to buy consumer durables, clothes etc at cheaper prices.

Today, the sales mantra has changed to suggest “more volumes at lower margins”, thereby making the consumer benefit in every possible way.

Almost every known electrical and electronic goods manufacturer has come out with schemes and sales, some to celebrate the ‘monsoon’, others to observe the FIFA World Cup Football and some just say ‘enjoy the summers’.

From car to air conditioners, refrigerators to clothing, discounts are available on all products in the market.

To top it all, if you pay cash, heavy discounts are offered and where the price is more than Rs 10,000 for a product, companies are offering interest-free instalment option for a period of one year.

The options, however, vary. For up to a one-year plan, the payment option could be one-down payment and nine equated interest-free instalments or four down payments and eight equated interest-free instalments.

Refrigeration market is the most aggressive where Korean, Japanese, American and Indian refrigerator manufacturers are trying to capitalise on the hot weather and sell their products along with a lot of goodies.

One scheme most people are offering is the ‘exchange’ or the ‘buy back option’ wherein consumers are being given a lucrative rate for their old product.

The catch, however, is that the exchange is being offered on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) with no other discounts.

This in real terms means that while the customer gets the satisfaction of getting some value for his or her old product, but actually the dealer is getting the old product for free, which he will later throw in scrap.

According to Mr Vishal Malhotra, Assistant Sales Manager, Onida, this is a golden opportunity for the consumers to get the best products under the scheme.

“The company is offering great products in the Black, Oxygen, KY series. Onida is currently offering a four year warranty on its colour televisions as part of the ‘World Cup to World Cup’ offer.

“Besides, the company is also offering a exchange wherein it will take back any television in working condition at a reasonable price, saving the customer the hassle of selling the old equipment in a second hand market,” he said.

Mr Malhotra said except refrigerators, Onida manufactures all consumer durables and entertainment equipment.

Just prior to the FIFA World Cup Football, Onida introduced a DVD recorder at under Rs 10,000 for all sports buffs who wanted to watch the matches, but could not sit up that late.

After Philips, Onida has the largest market share in DVD sales. Similarly, Onida is offering zero interest schemes on the purchase of air conditioners.

Incidentally, Onida ACs that entered the Indian market 3 years ago have sold 3 lakh units so far and credited with the highest cooling capacity at 19600 BTU for a 1.5 ton unit having an Energy Efficiency Ration of over 10.

This in other terms means lower power consumption and more cooling.

Every company is trying to find its own niche area and promoting the product based on the quality that the company feels will sell the most. Sanyo for example, a new entrant in the AC market has been able to sell around 1000 units in northern India by cashing on what the company calls, “its superior Japanese technology, using 3 by 3 cooling mechanism”.

Mr Anil Sharma, Regional Sales Manager, Sanyo India, says: “Since its launch in March this year, Sanyo ACs have been very well received in the market, despite their pricing being in the higher segment.

“We do not target a first time AC user. Our customers are generally people who are buying a second or third AC and want super cooling in an energy efficient machine.”

Priced at over Rs 20,000 along with Hitachi and O General, Sanyo ACs boast of being completely imported as compared to others being assembled here.

The other salient features of Sanyo’s AC are low noise, their ability to operate in high temperature and higher air flow, says Mr Sharma.



PGI resident docs condemn AIIMS Director’s sack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
All 600 members of the Association of Resident Doctors, PGI, have come out openly and strongly against the sacking of Prof Venugopal, Director of the All-India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) at New Delhi.

In an emergency meeting held here today, the resident doctors said the move did not augur well at all, as it placed the institutions of higher learning on an extremely weak footing.

“On behalf of our fraternity, we strongly condemn the move, which is nothing less than an encroachment on the autonomy and functioning of institutions of specialized and higher learning,” said Dr Shubh Mohan, speaking on the behalf of his association. He added that all resident doctors of the PGI stood by their colleagues in AIIMS in such an hour of trial.

Although the doctors have not taken any decision to formally stage a protest against the sacking of Dr Venugopal, they said that they could consider the same after monitoring the manner in which the situation is handled in Delhi. “If he is reinstated, there will be no cause for protest,” Dr Mohan said.



PU inquiry into paper leak may serve little purpose
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Even as Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof K.N. Pathak ordered an inquiry into the PMET paper leak case, not many hope of any concrete change taking place in the university system.

PU inquiries are becoming increasingly useless since follow up action has been found wanting even in very serious cases of misappropriation of funds, misuse of authority and academic frauds.

Sources in the university said in the past, even when inquiry reports had squarely indicted PU employees there had been no or very little penal action taken against them.

“More than 80 per cent of these inquiry reports are not followed up. Action if any, on the indicted employee, is limited to withholding of a few increments or issuing a warning. I think that the highest punishment the university has given someone was when it recently demoted a pharmacist from his position of chief pharmacist.

He had been found guilty of signing fake medical bills,” said Mr Prabhjit Singh, PU syndic.

Giving other examples sources pointed out that no strict action had been taken against those indicted in the sports scam which involved misappropriation of large amounts of money. “It was recommended that one of the three persons involved be removed from service. But the Senate decided to take a sympathetic view and spared him strict punishment,” said sources.

“Similarly no action was taken by the university against those involved in the gazette, fee and form scams that came to light last year.

Only when the Chandigarh Police arrested some of the persons involved, the University suspended one of these employees,” added Mr Prabjit Singh.

Recalling many such instances Mr Ashok Goel, another syndic, added that no action was taken against a university scientist who was indicted in what came to be known as the ‘fossil fraud’. The scientist had shown the discovery of certain fossils in the Himalayas which he had actually procured from abroad.

“While we had demanded that he be dismissed from service, he was only debarred from holding any administrative post.

Only five senators had dissented against this decision,” said Mr Goel.

Similarly, nothing came out of the ‘cement scandal’ of the university, inquiry into which lasted for over six years. The university was also unable to take any action against a former Vice-Chancellor who along with the university FDO and a deputy XEN allegedly misappropriated funds.

The same FDO had also reportedly indulged in some other doubtful financial transactions but was let off following a warning.

“The fact is that the university Syndicate and Senate are run on personal interests and not for larger interests. Indicted persons manage to gather support in these bodies and get their punishments diluted,” said a senior official of the university.

Sources added that other than cases which are highlighted in the media there are many cases where employees have been found misusing their authority, forging documents and misleading the university.

“Some employees were found to have made wrong claims of house rent and while the university recovered the amount they had taken, no punitive action was taken against them,” said a source, adding that a former head of the Evening Studies Department was also found indulging in financial irregularities but still no action has been taken against her.



Passing thru

Pradeep Seth — MD, Tulip Infoservices
Pradeep Seth
— MD, Tulip Infoservices

What is the USP of the mall-cum- hotel being developed by you at Zirakpur?

At a time when there is a mall revolution in the country, and about 500 malls are under construction, novelty is the key to success. We propose to have three levels of shopping area, a 90 room four star hotel, swimming pool, discotheque and private radio station. A skybridge will connect the hotel's restaurant overlooking the swimming pool and main entrance of the shopping mall.

How do you perceive the success of shopping malls in the country?

Retailing in India is an unorganised sector. The shopping malls are likely to make shopping more organised. A person wanting to shop can go to any shopping plaza. What is needed to attract and sustain customers' interest is a combination of retail, entertainment and leisure places which will be provided in a shopping mall. Moreover, the success lies in either being a mall with all high- end stores or the low-end stores, rather than both these stores in one mall.

What are the other projects that you will be undertaking in this region?

We will be opening four or five other shopping destinations in Punjab, though I would not like to disclose the destinations. Our deal for a huge chunk of land in Ludhiana is through and after Zirakpur, we will be setting up the next mall there.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Conversion policy: nod to increased ground coverage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Keeping in view the interests of industrialists opting for conversion in Industrial Area, Phase-I and II, under the Conversion Policy, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to allow ground coverage up to 50 per cent.

Earlier, the ground coverage was allowed at 40 per cent and now a lower ground floor will also be allowed where 2/3rd height of the floor is above ground level.

This will be allowed in cases where the FAR of two cannot be achieved even with 50 per cent ground coverage and within 30 m height.

These concessions will be subject to the mandatory checks as per the provisions of the Fire Safety Act and the National Building Code guidelines.

This has been allowed keeping in mind the difficulty in achieving the required FAR, particularly in small- size plots.

A notification incorporating these changes in the “Chandigarh Conversion of Land Use of Industrial Sites into Commercial Activity/ Services in Industrial Area, Phase-I & II, Chandigarh Scheme, 2005 ” will be issued by the administration.

It is worth mentioning that representations from the Chandigarh Industrial Association and individuals, who had applied for conversion under the Conversion Policy, were received requesting an increase in the ground coverage up to 50 per cent from 40 per cent as allowed under the policy on the ground that the allowed FAR of two was not achievable within the height of 30 m.

The construction of any building of 30 m or above required clearance of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and Defence authorities under the National Building Code.

Previously, it was decided by the Chandigarh Administration that the entrepreneurs would approach the ministry concerned for permission and the administration would allow ground coverage of maximum of 50 per cent to those applicants who had been denied height of the building beyond 30 m by the Ministry of Defence or by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

However, such permission was denied when an applicant approached the Ministry of Defence.

In order to remove this difficulty and in the interests of expediting the projects undertaken under the Conversion Policy announced by the Chandigarh Administration, a meeting was held under the Chairmanship of the Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, with Air Commodore T.K. Venugopal, Manager, Chandigarh Airport, Mr A.K. Verma, and other officers of the Administration.

The Air Commodore explained the provisions regarding construction of buildings in the funnel area and in the perimeter of the airport.



Power cuts leave residents sweltering in heat
Tribune News Service

Irate residents detain JE

Up in arms against the erratic power supply for the last one month, residents of Sector 4, assembled adjacent to an electricity transformer near the market and protested against the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) here, this night.

The agonized residents of the locality assembled at the spot and raised anti-government slogans. They reportedly also made a Junior Engineer of the electricity department captive for a long time this evening. The irate residents had been demanding presence of his superior at the spot.

Mr Neeraj Sharma, a resident, complained that the transformer had been damaged almost thrice in the past one month. The authorities have done nothing concrete to solve their problem.

Panchkula/Zirakpur, July 5
Long unscheduled power cuts during odd hours in this sweltering heat have forced city residents to pass sleepless nights for the past over a month. Courtesy, authorities of the Electricity Department who have shown no interest in making adequate arrangements for easing out the problem of consumers.

The long power cuts in domestic as well as commercial power supply have virtually thrown lives out of gear in the past one week. The power crisis has made lives of the residents more cumbersome this year as Pinjore, Panchkula, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru, Banur and other surrounding areas have been facing power cuts from 5 hours to 15 hours daily on a regular basis.

The worst affected are the rural areas which have been witnessing a complete “blackout” for the last couple of months.

The complaint centres at various places in the city and its peripheral areas have been flooded with complaints. The number of complaints has gone almost three times more than the past year as per the records at these centres.

A Suvidha Centre of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), in the Industrial Area has recorded highest number of complaints this year.

The power cuts have even affected the water supply in the past couple of days. The daily routine of the common man has been affected due to power cuts, claimed Mr Ravinder Bhardwaj, a resident of Panchkula, Sector 7.

Mr S.K. Kapoor, a resident of Zirakpur, complained that even invertors could not be fully re-charged due to the frequent and long power cuts. Life has become miserable for elderly persons and for the newborns in absence of power cuts in the areas. Repeated complaints to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities have failed to yield results, claimed Mr Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Bera Bassi.

Mr S.K. Nayar, president of the Citizen's Welfare Association, Panchkula, pointed out that intensive use of Air Conditions (AC's) and other electronic goods by general public has increased the power demand, thus making the power situation more precarious.

A senior official in the PSEB claimed that the situation has aggravated due to the massive development and rapid increase in population in and around the city. With the increase in population, demand of power has also gone up, whereas the supply has remained comparatively low.



MC poll candidates resorting to malpractices
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 5
Prospective candidates for the forthcoming municipal elections have been resorting to all kinds of malpractices to get bogus votes made in order to win the elections likely to be held on July 30.

The supporters of certain candidates have gone to the extent of getting votes made by giving wrong addresses of persons, names of underage students and Nepalese in a bid to turn the elections into a farce. The SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, Mr Sandeep Hans, has rejected 1,357 such cases after getting a proper door-to-door verification done.

According to sources, it was found during verification that no one stayed in some of the houses the addresses of which were mentioned in the forms filled to file claims and objections. In some cases, the staff on duty even found that addresses of vacant plots had been mentioned in the forms to get bogus votes made. Addresses of some places falling in the Chandigarh area were mentioned in some of the forms.

Soruces said eight forms were received from house number 649, Phase VI, for getting votes made. But when an employee was sent to the area for verification, it was found that the house was lying vacant. Similarly, forms were received from house number 411/14A, Phase VI, but during verification it was found that no such house existed in the area.

Sources further said that four forms were received from house number 370, Phase VI, where persons belonging to Raipur Kalan village lived. A complaint was received that these persons were already registered as voters from the village and as such could not get their votes made from here again. According to Section 31 of the Representation of People Act, 1950, a person could be registered as a voter only from one place.

In another case, a lawyer from Phase VII had complaint to the authorities concerned that some persons had got bogus votes made by giving the address of his house. Persons living in Sectors 66 and 68 also made efforts to get bogus votes made by showing themselves as residents of Phases X and XI. Sectors 66 and 68 do not fall in municipal limits and people living in these sectors and some other parts of the town will not be voting in the elections.

The administration, however, made all efforts to check that bogus votes could not be made. Tough stand was being taken even in cases now being referred to authorities concerned by the state Election Commission after certain residents went in for appeals under Rule 24 of the Punjab Municipal Election Rules, 1994. Verification was being done and votes were being made only under the guidance of the state Election Commission.

A total of 5,844 forms, in which claims and objections were filed, were received by the office of the SDM. As many as 5,502 persons had filed claims, out of which 4,372 were accepted by the authorities concerned. Similarly, 342 objections were filed, out of which only 107 were found to be correct.



2 more succumb to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Two more victims of Tuesday’s road accident involving a truck loaded with iron and an autorickshaw succumbed to their injuries in the PGI today. In all four out of the five persons, travelling in the ill-fated auto-rickshaw, have succumbed to their injuries. The truck driver, who sped away from the spot, is still at large.

The police said, Haji Mohammed, Shaukat Ali, both hailing from Makrana in Rajasthan, and the auto-rickshaw driver, Dashrath Lal, of Darua village, including an unidentified victim, succumbed to their injuries. The fifth victim, Anwar, was still struggling for life in the PGI, till the filing of the report. The police said he was unconscious and his condition was stated to be critical.

The victims, all menial labourers, were coming to the city for work.

About the identification of the truck driver, the SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Mani Ram Kadiyan, said the truck was loaded with iron rods. The truck driver sped away from the spot taking advantage of the darkness. The accident took place at around 4: 30 am on the road dividing Sector 45 and 46. “We have dispatched police parties to Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana, believing that the truck might have been going to these cities as they have heavy industrial units, which use iron” the SHO said.



NGO moves NHRC Maltreatment of PTIs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Peeved at the lathi charge and inhuman treatment meted out to unemployed PTI (Physical Training Instructor) candidates by the Chandigarh Police at Matka Chowk on last Monday, a local NGO has moved the National Human Rights Commission.

The PTI candidates were protesting when they were greeted by tear gas shells and water cannons when they tried to break the barricade. At least 12 agitating men and women fell unconscious while braving the water canons and tear gas shells during the clash, which had lasted for about 45 minutes.

Demanding high-level departmental inquiry against the erring police officials, the NGO headed by Mr Vikram Singh, a local advocate, has met the Home Secretary, the Inspector General of Police, The Senior Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate as the respondents.

The petitioner stated that there were many women among the protestors but the police blindly cane charged them. Citing media reports, the lawyer said the police used expired tear gas shells. A false case of creating nuisance and disturbing peace was registered against the protestors, stated the petitioner.

The candidates were demanding recruitment into the state government services. The agitators included state and national level players.

Protestors polish shoes As part of their agitation, the Unemployed PTI Teachers Union, Punjab, today polished shoes as a mark of protest. The leaders of the protesters Rajwinder Singh Dhillon and their general secretary Daljit Singh Khera announced that they would continue to protest till the Punjab's Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh himself assured them about their recruitment in government services.



Excise Dept warns liquor firms
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The UT Excise and Taxation Department today pulled up the liquor companies for not issuing cash memos to the retailers. The companies have been asked by the Collector-cum-Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner to explain their position by July 19.

The department swung in to action after three months only after media highlighted the indifference of the Excise Department in checking the illegal practice on part of the companies. Most of the companies supply liquor to the retailers from their local godowns. Sources said the officials concerned also took the stock registers of the companies in to their custody.

They told the companies that neither any permit to bring liquor into the city nor the pass to ferry liquor from local godowns to the retailer would be issued.

In the notice issued, the companies were told that they contravened condition no. 64 of the conditions governing the grant and operation of wholesale licence of 2006-07. The issue has been hanging fire and the issue of the ex-distillery price (EDP) has not been solved. As a result, the liquor companies are selling liquor to the retailers at increased rates and that, too, without any proof of purchase. “We are told that money would be adjusted once the issue of ex-distillery Price was solved with the UT Excise Department,” said a liquor contractor.



CPO foils theft bid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 5
An attempt to commit a theft in Sector 69 was foiled by a community police officer (CPO) here last night.

Mr Chander Mohan Sharma (CPO) was on duty in the area when he was informed by some neighbours of house number 10 that something suspicious was going on in the house.

The CPO, along with others and Head Constable Baldev Singh reached the spot but thieves managed to flee from the house.

Besides, CPOs on duty had also brought two bicycles and one scooter that were abandoned, to the police station. The effort of the CPOs had been appreciated by the public.



Worm in bread
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Col M.S. Khurana, a resident of Sector 34-C, was in for an unpleasant surprise today morning when he discovered a worm embedded in the bread loaf of ‘Britannia’ he purchased from a vendor.

Talking to The Tribune, Colonel Khurana said “I buy brown bread from my vendor regularly. When I opened the bread packaged on July 4, I discovered a worm embedded deep in a piece. I can also see remains of another worms”.

“I just want to highlight the carelessness of the company in preparing a food item”.



Mohali house had creepy guest

Chandigarh, July 5
The wife and mother of Mr P.P.S.Bhatia, a resident of House No 486, Phase IX, Mohali, were in for a big surprise this evening when they saw a snake perched up near the cooking gas yesterday evening.

Talking to the Tribune, Mr Bhatia said, “When they went to cook chappatis in the kitchen, my wife noticed the poisonous creature. They ran out. I peeped inside and saw that it was not an ordinary but a poisonous rattle snake.”

“I tried calling the police and other but to no avail. I had to move it on my own after wearing gum shoes,” he said. TNS



P’kula estate welfare body postpones poll
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 5
Election of the Panchkula Estate Welfare Society, Sector 7, scheduled to be held on July 16, has been postponed in want of voters list.

The executive committee of the society today held an emergency meeting and decided to postpone the elections.

In a press note issued here, Mr M.L. Sachdeva, general secretary of the society, said each house owner of Sector 7 would now have to enroll themselves as the society members with a subscription fee of Rs 10 (Rs 100 for life membership). The elections would be held after preparing voters list of the registered members of the society.

The date of the elections will be decided after completion of voter’s list, claimed Mr Sachdeva.



House owner beaten up

Chandigarh, July 5
A 85-year-old owner of a house in Sector 19 was allegedly thrashed by four unidentified persons in the courtyard of the house here this morning. The victim, Mr Mal Singh Mann, was at home along with his mentally retarded son when the incident took place.

The unidentified persons were living in a portion of the house which was in possession of his tenants. After a local court had ordered eviction orders against the tenants, they had moved an appeal against the eviction order.

The victim alleged that the police did not take appropriate action against the assailants. A police official said the medical examination revealed simple injuries and a case under Sections 107 and 150 of the CrPC had been registered against both the parties. TNS



Man electrocuted by cooler

Chandigarh, July 5
A 30-year-old resident of Daddu Majra Colony got electrocuted by a cooler at his residence late last night.

The police said, the victim, Satbir, a junk dealer was sleeping, when at around 12 in the night he woke up to adjust the direction of the cooler, while it was on. In the process he got electrocuted. The neighbours took the victim to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead. He is survived by his wife and two children.

The police today handed over the body to the family after post-mortem. Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this connection. TNS



Man caught with smack
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The police arrested a Daddu Majra Colony resident on allegations of carrying four grams of smack on Tuesday evening.

Giving details, the In charge of the Maloya Police Post, Sub-Inspector, Neeraj Sarna, said the accused, Dinesh Kumar, was arrested from a naka near Daronochariya Mandir in Maloya. His search led to recovery of four grams of smack. A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances Act (NDPS Act) was registered against him. He was today produced before a local court, which sent him in judicial custody.



Realtors body to move HC against HUDA
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 5
Taking a serious note of the indifferent attitude of the Haryana Urban Development Authorities (HUDA) for not considering their grievances, members of different Haryana Property Dealer Associations in different towns and cities have decided to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In a press note issued by Hemant Kinger, president of the Panchkula Public Peace and Welfare Association, claimed that a meeting of different real estate dealers held at Panchkula today decided to jointly form a federation of Haryana in Panchkula to fight a court case collectively against HUDA.

At the meeting it was also decided that they would avoid financial implications and litigations in individual cases all over the state. Mr Rajiv Oberoi, president of the Faridabad Estate Agents Welfare Association, has been authorised to file a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday against HUDA decision.



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