C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Blueprint on developing Ind Area being readied
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chandigarh Administration has initiated work on preparing a ‘blueprint’ on the overall development of Industrial Area. The issue gains significance in the context of the conversion policy which will lead to greater congestion.

The Administration has written to the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Chandigarh Industrial Association and certain other industrial associations for suggestions and the facilities expected. The Deputy Commissioner, the Engineering Department and the Estate Office officials concerned have been asked to file a detailed report on infrastructure, sewerage, widening of roads, parking facilities, the electricity system and other related changes expected in the area.

Conversion is expected to result in infrastructural and other changes as a fallout of massive constructions and equal rush is expected at shopping malls and other luxury centres. Reliable sources said a committee had been constituted with Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, as Chairman.

The next meeting is scheduled within a fortnight. “In fact, we have decided to hold a fortnightly meeting on the issue to speed up the project and to keep a better watch on the project,” a senior official of the Administration said.

The Administration has involved different wings of the Municipal Corporation, the Engineering Department and the office of the Chief Architect for suggestions. All wings have been asked to make written suggestions which will be compiled into a single report for consideration at the highest level by policymakers.

Green cover has been kept as a top priority area. Another crucial area is the removal of encroachments in different parts of the Industrial Area. “We will not compromise on the green cover which will be adequately complimented with landscaping features,” a senior official said.

A prominent industrialist said: “The top priority area of the Administration should be to ensure adequate parking place for vehicles and clear entry points for traffic. Currently, there is very little place for parking. Each shopping mall should first ensure adequate parking site before being given a regularisation certificate by the Administration.”

Another senior official said: “Water supply and drainage in the area needs careful handling at the preliminary stage. In fact, infrastructure and other basic facilities need to be spruced up before any major projects go under way.”

“We have a sum of Rs 16 crore earned on account of conversion, which is adequate to take care of crucial projects in strengthening infrastructure. We are speeding up work because we have indications from nearly 20 more parties who want to go in for conversion,” he added.



Official apathy adds to grief of victim’s kin
Gold earrings missing from body
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Daffarpur (Panchkula), August 5
Neither the Haryana Government nor the UT Administration came forward with any monetary help for the kin of Jasbir Kaur, the widow of a martyr, a day after she was killed in a bus accident on the Panchkula-Naraingarh highway at Nadha village.

And to their utter shock, family members of the victim found Jasbir’s gold earrings missing when the body was brought home after a postmortem examination.

None of government officials spared a thought to share the grief of the family. Also, none of the officials of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), whose bus was involved in the mishap, paid a courtesy call to the family or attended her funeral.

Jasbir Kaur is survived by two daughters — Manjit Kaur and Simran Kaur — and a son, Manjit Singh.

Talking with Chandigarh Tribune, one of her relatives, Sukhwinder Dhillon, claimed that the body of Jasbir was extricated from the damaged seats of the ill-fated bus. She was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, but her life could not be saved.

Simran Kaur, who was accompanying her mother when the accident occurred, claimed that she went to Ramgarh to inform her relatives about the accident and later reached the hospital.

However, when the body was brought to the house late last night, Jasbir’s gold earrings were found missing from the body.

She said as the family was in a state of shock, they did not notice the earrings missing initially.

Manjit Singh claimed that someone had removed the earrings either at the scene of the accident or the hospital.

Manjit Singh, an undergraduate, has been looking out for a job after the death of his father.

Hailing from Gurdaspur, Jasbir Kaur was residing with her daughters and son in Daffarpur.

Her husband, Niak Baldev Singh of Defence Security Corps, had moved to Daffarpur after building a house here a couple of years ago.

He however died in an earthquake during his posting in Kerala last year. Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Brejindra Singh, who is currently abroad, and Sub-Divisional Magistrate Varinder Dahiya could not be contacted.

However, CTU General Manager Ravinder Pathak made it clear that the family was entitled to compensation under the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) from the CTU after a court case.



‘Deha’ gang busted, kingpin held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
In a major breakthrough, the district police has arrested five members of an inter-state gang of robbers allegedly involved in cases of rape, murder, abduction and robbery.

Mr Balbir Singh, SP, Panchkula, addressing mediapersons, said five members of the “Deha” gang had been arrested for their involvement in almost nine cases in the district in the past over eight months.

Giving details, Mr Singh claimed that acting on a tipoff, ASI Joginder Singh along with his team nabbed Bittu Deha, kingpin of the gang and resident of Deha, along with Vikram, alias Kala, a resident of Rajpura, from Deha Colony, Pinjore.

After questioning, they disclosed the names of their accomplices — Satbir, Hari, alias Gunga (Mizafarnagar), and Neeti, alias Pandit, from Shahabad — lodged in Karnal Jail. Three more are at large.

During interrogation, they admitted to have committed crimes in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal and Chandigarh. They also admitted their involvement in the gangrape of a newly wed woman of Darua village in Chandigarh.

The kingpin is reported to have been involved in 30 cases of rape, murder, abduction and robbery. The arrested admitted to have committed robbery in Kharag Mangoli Colony in old Panchkula two months ago.

The SP said their modus operandi was that they would impersonate as CBI inspectors and rob innocent people.



Woman’s body lies unattended for hours
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
Consider the height of human apathy — the body of a middle-aged woman remains unattended for almost eight hours in front of the main gate of the judicial complex, adjacent to the Mini-Secretariat here.

Even though officials from both complexes keep passing by the dead woman every now and then in their government vehicles with red lights, no one spares a moment for her. Blood oozing out of her mouth and nose also fails to elicit any response.

Finally, a poor juice vendor spotted the body and informed some lawyers. After some planning, the lawyers passed the message to the local police authorities, who showed their bit of indifference to the dead woman by turning up on the spot more than an hour after receiving information.

Even when they came, they got so busy executing formalities that they forgot to cover the woman’s body with a cloth. The body was lifted and transported to the General Hospital, Sector 6.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Amit Singla, an advocate, claimed that the police arrived late even after a phone call was made to the local police station.

According to eyewitnesses, the woman was spotted at the place in the morning and was in possession of a mineral water bottle. Appearing to be a migrant labourer, she either had been to the spot either in connection with some court case or was being accompanied by someone else, claimed Mr Kadian, former president of the Panchkula Bar Association.

The police termed her as “unidentified” and started investigations in this regard.



Car collector crafts a classic automobile
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Ravi Mann has proved there is power in passion. Living up to his dream of fashioning an automobile wonder, the veteran collector of classic cars has created the first-ever functional replica of a 1906 De Dion Bouton - a French vintage car that inspired the Rolls Royce.

The first Rolls Royce in the world was made on the chassis of a Bouton. Naturally, Mann had no second thoughts about the vintage he wanted to replicate. It is another matter that the thought took four years to crystallise. And when it finally became a reality today, the impact was there for all to savour.

As Mann’s well-crafted, deftly-adorned replica of the French vintage hit the roads of Chandigarh today, people stared at it in absolute wonderment. For Mann, the moment was one of triumph and sharing.

Caressing his creation, he told The Tribune, “When I decided to make replica cars, my family gave up on me. People thought I had gone mad. An automobile engineer asked me what credentials I had to make a car. All I had to say to him was, “enthusiasm.”

It all began with his decision to use the 1965 make of Standard Herald to craft his wonder. He bought the Herald — the Indian made foreign car — from Chennai for Rs 6000! The reason — Standard Herald had a full chassis and would support the vintage well. So he brought it home and dismantled its body. Now began the process of assembly.

“I retained the engine, chassis and gear box of the Herald and replaced the other parts, taking the fuel tank from Maruti, the fuel measure, carburetor and paddles from the Fiat and meters from the Ambassador,” he explains. The massive headlights used on the Geraldine were once seen on Shaktimaan trucks that used to ply the Indian roads years ago. The lamp positioned in front of the car has lights conforming to the French traffic laws. Mann got them from a scrap dealer in Chandigarh. The parking and side lights were taken from old jeeps, teak used inside the car was imported from abroad and the Trojan horse head that adorns the new car’s bonnet was bought for a fortune from Mumbai.

The attention given to detail makes the Geraldine a treat for the eyes.

“The car will go around the world a couple of times on 50 to 60 km an hour. It gives an average of 13 km a little,” claims its maker, who has registered his vintage with UT’s Registration and Licensing Authority.



Another ‘doctor sedatives’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Two self-styled doctors giving sedative shots to youngsters for the past several months have landed in police net in the past two days.

The operations cell of the Chandigarh Police on Thursday arrested a Hallo Majra-based self-styled doctor Amarjit Singh and recovered hundreds of the drugs from his possession.

Yesterday, Kaku, a resident of Sector 30 here, was arrested on similar charges. A police official said the two were “popular” with local residents — mostly industrial workers and jhuggi dwellers.



Fasting teacher’s health worsens

Chandigarh, August 5
The health of one of the two protesters of the Unemployed PTI Teachers Union (Punjab) sitting on an indefinite fast today deteriorated. Sukhjinder Singh of Jainpur district, Kapurthala, observed the seventh day of his fast. TNS



Work on ‘killer stretch’ in top gear
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 5
Work on the project to widen the 35-km “killer stretch” of Zirakpur-Ambala highway has entered the fast lane.

However, motorists will have to slow down at certain points of the highway, particularly Zirakpur, following the start of the work on the 2.6 km-long flyover here.

Officials have advised motorists to go slow on the stretch so that the work is not hampered.

Motorists have also been advised to use alternative routes for the their convenience.

With the felling of thousands of trees along the highway almost over, the work on the widening of the road and building of flyover has started.

Though there is no plan to divert traffic to alternative routes, minor diversions have been made to execute the Rs 292-crore project before the November, 2008 deadline, Chief Project Manager of GMR Ambala-Chandigarh Expressways Private Limited, told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

Officials said till the work on four-laning was completed, general public could use alternative routes to commute between Chandigarh and Ambala.

For instance, traffic originating from Mohali can use the Kharar-Landran-Banur road, which joins the National Highway No. 1 near Banur.

Similarly, traffic originating from Panchkula and bound for Ambala can use the Saha road. The use of alternative routes will reduce congestion and save substantial fuel and time, an official said.

It may be recalled that the completion of the project, which entails the building of a 2.6-km flyover at Zirakpur, three major bridges and 7.5-metre service lanes for local population, will remove major traffic bottlenecks on the highway. With thousands of vehicles using the road every day, accidents are commonplace here.

A major portion of Zirakpur township will also get under the flyover.

The widening will reduce travelling time between Chandigarh and Ambala by 30 minutes.



UT-New Delhi bus flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, today flagged off an airconditioned bus that will ply between Chandigarh-New Delhi at the local Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Sector 17.

Mr Puri said six more such buses would be added in the fleet of PUNBUS soon for operation on various routes. While emphasising on the Punjab Government’s commitment to provide quality transport facilities to the public, the minister further said that 292 new buses would be added to upgrade and strengthen the existing fleet of 1,000 buses of Punjab Roadways. There was also a proposal to ply 300 new buses through PUNBUS.

Mr R.S. Sandhu, Secretary, Transport, said these 45-seater airconditioned buses had luxury, adjustable seats, TV sets with DVD facility and audio system with microphone. A public call office( PCO) facility had also been provided in the bus. The conductor would be provided with a mobile phone and electronic ticketing machine to issue tickets. The crew of the bus would be in uniform.

He said the fare from the Chandigarh bus stand to New Delhi would be Rs 380 per head. It would leave Chandigarh at 8.30 am daily. It would start its return journey at 2 pm from Delhi’s ISBT.



Citizens group writes to Mayor on parking fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Citizens Action Group criticised unjust parking fee being charged by parking contractors of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

In a letter written to the Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the group has pointed out that parking contractors are charging Rs 10 from private cars like Innova, Sumo, Qualis, etc., instead of Rs 5, the actual fee for private cars.

According to group convener Aneesh Bhanot: “The double parking fee is totally unjustified as bigger cars like Innova, Sumo, etc. use only one parking space just like any other car. In fact, even a car like a Mercedes Benz, which is longer than any of these cars, is charged Rs 5.”

The group has requested the Mayor to intervene and direct the parking contractors to charge Rs 5 as parking fee from such vehicles.



Jean Rodrigues opens August Carnival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Mrs Jean Rodrigues, wife of the Governor of Punjab and the Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, inaugurated August Carnival at Shivalik View yesterday. A group of special children from Sawera School sang a prayer at the inauguration ceremony, which was held with fanfare.

The carnival has been well-received in the city. Some proceeds from the carnival will go to Sawera (Society for Advancement of Welfare, Empowerment and Research Activities (SAWERA), an organisation for children with special needs.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Rodrigues said such events helped create awareness and extend help to NGOs dedicated to the needs of special children. Mrs Rodrigues spent 40 minutes at the carnival and interacted with special children.

As for the products on display, there is a whole range of lifestyle products sourced from various parts of the country and created by skilful craftsmen.

The show has been jointly organised by Joy De Vivre and Purnam, which have pledged to extend financial support to Sawera by way of selling exclusive home wares, fashion ensembles and jewellery to prospective customers.

Joy De Vivre is a fledgling endeavour to provide a platform to high end lifestyle and fashion products made by vendors from all over the country to a receptive audience of various cities.

Purnam, on the other hand, is an organisation from Delhi. It comprises a group of women who have worked as fundraisers for the disabled.



Rally against soft drinks

Panchkula, August 5
Demanding a ban on various soft drinks, the Panchkula unit of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front organised a protest rally in the city yesterday. The rally was led by Mr Tajinder Pal Singh, district president of the front.

The protesters broke bottles of certain brands of soft drinks manufactured by MNCs in front of the Mini Secretariat. Bottles in hands, the protesters passed through various sectors in the city and later converged outside the Mini Secretariat. TNS



Protest against demolition
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
Up in arms against the Haryana Urban Development Authorities (HUDA) for conducting demolition drives at their residential units in Manav Colony, Saketri, scores of residents staged a protest in front of the HUDA’s office and outside the residence of Mr Chander Mohan, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, here yesterday.




In the story “Admm struggles to find Dhingra’s replacement” published today (August 5), the name of the tainted officer is Mr O.P. Arora and not Mr V.K. Arora as was mentioned inadvertently.



Booked for trespass

Mohali, August 5
The police has booked a resident of Machhiwara on charges of trespass and attempt to murder.

The police said Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar here, complained that Bikram Singh had entered her house on Wednesday and allegedly hit her with a hammer on the head with the intention to kill her. OC



Beopar Mandal to fight MC poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), is all set to shed its “non-political” image. In a significant decision, the CBM has decided to fight the elections of the Municipal Corporation.

The decision had already been taken to fight the elections to protect traders’ interests and a detailed programme would be chalked out for the December elections soon, CBM office-bearers told Chandigarh Tribune here last night. In fact, we would first approach the mainstream political parties to allot us 4-5 seats. However, if the political parties do not oblige us, we would field our own candidates,” the CBM president, Mr Subhash Sethi, asserted.

The office-bearers highlighted that various issues concerning the trading community, including the Rent Act, the representation of the traders in various fora of the Chandigarh Administration and the faulty implementation of VAT had been hanging fire for several years now. “At least our representatives would be able to put across the traders’ viewpoint, particularly in the wake of entry of the MNCs in the city, before the power-that-be in an effective way,” Mr JPS Kalra, mandal spokesman, said.

Mr Kamaljit Panchhi and Mr Baldev Goel, senior members, said it was the high time the political parties recognised the importance of the CBM and its role in the welfare of the trading community.They urged the parties to field traders, who had the winning potential, in the civic body elections.

At least two of senior CBM members, Mr Gian Chand Gupta (BJP) and Mr Raj Kumar Goyal (Congress) went on to become city Mayor though they did not fight election from the CBM.

The office-bearers felt that the political parties could easily spare some seats for the CBM representatives as the number of the seats for the MC is slated to increase from 20 to 23. However, whether the political parties, whose seat selection is decided by caste and community considerations, obliges the business lobby remains to be seen.



Mutilated currency notes exchanged at PNB camp
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 5
For the convenience of the general public, a programme was conducted today by Punjab National Bank, Phase-I, Mohali, under the guidance of RBI, wherein mutilated currency notes were exchanged.

A large number of people attended the programme and availed this opportunity. As many as 2196 pieces of mutilated notes amounting to Rs 66,000 were exchanged in this programme.

Mr S.S. Bedi, DGM, RBI, and senior officers of Punjab National Bank attended the programme, according to a press note.



Industrialists hail tax benefits till 2010

Chandigarh, August 5
The CII Himachal Pradesh State Council has hailed the Union Government for extending tax benefits to industries in the hill state till 2010.

Mr Rajinder Guleria, Chairman, CII Himachal Pradesh State Council, hailed this as a historic step towards organised development of industry in the state. “The giant leap taken by Himachal Pradesh towards rapid industrialisation and growth is opening a new chapter in the history of the hill state.” TNS



Talent search competitions in Sector 10 school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Co-curricular activities, including talent search competitions, were organised in Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, here today.

Mr Gulzar Singh, Deputy Director, Adult Education, Education Department, UT, was the chief guest on the occasion.

More than 1000 students took part in the talent search competitions in various activities, including poster-making, slogan-writing collage-making, clay modelling, mehndi, kite-making, knitting, stitching, salad-making, pot-painting, gift packaging, dry flowers arrangements etc.

The chief guest also inaugurated a cafeteria in the school which will be run by the vocational wing of the school. Bakery and confectionery classes, food service management and hotel management courses on no profit no loss basis will also be run.

Mr Gulzar Singh applauded Principal Indira Beniwal's leadership qualities in giving direction to students and staff of the school.

Mr Chanchal Singh, Assistant Director, vocational wing, was also present on the occasion.



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