C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

MC proposes to abolish enforcement wing
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Municipal Corporation has proposed to abolish the enforcement wing of the MCC. This despite the fact that the MC leaves no stone unturned to announce its efforts to remove encroachments across the city. The proposal to abolish the enforcement wing, however, is being kept under wraps.

The proposal was put before the screening committee last month, which was chaired by the Commissioner Mr PS Aujla.

When complaints of corruption were highlighted in the enforcement wing last year, the house had passed a proposal that appointments of inspector and sub- inspectors should be on the rotation basis of six months. But that has not even been partially followed by the corporation till date.

Sources, however, state that this proposal won't go down well as shutting down a department was not the solution. Moreover, these posts of the enforcement wing were created after they were cleared by the house. The issue of abolishing the wing and upgrading the posts has not been put forth in the MCC house meeting.

The matter had earlier been placed before the screening committee in October. It had been proposed that eight posts of sub-inspectors (enforcement) may be converted into junior assistants in the pay scale of Rs 4400- Rs 7000 for the smooth functioning of the enforcement and ministerial work of the MCC. The minutes were sent to the Secretary, Local Government, UT Administration, for approval. The proposal was, however, sent back as there is no cadre of junior assistant as per pay rules. A fresh proposal was asked for.

Total strength of clerks and Jr. assistant is designated in the ratio of 50:50. Only one post of sub-inspector (Enf) is to be filled by direct recruitment and seven posts by promotion.

In view of the observations of Secretary, Local Government, the matter to convert the post of sub-inspector (Enf) may not be pursued further and action shall be taken to fill these posts by promotion.

An official said that a person working on the same seat for whole service period is not in the public interest. So, in order to have a wider choice for rotating the persons on these public dealing seats and in view of the observations made by the secretary, LG, UT Administration, the posts of sub- inspector (E) are allowed to be upgraded and re-designated as Sr. Assistants.

According to reliable sources, the enforcement wing has 13 sanctioned posts seven of which have been filled. The existing post of an inspector and six posts of sub-inspector are proposed to be re-designated as Sr. Assistants on promotion.

Meanwhile, the proposal of the MCC is still being considered by the Secretary, Local Self Government.

According to the Punjab Municipal Act applicable in Chandigarh, a cadre cannot be re-designated and a department cannot be finished.



MC poll: SAD, Cong-backed
nominees ignore leaders

Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 24
Even as poll fever has begun to grip the town, candidates are hell bent on contesting the municipal elections with or without the support of faction-ridden political parties.

The urge to gain power is so strong in certain wards that Akalis are contesting against Akalis and Congress men against Congress men. Political leaders have so far not been able to resolve the tangle created by such candidates.

In ward number 6 both Ms Manmohan Kaur and Mr Amrik Singh are contesting against each other and claiming support from the SAD led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Both former councillors have earlier been elected twice to the civic body and have claimed their right to support from the SAD.

Mr Badal had called a meeting at his residence in Chandigarh on July 15 where the issue of Ms Manmohan Kaur and Mr Amrik Singh contesting against each other was discussed. Mr Badal wanted one of them to withdraw but till now both of them were in the fray .

In ward number 2 also two candidates — Mr Jaspinder Singh and Mr Swaran Singh — claiming the SAD support are contesting against each other. Another candidate, Mr Bharat Bhushan, claiming support of the BJP, is also contesting from the same ward.

Similarly, two candidates claiming support of the Congress — Mr Rajinder Parsad Sharma and Mr Jasvinder Singh — are also contesting against one another from ward number 2.

In ward number 27, two Congress men are in the fray against each other. While Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi, a former president of the local Block Congress Committee (BCC), is being supported by Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Chief Minister, Mr Surjit Singh Garewal, a former municipal councillor who also remained president of the BCC, is reportedly being supported by Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali district unit of the Congress.

Mr Harsukhinder Singh Badal, a former president of the Mohali circle of the SAD, said here today that the SAD was facing such problems in some wards which needed to be resolved. He said a three-member panel comprising of SAD and BJP leaders — Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Mr Harjit Singh Garewal — would be taking the final decision and releasing a list of candidates who would be supported jointly by the SAD and the BJP.

Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali district unit of the Congress, said that Congress men were contesting against each other in many wards. He said efforts were made to withdraw certain candidates but could not succeed as all candidates were determined to contest the elections . He said had the Congress men not contested against each other, the party would have won more than 25 seats out of the 31. He still hoped to win a large number of seats. 



Candidate violates civic poll code
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
A candidate from ward number 28 has allegedly indulged in a serious violation of the Code of Conduct announced in connection with the municipal elections to be held here on July 30.

It is reported that Mrs Kuldeep Kaur had promised voters from her ward that she would get the Apni Mandi shifted to Phase V from a nearby area if she got elected. It is alleged that preparations were made to hold the Apni Mandi near the Government ITI (Girls). However, someone from the ward made a written compliant in this regard to the SDM-cum-Electoral Registration Officer, Mr Sandeep Hans.

Mr Hans said after receiving the compliant he directed the secretary of the market committee not to shift the mandi from the earlier site.

He said that he had received complaints regarding defacement of public property from ward number 25. The candidate indulging in violations had removed these soon after.

Defacement of public property by use of banners was also noticed in ward numbers 2, 6 and 8. 



Youth not keen to contest poll
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
The youth have not come forward in substantial numbers to contest the municipal elections, with only nine of the 125 candidates being in the age group of 20 to 30 years.

Elections are scheduled to be held on July 30.

Most candidates are in the age group of 40 to 50 years, with the youngest aged 21 and the oldest 70.

Mr Manpreet Kaushal is the youngest candidate in the fray while Mr Amrik Singh and Ms Prabjot Kaur Sodhi are the oldest, according to records with the election office. Mr Kaushal will contest against Mr Bharat Bhushan Maini (48) and Mr Mohinder Chopra (67). Mr Maini has won twice earlier.

Both Mr Amrik Singh and Ms Sodhi have been municipal councillors for two consecutive terms.

Ms Sodhi will contest from Ward 22 against Ms Sukhwant Kaur (36) and Ms Baljinder Kaur (45).

Mr Amrik Singh will contest from Ward 17 against Mr Kulwant Singh (37).

Thirtynine candidates are in the age group of 40 to 50 years, 36 in the age group of 30 to 40 years, 28 in the age group of 50 to 60 years and 13 in the age group of 60 to 70 years.



Cholera case confirmed in city
Tribune News Service

What is cholera?

Cholera is a bacterial infection caused by the vibrio cholera bacteria present in unsafe drinking water. It usually occurs in epidemic form, is infectious and can be fatal in case of infants, children and older people.


*Contamination of water

*Unhygienic conditions

*Indiscriminate defecation in the open, especially close to the source of drinking water


Profuse diarrhoea, low grade fever or vomiting

Diarrhoea precautions

*Chlorination of water

*Frequent washing of hands, especially before eating meals

*Boiling drinking water for three to five minutes

*Consulting a doctor in case of any symptoms 

Chandigarh, July 24
It is official now: four-year-old Gajanand, a resident of Burail and admitted with complaint of gastroenteritis to the PGIMER for the last four days, is the city’s first confirmed cholera case of the season. After testing negative in the preliminary test, the culture has turned out to be positive for the boy while his father’s report is still awaited.

Two children, one-and-a-half-year-old Ajay and five-year-old Shanti, of the five-member family of Mahinder Chauhan had died following symptoms of gastroenteritis. He along with his wife and son, Gajanand, was taken ill. The children had consumed home-cooked food while Mohinder Chauhan and his wife had consumed meat products.

While the UT Health Department was yet to receive a copy of the report, the Microbiology Depart-ment which conducted the test for cholera, confirmed the presence of vibrio choleri bacteria in Gajanand’s sample.

“As soon as we knew the patient was cholera-positive, we intensified our prevention and control measures in the area. These have been on for the last four days,” the UT Joint Director, Health, Dr Usha Bishnoi, stated.

While the UT Health Department refused to comment of the cause of death of the two children, an official said conducting a test was mandatory to ascertain whether these were due to cholera or not.

Though no fresh cases of cholera had surfaced yet, precautions were on to nip the evil in the bud, with distribution of chlorine tablets and medicines on in full swing in the Burail area. The municipal corporation, intensified preventive measures against water-borne diseases like cholera and gastroenteritis by its quality monitoring of water supply in addition to the regular collection and testing of water samples by a mobile team from the Water Works in Sector 39.

Denying water contamination in Burail, a spokesperson explained that water supply to Burail village was mainly from the Sector 32 Water Works and a small area of higher altitude was further supplemented from a deep-bore tubewell, from which water was supplied after chlorination. The presence of the isolated cases of cholera, the statement maintained, could be due to the unhygienic living conditions, eating of stale or cut fruits or consumption of chaat water from rehris.

Doctors explained that since cholera was a water- borne disease, safe drinking water and maintaining hygiene should be a priority. The Head of the Department of Internal Medicine Prof S.C. Verma, said since cholera primarily manifested itself in profuse diarrhoea, fluid replenishment should be taken care of.

“Deaths in cholera are usually caused by dehydration, which makes it very essential to adequately replenish the body’s water loss with frequent intake of oral rehydrating salts (ORS),” he said.

Professor Verma emphasised that while chlorination of water could bring down its incidence, relying on chlorinated water was no guarantee against acquiring the infection. “The chlorine tablets are only effective upto a certain degree. The best way to guard against cholera is to boil the water before consuming it,” he asserted.

Stating that cholera usually occurred in an epidemic form, Dr Sanjay Malik, General Hospital, Panchkula, maintained that cholera could be fatal in case of infants, children and older people and was highly infectious.



Patients lie unattended as PS inspects hospital
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
Scores of patients had to suffer for over five hours following a surprise visit by the Haryana Parliamentary Secretary (Health), Dr Krishna Pandit, to the Sector 6 General Hospital, this morning.

Doctors, paramedical staff and officials from the office of the Director Health Services (DHA), Haryana, escorted Dr Pandit, leaving hundreds of patients unattended and in crying in pain..

Since Dr Pandit was reportedly not accompanied by the doctors and other staff from the administration side during her previous visit to the hospital on last Tuesday, the news of her arrival spread like wildfire in almost every department following which the staff, leaving their patients and work, rushed to give her a “warm welcome”.

Initially the Parliamentary Secretary (PS) expressed her satisfaction over the sanitation conditions of the hospital in general but was angry when she found certain operation theaters (OTs) in a bad shape with operation tools unhygienic.

She also visited the building housing the office of Civil Surgeon and found files pilled up at various places with thick layers of dust over them. The PS started dusting the files and pulling up Dr Kamla Singh, the officiating Civil Surgeon, and other doctors escorting her.



Representation of residents to Sonia draws flak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The voice of eminent city residents seeking Mrs Sonia Gandhi's intervention for saving the essence of City Beautiful and preventing it to become "another chaotic metropolitan' has drawn flak in the voice of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and the Chandigarh Association of Industries.

The new groups are also seeking an appointment with Mrs Gandhi seeking a rebuttal of voices seeking an" anti-developmental action". "The city should be allowed to grow with the changing times. The technology and the accompanying manpower are the needs of the time", a member of the industrial association, said.

The reaction is directed against a delegation of eminent citizens who met Mrs Gandhi yesterday and highlighted their concerns for a haphazard growth of the city. The delegation comprised Mr M.N.Sharma, a former Chief Architect, Major-Gen Himmat Singh Gill, a security analyst, Prof R.P.Bambah, a former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Ms Madhu Sarin, a development planner, Mr M.L.Sarin, a former Advocate- General of Haryana and Ms Babli Brar, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. They are seeking Centre intervention before ' Chandigarh looks like any other chaotic metropolitan'.

Mr M.P.S.Chawla, president of the CAI, said "where were the protesters when the multiplex came up at Manimajra? Where were they when the colonies came up all over the city? I think these people don't know that the 11-storeyed structure in Sector 17 which they are protesting against is provided for in the Master Plan of Le Corbusier'.

Mr Chawla said "the entire protesting group consisted of senior citizens. They need to understand that the times were changing very fast and so were the needs of the times."

Speaking to the Tribune correspondent, Mr Lalit Sharma, the Adviser to the UT Administrator, said "we have not received any representation form any group seeking a ban against new constructions. It will be unfair to comment anything without any representation".

A senior UT official said "the city population has grown approximately 40 per cent over the last decade. In an era where the technology was central to overall growth of the economy, it was not possible to alter the change. The growth is following a set pattern provided in the law of the land and no haphazard growth here has been allowed".

Another senior official said masterplan of cities had changed in the past and were also changing now. The government had a master plan for Delhi which related to period between 1961 and 1981. After a gap of nearly two decades, we have a new master plan. Time demand a change and we can only work in the direction of maintaining a balanced growth".

The apprehension regarding possible problems in basic supplies like the electricity and water were unfounded because the city had the best possible water supply in the entire country, nearly 16 hours daily. All future growth is planned with provision for a matching growth in basic supplies.



Chandigarh Calling

Photo by Manoj MahajanWater blues: For the past few months, residents of Mohali have been faced with the problem of muddy water and inadequate supply. Five water samples taken from various parts of the newly formed district failed the test recently. But the authorities seemed to have done little to arrest the problem. Only a few days ago, Mr Mahesh Gupta of Phase IX was in for a rude shock. The water flow through one of the taps in his house had gone down to a trickle. Initially, the family kept believing that it was due to low water pressure. But when the problem persisted, Mr Gupta thought the tap might have developed some fault. He got it removed with the intention of getting it replaced. But as soon as the tap was removed, he was shocked to see a lump of blackish mass deposited at the inlet point of the tap. On examination they also found two small pieces of bone-like substance in it. Despite bringing the matter to the notice of the authorities concerned, he is yet to listen anything from their side. Such negligence in providing basic amenities like drinking water seems criminal.

World of worries: Though too poor, yet not helpless, people of Khajeri, Sector 52 Chandigarh, are working hard for their survival. Living in huts of mud, without proper washrooms, they are ready to accept the challenges life has put forth. Their faithful domestic animals help in their earning.

Men and women, by the roadside, sell chicken, boiled eggs, roasted maize etc. Hard work and staying happy is their tonic. They prepare their dinner early evening, as there is no proper light. It is strange that in a developed city like Chandigarh, there is an undeveloped area like Khajeri.

They have learnt to dive successfully in the world of worries.

Teej times: Come monsoons and it is time to swing into the rain-laden clouds. And if you are not privileged enough to enjoy swaying to and fro on the iron mechanical device, no problem. The circle of a discarded tyre dangling form a sturdy tree can take you to equally exhilarating heights into the blue of the skies like the child in the picture captured by Manoj Mahajan vacillating in the cool air, oblivious of passersby.

Health or status conscious?: Girls and boys too conscious of their fitness, regularly go to gyms. They do all kinds of exercises told, may be difficult or easy. Diet is even harder as they have to sometimes keep away from those eatables, which they are habitual of, like fried paranthas, tea etc. All the adjustments they are ready to do but riding a bicycle is against their status. The best part is that everybody knows riding a bicycle is equal to proper fitness and that also without spending anything. Several show that they are health conscious. Actually they are mistaken as they are status conscious.

Paying guest: Chandigarh is a calling destination for youngsters. Every year lots of youngsters from distant places come here for their study or work. Staying as a paying guest is the only alternative they have. Keeping a paying guest is an up-growing business in the city. The accommodation costs between Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500 per month. Here one gets everything from food to bedding and one is free from the frustrations tenants have to face. With some rules and regulations, accommodation is a secure place to live in a strange city. Sometimes, even after paying one does not get the expected facilities. Some of the accommodations in the city are in bad condition. They are government hostels crowded with 18 to 20 girls. Nine to 10 girls share a single washroom. Food and the sanitary system are unhygienic. One wonders whether PG stands for paying guest or patient guest.

Freaking out: After long vacations, the city is again jam-packed with youngsters. With the new session and new curriculum, they are ready to hit the city. Girls in their exclusive style and boys gear up to freak out in colleges.

Riding new bikes is the passion of boys. Roving around chicks is their only pass-time. Boys can be seen on their automated bikes by chasing girls. It’s their job to pick and drop girls from home to college. Colleges are crowded with such hooligans. And sometimes college administrations have to take strict steps to avoid untoward incidents.

Icecream wallas: Chandigarh, like any other city has a share of joys to offer. Of course there’s that lush foliage, ice-rink smooth roads and sprawling lawns to boast of, but then, there are those little things to add to the fun in life. One such trend is of the ice-creamwallas who stand on the city streets till very late in the night. Most people, going for a drive or a walk after dinner, especially after 9.30 pm, find these ice cream rehris dappling the city streets. From Kwality Amul, and Mother Dairy to the jazzy entrants like Cream Bell, they all stand near the various roundabouts, inviting the ongoers with their juicy delights. And the city denizens don’t mind having some extra calories, especially after that dinner walk!

Landscaping wasteland: At a time when the city is gasping for green areas, what irks one most is to see how and why patches of vacant land in the city have been allowed to be covered in wilderness and garbage. A case in point — vacant grounds in Sectors 29, 31 and 47. On the other hand, just about all sectors have got landscaped gardens. One is at a loss what prevents the Municipal Corporation from landscaping the waste grounds in these sectors (29, 31 and 47). This reeks of step-motherly treatment to this part of the city. One patch of waste land bang next to The Tribune office (Sector 29-C) looks a mess with weed and malba dumped all over there. Such scruffy sights surely dent the city’s high beauty quotient

Tailpiece: It is a hectic time for students to buy books for the new academic session. A slogan was seen written on the rear of a Punjab Roadways bus: Bapu hun chaad de sharab, lei de meinu ikk kitab”.

Contributed by Sunil Kumar, Navneet Kaur Hundal, Rachna Nehria, Anandita Gupta, Tarundeep Aggarwal and Sunil Minocha, Harvinder Khetal



Dy Director suspended for molestation 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
After nearly one-and-a-half months of levelling of allegation of molestation against him, the Haryana Government has finally placed Deputy Director of Health Department under suspension with immediate effect.

The Director General, Health Services, Haryana, has suspected Dr APS Sodhi for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl who had visited Sector 6 General Hospital OPD of the doctor for a medical check-up in May.

Acting on the report submitted by Sexual Harassment Committee of the Hospital to the Director General Health Services (DGHS), which he had forwarded to the Chief Minister office for formal approval, the deputy director was suspended on Wednesday.

In her report, Dr Abha Kulshreshta, head of the committee, has reportedly said that the deputy director neither denied the allegations nor he admitted these. The doctor remained mum over the issue.

Taking a serious view of the allegations, the health commissioner finally approved the suspension of Dr Sodhi.

He has allegedly been accused of molesting the grand daughter of a class IV lady worker of the hospital, who had come to the OPD (ENT) of Dr Sodhi for medical check-up. As the doctor allegedly tried to molest her, the girl ran out of the OPD and raised an alarm.

She narrated the episode to her grandmother and family members following which certain class VI workers of the hospital joined the family and protested against the doctor.

The issue was taken up with the DGHS and an enquiry was ordered. After being found guilty, as he kept mum, he has been placed under suspension.



Status of Kargil conflict still ambiguous
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Seven years after Operation Vijay saw the successful eviction of Pakistani intruders from Kargil Sector, the status of the conflict continues to be ambiguous. While the central governments is terming it as a localised conflict restricted to a limited area, it has, on the other hand, awarded Battle Honours and Theater Honours to various army units, which are given for performance in a war.

It is for the first time since the 1971 Indo-Pak war that these honours have been awarded. Battle and theatre honours are awarded to a unit for its collective performance during a war.

A few days ago, Director-General, Discipline and Ceremonials and Welfare, Lt-Gen M. Girish, was quoted saying that the status of the conflict, whether it is to be treated as a war or a localised affair would be clarified by the government shortly.

About a year ago, the President approved the proposal to award battle and theatre honours to units for their performance during the operations, which formally ended on July 26, 1999. The day was observed at the national level as Vijay Divas for a couple of years hence, but was then stopped and commemoration of the operations was left to formations based at Kargil.

Senior officers say the fact that the honours were awarded after six years indicate a gradual change of perception in the top echelons about the nature of the conflict. Some are of the view that the intrusions and consequent actions were earlier deliberately downplayed, perhaps to avoid acknowledgement of the command and intelligence failure which allowed Pakistan to occupy key heights. Others are of the view this was done due to diplomatic reasons.

The award of battle and theatre honours itself has generated a quiet debate in military circles. A large number of infantry battalions have been awarded these honours, while artillery regiments, which played a decisive role in the operations, have largely been left out.

In all 17 Infantry battalions got the Theatre Honour Kargil. Among them 13 were awarded the higher Battle Honour, for the epic battles fought at Tololing, Tiger Hill, Dras, Batalik and Mushkoh. The maximum number of honours was awarded to units under the 70 Infantry Brigade, which according to experts, faced the toughest challenge and wrested the finest victories. Next in line was 56 Mountain Brigade engaged in Dras.



SAD-BJP launches civic poll campaign
Our Correspondent

Moahli, July 24
The SAD and BJP today started a joint campaign in support of certain candidates for the municipal elections to be held here on July 30.
At a press conference held by Mr Harsukhinder Singh Badal, former president of the Mohali circle of the SAD, and Mr Khushwant Rai Giga, president of the Ropar unit of the BJP, it was said that support would be given to candidates who shared the ideology of the SAD and BJP.

Launching an attack on the Congress, the two leaders said that the Congress had worked for the welfare of colonisers and given away land of Mohali district at throwaway prices, even when residents of the town were not being provided adequate civic amenities. Mr Badal appealed to voters to vote only in favour of candidates who were honest and upright and could work for the welfare of the town. 



CM’s visit causes distress
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
While the district administration is leaving no stone unturned preparing for the visit of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a private builder’s project here, these preparations have caused distress to the residents of at least five villages in the district.

Members of the Yuvak Vikas Manch, Mohali (Rural), today stated that while the administration was busy laying a temporary link road for the CM’s caravan to traverse through the proposed Sectors 79 to 85, over 10,000 residents of nearby villages had been demanding the repair of a link road to their villages for over five years now.

Mr Jarnail Singh, general secretary of the manch, said PUDA had acquired the link road from Mohali -Sohana to Raipur, Durali, Chau Majra and Raipur Khurd five years ago when land was acquired for sectors 76 to 80, but, the villagers were never given an alternative to the link road.

Since the sectors could not be developed fully, most of the villagers continued to use the broken and potholed link road, but it was in a very bad state and many had to come via Banur or Landran.

The villagers had been demanding a link to these villages and had been running from pillar to post for the same.

Office-bearers of the manch also showed representations signed by the Urban Housing and Development Minister and the PWD Minister, asking the administration to take necessary action, but all in vain.

“Just for a two-hour visit of the CM, the government is spending money in laying a temporary road through the acquired land, but for a genuine cause, no one is interested. We welcome the Chief Minister to Mohali, but will it solve our problem,” said Mr Jarnail Singh. 



Fauji Beat
RTI Act’s applicability to Army

IT is heartening to know that the Right to Information (RTI) Act has started showing its effect. This Act, as can be seen, will enforce transparency and accountability in all government and public offices. Even the Rashtrapati Bhavan Secretariat, as reported, has not been spared for its careless disposal of a citizen’s application by the Central Information Commission (CIC) under the RTI Act.

No doubt, the Army cannot be brought under the RTI Act as for its operational plans and information of top secret, secret and restricted nature relating to the security of the country are concerned. But this should not give a leeway to the armed forces to put a tight lid on all the information, irrespective of its nature.

Why should the applications of ex-servicemen and widows for their pensions, disability pensions and family pensions be ignored by the authorities for years on end? Similarly, why should they be denied their right in the spheres of welfare and healthcare? Why should their complaints be given a dustbin treatment? The Army and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) should be made fully accountable in their functioning except in matters relating to national security. Seeking information on their appeals and complaints is as much the right of the defence personnel as it is of the other citizens.

Empower them with skills

Doesn’t it reflect adversely on the Army that a large majority of its personnel, after retiring in their 30s, remain unemployed in their civil life? When this question was posed to Lieut- Gen Shamsher Singh Mehta (Retd), Director-General of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), during his visit to Chandigarh last week, he reacted positively to it. The Army, he said, couldn’t escape blame for the sad plight of the ex-servicemen as most of them lead a life of want because of their meager pensions and non-availability of jobs.

Having said this, General Mehta, who is a fomer Western Army Commander, felt that the Army must empower its manpower with various skills during the service. Every company/squadron/ battery commander, he said, should prepare a list of personnel who are to retire after one year. They should be interviewed by him and asked about their plan of resettlement. Having stayed away from their families for the better part of their service, most of them prefer to go back to their villages.

Depending on their choice and the scope for self-employment in their respective areas, their training should be started at the brigade or division level to equip them with various skills. A jawan trained as an electrician, plumber, TV or computer mechanic or as a driver, etc, will not remain unemployed.

This is the best option for our manpower because very few government or other jobs are available in the country. And these too take one away from home. The CII in consulation with the Director General of Resettlement, Ministry of Defence, would try to absorb some manpower from the Army, said General Mehta.

Buildings of officers’ messes

History tells us that the first two cantonments in India came up at Dum Dum and Barrackpur in 1770 and 1780, respectively. This was done by the East India Company to protect its holding from the local hostile rulers and the other foreign powers like the French and Dutch.

Some of the bungalows of that time were turned into officers’ messes. Over the years, these buildings have been restructured and modified to meet the changing requirements of the messes. These bungalows were constructed to suit the hot and humid climate. Their thick walls, sloping roofs and verandahs reduced the effect of the severe climatic conditions.

Today, we have two types of buildings for our officers’ messes. The ones of the olden days depict the Gothic period design with pitched roofs and decorative features like the “monkey tops”. The post-Independence era buildings underwent a complete change in architecture and constructional skills.

— Pritam Bhullar



Incorrect deduction of rank pay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Ministry of Defence has directed Air Headquarters to work out the financial implications involved in the re-fixation of pay of officers who were affected by the incorrect deduction of rank pay consequent to the implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission report.

Citing a letter received from Air Headquarters here today, Secretary of the Air Force Association (Northern Zone), Wg Cdr Satish Bhatia (retd), said that the arrears to be paid to each individual concerned would depend upon his seniority and length of service.

"The Air Force Chief Accounts Officer is working out the financial effect of all serving and retired officers and the decision of the government in this regard would be communicated to Air Force establishments as soon as it is received," he added. The financial effect would have to be calculated individually for each officer and this would vary from person to person.

On implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission an amount representing 20 per cent of the basic pay in the existing scale was added to the "existing emoluments" of the officers. After the existing emoluments were so increased, an amount equivalent to the rank pay was deducted. Thereafter pay was fixed in the revised scale at the stage next above the amount thus computed.



Sec 37 residents oppose school construction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The House Owners Association, Sector 37-C, in a press release here today criticised Chandigarh Administration for constructing a new school which will affect the green belt in the area.

Mr Gurnam Singh, convener of the association, said that Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local member of Parliament, had assured to help the residents with regard to the matter under consideration.

Residents are saying that the sector already had seven functional schools which was the highest in the city.



Tributes paid to Prof Dewan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
A condolence meeting was held at the PGI today under the chairmanship of the Director, PGI, Prof K. K. Talwar, to pay homage to Prof Indarjit Dewan, Emeritus Professor and former Head, Department of Anatomy and Forensic Medicine.

Former directors, emeritus professors, ex-professors, faculty members, administrative staff and resident doctors attended the meeting.

Prof Talwar appreciated Prof Dewan for his life-long commitment to the field of anatomy and termed him an ideal role model for all.

Prof Madhur Gupta, Head, Department of Anatomy, said Prof Dewan had been a father figure to all. A two-minute silence was observed for the peace of the departed soul.



Amarinder to inaugurate township
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will inaugurate an integrated mega township in Mohali tomorrow. The township is being promoted by the Chadha Group.
Addressing a press conference here tonight, Mr Manpreet Singh Chadha, director of the group, said that the estate would offer a variety of villas, plots and apartments.



Held for kidnapping boy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The local police today arrested a Ram Darbar resident on the allegations of kidnapping a minor boy of the locality. The police said the accused had reportedly kept the victim at his native village and a police party has been dispatched there to bring the child.

Giving details, sources in the Sector 31 Police Station said Mr Bhim Bhadur of Ram Darbar, reported to the police on July 20 that his son had gone missing. In his report he said his five-year-old-son, Ashish, had gone to school along with his elder sister, Arti, on July 20. In the afternoon Arti came back alone.

The police registered a DDR on the basis of a complaint filed by Bhim Bhadur. Later, Bhim Bhadur reportedly came to know from his own sources that Surjit Singh of Phase II, Ram Darbar, had kidnapped his son. He further alleged that Surjit Singh once tried to molest his wife, following which he taught him a lesson. He told the police that Surjit Singh might have kidnapped his son to take revenge.

The police today registered a case of kidnapping under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code after Bhim lodged a fresh complaint.

When contacted, the SHO of the Sector 31 Police Station, Mr Har Sahai said the accused had been arrested. During preliminary interrogation, he disclosed that he had kidnapped Ashish and kept him in his native village in Uttar Pradesh. He was today produced before a local court, which remanded him to five days of police custody.

A police team has been dispatched to Uttar Pradesh to bring the child and it is expected to return on Wednesday.



4 booked for hurting with weapons
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
The police has booked four residents of Dhelpur village on charges of causing hurt by dangerous weapons, wrongful restraint and rioting. Sukhvir Singh had complained that Gurmail Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Dilbagh Singh and Sardara Singh, who were armed had allegedly beaten up the complainant on July 22 at night . The clash took place because of a cable that was supplying power.

The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341, 148 and 149 of the IPC in this regard.

Cash, jewellery stolen: A resident of Phase VII complained to the police that thieves had stolen cash and jewellery from his house.

According to the police, Harprit Aujla, had complained that he had gone to Sirhind on July 21 and when he came back yesterday he found the grill of the house broken.

On searching it was found out that cash and jewellery were missing from the house.

The police has registered a case under Section 457 and 380 of the IPC in this regard. 



Youth commits suicide

Panchkula, July 24
A 29-year-old bank executive allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance in Yavanika Garden in Sector 5, here today.
According to the police, some stroller noticed Rajiv Mittal, struggling for life in the garden this evening and he subsequently informed the traffic police personnel nearby. The body of Rajiv had turned blue.

Receiving the information, Mr Davinder Singh, incharge of the traffic police, reached the spot and the victim was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6. The doctors declared him brought dead.

Hailing from Yamunanagar, Rajiv was employed with Kotek Mahindra Bank and had been staying in a rented accommodation in Sector 10. He had quit the job a couple of days ago. Police has informed his parents. deceased. — TNS



1 dies in mishap
Tribune News Service

Lalru, July 24
One person was killed and four injured when a car collided head on with a Haryana Roadways bus at Sarsini village, near here, this evening.
According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Vijay Gupta (60), driver of the Maruti Zen.Along with his wife Sushma Gupta, he was on his way from Chandigarh to Ambala. Sushma, who was injured seriously, has been shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

While the car was reduced to mangled remains, bus driver Nardesh Kumar lost control and the bus, which was on its way from Haridwar to Chandigarh, strayed into the nearby bushes injuring two passengers. A motorcyclist, who rammed his vehicle into the car, was also injured.



1 held with smack

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chandigarh police today arrested a Sector 25 resident on the allegation of carrying 25 grams of smack.The police arrested the accused from the road separating Sectors 24 and 25.
The accused was identified as Sham Lal, an auto-rickshaw driver. A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered. TNS



Robber held

Chandigarh, July 24
The local police tonight arrested a robber, who along with his other accomplice, looted a junk dealer and another person in Bapu Dham Colony on last Monday.
Mandeep Singh of Bapu Dham Colony was arrested tonight following secrete information. A case of robbery was registered against Mandeep and his co-accused, Suresh of Indira Colony on July 17. TNS



IT Park: Sharp reaction from industry
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The IT industry in and around the city today reacted sharply to the reported opposition to the Chandigarh IT Park by some city luminaries who had met the Congress chief Mrs Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi yesterday.

Interestingly, while the IT industry is virtually up in arms against what they term as an “indirect attack” on them, the memorandum submitted to Mrs Gandhi and the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh by the city residents does not mention the IT Park at all.

Justifying the changing character of city, Mr Sanjay Tyagi, Director, Software Technology Parks of India, Mohali, stated that the IT industry was creating job opportunities for professionals which were so far not available.

“Local talent will be exploited here, remain in city and not move out to bigger cities or abroad. Moreover, the changes have to be brought about for not those who are now well settled in city but for the common people,” he said. He further pointed out that if this change was not brought about, it may label city residents having a laidback attitude which could to a large extent hamper professional growth.

“The IT Park has in no way changed the city’s skyline and while we will have buildings with Le Corbusier’s architecture. Even the 11-storeyed building in Sector 17 was among the various buildings in the dream plan of Le Corbusier,” he said.

Mr Rajan Vasudevan, honourary secretary of the Chandigarh IT Club, said “Chandigarh is a unique city in that it is a new city with no legacy problems. We borrowed Le Corbusier’s vision, design and plans, but does the Chandigarh of today need to carry on designs 50 year old?” he said.

He added that the Chandigarh IT Park promised design of a new dream and destiny for Chandigarh and heralded hope for the region north of Delhi. “It (the IT Park) has become now the focus of several controversies about land grabbing and arbitrary decisions of the administration. Those fighting the cause have had the luxury of large farm houses and obtaining land at throw-away prices. Others have obtained large profits from recent escalation of real estate prices since the last decades of peace and prosperity in the region,” he said.

He added that the land acquired by the UT and even if being sold on profit to private enterprise will be using the profits to further invest into infrastructure that will enable better roads, airports and mass transportation for masses.

“Good infrastructure is the keystone for Chandigarh and should continue to be enjoyed by all Chandigarh citizens. More growth means more needs and budgets to invest into infrastructure. The increase in overall economy translates to more revenues to the government for better governance, law and order and well being,” he said.

Mr Ajay Tiwari, CEO, Smart Data Enterprises, said, “The IT industry of the region is in no way responsible for the haphazard growth of the city. I have been witness to this growth since 1999 and in fact, we have contributed to the city in terms of economy, export potential, job opportunities and brand value” he said.

Mr Puneet Vatsayan, Director, Mobera Systems, pointed out that Chandigarh was a great city to study and retire in but there were very few opportunities for the educated to come back to the city.

“When I graduated in the 1990s from Thapar Institute Patiala, I went to Delhi for study further and went to the US to work for lack of opportunity back home. In fact, Chandigarh is the only city in the world where the young do not come back to work. And now when the IT Industry has managed to build some momentum in that direction, the process should not be hampered. City residents should welcome change and encourage its young to come back and settle here,” he said.



Locker keys to have bank’s name, branch code
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Unaccounted money or jewellery in bank lockers will not be easy to hide from the prying eyes of investigating agencies. Banks all over the country have been asked to engrave on keys of lockers the name of the bank and code of the issuing branch.This means lockers keys recovered during raids by the Income Tax Department, the CBI or the police will not remain a mystery. The engraving will reveal the location of the locker.

Under guidelines circulated by the Income Tax Department, the banks have advised its branches that they should engrave an identification code on all keys. In future all locker keys will be engraved with the name of the bank and code of issuing branch before handing over the keys to the owner of the locker. Sources in the banking sector said the guidelines were circulated two weeks ago.

Sources in the Income Tax Department said investigating officials faced great hardship during raids and investigations at commercial places or residential houses. Usually they have to rely on the accused to reveal the location of the locker. At present, there is no system of engraving the key with the name of bank because of the security point of view and also to maintain the secrecy of the owner. A senior official said a bank locker is meant to safely keep a person valuables, but over the years, it has been found that all ill-gotten wealth is often a kept in lockers.

The sources said individuals who have huge net worth were also being screened. Income tax officials have come across a number of transactions where the permanent account number (PAN) has not been quoted. The department is likely to crack down on such persons if they do not file their returns by July 31 mentioning the high value transactions.

All large transactions such as buying or selling property of over Rs 30 lakh and having cash balance of Rs 10 lakh or more in any saving bank account of a bank or a post office, buying a mutual funds of over Rs 2 lakh annually would come under the taxman's scanner.

The sources in the banking sector said details of huge transactions were being collected from banks and also from post offices. The department is likely to reach out to the defaulters within the next six months.

Recently, the Income Tax Department has carried out a survey collecting information from leading consumer-good dealers to find out details of cash purchases made at their shops.

The names and addresses of customers who have made cash purchases of above Rs 25,000 in the past two years have been noted down. However, customers who have made purchases on credit cards or cheques, have been left out.

If the IT Department finds that unaccounted money was used for such purchases, the department will issue a demand notice asking them to pay the tax with interest, a senior functionary revealed.



SBI launches new scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The State Bank of Patiala, Kalka, has launched a new scheme “Kuber Term Deposit” for its customers, which offer higher rate of interest and longer maturity period. Mr S.C. Dhall, branch head, said the bank would offer 7. 5 per cent interest per annum for fixed deposits, for six to ten years, and 8.5 per cent per annum for senior citizens. 



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