C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



HC appoints amicus curie
Dera Bassi units endangering health
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Getting tough with two major polluting industries of Dera Bassi allegedly playing havoc with human and animal lives, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today appointed amicus curie in the case.

In a related development, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S.D. Anand and Mr Justice J.S. Khehar, directed the authorities concerned to disconnect the power supply of a polluting unit to force it to conform to the norms laid down by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

The counsel for the PPCB today virtually expressed board’s helplessness in enforcing the pollution control norms in the polluting units. The counsel said the PPCB had given 27 notices to the polluting units but they had not installed any pollution-control devices to check pollution.

After hearing arguments, the court appointed Mr B.S. Chahal, Assistant Advocate-General, as the amicus curie to assist in the case. The next date of hearing in the case has been fixed as November 13.

The high court had taken a suo moto notice of the pollution by the Dera Bassi units following reports in a section of the Press last year. Several industries in the Dera Bassi-Lalru industrial belt had been causing air and water pollution with impunity.

Owners of the polluting units had allegedly been blocking the efforts of the authorities concerned to check pollution.

Residents of the area had been alleging that the PPCB and the local administration were turning a blind eye toward rampant water pollution in the rivulets in the areas. It has also been alleged that crops on scores of acres were being damaged by the discharged polluted water from these units.

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Driver, peon of SDM held for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Chandigarh Police today arrested a driver and a peon of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Fatehgarh Sahib district along with other person on the charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy for allegedly using the SDM’s stamp to procure a passport under the Tatkal Scheme.

Giving details, the SHO of Sector 34 Police Station, Inspector Jagir Singh, said driver, Darbara Singh and peon Balbir Singh posted in the office of Ms Manisha Trikathia, SDM of Fatehgarh Sahib district, along with other person Gurmeet Singh were today arrested from Fatehgarh Sahib. A case was registered against them under Sections 420, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on a complaint by the Regional Passport Office, Sector 34.

It was alleged in the complaint that the accused had applied for a passport under the Tatkal Scheme last month. A letter purportedly issued by the SDM bearing her seal was also submitted along with other documents. The verification of the documents detected the fraud and the matter was reported to the police by the Passport Office for action.

The SHO said the investigation revealed the fraud as the SDM denied having ever signing the documents for the passport. The police found out that the seals were used without informing the authority concerned. He added that the police would also recover the seals used by the accused in the crime.

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MC chief maligning me, says councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, councillor, Municipal Corporation, today alleged that he was being targeted by the MC Commissioner, Mr P.S. Aujla, for questioning the working of the Municipal Corporation and demanding transparency.

Addressing a press conference, he said the Commissioner was maligning him as he had brought the ‘misdeeds’ of the Commissioner to the notice of the Administration.

“This has always happened to any councillor who has questioned the working of the MCC. Under the RTI Act, I started asking questions regarding development in the city and when information was not provided, I appealed. This did not go down well with the Commissioner,” he stated.

Mr Chander Mukhi said the letter on which an inquiry had been marked was baseless. “I have nothing to do with the advertising agent. My brother is, however, the proprietor of the agency.”

He said the letter was an anonymous one. “I have checked with at least 150 Army officials in the past three days and there is no such retired officer and neither is there an office in Sector 34,” he stated.

“CVC guidelines clearly state that anonymous complaints should not be entertained. However, the Commissioner did not take a day to mark an inquiry,” he stated.

“There is tremendous pressure on me to stop questioning. However, I will not succumb to pressure.”

Mrs Shyama Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor, was present at the press conference and demanded that an investigation be done. She raised the issue of garbage dump and stated that facts were being “hidden”.

When contacted, the Commissioner said, “We have received the complaint from the Administration and have been asked to furnish comment. That is why we have ordered a fact-finding inquiry.”

Meanwhile, employees of the Municipal Corporation under the banner of the MC Employees Union staged a protest dharna at the MCC office. The protesters stated that Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma was misusing the Right to Information Act to “hamper” the functioning of the corporation.

They stated that Mr Chander Mukhi was asking for irrelevant information.

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Farmers oppose Admn move to acquire land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Farmers associated with the Pind Bachao Committee, the Mani Majra Farmers Welfare and Environment Protection Society and the Chandigarh Farmers Association called a press conference here today to speak against the UT Administration’s move to acquire farm land in Kishangarh and other areas.

Brig K.S. Kahlon, a spokesperson, pointed out that the city did not have any big farmers and so the parties affected would suffer heavily by the move, with rates being given by the Administration not tallying with real estate prices.

He stated that demands of farmers were to stop all acquisition till the time a regulatory body was formed to decide the need for acquisition, the viability of projects that were to be set up and the market value to be paid to farmers.

He said farmers would join ‘jathebandis’ and farmer organisations from Punjab that would participating at a rally at the Matka Chowk here on September 13.

According to a press note, the Administration had acquired land in preceding years and passed it on to end users, but of late, the Administration was passing on the land to developers, who would like to put each and every inch to commercial use.

The organisations expressed the apprehension of a negative impact on the city’s environment on account of green belts being lost due to new constructions.

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Virtual tribute to 9/11 victims
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
As the world remembers victims of 9/11 - five years after 3000 persons lost their lives — and their loved ones sit in silent prayers, right here in Chandigarh a team of Information Technology (IT) specialists have designed a virtual memorial. Made for their US sponsors, anyone whose heart bleeds for those killed in the World Trade Center (WTC) is invited to light a candle in their memory.

Net Solutions, a Chandigarh-based software development company, launched this memorial website www.worldtradecenter.com on behalf of a US-based sponsor with the objective of providing a respectful tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001 attack on the WTC in which thousands of innocent people, including many Indians, lost their lives.

The website www.worldtradecenter.com illustrates the tribute candles floating on the River Hudson with the now non-extant twin-towers in the background, suggesting that the buildings may have been destroyed, but the memory of those associated with the twin-towers will never fade. It invites people to light a candle and post a message in memory of those who lost their lives in the gruesome act of terror.

Thousands of people have already placed their virtual candle along with their messages on the website. The response has been so tremendous that soon after the launch of the website, over 9000 people had posted messages in a matter of a few days.

“We have worked with American clients for over a decade and this is our way to pay homage to the victims of the attack.” says Sameer Jain, Chief Executive Officer of Net Solutions. The website, he says, is totally non-commercial in nature. To maintain the spirit with which the website was created, the company has declined a large number of offers to sell the domain.

The website has been developed by a team of Chandigarh-based IT professionals working for Net Solutions. These include Anand Bhusari, Sandeep Kashyap, Guneet Kaur, Manjit Singh Kalsi, Vijay Kumar, Ruchika Sharma and Vivek Gupta - all of whom work from the Net Solutions office in the DLF building in the Chandigarh Information Technology Park.

The message “Peace to all” is clearly the theme of this website created in memory of “those we lost and for all affected by the events of September 11”. Not affiliated to any organisation, the objective of the forum was to create a non-commercial, respectful tribute to the victims of one of the greatest tragedies of recent times. All those with some feelings for the innocent who died on this day five years ago can go and light their candle in memory of the dead in support of thousands others who suffered.

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Restaurants, pubs to close by 1am

Chandigarh, September 11
The District Magistrate has prohibited commercial operations in the premises of restaurants, pubs, wine shops, discos and clubs and by vendors sitting by roadsides and at public places till late in the night.

The Magistrate ordered that such activities on roadsides and at public places between 1 a.m. and 4.30 a.m. in the UT would be prohibited till November 11.

The order shall not apply to coffee shops in hotels, hospitals, chemists shops and petrol stations. The restaurants, pubs, discos and clubs have been allowed to remain open uptill 2 a.m. — TNS

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Ban on sale of non-ISI helmets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Chandigarh Administration has prohibited the sale of non-ISI mark helmets in the Union Territory. An official press issued here today said any breach of the order shall be punishable under the provision of the Indian penal code.

Easy availability of non-ISI mark helmets result in unsuspecting buyer falling into the trap. This negates the provisions of the motor vehicle Act mandating compulsory wearing of a protective ISI mark helmet to save the life of the person driving or riding a scooter or a motorcycle.

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Chandigarh Calling
Love conquers Partition trauma

Margaret White’s photo exhibition at Sukhla Lake has brought back many a memory of the Partition. That of course is natural for the people living in the region that suffered the most. But an interesting fact that came to light is that many now can actually relive the trauma without feeling bitter about it. For instance, talk to Sukhwinder Kaur, a septuagenarian lady, who is only too willing to describe her journey to India in a bullock cart and how she remained separated from her mother for one year. But all she feels now is love and gratitude to the people of the tiny Muslim-dominated village near Gurjanwala, who kept her mother safe and sound for one complete year and finally helped her reunite with her family. One look at the lady who sits patiently at the boundary wall of the Sukhna, clutching at her walking stick and a myriad of emotion playing on her face, and you know that the bonding of heart is stronger than any man-made boundary line.

Dharna chowk

With so many dharnas being put up at Matka Chowk every month, it has earned a unique sobriquet — Dharna Chowk. Over the years, it has been the most preferred spot for multitudes of protesters — whether government/private employees or kisans — from any part of the region. And the Rose Garden, because of its proximity, is a major attraction for them where certain groups of protesters camp, prepare their meals, bathe and defecate. The casualty of these dharnas is naturally traffic, cleanliness, tranquillity, etc. Either the Administration should rename it Dharna Chowk and allow such activities or a place outside the city is zoned for this purpose.

TV trivia

With television reaching the mammoth proportions of filmdom, it is no small wonder that it too is full of the most enthralling trivia! For instance, did we know that the trend-setting ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC) with the iconic Big B was first offered to Zee Television? Ashish Kaul, Zee Network’s Senior Vice-President, Corporate Brand Development tells us it was. “With KBC, we found an entire generation moving away from us and towards the programme and it took us six years to get them back,” he says disarmingly. This only goes to prove that the Amitabh Bachchan phenomenon, which seemed to be ebbing in the pre-KBC days is a never-fading ‘event’!

God’s own

It pays to bond with the God and religion. At least that seems to be true in the draw of lots for the group housing societies of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at Panchkula the other day where ‘godly’ and ‘religious’ societies had a field day. Of the successful societies, at least five societies had various names of God woven into them. So we had ‘Krishna’, ‘Hari’, “Lord Vishnu” societies among the successful societies Of the rest, ‘Divya’, ‘Ashirwad’ and ‘Anandmahima’ were the other spiritual-sounding societies, which were successful. Well, citizens’ love for religion and spirituality is paying rich dividends.

Time warp

A colleague from the city who per chance went to see Lage Raho Munna Bhai in a Patiala theatre found herself in a time warp when she parked her scooter for the parking ticket read: if the seat cover, bell and lock of your vehicle get stolen the; authorities of the cinema hall would not be responsibl.” Amazed? Well, don’t be, for the notification meant for your car, scooter and cycle is still the one written for cycles in the days gone by.

Slushy streets

Come monsoon and the romance of rain-washed trees and fresh smell of the soil emerges in the mind but step out in reality and you find your feet in the slush on the side of the roads. Chandigarh, a city known for good roads and also for frequent showers in parts of the city should be different. But sadly one finds out that it is not so and slush and flooded streets are a reality here too. The Chandigarh Administration should certainly try and improve the drainage system so that the roadsides do not become rainwater reservoirs.

Water harvest

The Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehra Dun, was given the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award — 2005 in New Delhi recently for developing water harvesting and watershed management technology. The centre has eight research centres in this region. It’s Chandigarh centre has been carrying out water harvesting and watershed management projects in the Shivaliks for the past 50 years. The World Bank has financed some of its projects and one hopes that sincere work brings some awards here too.

Contributors: Parbina Rashid, Gayatri Rajwade, Pradeep Sharma, Anuradha Shukla, Tarundeep Aggarwal & Vishal Gulati

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COMMUNITY

Wheat production falls
Punjab, Haryana take stock of situation
Ruchika M. Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Wheat production in the food bowl of the country, Punjab and Haryana, has fallen down over the past four years. Though the area under wheat cultivation in the two states has remained static, the total production has plunged.

From 96. 69 lakh metric tonnes in 2000-01, wheat production in Haryana has come down to an alarming 88. 57 lakh metric tonnes. In Punjab, the total wheat production and area under cultivation of wheat has remained constant over the past four years. The figures available from the Agriculture Department, Punjab, show that the total production of wheat was 144. 75 lakh metric tonnes in 2002- 03, and almost the same, 144. 93 lakh metric tonnes - in 2005- 06.

This decline in production has now forced both Punjab and Haryana Governments to sit up and take stock of the situation. Being primarily agrarian states, the governments are now formulating an action plan to deal with the eminent 'food crisis'. The policy, to be ready before the sowing of wheat starts in October, aims to stem the decline in productivity.

At the national level, too, the wheat production has gone down drastically — from 76. 3 million tonnes to 69. 5 million tonnes in 2005-06. As a result, the per capita availability of wheat, too, has declined from 65.8 kg per year in 2003 to 56. 3 kg now. No wonder that this has led to a severe shortfall in availability for local consumption, thus leading to spiralling prices of wheat, wheat flour and bread in the market (an increase of Rs 2 - Rs 3 per kg).

With no new varietal break- throughs in wheat; rising temperatures in February and March (the maturity period of wheat); severe deficiency in soil nutrients; and, deteriorating soil fertility status, have all contributed for this decline in production, said Dr B S Duggal, Additional Director Agriculture (Extension), Haryana.

"Recently, we have conducted studies which show that there has been a 3°C rise in the maximum temperature (above normal) for the month of February in the past couple of years. Because of these climactic changes, the crop shrivels , which leads to less productivity. The organic carbon content has declined below 0.2 per cent," he said.

Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Director, Agriculture, Punjab, added that deficiency in soil nutrients like phosphorous and micro nutrients like zinc, iron and potassium, coupled with the imbalance in the use of fertilisers had also led to decline in crop production.

The action plan being formulated by the two states will lay emphasis on ensuring timely sowing of wheat, development of thermo-resistant varieties (that are not affected by rise in temperature) ; increasing zero tillage, and launching campaign for improving organic matter in soil. Both Punjab and Haryana have also identified blocks where the production has declined rapidly in recent years, so that remedial action can be initiated here fast.

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Fauji Beat
A saga of valour and sacrifice

THE battle of Saragarhi is a saga of 21 heroes of 4 Sikh (then 36 Sikh) who thought nothing of their lives when it came to devotion to duty.

Saragarhi was a small communication post on the Samana Ridge in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP). It was held by 20 men under the command of Havaldar Ishar Singh. On September 10, 1897, the tribals started gathering and by September 12, about ten thousand of them surrounded the post and started attacking it early in the morning. By repulsing charge after charge, the 4 Sikh jawans fought valiantly for seven hours.

Finally, the number of defenders dropped to a single man and that was Sepoy Gurmukh Singh. Shouting the war cry, “Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guruji Ke Fateh”, he fought like a ferocious tiger till he fell to join his comrades in death.

This memorable act of rare bravery and reckless courage evoked a plethora of public appreciation. The British Parliament gave a standing ovation when this act of unprecedented bravery was narrated to it. An immediate award of IOM to each of the Saragarhi heroes was announced. The dependents of these heroes were given two morabhas (50 acres) of land and a monetary grant each. Three memorials, one each at Ferozepore, Amritsar and Saragarhi, were raised in their memory. Besides, September 12 was declared as a regimental holiday for all the regiments enlisting Sikhs. The Saragarhi Day continues to be celebrated by the Sikh Regiment.

Insurance cover for ECHS

One of the tasks of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) non-military polyclinics is processing of the empanelled hospitals’ bills. For which, no staff is authorised. On an average, a referral polyclinic gets bills amounting to over Rs 1.5 crore in a month. To process about 50 bills everyday has become the major daily commitment of the officers-in-charge of these polyclinics.

The ECHS authorities would do well to take a cue from the Sanjivni Health Care Scheme of the Punjab Government. This scheme covers the rural co-operative societies’ members and their dependents for treatments up to Rs 2 lakh each per annum in over 150 empanelled hospitals. The annual premium to be paid by the head of the family is Rs 330. An additional premium of Rs 50 is required to be paid for each dependent member. The insurance cover for this scheme is provided by ICICI Lombard. Med Save Health Care Limited, a global health care company, has been appointed as the third party administrator for it. Many other states in the country are also running such health schemes.

An insurance scheme of this kind will not only be cost effective for the ECHS but will also result in saving of manpower and reduction of infructuous work at each level in the channel of command. For, the bills will be processed and paid by the appointed insurance company. In the current system, the clearance of bills takes several months. The result is that there is always a crib by the empanelled hospitals that they have arrears of Rs 10 to 15 crore towards the ECHS, at any one time.

A unique Command

The Western Command, which turns 59 on September 15, was raised in Delhi as Delhi and East Punjab Command on September 15, 1947. Soon after its raising, it had to push back the Pakistani raiders from the Kashmir Valley. It was re-designated as Western Command on January 18, 1948.

The Command has created a history by actively participating in all the wars that India has fought after Independence and has towered in all the Commands by winning the maximum number of gallantry awards.

What is unique about this Command is that 11 of its Army Commanders have become Army Chiefs so far, including the present chief of the Army Staff General J.J. Singh.

— Pritam Bhullar

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‘Dharna site’ shifted to Sec 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Chandigarh Administration has decided that the ‘dharna’ site for rallies in the city will now be located in Sector 25. A five-acre land strip has been identified and work has commenced on the ground to develop the area. Officials expect the site to be ready within a fortnight.

The Administration is constructing toilets at the spot for the convenience of rally participants. A stage is also proposed at the spot. Rallies were being held at Matka Chowk adjoining the Rose Garden and the Sector 17 market.

The rallies led to road blockades to the Secretariat and important educational institutions in the city, much to the inconvenience of the general public. Officials sources confirmed approximately 350 rallies in 2005 alone.

At one point of time, the Administration was working on shifting the ‘dharna’ site to Rajindra Park adjoining the Secretariat. There were certain objections from the Punjab Chief Minister’s security staff to that venue.

The Administration also studied a site in Sector 34 adjoining the market. Certain objections were raised fearing inconvenience to the shopping area nearby and office-goers. The Administration finally decided on the site in Sector 25.

The residents in the colony adjoining the proposed site have apprehensions regarding disturbance to their lives. “We have seen certain protests showing thousands of participants from adjoining states. It can hamper our lives. The Administration needs to ponder over an alternative venue,” Mr Mohan Lal, a resident of the Kumhar Colony, said.

A priest overseeing the last rites at the crematorium, said: “The change in venue does not make a difference to the ceremonies at our place.” Mr Ram Narain, a local resident, said: “Big rallies can hamper traffic to the crematorium which will not be appreciated by the people who come here. It can lead to unwanted delays and the rush will increase at certain hours”.

Rajpal Singh, a student of Panjab University, said: “I stay in Sector 38(West). Rallies at this venue will mean traffic diversions for the daily travellers. There is also an oil depot adjacent to the venue which needs special security arrangements.”

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Residents take up problems with DSP

Panchkula, September 11
The House Owners-cum- Plot Owners Association, Sector 15, today met the Deputy Superintendent of Police (City), Mr Om Prakash, to discuss public-friendly policing and local law and order problems of the sector. Mr M.S. Cheema, president of the association, expressed his concern over opening of coaching institutes in the market. “Students in large numbers are present in the market late at night. They create ugly scenes and are a nuisance for residents,” he said, requesting the DSP to call a meeting of the managements of these institutions and address the problem.

The residents also complained about the haphazard parking of vehicles at the shopping complex. He urged the police to earmark parking on the lines of the exercise undertaken in Sector 7. The issue of school buses plying on inside roads was also taken up. The representatives were of the opinion that while mini buses be allowed to ply at bylanes, big buses be asked to stick to wider roads, B roads, only.

Raising the menace of mushrooming jhuggis, the residents said jhuggi dwellers were often back immediately after an anti-encroachment drive. They demanded that police officials patrolling at night should be particularly directed to check the return of jhuggi dwellers to areas that had been cleaned up.

Mr Om Prakash assured the residents that traffic lights be installed at the congested Sectors 7, 8, 17 and 18 roundabouts. “We will take up the removal of rehris from roundabouts which act as bottlenecks in the smooth traffic flow,” he said. — TNS

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BKU (Rajewal) holds dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Hundreds of members of the Bharti Kisan Union (Rajewal) today gathered at Parade Ground, Sector 17, and then marched to Matka Chowk, where they blocked traffic. Later, they staged a dharna.

They were pressing for the acceptance of their long-pending demands. Union members will also sit on a day and night dharna till September 15 when the session of the Punjab vidhan sabha ends.

National general secretary of the union Balbir Singh Rajewal stated that the Punjab Government had yet to provide them Rs 20 per quintal bonus which it had promised to them when it came to power. “We were promised Rs 30 per quintal in 2001, Rs 10 of which were paid to us in 2003 after a 12 day dharna in Patiala. The remaining amount is still awaited. It is time that the government fulfils its promise,” he said.

Union members further added that if Rs 40,000 crore loan could be waived off for the industrial sector, the same could also be done for the farmers. The union members also demanded that rules should be framed for private money-lenders to help ease the burden off the farmers. Mr Balbir Singh said despite their repeated protests nothing was done. He however hoped that their demands would be accepted this time.

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Dell wins CII quiz contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Rajesh Nair, Venita Sajwan and Premjit Singh from Dell bagged the winners' trophy of ‘XquizIT 2006--a Corporate Challenge Quiz’, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Department of Tourism, Chandigarh Administration, on Saturday.

Manish Sinha, Vivek Mittal and Anand Prasad of Oriental Bank of Commerce, and Rakesh Khatumria, Sushil Chauhan and Gagan Vibhu from Quark Media House were first and second runners-up, respectively. There was a close contest between Dell and OBC from the very beginning. The other finalist teams were Ranbaxy, Maruti Udyog Limited and Sebiz Technologies.

The Quizmaster, Mr Chitranjan Agarwal, dished out a mix of questions ranging from classics to current affairs. The audience was enthralled on the questions based on audiovisual clues. More than 150 members of the audience from in and around Chandigarh enjoyed the brainstorming rounds of the quiz and, as in most quizzes, the audience was equally involved, with some like Mr Jugraj Singh from Dell cracking a handful of questions.

Mr Rod Pryde, Minister (Cultural Affairs), Director, British Council, India and Sri Lanka, gave away the prizes to the winners. While addressing the audience, he marvelled at the energy level, vitality and the awareness of the Indians. Further complimenting India as the emerging economic power with a specific reference to booming IT industry, he said: “The future belongs to India”.

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Rs 4.53-cr development grants disbursed
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Lalru, September 11
In a bid to boost economic development in the Banur Assembly constituency, Patiala MP Preneet Kaur today disbursed grants amounting to Rs 4.53 crore to gram panchayats and civic bodies.

Addressing the gathering, she alleged that the state’s economy had virtually collapsed during the previous regime, but concerted efforts by the Congress government had revived the economy, with the result that the state was witnessing all-round development.

The government’s welfare scheme had benefited all sections of society, including Dalits, women and weaker sections, she claimed.

Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation vice-chairman Deepinder Singh Dhillon said the state in general and the Banur Assembly constituency in particular had witnessed rapid progress under the Congress regime.

Coming down heavily on certain Shiromani Akali Dal leaders for the misinformation campaign against the Congress government, he claimed that the government would return to power with an absolute majority.

Ms Preneet Kaur visited the families of the alleged police highhandedness on August 11 and handed them cheques amounting to Rs 2.73 lakh.

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Man dies under mysterious circumstances
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 11
A resident of Kambala village died under mysterious circumstances here. The police has sent the body for a post-mortem examination.

According to the information available, Kuldeep Singh (35) had gone to Manauli village yesterday. When he came back, he started having liquor. It is alleged that he had consumed too much liquor and started vomiting. His family members took him to GMCH, Sector 32, where he died.

The members of the family were making preparations for the cremation of the body when the police arrived on the scene and sent the body to the local civil hospital for a postmortem examination.

It is reported that the police reached the village after someone made a complaint that Kuldeep Singh had died under mysterious circumstances.

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Farmers oppose move to acquire land
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Farmers of Raipur Rani, Pinjore and Barwala blocks under the aegis of the Shivalik Area Kisan Sangharsh Samiti today lodged their protest against the move of the district administration to acquire land for carving out new sectors of the city.

Led by Mr B.K. Sud, coordinator and local BJP leader, farmers took out a procession from Sector 1 to the district Secretariat here. They handed over a memorandum to the ADC, Mr Parveen Kumar.

Agitated over the proposal of Panchkula Extension II, the farmers said their mahapanchayat held on September 3 had expressed its anguish over the acquisition notices.

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Animation movie project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Public Relations, UT Administration, formally launched the animation movie project, “ALONE,” to be produced by students of the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) here today.

“Alone-And Loving It” is the first project for the production of a full-fledged 15-minute animation movie undertaken by 20-member team of MAAC Chandigarh, who call themselves Red Curry. It will be directed by Sachin Bhatnagar, DGM, Technical. The film is based on an adaptation of an internationally acclaimed stage play “They are Made up of Meat” written by Terry Bissone.

Mr Vivek Atray launched the project with the screening of the movie’s promo.

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Harassment alleged
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 11
Mr Madan Mohan Singh of Phase VII, industrial area, here complained to the Haryana Transport Minister on Monday that his newly- married son and daughter-in-law felt harassed when they had to wait for nearly three hours near Samalkha after the Volvo bus they were travelling in had a flat tyre.

He said as the driver did not have a spare wheel, passengers were put to a lot of inconvenience even when the Volvo bus service was much publicised by the department concerned.

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One dies of snake bite

Panchkula, September 11
Fortytwo-year-old Puran Chand died of a snake bite here on Monday. Having come to the city in search of a job about a fortnight back, Puran Chand was sleeping in his jhuggi at Saketri when he was bitten by a snake late on Sunday night. Initially, his wife and some neighbours tried to treat the bite by traditional remedies.

He was declared brought dead to the General Hospital, Sector 6, in the wee hours. — TNS

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CRIME

Drama at High Court; 5 booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Agitated over the inter-caste marriage of their daughter against their wishes, the bride’s family quarrelled with that of the groom’s at the Punjab and Haryana High Court parking lot this morning, here. For preventing occurrence of an ugly situation due to the presence of both the families in the court, the local police booked five persons of both the families.

The police said the incident took place at around 10:30 when a couple hailing from Yamunanagar district in Haryana came to the High Court for a hearing. The girl’s family also came there and were insisting on talking to the girl. However, the girl denied any audience to them and tried to speed away in a car. Following this, the girl’s father, Mr Manjit Singh, gave a chase to the car and also pelted stones at it, thus breaking the window panes of the vehicle.

At this both the parties entered into a heated debate, which turned violent. As the people gathered at the spot, they called the police, which reached the spot. The police tried to pacify both the parties and in the end arrested three members of girl’s family and an uncle and a brother-in-law of the groom’s family under Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this connection.

The police said Sanjay, the groom, belonging to a Schedule Caste family, married the girl belonging to an upper caste family about four months ago against the wishes of her family. The girl’s family has also been reportedly insisting that the girl was a minor while the girl maintained that she was a major and also showed a certificate to support her claims.

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Underweight LPG cylinder: 2 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The police has arrested two residents of Colony Number 5 on the allegations of supplying under-weight LPG cylinders.

Sources in the Sector 34 police station said Dharam Raj and Vicky were arrested following a complaint made by Mr Vikas of Sector 46.

The police said the suspects were caught while delivering underweight cylinders to consumers in Colony Number 5 on Sunday.

A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy under Sections 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of the Essential Services Act has been registered.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Ajay Kajla of Sector 22 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his TVS Victor motor cycle (PB-48-B-1284) was stolen from his residence on Sunday. A case of theft has been registered in the Sector 17 police Station.

House burgled

Mr Sanjit Singh of Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, reported to the police that his two mobile phones, a TV, a fan and other articles were stolen from his residence on the night of September 9 . A case was registered in the Sector 11 police station in this regard.

Auto-rickshaw driver held

A passenger, Mr Shashi Bhushan of Sector 51, was injured when the auto-rickshaw in which he was travelling overturned near the Sector 45 and 35 roundabout on Saturday. He was admitted to Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The police has arrested the auto-rickshaw driver, Chandan Kumar of Nehru Colony, Kajheri, for rash and negligent driving.

One held with stolen car

The operation cell of the police arrested Pawan Kumar of Sector 37-A from near Sukhna Petrol Pump, Sector 28, on Sunday. A stolen Indica car (HR-05-N-2173) was also recovered from his possession. He had displayed a fake registration number on the vehicle. A case of cheating and theft has been registered against him.

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Thieves decamp with car stereo systems
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 11
Thieves decamped with stereo systems and woofers from five cars from one locality in Phase I here last night.

All cars that were targeted by the thieves were parked outside houses. The thefts came to the notice of owners this morning.

To lay their hands on stereo systems and woofers from a Santro and a Zen car, thieves had broken windowpanes apart from targeting three Maruti cars parked outside a row of houses.

The police has registered cases against unknown persons. Some more thefts from cars were reported from the area but complaints in this regard have not been made to the police.

Mr Rajinder Singh Sohal, SHO, Phase I police station, said that no community police officer (CPOs) was working at present in the locality where thefts had taken place. He said the services of the CPOs had to be withdrawn as residents were not willing to make the required monthly payments. He said theft cases had drastically come down in areas where CPOs were providing a security cover.

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Booked for rash driving
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 11
The local police has booked the driver of a tractor-trailer (HR-55-0380) for negligent driving, resulting in the death of Lakhwinder Singh, a resident of Nabha village, near here.

According to a complaint lodged by Mr Saudagar Singh, a resident of Nabha village, the tractor-trailer hit the scooter driven by Lakhwinder when he was taking a turn on September 8. Lakhwinder was seriously injured and admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. He succumbed to his injuries the next day.

A case under Sections 279,304-A and 427 of the IPC has been registered.

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Chain snatched
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 11
A resident of Phase VII has filed a complaint with the police that her gold chain was snatched when she had gone for a morning walk.

In the complaint, Ms Amarjit Kaur said that she had gone for a walk around 6 am when a scooter-borne person came and snatched her chain.

The police has registered a case under Sections 356 and 34 of the IPC.

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Woman alleges husband was already married
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 11
A resident of Ludhiana complained to the police here that her husband had cheated her by marrying her even when he was allegedly already married.

Ms Namita said that her husband Kamal Setia had not disclosed before their marriage that he was already married.

When she came to know of it, he allegedly started threatening her with dire consequences.

The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 494, 495, 496, and 506 of the IPC in this regard.

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Suspended sarpanch using official seal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 11
The police has booked a former sarpanch of Daumajra village on the charge of cheating. Mr Naib Singh from the same village had complained to the police that Baldev Singh, a former sarpanch of the village, who was suspended by the Director, Panchayats has allegedly kept using his official seal.

The police has registered a case under Sections 419 and 420 of the IPC.

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BUSINESS
 

Indian poultry in for good days
Sales boom following world body’s certification
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A glut in production coupled with a certificate from the OIE — the world organisation for animal health — that the “Indian poultry is free from avian influenza” have been the factors behind the zooming sale of chicken within the country and increased demand of eggs from overseas.

A poultry shop banner displays broiler price at Rs 38 a kg.
A poultry shop banner displays broiler price at Rs 38 a kg. — A Tribune photograph

“Though the price of dressed chicken may stabilise between Rs 38 and Rs 45 a kg for the next couple of months, eggs may become costlier in the coming winter,” say poultry farmers of the region revealing that in spite of ‘sharads’ and coming ‘navratras’, the sale of chicken is touching a new high.

“Sale during the past two days has been as good as it is at the peak of the wedding season in November/December every year,” admits a poultry farmer saying that “quick clearance of the present flock even at a record low price is a great relief to us who have suffered immense losses because of the Avian-Influenza (Bird flu) panic for the past several months.”

“We survived this avian influenza onslaught primarily because of our Defence forces which have been the biggest buyers of chicken in the country now,” says a poultry farmer.

The OIE has last month given India a certificate that its poultry is absolutely free from avian influenza.

Some of the Asian markets which had suspended imports from India because of the fear of the influenza have revived their imports from India.

For example, says Mr Surjit Singh Sagri, president of North India Broiler Breeders Association, export of eggs to Dubai, Muscat, Jeddah and a few other foreign centres has commenced.

Many of broiler breeders are also considering exporting chicken to markets in Asia and Europe.

“Our only problem is that we do not have enough of approved broiler dressing-and-processing plants which meet world food standards.

“Only five plants in India are approved, which can process only two to three per cent of total broiler production in the country.

“Once we have more such plants, we can export chicken and chicken-based products.

“At present, chicken is the cheapest of all non-vegetarian meals. The prices of pork, mutton and beef are touching a new high,” adds Mr Sagri.

Meanwhile, prices of dressed chicken in the retail market throughout the region continued to vary between Rs 38 and Rs 45 a kg. Some major chains, which have been selling chicken at higher rates, have also started matching the current market rate.

A report from Ludhiana suggested that some orders booked for supply of chicken at the old rate of Rs 52 a kg were cancelled and replaced for supplying the same at Rs 38 a kg.

The price of eggs which touched a low of Rs 80 to Rs 90 for a hundred during bird flu months has now gone up to Rs 155 to Rs 160 a hundred.

“It will touch Rs 200 per hundred by the start of winter and in retail an egg will cost not less than Rs 2.50 against Rs 1.75 paise now,” asserts Mr Sagri.

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