C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Tributes paid to Beant Singh
Tribune News Service

Slain staff remembered

Meanwhile, employees of the Punjab Government paid floral tributes to employees who were killed in the bomb blast in which the former Chief Minister was killed. A condolence meeting was held at the Civil Secretariat where a demand was made to have a memorial to the slain employees at the Secretariat.

Chandigarh, August 31
People from all walks of life paid floral tributes to former Chief Minister Beant Singh at his samadhi in Sector 42 here today. Beant Singh was assassinated outside the Punjab Secretariat 11 years ago.

The “sarv dharam prarthana sabha” was organised at the samadhi in Beant Singh Memorial Complex, Sector 42, Chandigarh, to commemorate his death anniversary.

The services rendered by the former Punjab Chief Minister to “eliminate” terrorism from the state were remembered on the occasion.

Even as the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was not present, the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the Punjab Congress chief, Mr S.S. Dullo, and the president, All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, Mr M.S. Bitta, recalled Beant Singh’s “relentless fight against terrorism”.

Ms Bhattal said the state was today enjoying a peaceful atmosphere due to Beant Singh’s stand on terrorism. On Capt Amarinder Singh’s absence, Mr Dullo said, “You better ask him why he is not present here,” adding that “on such occasions, leaders like Akali Dal chief Prakash Singh Badal should also have been present.”

Beant Singh’s widow Jaswant Kaur, daughter Gurkanwal Kaur and son Tej Prakash Singh were present on the occasion. Among others present were Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Harnam Das Johar, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Mr Hans Raj Josan, Mr Santokh Singh, Mr Tej Prakash Singh, Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, besides former ministers, former MLA, and political and social leaders. All of them paid floral tributes.



Zila Parishad members sue Admn
Tribune News Service

What delayed election

Several factors are behind the reluctance on part of the Administration on deciding on the issue. Apart from political reasons, the issue of merger of the villages in the MC is said to be among the main reasons for the delay. However, in the past one year, officials in the Administration have been claiming that no decision has been taken on the schedule of the status of the post of the Chairman of the two Panchayati Raj institutions.

Chandigarh, August 31
At least nine elected members of the “non-functional” Zila Parishad have taken the Chandigarh Administration to the court for not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to elect the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Panchayati Raj Institution.

Seeking directions to the Administration for holding the elections to these two posts, the petitioners said the elections to the Zila Parishad were held over a year go. But the elections to the two posts were not held by the officials concerned, making the body ineffective. Lakhs of rupee had been spent on conducting the elections, said Bhajan Singh, one of the petitioners.

Acting on the application of the elected members, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices for September 18 to the Finance Secretary, Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Deputy Commissioner, and the Election Commissioner.

One of the petitioners, Bhajan Singh said due to the delay in deciding on the post of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, the functioning of the parishad had been crippled.



Admn’s thumbs up to IT centre
Rs 12-cr project to come up on 1.5 acres at tech park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Chandigarh Administration today approved a Rs 12-crore Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) over an area of about 1.5 acres at Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, Phase-I, an official press note said here today.

This was decided at a state-level Export Promotion Committee meeting of the UT held under the chairmanship of Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, to consider and approve export promotional initiatives of the UT Administration.

The committee was constituted under guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Commerce for utilising Central assistance for developing export infrastructure.

The proposal for setting up the EDC was unanimously approved, which will be funded partly by the Central Government through assistance to states for the Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities Scheme, which is meant for export-related projects. An amount of Rs 5.95 crore has already been received for this project from the Centre and an equivalent amount will be provided by the Chandigarh Administration through budgetary support.

It was further decided that if there was any cost escalation, the same would be met from Central funds and Chandigarh Administration funds.

The EDC will be a state-of-the-art building where small and medium-sized information technology companies will occupy space for software development, R & D, and other high-value services, which will be for export purposes.

This centre will also provide incubation facilities for young IT entrepreneurs who will be given plug-and-play facilities.

The EDC project will be on the lines of the SPIC Incubation Centre situated in Punjab Engineering College, where already small IT companies have been provided an Internet bandwidth connectivity by the STPI for software export and already the SPIC Centre is contributing software exports worth Rs 5 crore per annum.

The EDC will also have a regional cyber security and research centre, being set up in collaboration with Nasscom. This centre will cater to the needs of the IT industry, besides providing assistance to the state police authorities in the Chandigarh capital region.



It's a “hollow” victory
Other side of cellphone protests
Akanksha Bhalla
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Even as the black protesting brigade has won and the campus is teeming with their hand held machines which they claim inseperation from, many are still distressed by deeper questions.

"It's a hollow victory. It's poisoned the atmosphere of the college and created a palpable divide among students," says a visibly saddened Keerat, a student of BA-II of MCM College. "And all for nothing. 90 per cent have always been carrying cellphones despite the ban. It's just that you can't use them in the teacher's face and are expected to keep the decorum of the institution."

Agrees Sukhamrit, another student of MCM College. "It takes two to tango. No one knows the whole truth as nobody was witness to the altercation between the teacher and the student. Yet, the apology was given to the student."

But many feel a public apology was carrying things too far. And making it national news brought shame on students and teachers alike. Teacher-student conflicts are not a new phenomenon. But the erosion of ideals and intolerance are a characteristic of today.

Says Ms Madhu Marwaha, a teacher of MCM DAV for the last 22 years and In-charge of Public Relations, "We have solved worse cases of more serious nature during my stint as an educationist. This issue should also have been allowed to be resolved internally. The interference of outsiders who got their own mileage out of it was uncalled for."

The DPI Colleges, UT, Ms Raji Shrivastava, even though saying that the administration does not take sides; felt that restraint would have been better.

Says Ms Madhu, "Our college enjoys a brand name because of its highly disciplined environs and the character-building we do. Often at alumni meets, my old students who have become parents themselves, tell me this is where they want to send their children to." But if someone finds this discipline stifling they are free to go elsewhere, she avers.

The ones who hold a dim view of the protests have yet another grudge. The issue was changed, according to them. It is nobody's case that physical force should be allowed on students. And such an issue should arouse concern. But the issue on day 2 and 3 of the protests was cell phones and not propriety of behaviour.

"It's preposterous to suggest that it's impossible to attend college without your cell phones. And how many of this goggle-gang, who made out the protests to be a huge gala event where they got clicked and splashed over newspapers, really feel for real issues? There are some real issues to be addressed if only they care," says Sukhamrit. "Just few days ago, a student of our college died in a car crash. Did anyone even think about holding a 2 minute silence for her," is her question to the 'goggle gang'.

"Its double standards," says Keerat. "One day they are involved in cat fights and the next day they are fighting for rights!" she says.

Perhaps, it was these sentiments that got echoed inside the classrooms of the college, even while slogans were being shouted outside its gates. Mrs Madhu recorded 60 per cent attendance even during the strike. She says, "Girls came to the classes with a vengeance. It was their way of protesting against the protesters. They wanted to prove they had a point too!"



PU student council poll on Sept 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Panjab University authorities today announced that elections to the Panjab University Campus Students Council would be held on September 8.

The PUSU president, Rupinderjit Singh Mann, who is also the presidential candidate of the union for the coming elections, attended the joint meeting called by University Dean Students Welfare Prof Naval Kishore this morning to announce the date of elections and ask the students to adhere strictly to the model code of conduct.

The filing of nomination would begin on September 5 followed by scrutiny and putting up of the final list on the same day after which objections would be filed. The list of approved candidates would be put up on September 6 and withdrawals would also be accepted the same day.



Child dead as bus hits scooter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
A six-year-old boy was crushed to death and another person critically injured when the scooter they were riding was hit headon by a speeding bus here this evening.

The child who has yet to be identified, was apparently travelling with a relative Bhagwan Dass, a resident of Phase II, who is now admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Eyewitness said the child met a gory death as he was standing in front of the driver’s seat and faced the impact of the collection. It took the police over an hour to remove the child’s mangled body from the remains of the scooter. The bus was coming from Talwara.

In another accident, 25-year-old Simranjit Singh, a resident of Mauli Baidwan died, last night when his scooter hit a stationary truck parked at the Lakhnour barrier. The pillion rider, Randeep Singh, too, was injured.



More road links to Panchkula soon
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 31
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said the Governor of Punjab and the Administrator of Chandigarh, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd.) had agreed to provide three or four more links connecting Panchkula with Chandigarh shortly.

The Chief Minister was speaking after inaugurating a newly constructed office building of the Haryana Land Reclamation and Development Corporation constructed at a cost of Rs 1.30 crore in Sector 4 here today. Mr Hooda appreciated that the Haryana State Land Reclamation and Development Corporation was functioning efficiently and running in profit.

The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, said the Chief Minister was keen on developing Panchkula and taking a number of steps in this direction. He also drew the attention of the Chief Minister towards the problem being faced by some shopkeepers of old Panchkula.

The Agriculture Minister, Mr H.S. Chatha, said while almost all promises made to the people in the manifesto had been fulfilled within a year, the Chief Minister had now been implementing other programmes.

The Chairman of the corporation, Mr Anand Kaushik, and Managing Director M.P. Bidlan also spoke about the activities of the corporation. Those present on the occasion were Parliamentary Secretary Krishna Pandit, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Asha Sharma and other senior officers of the Agriculture Department and the district administration.



MC study tours come under cloud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The study tours conducted by the Municipal Corporation came under cloud today with councillors casting aspersions on the actual benefit of the whole exercise.

The matter reached its height when Mrs Shyama Negi, Congress councillor, said she did not fear even if she was “lifted” out of the House by the marshals as was pointed out by the Mayor while reacting to her outburst.

The issue which was not even listed on the agenda for discussion was brought up by Mr Subhash Chawla, former Mayor, who wanted to speak on the issue as certain councillors had met the Adviser and submitted a communication seeking a ban on the study tours “on account of money wastage and the tours only taking their (Congress) party councillor.” He was hinting at the BJP councillors and the local BJP president.

Mr Chawla said it was learnt that the administration had turned down a tour proposal sent by the MC recently and it had been communicated that no study tours would be permitted. Mr Chawla said it was strange why the opposition members had not objected when they themselves had gone on tours earlier when the Congress was in power.

“They (BJP councillors) should refund all the money spent on their earlier tours. They raised hue and cry against telephones for the councillors and certain monetary perks also. It is worth pointing out that they themselves were enjoying them all,” Mr Chawla said.

Mrs Kamla Sharma, BJP councillor, said, “The objection was raised only to the purpose of the tour, which went to Germany this time. No satisfactory report on the purpose of the tour and its findings has been filed as yet.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Negi circulated a note, which has already been submitted to the UT Administrator. The note said she was manipulated into a tour to Bangalore while the Mayor accompanied by his “favourites” flew abroad.

“Our study tour to South was thrust on us and it achieved nothing fruitful. It was unnecessary expenditure on meagre resources of the MC. I demand institution of a full fledged enquiry.”

Mr Harmohinder Singh Lucky, Deputy Mayor, said the tours had great relevance as was evident from application of certain suggestions made on basis of earlier tours.

The MC today officially included certain new areas in its limits, including Nizampur Burail, Nizampur Khumbra, Jhumru, Faidan in Burail, Bair Majra, Chatarf Burail and Shahpur, following a communication from the UT Administration.



Helpline evokes good response
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The round-the-clock helpline launched by the UT Vigilance Department is evoking a good response from the public with complaints on corruption from various government departments pouring in. Two government employees have been arrested for taking illegal gratification.

Sleuths of the Vigilance Department today caught red-handed a patwari in the office of the UT, Deputy Commissioner, from Khudda Lahora while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 500. The department had nabbed a Municipal Corporation employee on similar charges yesterday.

Giving details of the arrest, sources in the department said Jai Pal of Sector 29, a patwari in the office of the UT, Deputy Commissioner, posted at Khudda Lahora, was caught while accepting illegal gratification from Mr Surinder Singh of Dashmesh Nagar, Kharar, on the pretext of issuing a “fard” of a plot purchased by Surinder Singh two months ago.

In his complaint, Mr Singh mentioned that despite the fact that the plot had already been registered in his name, the accused was demanding a bribe from him for issuing him the document. On Wednesday, Jai Pal asked him to pay Rs 2,000 for the job. The accused asked him to pay Rs 500 in advance and the rest was to be paid after the work was done.

Acting on Singh’s complaint a trap was laid and the accused was nabbed while taking the marked currency notes. A case under the prevention of Corruption Act has been registered in this regard.

Sources in the department said so far they had received about 12 complaints of corruption in different government departments and the teams are working on these complaints.

A senior officer in the department said although people were coming forth with their complaints, they were still apprehensive about lodging a formal complaint. In some cases, the callers asked whether it was a wing of the UT police or other civil office. Some of them were hesitant to register their complaints after knowing that it was a police wing as they believed that the police would “never stop corruption”.

The sources said the Senior Assistant, Mr Suraj Bhan, posted in the house tax branch of the Municipal Corporation’s sub-office in Mani Majra, who was nabbed by sleuths while allegedly taking a bribe on Wednesday, was produced before a local court today. He was remanded in police custody.



HUDA sends cheques to societies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 31
The Estate Office, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), today sent cheques to all societies who had applied for the group housing societies draw. The process of returning application fee began on August 29 when the first instalment of cheques were sent to respective societies through registered post.

Today, the Estate Office completed the entire process of despatching cheques to the applicants. “The societies will be responsible for returning the application fee to its respective members. Our job is complete and we are not dealing with individual cases,” an officer said.

The HUDA had conducted a draw to allot sites to housing societies on August 25. A total of 4,755 applications were received of which 44 sites were allotted to 42 applicants, two applications having asked for more than half an acre of land.



Alert neighbour catches thief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
An alert neighbour today thwarted a burglary attempt. He chased and nabbed a miscreant, whom he noticed breaking the lock of a house in his vicinity.

Ms Balwinder Kaur of Sector 61, the owner of the house, said the incident took place at around 12:30 pm, when her neighbour, Mr Manjit Singh, who was standing in the balcony of his house, noticed someone breaking the lock of her house.

When he went to him, the miscreant, in his mid-twenties, told him that he was called by the owner of the house to replace the lock. When Mr Manjit Singh found no one inside the house, his suspicion grew further. Smelling danger, the miscreant tried to run away, but Mr Manjit Singh gave him a chase and caught hold of him.

Ms Balwinder Kaur told Chandigarh Tribune that the accused hit Mr Manjit Singh with an iron object on his arms and hands. But, he did not let the miscreant go and raised an alarm. People gathered there and overwhelmed the miscreant.

The police said a case of attempt to burglary was registered. He had been identified as Ranbir Singh of Sector 52. A drug addict, he had earlier been arrested on the similar charges, the police said.



Shopkeepers want grievances redressed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 31
Representatives of various markets in the city today urged the Chairman, Confed, and president of the Haryana Beopar Mandal, Mr Bajrang Das Garg, to take up their problems with the departments concerned and redress their grievances.

The representatives condemned the Haryana Urban Development Authority for swooping down on them. “Our booths are small and we have constructed corridors ourselves. If the government wants to give passage to the public, it can do so from its land. We should not be bothered,” a spokesman for the shopkeepers in the city, Mr B.B. Kochhar, said.

The shopkeepers alleged that the enforcement wing of HUDA took away their belongings. “They don’t issue us a receipt for anything they take away. When we go to them for our belongings, we get nothing. Our loss is the gain of employees of the enforcement wing. This should be got rectified immediately,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Haryana State Property Dealers Welfare Association today urged Mr Bajrang Das Garg to resolve their long-pending demands.

The association, along with the Residents Welfare Body of Sector 20, urged Mr Garg to sort out a land dispute of a temple in the area. “We don’t want our temple dislodged from where it stands today. We are ready to pay for the cost of the land,” said the president, Mr Suresh Aggarwal.

Others present at the meeting included the chairman of the association, Mr O.P. Oberoi, and general secretaries, Mr Satish Mehandiratta and Mr Vivek Sharma.



Sadbhavana sammelan tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Under the aegis of Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti a two-day ‘sadbhavana sammelan’ will be organised at the exhibition ground, Sector-34 on September 2, 3. Satpal ji maharaj will deliver the main discourse at the religious congregation. He will spread the message of goodwill among the masses. He will be accompanied by Mata Amrita, Mata Mangala, Shri Bhole ji maharaj and Shri Vibhu ji who will also deliver the religious discourse on the occasion.

This information was given by Mahatama Shri Hari Santoshanand ji from the Delhi head office of the Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti at a press conference here yesterday. Santoshanand ji said that in today’s context sadbhavana sammelan is the need of the hour. Society today is gripped by jealously, terror, hatred and ill-feelings towards each other, which can be ended only through sadbhavana sammelans. Such programmes under the able guidance of Satpal ji maharaj have been organised for the last many years to spread the message of national unity, brotherhood, social goodwill and communal love. Under this series, the two-day religious congregation has been organised in Chandigarh. In the past such sammelans have been held in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore among other places.



Youth hurt as bus hits mobike
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 31
Twentyseven-year-old Ajit Pal received serious injuries after he was hit and dragged by a Haryana Roadways (HR 68 0643) bus for a few yards on the road dividing Sectors 9 and 10. Wearing a helmet, Ajit Pal was on his motorcycle, (HR 20 A 2006) when the speeding bus hit his vehicle from the rear.

Ajit Pal was admitted to the PGIMER. The police is investigating the matter.



Mohali resident dies as tipper hits moped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
A 49-year-old resident of Mohali was killed after a tipper hit the moped he was riding near Attawa Chowk, here, late on Wednesday night.

The police said the victim had been identified as Bhushan Kumar of Phase V, Mohali. He was working as salesperson in a shop in Sector 17. He was on his way back home when the mishap took place at around 9:30 pm. He died on the spot after sustaining multiple injuries.

The police said the victim was coming from Sector 17 side while the tipper was coming from the Kajheri side and was going towards Sector 43 after taking a turn from the chowk. The tipper hit the victim’s moped from rear. The victim was rushed to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead.

Bhushan is survived by a wife and two daughters. The body was handed over to the family after the post-mortem.

The tipper driver, Udhey Singh, was arrested on the allegation of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.



Cop commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
A Punjab Police Constable, in his fifties, allegedly ended his life by hanging himself from a tree at the back of the Punjab Assembly building here this afternoon. Though no suicide note was recovered on the body, the police while quoting the deceased’s family, said he was under depression of late.

Sources in the Sector 3 Police Station said Bhullan Prashad, a cook in the 82nd Battalion of the Punjab Armed Police, was found hanging by passers-by at around 2: 30pm. His colleagues told the police that he had gone out on his bicycle and later they came to know about the tragedy.

The police was informed about the incident, which then shifted the body to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

Bhullan, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, belonged to a poor family. He is survived by his wife and a 17-year-old son.



Thief held, 6 stolen cars recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The crime branch of the UT police today claimed to have solved six cases of car theft and three of house theft with the arrest of a resident of Colony No. 5.

Inspector Satbir Singh, in-charge of the branch, said Manoj Kumar, originally belonging to Khushi Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, had been lived in the colony and also in Ludhiana. He was arrested at traffic light point of Sector 33-45 on Tuesday.

He admitted to have stolen the Bajaj Kawasaki motor cycle (CH-03-F-2321), which he was riding at the time of his arrest.

The Inspector said Manoj was a history sheeter and had been convicted in five cases of vehicle theft and burglaries while two cases were pending trial.

He had committed four thefts in the colony. The police raided his accommodation in the colony and recovered stolen gold and silver ornaments. He was on Wednesday produced before a local court, which remanded him in police custody till September 1.

On his information, the police recovered another stolen motor cycle (Yamaha CH-03-N-8935) from multi-level parking of the Municipal Corporation in Ludhiana today.

Six cars stolen from various parts of the city — CH-01-B-0746 and CH-01-P-8116 stolen from Sector 17, CH-01-H-6617 from the PGI parking lot and HR-32-9297 from Sector 9 and two more cars CH-01-H-707 and HR-31-C-0055 (it was yet to be ascertained from where these were stolen) — were also recovered.



Tyres worth lakhs stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Thieves reportedly decamped with tyres worth Rs 7 lakh after breaking into a godown in Motor Market, Mani Majra, last night.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, a representative of Apollo Tyres, said the theft came to light in the morning when they came to open the shop and found the locks broken.

The shop was found ransacked and a large number of tyres were found missing. The police accompanied by forensic experts and a dog squad reached the spot and carried out inspection.

Birju, a labourer, who was sleeping near the site of the theft, said the thieves were four in number. They picked him and blindfolded him before bundling him in their truck.

He said he was thrashed by the thieves before being abandoned near Ramgarh. A case has been registered

Mobiles stolen

Mr Mukesh Mehra of Sector 22 reported to the police that 25 mobile phones and Rs 3,500 in cash were stolen from his shop during the intervening night of August 29 and 30. A case was registered.

Car stolen

Mr Nirmaljit of Sector 23 filed a complaint with the police, alleging that his Maruti car (CH-01-Q-2378) was stolen from his residence on August 28. A case of theft was registered in the Sector 17 police station.

Motorcycle stolen

Mr Surinder Chauhan of Mauli Jagran lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Yamaha motorcycle (CH-03-N-8935) was stolen from Colony No 5. A case of theft has been registered.



BSNL to shut Internet services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will shut its broadband Internet services for two hours on September 2 for urgent maintenance work. A spokesperson of the BSNL said that engineers had been flown in from China to perform maintenance work. The service on Chandigarh node will be shut down from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on September 2.

Meanwhile, the BSNL has launched a one-time discount scheme for the benefit of customers whose telephone services have been withdrawn on account of non-payment of bills.

This scheme that offers a discount of up to 20 per cent for reconnection is applicable for both basic and mobile services.

This one-time scheme will come into force from September 12 and will be operative in the Chandigarh circle that includes Mohali and Panchkula.



Film city: 6 cos. make presentation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
For the upcoming multimedia-cum-film city project to be set up in Sarangpur, as many as six companies today made technical presentation before a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan.

The companies, which made a presentation are Unitech Limited, Fun Multiplex, Emaar MGF DLF Universal, KRBL and Parsav Nath Developers.

The officers present were the Finance Secretary, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Chief Architect, Sunita Monga, the Director, Tourism, Mr Vivek Atray, the Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, and the Director Information Technology, Mr M.S. Brar.



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